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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Our Work

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Current Activities

Public Comments Needed by September 22nd about Holtec Proposal

Tuesday, September 22nd is the last day to submit your comments to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) about the Holtec International proposal to store all of the nation’s high-level radioactive spent fuel from commercial nuclear power plants in New Mexico.  The proposed Holtec site is located half way between Carlsbad and Hobbs, and 16 miles north of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.  Comments are needed about the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS).  https://www.nrc.gov/waste/spent-fuel-storage/cis/holtec-international.html, scroll down to Environmental Impact Statement.  A one-page sample comment letter you can use comes from Southwest Research and Information Center http://www.sric.org/ and is available at here: HOLTEC DEIS sample letter 9-17-20

To learn more about the proposal, visit the Nuclear Issues Study Group’s Facebook page to view its “We Are Not a Wasteland” web series.  https://www.facebook.com/NuclearIssuesStudyGroup/videos  Episode One is about “Unpacking Holtec’s Proposal.”

https://www.facebook.com/537856386561307/videos/311435906545504

Among the major shortcoming of the proposal are that Holtec says that it wants to use the site for 120 years.  But the DEIS limits its analysis of environmental impacts to 40 years, which is clearly inadequate and not technically credible.  Since NRC has found that high-level radioactive waste can safely remain where it is for at least 120 years, that is a wiser choice for the next 40 years than packaging the waste and shipping it by rail through dozens of states – mostly in the eastern half of the nation – to New Mexico.  Since there is no permanent disposal site, it is likely that the waste at the Holtec site would never leave.

The DEIS omits discussion of Holtec’s plan to have the federal government own and pay for waste transportation which is not legal under current law.  Holtec has stated that it is lobbying Congress to change the law.  The NRC is not supposed to engage in lobbying, even though the federal agency does appear to support such a change in the law by encouraging the Holtec plan.

Because Holtec wanted NRC to hurry and issue a license to operate the facility, the NRC did not keep its promise to hold five in-person meetings in New Mexico.  Instead, it held inadequate and technologically challenged virtual meetings.

New Mexico Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich wrote to NRC stating, “[t]here is no compelling public interest reason to justify this rush to replace meetings with virtual webinars, and this decision gives the Commission the appearance of valuing the preferences of a for-profit company looking to store highly dangerous nuclear waste over that of the public and their elected representatives.”

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham opposes the Holtec project because it “poses significant and unacceptable risks to New Mexicans, our environment and our economy.”  NM Governor Holtec Ltr 060719


  1. TONIGHT Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 6 pm MDT – YOU’RE INVITED to an online ZOOM letter-writing party to HALT HOLTEC! Grab a drink and snacks and join us!  We’ll show you an easy way to take action. Together we can prevent environmental injustice and protect our health and safety!  And say hello to friends along the way. The link is https://tinyurl.com/NoNuclearWaste

Looking forward to seeing you!  Karen Hadden

SEED Coalition

karendhadden@gmail.com

For more information at www.nonuclearwaste.org

 

  1. Tuesday, September 22nd – Public Comments are due to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) about the proposed Holtec facility for ALL the nuclear plutonium fuel rods from nuclear power plants in the U.S. The proposed facility is located 16 miles north of the WIPP site, east of Carlsbad, NM.   Sample public comment letter at http://nuclearactive.org/  Email your comments to:   Holtec-CISFEIS@nrc.gov.
 

Take Action! LANL Plans to Release Radioactive Tritium

On Wednesday morning, the public was notified by Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) that releases of radioactive tritium could begin as early as Friday, September 11th.  LANL tried to launch this plan last March.  Communities organized against it and the project was halted. 

https://tewawomenunited.org/2020/09/action-alert-stop-radioactive-releases-at-los-alamos-national-laboratory , http://nuclearactive.org/lanl-plans-to-release-twice-the-amount-of-tritium-allowed/ , and http://nuclearactive.org/lanl-postpones-tritium-releases-due-to-global-pandemic/

If you were not signed up to receive emails from LANL’s Electronic Public Reading Room, you would not have received Wednesday morning’s notice.  https://eprr.lanl.gov/  [The subscribe button is on the lower left.]  The notice provided links to letters LANL submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency and the New Mexico Environment Department requesting permission to proceed with venting the four tritium containers.  The containers hold lead and an estimated 114,000 curies of radioactive tritium.

The tritium is in the form of tritiated water, which harms when it is inhaled or ingested.  https://ieer.org/article/energy-security/healthy-start-tritium-issue-38/

Now is the time of harvest.  People are outside and breathing deeply while they bring in the harvest.  The risk for breathing in particulates, pollutants, tritiated water, among other contaminants, has increased due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.  Smoke and ash from the Medio wildfire significantly contributed to poor air quality for weeks, which was finally knocked down on Tuesday night when the rain and snow arrived.  The link between increased COVID-19 death rates and air pollution are well known.

