* IBM will build supercomputer for nuclear test simulations.

* Chernobyl radiation linked to breast cancer increase.

* U.S. opposes Ukrainian turbine sale to Iranian nuclear plant.

* City Council Meeting to air Citizens' views on repeal of WIPP transport ordinance.


* A new contract with the Department of Energy (DOE) will give IBM $85 million dollars to build a new supercomputer that will simulate nuclear warhead detonations in order to enable scientists to evaluate the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal without performing actual test explosions. The contract is part of a federal program to acquire super-powerful computers for use in national defense laboratories. The program's success will support White House efforts to persuade the Senate to ratify a test ban treaty President Clinton signed two years ago, by demonstrating that simulations can replace actual nuclear tests. President Clinton's recent visit to New Mexico was primarily to enable the President to visit Los Alamos National Laboratory and experience first hand the simulation of a nuclear test explosion. "We need new supercomputational powers so we can certify that our weapons are safe, secure and reliable without testing," said Secretary of Energy Federico Peľa.

The new machine can execute up to 10 trillion calculations per second, approximately 250,000 times faster than an ordinary PC. It is scheduled for delivery to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the year 2000. Its acquisition was only the latest in a series of DOE purchases of supercomputers for national laboratories. IBM, Intel Corp. and Cray Research will be supplying other computers to Livermore and to the Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. In fact, in a budget request to Congress this month, the DOE has asked for 49 million dollars for two big new construction projects at Sandia National Laboratory to house scientists working on nuclear weapons simulations.

The United States has not conducted nuclear testing since President Clinton announced a moratorium in 1992. Instead, the U.S. will be spending $40 billion over the next ten years to use new technology to assure the reliability of the nation's strategic stockpile of 6,000 to 7,000 nuclear weapons. Testing systems use archived data from roughly 1,000 nuclear explosions conducted over five decades before the moratorium.


* Evidence exists that a much-feared increase in breast cancer is taking place, connected with the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident of 1986, say Russian scientists in a recent study in the Ukraine.

In a study presented at a meeting of the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science in Philadelphia, PA on February 15, scientists announced that, in areas around Chernobyl where nearly 277, 000 people received moderate exposure to radiation, breast cancer rates have increased about 150%. In areas where radiation levels were much higher, within an 18 mile radius of the plant, breast cancer incidence has increased 236%. Further study is necessary to determine how much of the increase is due to Chernobyl, said Anatoly Romanenko, a scientist with the Research Center for Radiation Medicine in Kiev, capitol of the Ukraine.


* The United States is opposing the proposed sale of turbines by the Ukrainian Government to Iran, for use in a nuclear power plant, said a top security official on Saturday, February 7. The Ukrainian government wants to permit a factory in the eastern city of Kharkiv to sell Russia at least one turbine for the nuclear plant it is building in Bushehr, Iran. The U. S. is adamant against the sale, which, it says, could help Iran develop nuclear weapons. U.S. envoy Steven Sestanovich has had daily meetings with Volodymyr Horbulin, secretary of Ukraine's Security and Defense Council to press Washington's case.

Russia claims the $800 million dollar deal is completely peaceful, and has given no response to U.S. pleas to cancel the 1995 contract. The president of the Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma, promised last year that the Ukraine would not supply the plant with turbines, but later, Ukrainian officials said the government had given permission for the deal to go through.


* CCNS would like to encourage the public to attend the City Council meeting on Wednesday, February 25, at 7:00 p.m., to say "No WIPP trucks on St. Francis Drive."

The council is asking the public to voice its opinion on whether Ordinance 1197-33, restricting the hours of WIPP nuclear waste transport on St. Francis Drive, should be repealed The ordinance was passed on October 1997 as a restriction, which the Department of Energy has since misrepresented as a permission. By misrepresenting the intent of this ordinance, the DOE has attempted to divide our community--therefore we support its immediate repeal and in its place a strong and unified stance by the city council against WIPP and radioactive waste transport through Santa Fe.


* Los Alamos National Laboratories (LANL) will hold an Environmental Safety and Health meeting at Sweeney Center, on Marcy St. in Santa Fe, on Tuesday evening, February 24.

For more information about these meetings, and their exact times, please contact CCNS at 986-1973.





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