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Tri-Valley CAREs Press Releases:   Most Recent  •  2012  •  2011 and earlier


For media inquiries contact: Marylia Kelley, (925) 443-7148, marylia@trivalleycares.org


For immediate release: Feb. 22, 2018
Contact: Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director, Western States Legal Foundation (510) 306-0119
Marylia Kelley, Executive Director, Tri-Valley CAREs (925) 443-7148

Olympic Closing Ceremony Watch Party

Peace Groups Call for Extension of the Olympic Truce, Postponement of Joint US-South Korea War Games & Dialogue and Diplomacy

Sunday, February 25
5:00 – 8:00 pm
Café Valparaiso
1403 Solano Avenue, Albany, CA

Albany, CA – Representatives of Bay area peace groups will gather Sunday, February 25, from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm to watch the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, and call for dialogue and diplomacy with North Korea. The watch party will take place at the Café Valparaiso, 1403 Solano Avenue, Albany, California. The 2018 Winter Olympics are being broadcast by NBC.

In November 2017, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for an Olympic Truce, or a cessation of hostilities during the Winter Games, which gained the support of 157 Member States including both Koreas and future hosts of the Olympic Games: Japan, China, France and the United States. The truce period spans the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, from February 2 – March 25, 2018

The Olympic Closing Ceremony watch party is part of a national Olympic Truce Campaign, endorsed by 135 organizations. As noted in the Olympic Truce Call to Action, another war with North Korea would be disastrous. It could easily go nuclear. It should be unthinkable, and there are peaceful diplomatic alternatives. For South Korea, which would bear the brunt of any conflict with North Korea, there is no military option. As a group of 58 retired US military leaders acknowledge in a letter to Trump, military action “would result in hundreds of thousands of casualties.” The people of Korea, North and South, the peoples of the region, and Americans all want peace.

Speakers at the Olympic Closing Ceremony watch party will include Paul Liem, Chair of the Korea Policy Institute, and Ann Wright, US Army Colonel, (ret), former US Diplomat, now with Women Cross DMZ and Veterans For Peace. Rafael Jesus Gonzales, Poet Laureate of Berkeley will read a new poem written specifically for this occasion.

Claire Greensfelder, representing NoWarWithNorthKorea.org, a campaign of INOCHI / A World Without Armies, will unveil their new billboard and bumper sticker campaign that will be officially launched next week. Other visuals will include signs and banners.

According to Ann Wright: “The Olympic truce needs to be extended past the Olympics so that there is the open space for genuine dialogue to resolve issues on the crisis of the Korean Peninsula. The South Korean government is showing strong indications that they want to speak to the North Koreans. I hope the United States government does not torpedo this opportunity for dialogue and ultimate resolution of issues for the Korean people. We must have dialogue not military confrontation!”

In a very significant development, South Korean President Moon Jae-in successfully persuaded a reluctant Donald Trump to postpone U.S.-South Korea war drills that would have overlapped with the Olympics. These joint military exercises typically involve hundreds of thousands of ground troops and such provocative scenarios as “decapitation” raids and simulate nuclear attacks. Delaying them could pave the way for a longer-term “freeze for freeze” deal—a suspension of military exercises for a ban on North Korea’s nuclear and missile testing.

Members of the Bay Area Korea Collaboration are using the occasion of the Olympic Closing Ceremony to call for an indefinite extension of the Olympic Truce, indefinite postponement of joint US-South Korean military exercises, US support for a proposed North-South Korea Summit, leading to direct talks between the US and North Korea, and an official end to the Korean War by replacing the 1953 Armistice with a permanent peace treaty.

The Olympic Closing Ceremony watch party is sponsored by (alphabetical order):
Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists Social Justice Committee;
Codepink women for peace;
Ecumenical Peace Institute/CALC;
Gaza Freedom Flotilla;
INOCHI / A World Without Armies;
Korea Policy Institute;
Peace Action;
SF Bay Area Physicians for Social Responsibility;
Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment);
Veterans For Peace;
Western States Legal Foundation;
Women Cross DMZ;
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)-East Bay branch;
WILPF-San Francisco branch;
Xochipilli Latino Men's Circle

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Dear Tri-Valley CAREs supporters: Here is a press release we just released along with our colleagues in the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability. It is crafted to give reporters probing questions to ask DOE regarding the nuclear weapons and cleanup budget for Fiscal Year 2019, which is scheduled to be released on Monday by the President. We will provide additional analysis following its public release. Read on...

DOE Budget Questions

for use with Monday, February 12, 2018 DOE budget release

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE) FY 2019 NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND CLEANUP BUDGET REQUEST

The Trump Administration’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) will drive increased spending for nuclear weapons programs that make America increasingly less – not more – secure. Cleanup, nonproliferation, and renewable energy programs are expected to be cut or held flat to help pay for weapons. The February 12 release of DOE’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget highlights will begin to put dollar signs behind the new nuclear arms race being escalated at the expense of programs that meet the country’s real needs.

The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA), a 31-year-old network of groups from communities downwind and downstream of U.S. nuclear weapons sites, will be analyzing the following issues. For details, contact the ANA leaders listed at the end of this Advisory.

- Will the “top line” budget request for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) jump to $15 billion, as inside sources tell ANA? That topline number would be up from $13.9 billion in FY 2018, and $12.5 billion in both FYs 2017 and 2016.

