Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety’s Work of 2022
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety wishes to thank you for your past support and to ask you for renewed contributions to allow us to carry on our work promoting the well-being and safety of human beings living in the shadow of the nuclear weapons industries.
It is easy to persuade politicians to spend money on weapons of war, but it is far harder to make them recognize the real costs involved. Nuclear weapons production contaminates air and water, depletes the soil, and threatens the lives of those living and working nearby. Economic necessity may force people to welcome the jobs these industries bring, but no one should be forced to suffer from the toxins they produce. From those downwind from nuclear tests to those whose drinking water is polluted with toxic materials, the most affected individuals are often – although not exclusively – low-wealth and marginalized members of society. The armed forces, the Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, and their civilian contractors have vast resources and every incentive to obscure and hide the damage done to people whose bodies and lands are daily exposed to radioactive contamination.
Since 1988, CCNS has worked tirelessly to spotlight these concerns by all available means: distributing public knowledge through our website and social media; raising issues in public meetings; providing information to legislators, the media and others; meeting with officials of LANL, WIPP, NNSA, the New Mexico Environment Department and other agencies of the federal, state and local government and, when necessary, by filing lawsuits. Below, please find a list of some of our activities from the past year, all directed toward the safety and well-being of our common communities.
CCNS’s job will never be finished, and it costs money. Government officials and contractors need to be reminded – gently or forcefully, but in either case continually – to respect the lands where they work and the people who live on them. Please help us to keep everyone, and especially residents of Northern New Mexico, safe from the pollution generated from one the most dangerous industries on the world. Tax-deductible donations can be sent to CCNS, Post Office Box 31147, Santa Fe, NM 87594-1147, or they can be made at our website, http://nuclearactive.org/.
Thank you for your generous support! Together we are making a difference!
Grant Franks Joni Arends, Co-founder and
Board Chairman Executive Director
The following is a partial list of the routine work and special projects that CCNS has engaged in during 2022. (Items in bold face have required extraordinary expense for the retention of outside counsel.)
- Produced 52 weekly CCNS News Updates and Did You Know? to keep our subscribers and supporters up-to-date about new developments. CCNS is committed to the regular publication and dissemination of important events and challenges in the nuclear world and to producing fair, reasonable and even-handed reports. We consistently provide documentation, so that the reader can trust these materials and use the information themselves when contacting their representatives or other relevant officials.
- Kept a close eye on the Cerro Pelado Fire, especially as it moved within five miles of LANL’s backgate. In response to concerns voiced by CCNS and others, LANL began fire prevention measures along State Road 4.
- Worked to prevent the release of radioactive tritium from four flanged tritium waste containers stored at Area G, now slated for the spring of 2023.
- Appealed the EPA’s issuance of a discharge permit for industrial sites that do not discharge, including the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility (RLWTF) at LANL’s Technical Area 50. The Clean Water Act requires a discharge in order to issue a permit. The EPA issued “zombie” discharge permits for facilities that don’t discharge, but handle, treat and store hazardous waste, thus requiring regulation under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). RCRA requires additional protections for the liquid waste treatment tank systems, additional seismic analyses, and additional monitoring. LANL is resisting proper regulation.
- Objected to the NMED’s issuance of discharge permit 1132 (DP-1132) for the RLWTF’s Outfall 051. It stopped discharging in November 2010, yet NMED issued the discharge permit.
- Appealed the DP-1132 permit to the NM Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) where once again, the adjudicatory decisionmaker applied for and gained employment with the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) while making decisions in this matter, a clear conflict of interest. The next WQCC meeting is January 10, 2023. CCNS encourages you to express your concerns.
- Provided scoping comments about the proposed LANL Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement (SWEIS). It should have been completed in 2018, but it was delayed for many reasons. Since 2018. the American taxpayers have paid for new buildings, new personnel, and new bonuses for the weaponers.
- Encourage the State of New Mexico to comply with its issued hazardous waste permit and close the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in 2024.
- Encouraged enactment of provisions of the WIPP Consultation and Cooperation Agreement to ensure DOE establishes criteria for a new repository in another state than New Mexico;
- Attended WIPP public meetings, including the July 7th “fiasco” meeting in Santa Fe and the October 24th meeting at Buffalo Thunder.
- Participated in in-person and virtual meetings of the NM Legislature Interim Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Committee in Clovis and Santa Fe.
- Participated in the virtual meeting of NM Radioactive Task Force on December 16th.
- Since October, CCNS has requested volumetric data for the LANL waste shipped to WIPP. Since January 2021, Environmental Management-Los Alamos (EM-LA) and NNSA have “shared” shipments to WIPP. There were two kinds of waste: pre-1999 legacy cleanup waste and the newly generated waste from plutonium pit production. Based on unconfirmed data, it appears NNSA shipped more newly generated waste than EM-LA shipped legacy waste. CCNS is requesting assistance from our congressional offices to confirm the data and cause the establishment of a transparent electronic database where the public can determine for themselves whether legacy cleanup waste is getting off the Hill.
- Participated in the international working group seeking to implement Article 6 Victim Assistance and environmental remediation and Article 7 International cooperation and assistance of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
- Held meetings with congressional staffers of Senators Heinrich and Lujan and Representative Leger Fernandez about LANL and WIPP issues.
- Prepared for, attended and actively participated in the following weekly, monthly or quarterly meetings:
- Buckman Direct Diversion Board meetings
- LANL Technical Working Group, with a focus on environmental issues
- National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (NEJAC)
- White House Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (WHEJAC)
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