Mission

Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety

Our mission is to protect all living beings and the environment from the effects of radioactive and other hazardous materials now and in the future.

P.O. Box 31147
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87594

Telephone: (505) 986-1973
Fax: (505) 986-0997
Email: ccns@nuclearactive.org

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Current Activities

Ralph Hutchinson on U.S. Absence from First Meeting of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

This week before the start of the First Meeting of States Parties for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Vienna, three countries deposited their ratification documents with the United Nations.  Grenada, Cabot Verde, and Timor Leste joined 62 countries to ratify the treaty, for a total of 65.  One-third of the world’s 195 countries have now ratified the Treaty.  https://www.un.org/disarmament/wmd/nuclear/tpnw/

On Sunday, June 19th, 2022, Ralph Hutchinson, of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, offered the following observations before the First Meeting in his commentary, News on the Eve of the First Meeting, in which he asked two questions about why the United States of America is not participating nor sending observers.  https://orepa.org/   Hutchinson wrote:

“Germany is going. And Norway and The Netherlands. Yesterday, Australia announced it is going. And today Belgium.

“What is the United States afraid of?

“Why is the USA, along with eight other nuclear-armed states, boycotting the historic First Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons taking place in Vienna June 21-23?

“The First Meeting was originally scheduled for one year after the entry into force, but covid pushed it back. It is a brief meeting, just three days. States party to the Treaty will attend along with countless members of civil society. Non-party states, like the US, are also invited to attend in Observer status. Organizations in the US representing hundreds of thousands of members have written to the President, urging him to send a representative. Several members of Congress have also written to the President, urging the same thing.

“But the US continues to lead the staunch resistance to the Treaty. More than one US President has declared that we have a special obligation to lead the effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons—our current position on the Treaty turns this obligation on its head.

“Happily for the future, though, our leadership powers appear to be dwindling. Several NATO countries, including three that currently have US nuclear weapons deployed on military bases in their country — Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands — have announced they will attend the First Meeting. Two other important US allies, Norway and Australia, will also send observers.

“As the power of the United States and other nuclear armed states declines in the face of the growing influence of the Treaty, two questions come to mind—

“First, what is the US afraid of?  With a stockpile of more than 4,000 nuclear warheads and bombs, 1500 of them deployed around the globe on hair-trigger alert, one would think the US would be strong enough to walk into a room where the only weapons allowed are words and defend its position.  And, if it is committed to pursue nuclear disarmament as it promised in the 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, it should welcome the chance to talk about what that could look like— all the nuclear armed nations coming to an agreement on protocols, verifications, and an enforceable timetable for eliminating nuclear stockpiles.

“It’s not hard to understand why North Korea is not at the First Meeting — they have something to be afraid of. They are weak and vulnerable without their small cache of nuclear weapons, and US policy gives them every reason to be afraid. But the US?

“The second question is, what is to come?  The [Treaty] is destined to grow as more nations ratify it—86 nations have signed and 6[5] of them have ratified it.  The [Treaty] is their demand—they have the right to live free from the threat of nuclear annihilation. They know that even a moderate nuclear exchange between two countries half way around the world can destroy them through fallout and the global famine caused by the decade-long nuclear winter that will follow.

“As the Treaty grows in power, and as its central message takes hold — that discussions about nuclear weapons must include the human and environmental cost of these weapons, a price some have already paid and the rest will one day pay if we don’t eliminate nuclear weapons — pressure will mount on the nuclear-armed states.

“Vladimir Putin’s bully rhetoric as he invaded Ukraine laid bare the nuclear threat. It is real. Putin could never have invaded Ukraine without widespread opposition if he wasn’t backed up by his nuclear weapons. He didn’t have to make his threat explicit to the US and NATO, but he did, and other people noticed and began thinking about nuclear weapons for the first time in decades.

“What happens when Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands decide not to continue to host US/NATO nuclear weapons on their soil? Will Italy and Turkey follow suit? Will the US try to strongarm some other country into taking the nukes? Will we hear that as the call of the future? Or will we hunker down, isolated even more, depending even more on our nuclear weapons to certify our strength rather than relying on the strength inherent in the people, the resources, and the political commitment to democracy of our nation?

“The decision by NATO nations and other allies to attend the First Meeting of States Parties is ground-breaking and it portends a shift that is coming. Nuclear weapons, and the nations that continue to maintain stockpiles, will be further stigmatized; we will find ourselves on the periphery of the community of nations in ways that truly matter.

“The ICAN’s [International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons’] Beatrice Fihn has noted that the story of nuclear weapons will have one of two endings — either we will get rid of nuclear weapons or they will get rid of us. There is no other ending.  She is right, of course. As long as nuclear weapons exist in the world, the first ending is a possibility that grows ever more probable. The recent action by Putin, and North Korea’s continuing missile testing are a wake-up call to those who stopped paying attention, thinking it couldn’t happen.

“It can happen, and it will one day. Intentionally, or accidentally, a mistake, a hack—unless we do the only thing we can do to make sure it does not happen. We have to get rid of the weapons. The path to the future is titled ‘The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.’  The US should be leading the world down this path.  We have an obligation like no other.”

On Thursday, June 23, 2022, the States Parties adopted the Vienna Declaration and the Vienna Action Plan at the First Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  For more information, please see ICAN’s  Overview_of_the_Vienna_Declaration_and_Action_Plan_-_formatted_.    

Congratulations ICAN and its partners, donors, states and more that helped make this historic day a reality!


  1. Friday, June 24th from noon to 1 pm – Join the weekly peaceful protest for nuclear disarmament on the corners of Alameda and Guadalupe in downtown Santa Fe. Celebrate the successful historic First Meeting of State Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons!

 

 

  1. Friday, June 24th from 1:30 to 4 pm – Celebrate Dorie Bunting’s 100th birthday at Albuquerque Peace & Justice Peace Hall, 202 Harvard Drive SE. (505) 268-9557No gifts, please, but donations to the P&J Center are accepted.

 

 

 

  1. Saturday, July 2nd at 12 noon Mountain Time – John Dear and Archbishop John Wester of New Mexico present the Archbishop’s recent pastoral letter in a talk entitled, “Living in the Light of Christ’s Peace: My New Pastoral Letter on Nuclear Disarmament.”  The Archbishop will reflect on his journey, what he’s learned, and how we, too, can speak out for nuclear disarmament.  Register at https://beatitudescenter.org/programs/#july2-2022  Registration closes Monday, June 27th.