- Will that expected $1.1 billion increase be mostly or entirely for nuclear weapons research and production programs under “Weapons Activities”? (The other three NNSA budget categories are Federal Salaries and Expenses, Nonproliferation and Naval Propulsion.)]

- Will there be immediate funding to jump-start a low-yield submarine-launched warhead for “limited” nuclear war, as called for in the President’s Nuclear Posture Review? What is the military utility of that new warhead, which, if fired, would give away a strategic sub’s position and force the target to react quickly without knowing the warhead’s yield? What does the FY19 budget justification say?

- Will the request define the scope and cost of the “W78 warhead replacement program,” which is to be accelerated to FY19 according to the Nuclear Posture Review? What are the FY19 and long-term costs for a “replacement program”?

- Will the budget request further boost spending on a new, de-stabilizing Long-Range Stand Off warhead to ride atop a new air-launched cruise missile? ($399 million in FY 2018)

- Will funding for transforming the B61 bomb into the world’s first “smart” nuclear weapon remain at about $778 million annually? Is NNSA still on track to produce the first B61-12 in 2020?

- Will the dismantlement budget increase beyond its current, inadequate $52 million given that there is an estimated backlog of 2,000 nuclear weapons awaiting disassembly?

- Will more than $300 million be provided for Livermore Lab’s National Ignition Facility (NIF), which repeatedly failed to achieve ignition even though taxpayers have spent more than $10 billion on it so far? Or will the Inertial Confinement Fusion budget, specifically NIF, be cut in recognition of its failure?

- What is the request for the plutonium fuel (MOX) project at Savannah River, which DOE admits is financially unsustainable: zero, cold standby (~$200 million), or enough to barely survive ($300+ million)?

- Will the budget continue to fund the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) bomb plant in Oak Ridge, TN, without requiring a formally approved plan? Given that more than $2 billion has been spent on designing UPF, when will the Administration tell taxpayers how much more it intends to spend?

- Does the budget increase funding for expanded production of plutonium “pit” bomb cores at Los Alamos or reveal movement toward relocating pit production to Savannah River? Why is more production needed when the U.S. has more than 15,000 pits, which experts conclude are durable?

- Does the Environmental Management (EM) cleanup budget (currently $5.4 billion) increase to meet all legally mandated milestones? States say agreements at a dozen DOE sites are underfunded.

- What is the lifecycle cost estimate to clean up nuclear weapons production? Chronic underfunding of DOE environmental programs leads to ever-increasing lifecycle clean-up costs — from $308.5 billion in FY 2013 to $341.6 billion in FY 2016 to $388.2 billion in FY 2018.

- Does the Hanford budget (more than $2.3 billion) protect workers from toxic chemical exposures, and fund construction of new double-shell tanks to replace the leaking ones?

- Does the budget include any money for Yucca Mountain? For FY 2018 the Trump administration requested $120 million for this technically flawed site that is strongly opposed by Nevada officials and the public.

- Does the budget increase funding (currently $30.87 million) for the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) to provide independent oversight of DOE projects that have many cost over-runs, schedule delays, safety culture issues and technical problems?

- Is funding for design and licensing of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) (currently $95 million) increasing again even though SMRs are not technically or financially viable? Will the budget include DOE sites buying expensive and speculative SMR electricity in the future?

For information about specific DOE nuclear weapons sites and programs, contact:

Los Alamos Lab and Life Extension -- Jay Coghlan:
(505)989-7342 jay@nukewatch.org

Livermore Lab, NIF and Life Extension -- Marylia Kelly:
(925)443-7148 marylia@trivalleycares.org

UPF and Dismantlement -- Ralph Hutchison:
(865)776-5050 orep@earthlink.net

Savannah River and MOX Plant -- Tom Clements:
(803)240-7268 tomclements329@cs.com

Environmental Management, Yucca Mountain -- Don Hancock:
(505)262-1862 sricdon@earthlink.net

Hanford – Tom Carpenter:
(206)292-2850 x 22 tomc@hanfordchallenge.org

Idaho National Lab – Beatrice Brailsford:
(208)233-7212 bbrailsford@snakeriveralliance.org


LIVERMORE NUCLEAR WATCHDOGS TO CELEBRATE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE AWARD

for immediate release, December 8, 2017

LIVERMORE NUCLEAR WATCHDOGS TO CELEBRATE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE AWARD CEREMONY DEC. 10 WITH CHAMPAGNE TOAST & CHALLENGE AT LIVERMORE LAB

Tri-Valley CAREs, a U.S. partner in the Nobel-Winning International Campaign, Will “Lift a Glass” as Prize is Awarded for Historic Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty; Protest Trump Policy

Contacts: Marylia Kelley, Executive Director, (925) 443-7148, marylia@trivalleycares.org, and Scott Yundt, Staff Attorney, scott@trivalleycares.org

OSLO & LIVERMORE – The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) will be awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize on Sunday, December 10, 2017 in Oslo, Norway. ICAN is a global civil society coalition of more than 400 partner organizations in over 100 countries, including Tri-Valley CAREs (http://www.icanw.org/campaign/partner-organizations/).

2017 PEACE PRIZE: Said the Nobel Committee: ICAN is “receiving the award for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its groundbreaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.”

