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

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)

 

Proposed Funding Increases for DOE Operations in New Mexico

Exploding Biden Administration budgets for the three Department of Energy (DOE) sites in New Mexico fully support the dangerous trend to develop more provocative nuclear weapons.  As a result, there is an urgent need to change course, retire the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in 2024 as planned, and find a new site that is not located in New Mexico for the plutonium-contaminated waste generated by weapons manufacturing.

For Fiscal Year 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.

For the same fiscal year, the Administration is proposing a budget of $3 billion for Sandia National Laboratory, an overall increase of nearly 9 percent.

For WIPP, the deep geologic dump located 26 miles east of Carlsbad, the Administration is proposing a budget of $459 million, a 9 percent increase.

Increased federal funding for nuclear weapons development, fabrication and waste generation does not trickle down to New Mexico communities.  Socioeconomic indicators reveal New Mexico’s ranking as 49th or 50th in the United States of America.  In fact, while in 1959, New Mexico ranked 37th in per capita income, in 2019, New Mexico ranked 49th.  Recently New Mexico ranked last in education and 49th in overall child well being.  https://nukewatch.org/press-release-item/new-mexico-number-one-in-nuclear-weapons-and-radioactive-wastes-near-last-in-citizen-and-child-well-being-2022/

People are becoming sick and tired of the nuclear industry that risks public health and safety and pollutes the air, water and soils.  Upon learning about a DOE proposal to ship up to 50 metric tons, or 100,000 pounds of “surplus” plutonium on New Mexico roads for eventual disposal at WIPP, the 285 ALL community group based in the El Dorado area south of Santa Fe, created a petition asking New Mexico Michelle Lujan Grisham to take action against this proposed expansion of WIPP.  Over 1,100 petition signatures were gathered from across the state and presented to the Governor’s Office on March 1sthttp://nuclearactive.org/why-you-should-care-about-the-expanding-wipp-mission/

On April 8th, the Governor wrote to the Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm requesting her to address the issues raised by New Mexicans, including that “DOE develop a new disposal site in a state other than New Mexico.” Secretary Granholm has yet to respond.  https://www.env.nm.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/2022-04-08-Gov-MLG-Letter-to-DOE-re-WIPP-Petition.pdf  and https://stopforeverwipp.org/

Cindy Weehler, a co-founder of 285 ALL, said, ““The Governor’s interest in the concerns of her constituents is so very important.  She understands that WIPP was never intended to be the only site for this nuclear weapons waste.”


  1. Friday, April 22 at 11 am at the New Mexico Roundhouse (state capitol), celebrate Earth Day in the open air! Join the Santa Fe Justice Makers and others to rally there.  Bring signs for Mother Earth and against nukes.  Before noon, the groups will walk to the corner of Guadalupe and Alameda to join the weekly noon vigil of CCNS, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, and Veterans For Peace until 1 pm.

 

 

  1. Friday, April 22 (Earth Day) at 10 am – Sunday, April 24, 2022 – Taos Environmental Film Festival – important films, a staged reading of a play, a forum and more – at the Taos Community Auditorium.   https://taosenvironmentalfilmfestival.com/  On Sunday, April 24th from 5 to 7:30 pm, a staged reading of Exposed, a play by Mary Dickson, a Downwinder of the above-ground atomic tests at the Nevada Test Site, will be presented. Mary Dickson will be present.

 

 

  1. Friday, April 22ndSupport the Red Water Pond Road Community at 1 pm to hold signs at the junction of Hwy 566 and Frontage Road Hwy 118, near Red Rocks State Park. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is visiting the Red Water Pond Road Community at 2 pm and then hosting a public meeting in Gallup at 6:30.  For more information, please see flyer here.  April 22 RWPRC Flyer

 

 

  1. Friday, April 22nd from 3 to 4 pm, Thomas De Pree, Ph.D., a Postdoctoral Fellow, University of New Mexico Health Sciences, will present live and virtually, The Politics of Baselining in the Grants Uranium Mining District of Northwestern New Mexico. To register:  https://goto.unm.edu/22