 

 

  1. Thursday, July 7th at 5: 30 pm – WIPP Community Forum & Open House at Santa Fe Convention Center in Okeefe and Milagro Rooms, 201 West Marcy Street, Santa Fe. In person and virtual.   Open house to follow where stakeholders can meet the WIPP leadership team.  Hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) and Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC (NWP).  Virtual – REGISTER HERE – https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEuduqsqz4qH9PEL2Rbp3U5Ae7vkXDv-LAD   For questions regarding this meeting and open house please contact the WIPP Information Center at infocntr@wipp.ws or by calling 1-800-336-9477.
 

U.S. Spent $84,094 Per Minute on Nuclear Weapons Last Year

If you were in charge of allocating U.S. taxpayer money, would you invest $84,094 per minute for nuclear weapons?  What would your priorities be?  The human needs of the 140 million people in the U.S. who are poor and one emergency away from economic ruin?  Education?  Health care?  Transportation infrastructure?  Taking holistic care of water, air and soil?  The possibilities are endless.

In a new report, Squandered:  2021 Global Nuclear Weapons Spending, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) reveals that last year the U.S. spent over $44 billion on its nuclear arsenal.  Forty-four billion is over half of the total spending of the other eight nuclear armed countries combined.  The nine countries spent over $82 billion in 2021, which is $6.5 billion more than they spent in 2020.  https://www.icanw.org/spending_report

The nine nuclear-armed countries are:  China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.  https://www.icanw.org/nuclear_arsenals

In New Mexico, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the nuclear weapons agency, has proposed a budget of $9.4 billion in fiscal year 2023, beginning on October 1st.  In fiscal year 2022, DOE spent about $8 billion on nuclear weapons in New Mexico.  6-3-22 ABQ Journal-Nuclear weapons spending to get boost in NM

Nuclear weapons are at the fore at the First Meeting of the States Parties for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Vienna, Austria beginning on Tuesday, June 21st through Thursday, June 23rdhttps://www.icanw.org/

Article I of the Treaty prohibits the development, testing, production, manufacture, acquisition, and possession or stockpiling nuclear weapons.  It also prohibits threatening to use them.  https://www.un.org/disarmament/wmd/nuclear/tpnw/

To learn more about the Treaty and to register for virtual Nuclear Ban Week Vienna events, beginning on Saturday, June 18th, go to https://vienna.icanw.org/

Coincidentally, on Saturday, June 18th in Washington, DC, the Mass Poor People’s & Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington and to the Polls will take place.  The march will address the spending priorities of the U.S.  They march “because any nation that ignores nearly half of its citizens is in a moral, economic and political crisis. There were 140 million people who were poor or one emergency away from economic ruin before the pandemic.”  To learn more, go to https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/june18/#why-we-march

In New Mexico, despite all the federal funding for nuclear weapons, we rank 50th in child well-being and 50th in education.  It is time for an equitable economic transition.  6-12-22 SFNM-My View Ahtza Chavez and Melanie Aranda

 


  1. Today, Thursday, June 16th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm – in person and virtual community meeting hosted by DOE’s Environmental Management at Los Alamos (EM-LA).

In-person:  Fuller Lodge, 2132 Central Ave. Los Alamos, NM

Virtual:  For login information, visit www.n3b-la.com/outreach 

 

 

  1. Friday, June 17th from noon to 1 pm – Join the Raging Grannies in song and comradery at the weekly peaceful protest on the corners of Alameda and Guadalupe in downtown Santa Fe. The Raging Grannies are from a generation when protest songs were the heart of every protest. They are reviving that tradition by bringing songs, enthusiasm, and their grandmotherly wisdom to marches and rallies. Though Raging Grannies have been active in many cities including Albuquerque for decades, we now have a newly formed Santa Fe gaggle of Grannies. Come and sing along!

 

 

  1. Saturday, June 18, 2022 in Washington, DC – Mass Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington and to the Polls – Promoting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as a critical part of the wider movement for peace and justice in this country and beyondhttps://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/june18/

 

 

  1. Saturday, June 18th through Thursday, June 23rd is Nuclear Ban Week Vienna. For more information about all of the live and FREE virtual events taking place, visit:  last week’s CCNS News Update at http://nuclearactive.org/take-action-support-the-treaty-on-the-prohibition-of-nuclear-weapons-and-encourage-the-media-to-cover-it/ and the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons at https://vienna.icanw.org/ Get your registrations in now as there are cut off dates!

 

 

  1. Friday, June 24th from 1:30 to 4 pm – Celebrate Dorie Bunting’s 100th birthday at Albuquerque Peace & Justice Peace Hall, 202 Harvard Drive SE. (505) 268-9557No gifts, please, but donations to the P&J Center are accepted.
 

Squandered: 2021 Global Nuclear Weapons Spending

 

 

 

In its report “Squandered: 2021 Global Nuclear Weapons Spending” the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons shows in 2021, the year before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, nine nuclear-armed states spent $82.4 billion on their nuclear weapons, more than $156,000 per minute, an inflation-adjusted increase of $6.5 billion from 2020.

The $82.4 billion spent on nuclear weapons was split between governmental departments and private companies. Companies in France, the United Kingdom and the United States were awarded $30 billion in new contracts (some spanning decades into the future), twice as much as they received in 2020.

This is the third annual report documenting massive investments in global nuclear weapons spending. Through an ever changing and challenging security environment, from security threats of climate change to the COVID-19 pandemic to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, nuclear weapons spending has steadily increased, with no resulting measurable improvement on the security environment.

As companies throw money at lobbyists and researchers to assert the continued relevance and value of nuclear weapons, the record shows the inutility of weapons of mass destruction to address modern security challenges – and the legitimate fear that they can end civilization as we know it.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is the multilateral response to the irresponsible behavior of all nuclear-armed states to pour money down their nuclear weapons drains. It is the normative barricade against threats to use nuclear weapons. All countries should join this landmark international instrument to prohibit the development and maintenance of nuclear weapons and prevent their eventual use by ensuring their elimination.

 

Take Action! Support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and Encourage the Media to Cover It

While you may not be able to travel to Vienna, Austria for the First Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), you can sign the online Statement on the Existential Threat of Nuclear Weapons.  It supports the Treaty and encourages the media to include the Treaty in all nuclear weapons coverage.  The Nuclear Ban Treaty Collaborative created the Statement.  https://nuclearbantreaty.org/

To save you some time and pique your interest, the Statement’s text reads:

 

 

STATEMENT ON THE EXISTENTIAL THREAT OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND ON THE TREATY ON THE PROHIBITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS

 

“The power to initiate a global apocalypse lies in the hands of the leaders of nine nations.