ICAN’s statement: “This prize is a tribute to the tireless efforts of many millions of campaigners and concerned citizens worldwide… insisting that [nuclear weapons] serve no legitimate purpose and must be forever banished from the face of the earth.”

Tri-Valley CAREs thanks the Nobel Committee and notes: “This is a remarkable achievement for ICAN. We are proud to be a part of the Campaign and to participate with other partners globally in bringing into force the historic Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.”

2PM CELEBRATION IN LIVERMORE: Tri-Valley CAREs will host a celebration beginning at 2PM at the West Gate entrance to the Lawrence Livermore National Lab at Vasco Road and Westgate Drive. The event will include a short program with up to the minute news from Oslo, a public reading of the text of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a hanging of posters with the 10-page treaty on the sign and gates of Livermore Lab, a champagne toast, music and more.

According to Tri-Valley CAREs’ Executive Director, Marylia Kelley, “We will celebrate the Nobel Peace Prize while speaking truth to power in the United States about the illegality of nuclear weapons and the $1.7 trillion program to upgrade the U.S. arsenal over the coming three decades.”

Staff Attorney, Scott Yundt said: “The so-called ‘modernization’ of U.S. nuclear weapons and the policy initiatives expected soon in the form of the Trump Administration’s Nuclear Posture Review will make the U.S. and world less safe. We need clear thinking and concrete steps toward a nuclear weapons-free future, not a new, volatile and horrifyingly dangerous arms race.”

There will be a photo op at the big Livermore Lab sign 12-10-17 shortly after 2 PM

For more about the Nobel Peace Prize, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and U.S. policy, www.trivalleycares.org and www.icanw.org/. Journalists, please note that there will be Nobel Peace Prize celebrations hosted by ICAN partners across the US and the globe. ###

Marylia Kelley
Executive Director


Community-Wide Forum on Toxic and Radioactive Pollutants and their Cleanup at “Site 300”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 20, 2017

CONTACT:Marylia Kelley, Tri-Valley CAREs Executive Director, 925.443.7148, marylia@trivalleycares.org Valeria Salamanca, Bi-lingual Outreach Specialist, 209.601.8489, valeria@trivalleycares.org

Community-Wide Forum on Toxic and Radioactive Pollutants and their Cleanup at “Site 300” to Feature Environmental Protection Agency, Scientist, Non-Profit, and Tracy Residents

WHAT: A public meeting and the release of a new report on the Superfund law and the toxic and radioactive contaminants in soil and groundwater aquifers at the Livermore Lab’s “Site 300” high explosives testing range. The forum will focus on upcoming environmental decisions and what residents can do to improve the Superfund cleanup to protect community health and the environment for current and future generations. Spanish language materials and translation assistance will be available.

WHEN: Thursday, September 28, 2017 from 7 PM - 8:30 PM

WHERE:Tracy City Hall, 333 Civic Center Plaza, Room 203

PRESENTERS:
Andrew Bain is the “Site 300” federal project manager for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Bain will outline EPA roles and responsibilities in the Superfund process, including the law’s public participation provisions. Bain will also outline key contaminants and upcoming decision-making points.

Peter Strauss is an environmental scientist and president of PM Strauss & Associates. In the mid-90s, Strauss began working with Tri-Valley CAREs to advise on the “Site 300” cleanup. His responsibilities include analysis of contaminants, their migration through the environment and potential cleanup technologies. Strauss is the author of a new report that will debut at the forum.

Valeria Salamanca is a Tracy resident and the Bi-lingual Outreach Specialist at Tri-Valley CAREs. Salamanca graduated from Cal State University, Fullerton with a degree in Business Administration before returning to Tracy early this year. She is expanding environmental participation for Tracy area Spanish-speaking residents and youth. Salamanca will offer a community perspective on the importance of achieving a complete cleanup at “Site 300.”

Marylia Kelley is Executive Director at Tri-Valley CAREs. She brings 34 years of research, writing and facilitating public participation in decisions regarding the Livermore Lab, nuclear weapons, and cleanup. Kelley has testified before the U.S. Congress, the California Legislature and the National Academy of Sciences. She has served on the Livermore Lab "Community Work Group" (since 1989) to advise the government and the community on the Superfund cleanup of toxic and radioactive pollution at the Lab’s Main Site. Kelley is leading efforts to establish a formal mechanism for public involvement in Tracy.

Scott Yundt is the Staff Attorney at Tri-Valley CAREs and will serve as facilitator for the forum.

WHY: Decisions being made soon will determine the effectiveness and completeness of the “Site 300” Superfund cleanup. Background materials are available in English & Spanish at www.trivalleycares.org.

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“2017 Youth Video Contest”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 15, 2017

YOUTH VIDEO CONTEST OPENS AUGUST 15, 2017 WITH $500 GRAND PRIZE

CONTACT: Valeria Salamanca, contest & outreach coordinator, Tri-Valley CAREs Cell: (209) 601-8489, Office: (925) 443-7148, valeria@trivalleycares.org

Today is the opening day for Tri-Valley CAREs’ Youth Video Contest 2017. Any young person aged 10-30 has a chance to win up to $500 by creating a short video - up to 2 minutes in length - showing how nuclear weapons affect them and their world.

The contest is designed for the youth population and is intended to spark discussion about nuclear weapons and the effect that their development has on the air, soil, water and public health. The videographer may choose from any of those topics or devise a related one.