Even so, LANL, in its September 3rd, 2020 letter to the New Mexico Environment Department requesting a temporary authorization, states, “While these containers pose a minor, manageable hazard in their current configuration, they cannot be shipped without verifying headspace pressures have relieved, and pressure build up over time becomes increasingly more difficult to mitigate.”  LANL FTWC Venting to NMED HWB 9-3-20 

There is no emergency for LANL to get this work done.  Importantly, no alternatives to the venting have been proposed by LANL.  Yet the details of the activities have changed over the past six months.  The March 2020 reports said there was no place to dispose of the canisters off the LANL site.  Now the reports state there is.

On March 10th, 2020, LANL mailed an official public notice, which CCNS received.  Public Notice TA Resubmittal FTWCs 3-10-20  We have not received such a notice about the proposed venting to begin in September.

On April 1st, 2020, LANL sent an email to the Environment Department stating, “Venting of the [containers] is postponed indefinitely due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”  CCNS asks, “Why now?  The pandemic is not over.”  We question whether LANL’s April 1st email was in reality an April 1st joke.

CCNS has prepared a few short sample comments for you to use to take action.  It provides links for more information and contacts for regulatory officials, elected officials, and the media.  Please help spread the word and share this with your family and friends.   Sample Public Comments-LANL Tritium Venting 9-10-20


  1. Friday, September 18th – Public Comments are due to the

    (AP Photo/Albuquerque Journal)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about its LANL draft Clean Water Act’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. CCNS will have sample public comments for you to use next week.

 

  1. Tuesday, September 22nd – Public Comments are due to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) about the proposed Holtec facility for ALL the nuclear plutonium fuel rods from nuclear power plants in the U.S. The proposed facility is located 16 miles north of the WIPP site, east of Carlsbad, NM.  http://www.beyondnuclear.org/centralized-storage/
 

National Cancer Institute Continues Federal Government’s False Narrative about Trinity Test

Before the U.S. Army and the Manhattan Project exploded a one-hundred-ton pile of TNT on May 7, 1945 at the Trinity test site in south central New Mexico, the doctors were concerned about the impacts of radioactive fallout from the upcoming Trinity test that would occur on July 16th. In order to investigate the anticipated fallout and its distribution, the one-hundred-ton pile was spiked with plutonium from the Hanford site as a tracer.  That fallout data is not publicly available.

The doctors created evacuation plans that were not used for the communities around the Trinity site.  They established arbitrary and ever-changing radiological exposure standards that would lead to evacuation.  The first standard would require evacuation at 50 times the official exposure limit.  Quickly that arbitrary standard was increased to more than 800 times higher than the official exposure limit established two decades later.

After the Trinity test, Dr. Louis Hempelmann, Director of the Health Group at the Los Alamos site of the Manhattan Project, said some people “were probably over-exposed [to the Trinity test], but they couldn’t prove it and we couldn’t prove it.  So we just assumed that we got away with it.”  Thus began the false narrative that no one was harmed from the overexposure to radiation from the Trinity test.

Nevertheless, this week, the National Cancer Institute continued the 75-year old false narrative with the release of a collection of six studies under the title, Study to Estimate Radiation Doses and Cancer Risks Resulting from Radioactive Fallout from the Trinity Nuclear Testhttps://dceg.cancer.gov/research/how-we-study/exposure-assessment/trinity  On the morning of Tuesday, September 1st, the entire study was publicly released, with limited time to review it before the virtual briefing began.  While NCI said it would hold a second virtual briefing next week, many individuals and organizations plan to ask for more time to review the reports.

NCI claims that its study “provides the most comprehensive evaluation of the doses and risks from the Trinity detonation available today,” while acknowledging its significant limitations.  Those limitations impact data quality and the ability to assess cancer risk.  For instance, NCI reports that in 2017 it interviewed 210 New Mexicans over the age of 70 years about their diet, lifestyles, housing, sources of drinking water, and how much time they spent outside during the summer months.  That is an insignificant percentage of the estimated 580,000 people living in New Mexico in 1945.

