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Meet Us Live: Grassroots Organizations on the Frontlines
CEJC LIVE Social Media Presentation

Posted on Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

Join the California Environmental Justice Coalition (CEJC) for their second Facebook LIVE Social Media Presentation, Thursday, September 24 at 4pm!

CEJC will go LIVE on Facebook to showcase 10 of our members and the important work they are doing in their communities. Groups presenting include: The LEAP Institute (Latino Equity Advocacy and Policy), Tri-Valley CAREs, Del Amo Action Committee, Comite Civico del Valle, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water (EJCW), California Safe Schools, Citizen Air Monitoring Network, Bay Area-System Change not Climate Change (BA-SCnCC), and more.

Tri-Valley CAREs is a cofounding member of CEJC and our Bilingual Community Organizer, Raiza Marciscano-Bettis, will represent us this year.

Please SUBSCRIBE here! The event will be recorded for viewing.

Second CEJC LIVE Social Media Presentation

More info at:

California Environmental Justice Coalition (CEJC)

CEJCoalition@gmail.comCEJCoalition.orgfacebook.com/CEJCoalition




Tri-Valley CAREs’ September Virtual Meeting

Posted on Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

Tri-Valley CAREs' would like to remind you of our monthly virtual meeting that will be held at 7:30 pm on Thursday September 17, 2020. Our monthly meetings are open to all interested members of the public. You will get up-to-the-minute reports on nuclear issues, and become part of a peace and justice community that is creating positive change locally, nationally and globally! Join us virtually!

And, if Spanish is your first language, I'd love to provide translation on request. Contact me at raiza@trivalleycares.org. I hope to see you!

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 884 8159 0613 • Password: 748609





September Virtual LTE Writing Party

Posted on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 843 1635 2291 • Password: 493672

Please click links below for A "How to" guide on how to write letters to the editor (English & Spanish).

Remember, Your Voice is Power.

CLICK HERE "How to" in English

CLIC AQUÍ "How to" en Español




Posted on Thursday, August 27, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley

Essential Information:
Livermore Lab’s New Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement

We have prepared this essential information in two parts:

Part One describes the key issues at Livermore Lab and the law. Part Two includes a time-critical action alert. Livermore Lab and its parent agency are trying to ramrod through - and therefore stifle - your ability to influence decisions about Livermore Lab’s nuclear weapons activities, the amount of plutonium onsite, the use of outdoor firing tables for toxic bomb blasts, and other key issues by conducting a “hurry up” online meeting September 2 and a very short comment period.

So, please read both parts and use our “sign and send” action alert at the end to request an extension of time.

Part One: Key Issues

On August 5, 2020 the Livermore Lab and its parent agency, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced a decision to conduct a new Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement (SWEIS) to analyze operations at the Lab’s Main Site in Livermore and its Site 300 near Tracy, CA over the coming 15 years. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is the law that governs the process along with the NNSA’s own guidance regarding how it will implement the law.

The first step in undertaking a new Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement is called “scoping.” That’s the step triggered by the agency’s formal “Notice of Intent” to prepare a SWEIS, published in the Federal Register on August 5th. You can read the Notice at https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2020/08/f77/noi-eis-0547-llnl-site-wide-2020.pdf

The law requires that there be an early and open process for determining the scope of the issues to be addressed by the review. Remember that this document will authorize activities for 15 years, i.e., until 2036 at a minimum. This is your opportunity to offer input on what the Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement should include. The law says scoping is for the “early identification of concerns, potential impacts, relevant effects of past actions and possible alternative actions.” .

Following the “scoping” process, the NNSA and Livermore Lab will produce a Draft SWEIS. That too will have a public hearing and comment period, but they will be more narrowly focused as the “scope” of the review will have already been determined before the draft is written. In short, the “scoping” period going on now is an important part of the process! The agency’s choice of timing appears intended to minimize public involvement in the activities of this controversial nuclear weapons lab. We must rise to meet the challenge.

The Federal Register Notice includes a cursory outline for the draft SWEIS that is partly the bare bones of what the law requires in terms of sections that any SWEIS must include and partly a very editorial vision of what the NNSA and Livermore Lab want the SWEIS to include (and what they don’t want it include).

This scope outlined in the Federal Register Notice includes a statement of “purpose and need” for the review. In that section the NNSA has the audacity to claim: “The U.S. nuclear weapons infrastructure is aging and historically underfunded.” The facts say otherwise. Tri-Valley CAREs documented substantial budget increases for NNSA and its weapons labs during the last administration. And during the current administration the NNSA budget to “modernize” is 50% higher that when President Trump took office. The NNSA has squandered billions on these weapons of nuclear mass destruction. For the coming fiscal year alone, NNSA requested $15.6 billion for nuclear weapons activities. Livermore Lab requested $2.2 billion.

Yet, despite years of budget increases for nuclear weapons activities, LLNL asserts that it “is in need of facilities and infrastructure investments. Half of the operating buildings at LLNL are assessed as being inadequate or in substandard condition.” This begs the question, why haven’t the existing funds been used to maintain existing infrastructure?

Additionally the “purpose and need” statement capitalizes on the Trump Administration’s controversial 2018 Nuclear Posture Review and its call for a costly new generation of nuclear weapons. Then the “purpose and need” statement briefly notes: “LLNL will complete Life Extension Programs [this is a catch-all phrase the agency uses to describe fully new warhead designs as well as refurbishments] by conducting testing and maintenance of weapons.” This statement is left to stand without further explanation of what “testing” and “maintenance” entail.

Yet, it is precisely the weapons work covered by that single sentence that will create “significant impacts to the environment.” This is clear from the Superfund cleanup of past weapons programs. Both the Main Site and Site 300 are Superfund sites and the cleanup will continue until sometime around 2060 (yes, nuclear weapons activities have caused that much pollution, including in multiple groundwater aquifers).

The Federal Register Notice mentions in passing that the “Proposed operational changes are expected to include: “Changes to material-at-risk (MAR), administrative limits, and radiological bounding accident scenarios as a result of the deinventory of Security Category I and II special nuclear materials from LLNL, which was completed in 2012.”

Lets be clear. In plain English this is saying that NNSA and Livermore Lab will utilize this process to increase the amount of nuclear bomb grade plutonium that the Lab will be authorized to handle, use in experiments, and store at its Main Site in Livermore. This is a central reason – if not the reason – that the agency has decided to do a new SWEIS.

Some of our long-time members will recall that in 2008 Tri-Valley CAREs gleaned the information that Livermore Lab had failed a force-on-force security drill in which one team of mock terrorists accessed the Lab’s plutonium facility and held it long enough to detonate a radiological bomb while a second team left the site unmolested with enough plutonium to detonate a nuclear bomb anywhere.

We alerted the media, launched a public petition, and testified before the U.S. Congress. The upshot was that Livermore Lab lost its Category I/II security clearance to house nuclear bomb making quantities of plutonium and highly enriched uranium on site. That removal process was completed in 2012. Now, NNSA and Livermore Lab want to bring some of that nuclear material back. After they proved they could not keep it (and us) safe.

The Federal Register Notice is silent on the details but it is worth noting that Livermore has been designated the lead lab in the development of a novel warhead, called the W87-1, which will require a new plutonium core unlike anything in the stockpile or in storage. Moreover, largely to serve the “needs” of this novel warhead, the NNSA has testified to Congress that its number one priority is to expand plutonium bomb core production. The production sites will be at the Savannah River Site in SC and the Los Alamos Lab in NM. The environmental review document for Los Alamos contains a chart that shows that site shipping plutonium to Livermore Lab for “material testing” for new bomb cores.

This is a prime example of why public participation matters in a SWEIS process. At the public meeting and in written comments we the public can ask questions about this - and offer comments on its appropriateness in the highly populated Bay Area with earthquake fault zones all around.

The scoping process for the SWEIS “is an opportunity for the public to assist NNSA in determining the alternatives and issues for analysis,” according to the Federal Register Notice. Tri-Valley CAREs stands ready to “assist.” We invite all members of the public to join us.

In this regard, it is worth noting that several important programs being proposed by Livermore Lab did not get any mention in the Federal Register Notice. One of them is the plan to increase the size of toxic bomb blasts ten fold. These tests are slated to be carried out at Site 300 on outdoor “firing tables” with no air pollution control technology. Livermore Lab produced a paltry “assessment” and then applied to the Air District for a permit. These bomb blasts and other similar programs must be included in the SWEIS.

While the Federal Register Notice spends too little time describing Livermore Lab’s current and proposed programs, it spends a lot on ink telling the public what it doesn’t want to look at. It states that “Alternatives that NNSA will not consider as reasonable are: The complete closure and decontamination and decommissioning of the Livermore Site or Site 300, and transfer of current missions/operations from LLNL to other sites, as those actions would be inconsistent with the LLNL mission defined by NNSA.” This illustrates the agency’s unwillingness to self-examine and is not an actual effort to analyze reasonable “alternatives,” especially the lack of unique mission for Site 300.

Interestingly, the document also mentions that “Over the 15-year LLNL SWEIS planning horizon, NNSA has identified more than 110 excess facilities, totaling more than 1.1 million square feet, to be decontaminated, decommissioned, and demolished.” This likely includes the “High-Risk Excess Facilities” identified by the Department of Energy Inspector General, but also many more facilities that pose a risk to workers and the general public living and working near the Lab. We are eager to learn more specifics about plans to D & D these facilities. We will ask questions too about the funding to accomplish this program. The $109 million funding that was supposed to be used to start some of this work in the coming year instead got allocated to nuclear weapons projects at the Lab.