 

 

  1. Saturday, April 23, 2022 from 8 am to 5 pm – Symposium on Rocky Flats: Impacts on the Environment and Health. Brought to you by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) Colorado and The Colorado Medical Society.  This Symposium will span topics ranging from the history of Rocky Flats, contamination issues still plaguing the area, legal issues, critical analyses of epidemiological studies, and effects of radiation on the genome and epigenome.  Everyone, regardless of education or career background, is welcome to register.  For more information:   https://www.psrcolorado.org/

 

 

  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/.

Please note: if a presentation and associated questions take less time than allotted, we will continue to the next presentation. Therefore, we recommend attending the entire meeting to ensure you do not miss presentation(s) of interest to you.

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.

 

Another Leaking Container at WIPP

Eight years after the 2014 explosion of one or more waste containers disposed in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) underground, on Saturday, April 9th, WIPP announced that one or more waste containers had leaked radioactive liquids while being unloaded from a TRUPACT-II shipping container in the Waste Handling Building.  WIPP reported that no contamination was found on the hands and feet of the workers and that “no indication of airborne contamination [was found] at this time.”  Workers were first told to remain indoors, but were later evacuated from the Waste Handling Building.

Liquids are prohibited at WIPP unless they are contained in a very limited amount inside of the waste containers.  Those liquids must be documented.  WIPP and its contractor, Nuclear Waste Partnership, a limited liability corporation, have yet to provide any more information in writing about the release.  https://www.nwp-wipp.com/

After the discovery of the radioactive leak, the WIPP Emergency Operations Center was opened for two hours and 39 minutes.  All alerts were posted on Twitter.  https://twitter.com/WIPPNEWS

According to verbal notices to the New Mexico Environment Department, the waste shipment originated at the Idaho National Laboratory where 55-gallon metal drums containing plutonium-contaminated waste are crushed or supercompacted.  The compacted waste containers are not supposed to contain liquids.

After being discovered, the leaking waste container, or containers, was reloaded into the TRUPACT-II shipping container.  It is unknown if the shipment will be returned to the Idaho National Laboratory.

The Nuclear Waste Partnership’s contract to operate WIPP expires on September 30, 2022.  The Partnership did not reapply to manage the WIPP facility.  The Department of Energy’s announcement of a new contractor is anticipated any day now.

In the meantime, the Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Board monthly reports reveal basic maintenance problems at the site.  For instance, three continuous air monitors, or CAMs, located in the underground mine where workers dispose of radioactive and hazardous waste, were inoperable.  Corrosion and excess salt built-up was found in the vacuum pump.  There are three CAMs so that if one or more malfunctions, there is a backup.  In this case there was no backup.

Further, two workers replaced two fuses in one of the hoists without following the Hazardous Energy Control protocols.  These examples are only two of many.  https://www.dnfsb.gov/sites/default/files/document/25491/WIPP%20Monthly%20Ending%20March%202022.pdf , https://www.dnfsb.gov/sites/default/files/document/25366/WIPP%20Monthly%20Ending%20February%202022.pdfhttps://www.dnfsb.gov/sites/default/files/document/25201/WIPP%20Monthly%20Ending%20January%202022.pdf , and https://www.dnfsb.gov/sites/default/files/document/25076/WIPP%20Monthly%20Ending%20December%202021.pdf

At this point, it is documented that Nuclear Waste Partnership is not taking its worker protection and safety responsibilities seriously.  CCNS urges complete documentation of the leaking container and more oversight by federal and New Mexico regulators during the transition from one management contractor to another.


  1. Friday, April 22 (Earth Day) – Sunday, April 24, 2022 – Taos Environmental Film Festival – important films, a staged reading of a play, a forum and more – at the Taos Community Auditorium.  https://taosenvironmentalfilmfestival.com/   On Saturday, April 23rd from 5 to 7:30 pm, a staged reading of Exposed, a play by Mary Dickson, a Downwinder of the above-ground atomic tests at the Nevada Test Site, will be presented. Mary Dickson will be present.

