* International outcry against nuclear tests in Nevada.

* LANL scientists celebrate new plutonium pit production.

* Hanford nuclear weapons plant admits giant radioactive waste leak.

* CCNS hosts dance party to stop WIPP, featuring The Iguanas.

* Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) scientists blasted weapons-grade plutonium with 225 pounds of explosives in a "subcritical" test on March 25. The tests are called "subcritical," because, according to scientists, the amount and shape of the plutonium will not create an actual nuclear explosion. The test, code-named Stagecoach, took place in a mine deep beneath the desert surface of the government's Nevada test site. It cost 25 million dollars and was designed to verify what happens to 40 year old plutonium, when hit by forces like those inside an exploding nuclear bomb. Weapons scientists say they need to know whether plutonium over the thirty year mark will perform adequately in weapons. Scientists claim that they are not designing new weapons, as the military has not asked for any, and that the data is crucial to maintaining the existing nuclear arsenal.

Nuclear disarmament activists claim that the tests violate the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, at least in spirit, because they add to knowledge about nuclear weapons. At least 15 nations and 46 members of Congress, including the European Parliament have publicly expressed their fears that the tests could threaten movement toward a global end to nuclear testing. Nevada activists protested with a prayer ceremony and nonviolent direct action at the gates to the Nevada test site, and a vigil and demonstration at the offices of Nevada Senators Byrd and Bryan.

* Scientists at LANL gathered recently to toast their latest accomplishment: the manufacture of a plutonium pit, the first new pit created in the last seven years. Plutonium pits are the cores of thermonuclear warheads. Technicians at LANL built the pit, reminding observers of the 1940s and 50s when Los Alamos was a weapons production facility. Most of the nation's pits were created at the Rocky Flats plant outside Denver, which was closed in 1989 because of safety considerations and environmental damage. A number of Rocky Flats workers and their equipment are now at LANL. The LANL pit is as close as possible to the old ones, because changing production methods could change performance. Critics of the program are hopeful that, although equipment and production methods remain unchanged, environmental and safety measures will be improved. The new pit will be used as a "demo" for experimentation, not in an actual warhead. Pits to be placed in warheads will not be made until 2001. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has approved a peak production of 20 pits a year by 2007, but the Lab wants to make as many as 50, or even 80. Nuclear disarmament activists oppose the plan as too expensive and fear it will encourage the global arms race. Environmentalists fear a repeat of the plutonium fires, contaminated buildings and waste-disposal problems that occurred at Rocky Flats.

* A recent Congresssional report casts doubt on the DOE's ability to properly supervise radioactive waste at Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state, the most polluted site in the DOE's nuclear weapons complex. The report was issued by the General Accounting office, the congressional auditing agency, and questions the DOE's failure to correctly evaluate the situation at Hanford The DOE now acknowledges that it needs to know more about soil pollution from leaking waste, and must also study whether recent remedies, based on mistaken assumptions, may have made things worse. After 50 years of maintaining that leaks from underground nuclear waste tanks were insignificant, scientists from Hanford finally admitted that they were wrong Nearly 1 million gallons of radioactive waste that the government does not know how to clean up have already leaked into the ground and reached the groundwater. Cleanup costs are estimated at 50 billion dollars, but cleanup will probably have to be delayed until more is known. The report questions the DOE's failure to study the question adequately, citing numerous warnings, which the department chose to ignore. Sen. John Glenn,D.--Ohio. said "After all this inexcusable delay, continued failure to plan and implement an assessment program will raise serious questions about whether DOE should remain in charge of this program."

Tickets will be $15.00, and are on sale at Rare Bear Records and all TicketMaster outlets. A percentage of the proceeds will go to CCNS to stop WIPP. For more information, call 986- 1973.

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