Current Activities

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

 

 

Opposing Open Air Burning of Hazardous Waste at Clean Harbors Colfax

LOUISIANA – Central Louisiana Coalition for a Clean and Healthy Environment (CLCCHE) was initiated to oppose open air burning of hazardous waste at Clean Harbors Colfax. For years, the facility has been disposing of high explosives, rocket motors, munitions, warheads, fireworks, propellants, detonating cords, nitro compounds, air bags, etc., by open burning – spewing toxic pollution everywhere to soil, groundwater, crops, animals and humans.

More at  https://cswab.org/central-louisiana-coalition-for-a-clean-and-healthy-environment/

 

Celebrate the Bob Alvarez Lifetime Achievement Award on Saturday, March 19th

Please join the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability https://ananuclear.org/ and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service https://www.nirs.org/ to acknowledge Robert Alvarez, one of the bedrock founders of the national movement to unmask the human and environmental carnage that resulted directly from the U.S. effort to create a massive nuclear arsenal.  The live virtual event runs from 1 to 2:30 pm Mountain Daylight Time.  Registration and more information at https://ananuclear.org/bob-alvarez/

Bob helped CCNS when the Cerro Grande fire broke out in May 2000.  At 47,000 acres, the fire was the largest in New Mexico history at that time.  Seven thousand acres of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) burned.  The LANL firing sites in the southwest corner where explosives and other hazardous materials are tested burned three times.  The fire came within one mile of Area G where 40,000 drums of plutonium-contaminated and hazardous waste destined for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant were stored above ground in fabric tents.

As the fire grew, community members were concerned about their health and impacts to the environment.  New pathways formed on the mesa tops and in the canyon bottoms that washed LANL pollutants in flashfloods to the Rio Grande.

Bob and the Nuclear Policy Project were a catalyst to CCNS to organize a two-day conference entitled, Fire, Water and the Aftermath:  The Cerro Grande Fire and Its Effects on the Rio Grande.  Given Bob’s extensive national and international experience with the nuclear industry and the fact that another large fire had occurred at the Hanford site on the Columbia River in southeastern Washington State, he urged that DOE’s mission must include protection of regional water supplies.  http://www.nuclearactive.org/news/081700.html

Over 400 people attended the July conference at the El Dorado Hotel in Santa Fe.  Speakers included members of Cochiti, Picuris, Santa Clara and Tesuque Pueblos; the Department of Energy; LANL; and the New Mexico Environment Department.

Anna Hansen, currently serving as Santa Fe County Commissioner of District 2, https://www.santafecountynm.gov/county_commissioners/anna_hansen , was the Chair of the CCNS Board.  She welcomed the participants by describing opportunities in the new millennium to protect our water and earth and to provide continuing oversight of LANL.

Hansen and CCNS are grateful to Bob Alvarez and acknowledge his decades of work.  Hansen said, “Bob is an amazing human being with the knowledge, expertise and passion to address the complicated issues of the nuclear industry.  We are grateful for his advice, which resulted in the creation of the Rio Grande Watershed Initiative and CCNS’s sampling of the springs below LANL on the Rio Grande.”  http://www.nuclearactive.org/docs/RGWIindex.html

For more information about the conference, please see the Central Document for the Conference:  http://www.nuclearactive.org/docs/fire3.html and the non-verbatim conference transcript available at:  http://www.nuclearactive.org/docs/julytranscript.html

A detailed Executive Summary of the CCNS and Nuclear Policy Project report:  Fire, Earth and Water:  An Assessment of the Environmental, Safety and Health Impacts of the Cerro Grande Fire on Los Alamos National Laboratory, a Department of Energy Facility is available at:  http://www.nuclearactive.org/docs/CerroGrandeindex.html


  1. International Court of Justice Press Release (March 16, 2022) about its Order on the Ukraine Request regarding Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). https://icj-cij.org/public/files/case-related/182/182-20220316-PRE-01-00-EN.pdf

 

 

 

  1. Thursday, March 17th at 5:30 pm MDT – WIPP Virtual and In Person Community Forum with Reinhard Knerr, Manager of the DOE’s Carlsbad Field Office, DOE Environmental Management, and Sean Dunagan, President & Project Manager of Nuclear Waste Partnership, LLC. Online Registration Link

 

 

 

  1. Nuclear Hotseat Podcast No. 560: Nuclear Ukraine Update:  Chernobyl Power Loss, Shelling at Zaporizhzhia with Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear, and Dr. Gordon Edwards of Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.  http://nuclearhotseat.com/2022/03/16/nuclear-ukraine-russia-shells-zaporizhzhia-nukes-chernobyl/

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

DID YOU KNOW – about Russia and Ukraine?

