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Tri-Valley CAREs in Action

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Tri-Valley CAREs Blog

Urgent Action Alert!

No Military Attack on North Korea

Thursday, April 13, 2017
Posted by Marylia Kelley

NBC News is reporting that multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials say that if North Korea attempts to conduct a nuclear weapons explosive test, the U.S. is prepared to strike preemptively with conventional weapons.

Tragically, this could result in a new war on the Korean Peninsula that may ultimately involve nuclear weapons.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un are both making threats that make a first strike by either side more likely.

For example, this morning on Twitter, President Trump wrote,

"I have great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea. If they are unable to do so, the U.S., with its allies, will! U.S.A."

Earlier this week, a spokesman for Kim Jong-un said,

“If the US dares opt for a military action, crying out for ‘pre-emptive attack’…the DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S.”

We do not believe that there has been a situation this fraught with danger since the Cuban Missile Crisis. In that instance, we were saved by the good judgment of President Kennedy and Soviet Premier Khrushchev, who together worked out a plan for de-escalation.

This situation with North Korea is not being handled well, and it is the U.S. that must take the first step toward de-escalating the crisis.

Our colleagues at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation have set up a link for YOU to write President Trump and your congressional representatives. PLEASE take this time-critical action for peace and sanity.

Please take a moment to write to President Trump and your elected representatives in Congress, telling them not to conduct a military strike against North Korea and to withdraw the aircraft carrier group (or “armada,” as President Trump calls it) from posing a threat to North Korea.

Negotiations with North Korea and China are the best way to achieve a sustainable solution. Threats, whether in the form of tweets or nuclear-capable aircraft carrier groups, only increase the dangers to us all.

A Time to Break Silence:

A Public Reading of Martin Luther King’s “Beyond Vietnam” Speech

Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Posted by Marylia Kelley

This month we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s groundbreaking speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence”. In it, Dr. King confronted the inter-connections and deep roots of racism, militarism and materialism in the U.S.

Fifty years later Dr. King’s analysis, including holding the U.S. government accountable as a purveyor of violence, and his public call to action are as relevant as they were then.

Come and take part in a public reading of this historic speech this year on the very day taxpayers are called on to pay for past and present U.S. wars.

DATE: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 (Tax Day).

TIME: Participatory readings at Noon, 2 pm and 4 pm.

PLACE: U.S. Federal Building, 585 14th Street, Oakland, CA

MORE INFO: (510) 839-5877 or (925) 443-7148

For details and a list of sponsoring groups, including Tri-Valley CAREs, Click here.....

Nuclear Weapons in the Trump Age: New Race or Global Ban

Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Posted by Marylia Kelley

The Rossmoor Friends of Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center is pleased to offer a timely, thought-­‐provoking presentation by Tri-Valley CAREs’ Executive Director, Marylia Kelley, who is freshly returned from the United Nations where negotiations began on March 27, with 130 countries participating, on an international treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, leading to their total elimination.

This event will be Friday, May 5 at 1 PM. The public is welcome. For details about the presentation and the venue, Click here.....

UN Nuclear Modernization Under President Trump: Implications for the Ban Treaty Process

Thursday, March 23, 2017
Posted by Marylia Kelley

Tri-Valley CAREs will send its Executive Director, Marylia Kelley, to the United Nations in New York to support negotiations to achieve a nuclear weapon “ban treaty.” A successful conclusion will serve to advance the global elimination of nuclear weapons envisaged by the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

On March 27 to March 31, the UN will convene negotiations on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination,” popularly called the ban treaty. A second round of negotiations has been scheduled later in the year, from June 15 to July 7. The ban treaty would place nuclear weapons on the same legal footing as other weapons of mass destruction, which have long been outlawed.

Click here to

Sick Worker News & Events

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Posted by Scott Yundt

Trump “Skinny Budget” Starves Science to Fatten Nukes

Thursday, March 16, 2017
Posted by Marylia Kelley

President Trump today released an outline of his Fiscal Year 2018 budget request. The document contained only “top line” numbers and lacked detailed information that Congress will need before it can make any appropriation decisions for nuclear weapons and cleanup, or, frankly, for any other part of the federal government.