For young residents within the Tri-Valley and Tracy areas, videos can focus on the impacts of the Lawrence Livermore National Lab’s nuclear weapons activities. Both the Lab’s Main Site in Livermore and Site 300 in Tracy are on the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Superfund” list of most polluted locations in the nation, with radioactive and toxic wastes that have migrated into the underground water aquifers. Accidents and airborne releases have also occurred at both locations.

Tri-Valley CAREs is conducting this contest to provide an opportunity for youth to learn more about an issue that affects their lives, and to use their skills to win a Grand Prize of $500. There will also be a Second Place award of $250, and a Third Place award of $100. Videographers may use webcam, cell phone or any technology of their choosing. Contest entries may take a local, regional, national or international perspective. The contest is open to youth outside the Tri-Valley and Tracy. All interpretations of the subject matter are welcome and, for the first time, videos may be submitted in English or Spanish.

Young people interested in the Youth Video Contest are invited to visit the Tri-Valley CAREs Facebook page www.facebook.com/youthvideocontest2017 Or, go to www.trivalleycares.org/new/contest2017.html Contest details are available at both links. The deadline to submit a video is 5:00pm Pacific Time on October 31, 2017.

Winning videos will appear on the Tri-Valley CAREs website, www.trivalleycares.org, and will be debuted on the “big screen” at a public awards ceremony on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at the Livermore Main Library, Community Rooms A and B, 1188 South Livermore Ave.

Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment) conducts research, analysis and advocacy on issues regarding environmental and community health. The group runs programs to improve the Superfund cleanup of hazardous wastes at both the Livermore Lab Main Site and Site 300. It also assists Lab workers who have suffered on the job exposures obtain federal compensation for their illnesses.

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“California Environmental Justice Coalition to Meet in Sacramento for Third Statewide Conference”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 11, 2017

Statewide Coalition of 66 Organizations, including Tri-Valley CAREs, Represents Urban, Rural and Indigenous Communities; Coalition Will Demand Improvements to California’s Environmental Justice, Civil Rights, and Language Access

Contact: California Environmental Justice Coalition (CEJC) cejcoalition@gmail.com Tom Helme, CEJC Coordinator, Valley Improvement Projects, (209) 324-6414; Bradley Angel, CEJC Co-Founder, Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, (415) 722-5270; or Marylia Kelley, Executive Director at Tri-Valley CAREs, a CEJC Co-Founding group with membership in Alameda and San Joaquin Counties, (925) 255-3589 (cell while on travel)

SACRAMENTO, CA – Over one hundred environmental justice and community leaders from dozens of organizations will be in Sacramento, California on August 12 and August 13 to hold their third statewide gathering. On Monday, August 14, CEJC will testify and present to the California Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Toxic Substances Control community-based recommendations for what should be included in their Civil Rights and Language Access Policies that the department must adopt by December of this year.

As a result years of organizing and advocacy, and our successful civil rights complaint, CalEPA and DTSC officials will have to listen to the concerns of the state’s environmental justice communities and those most vulnerable and affected by harmful pollution and environmental racism,” stated Bradley Angel of Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, a CEJC co-founder.

Last year an historic Civil Rights complaint settlement was reached between DTSC, its parent agency CalEPA, and CEJC groups Greenaction and El Pueblo para el Aire y Aqua Limpia de Kettleman City (People for Clean Air and Water of Kettleman City).

The complaint was filed with the US EPA after Spanish-speaking residents in Kettleman City were only given half the time to comment about a drastic expansion of the Chemical Waste Management Inc. hazardous waste landfill in the small, mostly farmworker community.

Recently, 36 environmental justice, community and social justice organizations across the state, many from CEJC, submitted their recommendations regarding what DTSC must include in the civil rights and language access policies they are developing in order to comply with environmental justice and civil rights mandates and laws.

Maricela Mares-Alatorre, of El Pueblo para el Aire y Aqua Limpia de Kettleman City, also a CEJC co-founder stated, “This meeting is a proactive approach to working with regulating agencies in a way that will bring about systematic change.”

The hearing will come after a 2-day conference of over 100 CEJC members and allies who will plan the expansion of the coalition’s influence as well as its priorities and goals for the future. Members will also discuss the potential outcome of DTSC’s new policies, the recent Cap-and-Trade bill, and the attack on environmental protections expected from the Trump administration.

“In the face of adversity from the new federal administration, CEJC seeks to maintain its frontrunner status in policy, which is represented by over 60 grassroots community organizations aiming to uphold the Principles of Environmental Justice,” said Humberto Lugo of CEJC co-founder organization Comite Civico del Valle in the Imperial Valley.

The California Environmental Justice Coalition was founded in November of 2014 in Kettleman City. The 2017 Statewide Conference will mark the coalition’s third statewide gathering. Led by people of color and low-income communities, CEJC is a broad, inclusive, grassroots statewide coalition of small and large groups uniting urban, rural and indigenous communities in resistance against environmental racism and injustice, and committed to environmental, social, and economic justice. CEJC welcomes longstanding environmental justice organizations and newcomers alike.

CEJC members and community leaders will be available for media interviews upon request after the CalEPA/DTSC hearing at the numbers listed above.

Eric Luna, a member of Tri-Valley CAREs’ 2017 Board of Directors, and Legal Intern Makayla Whitney, will represent the group’s 4,700 members at this historic meeting. Interviews with Makayla and Eric are available on request.