Part Two: Meeting and Comment Period

The Federal Register Notice states: “In light of recent public health concerns, NNSA will be hosting an internet-based, virtual public scoping meeting in place of an in-person meeting. The date of the meeting will be provided in a future notice posted on the following website: www.energy.gov/nnsa/nnsa-nepa-reading-room. NNSA will hold the meeting no earlier than 15 days from the posting of the notice.”

Frustratingly, it also notes that the “scoping” process will conclude by September 21. Just in case you don’t routinely check the NNSA website (and remember this process is supposed to be accessible to members of the general public), here is what happened next.

Some time on August 19, the NNSA posted the announcement that it would hold a public scoping online meeting using a WebEx online platform.

That public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 2nd, a scant two weeks from the time of the announcement. Tri-Valley CAREs will participate, and we invite you to join us. The meeting will run from 6 – 8pm. The url is https://tinyurl.com/LLNLSW9-2.

Importantly, we are also asking for a second public meeting to be held later in the fall.

Tri-Valley CAREs is likewise seeking to extend the comment period from the paltry 45 days given in the Federal Register Notice to 120 days from the filing of the Notice on August 5th.

We believe it is imperative that the NNSA gives the public more opportunity for engagement from the outset. We hope you join us in this effort to improve public and worker health and safety and influence the future operations of the Livermore Lab.

Here below is a “sign and send” request to NNSA for an expanded public comment period and held a second meeting.

Just copy the text and click the link to send it to the NNSA Document Manager. Don’t forget to add your name at the bottom and how the agency should send you its answer. As always, change or add anything you want to say…

LLNLSWEIS@nnsa.doe.gov

Ms. Fana Gebeyehu-Houston, NEPA Document Manager
National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA),
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)
P.O. Box 808, L-293
Livermore, CA 94551-0808

REQUEST FOR EXTENSION OF PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD AND A SECOND PUBLIC MEETING ON THE LLNL SITE-WIDE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

The National Nuclear Security Administration and Livermore Lab have begun a public process to receive input on the scope of a new Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL or Livermore Lab) Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement (SWEIS), which is being prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.

The Notice of Intent to prepare a new SWEIS was published in the Federal Register on August 5, 2020. The Federal Register Notice states that the public comment period is for a scant 45-days and will close on September 21, 2020.

Further, the Federal Register Notice does not publicize the date and time for an online public scoping meeting, but states only that when such a meeting is scheduled a note will be placed on the NNSA website at https://www.energy.gov/nnsa/nnsa-nepa-reading-room. The NNSA web site later announced an online meeting, scheduled very soon after it was posted, specifically on Wednesday, September 2, 2020.

Livermore Lab is a more than $2 billion dollar a year enterprise involving two physical locations, a Main Site in Livermore in Alameda County and a “Site 300” High Explosives Testing Range near Tracy in San Joaquin County.

For the coming fiscal year 88.7% of Livermore Lab’s budget is for nuclear weapons activities, which are inherently complex and controversial.

Controversial as well is the proposal published in the August 5, 2020 Federal Register Notice to use this Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement process to increase the amount of plutonium and other nuclear bomb grade materials that can be used (and stored) at Livermore Lab.

In “normal” times, this Federal Register Notice would establish a public comment period that is far too short (for 45-days) - with a public meeting that is being held far too close to its announcement (on September 2).

And, these are far from “normal” times.

The public meeting on September 2 is virtual, to be held online via a WebEx link. The technology itself limits the people who can participate. For example, low-income families and others who are technology challenged for a variety of reasons may not be able attend, and certainly not on short notice.

If NNSA and Livermore Lab would agree to post a easily accessible recording of the September 2 public meeting – along with a written transcript – then those who were not able to attend via WebEx link would be able to obtain its content. With a second public meeting that is publicized well in advance, these and other members of the public could make arrangements to participate. And, with a longer public comment period, they could submit written comments more readily.

This “hurry up” schedule is happening at the very time we the public must deal with the health risks of the Covid-19 pandemic, high unemployment, a faltering economy on “Main Street,” and, often, children who are doing distance learning from home.

Further, some of the people most directly affected by Livermore Lab operations have had to flee their homes due to the still ongoing fires, and the Livermore Lab’s Site 300 High Explosives Testing Range near Tracy had to be evacuated due to fire danger.

All of these things and more and severely limit the public’s capacity for civic engagement unless there is sufficient time for people to schedule it well in advance.

Therefore, I request:

  1. That the public comment period be extended to 120-days from publication of the Notice of Intent on August 5, 2020 and,
  2. That a second online public meeting be set for the Livermore Lab Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement Scoping process later this fall, and
  3. That the second online public meeting will be publicized well in advance of the date it will be held, and
  4. That the NNSA and Livermore Lab advise me of any action they are taking pursuant to my request.

Signed,

Name:

Email and/or postal address:




Tri-Valley CAREs’ August Virtual Meeting

Posted on Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

Tri-Valley CAREs' would like to remind you of our monthly virtual meeting that will be held at 7:30 pm on Thursday August 20, 2020. Our monthly meetings are open to all interested members of the public. You will get up-to-the-minute reports on nuclear issues, and become part of a peace and justice community that is creating positive change locally, nationally and globally! Join us virtually!

And, if Spanish is your first language, I'd love to provide translation on request. Contact me at raiza@trivalleycares.org. I hope to see you!

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 846 0129 9806 • Password: 290795




Livermore Lab Virtual Rally, August 6, 2020

Posted on Friday, August 14, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley and Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

"From Hiroshima to a Healthy Tomorrow: Embracing Our Common Humanity” Livermore Lab virtual rally, with speakers and music, August 6, 2020

https://youtu.be/9MDuU9XhuEM

CLIC AQUÍ para leer la información en español




On Embracing Our Common Humanity in a Virtual Rally

Posted on Friday, August 7, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

My Experience on August, 06, 2020 on the 75th Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombing

On August 6, 2020, I joined thousands of viewers from around our community and across the country to participate a virtual rally called, “From Hiroshima to a Healthy Tomorrow: Embracing Our Common Humanity”.

This rally is held annually at the gates of Livermore Lab where more than 88% of its budget will be spent on nuclear weapons. Livermore is one of the two locations that design every nuclear bomb and warhead in the U.S. stockpile. However, because of the Covid-19 challenge that we are facing, this event was held virtually.

This occasion was the 75th anniversary of the dropping of the US atomic bomb directly above the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 at 8:16 am on a Monday. In a city of more than 300,000 inhabitants, one-third perished instantly. Many more died of radiation sickness in the aftermath. Three days later, August 9, 1945, another atomic bomb was dropped on the people in Nagasaki.

Those who survived, called Hibakusha, plead that there be an end to the nuclear threat and that no people, ever again, suffer what they have endured. The survivors often have scars and recurring sickness; yet some are #StillHere to carry forward their appeal for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Our rally was honored to have Nobuaki Hanaoka, a retired Methodist minister from the Bay Area, speak to us. Nobu, as he is called, was an 8-month old baby in Nagasaki when the bomb fell. His words were filled with sadness as he told the tragic story of his family. His only memories of his mother and sister were of them pale and bedridden. When he was still a young boy, they died of illness linked to radiation poisoning. I will never forget his experience, and I am grateful it is now on tape for all to see and hear.

The rally also featured nuclear historian Gar Alperovitz. He quoted military leaders from the time of the bombings and said, “Virtually every top military and diplomatic person within the upper rank of the American government knew that the bombing was unnecessary to end the war without an invasion and without a massive loss of life.” He pointed to evidence that a number of decision makers thought the U.S. use of atomic bombs in Japan would make the Soviets more “manageable” after the war, which, he noted, did not happen. Instead, they too acquired the bomb.

On this 75th anniversary, speakers like former Pentagon nuclear war planner, and famed “Pentagon Papers” whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg reflected on the meaning of the bomb. He began his examination with Mahatma Gandhi’s question in 1945 of what the use of atomic bombs might do to the soul of the destroying nation.

Marylia Kelley, Executive Director at Tri-Valley CAREs, addressed the Livermore Lab’s role in promoting a new nuclear arm race. Ms. Kelley has worked for 37 years conducting research, writing and facilitating methods for the public to participate in the nuclear policy decisions. She shared with us a budget chart for the Livermore Lab in which 88.7% of funding for the coming year is for nuclear weapons activities and less than 2% is for civilian science, 1.7% to be exact. In this time of Covid-19, she noted that it is sad to say that this is the government’s priority – and this is what we must change.

I would like to thank all the people who participated in one way or another in this event, as well as to send gratitude to all the people who work for justice and peace from our community and from all over the country and the world.

I strongly agree with something said by the rally emcees – that we all have a big responsibility. For it is people who really make the difference and who make real change happen.

As the rally unfolded, I felt the history of people who have gathered at Livermore Lab year after year to remember the horror of the atomic bomb and to recommit to working for peace and justice. On this 75th anniversary, I too commit my energy to the peace and security of a world free of nuclear weapons and the pollution they cause. I invite you to join me: Raiza Marciscano-Bettis, Tri-Valley CAREs' Bilingual Community Organizer.

CLIC AQUÍ para leer la información en español





"ANNOUNCEMENT: For the livestream broadcast, go to https://www.hiroshimanagasaki75.org/events

From Hiroshima to a Healthy Tomorrow: Embracing Our Common Humanity —Annual protest and rally held at the gates of Livermore Laboratory, this year broadcast virtually.

WHEN: Hiroshima Day, Thursday, August 6 from 8 am to 9:30 am Pacific Time

LINK: Just before 8 am Pacific Time on August 6 this link is set go live for a national broadcast:
This link no longer works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_8qpE8RPJo

ADDITIONALLY: The link will also be displayed prominently on the collaborative, national website at www.HiroshimaNagasaki75.org (In the unlikely event of technical difficulty, please also check this site on August 6).

