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International Nuclear Weapons Spending Analyzed in New Report

Posted on Friday, June 11, 2021
Posted by Scott Yundt

International Nuclear Weapons Spending

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) issued a new report entitled Complicit: 2020 Global Nuclear Weapons Spending that outlines the $72.6 billion spent by the nine nuclear weapons states on their nuclear weapons programs during the 2020 pandemic.

The country by country details provide a grim picture of increasing budgets to fund new generations of nuclear weapons. The report also sheds light on the numerous private weapons contractors that profit off of the nuclear weapon largess from these countries and the huge amounts these companies spend on lobbying to keep the largess coming. This creates what the authors have deemed,” the nuclear weapons complicity cycle.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the United States spent by far the most on its nuclear arsenal in 2020. The report finds that The United States spent $70,881 every minute of 2020 on nuclear weapons, for a total of $37.4 Billion in 2020.

The report further points out that the nine nuclear weapons states found they had more than $72 billion on hand for their weapons of mass destruction in 2020, $1.4 billion more than 2019, despite the global pandemic. The report illustrates the how these governments are putting these weapons and their corporate benefactors before the needs of their people.

ICAN is a global campaign working to mobilize people in all countries to inspire, persuade and pressure their governments to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. ICAN is comprised of more than 600 partner organizations (Tri-Valley CAREs included) in over 100 countries. More information about ICAN can be found at www.icanw.org.

To read the Executive Summary CLICK HERE.

To download the Full Report CLICK HERE.

Para leer la información en español HAGA CLIC AQUÍ.





Tri-Valley CAREs’ June Virtual Meeting

Posted on Monday, June 7, 2021

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 June 17, 2021. 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: 822 4729 6139 • Password: 120489

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 822 4729 6139 • Password: 120489



Tri-Valley CAREs’ Analysis of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Request, Part One…

Careening Over the Nuclear Precipice
Careening Over the Nuclear Precipice:
New Warheads in the First Biden Budget

Posted on Saturday, May 29, 2021
Posted by Marylia Kelley

Over the course of four years, the Trump Administration increased funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to redesign nuclear weapons by a whopping 50%, resulting in less money for domestic programs on the one hand and the escalation of a perilous global arms race on the other.

Now these decisions belong to a new President, Joe Biden. Granted, he has a lot on his plate. Still weapons of nuclear mass destruction capable of ending life as we know it in a single afternoon should command serious attention. President Biden has promised a new nuclear posture review, to begin soon. Yet his first budget request to Congress continues the dangerous arms racing of his predecessor. All of the new warheads in the Trump posture review and budgets are fully funded in the fiscal 2022 request. Further, a city destroying, megaton-class bomb whose planned retirement was blocked by Trump gets a Biden infusion to keep it in the stockpile.

The Biden budget request went to Congress on Friday, May 27, 2021. The Department of Energy and its NNSA did not post the budget book containing the warhead numbers until late that evening, around 7pm. In media parlance, when a government agency does that it’s called “taking out the trash,” which means making an announcement at a time not likely to be noticed – such as late on Friday before a holiday weekend. Worse, some of the Department’s budget books are still not posted as of today (Saturday), including the volume detailing Livermore Lab’s budget.

In this analysis, we offer insights into the funding to develop three dangerous, wrongheaded new warheads: the W87-1 to sit atop a new land-based ICBM, the W93 to be coordinated with the UK, and a warhead based on a still-evolving air-launched cruise missile design that will be launched from attack subs and, perhaps, surface ships. We will also cover some NNSA top line numbers and the money to sustain the B83 in the arsenal.

Top Line: Priority Change Needed

The fiscal 2022 request for the NNSA is $19.7 billion, a small increase of about $11 million over the current fiscal year. However, this request is nearly $3 billion above the fiscal 2020 request, which in turn was higher than in fiscal 2019, and so on. Tri-Valley CAREs had hoped to see the Biden budget truly trim the excess and not merely tweak the amount of increase.

Within NNSA, the lion’s share of the budget is for the line item called nuclear Weapons Activities. The fiscal 2022 request contains $15.5 billion for this single line item. Weapons Activities is the budget line that funds new warheads and the bomb plants to produce them. Notice that $15.5 billion subtracted from $19.7 billion leaves only a tad over $4 billion for the rest of NNSA including Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, which gets about $2.3 billion. A change in priorities is needed.

The W87-1: Costly and Dangerous

This will be the first new-design warhead with wholly new components to be developed since end of the Cold War and the cessation of nuclear explosive testing in Nevada. It is intended to replace the W78, and will sit atop a new ICBM, called the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) missile. The W87-1 is a main driver for expanded plutonium pit production because it is being designed with a novel core that will require new pit production.

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report detailed serious problems with this warhead and pegged its cost and desired features at about $15 billion. Cost overruns are likely to add billions more.

The Biden budget offers this new warhead program more than $690 million for fiscal 2022. This is precisely the same amount that the Trump budget had projected. No cut here. It’s also about $150 million more than fiscal 2021, an increase of nearly 28%. According to the Biden budget, this funding boost will allow the W87-1 to move into “Development Engineering” (called phase 6.3).

The budget contains a number of passages that hint at how truly novel this warhead is. To cite one example, the W87-1 certification rests on a whole new suite of technologies called “Enhanced Capabilities for Subcritical Experiments (ECSE).”

Subcritical tests are conducted in underground chambers at the Nevada Nuclear Security Site, previously known as the Nevada Test Site where more than a thousand above and below ground full-scale nuclear tests were detonated before 1992. Subcritical experiments use weapons grade plutonium but the small amounts involved do not reach a self-sustaining “critical” fission chain reaction, or nuclear explosive yield. They may, however, go up to that bloody edge.

ECSE is intended to increase the diagnostics capabilities for these tests – and to allow more of them to occur. According to the budget request, the W87-1 will require ECSE and include at least one subcritical nuclear test as part of its certification. One concern of Tri-Valley CAREs’ is that if there are certification difficulties due to the novel nature of the W87-1 it will increase pressure to conduct a yield-producing nuclear explosive test, an event that would lead to other nuclear-armed states, including Russia, China, India and Pakistan, quickly following suit. The escalation of nuclear dangers in that event cannot be overstated. This warhead development scheme should not move forward.

The W93: For What Purpose?

This is a new-design submarine-launched warhead that lacks justification. U.S. nuclear class submarines patrol with two designs, and both have been upgraded recently. The W93 was not funded until fiscal 2021, when it received $53 million for initial studies. The Biden budget contains $72 million for the W93, an increase of $19 million or nearly 36%.

We can’t talk about the W93 without discussing the UK. The United Kingdom’s nuclear capability contains a single sub-launched design based on a U.S. warhead. Recently, the UK announced plans to increase the “ceiling” for its stockpile. Tri-Valley CAREs has questioned the extent to which the UK’s needs underlie the sudden plan for NNSA to create this new W93 warhead.

The fiscal 2022 budget request contains some interesting answers to our question. In discussing the W93 Concept Assessment, the budget states that the UK “is participating as observers in the US W93/Mk7 warhead program.” And, in the subsequent budget section subtitled Stockpile Major Modification, it states U.S. weapons designers will “coordinate with the UK on their Replacement Warhead.” This begs the question of why U.S. taxpayers are funding this warhead.

Moreover, the U.S. and the UK are bound by the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which prohibits this kind of nuclear sharing. While there is a bit of complicated history here, one has to ask if this latest collaboration in the W93 program goes beyond the pale. The W93 should be abandoned.

The SLCM Warhead: Cold War Redux

This new warhead is a product of the Trump nuclear posture review of 2018, which proposed bringing back nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs). This weapon type was removed from service and placed into storage by President George H.W. Bush circa 1991. In the decades since U.S. attack subs and surface ships have carried conventional, but not nuclear, weapons - and the old SLCM warhead has been retired.

While a new nuclear SLCM concept was studied in the closing months of the Trump Administration, a wholly new warhead for this old Cold War mission shows up in the Biden budget as the W80-4 ALT-SLCM. The designation W80-4 means that this new warhead will be based on the design chosen for a new air-launched cruise missile capability, which is still under development at NNSA. The Biden budget allots $10 million to jumpstart development the W80-4ALT-SLCM rather than cancel it altogether as a bad idea inherited from the prior administration.

The B83: New Money for an Old Relic

The B83 is the last U.S. megaton-class nuclear bomb, certified to have a variable (adjustable) yield of up to 1.2 megatons. One megaton is the explosive equivalent of one million tons of TNT. This Cold War relic was developed in the late 1970s and put in the stockpile in 1983. Until Trump’s nuclear posture review changed its course, the B83 had been slated for retirement.

Without explanation, the Biden budget request includes “sustainment” funding to keep the B83 in the stockpile at a cost of more than $98 million in fiscal 2022. The budget specifies that to extend its service life the B83 will require two alterations (Alt 753 and Alt 353) during the fiscal year - specifically for a new neutron generator and a new tritium (radioactive hydrogen) reservoir, respectively. Instead, these funds should be used to retire this bomb.

Conclusion

These nuclear weapons are but one part of a so-called “modernization” scheme to redesign and rebuild the entire U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, including warheads, production plants and delivery vehicles, i.e., missiles, planes and ships. The overall financial cost over 30-years will be upwards of $2 trillion (and more if you count likely cost overruns).

Last week the Congressional Budget Office released its revised near-term cost estimate for “modernization.” The CBO report stated that the costs have risen $140 billion, or 28%, to $494 billion for the 2019 to 2028 timeframe that CBO originally studied. It’s notable that this steep rise has occurred in the single year since the last CBO report. What does it portend for the coming 30-years?

Moreover, the direct financial costs of U.S. nuclear weapons do not tell the whole story. Included in this story are the costs to communities when health care and other needs go unmet. (For example in this pandemic U.S. nuclear weapons did not save a single life – nor will they in the next similar crisis.)

Nor can dollars alone account for the proliferation costs of U.S. nuclear weapons. These costs may be extreme. As Tri-Valley CAREs celebrates the entry into force this year of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and promotes its vision, we note too that U.S. nuclear “modernization” spending has helped catalyze each of the other nuclear-armed states to upgrade its nuclear capabilities too.