For a list of member groups, see https://cejcoalition.org/cejcmembers/ and additional information, including campaigns, is at cejcoalition.org.

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“March for Nuclear Abolition & Global Survival”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 3, 2017

Click here to download the pdf.

Click here to download the pdf.


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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 9, 2017

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

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

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

Marshall Islanders suffered catastrophic and irreparable damages to their people and homeland when the U.S. conducted 67 nuclear tests on their territory between 1946 and 1958. These tests had the equivalent power of exploding 1.6 Hiroshima bombs daily for 12 years.

The Marshall Islands does not seek compensation with this lawsuit. Rather, it seeks declaratory and injunctive relief requiring the United States to comply with its commitments under international law.

On February 3, 2015, the Marshall Islands case at the federal district court was dismissed on the jurisdictional grounds of standing and political question doctrine without getting to the merits. David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and a consultant to the Marshall Islands in their lawsuit, stated, “We believe the Court of Appeals should reverse the decision of the lower court and allow the case to be heard on its merits. But, no matter the outcome of this appeal, the Marshall Islands has shown great leadership with their Nuclear Zero lawsuits. They are a small nation that has acted on behalf of all humanity.”

For more information about the Nuclear Zero lawsuits, Click here.

Note to editor: There will be a press conference outside the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals at approximately 12:00 PM. Laurie Ashton, lead council for the Marshall Islands; Pastor Julian Riklon of the Marshall Islands; Scott Yundt, Staff Attorney, Tri-Valley CAREs; Rick Wayman, Director of Programs and Operations at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation; Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director, Western States Legal Foundation; and John Burroughs, Executive Director, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, will be available for comment.

CONTACT:

Scott Yundt, 415-990-2070, scott@trivalleycares.org

Rick Wayman, 805-696-5159, rwayman@napf.org

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VIDEO CONTEST OPENS TO ENGAGE YOUTH IN ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES AT LIVERMORE LAB

$500 Grand Prize Offered for Winning Youth Video

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 25, 2016

The launch this month of Livermore-based Tri-Valley CAREs’ third annual Youth Video Contest is part of the group’s ongoing initiative to engage the next generation in nuclear weapons and environmental policy questions and to ensure that their voices are heard.

“Youth voices are often left out of environmental decision-making at Livermore Lab,” noted Tri-Valley CAREs’ Staff Attorney, Scott Yundt, who is coordinating the contest. “The 2016 Youth Video Contest allows young people to speak to issues that will impact their future through video, a format of interest to many youth.”

“Are Clean Groundwater Aquifers Important to you?” is the theme of this year’s Youth Video Contest. The basic instructions are simple: Describe what you think. Address whether and why clean groundwater is important to you through the medium of video.

Youth from ten to thirty years old are invited to submit videos of two minutes or less, with a Grand Prize of $500, a Second Place prize of $250, and a Third Place prize of $100. All videos are due electronically by October 31, 2016 and will be posted on the contest Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/youthvideocontest2016 and Youtube Channel. Details of the contest can be found at: http://www.trivalleycares.org/new/contest2016.html

While submitters may take a broad perspective, contest rules require that the video address some aspect of groundwater pollution or related nuclear weapons activities at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Main Site in Livermore or its Site 300 near Tracy, CA. Both locations are on the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Superfund” list of the most contaminated sites in the country, laregely because of contaminated groundwater. Cleanup of contamination at both sites is scheduled to take another 40-60 years or more.

Contestants need not be from Livermore or Tracy. Groundwater contamination affects a wide area. A committee that includes a professional videographer has been empaneled to judge the videos. Video submittals can be cartoons, live-action, documentary style, etc. Contestants can film with such technologies as cell phones and laptop web cams.

Winners will be notified in November 2016. The three winning videos will be shown at a special awards ceremony and party on Wednesday, December 7th at the Livermore Main Library, 1188 South Livermore Ave. The contest, now in its third year, attracted impressive entries last year, and the three 2015 winning videos can be viewed on Tri- Valley CAREs’ website.

CONTACT:

Scott Yundt, 925-443-7148, scott@trivalleycares.org

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California Environmental Justice Coalition to Hold Statewide Conference and Meet with Top State Environmental Officials

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

8-17-16

Who: Community and statewide leaders representing more than 50 organizations from the California Environmental Justice Coalition (CEJC) will gather in Sacramento to strengthen collective goals and conduct advocacy with agency and elected officials to achieve greater justice and accountability. CEJC is an inclusive grassroots coalition founded in 2014 to unite urban, rural and indigenous communities suffering from pollution and environmental racism. See: https://cejcoalition.org/cejc-members/

What: CEJC’s “2016 Days of Action” will encompass a weekend conference to share information, strategies and best practices for winning toxic cleanup, environmental and cultural preservation, community resilience and other shared CEJC goals, followed by agency and legislative briefings by CEJC community leaders from across the state. Meetings have been scheduled with top officials from Cal/EPA, the Department of Toxic Substances Control, the Air Resources Board and other agencies as well as with key members of the State Legislature.

Where: The media are welcome to observe proceedings and interview CEJC community leaders during the CEJC Sunday morning conference session at the Capitol Event Center, 1020 11th Street, in Sacramento during the times specified below. Media are also invited to attend the CEJC briefing with top environmental agency officials on Monday at the Coastal Hearing Room on the 2nd floor of the Cal/EPA building at 1001 I Street in Sacramento at the time listed below.