The necessary budget detail may not be released for weeks - or longer. The Trump team did not specify a date; sometime in May is the best guess. Presidential budgets are due the first Monday in February.

Trump’s team dubbed this its “skinny budget.” The document is a scant 64-pages, and the Dept. of Energy (DOE) rates two. Still, the “top line” numbers on those 2 pages are illuminating.

The DOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is slated to receive a $1.4 billion increase over its present funding, an 11.3% increase. This represents the largest percentage increase anywhere in the government - and would give NNSA a total of $14.3 billion for the 2018 fiscal year.

To read the whole blog, Click here .

For the “skinny budget’s” 2-pages on DOE funding, Click here .

Marshall Islands Nuclear Zero Lawsuit Appeal Heard in Ninth Circuit Court

Thursday, March 16, 2017
Posted by Scott Yundt

Yesterday, March 15, 2017, a three judge panel (Judges McKeown, Bybee, and Mollway) at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco heard oral argument in the case filed by the Republic of the Marshall Islands against the United States for its failure to make “good faith” efforts to negotiate nuclear disarmament as required by Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The case was on appeal from the lower court after a federal district judge dismissed it on procedural grounds. Yet, rather than focus on those specific procedural grounds, the 9th Circuit panel spent the bulk of the hearing time focused on very specific questions including: 1) what it might order the executive branch to do to satisfy Article VI; and, 2) whether Article VI is “self-executing” and whether it has a domestic effect. Laurie Ashton, chief counsel for the Marshall Islands, did a careful and thorough job responding to the Court’s inquiries while also managing to make many important point on the merits of the case.

At the end of the hearing, Judge M. Margaret McKeown thanked the Amici (which includes Tri-Valley CAREs) for their excellent amicus briefs. Now we await a written decision, which could take several months or more...

Click here to read Tri-Valley CAREs' Amicus Curiae brief in support of the Marshall Islands.

Marshall Islands Nuclear Zero Lawsuit Appeal to Be Heard in Ninth Circuit Court on March 15

Thursday, March 9, 2017
Posted by Scott Yundt

On Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 9:00 AM, the appeal of the Republic of the Marshall Islands’ “Nuclear Zero” lawsuit will be heard in the Ninth District Court of Appeals. The case, initially filed on April 24, 2014, alleges that the United States failed to uphold its legal obligation under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and customary International law to begin negotiations “in good faith” for an end to the nuclear arms race “at an early date” and for nuclear disarmament.

The suit contends that the United States has clearly violated its legal obligations to pursue nuclear disarmament by spending large sums of money to enhance its nuclear arsenal. The U.S. already plans to spend an estimated $1 trillion on nuclear weapons over the next three decades and President Trump has said he wants to build up the U.S. nuclear arsenal even further to ensure it is at the “top of the pack,” saying the United States has “fallen behind in its nuclear weapons capacity.”

Scott Yundt, Staff Attorney of the Livermore-based disarmament group Tri-Valley CAREs (which closely monitors the large nuclear weapons program at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) filed an Amicus Curiae brief in support of the Marshall Islands. “As people directly affected by radioactive fallout from US nuclear weapons testing, the Marshallese are a particularly powerful voice calling for enforcement of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In this time of escalating international tension, the US Courts, and really all of us, should be listening and taking our international obligations under the Treaty seriously.”

Click here to read the rest of our Press Release...

Bill Moves Forward to Restrict First Use of a Nuclear Weapon – Help Needed!

Monday, February 20, 2017
Posted by Marylia Kelley

In January, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA-33) introduced bills to prevent a US President from launching a first use or strike with nuclear weapons without a congressional declaration of war. As it presently stands, President Trump could launch a nuclear weapon on his own at any time - and there is no check or balance anywhere in the system on that power.

The title of the legislation is the “Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017.” Senate bill is S. 200 and the House bill is H.R. 669. Co-sponsors are being sought for both.

As of this writing, S. 200 has no co-sponsors, while H.R. 669 has 19 co-sponsors, including 4 from California - John Garamendi (D-CA-31); Barbara Lee (D-CA—13); Karen Bass (D-CA-37); and, Mike Thompson (D-CA-5).

The bills have been referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, respectively.