Even so, NCI projected that between zero and 1,000 excess cancers would occur between 1945 and 2034.  NCI qualifies its projection by the statement, “Precise value[s] cannot be determined decades after exposure.”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AqzvIHJQzs&feature=youtu.be


  1. Wed. Sept. 9th beginning at 10 am, the NM Radioactive & Hazardous Materials Interim Committee meets via video conference to discuss LANL issues, receive an update about the KAFB Bulk Fuel Spill, and receive public comments around 3 pm. At 1:15 pm – Joni Arends, of CCNS will be on a panel with Beata Tsosie-Peña, of Tewa Women United; and Greg Mello, of the Los Alamos Study Group, about LANL Operations and Expansion Community Concerns.  To see the latest version of the agenda, instructions to participate via video conference, and the handouts, go to https://nmlegis.gov/Committee/Interim_Committee?CommitteeCode=RHMC

 

  1. Th. Sept. 10th at 6 pm, the Nuclear Issues Study Group will host a presentation about the Holtec proposal to bring all the high-level radioactive nuclear waste to NM. Comments are due Tues. Sept. 22nd to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  This is your opportunity to learn more to Halt Holtec.  https://www.facebook.com/NuclearIssuesStudyGroup/

 

  1. Check out Stephanie Hiller’s recent article U.S. Patriarchy and the Bomb

    stephanie

    at https://www.transcend.org/tms/2020/08/u-s-patriarchy-and-the-bomb/

 

On September 1st the National Cancer Institute Will Hold Virtual Briefing about Trinity Test Radioactive Fallout

A Tuesday, September 1st virtual briefing by the National Cancer Institute about their Study to Estimate Radiation Doses and Cancer Risks Resulting from Radioactive Fallout from the Trinity Nuclear Test is set to re-traumatize the Trinity Downwinders and their families.

In 2013, when the National Cancer Institute (NCI) first met with members of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium to discuss their proposed study, the Downwinders were more than willing to help.  The Downwinders believed that the federal government had finally decided to return and document the harm done to the People of New Mexico by the first atomic bomb test on July 16, 1945 at the Trinity Test Site.  https://dceg.cancer.gov/research/how-we-study/exposure-assessment/trinity

Over a short amount of time, that trust evaporated.

Early on, NCI promised the Downwinders that they would be able to review the draft reports NCI would prepare for publication.  NCI paid the Downwinders and others to assist them in obtaining the crucial support of Tribal and Pueblo entities that would allow them to move forward.  However, once NCI had the Tribal and Pueblo resolutions, they limited communication with the Downwinders.

Nevertheless, the Downwinders offered a list of concerns about the study and requested that it include the Hispanic members of the communities living adjacent to the Trinity site.  They also queried whether the study could identify enough sources to adequately report about 1945 lifeways firsthand because the number of people still living who could share their memories was limited.

As the study proceeded, the Downwinders registered further concerns.  One question was how the NCI would address the re-suspension of particulate matter from the heavy windstorms that exist in New Mexico.  They also asked about an NCI questionnaire that was about 1945 food sources.  It was clear to the Downwinders that the research done by NCI had not utilized local experts to learn about the lifeways of Native People and Hispanics and how they accessed food in 1945.

In short, it was not clear that the NCI would be responsive to the Downwinders’ questions.

NCI will release six papers about their study on September 1st at 8 am Mountain Daylight Time (MDT).  Those people who register for the virtual briefing will receive digital copies of the six papers by email immediately following publication.  A short summary of the six papers, in both English and Spanish, will also be emailed.

The September 1st one-hour virtual briefing will begin at 2:30 Mountain Daylight Time (MDT).  After a welcome, opening prayer and introductory remarks, a pre-recorded presentation by the principal investigator Dr. Steve Simon will give an overview of the study results.  Finally, thirty minutes is scheduled for questions and discussion.  To register for the virtual briefing, go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F5DCQSW.    

NCI is planning to host a second video conference the week of September 7th.

Tina Cordova, co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, said, “We’ve been waiting seven years for the NCI to complete and release this million dollar study.  We can only hope it tells the truth about what we all know to be true from our lived experiences and from what science now reflects and supports.”  https://www.trinitydownwinders.com/


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) provided the wrong links in their HOLTEC webinar public notice about how the public could connect to yesterday’s (August 25, 2020) presentation– thus disenfranchising the public to participate in the webinar.  Below are the corrected links for today’s (August 26, 2020) webinar, and the Tuesday, September 2, 2020 webinar:

*****Note: Corrected hyperlinks to NRC’s WebEx site*****

SUBJECT: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to Conduct Public Online Webinars for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Holtec HI-STORE Consolidated Interim Storage Facility – August 26, and September 2, 2020

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will conduct additional public meetings via webinar soliciting comments on a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Holtec International’s (Holtec) proposed Consolidated Interim Storage Facility (CISF) for spent nuclear fuel in Lea County, New Mexico.  The draft EIS evaluates potential environmental impacts of Holtec’s request to build and operate the proposed CISF.

