Current Activities

$1.2 Trillion 30-Year Plan for Nuclear Arsenal Maintenance and Modernization

This week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a $1.2 trillion estimate for the maintenance and modernization of the nuclear weapons complex over the next 30 years.  Unfortunately, the report, entitled, “Approaches for Managing the Costs of U.S. Nuclear Forces, 2017 to 2046,” did not take inflation into account.  If inflation is included, the price tag would exceed $1.5 trillion.  https://www.cbo.gov/publication/53211

The report summary begins with these statements, “To continue to field a nuclear force roughly the same size as it is today, the United States plans to modernize virtually every element of that force over the coming decades.  The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the most recent detailed plans for nuclear forces, which were incorporated in the Obama Administration’s 2017 budget request, would cost $1.2 trillion in 2017 dollars over the 2017 [to] 2046 period:  more than $800 billion to operate and sustain (that is, incrementally upgrade) nuclear forces and about $400 billion to modernize them.”

The report continues, “That planned nuclear modernization would boost the total costs of nuclear forces over 30 years by roughly 50 percent over what they would be to only operate and sustain fielded forces, CBO estimates. During the peak years of modernization, annual costs of nuclear forces would be roughly double the current amount. That increase would occur at a time when total defense spending may be constrained by long-term fiscal pressures, and nuclear forces would have to compete with other defense priorities for funding.”

Modernization includes rebuilding the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons production complex with new and upgraded manufacturing plants for non-nuclear, highly enriched uranium and plutonium components.  Upgraded and expanded plutonium operations would be part of the mix at Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Plutonium Facility and Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Project.

Other modernization projects include the Life Extension Programs to refurbish existing nuclear warheads; and manufacturing new intercontinental ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, heavy bombers, and submarines, all to deliver rebuilt nuclear weapons.

Jay Coghlan, of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, responded to the report, saying, “The American public is being sold a bill of goods in so-called nuclear weapons modernization, which will fleece the taxpayer, enrich the usual giant defense contractors, and ultimately degrade national security.  Inevitably this won’t be the last major price increase, when the taxpayer’s money could be better invested in universal health care, natural disaster recovery, and cleanup of the Cold War legacy wastes.  Nuclear weapons programs should be cut while relying on proven methods to maintain our stockpile as we work toward a future world free of nuclear weapons. That is what would bring us real security.”  https://nukewatch.org/pressreleases/PR-CBO-10-31-17.pdf

Other responses to the report include:

“Senator Markey:  Nuclear Modernization is a Budget Boondoggle,” at https://www.markey.senate.gov/news/press-releases/senator-markey-nuclear-modernization-is-a-budget-boondoggle

“Overindulging in Overkill,” by Kathy Crandall Robinson, at https://www.wand.org/2017/10/29/overindulging-in-overkill/

October 31, 2017 Letter from William J. Perry and James E. Cartwright to President Trump, at https://www.ploughshares.org/print/letter-william-j-perry-and-james-e-cartwright-president-trump

“New CBO Report Warns of Skyrocketing Costs of U.S. Nuclear Arsenal:  Experts Call for Shift to More Cost-Effective Alternatives,” by Arms Control Association at https://www.armscontrol.org/pressroom/2017-10/new-cbo-report-warns-skyrocketing-costs-us-nuclear-arsenal

 

NMED Extends draft WCS Ground Water Discharge Permit Public Comment Period by 60 Days

NMED listened to our concerns about the discriminatory public comment process for this permit and extended the comment period by 60 days – until almost the end of the year.  During this period, CCNS will be conducting more research into the impacts of the discharge in New Mexico.

If you would like to submit public comments about the draft Waste Control Specialists (WCS) ground water discharge permit to the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED), please focus on the discriminatory manner in which the public comment period has been handled.

NMED granted the extension, but has not been specific about how they are going to comply with the January 2017 Resolution Agreement they signed with EPA to resolve the 2002 Title VI Civil Rights Complaint filed by Deborah Reade, CARD, WIN, CURE and two individuals.