Our global, and domestic, future hangs in the balance. If the Biden Administration wants to “Build Back Better” following Covid-19, it must not blindly retain the Trump nuclear policies and budgets. Presidential attention is needed now. The announcement of a new nuclear posture review to be undertaken in the future is welcome, but the NNSA’s nuclear weapons budget request that has just been released is where the “rubber” of U.S. policy meets the “road” of new warheads and new dangers. The NNSA weapons budget must be cut now.

Note: This is Tri-Valley CAREs’ fiscal 2022 budget analysis part one. Part two will cover the NNSA’s new bomb plants, with a focus on expanded plutonium pit production and other new weapons complex infrastructure schemes. Part three will cover the fiscal 2022 budget request for Livermore Lab in detail.

Stay tuned. And do use the information we offer to accelerate your advocacy.

HAGA CLIC AQUÍ para leer la información en español.





June Virtual LTE Writing Party

Posted on Friday, May 28, 2021

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 832 7450 8584 • Password: 622864

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




Join Us on August 6 and 9

Posted on Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis and Marylia Kelley

The U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki seventy-six years ago on August 6 and 9, 1945. The explosions created shadows where there had been people. On many levels nuclear shadows have been with us each day since, and they are with us today.

On August 6 and 9, 2021, Tri-Valley CAREs and a coalition of Bay Area peace and justice groups will commemorate the past and act to change the future.

We invite you to join us. We will stand with Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) to say “never again” to nuclear annihilation. And we will dedicate ourselves to the global abolition of nuclear weapons.

This year’s event will span both anniversary dates; there will be a short program at 9 AM on August 6 and a longer one at 9 AM on August 9 (all times local). This year’s commemoration will be a “hybrid” event, featuring a virtual rally with music and speakers and a limited in-person program at Livermore Lab, one of two places where the U.S. designs all of its nuclear weapons.

Planning for these August peace events is ongoing. Visit our website regularly for updates. And “save the date” today. Here is our initial announcement. Feel free to download and share with others who may be interested.

CLICK HERE for a PDF in English

CLICK HERE for a JPG in English

HAGA CLIC AQUÍ por el PDF in español

HAGA CLIC AQUÍ por el JPG in español




Tri-Valley CAREs Zooms into Washington, DC

Posted on Monday, May 10, 2021

Posted by the TVC DC Days team: Marylia Kelley, Raiza Marciscano-Bettis, Scott Yundt, Mary Perner, Inga Olson and Pam Richard

A team of advocates from Tri-Valley CAREs is Zooming (literally) into Washington, DC this month to participate in “DC Days,” an annual event that draws organizations from across the nation whose members are directly affected by nuclear weapons and the health and environmental consequences of their production.

Detonate Open-Air Bomb Tests at Livermore Lab’s Site 300

Your favorite Livermore Lab watchdog group is pressing federal lawmakers to prioritize toxic cleanup and public health while saving billions by terminating ill-conceived new nuclear weapons programs.

Tri-Valley CAREs and allied organizations drafted a new report, “Safety, Security, and Savings” to serve as the cornerstone of our 2021 advocacy. Each Biden Administration official and member of Congress with whom we meet gets a copy – and so do our members and friends (see below). The report includes a series of fact sheets and recommendations covering new warheads, bomb plants, nuclear waste, cleanup, and more.

“DC Days 2021” is hosted by the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, a network of three-dozen groups whose members live around U.S. Dept. of Energy sites, including active nuclear weapons facilities such as Livermore Lab. Tri-Valley CAREs has been an ANA member group since 1989, and its executive director, Marylia Kelley, currently serves as president of the ANA board of directors.

CLICK HERE for the full report.





Tri-Valley CAREs’ May Virtual Meeting

Posted on Friday, May 7, 2021

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 May 20, 2021. 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: 833 4057 9427 • Password: 919768

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 833 4057 9427 • Password: 919768



Good Friday at LLNL 2021

Posted on Monday, May 3, 2021

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

Listen to Marylia Kelley, Executive Director of Tri-Valley CAREs, talk at the West Gate of the Livermore Lab about the importance to change U.S. policy by stopping the further development of nuclear weapons.

Livermore Lab’s most recent federal budget shows that more than 85% of its Department of Energy funding is used for nuclear “weapons activities.” For comparison, less than 2% of the funding is allocated for “science.” And, less than 1% of its budget is for research into “energy efficiency and renewable energy” sources. It is safe to say that Livermore Lab’s central role in driving a new and dangerous global arms race.

Marylia Kelley invites you to take this journey with Tri-Valley CAREs and millions of peace advocates, to take effective actions and work tirelessly to change the future for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

To read Marylia Kelley’s talk CLICK HERE.

To listen to Marylia Kelley talk CLICK HERE.

To listen to the entire event go to: https://youtu.be/7RpZgZ6X99k

GOOD FRIDAY 2021 AT LIVERMORE LAB




May Virtual LTE Writing Party

Posted on Monday, April 26, 2021

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 811 1493 0084 • Password: 085043

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





Groups Notify Biden Admin of Impending Lawsuit Over Nuclear Bomb Core Plans

Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Posted by Marylia Kelley

Groups Notify Biden Admin of Impending Lawsuit Over Nuclear Bomb Core Plans

Multi-state coalition says DOE’s plans to massively expand plutonium pit production violate a major environmental law and constitutes an environmental injustice.

CHARLESTON, S.C. — A coalition of public interest organizations notified (PDF below) the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) urging a comprehensive review of plans to vastly ramp up production of nuclear bomb cores at the Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.

In Tuesday's letter to department officials, the groups say this lack of review violates the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and would saddle already-burdened communities nearby the two DOE sites with significant quantities of toxic and radioactive waste, contravening President Biden’s executive order of making environmental justice a part of the mission of every agency.

“The federal government appears ready to embark on this significant change in U.S. nuclear policy without studying the cross-country risks and environmental justice impacts, which indicates that the health and safety of workers and downwind and downriver communities are not worth the consideration or protection they deserve,” said Leslie Lenhardt, a staff attorney for the South Carolina Environmental Law Project, a law firm representing the coalition.

The organizations listed in the letter include Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions, Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition, The Imani Group, Honor Our Pueblo Existence, Tewa Women United, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, Savannah River Site Watch and Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive Environment.

The latter three groups intend to file an action pursuant to NEPA within 60 days if DOE and NNSA fail to reconsider its decision. The nuclear watchdogs have reached out on more than five occasions since 2019 to DOE and NNSA over the necessity of a broad, nationwide programmatic environmental impact statement, or PEIS, of producing the nuclear weapon triggers, also known as plutonium pits, at the two sites. In its March 22, 2021 correspondence (PDF) with the groups, NNSA said it has no plans to revisit its review of pit production, relying instead on a supplemental analysis of an outdated PEIS completed more than a decade ago, along with a separate review done for the Savannah River Site alone.

The coalition has numerous concerns, including the hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars on the line, uncertain future radioactive waste disposal that could strand yet more plutonium in South Carolina, and the risk of lethal accidents, fires, radioactive and hazardous waste releases that could harm the predominantly low-income and African American communities near the Savannah River Site and the Pueblo communities and other minority populations living around the Los Alamos National Lab.

Beata Tsosie, Environmental Health and Justice Program coordinator for Tewa Women United, commented, “It is clear that communities impacted by nuclear colonialism need healing, strength and restorative justice. We know that the environmental violence our land-based and Native Peoples, ecologies and waters continue to endure from nuclear contamination will not end until the harm stops. It is imperative that the Biden Administration conduct a nationwide public review of its plans for expanded plutonium pit production that give affected communities a real voice in fighting for true environmental justice. It is our right that a commitment is made to get this done.”

Marian Naranjo, founder of Honor Our Pueblo Existence, said: “The Los Alamos National Lab is located on a geographically unsafe area for the work that transpires there, a place that is and has been considered as Sacred to Pueblo People since time immemorial.”

Tri-Valley CAREs’ director Marylia Kelley highlighted the national implications of NNSA’s decision to expand pit production. “The driver for the program is a novel warhead, called the W87-1, under development at California’s Livermore Lab that requires wholly new components including pits. The W87-1 and a new Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent missile to carry the warhead are both under scrutiny in Congress and within the Administration, which is just beginning its nuclear posture review. NNSA should conduct the necessary programmatic review to help inform these important decisions rather than try to outrun them.”

“To compound the lack of a thorough system-wide analysis of disposal of waste streams from pit production, the politically motivated Environmental Impact Statement on SRS pit production unacceptably waves off Environmental Justice issues without even so much as a cursory analysis,” noted Tom Clements, director of SRS Watch. “There is urgent need for preparation of a PEIS that does not marginalize environmental justice issues as a tactic used to justify a second factory to produce plutonium components for provocative and costly new nuclear weapons.”

Jay Coghlan of Nuclear Watch New Mexico commented, “Instead of maintaining the safety and reliability of the existing nuclear weapons stockpile, NNSA may actually undermine it because all future pit production is for speculative new-design nuclear weapons. This is a colossal and unnecessary waste of taxpayers’ money on top of already wasted taxpayers’ money.”

