Current Activities

More LANL Workers Test Positive for Radiation Exposure

Increasing numbers of workers at Los Alamos National Laboratory have tested positive for radiation exposure both at LANL and on foreign soil.   

Six employees and the equipment they used tested positive for exposures to radioactive Iodine-125 following official foreign travel to an unknown location in March.  They traveled on commercial airlines and in personal vehicles.

Iodine-125 is a gamma ray emitter.  The workers did not detect Iodine-125 before returning home because they used a detector for alpha and beta radiation.  One gamma detection was 5,600,000 disintegrations per minute (dpm), which is 11,000 times the Department of Energy’s total reportable limit of 500 dpm.

The six workers all tested positive for Iodine-125 uptake to their thyroids.  A DOE spokesperson said, “As a prudent step to manage risks, experts from the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Radiological Assistance Program visited the residences of some of the impacted team members to conduct testing on their belongings and made recommendations to the involved individuals, laboratory management, and the Department.”  She emphasized that DOE is committed to the health and safety of its employees as well as the general public.  https://losalamosreporter.com/2023/09/25/six-lanl-employees-tested-positive-for-iodine-125-in-march-following-foreign-travel-as-part-of-multi-laboratory-team/

Escalation in the number of reports of exposures to different radionuclides at various LANL facilities continues.  Most recently eight electrical workers were exposed to beryllium dust at Technical Area 8 https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/eight-workers-exposed-to-toxic-dust-at-lanl-a-recurring-problem/article_03440f98-5c9c-11ee-b28f-13dfb02871c7.html ; a worker was exposed to heat source plutonium at the Plutonium Facility at Technical Area 55 https://www.dnfsb.gov/sites/default/files/document/29026/Los%20Alamos%20Week%20Ending%20September%208%202023.pdf ; and four Triad employees working in a Technical Area 53 linear accelerator area that was not posted as a High Radiation Area were exposed and ordered to evacuate the area immediately.  https://www.energy.gov/ea/articles/enforcement-letter-triad-national-security-llc-1 [“Issuance of this Enforcement Letter reflects DOE’s decision not to pursue further enforcement activity against Triad at this time.”]

Joni Arends, of CCNS, said, “In its effort to meet the ‘mission’ to fabricate plutonium triggers for nuclear weapons, over 2,000 people have been hired.  Have they been properly trained to work in radiation environments?  The number of exposures indicates that they have not.  As a result, the health and safety of the workers is being sacrificed.  The number of incidents require the shutdown of these operations until safety is Mission Number One.”

In support of her statement, Arends referenced the unprecedented 2005 emergency shutdown of operations by LANL Director Vice Admiral Peter Nanos when a student suffered an eye injury from a laser beam the same week classified computer disks were reported missing.

Nanos wrote in an internal e-mail,  “In no case will I authorize a restart until I’m absolutely convinced that each organization will not risk further compromise of safety, security and environment.”  He continued in an email to LANL employees, ‘”This willful flouting of the rules must stop, and I don’t care how many people I have to fire to make it stop. If you think the rules are silly, if you think compliance is a joke, please resign now and save me the trouble.”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Nanos


  1. Friday, October 6th from noon to 1 pm MT ***  NEW LOCATION DUE TO RECONSTRUCTION OF GUADALUPE BRIDGE.  ***  Join the weekly peaceful protest for nuclear disarmament on the corners of Alameda and Sandoval in downtown Santa Fe with Veterans for Peace, CCNS, Nuclear Watch NM, Loretto Community, Pax Christi, Nonviolent Santa Fe, and others.

 

 

  1. Saturday, October 7th at 11 am – White Mesa Ute Community Spiritual Walk & Protest: Protecting Our Communities, Health, Environment & Indigenous Sacred Landscapes.  For more information, call White Mesa Concerned Community at (435) 459-2461.

 

 

  1. Sunday, October 15th at 6 pm MT – World Premiere of San Onfre Syndrome (SOS) – Nuclear Power’s Legacy. For more information and to buy tickets:  https://sanonofresyndrome.com/
 

New Mexico Environment Department Recommends Excavation of LANL’s Material Disposal Area C

The comment period is open for the public to review the New Mexico Environment Department’s recommendation to excavate the 11.8 acre unlined dump, called Material Disposal Area C, or MDA C, at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).  Public comments are due Monday, November 6thhttps://www.env.nm.gov/hazardous-waste/lanl/ , scroll down to September 7, 2023 entry for MDA C, SWMU 50-009, Remediation entry.

According to LANL logbooks, MDA C first received radioactive, toxic and hazardous liquid, gases and solid wastes in 1948.  Disposal operations ended in 1974.  There are six disposal pits, one chemical disposal pit, and 108 shafts – all unlined allowing the buried wastes to migrate into the water, air, and soil.  Id., September 7, 2023 – NMED Statement of Basis MDA C.

In the ensuing 49 years, the contaminated waste has been migrating towards regional drinking water supplies.  The Department explained that volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are present directly below the dump at depths of approximately 600 feet below ground surface.  Some VOCs can cause cancer; others can react with other gases and form air pollutants once they are in the air.

As required by the New Mexico Hazardous Waste Act and its regulations, the Department prepared a Statement of Basis to show how excavation will protect human health and the environment.

The Department stated, “For maximum protection of public and environmental health and safety, and to ensure that the drinking water resource can be conservatively protected, [the Department] has determined that … excavation, plume monitoring, and institutional controls, along with a passive and active soil-vapor extraction system at MDA C to remove the waste and eliminate the VOC contaminate source detected in soil [], is the most appropriate cleanup measure.”  Id., p. 15.

LANL successfully excavated its oldest radioactive waste dump that operated from 1944 to 1948 on DP Road in Los Alamos, called MDA B.  It was excavated when LANL received $110 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  A large moveable tent under negative air pressure and with HEPA filtration was installed over the dump.  Earthmovers and other large equipment operated inside to carefully remove the waste from the deep trenches.  It was sorted, characterized and properly disposed.

One cleanup report described the extensive planning that was done.  The report concluded, “The one area where planning did not fail to meet reality was safety.  There were no serious worker injuries and the minor injuries recorded were those common to construction type activities.”  Oppenheimer’s Box of Chocolates:  Remediation of the Manhattan Project Landfill at Los Alamos National Laboratory.  https://inis.iaea.org/search/search.aspx?orig_q=RN:45115088

Public comments are due to the Environment Department on Monday, November 6th by 5 pm Mountain.  CCNS has prepared sample public comments you can use in support of excavation of MDA C.  230928 MDA C sample comment letter to NMED


  1. Friday, September 29th from noon to 1 pm MT ***  NEW LOCATION DUE TO RECONSTRUCTION OF GUADALUPE BRIDGE.  ***  Join the weekly peaceful protest for nuclear disarmament on the corners of Alameda and Sandoval in downtown Santa Fe with Veterans for Peace, CCNS, Nuclear Watch NM, Loretto Community, Pax Christi, Nonviolent Santa Fe, and others.

