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  • Bulletin #156: Washington Post Misleads in Major Article Addressing Nuclear Weapons Complex, 16 Sep 2012
    truth I suspect a great deal of damage to truthful rational discourse has been done Our initial comments regarding this article which already have been sent to a number of journalists and parties in government are here Example the Post says the Administration says the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility CMRR NF is necessary This is exactly false Every single department and agency in government opposes CMRR NF construction for the foreseeable future just as we do and for the many of the same reasons The Administration abandoned plans to build CMRR NF in early February the Nuclear Weapons Council formally voted to defer the project pdf in March and NNSA and LANL are far along in the process of disbanding the CMRR NF design teams pdf Hard to believe the Post couldn t figure this out isn t it The framing money quote in the article is probably this one Failing to act before the end of next year they unnamed federal officials and many outside analysts say is likely to mean that there won t be enough time to design and build the new systems that would be required if the old arsenal is no longer safe or reliable So be very scared and throw a lot of money at the nuclear weapons complex now As if we hadn t been doing that Since 1996 DOE and NNSA spent 114 billion in constant 2012 dollars on the nuclear weapons complex From 1995 to today annual nuclear weapons complex budgets have risen by 2 66 billion in real dollar terms i e 38 or 2 real growth i e above inflation per year Spending on nuclear weapons design testing and production not including the nuclear material production which is no longer occurring is now far more than

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/ActionAlerts/Bulletin156.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Bulletin #155: Apparent calm hides ongoing nuclear policy struggles; for we citizens, what next?, Aug 21, 2012
    in trying to predict what the future society would be like offered this metaphor People will put up a poster soon saying Tonight John Erik will skate on thin ice at the very center of the pond It ll be very dangerous Please come Everyone comes and John Erik skates about three inches from shore and people say Look he s skating on thin ice at the very center of the pond A lecturer says On Friday night we will have a revolution When Friday night comes the hall is filled and the radical talks passionately and flamboyantly for an hour and a half then he declares that a revolution took place here In a few minutes some of us will head up to Los Alamos to testify to the Department of Energy DOE more precisely to DOE public relations contractors regarding proposed options for plutonium disposition We hope to learn as well as to speak and we will be available to interested parties in the Los Alamos community a community which we helped deprive of some billions of dollars If anyone here at the Study Group thought it was remotely worthwhile for citizens in general to attend this or any DOE National Environmental Policy Act NEPA hearing I would have sent out this Bulletin days or weeks ago saying that Yes one can learn there but the time has come for citizen organizations to stop leaning on DOE and NNSA for legitimacy organizing and yes funding As they are these hearings are a form of faux democracy to which we lend legitimacy by attendance Such hearings as we have often said are designed to safely and innocuously channel and absorb citizen concerns Today I received an email alert from an informal citizen organization claiming that citizen protest in northern New Mexico was being effective because Representative Ben Ray Luján has written to the DOE requesting expanded outreach in his district Apparently both Senators Bingaman and Udall wrote similar letters Increasing the number of meaningless distractive hearings is a form of effectiveness Meanwhile these same senators and Congressman have been working hard to resurrect CMRR NF Bingaman and Udall pdf of letter to DOE Secretary Chu and can be counted upon to vote reliably against renewable energy and green jobs Lujan if those jobs come at the expense of nuclear weapons and LANL which under today s budget restrictions they very likely must See Lujan vote against the Tonko Amendment to H R 5325 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act 2013 Roll Call Vote 313 This is effective DOE actually pays groups to get people to these meetings In 2011 the New Mexico Community Foundation received a 1 million block grant from DOE to increase public participation in the DOE s environmental cleanup efforts at nuclear waste sites nationwide Among the few grantees are those who are the most vocal in organizing attendance for DOE meetings It s a grant obligation This year s block grant is

