July 31, 2003

Dear City Councilor:

The Department of Energy (DOE) and National Nuclear Security Administration have recently proposed to build a "Modern Pit Facility" (MPF) at either Los Alamos National Laboratory (NM), the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (NM), the Pantex Plant (TX), the Savannah River Site (SC) or the Nevada Test Site. The MPF would produce as many as 500 new nuclear weapons per year, which approaches historic Cold War rates.

Also enclosed is a resolution put forward by the Santa Fe City Council opposing the construction and operation of the MPF anywhere. As XXX has a potential MPF site, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety (CCNS) and Nuclear Watch of New Mexico (NWNM) are asking you to consider supporting a similar resolution to show Congress and the (DOE) that you do not want to expose XXX to the environmental and health risks of additional nuclear facilities.

As you may already know, the MPF would have serious global consequences, including:

  • Thrusting the American people into an expensive and dangerous new nuclear arms race, costing up to $4.4 billion for MPF construction alone. To the extent that the MPF could prompt a new nuclear arms race, the costs are incalculable.

  • Constructing and operating the MPF would violate the spirit of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty's mandate to disarm nuclear stockpiles. It would also contradict the Moscow Treaty, signed by Presidents Bush and Putin this past March, which will reduce the number of nuclear weapons deployed by each country to 2,200 or less.

  • Bolstering the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal while the U.S. demands that other countries relinquish their weapons of mass destruction.

  • The probable production of nuclear weapons of new designs. This cuts to the heart of a number of crucial nuclear arms control issues, including the future of the global nonproliferation framework and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Fortunately, our efforts to stop this project have been incredibly successful thus far. There was significant national opposition to the MPF at a series of six public meetings held this month. The House of Representatives recently cut the budget for the MPF in half. As Rep. Hobson (R-OH), said, "Unfortunately, [DOE] continues to ask Congress to fund a Cold War nuclear arsenal, and the nuclear weapons complex necessary to maintain that arsenal, even though we no longer face a Cold War adversary." In order to maintain the momentum established by the House budget cuts, we must act quickly to demand a similar result in the Senate and prevent construction of the MPF altogether.

If you decide to consider a resolution opposing the MPF, please let us know at MPF@nuclearactive.org and send a copy to your congressional representatives and to Mr. Jay Rose, MPF EIS Document Manager, at Department of Energy/NNSA, 1000 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20585. Please feel free to contact us for any additional information. Together we are making a difference!

Thank you,

Joni Arends
CCNS Executive Director

Becky Lo Dolce
CCNS Project Coordinator

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