# # #

The South Carolina Environmental Law Project protects the natural environment of South Carolina by providing legal services and advice to environmental organizations and concerned citizens and by improving the state’s system of environmental regulation. Contact: Leslie Lenhardt, (843) 527-0078, leslie@scelp.org

Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety is a 33-year-old non-governmental organization, based in Santa Fe, NM. CCNS works to inform and educate the public, elected officials and the media about DOE activities in New Mexico—at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant—impacting public health, water, air and lands. Contact: Joni Arends, (505) 986-1973, jarends@nuclearactive.org

Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions envisions a world without militarism or systemic violence, with just, healthy, secure, and sustainable communities, and in which Georgia is a leader in regional, national, and global movements. They are an independent, community-driven, grassroots, woman-led organization that works on environmental justice issues as they relate to impacts of nuclear projects at the Savannah River Site, including plutonium pit production. Contact: Janie Scott, (404) 524-5999, janie@georgiawand.org

The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition operates in accordance with the mission of the Gullah/Geechee Nation to preserve, protect, and promote their history, culture, language, and homeland and to institute and demand official recognition of the governance (minority rights) necessary to accomplish our mission to take care of our community through collective efforts, which will provide a healthy environment, care for the well-being of each person and economic empowerment. The Gullah/Geechee Nation spans from North Carolina to northern Florida and receives the downward flow of the Savannah River, which brings its benefits and also could bring disastrous impacts to a community that relies so closely on the water. Contact: Queen Quet, gullgeeco@aol.com

The Imani Group is a Graniteville, South Carolina non-profit founded by Rev. Brendolyn Jenkins Boseman in 2004, to address criminal and environmental justice, as well as youth development. As the founder she has served on the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site’s Citizen Advisory Board and works to address environmental issues at the Savannah River Site and other sites affecting underserved communities. Contact: Rev. Brendolyn Jenkins Boseman, bjboseman@theimanigroup.org

Honor Our Pueblo Existence is a nonprofit organization based in Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico, immediately downwind from LANL. We embrace the Pueblo teachings of love, respect and care, working together to improve the life ways of our people in order to provide an enhanced and sustainable environment for generations to come. Contact: Marian Naranjo, (505) 929-2151, mariann2@windstream.net

Nuclear Watch New Mexico’s mission is to: promote safety and environmental protection at regional nuclear facilities; mission diversification away from nuclear weapons programs; greater accountability and cleanup in the nation-wide nuclear weapons complex; and consistent U.S. leadership toward a world free of nuclear weapons. Expanded plutonium pit production will have adverse environmental justice impacts given that the population within the Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory’s 50-mile radius Region of Influence is largely People of Color. Contact: Jay Coghlan, (505) 989-7342, c. (505) 470-3154, jay@nukewatch.org

Savannah River Site Watch monitors a host of projects at SRS from the public interest perspective, with a focus on cleanup of existing waste and plutonium management and pit production. We are attentive to health and safety impacts, especially to workers and populations near to the Savannah River Site and are very concerned that NNSA has summarily waved off reviewing the probable environmental justice impacts from plutonium pit fabrication to minority populations living at the fence line. Contact: Tom Clements, (803) 834-3084, tomclements329@cs.com

Located in the ancestral Tewa homelands of Northern New Mexico, Tewa Women United is a multicultural and multiracial organization founded and led by Native women. Our Environmental Health and Justice Program integrates body, mind, and spiritual awareness into environmental justice advocacy, policy change, and community education while uplifting Indigenous and land-based families and oppressed Peoples to build grassroots leaders and community capacity. Contact: Beata Tsosie-Peña, 505-747-3259, beata@tewawomenunited.org

Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive Environment is a non-profit founded in 1983 by frontline residents around the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to conduct research, analysis, education and advocacy regarding the environmental justice, health and proliferation impacts of LLNL in California and the U.S. nuclear weapons complex of which it is an integral part. Contact: Marylia Kelley, (925) 255-3589, marylia@earthlink.net

Additional Links:

Here is the "letter of intent to sue” to DOE/NNSA: https://uploads-ssl.webflow.com/5f2c352f324853b8b51c50db/607f1b8d3dcd9e7a6132fb05_4-20-21%20NEPA%20pit%20correspondence.pdf

Here is the attorneys’ (SCELP) webpage dedicated to legal info related to our case https://www.scelp.org/cases/plutonium-pits

Here is an article on the pending litigation by Sammy Fretwell at The State (newspaper) http://www.trivalleycares.org/new/Minorities-threatened-by-atomic-weapons.html

Para leer esta información en español HAGA CLIC AQUÍ





Legislation to Stop New Missile and Livermore’s W87-1 Warhead

Posted on Monday, April 12, 2021

Posted by Marylia Kelley

Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA-Silicon Valley) have introduced a bill to defund the Pentagon’s development of a new Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) and Livermore Lab’s development of a wholly new warhead that would sit atop the missile.

The Bill is called the Investing in Cures Before Missiles (ICBM) Act.”

Instead of investing in a new and lethal ICBM, called the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) missile, this legislation would send the money instead to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to fund development of a universal coronavirus vaccine to save lives.

Further, the bill redirects funds from Livermore’s W87-1 warhead to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention to research and combat emerging infectious diseases.

The bill would also prevent any new funding for the GBSD missile or W87-1 warhead in the fiscal year 2022 federal budget.

The bill number in the Senate is S.982.

Alongside Ed Markey, Senators Chris Van Hollen, Bernie Sanders, and Jeff Merkley are co-sponsors. Our California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla are not yet on the bill. Please call and/or email their offices and ask them to co-sponsor this important measure to enhance our real security.

In the House it’s H.R.2227.

Alongside Ro Khanna, CA Representatives Barbara Lee and Jared Huffman are co-sponsors. If one of them is your Rep., please thank him or her. Otherwise, please call and/or write your member of Congress and ask him or her to co-sponsor the bill. And, don’t forget to say that you would like a response, including any action your Rep. takes on this bill.

Additional co-sponsors of H.R.2227 to date are Rep. James McGovern, Mark Pocan, Pramila Jayapal, Earl Blumenauer, Steve Cohen, Raul Grijalva, Jesus Garcia, Sheila Jackson Lee, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.

More information can be obtained at congress.gov.

CLICK HERE for a one-page “ICBM Act” factsheet from Rep. Ro Khanna and Senator Ed Markey.

CLICK HERE for the text of the “ICBM Act.” Text is the same for S.982 and H.R.2227.

Legislation to Stop New Missile




Biden Budget Lacks Specifics; Full Request Delayed

Posted on Friday, April 9, 2021

Posted by Marylia Kelley

Biden Budget Lacks Specifics

The Biden Administration released its top line numbers for funding the federal government in fiscal year 2022, which begins on October 1, 2021. This is sometimes called a “skinny budget” because it lacks detail.

Here is our analysis of the military portion. Overall, the Biden budget request fails to curtail the excesses of the Trump years.

The President’s budget request for National Defense, called 050, covers Pentagon spending as well as Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear weapons programs. It has a top line that represents a 1.7% increase over the current fiscal year and stands at a whopping $753 billion.

The increase prompted Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI) to note acerbically, “We cannot best build back better if the Pentagon’s budget is larger than it was under Donald Trump.”

Indeed, the Trump Administration and Congress increased the Pentagon budget by $133 billion. Moreover, the DOE National Nuclear Security Administration’s budget rose 50% during the Trump years. Think about that: 50%.

Regarding the DOE and its nuclear weapons programs, the top line number proposed by Biden is upwards of $46 billion for fiscal 2022, about 10% more than the current fiscal year’s appropriation.

Because Biden’s top line budget lacks detail, we can’t say exactly how much of the $46 billion is being requested for new warhead programs. Similarly, we cannot yet tell you what Biden’s proposed funding level will be for cleanup of contaminated nuclear weapons sites, including Livermore Lab.

We can tell you that the Biden budget will support ongoing nuclear “modernization” programs, including infrastructure at the National Nuclear Security Administration.

The 58-page skinny federal request (see below in PDF) has 2 pages for DOE, and says: “The discretionary request supports a safe, secure, and effective nuclear stockpile and a continued modernization program that includes the recapitalization of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s physical infrastructure and essential facilities to ensure the deterrent remains viable…”

In plain language, this means billions will be requested for new warhead designs and new bomb factories to build them.

That said the President’s budget request is just that. However much influence the chief executive may wield, the constitution gives to Congress the authority of the purse. Congress authorizes spending levels and appropriates the funds for them.

It is up to us to make our voices heard. The full fiscal 2022 President’s budget request will be sent to Congress in the coming months. It had been scheduled for an early May release and is now rumored to be slipping toward June.

As soon as it is available, Tri-Valley CAREs will dive into its thousands of pages and bring you the key nuclear weapons details to help inform your advocacy.

In the mean time, there are bills being introduced in Congress to curtail some nuclear weapons programs in advance of the specific budget numbers.

For example, there is a bill recently introduced in the House (H.R.1554) and in the Senate (S.595) to stop the development of a new nuclear-armed sea launched cruise missile and its associated warhead.

Plus, there is another important bill just introduced in the House (H.R.2227) and in the Senate (S.982) that would defund a new land-based ICBM, called the GBSD, and its new warhead, the W87-1 under development at Livermore Lab.

The authors of these bills are seeking additional cosponsors, and your Senators and Representatives can be contacted with the request that they do so.

You can get more information at congress.gov (type in the bill numbers). Tri-Valley CAREs is also posting summaries and the full text of the bills at trivalleycares.org.

CLICK HERE for the 58-page skinny budget (Note: DOE is 26 pages from the front).





Good Friday at LLNL 2021

Posted on Friday, April 9, 2021

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

On Friday April 2nd, 2021, activists in the San Francisco Bay Area gathered for an ecumenical Good Friday service of worship and witness focused on the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab. Most folks participated virtually rather than in person.

This year we celebrated the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This treaty entered into force on January 22, 2021, after it reached ratifications from more than 50 countries.

Marylia Kelley, Executive Director and co-founder of Tri-Valley CAREs, addressed the gathering from the West Gate of the Lab, as scientists and support workers entered to start the morning’s work. Tri-Valley CAREs monitors nuclear weapons and the environmental consequences of nuclear development throughout the U.S. nuclear weapons complex with a special focus on Livermore Lab and the surrounding Northern CA communities.

Marylia Kelley described nuclear weapons programs happening right now at the Livermore Lab. She illuminated the role and importance of peaceful witness at this site, where nuclear weapons of mass destruction get more than 85% of its Department of Energy funding. She noted the budget line is explicitly titled, nuclear “weapons activities.” Further, less than 2% of the funding is allocated for “science” and less than 1% of its budget is used for research into “energy efficiency and renewable energy” sources.

