archive-org.com » ORG » L » LASG.ORG

Total: 881

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • Activist's experience, passion culminate in LANL project delay, Santa Fe New Mexican, Mar 10, 2012
    He went on to earn a master s degree in urban planning as a Housing and Urban Development Fellow at Harvard University When he first came to Northern New Mexico Mello lived in Los Alamos which reminded him of Livermore People don t know what Los Alamos was like in the 70s when the humanist spirit was strong if not dominant he said Little did we know that the world and that tradition was so fragile He became involved in various ways with the environmental movement He worked with Bill Lumpkins the Santa Fe architect artist in a campaign to preserve Paseo de Peralta from becoming a four lane road on the east side which would have meant the demolition of the houses on the inside of the loop His first job in Santa Fe was as an intern with the U S Environmental Protection Agency Later he would work as a hazardous waste inspector at the New Mexico Environment Department in Gov Toney Anaya s administration initiating regulatory action against Department of Energy facilities The strongest influence on his decision to take on disarmament as a mission he said were his Zen teachers Philip Kapleau and Robert Aitken Kapleau had been the chief court reporter at the Nuremberg and Tokyo war crimes trials Aitken was a socialist and anarchist They instilled a responsibility to step forward and act ethically in the world Mello said A catalyzing moment came for him with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 I realized that the Cold War and the arms industry represented a menace to our civilization and I recognized that it was important to speak up before the moment had passed he said An informal study group opened a dialogue with the Los Alamos community Later Mello decided to take his savings and bankroll the Los Alamos Study Group He rented his house and lived in the office at the corner of Grant Avenue and Catron Street in Santa Fe In 2003 Mello and his wife moved to Albuquerque Financially the Los Alamos Study Group survives from small donations and constant fundraising In 2010 it raised 70 000 and in 2011 it raised 120 000 Gross salaries were 32 500 last year operating expenses were 30 000 for travel office costs and communication and 10 000 for health insurance It s a white knuckle operation Mello said It is difficult to trace the cause and effect of individual actions or weigh the significance of Mello s many trips to Washington since 2006 It s a huge challenge facing a large entrenched bureaucracy with an enormous amount of money sunk into past decisions said Charles Perkovich president of the Federation of American Scientists who has a security clearance from Sandia National Laboratories Among other matters his organization keeps a wary eye on nuclear weapons issues Perkovich is especially impressed with what he called Mello s strange bedfellows coalition Greg was able to reach out to people in the Republican camp who

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2012/SFNM_10Mar2012.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Low Tax Rates for the Rich Harm Not Only the Economy, But Defense, Foregin Policy in Focus, Feb 16, 2012
    environmental grounds But sociologist Darwin BondGraham who is on the LASG Board of Directors is in no mood to gloat about the victory In an elegiac article for Counterpunch titled Starving the Real Beast he writes The war machine has begun to eat itself for the sake of preserving hyper inequalities resulting directly from the less progressive tax code instituted a decade prior and the multitude of shelters capital now hides behind See what he s saying here By paying minimal taxes the rich and corporations are depriving the nuclear weapons program and defense in general of funds or forcing their reallocation from budget needs other than defense In other words BondGraham is providing progressives with a stunning talking point one seldom seen never in my case It might be worded something like this When the corporate rich don t pay their fair share of taxes it leaves us more vulnerable to attack Not that we necessarily have to believe the last part BondGraham again emphasis added Whether the Right realizes their folly at this point is not yet clear After a decade of record breaking tax cuts for the wealthy and economic deregulation leading to explosive inequality and a

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2012/FPIF_16Feb2012.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Nuclear Pit Boondoggle at Los Alamos Temporarily Scuttled, Foreign Policy in Focus, Feb 14, 2012
    the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement complex at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico which would conduct work on materials such as plutonium employed in the U S nuclear arsenal Under the proposal funding for the Los Alamos site estimated to cost up to 6 would be cut by 165 million and building would be pushed back by no less than five years This is the infamous plutonium pit the living breathing heart of a nuclear warhead facility about which I frequently post Much of the credit for inserting this major blip into the United States nuclear weapons industrial complex goes to the Los Alamos Study Group LASG Among their protracted efforts to halt the CMRR NF has been incessant lobbying on Capitol Hill and two separate lawsuits it has filed against the Department of Energy on the grounds that the planned facility is not environmentally safe Another factor in the CMRR NF s delay is an economic climate that makes even Republicans open to the idea of defense cuts The Pentagon meanwhile or elements thereof with its unique talent for sensing the opportunity in any crisis stands ready and willing to re allocate money to weapons systems it can actually use instead of just brandish as with nuclear deterrence In one of its press releases on this development LASG Executive Director Greg Mello reminds us of the extent to which the CMRR NF is a boondoggle The CMRR project has been a fiasco from the get go In the beginning the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Los Alamos National Laboratory proposed CMRR structures which even the most cursory examination revealed could never be built The construction materials specified in environmental documents could not have built a shed much less a fortified seismically sound nuclear facility to