“As 122 nations of the world indicated when they adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in July, 2017, this is unacceptable.

“As concerns about the threat of nuclear weapons re-enter the public consciousness, it is important to know that humankind is not without an answer to the nuclear threat.  The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which entered into force on January 22, 2021, provides a clear pathway to the elimination of the nuclear threat.

“We call on all nuclear armed states to take immediate steps to:

“engage the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,

“attend the First Meeting of States Parties, and

“sign, ratify and implement the Treaty.

“We also call on the US media to recognize the existence of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and to include the Treaty in discussions, articles, and editorials regarding the nuclear threat and methods available to address it.”

 

 

Already over 150 non-governmental organizations representing hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. as well as by hundreds of individuals have signed the Statement.  A full list can be found at https://nuclearbantreaty.org/ .  Join them!

Check out the KVOA News4Tucson coverage our colleagues at the Nuclear Resister received about their June 7, 2022 protest at the Raytheon facility in Tucson.  http://www.nukeresister.org/  Raytheon is manufacturing the Long-Range Stand Off Weapon (LRSO) – a nuclear-armed air-launched cruise missile.  Nuclear Resister organizers were protesting the building of the illegal LRSO nuclear weapon under the TPNW.    https://www.kvoa.com/video/protestors-gather-at-raytheon-with-goal-of-prohibiting-nuclear-weapons/video_f670db46-082c-520d-aa8c-70e4b79f3aac.html

After signing the Statement, please share it with your networks, encourage sign ons, join in the Nuclear Ban Treaty Collaborative campaign, and watch the virtual Nuclear Ban Week Vienna, Saturday, June 18th through Thursday, June 23rd.  https://vienna.icanw.org/

The First Meeting of the States Parties to the Treaty, hosted by the United Nations, will take place Tuesday, June 21st through Thursday, June 23rdhttps://meetings.unoda.org/meeting/tpnw-msp-1-2022/  and https://vienna.icanw.org/msp  [The full programme will be made public by the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) in the lead up to the event.  Accessed June 9, 2022.]

Prior to the three-day UN meeting, several civil society meetings will take place.  Go to the websites to register.  There are cut off registration dates for each event. 


  1. Sunday, June 12, 2022 – 40th Anniversary of the New York City March and Rally of One Million People for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament. Free virtual commemoration event from 10 am to 2 pm MDT; noon to 4 pm ET.  Register at https://www.june12legacy.com/?emci=f80a145c-9ed3-ec11-b656-281878b8c32f&emdi=7aa2d758-73d7-ec11-b656-281878b8c32f&ceid=299000   FREE!  Watch Robert Richter’s film In Our Hands about the 1982 March and Rally at https://vimeo.com/590296934?emci=f80a145c-9ed3-ec11-b656-281878b8c32f&emdi=7aa2d758-73d7-ec11-b656-281878b8c32f&ceid=299000

 

 

  1. Sunday, June 12thDefuse Nuclear War virtual 2 ½ hour event at 2 pm MDT; 4 pm ET. Live presentations from a wide range of speakers including Medea Benjamin, Leslie Cagan, Mandy Carter, Khury Petersen-Smith, David Swanson and Katrina vanden Heuvel.  To register:  https://www.codepink.org/defuse_nuclear_war06122022   World premiere of a video featuring Daniel Ellsberg on “defusing the threat of nuclear war,” produced by Oscar-nominated director Judith Ehrlich.  https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jhUM5ClzQJGAQysfNUeO2A

 

 

  1. Tuesday, June 14th, NM Water Quality Control Commission to consider designating over 100 miles of the Upper Rio Grande, the Rio Hondo and its tributary Lake Fork, and the Jemez River Headwaters (San Antonio Creek, East Fork, Jemez River, and Rodondo Creek) as Outstanding Waters (also known as ONRWs) under the Clean Water Act. Public comments are needed during virtual meeting.    To join the meetinghttps://www.env.nm.gov/opf/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2022/06/2022-06-14-WQCC-Agenda-DRAFT-1.pdf     To take action:  Sign the Conservation Voters New Mexico petition for you to sign at:  https://secure.everyaction.com/MYLR-09-n0-21ODsisBpDg2?emci=5fe37d06-01e2-ec11-b656-281878b85110&emdi=7e7e2d50-7ce2-ec11-b656-281878b85110&ceid=796711

 

 

  1. Saturday, June 18, 2022 in Washington, DC – Mass Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington and to the Polls – Promoting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as a critical part of the wider movement for peace and justice in this country and beyondhttps://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/june18/

 

 

  1. Saturday, June 18th through Thursday, June 23rd is Nuclear Ban Week Vienna. For more information about all of the live and FREE virtual events taking place, visit:  this week’s CCNS News Update at http://nuclearactive.org/ and the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons at https://vienna.icanw.org/ Get your registrations in now as there are cut off dates!
 

Texas Says Take Your LANL Waste Away

Decisions being made by federal and state agencies about the plutonium-contaminated waste stored at the Waste Control Specialists facility located on the Texas-New Mexico border may foreshadow how non-compliant waste may be stranded in the future. Instead of coming up with a plan to expeditiously remove the waste, the Department of Energy (DOE) wants to design and build a radiologically controlled enclosure to process the waste before shipping it off-site to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).  Texas has had enough and wants the waste out of Texas, but cannot force the removal.

This story begins eight years ago.  On February 14, 2014, an explosion of one or more drums of plutonium-contaminated waste occurred in the deep geologic disposal facility at WIPP.  Nearly 8,000 feet of the underground mine was contaminated, along with 22 workers.  WIPP was shut down for nearly three years at a cost to taxpayers of $2 billion.  http://nuclearactive.org/plutonium-leaks-from-wipp-while-plans-to-expand-the-sites-capacity-proposed/

Those exploding drums had been packaged at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).  A March 2014 agreement allowed the LANL waste to be temporarily stored at WCS for one year.  DOE later reported that some of the stored LANL waste came from the same waste stream as the exploding drums.

After several extensions of the agreement, DOE was charged with creating a plan to remove the LANL waste from Texas.  Eight years later 34 shipments have gone from WCS to WIPP, but some of the waste remains at WCS.  The most recent agreement expired on May 31, 2022.