Rev. Michael Yoshii, pastor of the Buena Vista United Methodist Church in Alameda, California, gave an introduction and thanked respective organizations for the ongoing work of monitoring, education, and advocacy towards nuclear disarmament. Rev. Yoshii spoke movingly about the Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) and the ongoing work for peace.

We also listened to beautiful music from Betsy Rose and Benjamin Mertz. Carla De Sola brought to us liturgical dance and Jackie Cabasso spoke on how we can work to make the prohibition of nuclear weapons the world-wide standard and how to hold our country to that standard.

To read Marylia Kelley’s talk CLICK HERE.

To read the sermon by Rev. Michael Yoshii CLICK HERE.

Mark Coplan has posted his photographs on-line: www.flickr.com

CLICK HERE for an excellent news article about the Good Friday service, written by Marilyn Bechtel.

Good Friday Outcome





Tri-Valley CAREs’ April Virtual Meeting

Posted on Friday, April 9, 2021

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 April 15, 2021. 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: 811 1309 3235 • Password: 193130

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 811 1309 3235 • Password: 193130




Tri-Valley CAREs Meeting Agenda
April 15, 2021 • 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM

ZOOM LINK IN THIS E-NEWSLETTER AND ON OUR WEBSITE www.trivalleycares.org

Posted on Monday, April 5, 2021

Posted by Marylia Kelley

Tri-Valley CAREs Meeting Agenda

- Introductions (5 min.)

- Biden’s Top Line Military & Nuclear Budget Release: What’s in it; What’s Next? (10 min)

President Biden released top line numbers for funding the federal government in fiscal year 2022, which begins on October 1, 2021. Funding for civilian programs gets a boost in the request. However, the Biden “National Defense” budget fails to curtail the excesses of the Trump years. We will discuss what’s in the Pentagon request and in the Department of Energy nuclear weapons budget. The administration promised a full budget request (with the all-important line-item details) later this spring. And, the congressional authorization and appropriations process are just beginning for fiscal 2022. Come and learn how to make your voice heard.

- Legislation Introduced to Constrain Nuclear Weapons and Change U.S. Policy (15 min.)

  • Rep. Joe Courtney introduced H.R.1554 to prohibit funding for a nuclear armed-sea launched cruise missile and its associated warhead. Presently it has 12 cosponsors. Sen. Chis Van Hollen introduced S.595 in March 2021 for the same purpose. Presently it has 9 cosponsors.

  • Rep. Ro Khanna introduced H.R.2227 to prohibit funding for the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent Missile and its W87-1 warhead. Presently it has 13 original cosponsors. Senator Ed Markey introduced S.982 in March 2021 with 3 original cosponsors for the same purpose.

  • Today, Rep. Adam Smith is set to introduce legislation to declare, “it is the policy of the U.S. to not use nuclear weapons first “[aka NFU policy]. Senator Elizabeth Warren is poised to offer a companion bill in the Senate. We will discuss these and related bills that have been introduced or are being considered by various members of Congress.

- Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons; What’s Next? (10 min)

Early this year the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) entered into force and became part of international law. We will discuss next steps - and some upcoming initiatives our members are invited to join, hosted by networks in which we play an active role – Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, the Back from the Brink Campaign, and International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. We will also discuss the TPNW interface with the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the NPT’s planned review conference at the UN in NYC this August (to be held if safe).

- Plutonium Pit Production (10 min)

The productions sites chosen to produce 80 or more pits per year are the Savannah River Site in South Carolina and the Los Alamos Lab in New Mexico. The plutonium pits to be produced are expressly for a novel warhead that Livermore Lab is developing, called the W87-1. We have news to share about our campaign to prevent expanded pit production. In particular we will discuss the legal implications of President Biden’s “executive order” on Environmental Justice and how we are seeking to enforce it in connection with the agency’s refusal to do needed environmental review before going full-steam ahead with its dangerous plans.

- Planning Outreach Events/Zoom (10 min.)

Tri-Valley CAREs is planning for the following events: 1. A virtual DC Days with the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability scheduled for April 28th through May 15th. 2. A Hiroshima-Nagasaki rally on or around August 6 at Livermore Lab (likely virtual/hybrid), 3. Outreach for the NNSA/Livermore Lab release of its draft Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement (announced for late spring/early summer). We will plan a Zoom on what’s in the draft SWEIS. 4. A Zoom session on the full Biden budget when it’s released; probably May or early June.

Additional Notes:

  • Next Tri-Valley CAREs LTE party will be Thursday, May 6th at 5:30 pm. Zoom link will be in your electronic newsletter and also posted at www.trivalleycares.org

  • Next monthly meeting will be Thursday, May 20 at 7:30 pm. Zoom link will be in your electronic newsletter and also posted at www.trivalleycares.org

  • Our blog on the 2021 Good Friday event, held virtually with some of us speaking from Livermore Lab, is posted. We will be adding links for additional talks and video as we get them at www.trivalleycares.org




Good Friday, April 2, at Livermore Lab

Posted on Monday, March 29, 2021

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

Good Friday

You are invited to the annual Good Friday interfaith service of worship and witness to be focused on the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab.

You are invited to join virtually (see below for how to get the link). Some of the speakers, including Marylia Kelley of Tri-Valley CAREs, will present from the Livermore Lab West Gate.

WHEN: Friday, April 2 at 8:00 AM. (There will be opening music starting at 7:45 am.)

WHERE: Go to: www.epicalc.org for a link to the virtual event.

The Good Friday witness at the Livermore Lab began in 1983, and has continued annually. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 event was mostly virtual, and this will apply also for 2021.

This year we will celebrate the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is the treaty we celebrated January 22 when it reached enough ratifications to enter into force. The latest count is 54 "states parties" (nations that have ratified or acceded).

The Ecumenical Peace Institute (EPI) organizes the annual Good Friday rally and service. All people of good will are invited to participate.

This year’s preacher will be Rev. Michael Yoshii. Betsy Rose and Benjamin Mertz will give us music. Carla De Sola brings us liturgical dance. Marylia Kelley will tell us what the Lab is doing to design nuclear weapons. Jackie Cabasso will speak on how we can work to make the prohibition of nuclear weapons the worldwide standard and how to hold our country to that standard.

According to EPI, “Our preacher, our scripture, our dance, our music, our speakers and our prayers will raise in our hearts and spirits the dedication to indeed beat our swords into plowshares.”

HAGA CLIC AQUÍ para leer la información en español





April Virtual LTE Writing Party

Posted on Monday, March 29, 2021

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 821 8562 2638 • Password: 511830

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





Nuclear Ban Treaty: a Moment Becomes a Movement

Posted on Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Posted by Marylia Kelley

On January 22, 2021 the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force and became part of international law. Across the U.S. and around the globe, people celebrated this historic moment.

And took action: at nuclear weapons sites, military bases, financial institutions, corporate offices, universities, congressional offices, town squares – in cities and towns and everywhere in between.

It was a moment. Now we are making it a movement.

This inspiring 5-minute video is created from actions photos celebrating the Ban Treaty’s “entry into force day” at more than 70 locations, including Livermore Lab.

The slides are accompanied by the sound of church bells ringing in Tucson and Yusuf/Cat Stevens singing Peace Train at the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize concert.

We invite you to watch the video… and to join us in the joyous, and essential, work ahead to move the U.S. and the world to the abolition of all nuclear weapons – no exceptions.

https://vimeo.com/515883787

#NuclearBan. Thank you TVC board member Kala Hunter for the photo shown…

Nuclear Ban Treaty: a Moment Becomes a Movement

HAGA CLIC AQUÍ para leer la información en español





Tri-Valley CAREs’ March Virtual Meeting

Posted on Tuesday, March 9, 2021

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 March 18, 2021. 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: 811 5564 4457 • Password: 233705

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 811 5564 4457 • Password: 233705





Ending Nuclear Weapons…

Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2021

Posted by Marylia Kelley

On January 22, 2021 the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) entered into force, enshrining the illegality of nuclear weapons under international law. The TPNW is binding on the countries that signed and ratified it, and more countries are joining and strengthening its norms even as we write this.

The U.S. and other nuclear-armed states boycotted the negotiation and adoption of the Treaty by 122 countries at the United Nations in 2017. Now that the Treaty is formally in force and part of international law, how can we in civil society seize this moment and help move the U.S. and the world to eliminate nuclear weapons?

Tri-Valley CAREs will be involved in analysis and action toward this goal on a regular basis. We invite you to join us.

One good place to plug-in is by registering for a webinar put together by the U.S. Back from the Brink Campaign and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which won the Nobel peace prize in 2017 for its actions to bring the TPNW to fruition. Tri-Valley CAREs is a longstanding member in both coalitions.

The webinar, which will feature interactive workshops, is titled “Ending Nuclear Weapons Before They End Us.” Its subtitle centers us in this task: “Opportunities Under the Biden Administration to Take Action.”

It’s being held on Thursday, March 4th at 11 AM Eastern - which is 8 AM Pacific Time. We know it’s early for us Californians, so bring your coffee and/or breakfast foods.

The flyer and schedule are below. More information and the registration link are at: https://preventnuclearwar.org/end-nuclear-weapons-before-they-end-us/

Register today. We’ll see you there!

Click image to enlarge

HAGA CLIC AQUÍ para leer la invitación en español




March Virtual LTE Writing Party

Posted on Friday, February 24, 2021

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 847 8058 7045 • Password: 398600

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





Veterans for Peace to Host TPNW Talk

Posted on Monday, February 22, 2021

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

Tri-Valley CAREs’ executive director will be the guest speaker on Wednesday, March 3rd at 6pm to discuss the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Hosted by the San Diego Veterans for Peace, the talk will cover the treaty’s legal provisions and the process of its negotiation and entry into force as well as the role for U.S. peace advocates in promoting its aims and standards to create real policy change in this country and globally.