A sample public comment letter is available for your use at http://nuclearactive.org/wcs-discharge-permit-comments-due-to-nmed-on-tuesday-october-31st/

To support our work, please make a tax-deductible contribution at http://nuclearactive.org/ or mail your check to:  CCNS, P. O. Box 31147, Santa Fe, NM  87594-1147.  Thank you!

 

WCS Discharge Permit Comments Due to NMED on Tuesday, October 31st

The New Mexico Environment Department issued a draft permit to Waste Control Specialists allowing for the discharge of 170,500,000 gallons per day of stormwater runoff from the radioactive and hazardous waste storage and disposal facility on the New Mexico – Texas border, five miles east of Eunice, New Mexico.  Public comments about the draft groundwater discharge permit are due to the Environment Department on Tuesday, October 31st by 5 pm.  CCNS has prepared sample public comments you can use to submit your own comments.  WCS_sample_public_comment_102617  (please feel free to use the sample letter in its entirety or copy and paste the sections that appeal to you and customize it to suit your needs)

In January 2017, the Environment Department signed a Resolution Agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to resolve a 2002 Title VI Civil Rights Complaint filed by Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping (CARD) and two other groups about the discriminatory public process conducted for the Triassic Park hazardous waste permit.  The agreement includes steps that the Environment Department must take to provide a non-discriminatory public process for permits.  These include creating a description of the community and a plan of action to address a community’s needs and concerns, as well as providing contact information for government agency officials and local media contacts, among others.  The Resolution Agreement also includes addressing the needs of Low English Proficiency persons and providing the names of those who offer language assistance.  http://nuclearactive.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/EPA_FINALResolutionLetterandAgreement_TriassicPark_Complainant_011917.pdf

The Environment Department has not completed these steps for the Waste Control Specialists draft permit public process, except translating the public notice into Spanish.  It appears that a majority of residents in Eunice, the closest town to the site, identify as Hispanic and speak Spanish in the home. 

On Wednesday, October 25th, Deborah Reade and CARD, along with representatives of 11 other non-governmental organizations, wrote to the Environment Department requesting the public comment period be stopped until all steps are completed.  These include translating vital documents into Spanish and placing them in the Eunice Public Library or another community location that is open outside of working hours.  Currently, only the draft permit and some notices are on-line.  https://cloud.env.nm.gov/water/resources/_translator.php/3wdGf2YvWP7JR8htsQErkMxbvE56mnoqDRp2BQAIXXbigeEtSCEhgT9cBlqLEUu1aPYvo6Tx0DCi7PD63C+iWBqfziRbTJyw6UkZEhUFeO9N+EtrQ+AOpxEuV2I3n8y/v8Y52RQCXZU=.pdf and https://cloud.env.nm.gov/water/resources/_translator.php/3wdGf2YvWP7JR8htsQErkMxbvE56mnoqDRp2BQAIXXbigeEtSCEhgT9cBlqLEUu1aPYvo6Tx0DA+Wyj0mFVVoUZ8t8naJuIspIlIZ92JvBBS0CWLoFSAWpSpXbZ6raVBOoENhzW82qY=.pdf  All other relevant documents are available only during office hours at the Environment Department’s Santa Fe office – a 700-mile roundtrip for Eunice residents.  Letter-Michelle Hunter_DP-1817andDP-1132

The groups emphasized, “[I]t is irrelevant [ ] that [the Environment Department’s] plans to meet the Resolution Agreement requirements are not finalized.  The Agreement sets up the steps that [the Environment Department] needs to take to make sure they are not discriminating in the public participation process.  However, even if everything is not in place, it is still illegal to discriminate – period.  It is not okay to discriminate ‘one last time,’ [ ].”

 

Impending Roof Collapse at WIPP Endangers Workers

The Department of Energy (DOE) expects that a massive roof fall will occur at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) within the next couple of weeks. The collapse of the ceiling in Panel 7, Room 6 is within 200 feet of where workers are emplacing plutonium contaminated radioactive and hazardous waste. http://www.wipp.energy.gov/wipprecovery/Presentations/Town_Hall_Slides_09_28_17.pdf, slide 11.  Nevertheless, DOE has not publicly committed to keeping workers out of the area when the ceiling falls.