 Come and visit with us about the Back from the Brink campaign. https://preventnuclearwar.org/   

 

  1. Tuesday, September 26thUnited Nations International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons Day. Achieving global nuclear disarmament is the highest disarmament priority of the United Nations.  It was the subject of the General Assembly’s first resolution in 1946, which established the Atomic Energy Commission (dissolved in 1952), with a mandate to make specific proposals for the control of nuclear energy and the elimination of atomic weapons and all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction.  To learn more:  https://www.un.org/en/observances/nuclear-weapons-elimination-day

 

 

  1. Help reach 2,500 petition signatures! Sign the Tewa Women United petition to Protect Vulnerable NM Communities:  Halt Radioactive Tritium Release from LANL.  LANL is proposing to vent four flanged tritium waste containers (FTWCs) by September 30, 2023 (the end of the fiscal year).  https://tewawomenunited.org/2023/08/its-happening-again-petition-to-halt-lanls-planned-tritium-release

 

 

  1. Tuesday, October 3rd from 5:30 to 7:30 pm – WIPP in-person and virtual Community Forum and Open House at the Skeen-Whitlock Building, 4021 National Parks Hwy, Carlsbad, NM.

REGISTRATION:

In-Person Registration:  https://form.jotform.com/222836798629172

Virtual Registration:  https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEsceqhpzMqHN3FQG2bhS8ac3_agjLmLjEE#/registration

QUESTIONS:  For questions regarding this meeting and open house please contact the WIPP Information Center at infocntr@wipp.ws or by calling 1-800-336-9477.

 

United Nations Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty Continues to Gather Strength

On Wednesday, September 19th, the landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons had been signed by almost half of all countries in the world after a ceremony at the United Nations General Assembly in New York where Sri Lanka acceded to the Treaty and the Bahamas signed it. 

This means 93 states have now signed, ratified or acceded to the Treaty that outlaws nuclear weapons and all nuclear weapons-related activity.

The Treaty was negotiated in 2017 and entered into force in 2021.  It is the first multilateral agreement to ban nuclear weapons in a comprehensive manner and establish a framework for their elimination.

Melissa Parke, the Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN, said, “The growing support for the [Treaty] brings added authority to what is already the strongest international norm against the worst weapons of mass destruction.  This is sorely needed at this moment when the war in Ukraine and escalating tensions in the Korean peninsula have brought the world closer to nuclear war than at any time since the height of the Cold War.”

Speaking of Sri Lanka and the Bahamas, Ms Parke added, “Any use of nuclear weapons would be an unparalleled humanitarian and environmental catastrophe and these two countries are to be praised for doing their part to prevent these horrific weapons from ever being used in conflict again.”

With the Bahamas’ signature, adherence to the Treaty by Caribbean states is now almost universal.  Sri Lanka’s accession sends an important disarmament message to its nuclear-armed neighbors in South Asia, India and Pakistan.

The Treaty bans countries from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, or allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory.  It also prohibits countries from assisting, encouraging or inducing anyone to engage in these activities.  https://www.icanw.org/the_treaty

In November, the second meeting of state parties to the Treaty will be held at the United Nations.  https://www.icanw.org/tpnw_second_meeting_of_states_parties  Key areas of the Treaty will be discussed, which include disarmament, increasing risks, the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and related issues.

Also up for discussion are the two verification pathways for a nuclear-armed state, like the United States of America, to join the Treaty.  The two pathways are:  elimination of a state’s arsenal and then joining the Treaty; or join the Treaty first and then eliminate the state’s arsenal.

For more information, please visit the ICAN website at https://www.icanw.org/.  CCNS is an ICAN Partner Organization.

 


  1. Friday, September 22nd from noon to 1 pm MT – ***  NEW LOCATION DUE TO RECONSTRUCTION OF GUADALUPE BRIDGE.  ***  Join the weekly peaceful protest for nuclear disarmament on the corners of Alameda and Sandoval in downtown Santa Fe with Veterans for Peace, CCNS, Nuclear Watch NM, Loretto Community, Pax Christi, Nonviolent Santa Fe, and others.

 Come and visit with us about planning Defuse Nuclear War events (Sept. 24 – 30 Week of Action) and the Back from the Brink campaign.   Pick up Back from the Brink materials to prevent nuclear war.  https://preventnuclearwar.org/   

 

  1. Friday, September 22, 2023 from 5 to 7 pm MT – NM Environment Department hybrid public meeting to present the changes made to the draft hazardous waste permit as represented in the proposed 10-year final permit for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The public is invited to ask questions to NMED and WIPP representatives and make public comments.  

 For more information, see the August 15, 2023 public notice.  https://hwbdocuments.env.nm.gov/Waste%20Isolation%20Pilot%20Plant/230818.pdf and Stop Forever WIPP at https://stopforeverwipp.org/

Three ways to attend the public meeting:

Carlsbad in-person location:  Skeen-Whitlock Bldg., 4021 National Parks Hwy.

Santa Fe in person location:  Larrazolo Auditorium, NMED Harold Runnels Bldg., 1190 St. Francis Drive (between Cordova and Alta Vista).

Link to WebEx Public Meeting found here: WebEx Renewal Public Meeting.

Three ways to submit public comments:  

NMED Public Comment Portal: https://nmed.commentinput.com/?id=G5E7C

Email to Megan.McLean@env.nm.gov

Postal Mail:         Megan McLean, Acting WIPP Group Program Manager

                              Hazardous Waste Bureau – NM Environment Department

                              2905 Rodeo Park Drive East, Bldg. 1

                              Santa Fe, NM  87505-6303

For more information and because of the long-standing problems NMED is having with its website, go to the Permittees (DOE and SIMCO) websites at:  https://wipp.energy.gov/2023-information-repository-documents.asp and

https://simco-llc.us/ (where no notice is posted).

 

  1. Tuesday, September 26th United Nations International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons Day. Achieving global nuclear disarmament is the highest disarmament priority of the United Nations.  It was the subject of the General Assembly’s first resolution in 1946, which established the Atomic Energy Commission (dissolved in 1952), with a mandate to make specific proposals for the control of nuclear energy and the elimination of atomic weapons and all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction.  To learn more:  https://www.un.org/en/observances/nuclear-weapons-elimination-day

 

 

  1. Tuesday, September 26th from 2 to 3:30 pm – LANL In-Person and Virtual (link not posted yet) Public Meeting and 45-day Public Comment Period about proposed Copper Water Quality Criteria for the Pajarito Plateau at the Cities of Gold Hotel, Pojoaque, NM. LANL is proposing new water quality criteria for copper for surface waters in accordance with U.S. EPA nationally recommended criteria for protection of aquatic life.  A draft report and additional information is available at https://n3b-la.com/public-meeting-copper-water-quality-criteria-for-pajarito-plateau/  Comments are due by Thursday, November 9, 2023 to N3BOutreach@em-la.doe.gov .

 

 

  1. Thursday, September 28th from 10 am MDT – Speak out in person or virtually to protect water from Boeing’s chemicals from the Santa Susana Field Laboratory at the public hearing before the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board about Boeing’s proposed NPDES Permit. For more information:  https://parentsagainstssfl.com/events   

 

 

  1. Tuesday, October 3rd from 5:30 to 7:30 pm – WIPP in-person and virtual Community Forum and Open House at the Skeen-Whitlock Building, 4021 National Parks Hwy, Carlsbad, NM. As of September 21st, no information about the meeting is available on at wipp.energy.gov and the phone number listed in the newspaper ads are to a medical services company.  To register one must use a QR code.

