Current Activities

Action Steps for the Planetary Nuclear Wake-Up Call

Last week we quoted Cynthia Lazaroff, founder of Women Transforming Our Nuclear Legacy , about the nuclear dangers in Ukraine and her call to come forward that “Our work is more important now than ever.”  Her presentation is available AT

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.

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.]

“Vladimir Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons has done what decades of Doomsday Clock announcements 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 ; 2008 – Toward a Nuclear-Free World ; 2011 – Four Horsemen of the Nuclear Apocalypse (Eben Harrell, Time)

“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.  

“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.

“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 , even if they haven’t heard of nuclear winter — 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.

“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) , Veterans for Peace , [Physicians for Social Responsibility] (PSR) ….

“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.




  1. You can view the March 19, 2022, Bob Alvarez Lifetime Achievement Award Party here.  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:   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.   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 and scroll down to take action and/or   To review the docket and submit comments, go to: 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.   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:  *** THE THIRD HARMONY A film by Michael Nagler, PhD Available for educational use:  “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:

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.  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.

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.

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.

Muratov declared, “Only a global anti-war movement can save life on this planet.” and

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 and on YouTube at


  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    



  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.



  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.  For more information, please contact Bill Tiwald, Veterans for Peace, Donald and Sally-Alice Chapter in Albuquerque, at



  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.



  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.



  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 and scroll down to take action and/or


To review the docket and submit comments, go to: 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:



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.

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.  To read the press release with a link to the Settlement Agreement:

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.”


  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:  Registration Link:



  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:



  1. Friday, April 1st and Saturday, April 2ndTularosa Basin Downwinders – Annual Peaceful Demonstration and Carrizozo Downwinders Educational Fiesta. View FlyerVisit    



  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.



  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.



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


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

Please join the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service 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

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.

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, , 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.”

For more information about the conference, please see the Central Document for the Conference: and the non-verbatim conference transcript available at:

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:

  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).




  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.




  1. Saturday, April 2ndTrinity Site at White Sands Missile Range open – COVID-19 Vaccination and Reservations are Required.




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 ( 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 – 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 –


  1. UPDATE: Nuclear Ukraine – Captured Reactors Vulnerable – Gundersen plus:  SPECIAL: FUKUSHIMA 11th ANNIVERSARY, Voices from Japan – Propaganda Museum, presented by Nuclear Hotseat, NH #559.


  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.


  1. Greenpeace International presents Nuclear power plant vulnerability during military conflict – Ukraine technical briefing on March 2, 2022 and 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)


  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.


  1. March 16th at 11 am MT, Ploughshares Fund presents: Unmute Yourself:  Ukraine. Registration:



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.



  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.



  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:   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
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.  and 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.  CCW and GRIP were represented by Charlie deSaillan of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center.

Amigos Bravos, based in Taos, works to hold polluters and government agencies accountable for water contamination and hazardous waste.

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 , CCNS , Honor Our Pueblo Existence , the New Mexico Acequia Association , Partnership for Earth Spirituality , and Tewa Women United .

GRIP, based in Silver City, works to safeguard natural resources and to facilitate informed public participation in resource use decisions.

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).



Why You Should Care about the Expanding WIPP Mission

Cindy Weehler gave a powerful speech during the March 1, 2022 press conference at the New Mexico Capitol about why you should care about the expanding mission for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).  People are opposing the Department of Energy (DOE) WIPP expansion plans that violate the law.  We provide Weehler’s speech below.

Weehler is Co-Chair of 285 ALL, a neighborhood issues awareness group based south of Interstate 25.  Before the press conference, she presented over 1,100 petition signatures to the Governor’s Office.  The petition reads:


Petition to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham

New Mexicans call on Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to stand up for public health and the environment by stopping the expansion of the nuclear waste facility called the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in southeastern New Mexico.

New Mexicans oppose the nuclear waste expansion at WIPP because:

  1. The federal government’ plans would transport more nuclear weapons waste to WIPP than is allowed.*
  2. The plutonium nuclear waste in the WIPP expansion is still dangerous for hundreds of thousands of years and endangers the health of our families and future generations.
  3. Unless New Mexico says ‘NO’ to WIPP expansion, other disposal locations will not be developed, and WIPP and NM will always be the only dump site, which is not fair. New Mexico never agreed to bear the burden of being the only nuclear waste dump site in the country.
  4. The federal government has not been transparent about its WIPP expansion plans, and has repeatedly refused to discuss the plans publicly, including in hearings on the WIPP Permit. Many New Mexicans are not even aware of those plans. We deserve a transparent and fair process that includes the voices of all impacted communities.

We strongly support, and urge our Governor to take all necessary actions, including denying permits for the piecemeal expansion.