 

 

  1. Friday, April 22nd from 3 to 4 pm, Thomas De Pree, Ph.D., a Postdoctoral Fellow, University of New Mexico Health Sciences, will present live and virtually, The Politics of Baselining in the Grants Uranium Mining District of Northwestern New Mexico. To register:  https://goto.unm.edu/22   

 

 

  1. Saturday, April 23, 2022 from 8 am to 5 pm – Symposium on Rocky Flats: Impacts on the Environment and Health. Brought to you by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) Colorado and The Colorado Medical Society.  This Symposium will span topics ranging from the history of Rocky Flats, contamination issues still plaguing the area, legal issues, critical analyses of epidemiological studies, and effects of radiation on the genome and epigenome.  Everyone, regardless of education or career background, is welcome to register.  For more information:   https://www.psrcolorado.org/

 

 

  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/.

Please note: if a presentation and associated questions take less time than allotted, we will continue to the next presentation. Therefore, we recommend attending the entire meeting to ensure you do not miss presentation(s) of interest to you.

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.

 

Action Steps for the Planetary Nuclear Wake-Up Call

Last week we quoted Cynthia Lazaroff, founder of Women Transforming Our Nuclear Legacy https://www.nuclearwakeupcall.earth/women-s-project , about the nuclear dangers in Ukraine and her call to come forward that “Our work is more important now than ever.”  http://nuclearactive.org/war-in-ukraine-creates-a-planetary-nuclear-wake-up-call/  Her presentation is available AT https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVfiLYGOLcM.

This week we quote the call to come forward from Ralph Hutchison, Coordinator of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, to all those working for the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, that this is our time.  https://orepa.org/

Hutchinson begins, “This is our moment.  If we just continue with business as usual, we are crazy.  This is the time to act, and by that I mean more than clicking through to sign a petition. Here’s why I am being so dramatic:

“The last time people in the United States were this concerned about nuclear weapons was November 21, 1983.  That was the day after The Day After, [an ABC television film that more than 100 million people watched.]  https://reelgood.com/movie/the-day-after-1983

“Vladimir Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons has done what decades of Doomsday Clock announcements https://thebulletin.org/doomsday-clock/ and editorials by the Four Horsemen [George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger and Sam Nunn] in the Wall Street Journal have not been able to do.  2007 –  A World Free of Nuclear Weapons https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB116787515251566636 ; 2008 – Toward a Nuclear-Free World https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB120036422673589947 ; 2011 – Four Horsemen of the Nuclear Apocalypse (Eben Harrell, Time) https://science.time.com/2011/03/10/the-four-horsemen-of-the-nuclear-apocolypse/

“The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs poll in the third week of March found 75% of people in the United States are Extremely/Very Concerned (45%) or Somewhat Concerned (30%) that Russia will use nuclear weapons against the United States.  https://apnorc.org/projects/concerns-about-nuclear-weapons/  

“For at least the last thirty years of my work on nuclear abolition it has been clear that people did not care, really, about the nuclear threat. At budget time, the weaponeers and defense contractors flew comfortably under the radar. Nuclear watchdogs barked every year about the indefensible and dangerous increases in nuclear weapons spending—the media yawned and the few people in Congress who agreed with us were hopelessly outnumbered.

“Our rhetoric rose and our organizing efforts increased when the government announced its multi-trillion dollar plan to modernize the nuclear stockpile, everything from new bomb plants to new bombs to new delivery systems. From the media, mostly crickets.  Certainly not the kind of reporting that would awaken people to the nuclear threat.   Even people who understood the threat (even me, sometimes) did not feel it.  It might have been intellectually true, but it wasn’t emotionally true.