RALLY SPEAKERS & MUSIC: Livermore rally speakers include noted historian and author Gar Alperovitz, Pentagon planner and whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, and Nagasaki A-bomb survivor Rev. Nobuaki Hanaoka, Marylia Kelley of Tri-Valley CAREs, singer Betsy Rose and more. (Scroll down for photos and short bios for all speakers and musicians.)

NOTES: The Livermore Lab rally at 8 am Pacific Time will kick off two days of nationally broadcast programming on this historic 75th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This unprecedented nationwide event, with continuous programming running on both August 6 and 9, is organized by more than 160 organizations working together through the Hiroshima Nagasaki 75 collaboration. Tri-Valley CAREs is a proud partner in this national coalition.

For the full 2-day schedule: https://www.hiroshimanagasaki75.org/events
The August 6 full day broadcast link is the same as above
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_8qpE8RPJo
The August 9 full day broadcast link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_8qpE8RPJo

Click here to read the information in pdf form.




Livermore Lab Virtual Rally Speaker Has Op-Ed in Today's LA Times

Posted on Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley and Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

We are pleased to announce that one of our rally speakers, nuclear historian Gar Alperovitz, has an op-ed published in today’s Los Angeles Times newspaper. In it, he explores the U.S. decision to drop the bomb. The article’s co-author is historian Martin Sherwin.

We invite you to read the LA Times piece, and to join our virtual rally tomorrow (August 6) at 8am to hear more from Gar Alperovitz and other great speakers.

Following the op-ed is a document Gar Alperovitz shared with Tri-Valley CAREs containing expanded quotes from military leaders at the time regarding the U.S. decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan in 1945 on August 6 and 9, respectively.

Op-Ed: U.S. leaders knew we didn’t have to drop atomic bombs on Japan to win the war. We did it anyway

At a time when Americans are reassessing so many painful aspects of our nation’s past, it is an opportune moment to have an honest national conversation about our use of nuclear weapons on Japanese cities in August 1945. The fateful decision to inaugurate the nuclear age fundamentally changed the course of modern history, and it continues to threaten our survival. As the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock warns us, the world is now closer to nuclear annihilation than at any time since 1947.

The accepted wisdom in the United States for the last 75 years has been that dropping the bombs on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, and on Nagasaki three days later was the only way to end the World War II without an invasion that would have cost hundreds of thousands of American and perhaps millions of Japanese lives. Not only did the bombs end the war, the logic goes, they did so in the most humane way possible.

However, the overwhelming historical evidence from American and Japanese archives indicates that Japan would have surrendered that August, even if atomic bombs had not been used — and documents prove that President Truman and his closest advisors knew it.

The allied demand for unconditional surrender led the Japanese to fear that the emperor, who many considered a deity, would be tried as a war criminal and executed. A study by Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s Southwest Pacific Command compared the emperor’s execution to “the crucifixion of Christ to us.”

“Unconditional Surrender is the only obstacle to peace,” Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo wired Ambassador Naotake Sato, who was in Moscow on July 12, 1945, trying to enlist the Soviet Union to mediate acceptable surrender terms on Japan’s behalf.

But the Soviet Union’s entry into the war on Aug. 8 changed everything for Japan’s leaders, who privately acknowledged the need to surrender promptly.

Allied intelligence had been reporting for months that Soviet entry would force the Japanese to capitulate. As early as April 11, 1945, the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Joint Intelligence Staff had predicted: “If at any time the USSR should enter the war, all Japanese will realize that absolute defeat is inevitable.”

Truman knew that the Japanese were searching for a way to end the war; he had referred to Togo’s intercepted July 12 cable as the “telegram from the Jap emperor asking for peace.”

Truman also knew that the Soviet invasion would knock Japan out of the war. At the summit in Potsdam, Germany, on July 17, following Stalin’s assurance that the Soviets were coming in on schedule, Truman wrote in his diary, “He’ll be in the Jap War on August 15. Fini Japs when that comes about.” The next day, he assured his wife, “We’ll end the war a year sooner now, and think of the kids who won’t be killed!”

CLICK HERE to read the rest in PDF form...

CLICK HERE to read the expanded quotes from military leaders, provided by Gar Alperovitz.





Join Us On-line for a Unique 75th Anniversary Hiroshima Day Rally

Posted on Friday, July 24, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley

Join Us On-line for a Unique 75th Anniversary Hiroshima Day Rally

Date & Time: Thursday, August 6 from 8 AM to 9:30 AM (Pacific Time), with a moment of silence at 8:15 AM, when the first atomic bomb was used in war by the United States against the people of Hiroshima.

Link: This event is free, and all people of good will are invited to participate. Circle your calendar today. Check www.trivalleycares.org before the event to obtain the link. You will be able to simply click the link on our website and participate.

Background: Tri-Valley CAREs and colleagues from Northern California peace and justice groups annually host a rally, march and nonviolent direct action at 8am at the gates of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are moving the event on-line.

Our program: Expect great speakers and musicians for this 75th anniversary rally and commemoration. (See the list below.) Expect also some action footage of Livermore Lab, one of two locations where all U.S. nuclear weapons are designed.

Purpose: Join Tri-Valley CAREs on-line this year to abolish nuclear weapons on the 75th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Our event, and your participation in it, will stand with the A-bomb survivors, known as Hibakusha as they continue to appeal for a world free of nuclear weapons based on their fervent hope that “no one shall ever again suffer as we have.”

Our event will look at the decision to use the bomb on this special anniversary, and we will address current nuclear weapons policy, including the new warheads being developed today. Together, in word and song we will also celebrate the joys of taking collective action for peace, justice and our Earth.

# Still Here: In this 75th anniversary year, Tri-Valley CAREs has joined with non-profits across the country to highlight and deepen activism for change. We chose the hash tag #StillHere to note nuclear weapons are still here, but so are we…

“We are a coalition of anti-nuclear activists representing a variety of organizations nationwide. We share the common goals of ridding the world of the risk of nuclear weapons, and bringing justice to the communities affected by nuclear weapons testing, production and use. We came together specifically to honor nuclear survivors as we acknowledge that in the 75th year of the nuclear age, survivors and the weapons are still here.”

This national collaboration has enabled two full days of on-line commemorative events, beginning with our rally on August 6 at 8 AM Pacific Time - and continuing with fresh programming throughout the day on August 6 and August 9, when the U.S used an atomic bomb on the people of Nagasaki.

Collaborative website: You will find lots of information and resources your can use at www.HiroshimaNagasaki75.org. Check it out.

We hope to see you at our lively, multi-faceted rally – and, perhaps, at others too as your schedule permits. The same link will work for all of the rallies and events.

Immediately below, please find our August 6 rally flyer and our order of program…




“From Hiroshima to a Healthy Tomorrow: Embracing Our Common Humanity”

Posted on Monday, July 20, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis



August Virtual LTE Writing Party

Posted on Monday, July 20, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 835 3410 4974 • Password: 812319

Please click links below for A "How to" guide on how to write letters to the editor (English & Spanish).

Remember, Your Voice is Power.

CLICK HERE "How to" in English

CLIC AQUÍ "How to" en Español




Remembering the 75th Anniversary of the Trinity Test

Posted on Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley

The Tularosa Basin, NM downwinders invite you to a virtual commemoration:

“Trinity Downwinders: 75 Years and Waiting” on Thursday, July 16 at 8 AM Pacific Time / 9 AM Mountain Time. Access at www.trinitydownwinders.com

Remembering the 75th Anniversary of the Trinity Test

Before the United States used nuclear bombs on the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, they were tested on the people of New Mexico. Specifically, the U.S. government tested a prototype of the plutonium bomb that was to be dropped on Nagasaki in the desert at Alamogordo in New Mexico, in the Tularosa Basin. Test preparations were shrouded in secrecy, and people living in the area were neither warned nor consulted about the impending nuclear detonation.

Trinity Downwinders are commemorating the 75th Anniversary since the first nuclear test was conducted anywhere in the world and bringing attention to the fact that New Mexicans still have not received Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) benefits.

RECA was passed in 1990 by the US Government to provide health care coverage and compensation to downwinders from other parts of the country but has never included the people of New Mexico. The fund has paid out over 2.3 Billion Dollars in reparations to downwinders of the Nevada Test site but never to New Mexico downwinders. It also provides the best health care coverage available.

Trinity Downwinders will commemorate the New Mexicans who have died from cancer and other radiation exposure related diseases during this event and read firsthand accounts of the bomb blast.

Additionally:

  • To mark this solemn anniversary, a number of our colleague organizations are are organizing/participating in Trinity Test-related events. For example, also on the July 16th anniversary, at 10 AM Pacific Time, you can participate virtually in Leave Uranium in the Ground!, a launch of the Uranium Atlas. Beyond Nuclear and Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung organized this event that features speakers including Tina Cordova (Trinity Downwinders, USA) and Larry King (Navajo Nation, USA).

  • Sample social media posts about the 75th anniversaries are on pages 26 + 27 of this toolkit.

At Tri-Valley CAREs we stand with nuclear victims and survivors. We are #Still Here demanding justice and the elimination of nuclear weapons.




CEJC LIVE Social Media Presentation

Posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley and Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

Join the California Environmental Justice Coalition (CEJC) for their first LIVE Social Media Presentation, Saturday, July 18th 4pm!

CEJC will go LIVE on Facebook and YouTube to showcase 10 of their members and the important work they are doing in their communities.