* Federal law and legal agreements with New Mexico clearly limit how much waste WIPP can take, as described in the April 2020 National Academy of Sciences Report – Review of the Department of Energy’s Plans for Disposal of Surplus Plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

ACT to contact the Governor:


Press Conference Comments of Cynthia Weehler, Co-Chair of 285ALL

Rancher Ed Hughs

“Today, I’m not only speaking for the communities along Hwy 285, where I live; I’m speaking for all the communities along the radioactive waste route to and from LANL [Los Alamos National Laboratory]…those along NM 502, the farming pueblos, NM 599, those on the southern edge of town, and the ranchers along I-40. I’m also speaking for the communities in these 11 states that will now be included on the transport route, both coming and going. All of these communities will be at a higher level of risk because they’re on the radioactive transport route planned in the new Department of Energy [DOE] mission to expand WIPP. And none of them know about it.

“I’m calling out the DOE and WIPP today.  They have covered up the new mission so that the public and our elected officials either don’t understand it or don’t even know about it.  They refuse to meet with us.  They distort the facts given to the media, even redefining words like transuranic so it now means “not that harmful,” when it means nothing of the sort. They try to break the expansion up into pieces so each one, separately, looks innocent. They act as if they can play [the] public; we disagree.

“So let me be clear, DOE is changing WIPP in every fundamental way, and it will have a huge effect on us:

  1. The waste will be an unauthorized and much more dangerous form of plutonium,
  2. When added to the huge new waste stream from new pit production, WIPP will need to hold 50% more waste than is allowed,
  3. Instead of stopping shipments of waste to WIPP in 2024, it will continue taking more for most of the rest of the century,
  4. The shipments past our communities will increase many times over, and
  5. Much of that waste won’t be travelling in TRUPACT containers.

“This information comes from the Federal Register and the National Academies of Sciences.

“New Mexico agreed to host WIPP after carefully crafting agreements that limit what the federal government can do with it. It was afraid that this very thing would happen, and DOE didn’t disappoint. WIPP’s mission can only be changed if the DOE breaks every legal agreement that it made with NM in order to get it to host the WIPP site in the first place. These agreements are still in place, it is illegal to break them without changing the law or the permits, and New Mexico simply needs to insist they be honored, something the New Mexico Environment Department has refused to do.

“The DOE is right to withhold this information from New Mexicans; unethical and illegal, but it’s the right thing to do. Because when the public is told, it says, “no.”  Over 1,000 New Mexicans from all the zip codes shown on this map signed this petition as soon as they saw it. This is the first any of them had heard about WIPP expanding; the first time the risks had been explained.

“Today, we delivered the petitions to the Governor.  The signers ask for her protection from this federal overreach.  We ask her because she has the tools, in the form of those agreements, to stop this. The petition says that her constituents support any actions she takes to protect them from this planned expansion and that it’s time for the DOE to find other sites for new waste. We have requested a response by March 15.

“New Mexico has done its part.  Our agreements should be honored.

Commissioner Hansen speaking at the event

We made them in good faith, and the DOE should not be trying to pull a last-minute bait and switch by bringing waste to WIPP that wasn’t agreed to.

“Most importantly, the DOE doesn’t get to put us at risk quietly, in secret, and in an information blackout.  If it wants to try to put us at risk, it had better do so openly and in the full light of day.”


Santa Fe County Commissioner Anna Hansen, Tewa Elder Kathy Wanpovi Sanchez, and Quay County ranchers Ed and Patty Hughs also provided comments.

1. CANCELLED: March 3rd at 5:30 pm – WIPP Virtual and In Person Community Forum with Reinhard Knerr, Manager of the DOE’s Carlsbad Field Office, and Sean Dunagan, President & Project Manager of Nuclear Waste Partnership, LLC.  Forum will be rescheduled.



2. Sunday, March 6th at noon to 1 pm – International Day of Action for Peace in Ukraine, at the corners of West Alameda and Guadalupe in Santa Fe. What better place than where LANL has office space?  Please note:  LANL is the only Department of Energy (DOE) facility with the capabilities to fabricate plutonium pits, or triggers, for nuclear weapons.  Join us for a peaceful demonstration. This Sunday, March 6th will be an international day of action for peace in Ukraine, a massive, unified response by peace-loving people around the world to say No to War in Ukraine; Yes to Negotiations and Peace. Find an event near you or sign up to organize one!  We must make it clear that the war in Ukraine is a disaster for the people of Ukraine and a terrible threat to us all, including increasing the danger of nuclear war. There must be an immediate and unconditional ceasefire. You can downloaded posters for your rally here. National and local peace organizations are encouraged to join the coalition supporting the Global Day of Action. As UFPJ’s Statement on the Ukraine Crisis declares, it is “time to start stopping the wars: no war in Ukraine, then no war anywhere…. The peace movement must be a global people’s movement, aligned with the policies of no government.” Read the full statement. UFPJ has also created a Ukraine Crisis resource page, which is updated regularly. Please check it frequently for new analysis, commentary, and links to recent webinars.