“’Nuclear weapons just aren’t on the table,’ was our common refrain. It was true, it was depressing, and we worried about what it would take to put them on the table — a catastrophe?  The media wrote a few stories, over a couple of months, when Hawai’i was awakened by a text blast that a nuclear missile would arrive in a matter of minutes.  In the end, though, Hawai’i is not the mainland.  Whatever emotional fallout Hawai’ians might still be dealing with is not something we felt.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Hawaii_false_missile_alert

“But Putin has people feeling the threat. Even if they don’t quite know what it is, even if they haven’t heard our presentations about the existential threat, even if they haven’t seen the computer generated maps showing the devastating ruin that a nuclear bomb detonated 1,000 feet above their city would cause https://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/ , even if they haven’t heard of nuclear winter https://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/pdf/WiresClimateChangeNW.pdf — somehow they know that a nuclear exchange is not just about other people dying, it’s about them and the people they love.

“So I repeat: This is our moment. If we just continue with business as usual, we are crazy. This is the time to act. 

“People are hungry for knowledge and they are hungry for an answer. If we believe what we have been saying, that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is the only pathway to disarmament, we need to be proclaiming that from the rooftops and in the streets, to the public, to the media, and to the politicians.  https://www.un.org/disarmament/wmd/nuclear/tpnw/

“In that order. We should validate the legitimate fears of people who are feeling the nuclear threat—we don’t have to hype anything, we just have to tell the truth.

“We should demand the media get honest about the big picture—the one that includes not only policy and military debates, but the humanitarian and environmental costs of nuclear weapons, the one that includes the reality of the [Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons] TPNW, the rest of the world’s answer to the nuclear threat.

“Finally, we get to the politicians, who must be hoping and praying, along with their defense contractor benefactors, that this moment passes before they are called on to actually defy the now exposed conventional wisdom that nuclear weapons make us safe.  I put them last, because if we go to them now, they can still just nod and say thanks for coming.  But if the public is riled up, they have to come up with some answer.  And we can’t let it be what they want to do — double down on nuclear weapons.  We have to make the case to the public and in the media, before we call them to account.

“So my question is, ‘Who’s in?’

“I envision everyone working together, using every contribution of every group and individual, setting aside ego, at least for this brief window, to make this happen.

“I think we can figure out some realistic, powerful, effective actions to take in the next three weeks and three months.  We can use the network we have already built, we can use social media, we can use the amazing tools that are out there to reach out to faith communities, Rotary clubs, the League of Women Voters, as well as activate our networks—[Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom] (WILPF) https://www.wilpf.org/ , Veterans for Peace https://www.veteransforpeace.org/ , [Physicians for Social Responsibility] (PSR) https://www.psr.org/ ….

“We are literally sitting on a world-changing community that has the power to make this moment the turning point, at long last.  We need to get up, get busy, and turn loose that power.

“PLEASE SHARE YOUR IDEAS!”

 


 

  1. You can view the March 19, 2022, Bob Alvarez Lifetime Achievement Award Party here. https://ananuclear.org/bob-alvarez-lifetime-achievement-award-party/  The event was hosted by the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability/Nuclear Information and Resource Service.  Bob’s work covers decades.  The tributes fill in important success stories in our collective work for a world free of nuclear weapons.  It begins around 10 minutes.  Check it out! Many written and video recorded tributes and thanks to Bob are also posted at this KudoBoard website:  https://www.kudoboard.com/boards/7fn7aiLg   You also can find much more by and about Bob, including scores of vignettes about his life’s work that Bob has written, links to additional articles and studies by Bob, articles about Bob, and photos of Bob.  https://ananuclear.org/bob-alvarez/   Thank you, Bob, for your decades of work towards a nuclear weapons free world!