The public meeting webinars will be accessible to the public by navigating, on the day and time of the meeting, to the internet link below and entering the event number and password associated with the date of the webinar when prompted.  Telephone access will be required for the audio portion of the meetings and is available by dialing the telephone number and entering the passcode provided below.  The NRC staff will present the results of the draft environmental impact analysis and receive the public’s comments on the draft report.  The NRC invites members of the public to attend the public meeting webinars and to present oral comments on the draft EIS.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020 – 4:00 pm MT (6:00 pm ET)

 

Webinar:

Event address: https://usnrc.webex.com/

Event number: 199 278 6216

Event password: HOLTEC

 

Telephone access:

Phone number: 888-566-6509

Passcode: 1904459

 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020 – 9:00 am MT (11:00 am ET)

 

Webinar:

Event address: https://usnrc.webex.com/

Event number: 199 183 5099

Event password: HOLTEC

 

Telephone access:

Phone number: 888-566-6509

Passcode: 1904459

The public may also submit written comments on the draft EIS before September 22, 2020.  Members of the public can provide comments by any of the following methods:

    • E-mail to  Holtec-CISFEIS@nrc.gov
    • Online at  https://www.regulations.gov/ (search for Docket ID NRC-2018-0052)
    • US Mail to the following address: Office of Administration, Mail Stop:  TWFN-7-A60M, ATTN:  Program Management, Announcements and Editing Staff, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001

The draft EIS can be found on the NRC public webpage for the Holtec CISF license application at https://www.nrc.gov/waste/spent-fuel-storage/cis/holtec-international.html.  If you do not have internet access, contact the NRC Public Document Room at 800-397-4209 for assistance.  Questions regarding the draft EIS should be directed to Jill Caverly at 301-415-7674 or at Jill.Caverly@nrc.gov.

 

 

Senators and Citizens Protest NRC Failure to Meet Its Public Meeting Commitments for Holtec Comments

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is processing the license application for Holtec’s proposed Consolidated Interim Storage Facility.  Holtec, a for-profit corporation, proposes building a facility for all of the nation’s commercial high-level irradiated nuclear fuel in Lea County 16 miles north of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.  Before the pandemic, the NRC had committed to receiving pubic comments on the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the facility at five in-person meetings held around the state.  Now, with the need for social distancing, the NRC plans to replace in-person meetings with four public online webinars, scheduled for August 20th, NRC 8-20-20 Holtec Hrg, which is behind us, as well as on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 25th NRC 8-25-20 HOLTEC HRG and 26th NRC 8-26-20 HOLTEC HRG and Wednesday, September 2nd NRC 9-2-20 HOLTEC HRG.  NRC also will not extend the comment period beyond the current date of Tuesday, September 22nd.

Both the New Mexico Senators and the public have registered opposition to replacing in-person hearings with webinars.  A coalition of citizens’ groups urges individuals who make comments at the NRC webinars to say, “I’m making these comments under protest because the comment period should be extended until after the Public Health Emergency ends; the hearings must occur in-person at site locations in New Mexico; and the New Mexico’s Congressional Delegation or staff be included to verify the validity of the hearing format.”  Those who wish to protest might also say, “Every state in the nation has clearly said ‘no’ to hosting a storage site for this waste.  The People of New Mexico also say ‘no.’”

In a joint letter to the NRC dated August 18th, Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, say, “The health and safety of New Mexicans as well as their ability to participate in a process that will ultimately impact them is much greater than the needs of any corporation seeking to have expeditious closure on its application.”  The Senators observe, “[T]here are no legal or statutory deadlines requiring the Commission to rush to complete this review by any certain time.”  UDALL & HEINRICH – NRC Virtual Meetings – (8-18-20)

The Senators go on to argue that, “[T]his decision gives the Commission the appearance of valuing the preferences of a for-profit company looking to store highly dangerous nuclear waste over that of the public and their elected representatives.”

Finally, the Senators ask the Commission to delay their decision on the license application, “[U]ntil such time as the pandemic is under control enough that the Commission is able to safely and effectively live up to its commitment of in-person meetings in New Mexico.”


1.  Fri. Aug. 21st through Th. Aug. 27th at 6 pm MDT – free screenings of the newly restored “Dark Circle,” created 40 years ago.   https://metrograph.com/

 

It is a “terrifying and moving documentary about the catastrophic power of nuclear energy” and the manufacture of nuclear weapons at the Rocky Flats Plant, west of Denver, Colorado.  Directed by Judy Irving, Chris Beaver and Ruth Landy.  Don’t miss this opportunity to view this important documentary.  Is this what LANL is, or could become with the proposed increase in plutonium pit production?

 

2.  Wed. August 26th – 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment that ensured the right to vote could not be denied based on gender.

To view the Proclamation in its entirety, click Proclamation Women’s Suffrage Month August 2020

To celebrate, check out the following events:

 

Sun. Aug. 23 at 2 pm sharp:  A Car Parade in Santa Fe – Meet in PERA parking lot across from Capitol. Proceed north on Santa Fe Trail toward Plaza. Take right on San Francisco, left on Cathedral Place, left on Palace, right on Lincoln past City Hall, left at Federal Court Building, left on Grant Avenue passing Santa Fe County Administrative Complex on the right and Nina Otero Warren’s House at 135 Grant. Honk twice and then return to the PERA parking lot.