3. Progressive Democrats of America Central NM Chapter
Monthly Community Gathering
Wednesday March 9
6:00 PM on ZOOM

Join the Zoom Meeting at:

Archbishop John C.Wester, Archbishop of Santa Fe
Jay Coghlan, of NukeWatch NM

“Abolishing Nuclear Weapons is a Moral Imperative”,  Archbishop John C. Wester

PDACNM is honored to welcome Archbishop John C. Wester, Archbishop of Santa Fe to our monthly gathering. His courage in speaking out against the proliferation of nuclear weapons inspires us at PDACNM to follow his example and continue the fight against this peril, especially given the threat of a possible imminent war between two nuclear powers.
The following excerpt is from ICAN – International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Winner of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. You can read the rest of the article here.

On 11 January 2022, Archbishop John C. Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico circulated a letter in support of nuclear weapons abolition and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to all the parishes in his diocese.

In the letter, Wester outlines the risks and consequences of the new nuclear arms race and highlights the unique role of New Mexico in the U.S. nuclear weapons complex and of the Santa Fe diocese to support nuclear disarmament. He calls for an open dialogue on nuclear disarmament and redirecting resources from the nuclear arms race to peaceful objectives, like cleaning up nuclear contamination and addressing climate change.

New Mexico is at the heart of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, with two major nuclear weapons laboratories – the Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories- located in the state and nearly 40% of the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons budget allocated for work in New Mexico. It was also the site of the first nuclear test explosion in July 1945 and has the largest repository of nuclear weapons in the country.

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe has a “special responsibility” he states, to support the TPNW (Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Arms) and to encourage its active implementation. “It is the duty of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, the birthplace of nuclear weapons, to support that Treaty while working toward universal, verifiable nuclear disarmament,” Wester writes.

Why We Are in a New Nuclear Arms Race and What You Can Do to Stop It

Jay Coghlan, executive director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, has worked successfully against radioactive incineration at the Los Alamos National Lab, and in Clean Air Act, Freedom of Information Act and National Environmental Policy Act lawsuits against the Department of Energy. He prompted a 2006 independent study that concluded plutonium pits last at least a century, refuting the NNSA’s assertion that we “need” new-design nuclear weapons and expanded plutonium pit production.

Jay will tell us how the new nuclear arms race is more dangerous than the first one. How it might lead to a nuclear hot war over Ukraine. And how devastating a nuclear war would be for everyone, including us.
You’ll learn about the nuclear weapons “modernization” program and the fancy new warheads being designed for it. You’ll be shocked to learn the amount of taxpayer money being wasted on this unnecessary program.
Jay will explain how the nuclear “modernization” program is dependent on new plutonium bomb cores (called “pits”) to be produced at the Los Alamos National Lab and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. And why future plutonium pit production, in addition to its grotesque costs and environmental harms, could actually degrade national security.
Finally, we will engage with Jay in discussing how we can work together to slow the international arms race by hobbling the nuclear modernization program. Since the Pentagon has called expanded pit production the #1 modernization issue, then all we have to do is to stop future pit production, right?
How will we do this? Let’s talk about it on March 9th! Please join us!


Immediate Public Comments Needed about Two Proposed Beryllium Lathes at LANL

If you are concerned about proposed expansion of beryllium machining operations at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), now is the time to express your interest to the New Mexico Environment Department Air Quality Bureau.  Public comments and expression of interest in the proposal to add two lathes for machining beryllium and a new sputtering coating operation are due by Saturday, February 26, 2022 at midnight Mountain Time by email to

Expression of your interest will allow you to review the Bureau’s analysis of the permit modification request for 30 days following notification.  It will also allow you to submit written public comments and request a public hearing.  See Subsection B of New Mexico Administrative Code – Public Notice and Participation.

CCNS has prepared a sample comment letter that you can use to express your interest. It is posted here:  Sample public comment LANL Be Air Quality Permit 2-24-22

In late December, LANL submitted an application to the Bureau to modify its air quality permit to add two lathes for machining beryllium to the existing lathe at the Target Fabrication Facility at Technical Area 35, near the Plutonium Facility. , scroll down to Los Alamos County, then to U.S. DOE/NNSA – LANL to Public Notice for Air Construction Permit (632M1) (posted 1/25/22). 

LANL states that it will operate only two of the three lathes at a time.  Even so, LANL is proposing to double these beryllium operations.  See Id., Original Application, p. 29 – 30 of pdf.

The existing permit allows micro-scale precision machining to manufacture small laser targets for use at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory located in California, as part of the Department of Energy’s National Inertial Confinement Fusion program.