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 813 0870 8250 • Password: 403391

Click image to enlarge

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 813 0870 8250 • Password: 403391

HAGA CLIC AQUÍ para leer la invitación en español





Tri-Valley CAREs’ February Virtual Meeting

Posted on Friday, February 12, 2021

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 February 18, 2021. 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: 876 9487 5419 • Password: 567442

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 876 9487 5419 • Password: 567442





Biden Should Review Risky Plutonium Plans, say Attorneys & Groups

Posted on Friday, February 12, 2021

Posted by Marylia Kelley

Celebrating the Treaty

As you know Tri-Valley CAREs and colleague groups undertook numerous efforts during the Trump Administration to stop its proposal to expand plutonium “pit” (bomb core) production.

The productions sites chosen to churn out 80 or more pits per year are the Savannah River Site in South Carolina and the Los Alamos Lab in New Mexico. The plutonium pits to be produced are expressly for a novel warhead that California’s Livermore Lab is developing, called the W87-1.

Today’s blog brings you new information on our campaign.

One prong of our campaign is to force the National Nuclear Security Administration to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires that the agency undertake a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) before proceeding with expanded pit production at two locations.

In this endeavor, we are particularly happy to announce a new association with the much-respected South Carolina Environmental Law Project (SCELP). The three groups retaining the firm are Tri-Valley CAREs, Nuclear Watch New Mexico and Savannah River Site Watch. Here, for your reading pleasure, is our – and SCELP’s - opening salvo to the new Biden Administration asking them to review and reject decisions made by the Trump team.

FIRST, here is a link to today’s news release on the pit issue…

"Biden Administration Asked to Review Plutonium Pit Expansion Plans" Our new legal counsel at SCELP posts it at https://www.scelp.org/news/biden-administration-asked-to-review-plutonium-pit-expansion-plans

You can also find a copy on our website at http://www.trivalleycares.org/new/TVC-press-releases.html

SECOND, I am pleased to say that one prominent news organization has already published a story. More articles are expected to follow…

The State (in Columbia, So. Carolina)

“Atomic weapons plan risky for SC, lawyers say. Noted legal service joins fray” By Sammy Fretwell, February 12, 2021

A South Carolina legal service has joined the fight against an atomic weapons components factory at the Savannah River Site, raising the possibility that environmental groups will sue the federal government to stop the effort.

The South Carolina Environmental Law Project, a non-profit service with an extensive court record, outlined concerns about the factory in a letter this week to the U.S.

Department of Energy. The letter called the proposed factory risky and in need of further study.

At issue is a proposal to build a nuclear weapons pit plant that would use plutonium, a deadly long-lived radioactive material, at the Savannah River Site.

The pit factory would produce potentially thousands of jobs, but is drawing opposition from environmental groups in South Carolina, New Mexico and California.

Savannah River Site Watch, Nuclear Watch New Mexico and Tri-Valley CAREs recently retained the Environmental Law Project. They say pit factories are expensive, unnecessary, needlessly threaten the environment, and could leave unused plutonium stranded in South Carolina and New Mexico.

President Joe Biden’s administration needs to be “aware of the serious environmental and human health risks associated with a significant expansion in pit production,’’ according to a letter written Wednesday by law project attorney Leslie Lenhardt to the energy department.

Nearly a dozen key members of Congress were copied on the letter, including Republican senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott of South Carolina and Sen. Ben Ray Lujan, D-New Mexico.

Plans call for producing 50 pits a year at SRS on the site of a failed mixed oxide fuel plant near Aiken not far from the Georgia border. Another 30 pits would be produced each year at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Los Alamos, N.M., site.

The government says the factories would provide fresh pits to replace the aging ones now used in nuclear weapons, while also providing the stockpile to produce a new type of atomic weapon. Boosters say pit factories are vital to the nation’s defense, although not everyone agrees.

Opponents are asking the government to conduct an extensive study, called a programmatic environmental impact statement, before moving ahead with the effort. Such a study would be more comprehensive than past studies, likely delaying the pit production effort. They are concerned that more than 7 tons of plutonium could be brought to SRS after the state negotiated a deal to rid the site of stranded plutonium.

No decision has been made on whether to file suit because opponents of the pit factories hope the Biden administration will reverse course and scrap the long-discussed proposal. Plans to build the SRS pit factory, on the table since the 1990s, resurfaced while President Donald Trump was in office.

“We would like to avoid a lawsuit, so now the door is open to negotiation with DOE,’’ said Tom Clements, who heads Savannah River Site Watch. “I hope they will step through that door and talk to us.”

If not, filing a lawsuit “remains on the table,’’ Clements said.

Lenhardt’s letter said the groups are “hopeful that you will seek to review the former administration’s failure’ to conduct’’ the comprehensive environmental impact statement.

The S.C. Environmental Law Project has taken on some of the highest profile environmental cases in the state since Pawleys Island attorney Jimmy Chandler founded the service in 1987.

Through the years, the law project has handled a variety of cases, including numerous lawsuits to protect coastal wetlands and beaches from over development. But it also has been involved in suits against Barnwell County’s nuclear waste dump, a disposal site at the Savannah River Site, garbage landfills across South Carolina and a hazardous waste incinerator in York County.

One of its most high profile cases was a successful effort to close a hazardous waste landfill on Lake Marion.

Until the Southern Environmental Law Center opened an office in Charleston, the Environmental Law Project was the only non-profit legal service of its kind in South Carolina.

-end of article-

Dear friends, stay tuned! We will alert you as developments continue to unfold on this important topic - and on our other programs too.

And, don’t forget to join our Tri-Valley CAREs February meeting on Thursday the 18th at 7:30pm. Our flyer and zoom link follow…

HAGA CLIC AQUÍ para leer la información en español





February Virtual LTE Writing Party

Posted on Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 893 0679 1225 • Password: 806541

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




Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted on Friday, January 15, 2021

Posted by Marylia Kelley

Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This month, we at Tri-Valley CAREs commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on what would have been his 90th Birthday. We celebrate his wisdom, persistence, eloquence and commitment to peace, justice and nonviolence.

Throughout his adult life, Dr. King spoke publicly about need for racial justice and nuclear disarmament. For example, in speaking out against nuclear weapons testing, he said, “What will be the ultimate value of having established social justice in a context where all people, Negro and White, are merely free to face destruction by Strontium-90 or atomic war?”

On this occasion, we note, too, that Coretta Scott King was a noted social justice advocate and nuclear disarmament activist in her own right. Among her many accomplishments, King was a delegate for Women Strike for Peace, representing the group at numerous venues including an international conference in Vienna.

It is up to us to carry on their legacy, and to achieve a world of greater peace and justice. Here at Tri-Valley CAREs we are continually inspired and motivated by this vision. Join us!

HAGA CLIC AQUÍ para leer la información en español





Tri-Valley CAREs’ January Virtual Meeting

Posted on Thursday, January 14, 2021

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 January 21, 2021. 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 8559 8257 • Password: 751032

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 896 8559 8257 • Password: 751032





January Virtual LTE Writing Party

Posted on Monday, January 7, 2021

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 843 2463 1484 • Password: 662704

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





Welcoming the Entry Into Force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Posted on Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley

Tri-Valley CAREs is celebrating the official “Entry Into Force” on January 22, 2021 of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, or TPNW. We invite you to celebrate this major milestone with us, either from your own home or more publicly.

We will host a banner-holding event on Friday, January 22, 2021 at 8 am at the Livermore nuclear weapons Laboratory "West Gate" on Vasco Road in Livermore. We ask prospective participants to RSVP (please do not just show up) in order to have a sufficient number of signs and 6-foot “Nuclear Weapons are Illegal” banners.

Additionally we ask you to RSVP so that all participants can be socially distanced, mask required. Contact Tri-Valley CAREs' Executive Director Marylia Kelley by email at marylia@earthlink.net to ask questions or RSVP. Be sure to include your complete contact information.

We will post photos of our TPNW action on January 22, 2021 on this website and on our social media outlets, including the Tri-Valley CAREs Facebook page, and on Instagram and Twitter.

For background on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, check out these resources…

  1. https://www.justsecurity.org/73050/a-turning-point-in-the-struggle-against-the-bomb-the-nuclear-ban-treaty-ready-to-go-into-effect/

  2. http://www.trivalleycares.org/new/ANA-statement-on-TPNW.pdf

  3. http://trivalleycares.org/new/TPNW-Banner-Blog.html

  4. For the text of the TPNW and additional resources, visit the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons at https://www.icanw.org/full_text_of_the_treaty (Note: Tri-Valley CAREs is a member organization)

Here is what our banners will say to welcome the TPNW Entry Into Force…

Welcoming the Entry Into Force of the UN Treaty

HAGA CLIC AQUÍ para leer la información en español




TWO SIGN & SEND LETTERS TO STOP TOXIC BOMB BLASTS

Posted on Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley

Public opposition to the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) proposal to detonate open-air bomb tests at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Site 300 is showing results!

It is possible, but not assured, that the NNSA may not be granted a permit. The Air District has directed the NNSA to provide additional information on the environmental impacts of the blasts. The Air District has further asked NNSA to provide “further review and reconsideration” of the project. NNSA has not responded.

NOW is the time to send two letters. One letter goes to NNSA asking the agency to withdraw the permit application altogether and one goes to the Air District requesting that it deny any permit if NNSA does not withdraw its application.

BOTH sign & send letters are below. To send each one via email, select and copy the text and then click the unique email link at the top of each letter. Don’t forget to add your name and contact info at the bottom before hitting “send.” If you prefer postal mail, print out each PDF and hand sign them.

THANK YOU for helping to stop open-air bomb blasts that would contain hazardous materials and impact worker and community health. Keep reading for details.

HAGA CLIC AQUÍ para leer la información en español




ACTION: Sign and Send This Letter

My Request for Withdrawal of the Permit Application to
Detonate Open-Air Bomb Tests at Livermore Lab’s Site 300

To: National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Livermore Field Office (LFO)

ACTION: Sign and Send This Letter

Email: LFOPublicAffairs@nnsa.doe.gov

Postal mail: NNSA LFO, PO Box 808, Livermore, CA 94551-0808 (Attn: Leslie Velarde)

Dear NNSA Livermore Field Office:

I write today to oppose the NNSA Livermore Field Office proposal to conduct large, outdoor bomb tests at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Site 300, located near Tracy, CA.