 

 

  1. Help reach 2,500 petition signatures! Sign the Tewa Women United petition to Protect Vulnerable NM Communities:  Halt Radioactive Tritium Release from LANL.  LANL is proposing to vent four flanged tritium waste containers (FTWCs) by September 30, 2023 (the end of the fiscal year).  https://tewawomenunited.org/2023/08/its-happening-again-petition-to-halt-lanls-planned-tritium-release
 

NMED Hybrid Public Meeting on Friday, September 22nd about Changes to WIPP Operating Permit

Friday, September 22nd will be the last opportunity to make your public comments about the changes to the operating permit for the nuclear waste dump, called the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, or WIPP.  WIPP is a deep geologic repository for plutonium-contaminated radioactive waste from the production of nuclear weapons, located 26 miles east of Carlsbad, New Mexico.  See below for specific information about how to make public comment.

The New Mexico Environment Department is hosting a virtual public meeting from 5 to 7 pm to give a presentation and receive your comments about the changes that have been made to the permit after a week of negotiations between the Environment Department https://www.env.nm.gov/hazardous-waste/wipp/ ; the Department of Energy (DOE), the federal agency that owns WIPP https://wipp.energy.gov/ ; and members of non-governmental organizations and an individual.

CCNS was a party to the negotiations, along with Southwest Research and Information Center http://sric.org/ , Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping https://www.cardnm.org/ , Nuclear Watch New Mexico https://nukewatch.org/ , Southwest Alliance for a Safe Environment https://www.swalliance.org/ , and Conservation Voters New Mexico https://cvnm.org/ .  Although the non-governmental organizations and the individual did not get everything they desired, they obtained a good number of positive changes in the renewal permit.  These include:    

  • DOE must annually document its progress to site another waste repository outside of New Mexico.
  • Legacy waste at Los Alamos National Laboratory is now prioritized for disposal.
  • DOE must finally provide an inventory of all of its legacy waste. The inventory will be developed with significant public involvement within a year.  That waste will be prioritized for disposal.
  • Expansion of WIPP is limited to two waste disposal panels, numbered 11 and 12. Any proposed future expansion by DOE can only occur through a vigorous public process in an administrative permit renewal.
  • The Environment Department reiterated its authority to revoke the current permit and stop shipments if Congress increases the disposal capacity or expands the types of waste allowed at WIPP.
  • The Environment Department explicitly restated its authority to stop waste shipments to WIPP if there is evidence of a threat to human health or the environment or noncompliance with permit provisions.
  • And finally, the public will be kept up-to-date through quarterly public forums.

Please join your voice with hundreds of New Mexicans to insist that both New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and the Environment Department enforce the provisions in the renewal permit that keep New Mexico from becoming the nation’s nuclear dumping ground.  Check out the latest videos to the Governor about New Mexicans’ concerns at Messages for the Governor at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AcFJZ4VaSo (short version) and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vM50BSjYO4 (longer version).

Sign the Open Letter to the Governor and Environment Department at https://stopforeverwipp.org/ on the homepage.  The Open Letter will be presented at the September 22nd meeting.


How to Make Public Comments on or before September 22, 2023

For more information, see the August 15, 2023 public notice.  https://hwbdocuments.env.nm.gov/Waste%20Isolation%20Pilot%20Plant/230818.pdf  

Three ways to attend the public meeting and make comments:

Carlsbad in-person location:  Skeen-Whitlock Bldg., 4021 National Parks Hwy.

Santa Fe in person location:  Larrazolo Auditorium, NMED Harold Runnels Bldg., 1190 St. Francis Drive (between Cordova and Alta Vista).

Remote Access on WebEx:  https://www.env.nm.gov/events-calendar/?trumbaEmbed=view%3Devent%26eventid%3D167732347

NMED Public Comment Portal: https://nmed.commentinput.com/?id=G5E7C

Email to Megan.McLean@env.nm.gov

Postal Mail:         Megan McLean, Acting WIPP Group Program Manager

Hazardous Waste Bureau – NM Environment Department

2905 Rodeo Park Drive East, Bldg. 1

Santa Fe, NM  87505-6303


  1. Friday, September 15th from noon to 1 pm MT – ***  NEW LOCATION DUE TO RECONSTRUCTION OF GUADALUPE BRIDGE.  ***  Join the weekly peaceful protest for nuclear disarmament on the corners of Alameda and Sandoval in downtown Santa Fe with Veterans for Peace, CCNS, Nuclear Watch NM, Loretto Community, Pax Christi, Nonviolent Santa Fe, and others.

Come and visit with us about planning Defuse Nuclear War events (Sept. 24 – 30 Week of Action) and the Back from the Brink campaign.   Pick up Back from the Brink materials to prevent nuclear war.  https://preventnuclearwar.org/   

 

  1. Saturday, September 16th from 2 to 5 pm at Taos Public Library – screening of The Forgotten Bomb and Q&A with filmmaker Bud Ryan following the screening. The screening is hosted by Jean E Stevens, Taos Environmental Film Festival.  This event is to raise awareness for the United Nations International Day of Peace on September 21st and the United Nations Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on September 26th.    Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L08vj69ZL7M          Poster: 1190 x 1600 The Forgotten Bomb

“I Believe in Peace” was created in tribute and in remembrance of Lawrence Ferlinghetti whom passed away on February 22, 2021. The Beat Poets and the poetic traditions of Taos, New Mexico, inspire it. The video is a song written, composed, edited, and directed by Jean E Stevens. She is also a screenwriter.

 

  1. Thursday, September 21stUnited Nations International Day of Peace. The 2023 Theme is Actions for Peace:  Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals.  It is a call to action that recognizes our individual and collective responsibility to foster peace.  Fostering peace contributes to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will create a culture of peace for all.  https://www.un.org/en/observances/international-day-peace

 

 

  1. Friday, September 22, 2023 from 5 to 7 pm MT – NM Environment Department hybrid public meeting to present the changes made to the draft hazardous waste permit as represented in the proposed 10-year final permit for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The public is invited to ask questions to NMED and WIPP representatives and make public comments.   For more information, see the August 15, 2023 public notice.  https://hwbdocuments.env.nm.gov/Waste%20Isolation%20Pilot%20Plant/230818.pdf  

Three ways to attend the public meeting:

Carlsbad in-person location:  Skeen-Whitlock Bldg., 4021 National Parks Hwy.

Santa Fe in person location:  Larrazolo Auditorium, NMED Harold Runnels Bldg., 1190 St. Francis Drive (between Cordova and Alta Vista).

Remote Access on WebEx:  https://www.env.nm.gov/events-calendar/?trumbaEmbed=view%3Devent%26eventid%3D167732347

Three ways to submit public comments:  

NMED Public Comment Portal: https://nmed.commentinput.com/?id=G5E7C

Email to Megan.McLean@env.nm.gov

Postal Mail:         Megan McLean, Acting WIPP Group Program Manager

                              Hazardous Waste Bureau – NM Environment Department

                              2905 Rodeo Park Drive East, Bldg. 1

                              Santa Fe, NM  87505-6303

 

  1. Tuesday, September 26thUnited Nations International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons Day. Achieving global nuclear disarmament is the highest disarmament priority of the United Nations.  It was the subject of the General Assembly’s first resolution in 1946, which established the Atomic Energy Commission (dissolved in 1952), with a mandate to make specific proposals for the control of nuclear energy and the elimination of atomic weapons and all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction.  To learn more:  https://www.un.org/en/observances/nuclear-weapons-elimination-day

 

 

  1. Help reach 2,500 petition signatures! Sign the Tewa Women United petition to Protect Vulnerable NM Communities:  Halt Radioactive Tritium Release from LANL.  LANL is proposing to vent four flanged tritium waste containers (FTWCs) by September 30, 2023 (the end of the fiscal year).  https://tewawomenunited.org/2023/08/its-happening-again-petition-to-halt-lanls-planned-tritium-release

 

 

  1. Trinity: Legacies of Nuclear Testing – A People’s Perspective Art Exhibit at the Branigan Cultural Center, 501 N. Main Street, Las Cruces, NM.  The exhibit will be up until September 23, 2023.  https://www.lascruces.gov/1528/Branigan-Cultural-Center
 

For LANL Cleanup, GAO Recommends a Facilitator to Improve Relationship between New Mexico Environment Department and DOE

In a July 2023 report the federal Government Accountability Office recommended that a third-party facilitator be brought in to improve the relationship and build trust between the New Mexico Environment Department and the Department of Energy (DOE) as they try to resolve outstanding cleanup issues at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).  https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-23-105665  Nuclear Waste Cleanup:  DOE Needs to Address Weaknesses in Program and Contractor Management at Los Alamos, July 2023.

