188 US-60, Panhandle, TX 79068 hello@peacefarm.us

West Texas is on track to get even more nuclear waste — thanks to the federal government

A hazardous waste disposal company in Andrews County wants to handle more dangerous levels of nuclear waste. Federal agencies are pondering new rules that could allow more of it to come to Texas.

BY ERIN DOUGLAS | The Texas Tribune FEB. 10, 2021

Waste Control Specialists has been disposing of the nation’s low-level nuclear waste — including tools, building materials and protective clothing exposed to radioactivity — for a decade at a hazardous waste facility in Andrews County, on the New Mexico border. Credit: Eli Hartman for The Texas Tribune

To get rid of eight gallons of water, the U.S. Department of Energy spent $100,000.

It’s little more than half a tank of gasoline in a midsize car, but the radioactive shipment from South Carolina to a West Texas company last fall marked one change that could lead to more nuclear waste traveling to Texas — waste that, until recently, was considered too dangerous to be disposed of.

Much of the public debate surrounding Waste Control Specialists’ hazardous waste facility in Andrews County, on the New Mexico border, has focused on the company’s plans, with a partner, to store the riskiest type of nuclear waste: the spent fuel rods from nuclear power plants, which can remain dangerously radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years.

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Semis Hauling Millions of Radioactive Loads Across the Country

“…Charles is concerned, not only with the radiation he and other drivers may have been exposed to, but with the fallout from the radioactive rigs that continue to travel our nation’s highways.”

By: Duane Pohlman, WKRC

Semis hauling millions of radioactive loads across the country (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) – Each year, millions of radioactive loads are shipped across the country, many on trucks that travel right beside you on our highways.

The federal government says the shipments are safe, but some of those who handle and haul the toxic material disagree.

In this exclusive Local 12 Investigation, Chief Investigative Reporter Duane Pohlman interviews two of those workers.

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Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Letter to the Editor – Lon Burnam, convener of the Peace Farm board

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Thank you for publish­ing the Bloomberg News story “Iran: US must move first on nuclear deal” in Monday’s Extra Extra eEdition section. While it was critically important that President Joe Biden moved to ex­tend by five years the nuclear treaty with Russia, it is equally important that he move quickly during this very narrow window of opportunity to work with the existing relatively moderate Ira­nian government before radical Iranians take over this summer.
Unfortunately, Biden’s hard-line statements in his CBS interview before the Super Bowl made him sound more like Donald Trump than the president he could be. Trump initi­ated economic sanctions against the people of Iran that included bans on urgently needed medical supplies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Iran and Europe have acted in good faith in this years-long process, but the U.S. has not.

VIEW ORIGINAL PUBLISHED LETTER

The Santa Fe City resolution calling for a new site-wide environmental impact statement (SWEIS) on expanded pit production at the Los Alamos Lab has PASSED UNANIMOUSLY!

The last SWEIS was in 2008 and much has changed.

A RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE NATIONAL NUCLEAR SECURITY ADMINISTRATION PREPARE AND COMPLETE A NEW SITE-WIDE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT FOR LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY BEFORE EXPANDING PLUTONIUM PIT PRODUCTION AT THE FACILITY.

The Santa Fe City Resolution is available here

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the death of Jim Murphy (Amarillo, Texas), who passed away on February 8, 2021, at the age of 79. Jim had been a cherished and valued member of The Peace Farm and the Peace Farm Board for many years, and he will be greatly missed.

Plan to send diluted plutonium to Waste Isolation Pilot Plant moves forward

Adrian Hedden / Carlsbad Current-Argus
February 8, 2021

A plan to dispose of surplus plutonium at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant through a dilution process that would reduce the waste to radiation levels allowable at the facility moved forward at the end of 2020 and the process was expected to continue through 2022.

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) – an arm of the U.S. Department of Energy – announced in December its intention to draft an environmental impact statement on the project and a public comment scoping was extended until Feb. 18 (see below).

Two sample comment letters are available for your use courtesy of Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety:  a one-pager is available is HERE and a longer one is available HERE.

Comments on the project can be made to the NNSA via email to SPDP-EIS@NNSA.DOE.GOV with the subject line SPDP EIS Scoping Comment.

Under the agency’s preferred method, pit plutonium would be shipped from Pantex to Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico to be prepared for dilution, then to Savannah River Site in South Carolina where it will be diluted before final shipment back to New Mexico to WIPP in southeast New Mexico.

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Media Release: January 18, 2021

contact: Hon. Lon Burnam, Peace Farm (817) 721-5846 lonburnam@gmail.com | Joyce Hall, Pax Christi, 214-357-2173, hallmj@sbcglobal.net

DELIVERING THE NUCLEAR BAN TREATY TO NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO MARK THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS: LOCAL RESIDENTS CELEBRATE TREATY’S ENTRY INTO FORCE

January 22, 2021, will be a historic day for nuclear weapons. On that day the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will enter into force, establishing in international law a categorical ban on nuclear weapons, seventy-five years after their development and first use.

The momentous occasion will be marked by actions, events, and celebrations around the globe and across the United States.

In Dallas, representatives of The Peace Farm, Dallas Pax Christi, and the Dallas Peace and Justice will mark the historic day by delivering copies of the treaty in person to 6 Texas State Congressional offices.

“Right now, the Treaty does not legally apply to the United States,” said Lon Burnam, “because we have not signed or ratified it. But that does not mean we will not be feeling the moral force of the Treaty. All nuclear weapons, including the 3,900 in the US stockpile, have been declared unlawful by the international community.”

The effort to deliver copies of the Treaty to congressional offices in Dallas is just one of many events happening around the country. At nuclear weapons production sites in Tennessee, Kansas City, New Mexico and California, banners declaring NUCLEAR WEAPONS ARE ILLEGAL will be hung on fences at the plant entrance.

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NNSA issues Notice of Intent to prepare Environmental Impact Statement for Surplus Plutonium Disposition Program

The approach will require new, modified, or existing capabilities at SRS, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Pantex Plant, and WIPP. The SPDP EIS will also analyze the No Action Alternative and any other viable alternatives that may arise from public scoping.

WASHINGTON – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) published a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register Dec. 16 to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Surplus Plutonium Disposition Program (SPDP), which would dilute and dispose of 34 metric tons of material using the capabilities at multiple sites across the Nation.

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Pantex breaks ground for High Explosive Science and Engineering facility

FACILITY WILL REPLACE 15 OBSOLETE FACILITIES AT PANTEX WITH AVERAGE AGE OF 68 YEARS

Leaders from the Pantex Plant, Consolidated Nuclear Security, and NNSA broke ground on the High Explosive Science and Engineering Dec. 8.
Credit: U.S. Department of Energy

AMARILLO, Texas – On Dec. 8, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) marked an infrastructure modernization milestone with an internal groundbreaking ceremony to begin construction of the High Explosive Science and Engineering (HESE) facility at the Pantex Plant.

This facility is an example of our collective ability to find ways to adapt and deliver, streamline operations, improve efficiency, and provide a state-of-the art facility where our most important asset, our people, can continue our critical work.

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