 

Tues. Aug. 18 – Wed. Aug. 26:  100 Years Celebration – Centennial Online Event Honoring Women’s Right to Vote, a week-long virtual celebration.  The event, sponsored by the State of New Mexico, the City of Albuquerque, and the NM League of Women Voters, will feature a multitude of virtual activities and entertainment including poetry, music, photos, and history about women, by women.  The program will be broadcast on GOV-TV (Channel 16) and ABQ Special Events will broadcast the event on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. You’ll be introduced to a Suffragist daily throughout the celebrations and be able to play games while learning about the Women’s Suffrage Movement.

 

3.  Sun. Aug. 30th – deadline to submit your origami crane with a Message of Peace to the National Park Service. The cranes will be placed into a time capsule and opened in 2045 – the 100th year since the first atomic bombings.  https://www.nps.gov/mapr/learn/historyculture/messages-of-peace.htm

 

County Commissioners Protest DOE Water Rights Transfer Application to State Engineer

Today’s story points up how an NGO like Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety can prompt county and city officials to make sure that various regulations are followed and can act as a watchdog for compliance. In this case, the Department of Energy (DOE) and Los Alamos County submitted an application to the State Engineer requesting to move 679 acre feet a year in water rights from wells north of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to wells used for remediation of the co-located hexavalent chromium and perchlorate plume in Mortandad Canyon.  CCNS reviewed DOE’s application and found that some questions were left unanswered; on some pages, unidentified handwritten additions were made; and no pumping schedule was provided; among other things.  DOELAC 679 afy App to SEO 1-24-19

Only owners of water rights that could be impaired by the transfer are allowed to protest the application, such as Santa Fe County, the City of Santa Fe, and the Buckman Direct Diversion Project Board.  An acre foot of water is approximately 326,000 gallons.

On July 12th CCNS read the legal notice about the application in the Santa Fe New Mexican.  CCNS scanned it and alerted Santa Fe County Commissioner Anna Hansen.

CCNS noted that the legal notice was published on July 12th, three days after the July meeting of the Buckman Board.  Protests were required to be filed with the State Engineer by August 5th, one day before the August Buckman Board meeting.  That is, the timing precluded the possibility for a public discussion of the application by one of the most critically impacted agencies that protects drinking water.

On July 31st CCNS wrote a memo to Commissioner Hansen detailing the inadequacies of DOE’s transfer application.  CCNS Memo to Hansen re- Cr-VI SEO app. 7-31-20

Commissioner Hansen forwarded the memo to the attorneys for the Buckman Board and Santa Fe County, thus bringing the resources of the Buckman Board and Santa Fe County water staff to bear on a review of the application.  Once the application was reviewed,  the attorneys wrote timely letters of protest to the State Engineer.  2020 08 05 BDD Board OSE Formal Protest of Application for RG00485 et al RECORDED-2 and Santa Fe County Protest RG-485 Aug 5, 2020-1

At the August 11th meeting of the Santa Fe County Commissioners, the County’s letter of protest was approved.  Commissioner Hansen made a motion to ratify the protest of the DOE and Los Alamos County application under the State Engineer’s File No. RG-00485 and to authorize prosecution of the protest.

Commissioner Hansen said, “We are not protesting this application to stop the cleanup of the hexavalent chromium plume; we are protesting this application because it is woefully inadequate and extremely sloppy.  Clearly DOE feels entitled to submit such a blatantly disrespectful application.”

https://www.santafecountynm.gov/county_commissioners/anna_hansen


The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has lied to New Mexico. Instead of holding five in-person public comment meetings across the state, NRC has announced it will hold only four more call-in/webinars (August 20, 25, 26, and September 2) about Holtec’s irradiated nuclear fuel consolidated interim storage facility. This proposed facility, 16 miles north of WIPP, targets already heavily polluted majority Hispanic areas near the Mescalero Apache lands.

 

To learn about New Mexico’s opposition to the proposed Holtec project, please see NM Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s July 28, 2020 letter to the President of the United States.  MLG Holtec Letter to President-1

 

ACTION ALERT:  Please contact your U.S. Rep., and both your U.S. Senators (call their D.C. offices: 202-224-3121); urge that they demand NRC extend the deadline, and hold in-person meetings in your state/congressional district, once safe to do so. We also urgently need a large-number of quality comments by the September 22 deadline (prepare your own comments using our samples. See also submission instructions).  http://www.beyondnuclear.org/centralized-storage/2020/9/22/please-submit-public-comments-opposing-the-holtecelea-cisf-b.html

 

Below is specific NRC information about the webinars:

“The public meeting webinars will be accessible to the public by navigating, on the day and time of the meeting, to the internet link below and entering the event number and password associated with the date of the webinar when prompted.  Telephone access will be required for the audio portion of the meetings and is available by dialing the telephone number and entering the passcode provided below.  The NRC staff will present the results of the draft environmental impact analysis and receive the public’s comments on the draft report.  The NRC invites members of the public to attend the public meeting webinars and to present oral comments on the draft EIS.”