That recommendation was echoed by members of the New Mexico legislature at the August 21st meeting of the Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Committee in Los Alamos.  https://www.nmlegis.gov/committee/Interim_Committee?CommitteeCode=RHMC

One outstanding cleanup issue, of several GAO highlighted, is whether the toxic hexavalent chromium plume located below LANL is moving deeper into the regional drinking water aquifer, as the Environment Department argues.  Or whether, as DOE argues, the plume is ready for a permanent pump and treat system in which aquifer water is pumped to the surface, run through filtration to remove the chromium, and then injected back into the plume.  https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-23-105665 , pp. 11-12, 17-21, 33-34 (GAO’s six recommendations), 37-38.

The stakes in this disagreement are high.  The Environment Department says that the treated waters can no longer be injected into the plume as that pushes the toxic contamination deeper into the aquifer.  Its solution is to find other locations for injection of the treated water.  DOE says the treated water has to go back into the plume.  DOE does not want to truck the waters to other locations across the 36-square mile LANL site.

CCNS supports the recommendation for a third party facilitator.

We detailed our concerns in a Sunday, September 3rd Santa Fe New Mexican My View.  https://www.santafenewmexican.com/opinion/my_view/to-eradicate-the-plume-use-the-same-models/article_b93f3b86-4849-11ee-b322-63fe35d4d7db.html  You can read the full article below.

CCNS proposed that before the state and federal agencies meet with the facilitator, a comparison of the two differing groundwater models be done using data from the plume since 2016 when the Environment Department first issued a groundwater discharge permit.  http://nuclearactive.org/lanls-toxic-hexavalent-chromium-plume-must-remain-a-priority/

Commenters to the My View responded positively.

Greg Corning, President of the Veterans for Peace Santa Fe Chapter, wrote, “Comparing the output of two groundwater modeling systems (with identical data entered) is an excellent idea. (“Measure twice,” as the old adage begins.)”  He continued, “I can’t imagine why we would avoid doing this unless one or the other party is hoping to avoid unpleasant findings.”

Mike Johnson wrote, “This is certainly plausible and doable, and much better than negotiating with a mediator involved. But, in my experience, computer models are prone to GIGO, [or ‘garbage in, garbage out’], and an expert third party science and engineering entity should be used.”

 


My View: Joni Arends

To eradicate the plume, use the same models

By Joni Arends Sep 2, 2023

 

In response to the editorial (“Stop Stalling: Clean up chromium plume,” Our View, Aug. 24): The plume does need immediate attention and does need to be analyzed with a computer model that everyone can use. The consequences of getting the cleanup of the toxic hexavalent chromium plume wrong would be disastrous.

Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety urges that before the proposed negotiations between the Department of Energy and the New Mexico Environment Department take place, a comparison is made of the differing groundwater models they use.

Los Alamos National Laboratory does not use the most widely accepted and used groundwater model created by the U.S. Geological Survey, called MODFLOW. LANL uses its own groundwater model, called FEHM, which stands for Finite Element Heat and Mass Transfer Code. But to use FEHM, you have to register at fehm.lanl.gov. Today, Aug. 31, the registration links aren’t working. The USGS MODFLOW is “considered an international standard for formulating and predicting groundwater conditions and groundwater/surface water interactions.” Most water professionals use MODFLOW to protect water from contamination. It is a computer model that is publicly available without the need to register.

Our group suggests that groundwater monitoring data from 2016 forward be entered into both the U.S. Geological Survey MODFLOW hydrologic model and Los Alamos National Laboratory’s own FEHM model and compared.

Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety first suggested this approach as far back as 1998, when the first groundwater monitoring well was installed under LANL’s hydrogeological work plan. Over the decades, we have witnessed the long-standing resistance by LANL to use MODFLOW.

Water is too precious to put its purity at risk. The toxic hexavalent chromium plume below LANL was discovered in 2004. The big question right now is whether the injection of treated water is pushing, or smearing, the contamination deeper into the regional drinking water aquifer.

This is a big deal. To reach the drinking water aquifer where the hexavalent chromium is found, the wells must be at least 1,000 feet deep. Those wells extract, or pump, the waters to the surface, where they are run through large filters to remove the pollutants. The waters are then injected back into the aquifer to create a hydrologic barrier to keep the plume from moving. But the state Environment Department has concerns the injection is moving the existing contamination deeper into the aquifer.

In the early days of this effort, the hexavalent chromium was found in the top 50 feet of the aquifer. Now LANL says it is in the top 150 feet of the aquifer, creating an impasse between the state Environment Department and Department of Energy.

Importantly, the plume is sitting on the west side of the Española Basin Sole Source Drinking Water Aquifer. In 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency found 85% of the drinking water in the 3,000-square-mile designated area comes from wells in the aquifer. The importance of getting the cleanup right cannot be understated.

On Aug. 21, the New Mexico Legislature’s Radioactive and Hazardous Material Committee met in Los Alamos. The toxic plume was on the agenda. A suggestion was made to bring in an independent negotiator to break the impasse. This is a good idea. A complete investigation of the movement of the hexavalent chromium in the aquifer will reveal if it has spread into the Española Basin SSA. To break the impasse, a comparison of the two groundwater models using the same data is required now.

Joni Arends is a co-founder and executive director of Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety. She actively protects water from Los Alamos National Laboratory contamination.

 


  1. Friday, September 8th from noon to 1 pm MT – Join the weekly peaceful protest for nuclear disarmament on the corners of Alameda and Guadalupe in downtown Santa Fe with Veterans for Peace, CCNS, Nuclear Watch NM, Loretto Community, Pax Christi, Nonviolent Santa Fe, and others.

 

Come and visit with us about planning Defuse Nuclear War events (Sept. 24 – 30 Week of Action) and the Back from the Brink campaign.   Pick up Back from the Brink materials to support work to prevent nuclear war.  https://preventnuclearwar.org/   

 

  1. Thursday, September 21st – United Nations International Day of Peace

 

 

 

  1. Friday, September 22, 2023 from 5 to 7 pm MT – NM Environment Department hybrid public meeting to present the changes made to the draft hazardous waste permit as represented in the proposed 10-year final permit for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The public is invited to ask questions to NMED and WIPP representatives and make public comments. For more information, see the August 15, 2023 public notice.  https://hwbdocuments.env.nm.gov/Waste%20Isolation%20Pilot%20Plant/230818.pdf  

 

Three ways to attend the public meeting:

Carlsbad in-person location:  Skeen-Whitlock Bldg., 4021 National Parks Hwy.