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2012/FPIF_14Feb2012.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • UPF gets boost in FY13 budget, CMRR-NF project deferred, Nuclear Weapons & Materials Monitor, Feb 14, 2012
    least among appropriators with the project begun to appear last year In FY2012 Congressional appropriators provided only 200 million of the Administration s 300 million request and explicitly prohibited the lab from beginning to prepare the site for construction in FY2012 The Administration said it would avoid spending 1 8 billion from 2013 to 2017 on the project but experts believe if the NNSA ultimately decides to build the facility the delays will add more costs to the final price tag As for UPF the Administration is requesting 340 million for the project nearly 180 million more than was appropriated for the project in FY2012 and 150 million more than the agency had projected spending a year ago That move was applauded by Sen Lamar Alexander R Tenn the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee Modernizing the nation s nuclear weapons complex is of critical importance to our nation s defense I look forward to seeing a detailed plan for doing it on time and within budget Alexander said Looking at the Big Picture It s not clear if the NNSA will ever build the CMRR NF as previously envisioned While NNSA Administrator Tom D Agostino stressed that the decision was a deferral and not a cancellation of the project he said the decision would give the agency time to evaluate how to approach replacing the lab s plutonium facility which was built in 1978 is currently undergoing significant seismic upgrades and will reach the end of its expected lifespan in several decades It s very clear to us if we re going to get in the business of building billion dollar nuclear facilities that we need to take into consideration the big picture D Agostino said Because of where we are financially this affords us the opportunity to do that and it also allows us to take a look at the existing plutonium capability we have that doesn t rely solely on the old CMR Chemistry and Metallurgy Research facility NNSA Defense Programs chief Don Cook said the increased funding for UPF would allow an acceleration of construction work on the project particularly the massive amounts of concrete and reinforcing bar that will be needed The increase gets us the most efficient way to put the base build facility in place Cook said The installation of tooling and equipment that will allow the agency to move out of the 9212 facility will remain on its previous schedule and will begin in 2019 Cook said According to the budget request the facility would be operational in the fourth quarter of 2022 The NNSA won t commit to a baseline for the project until it reaches 90 percent design maturity at the end of FY2012 or the beginning of FY2013 We ll have this logic built into the baseline when we set the price Cook said Plutonium Options Drive Decision Deferring the CMRR NF project was easier than postponing UPF D Agostino said because there were options

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2012/NWMM_14Feb2012.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • CMRR to be deferred five years, LA Monitor, Feb 14, 2012
    It s very good news said Greg Mello director of the watchdog Los Alamos Study Group And it is part of a wider reassessment of what is truly necessary in the nuclear weapons budgets in both the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense Jay Coghlan Nuclear Watch New Mexico Director said ìNow that the CMRR Nuclear Facility has been zeroed out our New Mexican Congressional delegation and state and local elected officials should be pushing hard for comprehensive cleanup at the lab That will create 100 s of desperately needed jobs and at the same time protect our scarce precious groundwater and the Rio Grande That s in stark contrast to unneeded nuclear weapons programs that produce more radioactive and hazardous wastes and creates few if any new jobs National Nuclear Security Administration officials emphasized the project already plagued by years of cost overruns and delays was delayed not cancelled because of a tough fiscal environment Instead the administration s budget funds a separate uranium facility in Tennessee With last year s budget cutting mandate from Congress many expected only one of the two projects could be funded this year Thom D Agostino from NNSA said in a conference call with reporters Monday that we are not canceling the project We are deferring the project for five years It s a deferral Energy Secretary Steven Chu told reporters in Washington that the Department of Energy s decision to abandon at least for five years the plutonium complex proposed for Los Alamos National Laboratory came down to simple economics Faced with escalating costs for two proposed multibillion dollar nuclear weapons related projects one in Tennessee and the second at Los Alamos the National Nuclear Security Administration was forced to choose It chose the facility in Tennessee Within these budget realities it was very clear we couldn t do both needs at the same time so we addressed the one that we thought was most critical Chu told the Albuquerque Journal Sen Jeff Bingaman D NM added For years we have been told the CMRR nuclear facility was necessary Now we re being told there may be alternatives I look forward to hearing more from the administration about this change in plans Bingaman said Lab officials have for years contended CMRR is needed to replace a 1940s era facility that is beyond renovation yet crucial to supporting its mission as the primary center for maintaining and developing the country s stockpile of nuclear weapons While much of the work is classified they said the lab s mission was to do analytical work to support the nearby Plutonium Facility or PF 4 which is the only building in the country equipped for making the pits that power nuclear weapons Critics however called it an effort by the DOE and NNSA to escalate the production of new nuclear weapons And they questioned the wisdom of continuing with the project after recent seismic studies showed a higher than previously known risk for a