Thursday, August 20, 2020 – 4:00 pm MT (6:00 pm ET)

Webinar

Event address: https://usnrc.webex.com/

Event number: 199 831 2299

Event password: HOLTEC

Telephone access

Phone number: 888-566-6509

Passcode: 1904459

 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020 – 12:00 noon MT (2:00 pm ET)

Webinar

Event address: https://usnrc.webex.com/

Event number: 199 973 2733

Event password: HOLTEC

Telephone access

Phone number: 888-566-6509

Passcode: 1904459

 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020 – 4:00 pm MT (6:00 pm ET)

Webinar

Event address: https://usnrc.webex.com/

Event number: 199 278 6216

Event password: HOLTEC

Telephone access

Phone number: 888-566-6509

Passcode: 1904459

 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020 – 9:00 am MT (11:00 am ET)

Webinar

Event address: https://usnrc.webex.com/

Event number: 199 183 5099

Event password: HOLTEC

Telephone access

Phone number: 888-566-6509

Passcode: 1904459

 

STOP FOREVER WIPP NOW! COMMENTS NEEDED BY 08/11/20

SHAFTED!      SHAFTED!      SHAFTED!      SHAFTED!     SHAFTED! 

 

DUMPING NUCLEAR WASTE ON NEW MEXICANS
WITHOUT OUR CONSENT OR INPUT 

 

DOE has claimed that there is a great emergency

and that the NEW WIPP SHAFT must be built now

 

Before the public has been able to provide comment or input

Before DOE has disclosed its plans for future WIPP expansion or

disclosed that the new shaft is essential to expand disposal capacity.

Before DOE has proven it can seal such a large, multipurpose

shaft in WIPP’s complex karst geology.

Before DOE has shown what effects the NEW SHAFT would have

on nearby communities—including exposure effects after closure

 

Building the Shaft without public input

Makes public comment meaningless

 

Problems with the required public process are many

Just a few of these include:

Nowhere in the Fact Sheet, Public Notice or the Public Involvement

Plan (PIP) is the public told that DOE is building the shaft now.

Very little information is provided in Spanish even though

there  are many people in the impacted area who need language

services. The Spanish speaking public isn’t even told that translation

and interpretation services are available.

 

Virtually no information is provided in the Fact Sheet on the  

geology or hydrology at WIPP.

 

The impacted communities’ needs and concerns are not

addressed or considered in this permit process, nor are community

leaders or stakeholders  consulted even though it was agreed to do

exactly this.

 

The only justification given for the draft permit modification

focuses on “increased control of ventilation airflow…under-

ground and performing “underground operations.” But this has

already been shown to be taken care of by the New Filter Building.

Because of the virus, the Administrative Record and other docu-

ments can’t be viewed in person. The public isn’t told that the Record

is online, but if they request document copies, they are expected to

pay for them.

 

(Click on the links below to read more about the PIP, Public Notice & Fact Sheet.)

 

DOE must stop digging the shaft

So that the many problems in the public process can be corrected

 

Through the public process it must be determined:

  • If DOE can seal the shaft
  • What effects an expanded WIPP would have
  • If WIPP needs a NEW SHAFT at all

 

Anything else is an End Run around the Public Process

To build an expanded 

FOREVER WIPP

 

 

 

Submit your comments to

NMED

BY 5:00 PM AUGUST 11, 2020

 

Tell NMED

WITHDRAW THE

TEMPORARY AUTHORIZATION

TO DRILL THE SHAFT

CORRECT THE PUBLIC PROCESS PROBLEMS

DENY THE SHAFT PERMIT MODIFICATION

    

 

 Click this link

to submit your comment 

 Ricardo.Maestas@state.nm.us

 

Add your name & address

to the pre-typed email and click send

or change the text and write your own comment

 

 

STOP FOREVER WIPP!

 

For more information, click this link:

WIPP History & Timeline

For a general sample comment, click this link:

Sample Comment

For a sample comment about the public process, click this link:

Public Process Sample Comment

For more information on problems with the public process,

click this link:

Problems with the Public Process

For copies of the Public Notice PIP & Fact Sheet,

click on each document:

 PIP

Public Notice

Fact Sheet

 

This post is sponsored by STOP FOREVER WIPP!