Santa Fe in person location:  Larrazolo Auditorium, NMED Harold Runnels Bldg., 1190 St. Francis Drive (between Cordova and Alta Vista).

Remote Access on WebEx:  https://www.env.nm.gov/events-calendar/?trumbaEmbed=view%3Devent%26eventid%3D167732347

 

Three ways to submit public comments:  

NMED Public Comment Portal: https://nmed.commentinput.com/?id=G5E7C

Email to Megan.McLean@env.nm.gov

Postal Mail:         Megan McLean, Acting WIPP Group Program Manager

                              Hazardous Waste Bureau – NM Environment Department

                              2905 Rodeo Park Drive East, Bldg. 1

                              Santa Fe, NM  87505-6303

 

  1. Sign the Tewa Women United petition to Protect Vulnerable NM Communities: Halt Radioactive Tritium Release from LANL.  LANL is proposing to vent four flanged tritium waste containers (FTWCs) by September 30, 2023 (the end of the fiscal year).  https://tewawomenunited.org/2023/08/its-happening-again-petition-to-halt-lanls-planned-tritium-release

 

 

  1. Trinity: Legacies of Nuclear Testing – A People’s Perspective Art Exhibit at the Branigan Cultural Center, 501 N. Main Street, Las Cruces, NM.  The exhibit will be up until September 23, 2023.  https://www.lascruces.gov/1528/Branigan-Cultural-Center
 

LANL’s Toxic Hexavalent Chromium Plume Must Remain a Priority

CCNS provided the following response to a recent Santa Fe New Mexican Our View:

“In response to Stop Stalling:  Clean up chromium plume, no one is stalling.  [Posted below.]  The plume does need immediate attention and does need to be analyzed with a computer model that everyone can use.  The consequences of getting the cleanup of the toxic hexavalent chromium plume wrong would be disastrous.

“CCNS urges that before the proposed negotiations between the Department of Energy (DOE) and the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) take place, a comparison is made of the differing groundwater models they use.

“CCNS suggests that groundwater monitoring data from 2016 forward be entered into both the USGS MODFLOW model and LANL’s own FEHM model and compared.  [We are suggesting the 2016 date because that is when the NMED groundwater discharge permit for the extraction and injection processes was issued.  GWDP No. 1835.]

“CCNS first suggested this approach as far back as 1998, when the first groundwater monitoring well was installed under LANL’s Hydrogeological Workplan.  Over the decades, CCNS has witnessed the long-standing resistance by LANL to use MODFLOW.

“Water is too precious to put its purity at risk.  The toxic hexavalent chromium plume below LANL was discovered in 2004.  [http://www.nuclearactive.org/news/122206.html] The big question right now is whether the injection of treated water is pushing, or smearing, the contamination deeper into the regional drinking water aquifer.

“This is a big deal.  To reach the drinking water aquifer where the hexavalent chromium is found, the wells must be at least 1,000 deep.  Those wells extract, or pump, the waters to the surface where they are run through large filters to remove the pollutants.  The waters are then injected back into the aquifer to create a hydrologic barrier to keep the plume from moving.  But NMED has concerns that the injection is moving the existing contamination deeper into the aquifer.  In the early days of this effort, the hexavalent chromium was found in the top 50 feet of the aquifer.  Now LANL says it is in the top 150 feet of the aquifer, creating an impasse between NMED and DOE.

“Importantly, the plume is sitting on the west side of the Española Basin Sole Source Drinking Water Aquifer.  In 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency found that 85% of the drinking water in the 3,000 square mile designated area comes from wells in the aquifer.  The importance of getting the cleanup right cannot be understated.  http://nuclearactive.org/ccns-urges-state-legislature-to-protect-the-espanola-aquifer-from-lanl-pollutants/

 

“On August 21st, the New Mexico Legislature’s Radioactive and Hazardous Material Committee met in Los Alamos.  The toxic plume was on the agenda.  A suggestion was made to bring in an independent negotiator to break the impasse.  This is a good idea.  [https://www.nmlegis.gov/committee/Interim_Committee?CommitteeCode=RHMC, see agenda and DOE and NMED handouts.  See webcast at https://sg001-harmony.sliq.net/00293/Harmony/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20230831/-1/73647 ]

“But LANL does not use the most widely accepted and used groundwater model created by the U.S. Geological Survey, called MODFLOW.  LANL uses its own groundwater model, called FEHM, which stands for Finite Element Heat and Mass Transfer Code.  But to use FEHM, you have to register at https://fehm.lanl.gov/.  Today, August 31st, the registration links aren’t working.

“The USGS MODFLOW is “considered an international standard for formulating and predicting groundwater conditions and groundwater/surface water interactions.”  Most water professionals use MODFLOW to protect water from contamination.  It is a computer model that is publicly available without the need to register.  https://www.usgs.gov/software/modflow-6-usgs-modular-hydrologic-model

“A complete investigation of the movement of the hexavalent chromium in the aquifer will reveal if it has spread into the Española Basin SSA.  To break the impasse, a comparison of the two groundwater models using the same data is required now.”

Santa Fe New Mexican Our View

Stop stalling: Clean up the chromium plume

  • Aug 23, 2023 Updated Aug 24, 2023 

New Mexico has no time for standing still when it comes to cleaning up a decades-old toxic chromium plume under Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The disagreement between federal and state officials over how best to clean the tainted water must be resolved. Now. At a recent meeting of the state Legislature’s Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Committee, lawmakers learned the cleanup is stalled.

State regulators in March ordered the U.S. Energy Department to cease its extraction of tainted water, which was followed by treatment and a reinjection into a 1.5-mile-long plume. The process is designed to dilute the pollution, but state experts believe reinjecting the water only pushes the contaminants toward San Ildefonso Pueblo and deeper into the aquifer. The pollution isn’t only a concern for the pueblo; residents of long established villages and farmers in the area also want to know the contamination has been removed.

Federal officials say their pump-treat-return method is working. It, they maintain, reduces the hexavalent chromium and builds a “hydraulic barrier” that keeps it from spreading.

Despite disagreeing with state action, the Energy Department ceased injecting treated water back into the aquifer in April. Now, its experts are worried whatever cleaning has occurred will be compromised. Michael Mikolanis, head of the department’s environmental management at Los Alamos, told lawmakers the chromium plume once more is moving since the cleanup stopped.

Not so fast, says the state. Rick Shean, state Environment Department director of resource protection, says monitoring wells have revealed the injections are neither containing the pollutants nor pulling them back. The process doesn’t work.

Whom to believe?

We’ll go with a third party, as suggested by state Sen. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces. He wanted to know if the feds and the state would consider mediation by an outside expert. The Energy Department has money to pay an independent analyst, who Mikolanis said would be impartial even if paid through a government grant. For the cleanup to be completed, the process cannot drag out.

Meanwhile, as Shean points out, extraction can continue — just without reinjecting the water. Federal cleanup managers say that isn’t feasible.

Truth be told, LANL and the Department of Energy have been poor partners over the years in cleaning up messes. If they truly were trying to remove legacy waste as quickly and efficiently as possible, the state of New Mexico wouldn’t have had to resort to going to court repeatedly.