In February 2014, a radiation release in the adjacent Panel 7, Room 7 contaminated a large portion of the underground salt mine, including all seven rooms in Panel 7. Since then, workers in that area must wear personal protective equipment and respirators to prevent radiation exposure. DOE officials state that equipment also can protect workers from possible increased exposures caused by the release of toxic and radioactive materials when the ceiling collapses.

On November 3, 2016, a significant portion of the ceiling in Panel 7, Room 4 collapsed, causing workers to be evacuated from the underground.  http://www.wipp.energy.gov/Special/WIPP%20Update%2011_4_16.pdf  In a report released on December 1, 2016, the Mining Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) wrote that underground workers had expressed significant concerns about the safety of Panel 7 a week before the ceiling fall occurred.  http://www.wipp.energy.gov/Special/MSHA_Technical_Support_Evaluation.pdf

MSHA has prohibited entry into Room 6 since September 13, 2016, because of dangerous conditions in the room. On December 22, 2016, DOE informed the New Mexico Environment Department that Room 6 has six pieces of radioactively contaminated equipment that contain an estimated 581 gallons of hydraulic fluid, engine oil, brake fluid, coolant, and battery acid. DOE also stated, “the risks to workers associated with entering Room 6 to drain fluids and remove batteries far outweigh the risk associated with abandoning the equipment in its present state.”  http://www.wipp.energy.gov/library/Information_Repository_A/Follow-up_Reports/16-3341_Redacted.pdf

On January 13, 2017, the Department concurred to leave the contaminated equipment in place. On January 31, 2017, DOE sent the Department a nine-page analysis of the Panel 7, Room 6 roof collapse possibly causing a fire of the combustible liquids and batteries. The analysis concluded that while the roof fall would occur, a fire is “extremely unlikely,” and that waste being emplaced nearby would not be affected.  http://www.wipp.energy.gov/library/Information_Repository_A/Follow-up_Reports/17-1006_Nuclear_Safety_Hazard_Evaluation.pdf

Don Hancock, of Southwest Research and Information Center, said, “There is no reason that workers should be in Panel 7 when the ceiling collapses in Room 6. The collapse could cause a fire or release additional radioactivity from the floors and walls where waste is being emplaced. Quickly evacuating workers when the collapse occurs could result in injuries. If safety is the number one priority, DOE should prohibit workers from being in Panel 7 until the effects of the roof fall can be fully examined.”  http://www.sric.org/

 

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Awarded 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

Last Friday, the Nobel Committee awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.”  https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2017/  ICAN is a civil society leader for achieving the recent Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a legally binding, multilateral treaty prohibiting the development, testing, production, acquisition, possession, stockpiling and the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.  It provides a clear path to a world without nuclear weapons and is rooted in international humanitarian law, the United Nations Charter, and humanitarian principles.  http://www.undocs.org/en/a/conf.229/2017/L.3/Rev.1

On July 7, 2017, the Treaty was adopted by 122 nations of the United Nations, or nearly two-thirds of the nations of the world.  When the Treaty was open for signature on September 20, 2017, three nations signed and their governments had already ratified it.  In total, 53 nations have signed the treaty, which will enter into force when 50 nations have both signed and ratified it.  http://www.icanw.org/status-of-the-treaty-on-the-prohibition-of-nuclear-weapons/

ICAN is a coalition of 468 non-governmental organizations in 101 countries. By harnessing the power of the people, they have worked to bring an end to the most destructive weapon ever created – the only weapon that poses an existential threat to all humanity.  http://www.icanw.org/

The Nobel Committee recognized the decades of campaigning against nuclear weapons from the first nuclear weapon test in New Mexico at the Trinity Site on July 16, 1945, to the bombings of civilians at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August, 1945, to the thousands of nuclear weapons tests around the world.