When: Sunday, August 21st from 9:45-11am: CEJC’s morning conference introductions. Monday, August 22nd from 11am-12:30pm; CEJC’s meeting with Cal/EPA and others.

Why: CEJC member groups work together to develop policies and initiatives and carry out joint campaigns to promote environmental justice for all. CEJC’s campaigns include reforming the California Dept. of Toxic Substances Control and other state agencies to serve the needs of people and the environment instead of protecting the polluters. In Sacramento, CEJC member groups will be able to freely share the numerous pollution and health concerns of EJ communities, build solidarity and formulate a comprehensive plan to present to agencies and elected officials alike in order to address the disparities in environmental health and justice felt by the most exposed and vulnerable people in our state’s urban, rural, and indigenous communities. More info at cejcoalition.org

CONTACT:

Marylia Kelley, 925-443-7148, marylia@trivalleycares.org

CEJC Coordinator, Tom Helme, Valley Improvement Projects, (209) 589-9277

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MAJOR RALLY & NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION ON AUG. 9 AT LIVERMORE LAB

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 4, 2016

“Disarm Now: We Stand with Nuclear Survivors for Global Justice” will feature Nagasaki A-bomb survivor Nobuaki Hanaoka on the 71st Anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan

Program update: International lawyer John Burroughs will speak on the Nuclear Zero lawsuits brought by the Republic of the Marshall Islands against the world’s nuclear-armed states. Dr. Burroughs is part of the legal team arguing the cases before the International Court of Justice.

Marshall Islands’ Ambassador Tony de Brum had to cancel his flight due to illness.

WHAT: A coalition of Northern California peace and justice organizations will mark the 71st anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan at the location where the U.S. is presently spending billions of tax-dollars to develop new and modified nuclear weapons including the new Long-Range Stand Off warhead, part of an ambitious trillion-dollar, 30-year plan to “modernize” the U.S. stockpile by enhancing it with novel designs and capabilities. “Disarm Now” will highlight the landmark litigation filed in the International Court of Justice by the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) against the nine nuclear-armed states for their failure to disarm as required by international law. The RMI has also brought suit against the U.S. domestically, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco is slated to hear the case. The RMI cites the illegality of Livermore Lab’s nuclear weapons activities in its filings.

WHEN: Tuesday, August 9, 2016. Rally program will begin at 8 AM sharp. Following the rally, there will be a procession to the Lab’s West Gate with drummers, art and banners. A traditional Japanese Bon dance will be performed at the gate and participants will “die-in” on the pavement and have their bodies outlined in chalk in memory of the vaporized shadows left by people who perished in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some participants will peaceably risk arrest.

WHERE: Livermore Lab, corner of Vasco Road & Patterson Pass Road. Ample parking.

FEATURED SPEAKERS:

• Rev. Nobuaki Hanaoka, special guest speaker, was an infant when the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945. His mother and sister died from illnesses linked to radiation poisoning and his brother died at age 39 from premature aging associated with fallout from the bomb. He will share his experience and insights. Rev. Hanaoka is a retired minister in the United Methodist church, who came to the U.S. following seminary training in Japan. He has settled in the Bay Area where he speaks, writes and teaches on topics of peace and human rights.

• John Burroughs, J.D., Ph.D., is Executive Director of the New York City-based Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, the UN office of the International Association of Lawyers Against

Nuclear Arms. He is a member of the Marshall Islands’ international legal team in its Nuclear Zero cases in the International Court of Justice, where he presented oral arguments this spring. Dr. Burroughs has taught international law as an adjunct professor at Rutgers Law School. He is the author or editor of several books and numerous book chapters and articles, including a recent article in Arms Control Today on the illegality of nuclear weapons under international law. Dr. Burroughs and the RMI legal team have been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize alongside Marshallese Ambassador Tony de Brum.

• Jackie Cabasso will address resurgent U.S. militarism from the Asia-Pacific pivot to NATO expansion and the growing dangers of wars among nuclear-armed nations. Cabasso is the Executive Director since 1984 of the Western States Legal Foundation in Oakland, National Co-convener of United for Peace & Justice and co-founder of the international Abolition 2000 movement (in 1995). She is an internationally recognized leading voice for nuclear weapons abolition, and is the recipient of the 2008 Sean McBride Peace Prize among other awards.

• Tara Dorabji will describe the nuclear weapons programs at Livermore Lab, where the portion of the facility’s budget devoted solely to nuclear weapons activities totals more than a billion dollars annually and comprises 86% of its overall funding from the Dept. of Energy. Dorabji has been active with Tri-Valley CAREs since becoming the group’s Outreach Director more than a decade ago. She has testified in hearings and other venues locally and has traveled extensively to brief members of Congress and administration officials on nuclear weapons policy, Livermore Lab, nuclear workers made ill by on the job exposures and related topics.

• Chizu Hamada will speak to the present day nuclear situation in Japan. Hamada is a co-founder of the Japanese-American No Nukes Action, formed after the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown disaster to protest dangerous Japanese and U.S. nuclear policies.

