Public Comments Due June 28th about Proposed LANL Nuclear Bomb Factory
Over 100 people spoke in opposition to the Department of Energy (DOE) proposal for a Nuclear Facility, as part of the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) Project, during public hearings in Albuquerque, Los Alamos, Española, and Santa Fe on the draft supplemental environmental impact statement for the project at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). www.culturalenergy.org/lanl.htm Concerns were raised about the requirements for electricity and water, environmental injustice, the seismic hazard, and the escalating cost to over $6 billion. People urged that this massive funding be used for renewable energy projects, energy conservation, and to restore watersheds in Northern New Mexico in order to address the obvious effects of climate change.
The statements made in support of the construction of the Nuclear Facility, where plutonium pit production will take place, focused on the possibility of jobs. A summary in the draft environmental statement says that peak direct construction jobs would be 790 workers, plus 450 indirect jobs. These would "represent less than 1 percent of the regional workforce and would have little socioeconomic effect." http://nnsa.energy.gov/nepa/cmrrseis
During operations of the proposed facility, the draft statement says that approximately 550 workers would be located at the Nuclear Facility and the already constructed Radiological Laboratory, Utility and Office Building, which is adjacent to the Nuclear Facility. These workers "would come from the [old] CMR Building and other facilities at LANL so the facility would not increase employment or change socioeconomic conditions in the region."
DOE estimates that electricity use for construction of the proposed Nuclear Facility would be 31,000 megawatt hours per year. The current peak load demand is 150 megawatts for LANL and Los Alamos County. If that demand were needed, it would result in zero remaining capacity.
DOE estimates that the maximum amount of water needed for construction would be 4.6 million gallons per year. A large portion of the water would be used in mixing 400,000 cubic yards of concrete needed for the structure to meet additional safety requirements because of potential seismic hazards. That amount of water is approximately 11 acre feet per year. An acre foot is about 326,000 gallons, which could supply four homes in Santa Fe for a year.
For each year of operation, DOE estimates that the proposed Nuclear Facility would use 16 million gallons of water. That is about 49 acre feet per year.
It is important to provide comments to DOE about the proposal to use our water, electricity, and tax payer dollars to build a massive, new facility for manufacturing plutonium triggers for nuclear weapons. The comment period ends June 28, 2011.
Questions or Comments concerning the draft CMRR-Nuclear Facility Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) may be submitted to:
Mr. John Tegtmeier, CMRR-NF
SEIS Document Manager
NNSA Los Alamos Site Office
3747 West Jemez Road
TA-3 Building 1410
Los Alamos, New Mexico, 87544
or by facsimile (505) 667Ð5948
or by e-mail at: NEPALASO@doeal.gov
To keep informed about all these matters, please visit the websites of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability www.ananuclear.org, CCNS www.nuclearactive.org, Cultural Energy www.culturalenergy.org/lanl.htm, Los Alamos Study Group www.lasg.org, Nuclear Watch New Mexico www.nukewatch.org, Think Outside the Bomb www.thinkoutsidethebomb.org, and the Union of Concerned Scientists www.ucsusa.org.