Tri-Valley CAREs is a cofounding member of CEJC and our Bilingual Community Organizer, Raiza Marciscano-Bettis, will represent us this year.


CEJC LIVE Social Media Presentation

More info at:

California Environmental Justice Coalition (CEJC)

CEJCoalition@gmail.comCEJCoalition.orgfacebook.com/CEJCoalition





Tri-Valley CAREs’ July Virtual Meeting

Posted on Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

Tri-Valley CAREs' would like to remind you of our monthly virtual meeting that will be held at 7:30 pm on Thursday July 16, 2020. Our monthly meetings are open to all interested members of the public. You will get up-to-the-minute reports on nuclear issues, and become part of a peace and justice community that is creating positive change locally, nationally and globally! Join us virtually!

And, if Spanish is your first language, I'd love to provide translation on request. Contact me at raiza@trivalleycares.org. I hope to see you!

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 896 5819 9797 • Password: 025254




Tell Congress: Do Not Allow Funds to Resume Nuclear Testing

Posted on Friday, June 26, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley

Tell Congress: Do Not Allow Funds to Resume Nuclear Testing

Recently, Tri-Valley CAREs led a coalition of three-dozen nuclear watchdog organizations in sending an urgent message to Congress declaring resumption of nuclear weapons testing by the United States “absolutely unacceptable” and “dangerously destabilizing.”

The letter, from the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) to the committees dealing with the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget, noted the June 23rd release of the full text of the Senate National Defense Authorization Act and its SEC. 3167, deeming that “not less than $10,000,000 shall be made available to carry out projects related to reducing the time required to execute a nuclear test if necessary.”

The letter states: “ANA unequivocally declares that resumption of nuclear testing at any yield is absolutely unacceptable. Even a hint of resumed nuclear testing by the U.S. could be dangerously destabilizing. If it were to occur, it would lead to testing by other states, likely including China, Russia, India, Pakistan, and North Korea. It would accelerate the growing nuclear arms race, damage prospects for future nuclear arms control negotiations at the very moment when global arms control is gasping for air, and undermine, even fatally, the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is already under great stress.”

The ANA letter concludes: “Nuclear testing is a charred and bitter bridge to the past, not the forward path we desire toward a more stable and healthy future.”

John Burroughs, executive director of Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, added: “Nuclear testing would be a very hard blow to international restraints - both formal and informal - on arms racing, proliferation and the threatened use or even the use of nuclear weapons.”

Marylia Kelley, ANA President and executive director of Tri-Valley CAREs told Congress: “We speak with one voice in urging you in the strongest possible terms to block funding or other initiatives that lead toward a possible return to nuclear weapons testing by the United States. In particular, the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization and Appropriations Acts should neither authorize nor appropriate funds that speed preparations to potentially resume such testing.”

What you can do: The United States has not conducted a nuclear test explosion since 1992 when a bipartisan congressional majority mandated a test moratorium. Four years later, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, signed by the U.S. in 1996, established a global prohibition against all nuclear tests. North Korea is the lone country to have conducted nuclear tests in this century.

Your immediate phone calls to your U.S. Senators and Representative are the most effective resistance to this bald-faced move to resume nuclear testing.

Several members of Congress have begun pushing back against this bad idea. They will be introducing bills to prohibit any funding to speed the time it would take to detonate a nuclear blast. Expect that there will be votes happening very soon in the House and the Senate on this important issue.

Since no one knows which budget amendments will move to the floor the message is simple: Vote for all bills that prohibit funding for nuclear testing. Vote against any authorization or appropriation language that would fund such a test.

Now is the time to call on your elected officials. The Capitol Switchboard is 202.224.3121.

CLICK HERE for the ANA letter to Congress. Use it for “talking points.” Be sure to tell the staff person that you are a constituent. Also, ask for a reply from them that let’s you know exactly how your member of Congress votes on this issue.




Watchdogs File Legal Petition with Energy Department Over Plutonium Pit Plans

Posted on Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley

The noted environmental law firm of Eubanks and Associates has filed a formal petition on behalf of public interest groups Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive Environment, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, Savannah River Site Watch and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Today’s action is a significant step toward mounting a potential legal challenge to the U.S. Department of Energy’s plans for expanded production of plutonium cores, or “pits,” for new-design nuclear weapons.

The petition was filed with the heads of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and informs the agencies of their obligation to promptly issue a Record of Decision (ROD) on plans for expanding production of plutonium pits at the Los Alamos National Lab and the Savannah River Site.

Specifically, the petition addresses the agencies’ refusal to conduct programmatic environmental review of the plutonium pit program - all the while continuing to implement it in the absence of a published ROD, which is the usual trigger for litigation.

The watchdogs undertaking this action have a distinguished history of interceding in government decision-making on nuclear weapons that dates back four decades - and includes their analyses of plutonium programs as well as the filing of federal litigation under the National Environmental Policy Act and other environmental and public right-to-know laws.

Click here to read the formal petition.

Click here to read the petition attachments.

Click here to read the press release.




July Virtual LTE Writing Party

Posted on Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 875 2917 2719 • Password: 808187

Please click links below for A "How to" guide on how to write letters to the editor (English & Spanish).

Remember, Your Voice is Power.

CLICK HERE "How to" in English

CLIC AQUÍ "How to" en Español




Virtual Tri-Valley CAREs June Meeting

Posted on Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

Tri-Valley CAREs monthly meetings are open to all interested members of the public. You are invited to join us and create a more peaceful, just and environmentally sustainable future. Together, we are moving our community and the world toward the abolition of nuclear weapons.

And, if Spanish is your first language, I'd love to provide translation on request. Contact me at raiza@trivalleycares.org. I hope to see you!

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 820 7305 7738 • Password: 519742




Three Letters to the Editor have been published recently

Posted on Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

Tri-Valley CAREs’ monthly Letter to the Editor party has gone virtual. Here are three letters that were published recently in three cities. One is on the Trump Administration’s budget priorities in a time of pandemic; two are versions of an LTE on resuming U.S. nuclear explosive testing. Read on…

Backward priorities in federal budget

June 5, 2020 • Source: Tracy Press • Letter by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

President Trump has requested an increase to the budget for the nuclear weapons stockpile. Further, his request reduces funds for science, environmental cleanup and other programs that meet human needs.

It is clear, with the coronavirus crisis that has shaken our country, that we need more civilian science and infrastructure, not new weapons of nuclear destruction. Rather than building weapons at the expense of everything else, the United States should meet its security goals with fewer warheads and more funding for programs that actually make us safer, such as education, science, health systems and environmental protection.

With this in mind, it looks like the administration’s budget request for fiscal 2021 has its priorities backwards.

One example can be found in the funding for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The overall funding request is for more than $2 billion, up 7% from last year. Yet, the budget for science at the lab will shrink in fiscal 2021 to 1.7% of the total funding ($36 million).

Livermore Lab has four of the top 10 most serious “High Risk” facilities in the nation at its main site. It also has another “High Risk” facility at Site 300 near Tracy. Tri-Valley CAREs members have raised the alarm in Washington, D.C., and locally about these abandoned buildings and the complexity of this matter.

It is sad to see that our community is forgotten, workers and the public are put at risk, and our tax money is gong towards harmful nuclear weapons rather than cleaning up the contaminants that have been left in place carelessly throughout the years.

I stand for more funding at the lab for civilian science and environmental cleanup. The coronavirus pandemic should be a wake-up call for all of us. I invite lab workers and the community to stand with me.

Raiza Bettis, Tracy, CA

Letter: US may spend billions on a nuclear bargaining chip

June, 10, 2020 • Source: The Mercury News (San Jose/South Bay) • Letter by Mary Perner • Featured LTE with graphic

Public interest organizations, including Tri-Valley CAREs, sent Congress a letter recently responding to reports senior White House officials discussed conducting the first U.S. nuclear weapon test explosion since 1992.

The proposal, a chest-thumping gesture aimed at Russia and China, is likely to spur the two countries and other nuclear states to conduct their own nuclear tests. The groups urged Congress to “demand prohibition on use of any funds to resume or prepare to resume such a test.” Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., has drafted a bill using similar language.

Nuclear testing sickened and killed military personnel involved in detonations, as well as civilians in the fallout pathways. Now officials consider spending billions on a high-risk nuclear bargaining chip, while the costs of the pandemic and unemployment continue to rise.

By Mary Perner, Livermore, CA

Maintain the Moratorium

June, 11, 2020 • Source: The Independent • Letter by Mary Perner (longer version than in the San Jose Mercury News)

On May 28, 24 non-governmental organizations, including Livermore’s Tri-Valley CAREs, signed onto a letter that was delivered to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer. The letter was in response to recent reports that senior White House officials had discussed conducting the first U.S. nuclear weapon test explosion since 1992.

The proposal, a chest-thumping gesture aimed at Russia and China, is likely to spur the two countries and other nuclear-armed states to conduct their own tests, reviving the danger, devastation, and cost of a nuclear arms race.

The NGOs wrote to urge Congress to “demand a prohibition on the use of any funds to resume or prepare to resume such a test.” The following day, taking a cue from the letter, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, drafted a bill to disallow the use of U.S. funds for an explosive nuclear weapons test.

Nuclear testing has killed or sickened thousands of military personnel involved in detonations, as well as civilians who lived on, or downrange from, testing sites. Now officials are toying with lives again, as they entertain the idea of spending billions for a high-risk nuclear bargaining chip, while the costs of a deadly pandemic and depression-era unemployment continue to rise.

For high White House staff to entertain the idea of even one test strikes me as reckless, tone deaf, and way beyond the pale. If you agree, let’s act. Call California Senators Dianne Feinstein (415-393-0707) and Kamala Harris (415-981-9369). Urge them to sign on as original cosponsors of Markey’s bill. Tell them you object to the U.S. spending any funds to conduct or prepare for a yield-producing explosive nuclear weapons test.