WHY: On the 71st Anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, we will gather at one of two U.S. national laboratories where scientists are busy designing new and modified nuclear weapons. Overall, the U.S. government spends about $2 million each hour on the nuclear weapons stockpile. This spending is slated to increase and to top $1 trillion over 30 years. Continuing U.S. reliance on nuclear weapons stands in stark contrast with the stance of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). The RMI has filed lawsuits against the world’s nine nuclear-armed states in the International Court of Justice. They have also filed separately against the U.S. That case is presently awaiting a hearing before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The Marshall Islanders know all too well the devastating effects of living in the nuclear age. From 1946 to 1958, the U.S conducted 67 nuclear weapons tests in the Marshall Islands. Yet, they are not seeking damages in this historic litigation. Instead they seek to compel compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and its nuclear disarmament provisions, which have been incorporated into customary international law.

The Japanese Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) also speak for global nuclear disarmament, raising their voices to cry “never again,” so that no others shall ever feel the horrific blast, heat, thirst, radiation sickness and bloody death or lingering illness that follows. On this August 9th we will hear from survivor Nobuaki Hanaoka and recommit ourselves to efforts to abolish nuclear weapons – an urgent necessity for our collective survival.

MEDIA OPS: Interviews with speakers and organizers available on request. Call for details.

CONTACT:

Marylia Kelley, 925-443-7148, marylia@trivalleycares.org

###



MAJOR RALLY & NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION ON AUG. 9 AT LIVERMORE LAB

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

“Disarm Now: We Stand with Nuclear Survivors for Global Justice” will bring keynote speaker Ambassador Tony de Brum from the Republic of the Marshall Islands and also feature Nagasaki atomic bomb survivor Nobuaki Hanaoka on the 71st Anniversary of the U.S. nuclear bomb dropped on the city of Nagasaki, Japan

WHAT: A coalition of Northern California peace and justice organizations will mark the 71st anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan at the location where the U.S. is presently spending billions of tax-dollars to develop new and modified nuclear weapons including the new Long-Range Stand Off warhead, part of an ambitious trillion-dollar, 30-year plan to “modernize” the U.S. stockpile by enhancing it with novel designs and capabilities. “Disarm Now” will highlight the landmark litigation filed in the International Court of Justice by the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) against the nine nuclear-armed states for their failure to disarm as required by international law. The RMI has also brought suit against the U.S. domestically, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco is slated to hear the case. The RMI cites the illegality of Livermore Lab’s nuclear weapons activities in its filings.

WHEN: Tuesday, August 9, 2016. Rally program with The Honorable Tony de Brum, Nobuaki Hanaoka and others will begin at 8 AM sharp. Following the rally, there will be a procession to the Lab’s West Gate with drummers, art and banners. A traditional Japanese Bon dance will be performed at the gate and participants will “die-in” on the pavement and have their bodies outlined in chalk in memory of the vaporized shadows left by people who perished in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some participants will peaceably risk arrest.

WHERE: Livermore Lab, corner of Vasco Road & Patterson Pass Road. Ample parking.

FEATURED SPEAKERS:

• The Honorable Tony de Brum, keynote speaker, is the former Foreign Minister of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and its current Ambassador for Climate. Born in 1945, de Brum grew up during the period of 67 U.S. nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands, from 1946-1958, and as a nine year old boy witnessed the impact of the 15-megaton “Bravo” test. Ambassador de Brum represents his Pacific Island nation in its courageous, ongoing “Nuclear Zero” lawsuits against the world’s nine nuclear-armed states, including the U.S., for their “failure to disarm” as required by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and customary international law. His tireless pursuit of justice for the Marshallese people has been recognized with a Right Livelihood international award as well as a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.

• Rev. Nobuaki Hanaoka, special guest speaker, was an infant when the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945. His mother and sister died from illnesses linked to radiation poisoning and his brother died at age 39 from premature aging associated with fallout from the bomb. He will share his experience and insights. Rev, Hanaoka is a retired minister in the United Methodist church, who came to the U.S. following seminary training in Japan. He has settled in the Bay Area where he speaks, writes and teaches on topics of peace and human rights.

• Jackie Cabasso will address resurgent U.S. militarism from the Asia-Pacific pivot to NATO expansion and the growing dangers of wars among nuclear-armed nations. Cabasso is the Executive Director since 1984 of the Western States Legal Foundation in Oakland, National Co-convener of United for Peace & Justice and co-founder of the international Abolition 2000 movement (in 1995). She is an internationally recognized leading voice for nuclear weapons abolition, and is the recipient of the 2008 Sean McBride Peace Prize among other awards.

• Tara Dorabji will elucidate the nuclear weapons programs at Livermore Lab, where the facility’s budget devoted solely to nuclear weapons activities totals more than a billion dollars annually and comprises 86% of its overall funding from the Dept. of Energy. Dorabji has been active with Tri-Valley CAREs since becoming the group’s Outreach Director more than a decade ago. She has testified in hearings and other venues locally and has traveled extensively to brief members of Congress and administration officials on nuclear weapons policy, Livermore Lab, nuclear workers made ill by on the job exposures and related topics.

• Chizu Hamada will speak to the present day nuclear situation in Japan. Hamada is a co-founder of the Japanese-American No Nukes Action, formed after the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown disaster to protest dangerous Japanese and U.S. nuclear policies.