ICAN said, “This prize is a tribute to the tireless efforts of many millions of campaigners and concerned citizens worldwide who, ever since the dawn of the atomic age, have loudly protested nuclear weapons, insisting that they can serve no legitimate purpose and must be forever banished from the face of our earth.”

As the leaders of the United States and North Korea continue to hurl verbal insults about possible nuclear war, there is heighten awareness that the world needs a mechanism to eliminate nuclear weapons.  The Nobel Committee called upon the nuclear-armed states, including the United States and North Korea, to initiate serious negotiations to abolish nuclear weapons.

In their statement, ICAN stated, “This is a time of great global tension, when fiery rhetoric could all too easily lead us, inexorably, to unspeakable horror.  The spectre of nuclear conflict looms large once more.  If ever there were a moment for nations to declare their unequivocal opposition to nuclear weapons, that moment is now.”

 

CCNS Appeals EPA Denial to Terminate LANL Outfall from Clean Water Act Permit

Outfall No. 051 at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a discharge pipe connected to a key facility, the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility.  The Clean Water Act only regulates facilities that actually discharge pollutants.  After November 2010, the Facility became a zero-liquid-discharge system, meaning the discharge pipe would no longer be used.  Since then LANL has been using a Mechanical Evaporator System to evaporate treated water into the air, and nothing has been discharged through the Outfall.   Nevertheless, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) still includes Outfall 051 in the permit that it issues to LANL.

This has a serious impact.  The Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility manages a lot of hazardous waste, and the New Mexico Hazardous Waste Act would normally regulate it with prescribed public review and comment.  But, under an EPA rule, called the Wastewater Treatment Unit exemption, if LANL is regulated under a Clean Water Act permit, Outfall 051 and the Facility are exempt from the Hazardous Waste Act.

LANL has struggled to keep this exemption.  In a 1998 report about converting the Facility to a zero-liquid-discharge system, LANL acknowledged that if it stopped discharging through Outfall 051, it could lose the exemption, and the “[L]oss of this exemption would mean that the [Facility] would be required to meet additional [hazardous waste] regulatory guidelines regarding waste treatment practices.  … The [Facility] would need to manage the [pollutants] in the waste stream and so have much better knowledge of, and control over, waste discharged to it for treatment.”  It also acknowledged that citizen oversight would increase under the hazardous waste regulations.

Now, in 2017, the Facility has had a zero-liquid-discharge system for over six years.  Even so, EPA has issued a Clean Water Act permit for Outfall 051, thereby continuing its exemption from Hazardous Waste Act regulation.  EPA claims it did so because LANL said it might someday need to discharge pollutants.  But LANL has not used the Outfall for more than six years. 

In June 2016, CCNS, through its attorneys, Jon Block with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, and Lindsay A. Lovejoy, requested EPA to terminate Outfall 051 from the permit.  In August 2017, EPA denied CCNS’s request.  In response, in September, CCNS appealed the denial to the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board in Washington, DC.  The entire appeal can be viewed in the following encapsulation of PDFs here: CCNS FILING WITH EAB 20170914 Or you can view individual documents by clicking on the following links:

CCNSCoverletterClerkEAB20170914     CCNSPetition20170914     CCNSRequestPetitionExhibitList     Exhibit01     Exhibit02     Exhibit03     Exhibit04     Exhibit05     Exhibit06     Exhibit07     Exhibit08     Exhibit09     Exhibit10     Exhibit11     Exhibit12

Joni Arends, of CCNS, said, “LANL has been hiding behind the wastewater treatment unit exemption for over six years.  EPA should terminate Outfall 051 from the Clean Water Act permit so that the State of New Mexico can take on the regulation of this hazardous waste facility.”