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/ActionAlerts/Bulletin155.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Bulletin #154: Reminder about tonight's solar energy presentation, July 25, 2012
    electricity in New Mexico kills about 1 6 persons per day from respiratory disease preponderantly near the plants improve local visibility and tourism prevent the pollution caused by burning coal at the mine power plant coal ash and in our waters and fish mercury and The list could go on much longer And you almost certainly know that nuclear warheads compete directly with renewable energy funding as well as with low income energy assistance home weatherization and energy efficiency programs for business and homes in the same appropriations bill That s plenty of reasons mostly policy reasons although some of them extend into our necessary cultural transformation which we may or may not manage It was always impossible to support our present extravagant lifestyles on renewable energy no matter how clever we are In addition it is also now very late in the day for our civilization Nevertheless a late start is better than none and could lead to much better outcomes in addition to being much more satisfying I would like to suggest there is another powerful class of reasons that we ought to be up and building Simply put protest has never been enough protest should always be small relative to a larger constructive program protest has proven to be increasingly ineffective as our democracy has waned and in part as a result of this last factor protest has become increasingly problematic in itself in a number of ways Our reasoning goes something like this Objectively the overall impact of antinuclear activism in New Mexico in recent years has been little to none We think it has been zero Two important recent pieces of data stand out in this assessment First local governments in northern New Mexico are now participating and funding the Coalition of LANL Regional Communities a group of local elected officials with a small professional staff that lobbies for LANL spending including nuclear weapons spending and including the proposed but indefinitely delayed plutonium warhead pit factory annex the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility CMRR NF This represents a political failure of local organizing first and foremost of our own and is a major setback in the local expression of the humane values that drew many of us into public life in the first place It could however be quite usefully brought to an end a very worthwhile project for some of you Second Representative Ben Ray Lujan and it almost goes without saying at this point Representative Martin Heinrich voted against renewable energy and green jobs amendments this spring on the House floor during debate on the Energy and Water Appropriations bill The money for these initiatives would have come from nuclear weapons Where else could it have come from That is all the activist talk about lab conversion cleanup and so on has produced no positive outcomes we know of Quite the reverse Among the negative outcomes providing political cover for the above coalition To our eyes most protest is simply so

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/ActionAlerts/Bulletin154.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Bulletin #153: Reminder about tonight's meeting; concerns re the Senate version of Defense Authorization Act, July 17, 2012
    nuclear disarmament is now far from enough How can we effectively get past the sterile and ineffectual posturing which marks so much activism today That s our ambitious topic for this evening We ll provide updates authoritative we believe on the current status of U S nuclear weapons issues legislation and politics especially as regards CMRR NF our biggest concern and the biggest nuclear issue on the national stage And we want to discuss with you some of what may be more fruitful and positive alternatives to most activism as it is thought of today These meetings will begin at 6 30 pm and end at about 8 30 pm Please come Santa Fe Today Tuesday July 17 CloudCliff Bakery 1805 Second St map Taos Tomorrow Wednesday July 18 Kit Carson Electric Coop 118 Cruz Alta Rd map Then on Wednesday July 25 again at the CloudCliff in Santa Fe and like the above meetings at 6 30 pm we will host a special presentation on solar electric generation in New Mexico by Allan Sindelar of Positive Energy and Claudia Pavel Positive Energy a leading installer of photovoltaic systems in our state recently received the distinct honor of being named Santa Fe s Small Business of the Year by the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce Allan has long been an active participant in Study Group discussions Again I have to offer my apologies for the lack of a comprehensive issue update in writing for those of you who do not live in the Albuquerque Santa Fe Taos corridor I hope you have all begun the long process of realizing that we do not live in a democracy any more and there is no magic political rabbit of reform that will jump out of the hat of a well informed public

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/ActionAlerts/Bulletin153.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Los Alamos Study Group
    here at the Study Group think write do and want to do doesn t really fit well into mass emails In our post democratic propaganda soaked noisy society impersonal emails are increasingly problematic as vehicles for truth and democratic engagement unless they are supported by and engaged with other political and institutional infrastructures Mere information or opinion outside such contexts may not be very helpful especially when it must be presented in a one size fits all form So these Bulletins are just the thinnest skin of what we are doing We welcome even crave your deeper interest and participation To that end we will be hosting four public meetings this month The first is tomorrow evening and yes we know that this is last minute notice Some of you have heard about this meeting earlier from other sources These meetings will have two subjects First they will provide updates authoritative we believe on the current status of U S nuclear weapons issues legislation and politics especially as regards CMRR NF Second we want to discuss what may be more fruitful and positive alternatives to most activism as it is thought of today All of the following meetings will begin at 6 30 pm and end at about 8 30 pm Please come Albuquerque Thursday July 12 at the Albuquerque Mennonite Church 1300 Girard Blvd NE map Santa Fe Tuesday July 17 CloudCliff Bakery 1805 Second St map Taos Wednesday July 18 Kit Carson Electric Coop 118 Cruz Alta Rd map Then on Wednesday July 25 again at the CloudCliff in Santa Fe and like the above meetings at 6 30 pm we will host a special presentation on solar electric generation in New Mexico by Allan Sindelar of Positive Energy and Claudia Pavel Positive Energy a leading installer of