On May 10, 2022, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality wrote to DOE stating that if the waste were not removed from the site and transported out of Texas, the Commission would take additional enforcement actions.

https://adamswebsearch2.nrc.gov/webSearch2/main.jsp?AccessionNumber=ML22143A879

 

On May 19, 2022, WCS wrote to DOE stating:

As suggested in my August 21, 2019 letter to then Secretary Perry, the disparity between the federal government’s aggressive and timely efforts to treat similarly implicated waste that was in storage at LANL and the material at WCS is notable and remains ‘a significant concern for WCS and our regulator and is an impediment to restoration of normal commercial operations.’ WCS is concerned that the patience of TCEQ will be exhausted absent a greater commitment by DOE to establish date certain milestones as repeatedly requested by the agency, and as most recently committed to by DOE in a March 31, 2020 letter.

 

https://adamswebsearch2.nrc.gov/webSearch2/main.jsp?AccessionNumber=ML22143A879

In the meantime, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved a 30-month extension for storage of 74 standard waste boxes of LANL waste still at the WCS site.  NRC prepared an environmental assessment and a finding of no significant impact, or a FONSI, which support continued storage until December 31, 2024.

NRC acknowledged that the potentially explosive waste could not be moved because it no longer meets the Department of Transportation regulations.  https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/05/27/2022-11430/waste-control-specialists-llc

The waste may be stranded at Waste Control Specialists, located five miles east of Eunice, New Mexico.  The People rely on specialized government agencies that handle and regulate radioactive materials to take extra care to protect them.  In this case, the agencies may fail.

 


  1. Tuesday, June 7thElection Day! Get out and Vote!

 

 

  1. Sunday, June 12, 2022 – 40th Anniversary of the New York City March and Rally of One Million People for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament. Free virtual commemoration event from 10 am to 2 pm MDT; noon to 4 pm ET.  Register at https://www.june12legacy.com/?emci=f80a145c-9ed3-ec11-b656-281878b8c32f&emdi=7aa2d758-73d7-ec11-b656-281878b8c32f&ceid=299000

 

Watch Robert Richter’s film In Our Hands about the 1982 March and Rally at https://vimeo.com/590296934?emci=f80a145c-9ed3-ec11-b656-281878b8c32f&emdi=7aa2d758-73d7-ec11-b656-281878b8c32f&ceid=299000

 

 

  1. Sunday, June 12thDefuse Nuclear War virtual 2 ½ hour event at 2 pm MDT; 4 pm ET. Live presentations from a wide range of speakers including Medea Benjamin, Leslie Cagan, Mandy Carter, Khury Petersen-Smith, David Swanson and Katrina vanden Heuvel.  To register:  https://www.codepink.org/defuse_nuclear_war06122022

 

World premiere of a video featuring Daniel Ellsberg on “defusing the threat of nuclear war,” produced by Oscar-nominated director Judith Ehrlich.  https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jhUM5ClzQJGAQysfNUeO2A

 

 

  1. Tuesday, June 14th, NM Water Quality Control Commission to consider designating over 100 miles of the Upper Rio Grande, the Rio Hondo and its tributary Lake Fork, and the Jemez River Headwaters (San Antonio Creek, East Fork, Jemez River, and Rodondo Creek) as Outstanding Waters (also known as ONRWs) under the Clean Water Act. Public comments are needed.

 

Take action:  Conservation Voters New Mexico has a petition for you to sign at:  https://secure.everyaction.com/MYLR-09-n0-21ODsisBpDg2?emci=5fe37d06-01e2-ec11-b656-281878b85110&emdi=7e7e2d50-7ce2-ec11-b656-281878b85110&ceid=796711

 

 

  1. Saturday, June 18, 2022 in Washington, DC – Mass Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington and to the Polls – Promoting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as a critical part of the wider movement for peace and justice in this country and beyondhttps://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/june18/

 

 

  1. Saturday, June 18th to Thursday, June 23rd is Nuclear Ban Week Vienna. For more information about all of the events taking place, please visit:  https://vienna.icanw.org/registration
 

No Tritium Monitoring Required for LANL Plutonium Liquid Waste Treatment Facility

In November 2021, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) applied to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to begin construction of a new radioactive liquid waste treatment facility for transuranic, or plutonium contaminated, liquid waste from the Plutonium Facility. LANL stated in its application, “Current plans are to monitor the [emission] stack only for particulate radioactive material; tritium and other gas- or vapor-phase nuclides do not make up a significant fraction of the potential dose from the [transuranic liquid waste] facility.”   LANL Pre-Construction App to EPA RLWTF TLW 11-17-21

EPA is required to approve the application before construction can begin.  On April 20th, 2022, EPA approved the application, without changing LANL’s plan to omit tritium monitoring in the emission stack prior to release into the air.  EPA RLTWTF-TLW Approval 4-19-22

Tritium is radioactive hydrogen.  It travels easily in the air and water, readily binds itself to almost everything and creates tritiated, or radioactive, water.  Tritium is used in nuclear weapons to boost the efficiency and destructive yield.

LANL is under pressure to fabricate 30 plutonium pits, or the fissile triggers, for nuclear weapons by 2026 in the Plutonium Facility.  In the fabrication process, water is contaminated with radioactive materials, including plutonium and tritium.

The transuranic liquid waste facility is the second construction project to replace the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility, which began operations in 1963.  The first constructed replacement project was a low-level radioactive liquid waste treatment facility.  The old and the two new liquid waste treatment facilities are located directly east of the Plutonium Facility.

On May 5th, the New Mexico Environment Department approved for the first time a groundwater discharge permit for the old facility – a process that began in 1994.  It also granted permits to the two new replacement facilities, the Outfall 051, a mechanical evaporator and two large solar evaporators.  https://www.env.nm.gov/public-notices/ , scroll down to Los Alamos County and DP-1132.

After treatment, tritium will be released into the environment from the outfall and the evaporators.  It is unclear whether EPA added the potential doses from the outfall and the evaporators to the dose from the emission stack in its analysis before approval.