 

Two Peaceful Trinity Test Demonstrations on Saturday, October 7th at White Sands Missile Range Entrances

Please join the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium for a peaceful demonstration to bring attention to the health issues resulting from overexposure to radiation following the Trinity atomic bomb test on July 16, 1946.  On Saturday, October 7th, the Consortium will gather at two of the entrances to the White Sands Missile Range when the U.S. Army opens the Trinity Site for people from around the world to visit the radioactively contaminated site. http://www.wsmr.army.mil/Trinity/Pages/Home.aspx

Beginning at 7:45 am, the Consortium will gather at the Tularosa Gate, located on the Tulie Gate Road, west of the Tularosa High School, for a one-hour peaceful demonstration.

Beginning at 9 am, the Consortium will gather at the Stallion Range Station on Highway 380, 12 miles east of San Antonio, for a three-hour peaceful demonstration.  Please bring your own water, chair, hat, and a poster or sign.

On July 16, 1945, just before dawn, the U.S. government conducted the first test explosion of a plutonium bomb at the Trinity Site.  Without warning, the 40,000 people living in the immediate vicinity were engulfed in a radioactive cloud that continued to rain down radioactive particles for days, weeks and months.  The government packed their bags, turned their backs and walked away.  For 72 years it has taken no responsibility for the health repercussions to those exposed.

The Consortium will provide information about their Health Impact Assessment that documents the harm done to those living downwind of the Trinity Site and their efforts to ensure that the Trinity Downwinders are included in the proposed amendments to the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA).  In 1990, Congress passed RECA to provide medical care and compensation to those living downwind of the Nevada Test Site, another location used for testing nuclear weapons aboveground.  RECA was amended in 2000.  The Trinity Downwinders have never been included, even though over $2.2 billion has been paid in claims.  https://www.justice.gov/civil/common/reca, https://www.justice.gov/civil/awards-date-09272017

The Consortium has documented the harm in its Health Impact Assessment, entitled, “Unknowing, Unwilling and Uncompensated:  The Effects of the Trinity Test on New Mexicans and the Potential Benefits of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) Amendment.” https://www.trinitydownwinders.com/health-impact-assessment

Tina Cordova, a co-founder of the Consortium, said, “Seventy-two years have passed.  Now is the time for the U.S. Government to recognize those who were unknowing, unwilling, uncompensated, innocent participants in the world’s largest science experiment, who have been suffering in silence ever since the bomb was detonated.  Our organization is revealing the rest of the story and the People are being made aware of the complete legacy of Trinity.”

For more information, please contact Tina Cordova at 505-897-6787 or by email to tcordova@queston.net.  For information about the Tulie Gate gathering, please contact Kathy Tyler at 575-585-2896.  For information about the Stallion Range Gate gathering, please contact Louisa Lopez at 575-835-8146.  TBDC Trinity Site Protest Fall 2017

 

50 Nation States Sign Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

On Tuesday during his first speech at the United Nations, the U.S. President threatened the use of nuclear weapons.  In contrast, on Wednesday, September 20th, at the United Nations, heads of state and senior officials from 50 Nation States, representing billions of people from across the world, signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  The legally binding, multilateral Treaty prohibits the development, testing, production, acquisition, possession, stockpiling and the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons – all leading to a world without nuclear weapons.  http://www.undocs.org/en/a/conf.229/2017/L.3/Rev.1

On July 7, 2017, 122 Nation States, or nearly two-thirds of the 193 Nation States who are UN members, adopted the Treaty.  http://nuclearactive.org/un-adopts-treaty-for-a-world-without-nuclear-weapons/

The Nation States that signed the Treaty on the first day are Algeria, Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Ireland, Kiribati, Libya, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Samoa, San Marino, São Tomé and Principe, South Africa, Togo, Tuvalu, Uruguay, Vanuatu, and Venezuela.  It is important to note that Brazil and South Africa each possessed nuclear weapons, but gave them up. 

These Nation States, as well as others who are expected to sign the Treaty, will have to take a second step to ratify, accept, approve or accede to the Treaty and deposit their Nation’s papers with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

On Wednesday, three Nation States both signed the Treaty and submitted its ratification papers.  The three Nation States are Guyana, the Holy See at the Vatican, and Thailand.

Ninety days after 50 Nation States sign and ratify the Treaty, it will go into full force and effect.