  1. TONIGHT at 5 pm MT and 8 pm MT: Two showings of Power Struggle, a 88-minute film by director Robbie Leppzer, POWER STRUGGLE (PowerStruggleMovie.com) that portrays Vermont’s heated political battle to shut down the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, located in southern Vermont on the banks of the Connecticut River. After the 5 pm MT showing, Arnie and Maggie Gunderson of Fairewinds Energy Education will examine the potential dangers of a nuclear disaster in Ukraine and discuss the ongoing efforts to track the migration of radioactive contamination worldwide.  Screening tickets – $12 – https://kinema.com/events/power-struggle-zglpf2 After the 8 pm MT showing, Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear will examine those potential dangers; the long-term threats to human health posed by high-level radioactive waste worldwide and the current battles in the U.S.A. over nuclear waste sites; and Holtec International’s safety violations in the construction of a high-level nuclear waste storage facility at the Chernobyl site.  Screening tickets – $12 – https://kinema.com/events/power-struggle-4yqpng

 

  1. UPDATE: Nuclear Ukraine – Captured Reactors Vulnerable – Gundersen plus:  SPECIAL: FUKUSHIMA 11th ANNIVERSARY, Voices from Japan – Propaganda Museum, presented by Nuclear Hotseat, NH #559.  http://nuclearhotseat.com/2022/03/08/nuclear-ukraine-update-gundersen-fukushima-anniversary/

 

  1. March 10, 2022: The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), the World Medical Association, the World Federation of Public Health Associations, and the International Federation of Medical Student Associations released their Global medical and public health organizations call for immediate end to war in Ukraine and critical need to prevent nuclear escalation.   https://www.ippnw.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Health-statement-Ukraine-March-2022.docx.pdf

 

  1. Greenpeace International presents Nuclear power plant vulnerability during military conflict – Ukraine technical briefing on March 2, 2022 and https://www.greenpeace.org/international/?s=ukraine+technical+briefing and The vulnerability of nuclear plants during military conflict Yuzhnoukrainsk (South Ukraine) Nuclear Power Plant Safety and security risks – lessons from Fukushima Daiichi 9 March 2022 Briefing – Greenpeace International by Shaun Burnie (senior nuclear specialist, Greenpeace East Asia) & Jan Vande Putte (radiation protection advisor & nuclear campaigner for Greenpeace East Asia & Greenpeace Belgium) https://www.greenpeace.org/static/planet4-international-stateless/2022/03/559dfc6b-nuclear-power-plants-in-military-conflict-yuzhnoukrainsk-south-ukraine-briefing.pdf

 

  1. “Military action in radioactive Chernobyl could be dangerous for people and the environment,” by Dr. Tim A. Mousseau, Professor of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina, on March 3, 2022. https://theconversation.com/military-action-in-radioactive-chernobyl-could-be-dangerous-for-people-and-the-environment-177992

 

  1. March 16th at 11 am MT, Ploughshares Fund presents: Unmute Yourself:  Ukraine. Registration:  https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_urANH6FaTOCOF2O63aN2dA

 

 

DID YOU KNOW – about Fukushima?