In 2013, the Department of Energy Inspector General estimated that the replacement facilities could cost taxpayers about $214 million.  OAS-L-13-15 Audit Report:  The Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility Replacement Project at Los Alamos National Laboratory, September 26, 2013. https://www.energy.gov/ig/downloads/audit-report-oas-l-13-15

 But President Biden’s proposed fiscal year 2023 budget reveals that the estimated taxpayer money needed for the construction of the transuranic liquid waste facility alone is over $215 million.  Operations are expected to begin in late August 2027 and end in 2077 – a planned operation period of 50 years.  [Budget line item no. 07-D-220-04, p. 235 – 241 of pdf.]   https://www.energy.gov/sites/default/files/2022-04/doe-fy2023-budget-volume-1-nnsa-wa-v2.pdf


  1. Thursday, May 19 – Sunday, May 29, 2022: virtual and live in Rio International Uranium Film Festival.  https://uraniumfilmfestival.org/

 

 

 

  1. Tuesday, May 31 at 6 pm MDT for one hour – Pax Christi: New Study Circle on Archbishop Wester’s Pastoral Letter on Nuclear Disarmament.  Registration at:  https://paxchristiusa.org/2022/04/26/register-for-the-new-study-circle-on-archbishop-westers-pastoral-letter-on-nuclear-disarmament/

 

 

 

  1. Tuesday, June 7thElection Day! Get out and Vote!

 

 

 

  1. Sunday, June 12, 2022 – 40th Anniversary of the New York City March and Rally of One Million People for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament. Free virtual commemoration event from 10 am to 2 pm MDT; noon to 4 pm ET.  Register at https://www.june12legacy.com/?emci=f80a145c-9ed3-ec11-b656-281878b8c32f&emdi=7aa2d758-73d7-ec11-b656-281878b8c32f&ceid=299000   Watch Robert Richter’s film In Our Hands about the 1982 March and Rally at https://vimeo.com/590296934?emci=f80a145c-9ed3-ec11-b656-281878b8c32f&emdi=7aa2d758-73d7-ec11-b656-281878b8c32f&ceid=299000

 

 

  1. Sunday, June 12th “Defuse Nuclear War” virtual 2 ½ hour event at 2 pm MDT; noon ET. Live presentations from a wide range of speakers including Medea Benjamin, Leslie Cagan, Mandy Carter, Khury Petersen-Smith, David Swanson and Katrina vanden Heuvel.  World premiere of a video featuring Daniel Ellsberg on “defusing the threat of nuclear war,” produced by Oscar-nominated director Judith Ehrlich. https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jhUM5ClzQJGAQysfNUeO2A

 

 

  1. Tuesday, June 14th, NM Water Quality Control Commission to consider designating over 100 miles of the Upper Rio Grande, the Rio Hondo and its tributary Lake Fork, and the Jemez River Headwaters (San Antonio Creek, East Fork, Jemez River, and Rodondo Creek) as Outstanding Waters (also known as ONRWs) under the Clean Water Act. Public comments are needed.  For more information:  WQCC 21-62 (R) – The Outdoor Recreation Division of the NM Economic Development Department Petition to Designate Segments of the Rio Grande … as Outstanding National Resource Waters (ONRW).   https://www.nmoutside.com/our-work

 

 

  1. Saturday, June 18, 2022 in Washington, DC – Mass Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington and to the Polls.  https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/june18/

 

 

Ongoing Seismic Concerns at LANL and Expanded Plutonium Pit Production

Plutonium operations at Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Technical Area 55 are centered in the middle of the 36-square mile national nuclear weapons facility.  LANL is the only U.S. facility with the capabilities to fabricate plutonium triggers, or the fissile pits, for nuclear weapons.  However, Technical Area 55, or TA-55, is located within the complex Pajarito Fault Zone between two young, north – south running faults called the Guaje Mountain and Rendija Canyon faults. Visual evidence of faulting can be found in the canyons to the north of TA-55.  http://nuclearactive.org/gilkeson/ see Seismic Documents.

The U.S. Department of Energy owns LANL.  It has plans for expansion of all things plutonium-pit production at the Plutonium Facility and at least five new support buildings at TA-55.  CCNS anticipates that DOE will continue its efforts to conceal and ignore the reality of the growing seismic threats of the young faults.

We witnessed similar efforts in the mid-2000s when DOE began to design a new super Walmart-sized Nuclear Facility within TA-55 next door to the Plutonium Facility.  DOE was so bold as to dig into the volcanic tuff with heavy equipment to prepare a pad for future construction.  http://www.nuclearactive.org/news/030510.html  In the end, public opposition and escalating costs forced the cancellation of its plans.  http://nuclearactive.org/livestreamed-nuclear-safety-board-hearing-on-february-21st-in-albuquerque/

Fabricating plutonium pits for nuclear weapons involves many steps – some using aqueous processes that result in water contaminated with radiation and hazardous materials.  That water is treated across the street from the Plutonium Facility at the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility and for decades was discharged through an industrial outfall into Effluent Canyon.  Since November 2011, though, the treated water has been evaporated into the air at a mechanical evaporator.  

In April, the Environmental Protection Agency renewed the five-year industrial permit for LANL to discharge through Outfall 051 into Effluent Canyon.  https://www.epa.gov/nm/los-alamos-national-laboratory-lanl-industrial-wastewater-permit-final-npdes-permit-no-nm0028355

We note that on May 11th, CCNS, Honor Our Pueblo Existence, and the Albuquerque Veterans for Peace, Chapter No. 63, appealed the EPA decision to permit the outfall and five others to the Environmental Appeals Board.  https://yosemite.epa.gov/oa/EAB_Web_Docket.nsf/f22b4b245fab46c6852570e6004df1bd/ba987f24df0c356085258837004f3dcd!OpenDocument

Then on May 5th, the New Mexico Environment Department approved for the first time a ground water discharge permit for not only for the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility, the outfall and Mechanical Evaporator, but for two large solar evaporative tanks, and a new low-level radioactive liquid waste treatment facility.  In addition, DOE plans to build a liquid waste treatment facility for the transuranic plutonium liquid waste.  https://www.env.nm.gov/public-notices/, go to Los Alamos County, and scroll down to DP-1132 where the draft permit is posted, but not the final permit.

These facilities are all in support of DOE’s plans for expanded plutonium pit production at LANL.