The permit application your agency submitted to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District would enable a daily increase in the size and yield of high explosives from 100 pounds to 1,000 pounds (10x). Further, it includes an annual increase from 1,000 pounds to 7,500 pounds (7.5x).

According to your agency’s own review, these outdoor tests would include upwards of 120 hazardous constituents, including beryllium, vinyl chloride, phosphine, hydrogen cyanide, dioxin and others. These pollutants are known to damage organs, cause cancer and other diseases, and may lead to premature death.

I understand that the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has directed your agency to provide additional environmental impact data before making any permit decision. The Air District has requested that NNSA Livermore Field Office provide “further review and reconsideration” of the project.

Simply stated, these huge outdoor bomb blasts would put workers and the public at risk. I ask that you withdraw the proposal in its entirety.

Please keep me informed of your decision.

Sincerely,

NAME:

ADDRESS:

EMAIL:

CLICK HERE to download the pdf file.

HAGA CLIC AQUÍ para descargar el archivo pdf en español.




ACTION: Sign and Send This Letter

My Request to the Air District to Deny any Permit for
Open-Air Bomb Tests at Livermore Lab’s Site 300

To: San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD, or Air District)

ACTION: Sign and Send This Letter

Email: Nick.Peirce@valleyair.org

Postal mail: Arnaud Marjollet, Director of Permits and Nick Peirce, Manager, SJVAPCD, 4800 Enterprise Way, Modesto, CA 95356

Dear Air District:

I write today to oppose the proposal by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Livermore Field Office (LFO) to conduct large, outdoor bomb tests at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Site 300, located near Tracy, CA.

The permit application submitted to your office would enable a daily increase in the size and yield of high explosives from 100 pounds to 1,000 pounds (10x). Further, it includes an annual increase from 1,000 pounds to 7,500 pounds (7.5x).

According to the permit application, these outdoor tests would include upwards of 120 hazardous constituents, including beryllium, vinyl chloride, phosphine, hydrogen cyanide, dioxin and others. These pollutants are known to damage organs, cause cancer and other diseases, and may lead to premature death.

I applaud the Air District for directing NNSA to provide additional environmental impact data before your office makes any permit decision. I understand you have requested that NNSA provide “further review and reconsideration” of the project.

I have asked NNSA to cancel the project. If, however, NNSA returns to the Air District and presses for issuance of a permit for this project in whole or in part, I ask you to deny that request.

Please keep me informed of any action by the Air District.

Sincerely,

NAME:

ADDRESS:

EMAIL:

CLICK HERE to download the pdf file.

HAGA CLIC AQUÍ para descargar el archivo pdf en español.

HAGA CLIC AQUÍ para leer toda las cartas en español."




Virtual Community Meeting on Site 300
CONFRONTING TOXIC POLLUTION

Posted on Saturday, December 5, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley, Scott Yundt, and Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

Tri-Valley CAREs invites you to a Community Meeting on December 8, 2020 at 7:30 PM

Join the conversation and learn what actions to take to protect our health & environment!

Speakers Marylia Kelley, Tri-Valley CAREs' Executive Director, Scott Yundt, Staff Attorney and Raiza Marciscano-Bettis, Bilingual (Spanish-English) Community Organizer will share news and what actions to take.

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 816 7916 7541 • Password: 901857

Click image to enlarge

HAGA CLIC AQUÍ para leer la invitación en español



Posted on Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley

Appeal Letter.

Dear Tri-Valley CAREs supporter,

I wish you joy this holiday season as we strive to keep each other safe, a practice born of our love and community as well as necessity. Here at TVC our thoughts turn to you and to all who make our programs possible during these difficult times. Thank you!

Our well-informed analysis and advocacy are needed now more than ever as we transition to a Biden-Harris administration. I invite you to team up with us as we alert elected officials and the public about the myriad dangers posed by US nuclear weapons.

Please consider making a generous tax-deductible gift to Tri-Valley CAREs. As the group’s Executive Director, I want to share our recent victories with you.

We acted in partnership with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and won entry into force of the “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.” This major historical event occurred on Oct. 24, when Honduras became the 50th nation to ratify the treaty. We took the news to Livermore Lab, as you can see in the photo. The formal ceremony, per the treaty’s specifications, will take place on Jan. 22, 2021. We invite you to celebrate with us. (More info at www.trivalleycares.org)

We implemented effective actions to stop US nuclear weapons – including virtual briefings with Congress and a virtual rally at the gates of Livermore Lab on the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A link to the rally, which was aired nationally on Aug. 6, is available on our website.

We safeguarded the environment from pollution caused by nuclear weapons programs. Our community organizing and technical input have thus far stymied Livermore Lab’s plans to detonate open-air, toxic bomb blasts at its high explosives testing range, known as Site 300. We are holding a virtual community meeting on Dec. 8. Your invitation is on the back of this letter. Please join us. (And, check our website for more events.)

Our 2020 successes were possible because you cared. I thank you for everything that you have done to promote peace, justice and a healthy environment with Tri-Valley CAREs. I ask you for your tax-deductible, end-of-year gift today. If you have suffered this year, and cannot give, please accept my hug and best wishes.

Two of the easiest ways to contribute are:

  1. Send a check. Mail it to 4049 First Street, Suite 243, Livermore, CA 94551. We pick up mail regularly.

  2. Use your credit card. We have secure links set up on our website at www.trivalleycares.org. If you would rather speak with a human, call me on my cell at 925.255.3589 and I will take your info over the phone.

In Peace,

Marylia Kelley

Executive Director

Appeal Letter.




Finding Joy and Celebration Together

Posted on Monday, November 16, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley, Scott Yundt, and Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

This year has been surreal. Yet many important things have remained constant - including our work for peace, justice and a world free of nuclear weapons.

We have seen many of you this year on Zoom. We have seen you hanging banners to celebrate the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, driving in car caravans and joining downtown protests for black lives, participating in a virtual commemoration on the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and at additional activities large and small.

You have written letters, submitted comments on the future of Livermore Lab, monitored the Lab’s permit application to conduct toxic bomb blasts in the open air, and weighed in against production of plutonium bomb cores, to name just a few of the many things.

Working together, we have accomplished a lot in 2020. And, so, the staff and board of directors at Tri-Valley CAREs want to honor and thank all of our members, volunteers and supporters – and that means – YOU.

We hope you can join us for this festive 2020 holiday party. Yes, it will be a bit different from years past. However, as always, there will be merriment, community, and the joys of seeing old and new friends.

Circle your calendar and join us on Thursday, December 3rd from 5:30pm to 6:30pm.

Here is YOUR invitation...

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 848 0099 5551 • Password: 354751





Tri-Valley CAREs’ November Virtual Meeting

Posted on Thursday, November 12, 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 November 19, 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: 854 8878 4848 • Password: 349119

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 854 8878 4848 • Password: 349119





November Virtual LTE Writing Party

Posted on Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 875 6446 1676 • Password: 879406

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





Our Top 10 List for the Next Administration

Posted on Monday, November 2, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley

This list was compiled by the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability. ANA represents more than 30 watchdog groups whose members live downstream and downwind of all of the major U.S. nuclear weapons sites. Tri-Valley CAREs has been a member since 1989. Check it out…

THE ALLIANCE FOR NUCLEAR ACCOUNTABILITY TOP TEN LIST
PRIORITIES FOR NUCLEAR WEAPONS COMMUNITIES

Nuclear weapons will demand the immediate attention of the next Administration and Congress. The last remaining effective arms control treaty between the United States and Russia, the New START Treaty, expires on February 5, 2021. The two trillion dollar plan to modernize US nuclear weapons has triggered a new and dangerous global nuclear arms race. ANA offers ten conservative actions the government can take immediately to reduce the nuclear threat, make the nation more secure, and save hundreds of billions of dollars.

  1. Extend the New START Treaty immediately and open negotiations on a new arms reduction treaty.

  2. Demonstrate leadership in nuclear nonproliferation efforts, including taking steps to fulfill its commitments under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Compliance with the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons should be included in a new Nuclear Posture Review.

  3. Downscale plans for modernization of the US nuclear weapons complex and stockpile. This action alone will save tens of billions of dollars over the next decade.

  4. Stop the design and production of new nuclear warheads. Plans for the B61-12, the W80-4, W87-1 and the W93 are provocative and militarily unnecessary. The further new designs stray from certified-reliable, fully-tested designs, the higher the pressure to resume full-scale nuclear testing.

  5. Provide a science-based policy assessment of the need for a production capacity of 80 nuclear weapons pits, secondaries and cases per year. Any future production facilities should be sized to meet requirements for stockpile maintenance, not for arms-race level production. New pit production requires a new Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement and must include a new waste repository, not the oversubscribed Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

  6. Prioritize cleanup of contaminated sites that pose a threat to workers and the public, especially excess high-risk facilities. The Government Accountability Office has documented that cleanup funding has been sacrificed in order to accelerate construction of new production facilities.

  7. Stop Consolidated Interim Storage of nuclear wastes. There is no safety requirement for shipping hundreds of tons of radioactive wastes on the nation’s highways and rail lines.

  8. Develop plans for Hardened On-Site Storage of spent nuclear fuel at the point of generation until a final decision on permanent disposition is made and implemented.

  9. Prioritize health and safety and establish a policy of stopping all waste generation as quickly as reasonably possible. This means no new licensing or relicensing of reactors and no development of Small Modular Reactors. The nuclear industry should not be favored by the government over cleaner, greener, more sustainable energy sources. It should compete with other energy sources on its own, without being propped up by billions of tax dollars.

  10. Support increased state regulation of nuclear weapons facilities. Funding should be provided to increase staff for the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, and Congress must preserve the Safety Board’s access to information, sites and personnel in order to carry out its critically important mission.

The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability includes more than thirty grassroots organizations that live in the shadows of nuclear weapons complex facilities across the country. For more than thirty years ANA has advocated government accountability on nuclear weapons issues, including design, production, and testing of nuclear weapons as well as management of wastes and cleanup of contaminated sites.

