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The Peace Farm Board Attends Annual Meeting November 1st

After attending Pantex-hosted public meeting for long-term environmental stewardship.

Pictured: Peace Farm Board Members Jerry Stein and Mavis Belisle at the Peace Farm [taken by Peace Farm Board Member Lon Burnam]

NNSA Finally Starts Overdue Los Alamos Lab Environmental Study for Nuclear Weapons Programs That Are Already Underway

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, August 18, 2022 | Nuclear Watch New Mexico Press Release
Contact: Scott Kovac, 505.989.7342 scott@nukewatch.org | Jay Coghlan, 505.989.7342 jay@nukewatch.org

Santa Fe, NM – Today, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the semi-autonomous nuclear weapons agency with the Department of Energy, released a Notice of Intent to Prepare a Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement for Continued Operation of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

In its formal notice, NNSA avoids mentioning the elephant in the room, the already predetermined expanded production of plutonium “pits,” the radioactive cores of nuclear weapons. This is in direct contradiction to the National Environmental Policy Act’s requirement that federal agencies take a “hard look” at proposed actions before implementation.

Moreover, future pit production is not to maintain the safety and reliability of the existing stockpile, but instead is for speculative, untested new-design nuclear weapons for the accelerating nuclear arms race. The Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is already spending billions of taxpayers’ dollars to upgrade plutonium facilities and hire more workers for more weapons of mass destruction. This site-wide EIS is a “check off the box” exercise for all the major changes since the last site-wide EIS in 2008. Since then the Lab has fundamentally changed into a nuclear weapons production site as its main mission.

The Department of Energy boosted Lab funding to $4.6 billion in FY 2023 (21% higher than FY 2022), which begins this coming October 1. Of that, $3.6 billion is slated for NNSA’s core nuclear weapons research and production programs, with expanded plutonium pit production taking the biggest slice of the pie at $1.63 billion. The percentage of nuclear weapons funding at LANL has steadily grown as the Lab increasingly banks its future on being a nuclear weapons production site. Today it is 73% of total institutional funding. country.


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U.S. House passes bill including Savannah River Site pit production funding recommendation

By Matthew Christian mchristian@aikenstandard.com Jul 15, 2022

The former Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site will be converted into a plutonium pit production facility. (Photo provided/High Flyer)

The bill that would continue to fund the conversion of the former Mixed-Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site into a plutonium pit production facility has taken another step forward. 

Read More: https://www.postandcourier.com/aikenstandard/news/savannah-river-site/u-s-house-passes-bill-including-savannah-river-site-pit-production-funding-recommendation/article_c014c554-0446-11ed-985d-536cc2ed78df.html

ATOMIC MASS – In Santa Fe, an Archbishop calls for nuclear disarmament through faith alone.

“Jay [Coghlan] of Nukewatch, invited by Wester to answer an audience question about Ukraine having lost deterrence when it returned Soviet nuclear weapons to Moscow, emphasized that Ukraine never had the controls to actually detonate nuclear weapons stored on its territory. Coughlin then echoed Beamont’s statement, saying ‘we can flip the argument, say that Russia is shielded from consequences because it has nuclear weapons. Deterrence has been flipped on its head.’”

BY: KELSEY D. ATHERTON, INK STICK MEDIAAugust 10, 2022 inkstickmedia.com

At least 100 parishioners must have been in attendance at the special mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi on Aug. 9, 2022. The Tuesday afternoon service at the historically significant church did not fall under the usual schedule. Following an afternoon rich in monsoon thunderstorms, the clouds cleared, allowing regulars and visitors alike to file in to hear what, exactly, the Archbishop of the Santa Fe Archdiocese had to say about the work of peace.

“In the way that 109 East Palace was the gateway to nuclear oblivion, I hope that the Basilica of St. Francis can be the gateway to global nuclear disarmament,” John C. Wester, Archbishop of Santa Fe, told the assembled crowd.

The address is instantly familiar to those fluent in nuclear history and opaque outside of it. During the Manhattan Project, the US effort to develop and build an Atomic Bomb in Los Alamos, 109 East Palace was the place to arrive before being covertly whisked away to the lab.


Image from iOS (1)

It was the work of Los Alamos that made Aug. 9 the occasion for a mass dedicated to nuclear disarmament. On Aug. 9, 1945, the US dropped Fat Man, the second and so far last nuclear weapon used in war. The bomb fell on Nagasaki, a Japanese city hastily added to the targeting list. While the bombardier claims the clouds parted for visual confirmation of the target, it is at least equally plausible the crew decided to drop the bomb by radar targeting and fly back to base, instead of ditching it in the ocean or crashing on the way back.