Thousands of people worked to bring the Treaty to fruition, including activists from civil society, doctors, lawyers, scientists, diplomats, and parliamentarians.  The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, http://www.icanw.org/, the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Weapons, https://www.ialana.info/, and Reaching Critical Will, a project of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, http://reachingcriticalwill.org/, played essential roles to ensure the passage of the Treaty.  The Treaty is based on international human rights law and international humanitarian law.  It is modeled upon treaties that have banned chemical weapons, land mines, biological weapons, and cluster munitions.

Nine Nation States, possessing nearly 15,000 nuclear weapons, did not sign the Treaty.  They are, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States.  Campaigns are underway to urge these countries to sign the Treaty.

Please note that Tuesday, September 26th, is International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (26 September), a good day to contact the U.S. President urging the U.S. to sign the Treaty.

From the United Nations website:  “Achieving global nuclear disarmament is one of the oldest goals of the United Nations. This Day provides an occasion for the world community to reaffirm its commitment to global nuclear disarmament as a high priority. It also provides an opportunity to educate the public—and its leaders—about the real benefits of eliminating such weapons, and the social and economic costs of perpetuating them.”  http://www.un.org/en/events/nuclearweaponelimination/index.shtml

 

Gathering for Mother Earth Waters September 20th through 23rd Along Northern New Mexico Waterway

Daily on-site blessings of Northern New Mexico waters is the theme for the twenty-first Gathering for Mother Earth Waters, which will be held from Wednesday, September 20th through Saturday, September 23rd at sites in Abiquiu, Pilar, Nambe, and at the Pojoaque Pow Wow Grounds.  Tewa Women United and colleagues are organizing the events and invite you to join in the blessings.  Please bring a sack lunch, drinking water, a chair, shade, sunscreen, and follow the blue balloons to each site.  http://tewawomenunited.org/

On Wednesday, September 20th, beginning at 10 am, participants will gather at the Northern Youth Project Garden in Abiquiu to Celebrate the Harvest.  http://www.northernyouthproject.org/  During lunch, there will be a discussion of traditional foods, water, and life, followed by music, dance, storytelling, and poetry.  For more information, contact northernyouthproject@gmail.com.

From 6 pm to 8 pm, there will be a moon ceremony at Tewa Women United, at 912 Fairview Lane, in Española.

On Thursday, September 21st, beginning at 10 am, participants will gather at the Lone Juniper Campsite in Pilar for Peace Day.  https://www.blm.gov/visit/orilla-verde-recreation-area  There will be blessings of water and Avanyu, and a traditional seed exchange will be held.  During lunch, a talking circle about water health and healthy foods will be held.  For more information, contact addelinalucero@gmail.com

From 7:30 to 8:30 pm [CORRECTION:  From 5 to 7 pm], there will be a Journey with Water light show at the Española YMCA Teen Center at 808 Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park.  http://www.espanolanmchamber.com/list/member/espa%c3%b1ola-ymca-teen-center-espanola-529  For more information, please contact Autumn Gomez, of Tewa Women United, at 505 747-3259, extension 1202.

On Friday, September 22nd, a celebration of the Autumnal Equinox will take place at Nambe Falls.  http://nambepueblo.org/?page_id=935  Beginning at 10 am there will be a welcoming, an opening, and discussion of Avanyu as Water is Life.  During lunch, there will be a discussion about sustainable practices.  For more information, contact Elder Kathy Sanchez, of Tewa Women United, at 505 747-3259, extension 1203.

From 6 to 8 pm there will be an Autumnal Equinox, Water, and P’oe Avanyu celebration at the Poeh Museum, in Pojoaque.  http://poehcenter.org/  For more information, please contact Karl Duncan, at 505-455-5040, extension 5054.