  1. Tuesdays on May 24 and 31 at 6 pm MDT for one hour – Pax Christi: New Study Circle on Archbishop Wester’s Pastoral Letter on Nuclear Disarmament.  Registration at:  https://paxchristiusa.org/2022/04/26/register-for-the-new-study-circle-on-archbishop-westers-pastoral-letter-on-nuclear-disarmament/

 

 

 

  1. Thursday, May 19 – Sunday, May 29, 2022: virtual and live in Rio International Uranium Film Festival.  https://uraniumfilmfestival.org/

 

 

  1. Tuesday, June 7thElection Day! Get out and Vote!

 

 

 

 

  1. Sunday, June 12, 2022 – 40th Anniversary of the New York City March and Rally of One Million People for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament. Free virtual commemoration event from 10 am to 2 pm MDT; noon to 4 pm ET.  Register at https://www.june12legacy.com/?emci=f80a145c-9ed3-ec11-b656-281878b8c32f&emdi=7aa2d758-73d7-ec11-b656-281878b8c32f&ceid=299000   Watch Robert Richter’s film In Our Hands about the 1982 March and Rally at https://vimeo.com/590296934?emci=f80a145c-9ed3-ec11-b656-281878b8c32f&emdi=7aa2d758-73d7-ec11-b656-281878b8c32f&ceid=299000

 

 

  1. Sunday, June 12th “Defuse Nuclear War” virtual 2 ½ hour event at 2 pm MDT; noon ET. Live presentations from a wide range of speakers including Medea Benjamin, Leslie Cagan, Mandy Carter, Khury Petersen-Smith, David Swanson and Katrina vanden Heuvel. World premiere of a video featuring Daniel Ellsberg on “defusing the threat of nuclear war,” produced by Oscar-nominated director Judith Ehrlich.  https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jhUM5ClzQJGAQysfNUeO2A

 

 

  1. Saturday, June 18, 2022 in Washington, DC – Mass Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington and to the Polls.  https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/june18/
 

No additional money will guarantee 80 pits per year according to the Nuclear Weapons Council

Recently released Biden Administration budget documents reveal that for Fiscal Year 2023, beginning on October 1st, the Administration is proposing a Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) budget of $4.6 billion, an overall increase of 21 percent.  This amount is more than double the 2015 LANL budget of $2.2 billion.

 LANL is the only U.S. facility with the capabilities to fabricate plutonium pits, the fissile trigger for nuclear weapons.  Even though LANL has not fabricated more than 11 pits, which it did in 2011, it is charged with fabricating 30 pits per year by 2030.  These pits are for new designs for new weapons systems under the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) nuclear weapons modernization program.

During the May 4th hearing of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, Senator Elizabeth Warren questioned members of the Nuclear Weapons Council.  [ https://www.armed-services.senate.gov/hearings/watch?hearingid=6A0AFAF9-5056-A066-60E4-F8AFEBAAAC19  at 1:23:30.  Warren began with the statement that she believes that the nuclear weapons modernization program is “unsustainable and dangerous.”  She wanted to see significantly less reliance on nuclear weapons.  She praised the Biden Administration for canceling the provocative sea-launched cruise missile. 

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the modernization program will cost $1.7 trillion, an estimate Warren said “is far too low.”

In the rare unclassified congressional hearing, members of the Nuclear Weapons Council provided stark comments about the inability of the NNSA to produce 80 plutonium pits by 2030.

William LaPlante, under-secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, said, “The Nuclear Weapons Council stands by the assessment
… that no additional money will get the pits to 80 per year.”

Jill Hruby, NNSA administrator and member of the Nuclear Weapons Council, concurred with LaPlante’s statement.

In 1946, Congress created the Nuclear Weapons Council under the Atomic Energy Act.  It is a joint NNSA and Pentagon group charged with the coordination of civilian and military nuclear weapons procurements.

Senator Angus King, chair of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, stated that the hearing in May was originally scheduled for January.  King emphasized that the hearing was not related to the events in Ukraine and should not be interpreted as “somehow nuclear saber rattling on the behalf of the United States.”  Id., at 00:36:03.

Senator Warren observed that NNSA is asking the American taxpayers to throw more money at the nuclear weapons modernization program, which “is not going to get us to the original goal of 80 pits per year by 2030.”


  1. Cerro Pelado Wildland Fire now at over 43,000 acres and about 3 ½ miles from LANL backgate. Embers are igniting new fires two miles ahead of the fire.  For more information, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8075/

 

 

  1. Tuesdays on May 17, 24 and 31 at 6 pm MDT for one hour – Pax Christi: New Study Circle on Archbishop Wester’s Pastoral Letter on Nuclear Disarmament.  https://paxchristiusa.org/2022/04/26/register-for-the-new-study-circle-on-archbishop-westers-pastoral-letter-on-nuclear-disarmament/

 

 

  1. Thursday, May 19 – Sunday 29, 2022: virtual and live in Rio International Uranium Film Festival.  https://uraniumfilmfestival.org/

 

 

  1. “The Department of Defense currently operates 38 toxic burn sites in the U.S., mostly in low-income, rural communities. At these sites, the military collects excess, obsolete, or unserviceable munitions, including bullets, missiles, mines, and the bulk explosive and flammable materials used to manufacture them, and destroys them by adding diesel and lighting them on fire, or by blowing them up. Last fiscal year, the Department of Defense destroyed 32.7 million pounds of explosive hazardous waste on U.S. soil using these methods, known as open burning and open detonation.”

More at: https://grist.org/health/military-burn-pit-health-effects-veterans-overseas-domestic/

SIGN THE PETITION to the White House

https://cswab.org/cease-fire-campaign/cease-fire-petition/

 

 

Cerro Pelado Fire and Los Alamos National Laboratory

As of Wednesday evening, May 4th, the Cerro Pelado wildland fire was about five miles from the “back gate” of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).  With expected southwesterly winds across the fire to continue the rest of the week and into the weekend, public concerns about wildland fire prevention and protection are running high.  LANL’s back gate is located at the intersection of State Roads 4 and 501, near the Ponderosa Group Campground.

CCNS is particularly focused on the Cerro Pelado fire and its proximity to LANL.  While the 1996 Dome wildland fire came very close to the laboratory, in 2000 the Cerro Grande fire burned over 7,000 acres across the LANL firing sites, and came close to the Plutonium Facility and the Area G radioactive dump.  http://www.nuclearactive.org/docs/CerroGrandeindex.html  In 2011, Las Conchas fire burned about 47,000 acres across the Pajarito Plateau on the first day, a rate of about an acre per second.  In the end, only one acre burned on LANL.  These fires were devastating in themselves and they opened new pathways for LANL’s radioactive and hazardous pollutants to migrate from the burned areas towards and into the Rio Grande.  https://nmpoliticalreport.com/2017/05/17/the-heart-of-darkness-a-walk-through-the-scorched-landscapes-where-our-forest-used-to-be-and-a-glimpse-of-our-future-fires-en/  

In February 2021, the Inspector General of the Department of Energy (DOE) released her audit report entitled, “The Department of Energy’s Wildland Fire Prevention Efforts at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.”  https://www.energy.gov/ig/leadership and https://www.energy.gov/ig/downloads/audit-report-doe-oig-21-13

The independent Inspector General found that the LANL contractor responsible for preparing two plans, the 2014 Forest Plan and the 2016 Five-Year Wildland Fire Plan, had failed to fully implement the activities designed to reduce wildland fire impacts.  It also found that there was a lack of federal oversight and formality in meeting the plans’ goals.  DOE and LANL stated to the Inspector General that follow-up to the two plans would be done.  But a search for the follow-up documents was unsuccessful, so it is difficult to determine if the follow-up plans were properly implemented.