Tri-Valley CAREs is asking you to make calls today supporting both the Senate bill (S. 200) and the House bill (H.R. 669).

Click here for more...

Costs Rise for Nuclear “Modernization”

Monday, February 20, 2017
Posted by Marylia Kelley

Nuclear “modernization” costs will total $400 billion from 2017 to 2026, according to a new estimate by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. That figure is 15% higher than the $348 billion previously calculated by CBO for the years 2015 to 2024.

According to the report, the coming decade is key to nuclear modernization plans as both the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration and the Pentagon are supposed to “mature” their design efforts and begin production.

The CBO notes that much of the $52 billion increase stems from the fact that the estimate reaches 2024 and thus incorporates a bit more of the high-ticket production costs. Indeed, the rate of increase for nuclear “modernization” is slated to rise continuously over the coming decades.

Click here for more...

Report Urges New Nukes “Tailored” for Limited Use & Drones

Monday, February 20, 2017
Posted by Marylia Kelley

The Pentagon’s Defense Science Board (DSB) on Thursday held a classified briefing for senior officials on its recommendations for the new Administration. Earlier this month, the news outlet Roll Call reported that the board’s unpublished report, titled “Seven Defense Priorities for the New Administration” urges Trump to create new nuclear weapons including extremely low-yield weapons, called mini-nukes, to provide a “tailored option for limited use.”

While the current nuclear stockpile already incorporates a number of variable-yield designs, also called “dial-a-yield,” the DSB proposal envisions “more discriminate” options for launching a “limited nuclear war” with novel, small scale nukes and new ways to deliver them, including on drones.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein responded to the DSB report immediately saying, “There’s no such thing as ‘limited nuclear war’ and for the Pentagon’s advisory board to even suggest such a thing is deeply troubling.”

Click here for more...

We Appeal Lab's Hazardous Waste Permit Application

Monday, February 13, 2017
Posted by Scott Yundt

As you may remember, we filed a Petition for Review the California Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC) decision to issue a Hazardous Waste Permit to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) Main Site back in April 2016. Click here to see our Petition for Review. It was based on our comment during the public comment period and on other comments made.

We learned in December that the DTSC granted our Petition on several grounds. (As far as we can tell our petition is the only public stake holder Petition for Review to be granted in at least a year!) The areas which were granted review include: (1) that the permit application is inadequate because it does not provide information required by regulation, lacks detail and does not provide implementing procedures or descriptions; (2) that DTSC has not followed its policy concerning authorizing delayed closure for hazardous waste management units and has not demonstrated certain units were closed in accordance with approved plans; and (3) that changes to the permit in reposes to comments were not appropriately evaluated or provided public review.

Next is a formal appeal process with written argument, which Tri-Valley CAREs recently submitted (click here). The DTSC permitting decision may submit briefs responding to Tri-Valley CAREs brief by April 3, 2017. Following that, an administrative decision will be released that could require LLNL and DTSC to take steps that we hope will greatly improve the quality of the permit in the interest of protecting public health.

Trump Denounces Nuclear Arms Treaty

Friday, February 10, 2017
Posted by Marylia Kelley

Jonathan Landay, who has covered nuclear weapons topics for well over a decade, and David Rohde published an exclusive in Reuters that, in his first Presidential phone call with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump denounced the Obama-era New START Treaty limiting a class of long-range nuclear weapons equally in both countries.

The article states that when Putin broached the possibility of extending the 2010 New START Treaty, Trump paused to ask his aides what that was. Trump then rebuffed Putin’s inquiry, saying the treaty was one of several bad deals negotiated by the Obama Administration and that it favored Russia. Trump pivoted to talk about his own popularity, multiple sources told Landay and Rohde.

Click here for more...

Call Now to Keep President Trump’s Finger Off the Nuclear Launch “Button”

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) have introduced legislation to prevent a US President from launching nuclear war at will. As it now stands, President Donald Trump could initiate a nuclear first strike at any time, against any place, for any reason and with no checks or balances on that power.

On January 24, Senator Ed Markey introduced the “Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017” in the US Senate (S. 200) and Congressman Ted Lieu introduced the same legislation in the US House of Representatives (H.R. 669).

These two bills, if passed, would prohibit President Trump, or any future US President, from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress.

Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

Note: In California, your Senators are Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris. In the 15th District, which includes Livermore, your Rep. is Eric Swalwell. In the 10th District, which includes Tracy, your Rep. is Jeff Denham.

Calling is fast and effective. However, you can also go on-line to send electronic messages to your Senators and Representative.

Here is a sample script for your Senate phone call:

“Hello my name is xxxxx. I am a constituent (you may want to give your zip code here). I am asking Senator yyyyy to co-sponsor the “Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017.” The bill is number S. 200, and it was introduced by Senator Ed Markey. Its purpose is to prevent a US President from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress. This is a basic issue of Constitutional checks and balances on Executive powers, and I recommend that Senator yyyyy co-sponsor it. I would also like to be kept informed of my Senator’s action on the bill.”

When calling your Rep., simply change the language above to reflect that it was introduced by Rep. Ted Lieu of CA, and that the number for the bill is H.R. 669.

And, don’t forget to thank the hardworking staff person to whom you speak.

Click here for more...

Trump Cited as Doomsday Clock Advances Toward Midnight

The world is now two and one-half minutes from midnight according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which today moved the hands on its iconic Doomsday Clock thirty seconds closer to the nuclear hour that marks the end of humanity.

The change today brings us closer to midnight than at any time since 1953 – the year the US and Soviet Union first tested thermonuclear weapons within six months of each other.

Click here for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' official statement.

Click here for more...

U.S. Hearing Date Set in Marshall Islands’ Nuclear Lawsuit!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Posted by Scott Yundt

First, we want to extend our congratulations to the government of the Marshall Islands and its former Foreign Minister Tony de Brum on winning “Arms Control Person(s) of the Year.” This annual award, announced yesterday by the Arms Control Association, reflects the courageous litigation brought by de Brum and the Marshall Islands against the nuclear-armed nations for their failure to disarm as required by the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and customary international law.

The Marshall Islands' litigation in the International Court of Justice was stymied on procedural grounds and will not move forward. However, the case against the U.S. will be heard on March 15, 2017 in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Click here for more...

Specter of Resumed Nuclear Tests in Nevada

Saturday, January 21, 2017
Posted by Marylia Kelley

Veteran journalist Keith Rogers has recently written an important, in-depth article on Trump’s nuclear tweets - and on the very real possibility that nuclear explosive testing will resume in Nevada.

The article ran in the Las Vegas Review-Journal on January 21. Tri-Valley CAREs is quoted at length, as is Daniel Ellsberg.

Fasten your seat belts, readers. And, do check out this timely article and its fabulous photographs of the test site.

Click here for the article.

Click here for more...

Marching for Our Rights on Saturday, January 21

Join the Tri-Valley CAREs team! Together, we will 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.

The Oakland Women’s March begins at 10 am. We will meet on the platform at the Dublin-Pleasanton BART Station at 9:15 am and take the train together. Or, meet us at the rally site at Madison Park near the Lake Merritt BART Station.

Some of us will also go to the San Francisco Women’s March, which begins at 3 pm. We will meet at 3:30 pm on the steps of the library near the SF Civic Center BART Station. You can meet us there, or come with us from the Oakland march.

We will have lots of signs and banners, including the one pictured here. Can you help carry a banner? Let us know. Want more info? Email or check our Tri-Valley CAREs Facebook Page.

The Women’s March in Washington, DC is expected to draw about 200,000 participants. “Sister” marches have sprung up all across the country and all around the Bay Area. Upwards of half a million women and men - or more - are likely to participate overall.

Nuclear Weapons “Ban Treaty” Negotiations to Begin!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Posted by Marylia Kelley

As this past year was coming to a close, the United Nations General Assembly voted to convene negotiations in 2017 on a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading toward their total elimination,” also known as the Ban Treaty. With 113 votes for, 35 against, and 13 abstentions, the measure (Resolution L.41) passed overwhelmingly.

The negotiations will take place at UN Headquarters in New York from March 27 to March 31, and then resume from June 15 to July 7. Hundreds of governmental delegations, U.S. and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other representatives of civil society will participate. A one-day organizational session before the negotiations open is being planned by ICAN, the international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons.

Click here for more...

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