For more information, visit www.trivalleycares.org

By Mary Perner, Livermore, CA



The PLANET Act to Prevent U.S. Nuclear Testing

Posted on Monday, June 8, 2020

Posted by Angad Gangapuram, Summer Legal Intern

Seventy-five years ago, the United States became the only country to utilize a nuclear weapon during wartime. Since then, the United States government carried out more than one thousand nuclear tests. Another thousand-plus tests have been performed by other nuclear weapons states.

We as humans have long understood the environmental and social impacts of nuclear proliferation. Despite a global effort to curb nuclear weapon development, the Washington Post recently reported that the current administration has advocated for a return of nuclear weapons testing. The administration callously believes that a threat of an impending nuclear arms race would scare other governments to the negotiating table, when in reality the resumption of nuclear weapons testing could very well have the opposite effect.

In an effort to quell the restarting of explosive nuclear weapons testing, Senator Ed Markey has introduced the Preserving Leadership Against Nuclear Explosives Testing (PLANET) Act; found here [https://www.markey.senate.gov/news/press-releases/senator-markey-senate-colleagues-announce-legislation-to-prohibit-restart-of-us-nuclear-weapons-testing].

According a press release from Senator Markey, the purpose of the PLANET Act is to:

  • Prohibit the use of funds appropriated in Fiscal Year 2021 or from any previous year to prepare for or to conduct an explosive nuclear test that produces any yield

  • Allow for stockpile stewardship activities that are consistent with U.S. law – such as certifying the safety, security and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile – so long as those activities are consistent with the “zero-yield” scope of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)

The last nuclear yield test in the United States was in September 1992. According to the Department of Energy’s historical records approximately 90% of U.S. nuclear tests were related to new designs, not maintenance of the stockpile. Since the testing moratorium was established twenty-eight years ago, the United States has ensured the safety of its stockpile by other means; conducting an array of tests that the government considers in accordance with the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) of 1996. While the United States’ Senate declined to ratify the CTBT in 2018, we have signed the UN Security Council Resolution 2310 in 2016 that implores all countries, including the United States, to abide by the CTBT.

The PLANET Act is currently being co-sponsored by fifteen other Senators, including Dianne Feinstein of California. It is important that we as a Nation learn from the mistakes of past administrations and strive to create a safer future for all generations. As President Reagan once said, “Our moral imperative is to work with all our powers for that day when the children of the world grow up without the fear of nuclear war.”

Let us remember these lessons even more in 2020, in the wake of the 75th anniversary of the horrific atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. An event that resulted in destruction unlike any we have seen prior, and hopefully unlike any that we will see in the future. It is time for Congress to pursue measures like the PLANET Act to prevent such devastating behavior. Prohibiting funding for resumption of nuclear yield testing is a critical step toward a safer future.

CLIC AQUÍ para leer la información en español




Virtual LTE Writing Party

Posted on Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 847 9433 2716 • Password: 025153

Please click links below for A "How to" guide on how to write letters to the editor (English & Spanish).

Remember, Your Voice is Power.

CLICK HERE "How to" in English

CLIC AQUÍ "How to" en Español




Group’s Comment Assails Government Plutonium Plan

Posted on Wednesday, June 2, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley, Scott Yundt and Angad Gangapuram

Today, Tri-Valley CAREs submitted a set of technical comments on the National Nuclear Security Administration’s plan to expand plutonium bomb core production. Specifically, we submitted our comments on the agency’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Plutonium Pit Production at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina (DOE/EIS-0541).

The overarching project involves production of plutonium bomb cores, or pits, at two locations, the Savannah River Site and Los Alamos Lab in NM. The number of pits to be produced ranges from 80 to 125 (or more) annually. The currently approved limit for pit production is 20 pits per year.

Tri-Valley CAREs' comments restate our demand for an overarching Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on expanded plutonium pit production rather than the current situation wherein NNSA is reviewing only select fragments of pit production, which serves to understate the project’s full impacts on the environment in multiple states where the bomb core production, waste treatment, transportation, etc. would occur.

Our comments also focus on the “drover” for expanded pit production, which is the W87-1 warhead under development at Livermore Lab. This new nuclear weapon is being designed with a novel pit, unlike anything in the stockpile or in storage, and would thus require new pit production. An alternative to expanded pit production is to forego developing new warheads.

Our comments also assail the DEIS for its inadequate examination of the project’s potential impacts on human health, waste management, the environment, and nonproliferation goals. The comment letter contains specific sections on those topics as well as on the question of worker and public safety during periods of production “surge capacity” and the potential for intentional destructive acts.

Leading up to the June 2nd deadline, Tri-Valley CAREs circulated “sign and send” comments to group members and friends. We thank all who signed and submitted that letter. We also thank additional members of the public and numerous colleague groups for crafting comments on this wrongheaded plutonium proposal.

CLICK HERE for Tri-Valley CAREs’ comment letter on the DEIS

CLICK HERE to read the DEIS Summary

CLICK HERE to read the DEIS Volume 1

CLICK HERE to read the DEIS Volume 2




It’s Not Too Late!

Posted on Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

It is not too late

If you have not yet sent a public comment letter on the plan to build a new plutonium bomb plant at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, it’s not too late.

The deadline for comments was yesterday. However, the law specifies that the government must consider public comments sent in after a deadline “to the extent practicable.” Today, the very next day, is well within that window.

Use the link below

http://trivalleycares.org/new/MY-COMMENTS.pdf

You can copy, paste and send using the live link embedded in the letter. Or, print and postal mail the letter if you prefer. Either way, don’t forget to add you contact information at the bottom.




Can you help us prevent the production
of new plutonium bomb cores?

Posted on Monday, June 01, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley

Here is a small action that can make a big difference.

The public comment deadline is coming up soon on the government’s plan to produce plutonium cores, or “pits,” at the Savannah River Site.

We have prepared a set of public comments for you to send. The email link to the National Nuclear Security Administration is live.

Just click the link - and copy, paste and send the comments.

Be sure to add your contact information at the end of the comments. As always, feel free to make changes if you wish – and add anything you want to say.

The comments should be submitted directly to NEPA-SRS@srs.gov.

FYI, if you submit comments shortly after the June 2 deadline, they still count. And, if you prefer to postal mail them, the address is included below.

Thank you for doing this! Read on…

MY COMMENTS

Ms. Jennifer Nelson
NEPA Compliance Officer, National Nuclear Security Administration
Savannah River Field Office, P.O. Box A, Aiken, South Carolina 29802
By email to NEPA-SRS@srs.gov

Re: Public Comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for a New Plutonium Bomb Production Facility at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina

Dear Ms. Nelson and NNSA:

I am submitting the following comments on the proposed Savannah River Site Plutonium Processing Facility intended for the production of plutonium bomb cores, or “pits.” I ask that my comments be made part of the record.

1. A Programmatic Review of the Full Hazards of Pit Production is Necessary

The National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) plan to expand U.S. plutonium pit production to 80 or more new bomb cores per year relies on two production facilities, the Savannah River Site in SC and the Los Alamos Lab in NM.

Further, NNSA has listed seven more sites that are integral to its plan to expand pit production. They are: the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in NM, the Lawrence Livermore National Lab in CA, the Nevada Nuclear Security Site, the Kansas City Plant, the Y-12 Complex in TN, the Pantex Plant in TX, and the Sandia National Lab in NM and CA. This totals nine facilities scattered across the map.

Instead of looking at the full picture, the NNSA has inappropriately fragmented its environmental review. This DEIS, which focuses solely on the Savannah River Site, is the only Environmental Impact Statement process that NNSA is presently undertaking on this project.

This situation must be remedied. Prior to issuing a final DEIS on the Savannah River Site, a comprehensive nationwide review of all of the interlocking risks, including transportation, should be prepared.

Therefore, I add my voice to that of Tri-Valley CAREs and other public interest groups to support preparation of an overarching Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) that would examine the “purpose and need” for expanded pit production as well as its potential impacts on communities all across the country.

2. A “Hard Look” at Alternatives is Required

NNSA’s plan to expand pit production is being driven by a new warhead under development at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab, the W87-1.

According to public documents from NNSA, the Government Accountability Office and other agencies, this fully new weapon design will involve a novel plutonium pit, unlike anything in the stockpile or in storage. This is a choice. The final EIS must analyze an alternative scenario in which the agency foregoes new-design pits. How many newly produced pits would be needed in 2030 (the due date for both the new bomb plant and the W87-1 warhead) if not for new design pits? Unfortunately, the DEIS dodges this issue.

Similarly, the DEIS is flawed because it does not adequately analyze a reasonable alternative involving the “reuse” of existing pits. There are some 15,000 to 20,000 plutonium pits in storage at the Pantex Plant, with lesser quantities stored elsewhere. Pit reuse is a proven technology. The final PEIS must fully consider the role pit reuse could play before rushing full speed ahead with a new bomb plant at the Savannah River Site as well as plans to expand pit production at Los Alamos.

Moreover, the DEIS does not address the role of novel warhead design in stimulating a dangerous, costly new global arms race. The agency cannot ignore the directly related cause and effect of developing new weapons and producing new pits for them. The potential impacts of spurring nuclear proliferation must be seriously considered.

3. Health Hazards to Workers and the Public Must Be More Fully Considered

Industrial scale plutonium pit production last took place at the Rocky Flats Plant in CO. It was shut down in 1989 following a raid by the FBI environmental crimes unit and the EPA. A full analysis of the Rocky Flats experience is lacking in the DEIS and must be included in the final EIS.