 

Deadline Nears for Public Comments to Stop WIPP Expansion

Tuesday, August 11th is the deadline for comments to the New Mexico Environment Department to oppose the new shaft to expand the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).  Sample public comments are available here WIPPShaftPublicCommentLetter_072720

The New Mexico Environment Department allowed the Department of Energy (DOE) to begin digging the new shaft in April, seven weeks before releasing a draft permit for the required public comment and hearing process.  https://www.env.nm.gov/hazardous-waste/wipp/  The new shaft would allow new underground rooms that could more than double the disposal area, because the existing permitted panels will be filled in a few years.

The shaft and new rooms would provide capacity for more waste than legally allowed and for new types of waste, including high-level radioactive waste from Hanford, Washington and other sites; commercial waste from West Valley, New York; weapons grade plutonium from the Savannah River Site in South Carolina; and 50 years of waste from building new nuclear weapons.

The WIPP expansion would allow the facility to continue disposal operations indefinitely, essential forever, even though the existing permit states that waste disposal ends in 2024.  https://www.env.nm.gov/hazardous-waste/wipp-permit-page/  The DOE wants to eliminate any date to end WIPP operations because it has no plans to have any other disposal site.  As in its name, WIPP was supposed to be a pilot plant, the first of multiple geologic repositories.  But there is no other disposal site.

The Environment Department ignored the comments of almost 300 people and organizations that opposed the new shaft last year and stated that the request should be denied.  But the Environment Department must consider and respond to public comments it receives.  At the public hearing, witnesses must testify under oath and be cross-examined about the new shaft and WIPP expansion.

The decision to allow construction of the shaft has been appealed to the New Mexico Supreme Court by Southwest Research and Information Center.  The litigation claims that the Temporary Authorization to allow construction is prohibited by regulations and prejudices the public comment process.  In fact, the draft permit makes no substantive changes to the provisions that DOE proposed in 2017 and again last year.

“This disregard for the law and regulations that govern WIPP translates to a gag order on the People of New Mexico,” said Laura Watchempino of the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment.  “Our homelands and home state have become a national sacrifice area again, where regulations and laws that protect us are flouted.  Allowing shaft construction to begin without public input, shows that DOE and the New Mexico Environment Department think they can continue these unlawful practices.”  https://swuraniumimpacts.org/


We’ve sent the Weekly Update out early to keep you informed about the Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75th commemoration events and encourage you to submit your comments to oppose WIPP expansion.


CCNS brought three citizen lawsuits. That’s why we are writing this today. You have supported our work in the past. And we feel confident that when you read about what we’re up against now, you’ll want to do what you can to see our lawsuits through to success.  https://www.gofundme.com/f/concerned-citizens-for-nuclear-safety-legal-aid


An events list for Trinity, Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75th Commemoration Events, print, audio and virtual media, and opportunities to provide public comments about a variety of nuclear issues is available here.  CCNS 75th Commemoration Events & Upcoming Deadlines 8-5-20

1. Thursday, August 6th at 6 pm MDT – Nuclear Issues Study Group – “We Are Not A Wasteland: Empowering Grassroots Resistance,” Episode 5:  No More Hiroshimas!  No More Churchrocks!  Making Links to Break the Chain. https://www.facebook.com/NuclearIssuesStudyGroup/

 

2.  Thursday, August 6th at 6 pm MDT – Pace e Bene 75th Anniversary Hiroshima Day One-Hour Online Commemoration, hosted by the New Mexico 75th Commemoration of Hiroshima/Nagasaki Committee and Pace e Bene. The webinar is free, but registration required. https://paceebene.org/hiroshimaday2020

 

3. Tuesday, August 11th at 5 pm.  Deadline to submit comments to the NM Environment Department about the DOE’s plans for FOREVER WIPP!  http://nuclearactive.org/stop-forever-wipp/  and http://nuclearactive.org/public-comments-needed-to-stop-wipp-expansion/

 

Stop the New WIPP Shaft

SHAFTED!      SHAFTED!      SHAFTED!      SHAFTED!     SHAFTED!

DOE is building the NEW WIPP SHAFT 

 Right Now—as you’re reading this

WITHOUT A PUBLIC HEARING

WITHOUT A FULL PUBLIC PROCESS

WITHOUT VITAL INFORMATION IN SPANISH

The New Mexico Environment Department’s Fact Sheet doesn’t say that DOE is digging the shaft before the public process has been completed and a permit issued

It also claims the NEW SHAFT is needed to get air to

workers in the WIPP underground

MORE LIES

     The NEW FILTER BUILDING  

  will provide all the air that current workers need 

about 2 years before the shaft is finished

It’s an End Run around the Public Process

To build an EXPANDED

 FOREVER WIPP

 DUMPING NUCLEAR WASTE ON NEW MEXICANS

 WITHOUT OUR CONSENT OR INPUT 

Submit your comments to

NMED

BY 5:00 PM AUGUST 11, 2020

Tell NMED

WITHDRAW THE TEMPORARY AUTHORIZATION TO DRILL THE SHAFT

DENY THE SHAFT PERMIT MODIFICATION

STOP THE FOREVER WIPP EXPANSION

     

 Click this link

to submit your comment

 Ricardo.Maestas@state.nm.us

Add your name & address

to the pre-typed email and click send

or change the text and write your own comment

 

Protect the People and Environment of New Mexico from

Nuclear dumping that will never end

STOP FOREVER WIPP!