Currently the incident commanders and foresters are reporting that the Cerro Pelado fire is low-intensity and burning like a prescribed burn across the Las Conchas fire burn scars.  https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/8075/68450/  But given the history of wildland fires on the Pajarito Plateau, anything could happen.

Joni Arends, of CCNS, said, “Our hearts are with those impacted by the 20 wildfires burning in New Mexico. During the Dome fire, forester Bill Armstrong called the crown fire ‘a wakeup call that nobody woke up to.’”  The DOE Inspector General’s report, the lack of follow-up to the two plans, and the Cerro Pelado fire are yet more wake-up calls.

 

Additional Wildfire Information:

The New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) in coordination with multiple state agencies have established a Joint Information Task Force (JIC).  DHSEM has launched an updated wildfire page on the DHSEM webpage.  https://www.nmdhsem.org/2022-wildfires/ and https://losalamosreporter.com/2022/05/05/joint-information-task-force-established-to-provide-public-with-consolidated-fire-information/

DHSEM says it is the most reputable, up-to-date site for anything related to the wildfires.  The department encourages everyone to go to use this site as their primary and most accurate wildfire source of information.

See the website to access Ready. Set. Go! New Mexico program.

The department has also launched an official DHSEM Facebook page, where the latest wildfire information along with other DHSEM initiatives will be posted.  https://www.facebook.com/NewMexicoDHSEM

To receive alerts about Cerro Pelado fire activity, sign up for CodeRED.  https://www.sandovalcountynm.gov/codered/

Additional information can be accessed on https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/

On facebook, follow https://www.facebook.com/nmfireinfo


  1. Ready, Set, Go! New Mexico. https://www.nmdhsem.org/2022-wildfires/ and https://losalamosreporter.com/2022/05/05/joint-information-task-force-established-to-provide-public-with-consolidated-fire-information/

 

 

  1. Tarak Kauff and Santa Fe resident Ken Mayers: “Two elderly American anti-war activists described as ‘the nicest and most courteous protesters’ have each been fined €5,000 by an Irish court for interfering with operations at Shannon airport, which hosts US military flights. “A Dublin circuit criminal court judge issued the penalties on Wednesday a day after Tarak Kauff, 80, and Ken Mayers, 85, were convicted of interfering with the operation, safety or management of an airport by entering the runway area and causing the airport to close.”  More at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/04/two-courteous-us-anti-war-veterans-in-their-80s-fined-for-interfering-at-an-irish-airport

 

 

  1. Tuesday, May 10th from 11am to 12:30 pm MDT, virtual Women of the World Call for Peace Now, with Mairead Maguire, Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gomez (Costa Rica) and Dr. Paula Garb.  Presented by Women Transforming Our Nuclear Legacy in co-sponsorship with The Center for Citizen Peacebuilding at UC Irvine and The Center for Peacemaking Practice at the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN__jd9s-g7SKqmyZo2o41jiQ

 

 

  1. Thursday, May 19 – Sunday, 29, 2022: virtual and live in Rio International Uranium Film Festival.  https://uraniumfilmfestival.org/
 

DOE Fails to Bring LANL’s Plutonium Facility Ventilation System into Legal Compliance

 

Nearly 30 years ago, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board began communications with the Department of Energy (DOE) about ventilation systems in nuclear facilities, saying that they must contain or confine radioactive materials during an accident or seismic event that might be followed by a fire.  https://www.dnfsb.gov/sites/default/files/document/9286/TECH-34_0.pdf   While DOE has taken steps to install systems, called safety class active confinement ventilation systems, at its nuclear weapons facilities located across the U.S., it has resisted installation of an active confinement ventilation system at the Plutonium Facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

Over the decades, DOE indicated that it would install the active confinement ventilation system in the Plutonium Facility.  But delays, LANL shutdowns, and the development of new standards and procedures have resulted in continuing reliance on a non-compliant passive ventilation system.

As far back as 2004, the Board described a passive confinement ventilation system as “not necessarily capable of containing hazardous materials with confidence because they allow a quantity of unfiltered air contaminated with radioactive material to be released from an operating nuclear facility following certain accident scenarios.”  Id., Recommendation, p. 1.

By contrast, the Board described safety [class] active confinement ventilation systems as continuing “to function during an accident, thereby ensuring that radioactive material is captured by filters before it can be released into the environment.”  Id.

This distinction is important because on November 24, 2021, the Board requested information about DOE’s strategy for the Plutonium Facility ventilation system.  https://www.dnfsb.gov/documents/letters/conceptual-design-los-alamos-plutonium-pit-production-project

On March 15, 2022, DOE replied stating it “is committed to strong and effective safety systems at [the Plutonium Facility].  The current path forward includes modifying individual components to achieve a more robust ventilation system but will not achieve Safety Class Active Confinement Ventilation.”  https://www.dnfsb.gov/documents/letters/doe-response-dnfsb-letter-nov-24-2021-re-lanl-pu-pit-production-project

What does this mean to you?  It means that DOE is not following the applicable laws, regulations and its own nuclear safety orders and standards and as a result is threatening your health and safety.

DOE is renovating the 1970s era Plutonium Facility on a 24/7 schedule, installing new equipment, and attempting to increase the fabrication of plutonium pits, the cores of nuclear weapons, from 10 to 30 annually.  These multiple activities exacerbate the threats to workers and the public.  This is exactly the time when a safety class active confinement ventilation system should be installed.

dhanson@abqjournal.com

CCNS urges you to contact your elected officials to ask for an investigation into why DOE is not complying with the applicable nuclear safety laws and regulations that require a safety class active confinement ventilation system in the Plutonium Facility.