  1. Fukushima Thyroid Cancer in Kids: Japanese Prime Minister’s Face Off Over the Truth and Epidemiologist Joseph Mangano of Radiation and Public Health Provides the Facts at Nuclear Hotseat #556.  http://nuclearhotseat.com/2022/02/16/fukushima-thyroid-cancer-in-kids-mangano/

 

 

  1. Nuclear Issues Study Group, Manhattan Project for a Nuclear-Free World and Affected Communities & Allies Working Group present Nuclear is Not a Climate Solution on YouTube about nuclear testing in the Pacific, the nuclear disaster in Fukushima on March 11, 2011, and radioactive waste in the U.S. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqQwRl5nqbQ

 

 

  1. Friday, March 11 at 7 to 8 pm MT: Mothers for Peace presents Fukushima: 11 years after the triple meltdown with Japanese journalist Hiroko Aihara who will be speaking on the current state of the Fukushima evacuees, the government’s plan to release irradiated water into the ocean, and what actions we can take.  Please register in advance for this event:  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcudequqz0oGdNnRbckyKXrAM4muPQqioCt   After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

 

 

  1. , March 12 at 11:30 am MT, Nuclear Watch South, Beyond Nuclear and Sierra Club presents Fukushima in the Foothills? about the Oconee Nuclear Station 50-mile Emergency Planning Zone involving three states (Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina), 27 counties and 1,435,128 residents.  No pre-registration required.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82152220529?pwd=Q0Z0cFNaVzFwbjhqRzZKNUxWQ3Mxdz09
Meeting ID: 821 5222 0529
Passcode: 236537

 

Victories for Clean Water in New Mexico

Last week, the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission met to deliberate and make final decisions about the state’s Surface Water Quality Standards.  In a Clean Water Act administrative process that occurs approximately every three years called the Triennial Review, conservation groups, including Amigos Bravos, Communities for Clean Water (CCW) and Gila Resources Information Project (GRIP), made proposals to the Commission to strengthen water quality standards and include important definitions that address the impacts of climate change on New Mexico’s waters. As temperatures increase across the Southwest the need to further protect New Mexico’s waters is paramount.  https://www.env.nm.gov/opf/water-quality-control-commission/  and https://www.env.nm.gov/opf/docketed-matters/ WQCC 20-51 (R) In the Matter of Proposed Amendments to Standards for Interstate and Intrastate Waters, 20.6.4 NMAC.

The conservation groups successfully supported the state’s proposal to add climate change language to the objectives and definitions section of the standards.  They also supported removing regulatory language that indicated a false equivalency between human sources of climate change and natural ones.

During the public hearing last summer, there was much argument about a proposed definition of “emerging contaminants,” such as PFAS, which was vigorously opposed by industry and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).  As a result of the Commission’s action last week, the New Mexico Environment Department now has the authority to require monitoring for emerging contaminants in federal water discharge permits.

LANL made many proposals to limit the Environment Department’s regulatory authority to protect water quality.  One proposed analytical method would have limited the detection of PCBs in surface water.  Another proposal was to eliminate sampling requirements for PFAS, the long-lasting “forever” chemicals, used as fire retardants in places such as at Cannon Air Force Base near Clovis.  The Commission voted against LANL’s proposals.

Amigos Bravos was represented by the Tannis Fox of the Western Environmental Law Center.  https://westernlaw.org/  CCW and GRIP were represented by Charlie deSaillan of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center.  https://nmelc.org/

Amigos Bravos, based in Taos, works to hold polluters and government agencies accountable for water contamination and hazardous waste.  https://www.amigosbravos.org/

CCW works to ensure that LANL-impacted community waters are kept safe for drinking, agriculture, sacred ceremonies, and a sustainable future.

CCW Council members are Amigos Bravos, Breath of My Heart Birthplace https://breathofmyheart.org/ , CCNS http://nuclearactive.org/ , Honor Our Pueblo Existence https://shuffle.do/projects/honor-our-pueblo-existance-h-o-p-e , the New Mexico Acequia Association https://lasacequias.org/ , Partnership for Earth Spirituality http://www.earthspirituality.org/ , and Tewa Women United https://tewawomenunited.org/ .

GRIP, based in Silver City, works to safeguard natural resources and to facilitate informed public participation in resource use decisions.   https://gilaresources.info/wp/

The Commissioners’ votes to strenghten the regulatory requirements that businesses, industries and municipalities must meet goes a long way to ensure protection of water quality.

 


  1. With one click email your comments to NM Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham urging her to take action against the expansion of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).  https://stopforeverwipp.org/take-action-1