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/ActionAlerts/Bulletin152.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Bulletin #151: Invitation to solstice dinner fundraiser & discussion in Santa Fe; congressional update, 13 June 2012
    We hope you will do so as soon as you check your calendar To RSVP please write or call Trish at the Study Group office 505 265 1200 There is limited parking on the property You can also park on the street or at the school parking lot across the street We know that many of you will not be able to afford to come to this dinner just as we on the Study Group staff would not able to afford it were we invited Please do not feel left out The Study Group has hosted literally hundreds of free events in Santa Fe Albuquerque Los Alamos and Taos and we will continue to do so If you get a group together we will very likely come Meanwhile for those who can come on the 20th by all means please do come and show your support 2 Congressional update another scoreless inning for CMRR NF advocates On May 31 Bulletin 150 and on June 4 Letter to Congress we asked for your help in preventing or defeating any amendment that might arise to the Energy and Water Appropriations bill in the House that would have funded or required construction of the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility CMRR NF Links provided led to more detail Thank you for those efforts What happened was that after assessing the low probability of success none of those who had been demanding that CMRR NF be built attempted any amendments to fund or require the project So the House passed an Energy and Water funding bill with provisions that a offer no funding for CMRR NF b require NNSA to return 65 million M in unspent CMRR NF funds to the Treasury and c spend an additional 65 M on making LANL s main plutonium building PF 4 safer and more serviceable by cleaning out its vault 35 M and making needed safety improvements 30 M This is another significant win for sane nuclear weapons policy and fiscal responsibility It is another step in preventing production of novel warheads a step toward maintenance as opposed to aggressive modernization Under current conditions this is a big step in the right direction At this point the two appropriations bills and the NNSA budget request are in basic agreement as regards what NNSA calls plutonium sustainment and CMRR NF in that all three Defer CMRR NF for at least five years and zero out its funding Implement the plutonium sustainment strategy described by NNSA and chosen by the Nuclear Weapons Council i e NNSA DoD and the uniformed military as the best path forward which involves no new facilities anywhere and Study longer term alternatives and requirements in one way or another The Senate version of the Energy and Water funding bill has not been taken up on the Senate floor and we don t know when that will occur By contrast this year s twin National Defense Authorization Act NDAA bills the House version that

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/ActionAlerts/Bulletin151.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Bulletin #150: Your help is wanted immediately: nuclear warhead spending amendments on the House floor, May 31, 2012
    originate in the House and will not pass the Senate But meanwhile the Senate Armed Services Committee which met in secret to privately consider a draft Defense Authorization Act that will not become public until tomorrow June 1 has picked up some of the House s crazy ideas no doubt from the same source principally the nuclear laboratories and added some of their own Like this Senate Committee would Mandate Construction of Huge Additional Los Alamos Plutonium Facility over Pentagon NNSA Objections press release May 25 2012 LANL Lab Could Get Funded Albuquerque Journal North May 27 2012 Will Rogers once said This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer That s exactly how it looks The good news is that the bill carrying these provisions the National Defense Authorization Act NDAA for FY2013 does not appropriate money The bad news is twofold first the ideas in the NDAA could infect the bills that DO make appropriations for nuclear weapons first and foremost the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill which will likely be debated TOMORROW on the House floor This is the bill that funds the National Nuclear Security Administration NNSA the subset of the Department of Energy DOE which manages the nuclear weapons complex The whole situation is too complicated and changing too fast to explain fully The single most important thing of all the things that could be said about these bills is this Please call or write your congressperson RIGHT NOW TONIGHT OR THE FIRST THING TOMORROW asking him or her to vote NO on any amendment that would allow fund or demand construction of the CMRR NF project at Los Alamos National Laboratory LANL CMRR NF stands for Chemistry and Metallurgy

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/ActionAlerts/Bulletin150.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Bulletin #149: Reception & open house this Friday, May 11th, 3-5pm, for Mika Armenta
    3 and 5 pm for tea and refreshments in her honor here at the Study Group world headquarters in Albuquerque 2901 Summit Place NE Mika has been remarkably productive this semester a very competent and efficient assistant in all aspects of her work for us Please come meet Mika share a cup of tea with your friends and wish her well A quick update on litigation concerning NNSA s plutonium sustainment program This Wednesday May 9th attorneys for the Study Group and for the Department of Energy DOE and National Nuclear Security Administration NNSA will be presenting arguments before a panel of judges in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver The appeal has been fully briefed this is our last brief in that appeal We will publish the court s decision when we know it As you all know if you have been reading our bulletins this year NNSA has chosen to implement undescribed alternatives to its Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility CMRR NF We applaud the shift toward using existing and modified facilities but of course there is no analysis as there must be of these new alternatives under the National Environmental Policy Act NEPA

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/ActionAlerts/Bulletin149.html (2016-02-16)
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