Residents of Northern New Mexico deserve to have removal of pollutants — especially those contaminating water sources — at the top of the priority list for the Department of Energy. Mikolanis maintains workers can’t amp up extraction any more than the consent order calls for, but here’s a thought: What’s wrong with doing more than required?

Federal cleanup authorities should stop trying to do the minimum.

The state is suing the Department of Energy over the terms of the cleanup. A 2016 consent order between the state and federal agencies, struck under then-Gov. Susan Martinez, is deficient and state officials are seeking to move the work along. That’s the right approach.

In the meantime, get an analyst in to see whether reinjection of water is worsening the pollution. Keep pulling water out while that analysis is completed — after all, hexavalent chromium is a known carcinogen.

Stop wasting time.


  1. Friday, September 1st from noon to 1 pm MT – Join the weekly peaceful protest for nuclear disarmament on the corners of Alameda and Guadalupe in downtown Santa Fe with Veterans for Peace, CCNS, Nuclear Watch NM, Loretto Community, Pax Christi, Nonviolent Santa Fe, and others.

 

Come and visit with us about planning Defuse Nuclear War events (Sept. 24 – 30 Week of Action) and the Back from the Brink campaign.   Pick up Back from the Brink materials to support work to prevent nuclear war.  https://preventnuclearwar.org/   

 

  1. Friday, September 1st at noon on the east side of the Roundhouse, Rick Hubbard, an 82-year old retired lawyer and peace activist, will speak about his Walking Across America to Fix Our Democracy. He will speak about his efforts to raise Americans’ awareness of the danger we are facing and to build a movement to Fix Our Democracy now.   https://www.fixourdemocracy.us/santa-fe-nm

 

 

  1. Friday, September 22, 2023 from 5 to 7 pm MT – NM Environment Department hybrid public meeting to present the changes made to the draft hazardous waste permit as represented in the proposed 10-year final permit for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The public is invited to ask questions to NMED and WIPP representatives and make public comments.   For more information, see the August 15, 2023 public notice.  https://hwbdocuments.env.nm.gov/Waste%20Isolation%20Pilot%20Plant/230818.pdf  

 

Three ways to attend the public meeting:

Carlsbad in-person location:  Skeen-Whitlock Bldg., 4021 National Parks Hwy.

Santa Fe in person location:  Larrazolo Auditorium, NMED Harold Runnels Bldg., 1190 St. Francis Drive (between Cordova and Alta Vista).

Remote Access on WebEx:  https://www.env.nm.gov/events-calendar/?trumbaEmbed=view%3Devent%26eventid%3D167732347

Three ways to submit public comments:  

NMED Public Comment Portal: https://nmed.commentinput.com/?id=G5E7C

Email to Megan.McLean@env.nm.gov

Postal Mail:         Megan McLean, Acting WIPP Group Program Manager

                              Hazardous Waste Bureau – NM Environment Department

                              2905 Rodeo Park Drive East, Bldg. 1

                              Santa Fe, NM  87505-6303

 

  1. Sign the Tewa Women United petition to Protect Vulnerable NM Communities: Halt Radioactive Tritium Release from LANL. LANL is proposing to vent four flanged tritium waste containers (FTWCs) by September 30, 2023 (the end of the fiscal year).  https://tewawomenunited.org/2023/08/its-happening-again-petition-to-halt-lanls-planned-tritium-release

 

 

  1. Trinity: Legacies of Nuclear Testing – A People’s Perspective Art Exhibit at the Branigan Cultural Center, 501 N. Main Street, Las Cruces, NM.  The exhibit will be up until September 23, 2023.  https://www.lascruces.gov/1528/Branigan-Cultural-Center
 

CCNS Urges State Legislature to Protect the Española Aquifer from LANL Pollutants

Did you know that in 2008 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated the 3,000 square mile Española Basin System as a Sole Source Drinking Water Aquifer?  https://www.epa.gov/dwssa   One ongoing concern is that Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) sits on its western edge, near the Valles Caldera.  And a recent dispute between the New Mexico Environment Department and the Department of Energy about the LANL hexavalent chromium plume, which is being pushed deeper into the regional drinking water aquifer, highlights the need for state agencies to have the resources to protect it.  See Powerpoint presentations titled “DOE-Los Alamos Field Office (1)” and “NMED Hex Chrome Plume” under Item 1.    https://www.nmlegis.gov/committee/Handouts_List?CommitteeCode=RHMC&Date=8/21/2023   Hexavalent chromium is a known human carcinogen.

On Monday, August 21st CCNS requested that a New Mexico Legislative Committee provide funding to key state agencies to protect this aquifer from LANL pollutants, which are migrating through the aquifer to the Rio Grande and beyond.  The request to the New Mexico Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Committee was for line items for the budgets of the Office of the State Engineer and New Mexico Environment Department.  See CCNS presentation “Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety” under Item 1.     https://www.nmlegis.gov/committee/Handouts_List?CommitteeCode=RHMC&Date=8/21/2023

An important history:  In 2006, La Cienega Valley Citizens for Environmental Safeguards and geo-hydrologist Zane Spiegel submitted a petition to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to designate the area as a sole source aquifer.   They argued that the aquifer supplies at least 50 percent of the drinking water for its service area and there are no reasonably available alternative drinking water sources should the aquifer become contaminated.  The aquifer encompasses the area between the Jemez and Sangre de Cristo Mountains, from Tres Piedras to the north almost to Galisteo to the south.

Then, in 2008, after EPA determined that 85% of the drinking water in the area covered by the petition comes from wells in the aquifer, EPA approved the application and designated the aquifer as a sole source drinking water aquifer.  http://www.nuclearactive.org/news/011808.html

Nevertheless, LANL has been investigating the hexavalent chromium contamination for nearly 20 years.  http://www.nuclearactive.org/audio/092706.mp3 and http://www.nuclearactive.org/news/122206.html

More recently, NMED became concerned that the hexavalent chromium was being pushed further and further into the regional drinking water and ordered that the injection process be stopped.  See NMED Hex Chrome Plume Powerpoint under “Item 1” at https://www.nmlegis.gov/committee/Handouts_List?CommitteeCode=RHMC&Date=8/21/2023  

The threat posed to the Española Basin Sole Source Aquifer by the hexavalent chromium contamination encouraged CCNS to ask for legislative oversight by providing funding to the Office of State Engineer and New Mexico Environment Department.

It is important to note that three of the Los Alamos County drinking water wells are located close to the known perimeter of the hexavalent chromium plume.

A full recording of the August 21, 2023 meeting of the Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Committee meeting is available here:  https://sg001-harmony.sliq.net/00293/Harmony/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20230824/-1/73647   The presentation by Joni Arends, Executive Director of CCNS begins at 10:06 AM.


  1. Friday, August 25th from noon to 1 pm MT – Join the weekly peaceful protest for nuclear disarmament on the corners of Alameda and Guadalupe in downtown Santa Fe with Veterans for Peace, CCNS, Nuclear Watch NM, Loretto Community, Pax Christi, Nonviolent Santa Fe, and others.

 

Come talk with us about the Back from the Brink campaign.  Pick up materials to support your work to prevent nuclear war.  https://preventnuclearwar.org/   

 

  1. Saturday, August 26th60th Anniversary of the March on Washington in Albuquerque’s Faith Temple Church, 1000 Broadway Blvd. SE. Gathering and lineup at 9:30 am.  March at 10 am.  Rally inside the Faith Temple Church from 10:30 am to 12 noon.  It is a free event.