Plutonium fires at Rocky Flats created airborne pollution for miles around the site, reaching nearby towns and even the City of Denver. The full impacts of a plutonium fire at the Savannah River Site must be included in the final EIS.

The analysis must include site workers, first responders, and communities near the Savannah River Site, including Barnwell, SC and Shell Bluff, GA. The residents of these communities are primarily low-income and historically disadvantaged people of color. What is the plan to safeguard them? What about workers?

The DEIS also lacks other information needed to appropriately assess risks. The process for producing pits at the Savannah River Pits must be better defined in the final EIS. Similarly, a thorough discussion of the specific technology to be used to purify plutonium for new pit production must be included in the final EIS, with a full accounting of its potential health impacts.

4. Environmental Hazards Must be More Fully Considered

Pit production at the Savannah River Site would produce a host of chemical and nuclear waste streams. The DEIS shortchanges the analysis of their risks. Is dumping of low-level nuclear waste in unlined trenches being considered? Waste containment and management at the Savannah River Site have been problematic; the site was placed on the EPA “Superfund” list in 1989. The final EIS must comprehensively analyze the impacts of new production alongside the leaking wastes already in the environment.

Shouldn’t past pollution be remedied before new wastes are heaped on top of the old? This fundamental question is not fully answered in the DEIS. Indeed, pit production could distract from the main mission of the Savannah River Site (and its largest source of federal funding); namely, cleaning up tens of millions of gallons of waste products left over from past production of plutonium and nuclear weapons materials at the site.

Please acknowledge receipt of my comments. Thank you for considering my views and for responding to them in the final EIS.

Here is my contact information:

Name

Postal Address

Email Address




Court Forces Additional Environmental Review for New Bomb Plant at Y-12

Posted on Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley

Environmental Review for New Bomb Plant

The U.S. is in the midst of a $2 Trillion program to create and build new nuclear weapons and the means to use them, as outlined in the Trump Administration Nuclear Posture Review. The National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) plan to build 80 or more uranium secondaries each year at the Y-12 Complex in TN is part of this overall nuclear “modernization” scheme. Secondaries are the latter stage of a nuclear explosion that makes the weapon a more powerful Hydrogen Bomb, or H-Bomb.

Litigation by the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance and others won a partial victory recently when the federal judge ordered NNSA to undertake additional environmental review, principally to include 2014 seismic data that the agency had ignored. The court order demonstrated NNSA was justifying its project in part by using outmoded data that understated the frequency and severity of seismic threats at Y-12.

The NNSA decided to undertake the court-mandated review in the form of a Supplement Analysis, which is a low-level, lesser review than an Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act. Tri-Valley CAREs and groups across the country joined the plaintiff organizations in their call for the more comprehensive review.

At issue is the NNSA's decision to: (a) build a new Uranium Processing Facility to ramp up production of new secondaries for new weapons; and, also for new secondary production, (b) continue using two dangerous aging facilities that had been slated for closure years ago. At Y-12, as elsewhere, NNSA is prioritizing new weapons production over worker and public safety.

In the middle of a pandemic, NNSA released its draft SA for public comment in April 2020 with a scant 45-day public comment period. In doing so, the agency ignored calls from Tri-Valley CAREs and dozens of other organizations asking that the agency keep the comment period open until the national emergency was over.

The agency similarly ignored requests from the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance and other local folks to hold a public hearing in TN when safe. Indeed, no public hearing of any kind has been - or will be - held. This project is on the NNSA “fast track.”

Tri-Valley CAREs submitted comments on May 26, which was the NNSA deadline. We objected to the lack of a true public process as well as the many deficiencies in the draft SA itself.

Our succinct comment letter is below. We are also sharing the comments of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, seismic expert David Jackson, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of California Los Angeles, and attorneys Nick Lawton and Geoff Fettus. We are providing a link to the draft SA as well.

CLICK HERE for Tri-Valley CAREs’ comments

CLICK HERE for Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance’s comments

CLICK HERE for Nuclear Watch New Mexico’s comments

CLICK HERE for Professor David Jackson’s comments

CLICK HERE for the comments submitted by attorneys Lawton and Fettus

CLICK HERE for the NNSA’s Draft Supplement Analysis




Virtual Livermore Meeting

Posted on Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

Tri-Valley CAREs monthly meetings are open to all interested members of the public. You are invited to join us and create a more peaceful, just and environmentally sustainable future. Together, we are moving our community and the world toward the abolition of nuclear weapons.

And, if Spanish is your first language, I'd love to provide translation on request. Contact me at raiza@trivalleycares.org. I hope to see you!

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 861 4457 4522 • Password: 766709



“Good Friday” Service for Peace and Justice Goes Virtual

Posted on Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley

Historic Anniversary

Due to the global pandemic, this year’s Good Friday service and nuclear weapons protest will be held via Zoom and Facebook. Participants are asked not to gather in-person at Livermore Lab, but instead participate from the safety of their own homes. As part of the Good Friday program, Tri-Valley CAREs’ executive director, Marylia Kelley, will offer an update on Livermore Lab’s current nuclear weapons programs. Here are the details you need to know to join…

CLICK HERE for Good Friday information.

CLICK HERE for Zoom and Facebook information.




Nuclear Agency Releases Plans for a New Bomb Plant Amid Growing Pandemic

Posted on Friday, April 3, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley

Today, in the middle of the growing coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Department of Energy ignored the real national crisis and irresponsibly shifted its focus to planning for nuclear war, revealing plans to construct a new Plutonium Bomb Plant at the Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina.

Specifically, the DOE’s semi-autonomous National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) formally released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Plutonium Pit Production at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The proposed action is to establish the production of plutonium “pits” (nuclear warhead cores) at SRS at a rate of up to 125 pits per year, with at least 50 pits per year by 2030 as the stated objective for the present at the South Carolina site.

The agency is giving the public 45 days to comment on its plans in the middle of a pandemic. Tri-Valley CAREs, Savannah River Site Watch, and Nuclear Watch New Mexico are demanding a longer comment period.

This move by NNSA starkly illustrates how the agency’s misguided priorities are focused on new nuclear weapons – and funding - that could be used for things like health care.

The three groups will continue opposing expanded pit production at SRS and at the Los Alamos Lab in NM. This Draft EIS, however, deals solely with the plans for SRS.

Marylia Kelley, executive director of Tri-Valley CAREs, told reporters: “The draft plutonium pit EIS presents the public and decision-makers with a cursory and flawed document that minimizes likely harm to human health and the environment while ignoring superior alternatives.”

Kelley also noted, “My organization and others submitted documentation that the ‘need’ for plutonium pit production in the 2030 timeframe is driven by a elective, new-design warhead at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that would require pits unlike any in the current stockpile or storage. We requested that the DEIS consider the ‘need’ if new pit designs are not electively created, as is the case with Livermore’s W87-1 warhead. The DEIS dodges the question altogether, thus fatally flawing the analysis under the law.”

CLICK HERE to read the full press release from the three organizations.

CLICK HERE to read the NNSA Federal Register Notice.




Tri-Valley CAREs Spring 2020 Newsletter is Ready for You to Read

Friday, March 20, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

The latest edition of Tri-Valley CAREs’ quarterly newsletter, Citizen’s Watch, is now ready. This 8-page edition is full of news, analysis of the budget request for nuclear weapons, and other updates.

We wish you and yours, and all people, safety and health in this time of pandemic.


In our newsletter, you will find...


Lab Budget Boosted.. Page 1

Print Bites. Page 2

Congress Briefed. Page 7

Plutonium and Environmental Law. Page 8

Federal Nuclear Budget Explodes. Insert

A Letter from our Director. Insert

Save the Date! Insert




Major Boost in Lab Budget – Why? New Nukes…

Posted on Thursday, March 12, 2020

Posted by Scott Yundt

The Administration’s Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has been released. The numbers illustrate President Trump’s priorities in action at the Lab.

The overall FY21 budget for Livermore Lab is now more than $2 billion, up 7% from last year. The increase contains a 13% boost in funding for the budget line called Nuclear Weapons Activities, which includes the development of new and modified nuclear weapons. That increase for nukes comes at the expense of Defense Environmental Cleanup funds needed to Decontaminate & Decommission (D&D) heavily contaminated Lab buildings. This budget request puts workers and the public at risk.

The FY21 budget detail is contained in the Department of Energy (DOE) Laboratory Tables. The deeper one digs into them, the bleaker the truth that emerges.

The request for Livermore Lab in FY21 is $2,022,522,000, an increase of $134,713,000 (7%) over what the Lab received for the same programs last year. (Notably, is up 45% since Trump took office.)

Within that top line, here are the big winners and losers:

First, $200 million of the increase is for Nuclear Weapons Activities. As you can see in the pie chart, the FY21 request for Nuclear Weapons Activities is $1,794,430,000 (nearly $1.8 billion). This represents 88.7% of all the money requested for Livermore Lab in FY21.

And, within the Nuclear Weapons Activities budget, the funding for Stockpile Major Modernization - predominantly the development of three major new nuclear weapon designs, the W80-4, W87-1 and W93 - is up 77% over last year. That’s right, a 77% increase for three new nukes. Wow!

Let’s compare the funds for Nuclear Weapons Activities to the Lab’s budget request for (non-weapons) Science, which is a mere 1.7% of the total. And, as you can see from the pie chart, research on Energy Efficiency and Renewables doesn’t even crack 0.5% of the request. And Defense Nuclear Non-Proliferation is struggling at the 8% mark.