 

 

  1. Tuesday, April 12th and Wednesday, April 13th, the NM Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) will conduct a public hearing to determine whether to protect 180 miles of streams in the Upper Pecos Watershead as Outstanding Waters (also known as ONRWs) under the Clean Water Act. Public comments are encouraged on Tuesday, April 12th at noon and 5 pm and Wednesday, April 13th at 9 am.  For more information, visit Amigos Bravos at https://www.amigosbravos.org/causes/pecos-onrw-petition/ and scroll down to take action and/or https://www.amigosbravos.org/take-action-pecosonrw/   To review the docket and submit comments, go to:  https://www.env.nm.gov/opf/docketed-matters/ and scroll down to WQCC 21-51 (R) In the Matter of Petition to Designate Surface Waters of the Upper Pecos Watershed as Outstanding National Resource Waters.

 

 

  1. Friday, April 22 (Earth Day) – Sunday, April 24, 2022 – Taos Environmental Film Festival – important films, play, forum and more.  https://taosenvironmentalfilmfestival.com/   The festival will be presenting the play by Mary Dickson, Exposed.  Mary Dickson will be coming to Taos and there will be a post play discussion or reception.   Films include:   *** BLIND TRUST A film by Molly Castelloe: celebrates the life and work of psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Dr. Vamik Volkan, a five-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee who has spent over four decades bringing enemy groups together in areas of conflict all over the world. This film was originally titled “Vamik’s Room.”  Official trailer:     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YehbbsFE9jU  *** THE THIRD HARMONY A film by Michael Nagler, PhD Available for educational use: www.bullfrogfilms.com/catalog/thar.html  “To be nonviolent is be an artist of your humanity.” –Ali Abu Awwad, Palestinian nonviolence leader and founder of the Taygheer Movement Drawing on interviews with veteran activists….  THE THIRD HARMONY will help the general public, often at a loss to understand the protests occurring in many cities, to better grasp just what nonviolence is and how it works.

 

 

  1. Saturday, April 23, 2022 from 8 am to 5 pm – Symposium on Rocky Flats: Impacts on the Environment and Health. Brought to you by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) Colorado and The Colorado Medical Society.  This Symposium will span topics ranging from the history of Rocky Flats, contamination issues still plaguing the area, legal issues, critical analyses of epidemiological studies, and effects of radiation on the genome and epigenome.  Everyone, regardless of education or career background, is welcome to register.  For more information:   https://www.psrcolorado.org/
 

War in Ukraine Creates a Planetary Nuclear Wake-Up Call

This week the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation held a virtual presentation by Cynthia Lazaroff and Richard Falk about the nuclear dangers in Ukraine.  They are both experts on the geo-politics of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the threat or use of nuclear weapons.

Lazaroff described the current situation as a “planetary nuclear wake-up call.”  She advised, “The only way to prevent one person or nine nuclear-armed countries from holding the whole world hostage and unleashing nuclear Armageddon is to abolish, eliminate and ban nuclear weapons forever.  If we survive this, we will have another chance to get this right and move as quickly as possible toward the total elimination of nuclear weapons.”

Lazaroff continued, “It is a moral and existential imperative that we support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  As the calls for more weapons and more defense spending rise across the US and Europe, I have no illusions about the formidable obstacles in the way of achieving this.

“Our work in the peace and nuclear abolition movements may be harder now, but if we stand together it will be easier.”

Lazaroff is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and founder of Women Transforming Our Nuclear Legacy.  https://www.nuclearwakeupcall.earth/women-s-project  An expert on US-Russia relations, including on the history, geopolitics, military, cyber and escalating nuclear risks between these two countries, she has been engaged in Track II citizen diplomacy and mediation efforts with Russia since the early 1980s.  https://www.cynthialazaroff.com/

Richard Falk warned about the demonization of Russians.  He asked the audience to be careful with the words we choose and reminded us that even during the Cold War Russians were not demonized.

Falk is a professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University. In 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed him to a six-year term as a UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.  https://politics.princeton.edu/people/richard-falk

Lazaroff called for us to stand together.  She spoke in support of Dmitry Muratov, the Editor-in-Chief of Russia’s independent newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize last fall.  https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/2021/muratov/facts/

Muratov declared, “Only a global anti-war movement can save life on this planet.”  https://novayagazeta.ru/ and  https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/3/28/russias-novaya-gazeta-newspaper-suspends-activity-after-warning

Lazaroff said she learned on Monday that publication of the independent newspaper was suspended; however, “[W]e have to stand with Dmitry and build this global anti-war movement together.”