 

Speakers include:  Elder James Walker, Faith Temple; Dr. Harold Bailey, NAACP ABQ Branch; State Senator Harold Pope, Jr.; State Representative Eleanor Chavez; Dr. Jamal Martin, UNM; Ashley Long, Central NM Labor Council; and Rev. ND Smith, Macedonia Baptist Church.

 

For more information, contact Charles Powell at 505 271-9274.  http://nuclearactive.org/join-the-continuation-of-dr-kings-work-at-60th-anniversary-of-march-on-washington-in-albuquerque-on-saturday-august-26th/

 

  1. Sign the Tewa Women United petition to Protect Vulnerable NM Communities: Halt Radioactive Tritium Release from LANL.  LANL is proposing to vent four flanged tritium waste containers (FTWCs) by September 30, 2023 (the end of the fiscal year).  https://tewawomenunited.org/2023/08/its-happening-again-petition-to-halt-lanls-planned-tritium-release

 

 

  1. Trinity: Legacies of Nuclear Testing – A People’s Perspective Art Exhibit at the Branigan Cultural Center, 501 N. Main Street, Las Cruces, NM.  The exhibit will be up until September 23, 2023.  https://www.lascruces.gov/1528/Branigan-Cultural-Center
 

Join the Continuation of Dr. King’s Work at 60th Anniversary of March on Washington in Albuquerque on Saturday, August 26th

On August 28, 1963, more than 200,000 peaceful demonstrators from across the United States of America joined together for the first March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.  They came together to demand voting rights and equal opportunity for African Americans and to appeal for an end to racial segregation and discrimination.  

From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.  He said,  “So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.  It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.  I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed:  We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all [people] are created equal.”  https://thekingcenter.org/about-tkc/martin-luther-king-jr/

Sixty years later, his son, Martin Luther King III, Chairman of the Drum Major Institute, stated the 60th anniversary March in Washington, DC on Saturday, August 26th “It’s Not a Commemoration, it’s a Continuation!  We March on!”  https://drummajorinst.org/

His wife, Arndrea Waters King, invited people from all around the world to Washington, DC to call for action to continue the dream.  She said, “Too many politicians have made Black and Brown Americans’ and marginalized groups’ lives unnecessarily difficult.  It won’t be easy, but if we use our voices for good, change will happen, and this is our time to demand it.  It’s our turn to help realize the Dream and make democracy for all a reality.”  https://drummajorinst.org/

If you are unable to travel to Washington, you are invited to the Albuquerque 60th Anniversary of the March on Saturday, August 26thThe March for Jobs and Freedom:  60 Years and Still Marching will begin at Faith Temple Church, at 1000 Broadway Southeast.  http://www.faithtemplecogic.org/default.asp?sec_id=180005641  The gathering and line up will begin at 9:30 am.  The march will begin at 10 am with a rally from 10:30 am to noon. Flyer here: ABQ March On Washington

The proud march sponsors are the Albuquerque NAACP http://naacpabq.org/ , the Democratic Party of New Mexico Black Caucus http://naacpabq.org/ , and the Albuquerque Veterans for Peace, Chapter 63 https://www.facebook.com/VFP063/ .   Together they march for jobs and higher wages for all workers now, and demand an end to police brutality now and for decent housing now.

Join local leaders and activists to continue the work of social activists like Martin Luther King Jr.   Stand up against discrimination, hate crimes, and prejudice.  Stand up for freedom, equality, and justice for all.

 


  1. Friday, August 18th from noon to 1 pm MT – Join the weekly peaceful protest for nuclear disarmament on the corners of Alameda and Guadalupe in downtown Santa Fe with Veterans for Peace, CCNS, Nuclear Watch NM, Loretto Community, Pax Christi, Nonviolent Santa Fe, and others.

Come talk with us about the Back from the Brink campaign.  Pick up materials to support your work to prevent nuclear war.  https://preventnuclearwar.org/   

 

 

  1. Sign the Tewa Women United petition to Protect Vulnerable NM Communities: Halt Radioactive Tritium Release from LANL.  LANL is proposing to vent four flanged tritium waste containers (FTWCs) by September 30, 2023 (the end of the fiscal year).  https://tewawomenunited.org/2023/08/its-happening-again-petition-to-halt-lanls-planned-tritium-release

 

 

  1. Sunday, August 20th from 5 to 7 pm at the Dixon Fire Station – Los Alamos Downwind Neighbors are hosting a public meeting about the Nukes Next Door. Joni Arends of CCNS will be speaking.  For more information, email ladownwinders@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

  1. Monday, August 21st at 9 am – Joni Arends of CCNS is presenting to the NM Interim Radioactive & Hazardous Materials Legislative Committee about the hexavalent chromium plume. The meeting is in Los Alamos County Municipal Building.  The agenda is available:  https://www.nmlegis.gov/agendas/RHMCageAug21.23.pdf  For more information and access to handouts:  https://www.nmlegis.gov/committee/Interim_Committee?CommitteeCode=RHMC

 

 

  1. Trinity: Legacies of Nuclear Testing – A People’s Perspective Art Exhibit at the Branigan Cultural Center, 501 N. Main Street, Las Cruces, NM.  The exhibit will be up until September 23, 2023.  https://www.lascruces.gov/1528/Branigan-Cultural-Center
 

Medical Journals Issue Urgent Call for Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

More than 100 medical journals, including the Lancet, the British Medical Journal, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the JAMA, have issued a joint call for urgent steps to decrease the growing danger of nuclear war and to move rapidly to the elimination of nuclear weapons.  At a time of expanded fighting in Ukraine and increased tensions in Korea, leaders of the global health community underscore that any use of nuclear weapons would be catastrophic for humanity.  https://peaceandhealthblog.com/2023/08/02/medical-journals-issue-urgent-call-for-elimination-of-nuclear-weapons/

The unprecedented call to action comes in the form of an editorial co-authored by the editors of 11 of the leading medical and health journals, the World Association of Medical Editors and leaders of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW).  The editorial was released on August 1st in conjunction with the start of the United Nations Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Preparatory Committee Meeting and the 78th year since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. https://meetings.unoda.org/npt-/treaty-on-the-non-proliferation-of-nuclear-weapons-preparatory-committee-for-the-eleventh-review-conference-first-session-2023

The editorial warns, “The danger is great and growing.  The nuclear armed states must eliminate their nuclear arsenals before they eliminate us.”

Citing the special responsibility of the health community, the editorial urges “health professional associations to inform their members worldwide about the threat to human survival and to join with the IPPNW to support efforts to reduce the near-term risks of nuclear war.”

It calls on the nuclear armed states, and those allied with them to take three immediate steps: “[F]irst, adopt a no first use policy; second, take their nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert; and, third, urge all states involved in current conflicts to pledge publicly and unequivocally that they will not use nuclear weapons in these conflicts.”

The editorial also urges its members to “work for a definitive end to the nuclear threat by supporting the urgent commencement of negotiations among the nuclear-armed states for a verifiable, time bound agreement to eliminate their nuclear weapons in accordance with commitments in the NPT, opening the way for all nations to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.”

Chris Zielinski, of the World Association of Medical Editors, said, “This is an extraordinary development.  Normally medical journals go to great lengths to ensure that the material they publish has not appeared in any other medical journals.  That all of these leading journals have agreed to publish the same editorial underlines the extreme urgency of the current nuclear crisis and the need for prompt action to address this existential threat.”