Finally, on Saturday, September 23rd, the Gathering will be at the Pojoaque Pow Wow Grounds.  The Gathering site is 1.8 miles west of the Hwys 285/84 interchange in Pojoaque, on Hwy 502, near the Pojoaque High School.  Please look for the signs.  Beginning with a 6:30 am sunrise blessing, a water blessing and talking circle will follow.  At 11 am, Andrew Kimbrell, of the Center for Food Safety, will speak.  https://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/andrew-kimbrell  At 11:30 am, a light luncheon will be served.  For more information, please contact Elder Kathy Sanchez, at 505-747-3259, extension 1203.

Elder Sanchez, invited everyone to attend.  She said, “We are asking everyone to be present with their whole loving energies at our beloved waters.”

For more information about the Gathering, please visit http://tewawomenunited.org/  And here is the event flyer: http://tewawomenunited.org/gathering-for-mother-earth-summit/

 

Actions to Support the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons

The first day for nations to sign the historic Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is Wednesday, September 20th, when the General Assembly of the United Nations begins its 72nd session in New York City.  Nearly two-thirds of the 192 members of the U.N. adopted the treaty on July 7th.  The schedule is available at http://www.icanw.org/campaign-news/sign-the-nuclear-ban-treaty/  At a time when threats of nuclear war are so high, your actions to support the Treaty will make a difference.  A number of colleague organizations have created actions you can take to urge your leaders to sign the treaty, participate in the 2018 United Nations High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, and do everything in their power to abolish nuclear weapons.

The treaty outlaws the development, testing, manufacture, acquisition, possession, transportation, or threat to use nuclear weapons, leading to their eventual elimination.  It stigmatizes these weapons of mass destruction in a manner similar to the international treaties that prohibit chemical weapons, biological weapons, anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions.  http://www.undocs.org/en/a/conf.229/2017/L.3/Rev.1

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons states that the treaty “is a historic breakthrough in the efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons, and is a counter-measure to escalating tensions and increasing focus on nuclear weapons by the nuclear-armed states.  The treaty will set a powerful norm and impact behavior and policies even in states that initially do not join.”  http://www.icanw.org/campaign-news/sign-the-nuclear-ban-treaty/

The U.S. did not participate in the treaty negotiations.  Now is the time to make your voice heard.

First, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom has a petition campaign to the U.S. President and Congress that urges signature and ratification of the treaty.  It is available at http://wilpfus.org/news/updates/wilpf-launches-petition-campaign-support-ban-treaty

Second, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation has an open letter to the U.S. Congress urging action to prevent nuclear catastrophe.  You can sign electronically at https://www.wagingpeace.org/open-letter-congress/

Third, the United Nations will hold a High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament in 2018.  Unfold Zero is urging people to send a letter, email or tweet to the President calling on the U.S. to sign the treaty, to participate in the 2018 High Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, and do everything in his power to abolish nuclear weapons everywhere.  A sample letter is available at http://www.unfoldzero.org/26-september-2015/#

Fourth, Tuesday, September 26th is the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.  Organize an event to show the documentary, “The Man Who Saved the World,” about when, at the height of the Cold War, Stanislav Petrov, a worker in a Soviet nuclear early warning center, prevented nuclear holocaust by going against protocol by not launching retaliatory nuclear weapons.  http://www.unfoldzero.org/26-september-2015/#  For more information, contact info@unfoldzero.org.  

Fifth, read the Guardian’s September 6th article entitled, “No more nukes?  Why anti-nuclear protests need an urgent revival” at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/06/no-more-nukes-anti-nuclear-protests-cnd-greenham-common

Sixth, read LeRoy Moore’s opinion piece in the Boulder Daily Camera, entitled, “Is a nuclear war inevitable?”  https://leroymoore.wordpress.com/2017/09/  Moore, Ph.D., is a consultant with the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center in Boulder, Colorado.

Seventh, read the 2017 Reaching Critical Will “First Committee briefing book,” prepared for the UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Studies.  It asks the question, “What can [the UN General Assembly] do to actually prevent violence by dealing, in a real way, with the weapons that are sustaining the wars?”  http://reachingcriticalwill.org/news/latest-news/11839-new-publication-first-committee-briefing-book-2017

And finally, talk with your friends and family.  Forward the Update to them.