This is a budget request that supports and accelerates a new global nuclear arms race, in line with the Administration’s Nuclear Posture Review. While this may not surprise, the lack of consideration given to public safety and the environment, via cleanup and Decontaminating & Decommissioning (D&D) contaminated buildings, is shocking.

Last year the budget included $128 million to D&D abandoned, heavily contaminated buildings at Livermore Lab (called “High Risk” facilities in a report by the Inspector General). The Lab was in the process of finalizing contracts when this year’s budget request was released. Here is what the FY21 budget states: “Provided further, That of the unobligated balances from prior year appropriations available under this heading for LLNL Excess Facilities D&D, $109,000,000 is hereby permanently cancelled.”

To our dismay, the D&D budget request has been reduced to zero for FY21 despite the fact that much more money is required to finish the job - which has already languished for years.

One of the Livermore Lab “High Risk” buildings requiring priority D&D is the old, contaminated (with radiation and other toxins) nuclear reactor located just within the Lab’s fence line off Vasco Road and Westgate Drive. This old reactor has huge cracks in the walls and shielding that can be seen with the naked eye. The Lab is using rebar to try and hold the structure together at present. How long will that hold?

Moreover, there are other “High Risk” buildings on site at Livermore Lab. For some years now, Tri-Valley CAREs members have raised the alarm in Washington, DC and locally about these heavily contaminated, abandoned buildings at Livermore Lab and other sites in the nuclear weapons complex. It’s infuriating that the government is letting this worker and public risk persist indefinitely while simultaneously throwing money at the development of new nuclear weapons.

We have a long way to go in transforming Livermore into a “Green Lab” dedicated to a civilian science mission and the moral obligation to clean up the environment from decades of nuclear weapons programs. In fact, the FY21 budget request rapidly moves LLNL in the opposite direction. But we will continue to challenge this momentum. Our work in in the coming months and years will seek to change what gets funded at Livermore Lab.

We aim to centrally change Livermore Lab’s mission and, in doing do, achieve ours. Join us!




EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED

Join Us at Tracy's Earth Day Celebration

Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis and Marylia Kelley

Tracy will hold an Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 25, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM at Lincoln Park, 2 E. Eaton Ave.

We invite you to come to the Tracy Earth Day event for lots of family fun. Together, we will celebrate our planet’s special day with community activities, entertainment and information that embraces the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” Earth Day 2020 motto. Tri-Valley CAREs’ booth will address nuclear pollution locally and the imperative to eliminate these weapons globally.

Tracy Earth Day is all about saving our planet. The day will feature a festival of non-profit organizations, educational booths, green vendors, entertainment, food trucks and family activities, including a kid’s bike rodeo ride.

Our group is co-sponsoring the 2020 event with the Tracy Earth Project, the City of Tracy, and other civic organizations. As in prior years, Tri-Valley CAREs will offer literature in English and Spanish about environmental pollution and cleanup activities at the Site 300 high explosives testing range. Site 300 is located on Corral Hollow Road just west of Tracy, and is used primarily to develop nuclear weapons. We will also have art activities for kids.

Tracy residents, you can ride your bicycle to Lincoln Park for the festivities or take a free transit ride with Tracer. If you are coming from surrounding communities, we ask you to please carpool if possible.

For more information in English or Spanish, send an email to raiza@trivalleycares.org. Or, give us a call at (925) 443-7148.

I hope to see you!

Clic aquí para leer la invitación en Españól.




TOURS POSTPONED UNTIL THE FALL

Inside the Fence: Community Tours of the Superfund Cleanup at Livermore Lab

Posted on Friday, March 6, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley and Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will be hosting two special environmental restoration, or “Superfund,” tours in 2020 to inform the public about the status of the soil and groundwater cleanup efforts at the Lab’s Main Site in Livermore and Site 300 High Explosives Testing Range near Tracy.

This year’s tours are scheduled for the following dates and times:

Livermore Lab Main Site in Livermore
Thursday, April 9th from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Livermore Lab Site 300 near Tracy
Thursday, April 16th from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

A bit of logistics: The tours will be led by the Lab’s Environmental Restoration Department and Public Affairs Office. They are free and open to U.S. citizens 18 years of age and older. Site access badges will be required. On-site transportation will be provided. Participation will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Spanish language assistance can be provided upon request.

If you would like to join a Lab Superfund tour, send an email to tours@llnl.gov. You will receive information from the Lab on selecting a tour, and additional instructions in preparation for your visit. Further, Tri-Valley CAREs staff will be on the tours and can offer additional perspectives.

A bit of background: The Livermore Lab Main Site was founded in 1952 and placed on the federal EPA’s Superfund list of most contaminated sites in the country in 1987. The pollutants in soils and the groundwater aquifer include multiple chemically hazardous materials and radioactive tritium. The Superfund tour will visit on-site groundwater treatment facilities, including several areas where new technologies for remediating soils and water are being tested. The Main Site contains the majority of the Lab’s nuclear weapons development facilities, including the plutonium facility and vaults, hardened engineering test building, tritium facility, National Ignition Facility, radioactive and hazardous waste treatment facilities, and more.

The Site 300 High Explosives Testing Range was established in 1955 to conduct open-air bomb tests with toxic and radioactive materials in service of the Lab’s nuclear weapons mission. Current operations include both contained and open-air detonations, high explosives R & D, machining and manufacturing and waste burning and storage. Site 300 as placed on the federal EPA’s Superfund list in 1990. The Superfund tour will include views of unlined toxic and radioactive waste pits, a visit to at least one of the open-air firing tables, and some of the groundwater treatment equipment in use.

Both Lab sites have hazardous pollutants that have migrated off-site in the groundwater, and both sites are cleaning on-site and off-site contaminate plumes pursuant to the Superfund law.

On the tours, you will see that much has been accomplished since both sites’ inclusion on the Superfund list – and you will see, too, that there is much still to be done at both locations. Important decisions, including the final cleanup level, have yet to be made at some of these areas. Community input will be key to ensuring a positive outcome.

CLIC AQUí para leer el PDF en Españól.






Exploding Nuclear Budget


Exploding Nuclear Budget:
The Just-Released Numbers for New Bombs

Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2020

Posted by Joseph Rodgers, Tri-Valley CAREs’ Policy Analyst

National Nuclear Security Administration’s Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Request:

The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has just released its detailed budget request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, which starts on October 1st of this year. The NNSA will use the requested funding to “modernize,” or redesign, U.S. nuclear warheads. The NNSA request is 20% higher than last year’s request and more than 50% higher than the annual funding level when President Trump took office in 2016.

This is the President’s funding request, yet the power of the purse ultimately lies with Congress. Therefore, it is important to note that the money request has to be authorized and appropriated. The budget will go through “markups” in the Senate and House Energy and Water Appropriations subcommittees. Then, it will be marked up in the full Senate and House Appropriations committees. The House and the Senate will seek to resolve differences between their two versions of the bill. Then, each chamber will vote on the resultant bill. A similar process happens in the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, which authorize nuclear spending limits. When final bills are passed by both chambers, they will be sent to the President to sign into law.

This process will likely take most of the year, and in some years a stalemate has resulted in a “continuing resolution” to fund the government. Expeditiously passing a budget during an election year - particularly one in which the President has been impeached – may prove difficult. This also means that the budget request can be altered substantially by Congress before it goes to the President to sign it into law.

Throughout the coming year, Tri-Valley CAREs and allies will be working to curb this dangerous escalation in nuclear weapons spending.

CLICK HERE to read more.




On this Historic Anniversary, Act for Nuclear Abolition

Posted on Monday, February 17, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley

Historic Anniversary

On this historic 75th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we invite you to bring the power of your presence to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where more than 80% of the funding is spent on nuclear weapons.

We will stand, together, with the Hibakusha to say “Never Again” to the use of a nuclear bomb. We will take action for the global abolition of nuclear weapons at the place where new warheads are being developed for possible use tomorrow.

Join us on August 6, 2020 at 8 am at the northwest corner of Livermore Lab, at Vasco Rd. and Patterson Pass Rd. We will have ample parking, a stage, folding chairs, and amazing speakers and musicians to mark this anniversary.

Following the rally, we will march to the Lab’s West Gate with colorful banners and signs (bring one if you like). Upon arrival, our Japanese friends will lead us in a traditional Bon Dance and a “die-in” to honor those who perished.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, scores of peace advocates who choose will peaceably risk arrest.

Tri-Valley CAREs will have updates regarding speakers, musicians, drummers, and more as we confirm the program. The event is organized by the umbrella coalition, Livermore Conversion Project, and there are opportunities for peace and justice oriented groups to cosponsor the event. Email marylia@trivalleycares.org for details.



Stark Priority for New Nukes in the Budget Request

Posted on Monday, February 10, 2020

Posted by Joseph Rodgers

Stark Priority for New Nukes

The Department of Energy (DOE) released some of the “topline” dollar figures for its Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 budget request on February 10. That’s the day that all agencies of the federal government were scheduled to make their budget numbers public.

However, the DOE’s full budget request is delayed, and so it will not be released for a few days - or weeks - according to the agency. Here is what we know now.

The Department of Energy is requesting $35.4 billion for FY2021, which begins on October 1 of this year. The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a semi-autonomous department within the DOE, is requesting the majority (55%) of the Department of Energy’s total budget, or $19.8 billion. The NNSA’s request is about 20% higher than last year’s request, and over 50% higher than its budget when President Trump took office in 2016.

Meanwhile, the DOE’s Defense Environmental Cleanup budget request for FY21 is reduced by about 20%, meaning that toxic and radioactive pollution will be left in place and allowed to spread at nuclear weapons locations across the nation. The full amount requested this year by DOE falls below $5.1 billion.