HAGA CLIC AQUÍ para leer la información en español




Bringing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to Livermore Lab

Posted on Monday, October 26, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley, Scott Yundt, Mary Perner and Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

Bringing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

On Saturday October 24, Tri-Valley CAREs welcomed the 50th ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). That honor goes to the nation of Honduras. Under the terms of the TPNW the 50th ratification triggers its entry into force in 90-days. It is binding on states parties to the Treaty and, moreover, the TPNW now becomes an integral part of international law.

Thus any nation that possesses or stages nuclear weapons, including the United States, stands outside the bounds of international law. The “norm” changes with the TPNW and nuclear weapons are illegal.

The Treaty expressly bans the development, testing, production, manufacture, acquisition, possession or stockpiling, transfer, control or receipt, use of threat of use, stationing or deployment of nuclear weapons.

How should a peace group, located next to a U.S. nuclear warhead design lab, celebrate this momentous occasion? By bringing the news directly to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory of course!

At 8am on Monday morning, Tri-Valley CAREs’ Marylia Kelley, Scott Yundt, Mary Perner and Raiza Marciscano-Bettis brought two 8-foot long banners to the West Gate to greet the employees streaming in. The banners read in part, “Nuclear Weapons are Illegal. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Will Now Be Law.”

When the morning traffic subsided, one banner was hung on the gate itself where it remained, proclaiming the news, until Lab security came out and cut it down.

Bringing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Raiza summed up this morning’s action: “As someone who promotes worldwide peace, I was proud to participate in this historic milestone celebrating the Treaty. Now we can call out weapons of nuclear mass destruction for the criminal and indiscriminate humanitarian danger they represent. Now they will be outlawed by Treaty, similar to chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction.

Raiza continued: “I was proud to hold up our banners today to let Lab employees know that nuclear weapons are prohibited - and that we are committed to their abolition. It is time for Livermore Lab to transition from nuclear development to civilian science missions. I call on the Lab to focus more on programs that improve renewable energy technologies, global climate modeling, and new methods to clean up hazardous wastes that have fouled the air, water and land of our community.”

Tri-Valley CAREs is a member group of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), winner of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to secure UN adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons earlier that year. Tri-Valley CAREs is also active with the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) a national network of organizations whose member groups are located downwind and downstream from sites in the Department of Energy nuclear weapons complex. Together with ICAN and ANA, Tri-Valley CAREs is planning a celebration on January 22, 2021, the date the TPNW formally enters into force. Join us!

If you would like to make your own copy of the banner, CLICK HERE to download the printable PDF.

HAGA CLIC AQUÍ para leer la información en español




Celebrating the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on this Historic Day

Posted on Saturday, October 24, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley

Statement of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability. Tri-Valley CAREs has been a member group since 1989, and our Executive Director Marylia Kelley currently serves as its President.

Celebrating the Treaty

The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) today celebrates the 50th ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Under the terms of the treaty, it will enter into force, and become part of international law in 90 days, following today’s deposit of its instrument of ratification at the United Nations by the nation of Honduras.

The TPNW puts legal force behind the aspiration of the nations of the world to be free from the threat of destruction by nuclear weapons. Adopted at the United Nations in 2017 by an overwhelming majority of the world’s countries, formally signed by 84 to date, and now officially ratified, the TPNW bans the development, testing, production, manufacture, acquisition, possession or stockpiling, transfer, control or receipt, use of threat of use, stationing or deployment of nuclear weapons by any state party to the Treaty.

No state currently in possession of nuclear weapons has signed the TPNW. Nevertheless, the entry into force of this Treaty is an historic milestone on the journey to a world free of nuclear weapons. Nations that possess or stage nuclear weapons, including the United States, will now find themselves standing outside the bounds of international law. Today, the international “norm” changes and nuclear weapons are illegal.

As precursor, in 1970, the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) obligated the United States and other states parties to the NPT to pursue in good faith negotiations leading to complete disarmament at an early date. In 1996, the World Court underscored that legal obligation in a unanimous ruling that the NPT required the nuclear weapons states to not only pursue but to achieve disarmament. Today, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adds moral and legal weight to the disarmament aspirations embraced—and the obligations incurred—in the Nonproliferation Treaty.

ANA, a network of thirty-one organizations whose members live downwind and downstream from the U.S. Department of Energy weapons complex sites, calls on the U.S. government to hear the compelling call of the TPNW, and to take immediate steps toward compliance with the Treaty.

ANA President Marylia Kelley noted, “The U.S. should sign and ratify the TPNW. In the mean time, the United States should take immediate steps toward the overarching goal of the TPNW, a world free of the existential threat of nuclear annihilation.”

ANA recommendations include constraining the development of new nuclear bombs and warheads and focusing instead on environmental justice and cleanup for communities suffering from the radioactive and toxic pollution that accompanies nuclear development.

HAGA CLIC AQUÍ para leer la información en español





Tri-Valley CAREs’ October Virtual Meeting

Posted on Wednesday, October 14, 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 October 15, 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: 871 5835 1624 • Password: 518400




USE THIS LINK

Posted on Monday, Octuber 5, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley and Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

USE THIS NEW LINK AND ACCESS CODE

For meeting on Mon., Oct. 5 at 6 pm Pacific Time

https://tinyurl.com/LLNLOCT5

By Telephone: +1-408-418-9388 Access code: 132 838 3950




Sign & Send Letter for Lab SWEIS + Monday Meeting

Posted on Friday, October 2, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley

Sign & Send Letter for Lab SWEIS + Monday Meetingg

Hi, it’s Marylia here. This email contains two important updates and a handy “sign and send” public comment letter that you can use.

First, my thanks to everyone who requested an extension of the public comment period and another virtual public meeting on the scope of the environmental review that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is undertaking for continued operation of the Livermore Lab.

The NNSA announced a 30-day extension of the public comment period from its original deadline for receiving comments of September 21, 2020 to the new deadline of Wednesday, October 21.

Commenting instructions follow, along with our suggested “sign and send” letter.

Additionally, the NNSA will hold a second virtual public meeting this Monday, October 5, from 6 pm to 7:30 pm (Pacific Time). The meeting will use WebEx. (In my opinion, this is a particularly clunky meeting technology so sign in early if you have not used it before.)

How to join the meeting on Monday, October 5:

By Internet: https://tinyurl.com/LLNLSW9-2

By Telephone: +1-408-418-9388 Access code: 132 816 4460.

NNSA has also announced that its scoping meeting presentation will be posted on the agency’s NEPA Reading Room website (https://www.energy.gov/nnsa/nnsa-nepa-reading-room).

How to comment by Wednesday, October 21:

By Email to: LLNLSWEIS@nnsa.doe.gov

By Postal Mail to: Ms. Fana Gebeyehu-Houston, NEPA Document Manager, National Nuclear Security Administration, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, P.O. Box 808, L-293, Livermore, CA 94551-0808

Why your comment now is so important:

The Livermore Lab and its parent agency, the National Nuclear Security Administration, are undertaking 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 next 15 years or more.

The first step in undertaking a new Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement is called “scoping.” That’s the step happening right now.

The National Environmental Policy Act is the law that governs the process. 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, this SWEIS will authorize Lab activities for the next 15 years, i.e., from 2021 until 2036 at a minimum.

This is your opportunity to offer input on what the Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement should include. What would you like to see the SWEIS consider for the Lab’s future? What should not be ignored? The law says scoping is for the “early identification of concerns, potential impacts, relevant effects of past actions and possible alternative actions.”

Our “sign and send” letter that you can use:

We at Tri-Valley CAREs have composed a 15-point comment letter that we are asking you to send to NNSA during the public comment period.

For your reading ease (and that of the NNSA, too) we have numbered each comment 1 through 15. As always, you should feel free to add your thoughts to the “sign and send” letter or to subtract something from it.

To send it to NNSA, just copy the text and then click the email link at the top of the letter to send it to the NNSA Document Manager. Don’t forget to add your name and contact information at the bottom of the letter before you hit “send.”

By email to: 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

Dear Ms. Fana Gebeyehu-Houston:

I appreciate this opportunity to submit comments on the scope of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement (SWEIS) for the continued operation of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore Lab) Main Site in Livermore, CA and Site 300 high explosives testing range near Tracy, CA.

Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act the purpose of scoping is: “early identification of concerns, potential impacts, relevant effects of past actions and possible alternative actions.” Therefore, I ask that the analyses I am requesting be fully undertaken – and my questions fully answered – in the SWEIS.

1. The SWEIS should analyze an alternative future for Livermore Lab; one in which the Lab does more unclassified, civilian science work and less work on developing new and modified nuclear bomb designs. The Federal Register Notice, posted in the NNSA reading room, states that this SWEIS will guide activities at Livermore Lab for the next 15-years or more. It is therefore a responsibility of the agency to fully analyze an alternative path so that the environmental impacts of civilian science research can be compared to the impacts of nuclear weapons activities – and decision makers and the public alike will have these facts in hand when making decisions.

2. The NNSA “Scoping Meeting” slides on the SWEIS posted in the agency’s reading room state that the document will include “Approximately 55 new facility construction projects…” The SWEIS should be clear about which new facilities will used for nuclear weapons research and development and which ones will not.

3. The Livermore Lab Main Site was placed on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund list of most contaminates sites in the nation in 1987. The Livermore Lab Site 300 high explosives testing range was placed on the EPA Superfund list in 1990. Both locations have multiple chemical and radioactive contaminants that have leaked into soils and groundwater aquifers, as well as some surface waters at Site 300. Both locations have on-site and off-site contamination that is being cleaned up under the Superfund law. Both locations have cleanup activities that will need to continue for the next 40 years or more. This past contamination must be fully considered in the SWEIS. Additionally, the SWEIS must state whether any program activities considered in the document will complicate or delay any of the Superfund monitoring or cleanup underway.