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Senate appropriators propose biggest NNSA budget yet; Republicans signal opposition

EXCGANGE MONITOR, exchangemonitor.com | By Dan Leone

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday unveiled the year’s most generous 2023 budget proposal for Department of Energy nuclear weapons programs, beating the White House’s ask by almost $700 million and agreeing with authorizers’ plans to pile unrequested…

Commemorating the Trinity Test in New Mexico on July 16, 2022

July 16: the date of the Trinity Test in 1945, when the first nuclear weapon was exploded in the USA state of New Mexico. Wherever you are in the U.S., we hope you’ll commemorate this important day in nuclear and national history.

Saturday, July 16th, at 7 am – 1 pm:  43rd Uranium Tailings Spill Legacy Commemoration – 12 miles north of Red Rock State Park on Hwy 566 near Church Rock, NM.  For more information, call 505 577-8438 and https://swuraniumimpacts.org/

Saturday, July 16th – 13th Annual Candlelight Vigil (beginning at 8 pm at the Little League Field) and Town Hall (from 2 to 4 pm at the Tularosa Community Center), Tularosa, NM.  For more information, https://www.trinitydownwinders.com/  

Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium Founding Member Tina Cordova, center, with other survivors at the Tularosa Downwinders vigil in 2021. The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium will hold its annual vigil at Tularosa Little League Field July 16, 2022.

The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability DC Days 2022: The Peace Farm (Virtually) Visits Washington DC

May 27, 2022 Nuclear Weapons

The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability held its annual DC Days conference virtually again this year beginning May 16, 2022. Members of The Peace Farm proudly participated in this week-long event, where we discussed issues related to nuclear waste and nuclear weapons modernization under the Biden Administration, especially regarding expanded plutonium pit production at Los Alamos National Lab and at the Savannah River Site, and the generational problem of nuclear waste storage in the United States.

We urged legislators against supporting the expanded production of plutonium “pits” because of the following facts:

  • The Biden Administration is continuing plans to produce at least 80 plutonium pits per year by 2030 without offering concrete justification for the additional nuclear bomb cores.
  • Multiple studies by government agencies have found that pits last for at least 100 years. The rhetoric surrounding the current push to “modernize” the nation’s nuclear arsenal is based on fearmongering regarding “adversaries modernizing their stockpiles and building new systems” based inherently on the age-old obsession with America being FIRST in everything. A more concrete, “scientific” reason that those hawks with stake in the game have provided as well is that “Many of our [U.S.] systems are more than 30 years old.” We pointed out to lawmakers themselves, as well as reminded the agencies in charge of government accountability regarding spending, military science, and nuclear worker safety, that the facts show that the average age of pits in the active nuclear weapons stockpile is around 40 years old, while studies show that pits last for at least 100 years, and more than 15,000 existing pits are already stored at the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, TX. New production of plutonium pits is not only not necessary, but also irresponsible in terms of these priorities of spending, science, and safety for our taxpayers in these communities where expanded pit production would take place.
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Pantex focuses on “modernization” with facility upgrades [Pantex Propaganda]

“Our workload is increasing over 100% from 2021 to 2022, and increasing even more from ’22 to ’25”

Brianna Maestas, Amarillo Globe-News, May 26 2022

The Pantex Plant is working on modernization changes to its facilities as a part of its mission to adapt and deliver a modern, agile, and responsive asset for the nation.

On Tuesday, the plant announced in a news release that new facilities are under construction. The project does include the deconstruction of several current facilities and creation of new ones, but the timeline and number of new facilities has yet to be announced.

The Pantex Plant is working to modernize its facilities with the deconstruction of 75 year-old facilities and creation of new high-tech facilities to meet modern workforce needs.
The Pantex Plant is working to modernize its facilities with the deconstruction of 75 year-old facilities and creation of new high-tech facilities to meet modern workforce needs.
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NNSA Cancels $28B Site Management Deal To Split Work Up

The National Nuclear Security Administration has canceled a $28 billion contract to run two of its national security sites following related protests,…

In a blow to Fluor and Amentum, the National Nuclear Security Administration this week canceled a potentially 10-year, $28-billion contract for a joint venture of the two companies to manage the agency’s main nuclear-weapon production sites.

At the same time, the semiautonomous Department of Energy nuclear weapons agency announced it would extend the Bechtel-led incumbent at the sites, Consolidated Nuclear Security (CNS) for at least another two years at both sites, with an option for a third year, plus a pair of one-year options beyond that to keep managing Y-12 alone.

It’s a landscape-altering reversal for industry after November’s award, to the Fluor-led Nuclear Production One joint venture, of a combined Pantex/Y-12 contract that could have run a decade, with options. But losing bidders quickly protested the award, citing a conflict of interest involving — as reported first by the Exchange Monitor — a former NNSA employee who joined a subcontractor of the Fluor team.