Senator Martin Heinrich:  https://www.heinrich.senate.gov/

Senator Ben Ray Lujan:  https://www.lujan.senate.gov/

Rep. Melanie Stansbury, Congressional District 1:  https://stansbury.house.gov/

Rep. Yvette Herrell, Congressional District 2:  https://herrell.house.gov/

Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez, Congressional District 3:  https://fernandez.house.gov/

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND LINKS:

Potential releases could result in a 3,175-rem dose to individual members of the public.  A rem (roentgen equivalent man) is a measure of health effects on the human body from exposure to ionizing radiation.  A total body exposure of 400-rem would cause radiation sickness and death in half of the individuals exposed.  If the individuals did not receive medical treatment, most of the individuals would die within 30 days.  https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000026.htm    https://www.dnfsb.gov/sites/default/files/document/25541/Los%20Alamos%20Week%20Ending%20April%201%202022.pdf

In 2004, the Board restated its concerns that it appeared that DOE was “using the evaluation guideline of 25 rem exposure at the site boundary as a design criterion and an allowable dose to the public.”  The Board continued:

This is contrary to the Board’s July 8, 1999 letter to the Deputy Secretary of Energy that states “the 25 rem evaluation guideline is not to be treated as a design acceptance criterion nor as a justification for nullifying the general design criteria relative to defense-in-depth safety measures.”

It is also contrary to DOE-STD-3009 that states that the 25 rem evaluation guideline “is not to be treated as a design acceptance criterion.”  However, the Board continues to see 25 rem at the site boundary used as an acceptance criterion for the performance of confinement systems. The Board is concerned that in these examples DOE and its contractors are underestimating the significance of the performance requirements for a confinement ventilation system and are relying on questionable calculations of offsite doses to evaluate performance.  [Emphasis added.]

The Board reiterates that the 25 rem evaluation guideline is solely to be used for guidance for the classification of safety controls, and not as an acceptable dose to the public for the purpose of designing or operating defense nuclear facilities.

https://www.dnfsb.gov/sites/default/files/document/10373/rec_2004-2_146.pdf , Recommendation 2004-2, pp. 2-3 (pp. 4-5 of pdf).

The Board, in its April 2022 Annual Report to Congress, states many more concerns about the Plutonium Facility and nuclear weapons operations at LANL.  https://www.dnfsb.gov/documents/reports/reports-congress/32nd-annual-report-congress

Recently-released Biden Administration budget documents indicate that for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY 2023), beginning on October 1, 2022, the Administration is proposing a budget for Los Alamos National Laboratory of $4.6 billion, an overall increase of 21 percent.  This compares with smaller figures for every year from 2015 through 2021:  for FY 2021, the Congressional Budget Request for LANL was $3.68 billion; for FY 2020, $2.83 billion; for FY 2019, $2.78 billion; FY 2017, $2.4 billion; for FY 2016, $2.5 billion; and for FY 2015, $2.2 billion.

In a mere seven years, the budget requests for LANL have more than doubled.  Nevertheless DOE has not prioritized the health and safety needs of the workers and the public to upgrade the Plutonium Facility passive ventilation system to a safety class active confinement ventilation system.

Joni Arends, of CCNS, said, “It is irresponsible for a federal agency set to receive nearly one billion taxpayer dollars for plutonium operations at LANL in Fiscal Year 2023 will not to transition its ventilation system from passive to a safety class active confinement ventilation system.  Our collective health and safety requires a safety class active confinement ventilation system in the LANL Plutonium Facility.”


  1. Move Over Chernobyl: Fukushima is Now Officially the Worst Nuclear Power Disaster in History, April 27, 2018 article by John LaForge in Counterpunch.  https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/04/27/move-over-chernobyl-fukushima-is-now-officially-the-worst-nuclear-power-disaster-in-history/  April 26, 2022 was the 36th anniversary of the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe.

 

 

  1. Thursday, April 28th at 5 pm – virtual Town Hall about the Ten-Year Permit Renewal Application and Request to Permit proposed Panels 11 and 12, submitted by the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) to the New Mexico Environment Department. The discussion will focus on the request to permit two new panels 11 and 12 to the west of the current underground disposal site.  To view the submittal, see  https://www.env.nm.gov/hazardous-waste/wipp/, under WIPP News entry for March 17, 2022. To register for the April 28th virtual meeting:  https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84311281923 For questions regarding this virtual town hall meeting please contact the WIPP Information Center at infocntr@wipp.ws or by calling 1-800-336-9477.

 

 

  1. Thursday, April 28th at 6 pm – virtual joint meeting hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), and Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB). The purpose of the meeting is to provide information about our environmental programs. The meeting will be held virtually using Microsoft TEAMS. You may join the virtual meeting using the link provided at https://www.sandia.gov/about/environment/environmental_management_system/index.html, follow the Public Meeting Link on the left of the page. On mobile devices and Apple devices, you may need to download a free app to join the meeting. DOE/SNL presentations can be reviewed in advance at: https://www.sandia.gov/about/environment/environmental_management_system/index.html, follow the Public Meeting link on the left of the page.   KAFB presentations can be found at https://www.kirtland.af.mil/Home/Environment/. The federal agencies encourage questions and recommend submitting them in advance by email. Questions will be prioritized and will be addressed as time permits. Attendees may also ask questions via chat during the meeting, and those will be answered as time permits. Emailed questions that are not addressed during the meeting will be answered by email following the meeting. To submit a question, please send an email to envinfo@sandia.gov, please include April 2022 Public Meeting Question in the Subject line.

 

 

  1. Friday, April 29 from noon to 1 pm, at the corner of Guadalupe and East Alameda in Santa Fe, please join the weekly peaceful vigil of CCNS, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, and Veterans For Peace about the increasing presence of LANL in Santa Fe.

 

 

  1. Tuesday, May 3, 2022 from 9 am to 10:30 am MT, virtual presentation: “The Threat of Use of Nuclear Weapons and Russia’s War on Ukraine: Meeting the Legal and Political Challenge,” sponsored by the Arms Control Association, the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, and the Princeton University Program on Science and Global Security.  Register Here

Confirmed speakers and panelists will include:
• Ariana N. Smith (Executive Director, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy)
• Zia Mian (co-director, Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University)
• John Burroughs (Senior Analyst, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy)
• Daryl Kimball (Executive Director, Arms Control Association)
• Amb. Alexander Kmentt (Director of Disarmament, Arms Control and Nonproliferation at the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)