Dr. Arun Mitra, one of the authors of the editorial, said, “The medical community needs to warn the general public of the enormity of the threat we face.  It is an integral part of our responsibility as health professionals.”

Dr. Ira Helfand, another co-author, said, “We have to support the efforts of civil society organizations like the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and the Back from the Brink campaign in the United States.”  https://www.icanw.org/ and https://preventnuclearwar.org/


  1. Friday, August 4th from noon to 1 pm MT – Join the weekly peaceful protest for nuclear disarmament on the corners of Alameda and Guadalupe in downtown Santa Fe with Veterans for Peace, CCNS, Nuclear Watch NM, Loretto Community, Pax Christi, Nonviolent Santa Fe, and others.

 

 

  1. Trinity: Legacies of Nuclear Testing – A People’s Perspective Art Exhibit at the Branigan Cultural Center, 501 N. Main Street, Las Cruces, NM.  The exhibit will be up until September 23, 2023.  https://www.lascruces.gov/1528/Branigan-Cultural-Center

 

 

  1. Wednesday, August 9th at 1 pm – Please join members of Veterans For Peace, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, Nonviolent Santa Fe and others for an informal gathering at Ashley Pond to commemorate the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki on that day 78 years ago. We will engage in silent meditation at the shelter shown on the aerial photo.  Also bring water and protection from sun and/or possible rain. Please encourage friends and family to join you in attending.

 

 

  1. Sunday, August 13th from 2 to 3 pm at the Museum of International Folk Art – Mara Taub, long-time advocate for prisoner and immigrant rights, will present “Between the Lines: Prison Art and Advocacy.  Mara is the founder of The Coalition for Prisoner’s Rights, a Santa Fe based nonprofit which focuses on advocacy, support, and providing prisoner’s with reading materials and prisoner and family support-related resources. https://www.internationalfolkart.org/event/details/5603/2023/08/gallery-talk-discussion-platica-y-discusian-en-la-galeraa

 

MOIFA will be collecting appropriate paperback books the day of the talk for Mara’s organization, please bring paperback books you’d like to donate!

 

Exhibit will be up until November 5, 2023.  https://www.internationalfolkart.org/exhibition/5411/between-the-lines-prison-art-advocacy-a-community-conversation

 

  1. Saturday, August 26th at 10 am – 60th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s original March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom – in Albuquerque, NM. The March will bstart at Faith Temple Church, at 1000 Broadway Southeast.  http://www.faithtemplecogic.org/default.asp?sec_id=180005641  The gathering and line up will begin at 9:30 am.  The march will begin at 10 am with a rally from 10:30 am to noon. For more information, contact Charles Powell, Planning Chair for the Albuquerque March at CRPowell5@gmail.com

 

Martin Luther King III is making a march in Washington, DC on this date.  He says:  “It’s Not a Commemoration, it’s a Continuation!  We March on!”

 

 

Hiroshima and Nagasaki Commemorative Events: The Forgotten Bomb Documentary, Inaugural Albuquerque Peace Festival and Gathering at Ashley Pond

Near the end of World War II, on August 6th, 1945, the United States dropped a uranium atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.  Three days later, the United States dropped a plutonium atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan.  To acknowledge the harm done in the development, testing and use of the atomic bombs by the United States, two events are taking place on Saturday, August 5th in Albuquerque and one event on Wednesday, August 9th in Los Alamos.  For more information or to find similar commemorative events in your area, please see the Physicians for Social Responsibility website at https://psr.org/remembering-hiroshima-and-nagasaki-2023/

In New Mexico, the first event is at 10 am on Saturday, August 5th when “The Forgotten Bomb” documentary will be shown at The Guild Cinema, located at 3405 Central Avenue, Northeast in Albuquerque.  Created by local filmmakers Bud Ryan and Stuart Overbey, “The Forgotten Bomb” is described as  “a discovery of the true story of nuclear weapons and how the world might learn to live without them.”  In sum, “The Forgotten Bomb explores our preconceptions about nuclear weapons and their history, investigates how they inform our sense of identity and discovers what the Bomber can learn from the Bombed.”  Ryan will be present for a Q and A following the film.  https://www.forgottenbomb.com/    

You are invited to join the Inaugural Albuquerque Peace Festival also on Saturday, August 5th from 2 to 6 pm at Roosevelt Park for music, food trucks, speakers and informational tables.  This is a rain or shine event at Coal and Spruce Streets Southeast.  https://abqpeacefest.org/

Where is Roosevelt Park? The park is located at 500 Spruce Street SE. The northern border of the park is Coal Avenue. There is No Parking on Coal Ave.

From Santa Fe and parts north, take exit 224A on southbound I-25, continue through the intersections at MLK and Central, past Lead Ave, then turn left on Coal Ave.

From Belén and parts south, take exit 224A on northbound I-25 and turn right on Coal.

Please park on the east side of the park on Sycamore Street or Hazeldine at the end of Spruce.

 

The Albuquerque Peace Festival is an effort by diverse organizations to bring attention to the danger of nuclear weapons, the horror of nuclear war, and promote efforts toward longstanding peace locally, nationally, and globally. Program – Schedule of Events – APF2023

At 5:15 pm, a ceremonial bell will be rung in coordination with the August 6th events in Hiroshima, Japan at 8:15 am – the time of the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima. Following the bell ringing, Carla DeSola, the founder of the Omega West Dance Company, will lead a circle peace dance for everyone to participate in.  https://www.spiritmovesomega.com/carla-de-sola.html    

For more information and to make a donation to the effort, please visit https://abqpeacefest.org/

At 1 pm on Wednesday, August 9th, a commemorative gathering recognizing the harm of the bombing of Nagasaki will take place on the south side of Ashley Pond in Los Alamos.  Please bring banners, flags and signs.

You are invited to participate in one or more of the events.


  1. Friday, August 4th from noon to 1 pm MT – Join the weekly peaceful protest for nuclear disarmament on the corners of Alameda and Guadalupe in downtown Santa Fe with Veterans for Peace, CCNS, Nuclear Watch NM, Loretto Community, Pax Christi, Nonviolent Santa Fe, and others.

 

 

  1. Trinity: Legacies of Nuclear Testing – A People’s Perspective Art Exhibit at the Branigan Cultural Center, 501 N. Main Street, Las Cruces, NM.  The exhibit will be up until September 23, 2023.  https://www.lascruces.gov/1528/Branigan-Cultural-Center

 

 

 

  1. Wednesday, August 9th at 1 pm – Please join members of Veterans For Peace, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, Nonviolent Santa Fe and others for an informal gathering at Ashley Pond to commemorate the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki on that day 78 years ago. We will engage in silent meditation at the shelter shown on the aerial photo.  Also bring water and protection from sun and/or possible rain. Please encourage friends and family to join you in attending.

 

 

  1. Saturday, August 26th at 10 am – 60th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s original March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom – in Albuquerque, NM.
  2. The March will bstart at Faith Temple Church, at 1000 Broadway Southeast.  http://www.faithtemplecogic.org/default.asp?sec_id=180005641  The gathering and line up will begin at 9:30 am.  The march will begin at 10 am with a rally from 10:30 am to noon. For more information, contact Charles Powell, Planning Chair for the Albuquerque March at CRPowell5@gmail.com

Martin Luther King III is making a march in Washington, DC on this date.  He says:  “It’s Not a Commemoration, it’s a Continuation!  We March on!”