For more information, click this link:

WIPP History & Timeline

For a sample comment, click this link:

 Sample Comment  

 

Virtual Commemoration Events of 1945 Atomic Bombings

It is an excellent time to learn about the harm done 75 years ago when the U.S. government tested the first plutonium bomb in south-central New Mexico and then dropped a uranium bomb on Hiroshima, Japan and a plutonium bomb on Nagasaki, Japan.  New Mexico activists are presenting in a number of these virtual events.  For those who would like to get involved, CCNS has posted a detailed list of the events, media articles and upcoming public comment opportunities at http://nuclearactive.org/ .  We highlight a few of those events here.

As background of the current nuclear weapons posture, 40 nation-states have signed and ratified the international Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  Fifty nation-states must sign and ratify the treaty before it goes into effect.  It will apply only to those 50 nation-states.  https://www.icanw.org/

On Sunday, August 2nd, Veterans for Peace begins their eight-day virtual 2020 Convention.  At noon Mountain Daylight Time, the Opening Plenary will tell the story in “The Nuclear Weapons Industry – Creating Victims – More Than 75 Years and Counting.”  The scheduled speakers are:  the Chief of Council of the Western Shoshone Nation and Spiritual Person, Chief Johnnie Bobb; the social practice artist and educator Yasuyo Tanaka; journalist and author in Kyoto, Japan, Toshiya Morita; and peace activist, Joni Arends, of CCNS.

For more information, visit https://vfp2020.attendease.com/

On Thursday, August 6th, at 6 pm Mountain Daylight Time, a program organized by New Mexico activists, faith leaders, and veterans, the “75th Anniversary Hiroshima Day One-Hour Online Commemoration” will be available at https://paceebene.org/hiroshimaday2020 .  The scheduled speakers are:  Roshi Joan Halifax, Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and pioneer in the field of end-of-life care; Dr. Ira Helfand, of the International Steering Committee of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons; Jay Coghlan, executive director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico; and Archbishop of Santa Fe, John Wester.  The host will be the Reverend John Dear, priest, activist, and author of 35 books.  The program is organized by New Mexico 75th Anniversary of Hiroshima/Nagasaki Committee and Pace e Bene.  The event will also be available at https://www.hiroshimanagasaki75.org/

A two-day virtual event commemorating the 75th year since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is scheduled for August 6th and August 9th. The organizers intend the event to be “a creative, intersectional way to shine a spotlight on local events nationwide, to highlight the stories of survivors, to look toward the future of a world free from nuclear threats, and to amplify the voices of activists, experts and others beyond their typical audience.”  To learn more, use #still here or https://www.hiroshimanagasaki75.org/ .


Did You Know?   An events list for Trinity, Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75th Commemoration Events, print, audio and virtual media, and opportunities to provide public comments about a variety of nuclear issues is available here. CCNS 75th Commemoration Events & Upcoming Deadline 7-30-20

 

 

  1. Thursday, August 6th at 6 pm – Nuclear Issues Study Group “We Are Not A Wasteland: Empowering Grassroots Resistance” webinar about Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  https://www.facebook.com/NuclearIssuesStudyGroup/

 

  1. Tuesday, August 11th at 5 pm. Deadline to submit comments to the NM Environment Department about the DOE’s plans for FOREVER WIPP! http://nuclearactive.org/stop-forever-wipp/  and http://nuclearactive.org/public-comments-needed-to-stop-wipp-expansion/

 

  1. Monday, August 17th at 5 pm. Comments due to NM Environment Department about the scope of the Triennial Review of New Mexico’s Water Quality Standards.  https://www.env.nm.gov/surface-water-quality/2020-triennial-review/  For more information:  https://www.amigosbravos.org/ and https://gilaresources.info/wp/

 

  1. Tuesday, September 22th. Comments due to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission about the draft environmental impact statement about a proposed Holtec International consolidated interim storage facility for commercial plutonium contaminated waste from nuclear power plants across the country.  The site is located 16 miles north of WIPP.  http://nuclearactive.org/officials-and-ngos-express-deep-concerns-about-holtec/ , http://www.beyondnuclear.org/radioactive-waste/

 

  1. Tuesday, November 3rd. Comments due to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission about the draft environmental impact statement about a proposed consolidated interim storage facility for Waste Control Specialists/Interim Storage Partners.  The site is located on the Texas/New Mexico border, five miles east of Eunice, NM.  http://www.beyondnuclear.org/centralized-storage/