These numbers are astounding, and represent the current administration’s priorities. Accelerating a new global arms race in the name of “security” is the number one aim of this budget request.

Much of the NNSA’s increases will go towards “modernizing” nuclear warheads, establishing plutonium pit production facilities, and continuing the uranium processing facility.

The NNSA is currently “modernizing” five nuclear warheads, the B61-12 gravity bomb, the W88 which sits atop the Trident Sea Launched Ballistic Missile, the W80-4, a Livermore design that will sit atop the new Long-Range Standoff Cruise Missile, and two fully brand new warheads.

The first new warhead design, the W87-1, will sit atop the replacement to the Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, which is temporarily called the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent.

The topline budget for FY2021 also indicated that the NNSA is pursuing an additional new warhead, which the agency titled the W93. The W93 is intended to sit atop the replacement Trident Sea Launched Ballistic Missile. (Last year, the NNSA estimated that it would request $2,387,206,000 in 2021. However, the specific amount requested for FY21 is not yet public. Will it be the same? Larger, due to the “topline” dollar increase?)

The NNSA plans to produce at least 80 plutonium pits per year at two facilities by 2030. The NNSA intends to have the Los Alamos National Laboratory produce 30 or more pits per year and the Savannah River Site produce 50 or more pits per year. This would be an entirely new mission at the Savannah River Site, which has never produced plutonium pits before. Last year, NNSA estimated that it would request $976,813,000 in FY2021 for “plutonium sustainment”, which is mostly plutonium pit production. Tri-Valley CAREs will bring you the actual number in the FY21 request when it is released by the agency. Will it be the same? Or, larger?

The Uranium Processing Facility will also receive a chunk of the budget. The NNSA wants to produce uranium bomb cores at Y-12 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee to build new nuclear weapons. Last year, NNSA estimated that it would request $750,000,000 in FY2021 for the Uranium Processing Facility. Here, too, the actual number for FY21 has not been released publicly.

While nuclear weapons funding is receiving drastic increases, the Department of Energy is requesting less money for programs that are truly vital to national security. We already noted funding cuts to DOE’s Defense Environmental Cleanup. To dig down within the DOE NNSA budget a bit further, it is notable that Nonproliferation funding, perennially too low, is being reduced by 7% in the FY21 request. Again, the administration’s priorities are being demonstrated here in stark relief.

Tri-Valley CAREs will release the important, specific details when the official budget request is rolled out in its entirety. This will include information about the amounts allocated to each warhead, as well as additional information about NNSA’s plans to enhance subcritical nuclear testing underground in Nevada.

Stay tuned!




Update: Gov’t Decision on New Bomb Cores

Posted on Friday, February 7, 2020

Posted by Scott Yundt and Marylia Kelley

Decision on New Bomb Cores

Tri-Valley CAREs continues its campaign to prevent the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) from increasing more than four-fold its production of plutonium bomb cores, or pits. The government plan is to produce 80 or more new pits annually at two locations, the Los Alamos Lab in NM and the Savannah River Site in SC. The new pits are slated to go into a new warhead being designed at Livermore Lab, called the W87-1.

Earlier this year, NNSA announced its final decision to forego undertaking a thorough “programmatic” environmental review before proceeding the upgrade and build new plutonium pit production facilities. A programmatic review would analyze the environmental impacts of expanding pit production at multiple locations and take the legally required “hard look” at connected actions and consequences. For example, a programmatic review would include analysis of the increase risks of producing wastes that may have nowhere to go as well as the dangers of driving plutonium back and forth across the country.

The agency decision not to bother following the law was made in a cursory document called a Final Supplement Analysis (SA) and announced in the Federal Register (FR). Under the National Environmental Policy Act (which is the name of the law being violated here) a federal agency cannot issue a Record of Decision for at least 30-days following its announcement in the FR.

So, our staff attorney Scott Yundt and executive director Marylia Kelley drafted comments on the Final SA and submitted them today (February 7) during that 30-day window.

We are pleased that colleagues at Savannah River Site Watch and Nuclear Watch New Mexico joined in our comment. Each of our three organizations had submitted extensive comments on the deficiencies that were in the Draft SA, and we hope to send a strong message to the NNSA by submitting this joint comment on the Final SA.

We are anticipating response from the NNSA soon. Stay tuned.

CLICK HERE to read our comment on the Final SA




Livermore Meeting

Posted on Thursday, February 6, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

Tri-Valley CAREs monthly meetings are open to all interested members of the public. You are invited to join us and create a more peaceful, just and environmentally sustainable future. Together, we are moving our community and the world toward the abolition of nuclear weapons.

And, if Spanish is your first language, I'd love to provide translation on request. Contact me at raiza@trivalleycares.org. I hope to see you!




At the Tri-Valley Women's March 2020

Posted on Thursday, January 23, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis and Mary Perner

Historic Anniversary

Tri-Valley CAREs was proud to table and march “for our rights” on Saturday, January 18. Locally, hundreds of people of all ages took part in the Tri-Valley Women’s March. The event took place at Amador Valley High School. Following the program, participants marched through downtown Pleasanton.

The marquee event also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote. The amendment empowered women to move closer to true equality, job opportunities, fairer wages, and education. It also encouraged women to run for elected office.

The 2020 Women’s March was filled with colorful signs, smiling faces, and activities for kids. Nonprofit organizations were eager to show their hard work and dedication, and individual participants expressed deep-felt frustration as well as their aspirations on a range of local and national issues.

Mary Perner, President of the Tri-Valley CAREs Board of Directors said she was struck by the number of young people, including many young women from Amador High School, who circulated around the nonprofit tables to learn about the different organizations and what they had to offer. The students showed keen interest in learning more about local initiatives to make the world a better and more equitable place for all. Mary continued: “There were a number of student groups listening intently to what we had to say about Tri-Valley CAREs. Later, as we marched, some of these same young people led us and joined the chanting.”

Teal McConn, also a member of Tri-Valley CAREs, specially enjoyed doing face painting for children and adults, and they all had fun as they chose symbols and colors to be painted.

Tri-Valley CAREs was honored to be able to celebrate all the accomplishments of women and girls. We recognize that there is much work to do ahead, but at the same time we were proud to see that more and more young people are speaking out and taking responsibility for the shape of the world to come. As the saying goes… “Another World is Possible!”




NNSA Flouts the Law by Refusing to Undergo Programmatic Review of Plutonium Plans

Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley and Scott Yundt

NNSA Flouts the Law by Refusing

Four public interest groups, Tri-Valley CAREs, Natural Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Watch New Mexico and Savannah River Site Watch, issued a joint press release today condemning National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) decision to forego undertaking a national programmatic review pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and an existing Federal Court order. At issue is NNSA’s plan to massively expand U.S. plutonium pit production at two locations, Los Alamos Lab in NM and the Savannah River Site in SC.

Pits are the radioactive, fissile cores of nuclear weapons. Government records show that that the production will entail novel pits, unlike any in the stockpile, which will be used in a new-design warhead under development at Livermore Lab in CA.

Tri-Valley CAREs’ Executive Director Marylia Kelley said, “NNSA’s refusal to complete programmatic environmental review before plunging ahead with plans to more than quadruple the production authorization for plutonium bomb cores flies in the face of our country’s foundational environmental law, the National Environmental Policy Act, and a standing Federal Court order mandating that the government conduct such a review. The order was obtained in prior litigation by Natural Resources Defense Council on behalf of itself, Tri-Valley CAREs, and additional plaintiffs.”

She continued, “Today, I find myself shocked but not surprised that NNSA would so flagrantly flout the law. Moreover, use of a speculative untested pit in a new Livermore Lab-design warhead will degrade, not enhance, the safety and reliability of the U.S. stockpile. My group stands ready to uphold NEPA and the specific court order.”

Click here for the joint press release from the four organizations.

Click here for the NNSA Notice in the Federal Register.

Click here for the NNSA Final Supplement Analysis.

The 1998 court order that requires DOE to prepare a supplemental PEIS when it plans to produce more than 80 pits per year is available as Natural Resources Defense Council v. Pena, 20 F.Supp.2d 45, 50 (D.D.C. 1998).

Click here to read about the 1998 court order.




Tri-Valley Women’s March

Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

On Saturday, January 18 join the Tri-Valley CAREs team for the 2020 Women’s March. Stand up (and march) for our collective human rights, constitutional protections, nuclear disarmament, the environment, and all of our hard-won social and political gains. Let’s unite against war and show our support for all women and "our bodies, rights and freedoms."

The event will start at 12:00 p.m. and will feature a festival with non-profits, and then music and a rally on the Amador High School football field at 1155 Santa Rita RD., Pleasanton. These events will be followed by a march to downtown Pleasanton and back.

Tri-Valley CAREs will have a table that will feature literature and face painting. We will have lots of signs and banners; you are welcome to help us carry them in the March.

In addition, there will be a designated area at the High School for kids to do crafting. That space will also have face painting available. Here is the schedule of events.

NOON Festival/Expo with nonprofits begins

1:00-1:30 pm Music starts

1:30-2:15 pm Rally and speakers

2:15 pm March begins

4:00 pm Return to Amador High School

For more information contact Marylia Kelley or Raiza Marciscano-Bettis




New Year. Fresh Ideas.

Posted on Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

Happy New Year! You are invited to join us at our first meeting in 2020!

Tri-Valley CAREs monthly meetings are open to all interested members of the public. Together, we create a more peaceful, just and environmentally sustainable future. In 2020, we aim to move our community and the world toward the abolition of nuclear weapons.

And, if Spanish is your first language, I'd love to provide translation on request. Contact me at raiza@trivalleycares.org. I hope to see you!



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