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2012/LAMonitor_14Feb2012.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Starving the Real Beast, Counterpunch, Darwin BondGraham, Feb 14, 2012
    caved on extension of the Bush tax cuts and fell victim to the debt ceiling trap among other grave economic injustices Guns starved butter repeatedly and no one in government seemed willing or able or even mature enough to scale back the debt inducing and paralyzing experiment in less progressive taxation accelerated ten years prior Still they wanted their exorbitant weapons factories and systems In the past two years as the fiscal situation of the United States has further deteriorated it has become apparent that even the sacred cow of military spending must bear the burden of cuts with none other than the sage of the national security state Leon Panetta endorsing the idea of a leaner Pentagon Guns are now beginning to starve guns So far proposals in dollar terms have been modest In sum the military s growth would be slowed not reversed This year s Department of Defense budget is 613 billion essentially no change from last year However 487 billion in planned increases are to be eliminated over the next ten years and if within the next year further cuts are not finalized a trigger cut of 500 billion would be enacted The Project on Government Oversight has a good rundown of cuts to weapons systems on their blog It isn t just the pressure of stagnating revenues the stalled economy and exploding costs that have forced federal leaders to ax weapons systems however And it isn t just random weapons systems that are now on the chopping block Interventions begun years prior to stall and ultimately terminate projects like CMRR by organizations such as the Los Alamos Study Group of which I am a board member have been instrumental in creating these possible outcomes The Study Group s two lawsuits to halt construction of the CMRR filed in the Federal District Court of New Mexico and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit have contended since August 2010 that the CMRR has no applicable environmental impact statement and more fundamentally that the facility is entirely unnecessary even if one accepts the insane nuclear policies agreed to by leadership of both the Democratic and Republican Parties Had federal planners conducted the legally required studies for CMRR Study Group executive director Greg Mello argued in briefs submitted to a federal judge two years ago cheaper alternatives would have been chosen long ago taxpayers would come out ahead the environment would be spared permanent harm and perhaps most importantly the economy of already impoverished northern New Mexico would be spared the disfiguring effects of extremely harmful investments of human and natural resources in a glorified bomb factory a plan that will simply drain money and talent from the increasingly besmirched region http www lasg org CMRR Litigation Mello aff2 12Nov2010 pdf Throughout 2010 and 2011 the Study Group struggled to make this case both the narrow legal case pertaining to the illegality of the Department of Energy s actions under the National Environmental Protection Act

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2012/Counterpunch_14Feb2012.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Sandia Wins, LANL Loses in Fed Nuke Proposal, ABQ Journal, Feb 14, 2012
    address the growing safety issues at the 50 year old building it s meant to replace I have concerns about how this will affect the lab employees working in the outdated building and its impact on Northern New Mexico Udall said As a result of the Budget Control Act which I did not support funding cuts are being recommended across the government in order to meet deficit reduction targets Rep Ben Ray Luján D N M said in a statement While the CMRR project has been targeted we cannot forget that Los Alamos National Laboratory plays an integral role in our nation as well as in New Mexico I remain committed to working with my colleagues in Congress to support Los Alamos National Laboratory advance scientific research continue environmental remediation and reduce the stockpile of nuclear weapons around the world Former Rep Heather Wilson a Republican seeking Bingaman s Senate seat said the decision represents a broken promise by the Obama administration that will cost New Mexico 1 000 jobs over the next decade Not only is this bad for our country and its national security it s bad for New Mexico and our economy Wilson said State Auditor Hector Balderas a Democratic candidate for U S Senate said he s also concerned about the impact the cuts could have on jobs in northern New Mexico He said the abrupt nature of the cuts perhaps highlights the need to rethink and retool the missions of some of our labs Democratic Rep Martin Heinrich also is running for the Senate questioned the effect on the lab s obligations to maintain U S nuclear weapons in the face of arms reduction under the New START treaty with the Russians I have concerns that the administration has not adequately explained to the public

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2012/ABQ_JRNL_14Feb2012.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Obama budget puts Los Alamos facility on hold, Canadian Business, Feb 13, 2012
    it is could be part of a wider reassessment of what is truly necessary in the nuclear weapons budgets in both the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense Although the budget doesn t officially kill the program Mello said the action effectively marks its demise This is the end of this project he said Instead the administration s budget would fund a similar project in Tennessee With last year s budget cutting mandate many expected only one of the two projects could survive DOE officials emphasized the project was deferred not cut Officials at the lab referred questions to Washington where the National Nuclear Security Administration planned a Monday afternoon conference call to discuss the budget Lab officials have for years contended CMRR is needed to replace a 1940s era facility that is beyond renovation yet crucial to supporting its mission as the primary center for maintaining and developing the country s stockpile of nuclear weapons While much of the work is classified they said the lab s mission was to do analytical work to support the nearby Plutonium Facility or PF 4 which is the only building in the country equipped for making the pits that power nuclear weapons Critics however called it an effort by the DOE and NNSA to escalate the production of new nuclear weapons and turn what has largely been a research facility into a bomb factory And they questioned the wisdom of continuing with the project after a 2007 seismic study showed a higher than previously known risk for a major earthquake in the area The Obama administration said Monday that the NNSA has determined in consultation with the national laboratories that existing infrastructure in the nuclear complex has the inherent capacity to provide adequate support for these missions Mello said that

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/press/2012/CanBus_13Feb2012.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive



  •