LANL also proposes to add a new coating process, called magnetron sputtering, that would take place in an unnamed room near the lathes.  Each operation would result in beryllium air emissions through stacks on the roof of the building.  See Original Application, p. 29 – 30 of pdf.

At atomic number 4, beryllium is a lightweight metal used in the nuclear weapons industry in fabricating plutonium pits, or the weapon’s trigger.

Exposure to beryllium-containing dust and vapors can cause acute and chronic lung disease, called berylliosis, for which there is no cure.  Reports in the medical literature demonstrate that one to six percent of exposed employees are genetically sensitive to beryllium and are more susceptible to a form of berylliosis called chronic beryllium disease.

In our review of the permit application, CCNS found that LANL asked for a waiver from monitoring beryllium emissions, which the Environment Department granted in late December 2021.  See Original Application, p. 60 – 68 of pdf.  This is surprising because there are extra requirements for protecting Class I areas, such as the ambient air quality at the nearby Bandelier Wilderness Area.  See Original Application, p. 6 of pdf.

Please see:  In response to Question 8, “Will the property on which the facility is proposed to be constructed or operated be closer than 50 km (31 miles) to other states, Bernalillo County, or a Class I area?”  LANL answered “yes,” and provided the distance in kilometers:  “Bandelier Wilderness Area (the wilderness portion of Bandelier National Monument) 0.0 km from the LANL boundary, 5.7 km from Building TA35-213.”

1. Saturday, February 26, 2022 – Public Comments due to NM Environment Department, Air Quality Bureau, about revision to LANL’s Air Quality Permit to add three lathes for micro-scale precious machining of beryllium metal.

For more information: , scroll down to Los Alamos County, then to the U.S. DOE NNSA-LANL heading and scroll down to Air Quality Bureau, for Public Notice for Air Construction Permit (632MI).  Stay tuned.  Sample public comments you can use are available above in the update.


2. THIS EVENING, February 24, 2022 at 6 pm MT – Dr. Frank von Hippel discusses the book Plutonium: How Nuclear Power’s Dream Fuel Became a Nightmare. ZOOM link is HERE.

Plutonium: How Nuclear Power’s Dream Fuel Became a Nightmare is a sweeping and intricate narrative of the worldwide impact of this manmade element over 80 years. The three authors – Dr. Frank von Hippel, Dr. Jungmin Kang and Masafumi Takubo – individually are renowned at home and abroad as experts who have shaped not just public debate but also government policies on the security and safety risks of plutonium. Together, they have crafted a powerful book that leads the reader deftly through technical, policy, social and economic arguments to arrive at their conclusion: the world will be safer if the separation of plutonium is banned.


3. On Wednesday, February 23, 2022, Ira Helfand, former president of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), delivered an extremely compelling warning about the risks of escalation to the use of nuclear weapons in the current conflict in Ukraine on Democracy Now!  The segment is available at Click on the watch button for February 23, 2022. Ira’s segment begins at about 13 minutes in.  Our colleague, Linda Pentz Gunter at Beyond Nuclear, who also delivered a powerful assessment of the risks associated with Ukraine’s 15 nuclear power reactors, including Chernobyl, joined Ira Helfand.

On February 10th, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) released a new report, “No place to hide:  nuclear weapons and the collapse of health care systems.” a new ICAN report which examines the estimated impact of the detonation of one nuclear weapon over ten cities around the world (in all the nuclear-armed states + Germany as a nuclear host state).


4. Tuesday, March 1st at 11:30 am – Asking for Your Presence

Please join us for a press conference when we deliver over 1,100 petition signatures to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham asking her to protect New Mexicans from the federal expansion of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). This is your opportunity to let her know that vastly increased shipments of the most dangerous form of nuclear weapons’ waste, lasting the rest of the century as it is transported past your neighborhood, is not a risk you accept.  She needs to know that many of her constituents will not support this federal overreach by the Department of Energy (DOE). Moreover, we do not accept this risk in secrecy and the information blackout that the DOE is forcing on us.  If the DOE is trying to put us at risk, it must do so openly, in the full light of day.

When: March 1, 2022, 11:30 am

Where: Outside at the East side of the Statehouse

How: Outdoor event

Who: Joining you, the good people of New Mexico, will be County Commissioner Anna Hansen, Tewa Elder Kathy Sanchez, Quay County ranchers Ed & Patty Hughs, Co-Chair of 285ALL Cindy Weehler


5. Thursday, March 3rd at 5:30 pm – WIPP Virtual and In Person Community Forum with Reinhard Knerr, Manager of the DOE’s Carlsbad Field Office, and Sean Dunagan, President & Project Manager of Nuclear Waste Partnership, LLC. Online Registration Link. Questions will be taken in a written format.