4. More than 2,000 current and former Livermore Lab employees have applied through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Energy Employee Occupational Illness Compensation Program for compensation due to serious illnesses, including cancer, believed to have been caused by on-the-job exposures to radioactive and toxic materials. The SWEIS must consider worker health and safety in all of its analyses. Further, the document must consider past worker exposures when contemplating further operations with these potentially deadly materials.

5. The NNSA “Scoping Meeting” slides on the SWEIS contain the following statement: “Operational changes – Changes to tritium emissions limits and Administrative Limit for plutonium and accident scenarios.” NNSA noted in particular that the SWEIS would seek to raise the emission limit for tritium, which is radioactive hydrogen. The SWEIS should not be used to justify increasing any radioactive emissions. Instead the SWEIS should analyze an alternative in which Livermore Lab’s operations with radioactive materials are reduced or curtailed. The emission (release) limits for all hazardous materials should be reduced, not increased.

6. The Federal Register Notice for preparation of the SWEIS states that expected operational changes at Livermore Lab include: “Changes to material at risk (MAR), administrative limits, and radiological bounding accident scenarios as a result of the de-inventory of Security Category I and II special nuclear materials from LLNL, which was completed in 2012.” Weapons-usable quantities of plutonium and highly enriched uranium were the specific materials removed in bulk quantities at that time. There must be an explicit analysis of the potential impacts of any changes to the limits instituted when these materials were removed.

7. The NNSA has testified to Congress that its number one priority is to expand plutonium pit (bomb core) production. The rationale and timing for expanded pit production is driven by the “needs” of the W87-1 warhead under development at Livermore Lab. The production sites will be at the Savannah River Site in SC and the Los Alamos Lab in NM. That said, the environmental review document for pit production at Los Alamos contains a chart that shows that site shipping plutonium from New Mexico to Livermore Lab for “material testing.” How will the plan to use Livermore for “materials testing” of plutonium affect the changes being considered for MAR and administrative limits in the SWEIS? In the past, Livermore Lab officials have said they could declare “variances” to Livermore Lab’s plutonium limits to accomplish testing of bomb cores coming from Los Alamos. Will Livermore Lab use “variances” for “materials testing” of plutonium for pit production? The SWEIS needs to detail all potential impacts of Livermore undertaking “materials testing” of plutonium and explain in detail how this activity does or does not comply with the aforementioned MAR and administrative limits.

8. Livermore Lab has separately analyzed a plan to increase the size and weight of open-air bomb blasts at Site 300 by as much as ten-fold per each blast and more than 7-fold annually. These planned high explosives detonations involve more than 100 chemically hazardous contaminants. A future alternative that foregoes these outdoor detonations with hazardous materials at Site 300 must be analyzed in the SWEIS. Additionally, an analysis must be done of the utility, cost, and environmental impacts of maintaining Site 300 when other NNSA sites perform much of the same function farther away from population centers.

9. The SWEIS must fully consider the latest data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) on earthquake scenarios in the Bay Area near the Main Site and the Central Valley near Site 300. Both the Main Site and Site 300 are on or very near earthquake faults. The USGS has recently published analyses that show greater quake intensity and other damaging impacts (e.g. possible liquefaction) for these specific areas of California.

10. The SWEIS must fully consider the impacts of climate change. On the one hand, it must analyze Livermore Lab operations’ potential contribution to global climate change due to emissions. The SWEIS must also analyze the impact of fires and other extreme weather events related to climate change on the Livermore Lab itself. In the current firestorms of summer/fall 2020, Site 300 had to be evacuated due to the proximity of the SCU Lightening Complex Fire. These types of events may increase in severity and frequency in the coming 15 years.

11. The Federal Register Notice states 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.” It is assumed that this includes the “High-Risk Excess Facilities” previously identified by the Department of Energy Inspector General, but also many more facilities that pose a risk to workers and the public. Please include specific information in the SWEIS about plans to D&D each of these 110 facilities. Additionally, after $109 million that was supposed to be used for D&D work in fiscal 2021 was instead “reallocated” to nuclear weapons projects at the Lab, please specify in the SWEIS how the Lab will prioritize this D&D work, the expected time horizon for accomplishing the planned work, and how the buildings will be maintained in the meantime.

12. The scope for the SWEIS outlined in the Federal Register Notice includes a statement of “purpose and need” for the review. In that section the NNSA claims: “The U.S. nuclear weapons infrastructure is aging and historically underfunded.” Yet, there have been substantial budget increases for NNSA and its weapons labs during both the Obama and Trump administrations. In particular, during the current administration, the NNSA budget to “modernize” is 50% higher that when President Trump took office. In the context of these funding increases, the SWEIS should fully review assertions in the Federal Register Notice that the Lab “is in need of facilities and infrastructure investments. Half of the operating buildings at LLNL are assessed as being inadequate or in substandard condition.” Why haven’t the funds received by the Lab been used to adequately maintain existing infrastructure? Is this more a question of priorities than of available

13. The “purpose and need” statement outlined in the Federal Register Notice suggests that Livermore Lab is expecting ever-greater amounts of funding in future years. These expectations must be made explicit and analyzed in detail. Generally speaking, expenditures of funds should be a consideration in the infrastructure work the SWEIS proposes. Perhaps some new infrastructure projects should not be undertaken when their funding demand is considered. How will priorities be determined? These considerations must be fully explored in the SWEIS. Additionally, the SWEIS should take into account the “need” for capabilities at Livermore Lab that might be duplicative of other NNSA sites.

14. Further, the “purpose and need” statement for the SWEIS is heavily dependent on the Trump Administration’s controversial 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) and its call for a costly new generation of nuclear weapons. Over the 15-year time frame of the SWEIS, the 2018 NPR will be mooted by one or more new posture reviews, potentially very different than the one issued by the current President. A new NPR could be underway even before the SWEIS process is completed. Thus, the SWEIS “purpose and need” should not be driven by the Trump NPR, which in any event is a policy document and not a law.

15. 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 sentence that will create “significant impacts to the environment.” The SWEIS needs to detail the scope and timeframes of the Life Extension Programs (LEPs) planned for Livermore Lab. It also needs to explain to what extent – and in what quantities – radioactive and toxic materials will be on site to accomplish the LEPs. And, as noted above, the SWEIS also needs to thoroughly analyze an alternative future for Livermore Lab.

The NNSA extended the public comment period for scoping the SWEIS by 30-days (from September 21, 2020 to October 21, 2020). The additional time is appreciated. However, the comment period should be extended for an additional 90-days during this historic period of a still-raging pandemic, statewide fires and other events and stressors that make commenting particularly difficult for members of the public during this time.

Please note that my preferred method for all notices involving the SWEIS is by email. I would like to receive links as they become available, including but not limited to the Draft SWEIS, which is anticipated to be completed in spring/summer 2021.

Sincerely,

Name:

Email (preferred for communications):

Postal Address (provided for completeness):

###

HAGA CLIC AQUÍ para leer la información en español





October Virtual LTE Writing Party

Posted on Thursday, October 1, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

CLICK HERE to join the Zoom Meeting using the link.
Meeting ID: 846 0882 6493 • Password: 128322

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





Watch CEJC's 2nd Facebook LIVE Presentation!

Posted on Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

Watch the California Environmental Justice Coalition’s “Facebook Live” presentation in which grassroots organizations talk about the important work they are doing in their communities. Raiza Marciscano-Bettis, our Bilingual Community Organizer, shares Tri-Valley CAREs’ mission and our work to obtain environmental justice and the global abolition of nuclear weapons.

https://www.facebook.com/362133470578413/videos/250177989665255/






International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Posted on Friday, September 25, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley and Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Tomorrow is the “International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.” The United Nations General Assembly established this special day in 2013 and held September 26 as the date to be observed each year.

The UN website encourages us “to commemorate and promote the International Day through enhancing public awareness and education about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination.”


More here: International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

This Year on Saturday September 26, 2020…

Tri-Valley CAREs has joined a coalition of more than 80 organizations around the world to publicize this special day - and to promote its goal of the abolition of nuclear weapons. This month also marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.

You are invited to register at no charge for A Nuclear Weapon Free World, the global civil society event organized by #WeThePeoples2020 which is being held this Saturday to commemorate the occasion.

The global event includes more than 50 presenters (some live and some by video message) from around the world. There will be United Nations officials, legislators, people impacted by nuclear testing, religious leaders, celebrities, youth, former military commanders, artists, musicians, and civil society campaigners from the peace, climate, disarmament and sustainable development movements.

Participate in one or more of the six sessions of this exciting online even six sessions of this exciting online event. There is still time to register.

Click here for more information. (NOTE: “Part 2” is specifically timed for US/North American/European participants, while “Part 1” is timed for people in Asia and the Pacific.)

We also encourage our members and friends to consider a personal celebration of your commitment to the work of achieving nuclear disarmament. You might want to bake a cake. Or, perhaps, light one candle as a symbol of hope. Or write a letter. Call a friend. Whatever is meaningful for you!

From all of us, we wish you a happy International Day for the Total
Elimination of Nuclear Weapons!





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




High Explosive Management Problems Persist at the Lab

Posted on Thursday, September 10, 2020

Posted by Scott Yundt

High Explosive Management Problems Persist at the Lab

On September 9, 2020 the U.S. Department of Energy’s Inspector General (DOE IG) released an Inspection Report on “The Department of Energy’s Management of Explosive Materials at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.” The DOE IG has inspected the management of High Explosives at Livermore Lab in the past and found significant problems.

This recent inspection disclosed that serious problems persist in the Lab’s management of dangerous high explosives. First, the inspectors discovered multiple ways in which Livermore Lab ignores required regulations governing the management of these high-risk substances.

For example the report notes that, “We interviewed eight officials responsible for explosives management at HEAF [High Explosives Application Facility] and Site 300, and upon our request none provided us with detailed inventory procedures.” So these officials acknowledged that the Lab is not following any particular set of regulations. The report goes on the note that in fact there are eight different high explosives management systems being used between the Lab’s Site 300 high explosives testing range and the Main Site, where HEAF is located.

CLICK HERE to continue reading.





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…

CLICK HERE for sample letter to use for submission.





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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