In conclusion, Lazaroff poignantly said, “Our work is more important now than ever.”

The presentation is posted on the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation website at https://www.wagingpeace.org/past-events/ and on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVfiLYGOLcM.

 


  1. Friday, April 1st and Saturday, April 2ndTularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium – Annual Peaceful Demonstration at Stallion Gate of the White Sands Missile Range and Carrizozo Downwinders Educational Fiesta. For more information, visit https://www.trinitydownwinders.com/    

 

 

  1. Saturday, April 2nd Trinity Site at White Sands Missile Range open from 8 am to 2 pm – COVID-19 Vaccination and Reservations are Required. https://www.wsmr.army.mil/Trinity/Pages/Home.aspx

 

 

  1. Monday, April 4th, Albuquerque City Council considers Memorial entitled, “THE CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE CITY COUNCIL URGES THE U.S. FEDERALGOVERNMENT TO SUPPORT THE UNITED NATIONS TREATY ON THE PROHIBITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS, REAFFIRMING ALBUQUERQUE AS A NUCLEAR WEAPONS FREE ZONE. The virtual meeting begins at 5 pm.  At the time of this posting, the agenda is not available.  https://cabq.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx  For more information, please contact Bill Tiwald, Veterans for Peace, Donald and Sally-Alice Chapter in Albuquerque, at tiwaldbill@gmail.com

 

 

  1. Monday, April 4th at 7 pm at Duane Smith Auditorium, 1300 Trinity Drive, Los Alamos, NM – J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Committee Lecture on “MANHATTAN: The View from Los Alamos of History’s Most Secret Project,” by Alan B. Carr.  https://jromc.org/2022/02/03/lecture-manhattan-the-view-from-los-alamos-of-historys-most-secret-project-by-alan-b-carr-april-4-2022/

 

 

  1. Wednesday, April 6th from 5:30 to 7 pm – Virtual Los Alamos Community Engagement Meeting, hosted by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED). Focus:  Biogeochemical Remediation of the Chromium Plume by Dr. Patrick Longmire, Principal Aqueous Geochemist, NMED Ground Water Quality Bureau.  https://www.env.nm.gov/events-calendar/?trumbaEmbed=view%3Devent%26eventid%3D158748985

 

 

  1. Tuesday, April 12th and Wednesday, April 13th, the NM Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) will conduct a public haring to determine whether to protect 180 miles of streams in the Upper Pecos Watershead as Outstanding Waters (also known as ONRWs) under the Clean Water Act.

 

Public comments are encouraged on Tuesday, April 12th at noon and 5 pm and Wednesday, April 13th at 9 am.  For more information, visit Amigos Bravos at https://www.amigosbravos.org/causes/pecos-onrw-petition/ and scroll down to take action and/or https://www.amigosbravos.org/take-action-pecosonrw/

 

To review the docket and submit comments, go to:  https://www.env.nm.gov/opf/docketed-matters/ and scroll down to WQCC 21-51 (R) In the Matter of Petition to Designate Surface Waters of the Upper Pecos Watershed as Outstanding National Resource Waters.

 

 

  1. Saturday, April 23, 2022 from 8 am to 5 pm – Symposium on Rocky Flats: Impacts on the Environment and Health. Brought to you by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) Colorado and The Colorado Medical Society.  This Symposium will span topics ranging from the history of Rocky Flats, contamination issues still plaguing the area, legal issues, critical analyses of epidemiological studies, and effects of radiation on the genome and epigenome.  Everyone, regardless of education or career background, is welcome to register.  For more information:   https://www.psrcolorado.org/

 

 

Nuclear Watch New Mexico Settlement Moves Cleanup at LANL Forward

This week Nuclear Watch New Mexico announced the successful settlement of its lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) about its slow cleanup of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). After a six-year court battle, the settlement requires DOE to re-establish a monitoring station on the Rio Grande in order to protect the Buckman Direct Diversion Project, which provides about 40 percent of the drinking water for Santa Fe residents.  The monitoring station was destroyed in 2013 during a major flood event.  https://bddproject.org/

The settlement also includes the cleanup of 158 corrugated metal culverts containing cemented radioactive liquid waste buried at the Area G dump; a feasibility study for the excavation of a waste pit, also at Area G; and the investigation, characterization and, if necessary, clean up of 290 specific dumps scattered across the LANL site.

Nuclear Watch New Mexico, or NukeWatch, is a Santa Fe-based non-governmental organization that, among other important work, seeks to promote safety and environmental protection at regional nuclear facilities.  https://nukewatch.org/  To read the press release with a link to the Settlement Agreement:  https://nukewatch.org/press-release-item/nukewatch-lawsuit-settlement-speeds-up-cleanup-at-los-alamos-lab/

NukeWatch filed its citizens’ lawsuit in May 2016 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico for violations of the March 1st, 2005 administrative cleanup order, or the Consent Order, that the New Mexico Environment Department issued to LANL

In June 2016, the Environment Department and DOE entered into a new Consent Order in which they agreed that the 2016 Consent Order “supersedes the [2005 Consent Order] and settles any outstanding alleged violations under the 2005 Consent Order.”  The Environment Department intervened in the case, but is not a signatory to the Settlement Agreement.

Anna Hansen, Santa Fe County District 2 Commissioner, and the previous Chair of the Buckman Direct Diversion Project Board, commented on the settlement.  She said, “We, the residents of Santa Fe County, City, and the State of New Mexico, are fortunate to have organizations like Nuclear Watch New Mexico. Through this settlement agreement with DOE, [NukeWatch] is working to protect the residents of our communities from the dangers of the nuclear, toxic and hazardous wastes that have been generated by LANL over nearly 80 years of operations.”

She continued, “I am grateful to Nuclear Watch New Mexico for their leadership, persistence, and efforts to protect the public from the dangers that DOE creates every day at LANL. It is the hope of the Buckman Direct Diversion Project that DOE will move forward to install the monitoring station [on the Rio Grande] prior to the coming monsoon season.”  https://www.santafecountynm.gov/county_commissioners/anna_hansen


 

  1. Tuesday, March 29th at noon Mountain Daylight Time (MDT)Nuclear Age Peace Foundation invites you to a Zoom discussion about the NUCLEAR DANGERS IN UKRAINE, with Cynthia Lazaroff and Richard Falk. For more information:  https://www.wagingpeace.org/  Registration Link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwoceiqqzgpGdYddVR29byaLT3QU0QDCzYK

 

 

  1. Wednesday, March 30 at noon MDTU.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Justice: A Look at the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA).  For more information and to register for the virtual event:  https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/OWCP/energy/regs/compliance/Outreach/UpcomingDC_033022.pdf

 

 

  1. Friday, April 1st and Saturday, April 2ndTularosa Basin Downwinders – Annual Peaceful Demonstration and Carrizozo Downwinders Educational Fiesta. View FlyerVisit https://www.trinitydownwinders.com/    

 

 

  1. Saturday, April 2nd Trinity Site at White Sands Missile Range open from 8 am to 2 pm – COVID-19 Vaccination and Reservations are Required. https://www.wsmr.army.mil/Trinity/Pages/Home.aspx

 

 

  1. Wednesday, April 6th from 5:30 to 7 pm – Virtual Los Alamos Community Engagement Meeting, hosted by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED). Focus:  Biogeochemical Remediation of the Chromium Plume by Dr. Patrick Longmire, Principal Aqueous Geochemist, NMED Ground Water Quality Bureau.  https://www.env.nm.gov/events-calendar/?trumbaEmbed=view%3Devent%26eventid%3D158748985