WHY: On the 71st Anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, we will gather at one of two U.S. national laboratories where scientists are busy designing new and modified nuclear weapons. Overall, the U.S. government spends about $2 million each hour on the nuclear weapons stockpile. This spending is slated to increase and to top $1 trillion over 30 years. This stands in stark contrast with the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The RMI filed litigation against the world’s nine nuclear-armed states in the International Court of Justice. They have also filed separately against the U.S. That case is presently awaiting a hearing before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The Marshall Islanders know all too well the devastating effects of living in the nuclear age. From 1946 to 1958, the U.S conducted 67 nuclear weapons tests in the Marshall Islands. Yet, they are not seeking damages in this historic litigation. Instead they seek to compel compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and its provisions, which have been incorporated into “customary international law,” requiring nuclear disarmament. The RMI actions are led by their esteemed and indefatigable Ambassador Tony de Brum.

The Japanese Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) also speak for global nuclear disarmament, raising their voices to cry “never again,” so that no others shall ever feel the horrific blast, heat, thirst, radiation sickness and bloody death or lingering illness that follows. On this August 9, we will hear from survivor Nobuaki Hanaoka and recommit to our efforts to abolish nuclear weapons – an urgent necessity for our collective survival.

MEDIA OPS: Interviews with speakers and organizers available on request. Call for details.

CONTACT:

Marylia Kelley, 925-443-7148, marylia@trivalleycares.org

Jackie Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation, 510-839-5877; 510-206-0119, cell

Stephen McNeil, American Friends Service Committee, 415-350-9305

###



NUCLEAR “WATCHDOG” FILES FEDERAL LAWSUIT TO COMPEL RELEASE OF INFORMATION ABOUT TOXIC AND RADIOACTIVE DANGERS AT LIVERMORE LAB

Tri-Valley CAREs charges Energy Dept. is illegally withholding documents on toxic “high-risk” facilities, anthrax shipments, use of plutonium in the National Ignition Facility and more; requests Special Prosecutor be named

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, June 10, 2016

LIVERMORE & OAKLAND, CA – Today, Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment) filed a Federal lawsuit in United States District Court for the Northern District of California against the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) and its National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) for numerous failures to comply with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which requires federal agencies to respond to public requests for information within 20 days.

According to the complaint filed today in US District Court, Tri-Valley CAREs alleges four separate instances the DOE and NNSA failed to provide responsive, unclassified documents regarding operations at the agencies’ Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) as required by law. The information that is the subject of the litigation is overdue by up to four years.

“The DOE and NNSA are egregiously out of compliance with the law,” noted Tri-Valley CAREs’ Staff Attorney, Scott Yundt. “This frustrates the public’s basic right to know. The information is of urgent importance to the community, and involves important and timely issues like Livermore Lab’s use of plutonium in the National Ignition Facility and the state of decay at aging excess facilities identified by the DOE Inspector General as posing a ‘high–risk’ to workers and the public.”

“As a ‘watchdog’ organization, Tri-Valley CAREs relies on open government laws like the FOIA to do its work and inform the community,” stated Yundt. “By dragging its feet for years, and not providing the requested information, the government has not only violated the law but has potentially degraded the value of the information sought, which is often time-sensitive.”

Yundt noted, “In some cases, important opportunities for public input have elapsed and projects have gone forward while the group’s information requests went unanswered.”

“Many of the documents Tri-Valley CAREs requested contain information about possible breaches of toxic, radiological and biological materials from Lab operations and shipments. Keeping this information hidden does nothing to protect the public,” charged Marylia Kelley, the group’s Executive Director. “Instead, it robs the community of the opportunity to press for changes that would better safeguard worker and public health and the environment.”

Kelley continued, “Moreover, DOE and NNSA are illegally withholding information we requested about plutonium policy.”

“The DOE and NNSA have exhibited a ‘pattern and practice’ of not responding to FOIA requests in the manner prescribed by statute,” Staff Attorney Yundt stated. “Routinely, these federal agencies have failed to fulfill Tri-Valley CAREs’ FOIA requests within the allotted timeframe and failed to provide an estimated date of their determination as required by President Obama’s 2008 Open Government Directive.”

The group’s lawsuit asks the judge to issue a court order appointing a Special Counsel to investigate the pattern of abuse wherein DOE and NNSA fail to comply with the law. The Special Counsel would then determine whether disciplinary action is warranted and against whom. “A positive ruling could set a precedent for openness and transparency with national implications,” said Yundt.

Tri-Valley CAREs was forced to bring similar FOIA litigation to compel the release of documents under the Freedom of Information Act in 1998, 2000, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2013. “We should not have to file lawsuits in order to obtain public information,” said Yundt. “Congress enacted the FOIA specifically so that organizations like Tri-Valley CAREs would have free access to unclassified, non-exempt records that disclose the operation of the government.”

“We are prosecuting this lawsuit in order to hold the DOE and NNSA accountable and to vindicate the public’s right to be informed and to knowledgeably and democratically influence Livermore Lab projects and the nation’s nuclear weapons policies,” concluded Kelley. “The information we seek impacts our lives and our future.”

Tri-Valley CAREs was founded in 1983 in Livermore, CA by neighbors of the Dept. of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, one of two locations where all U.S. nuclear weapons are designed. The Lab’s Main Site in Livermore was placed on the federal Superfund list of most contaminated sites in the country in 1987. Livermore Lab’s Site 300, located between Livermore and Tracy, was placed on the federal Superfund list in 1990. Tri-Valley CAREs represents 5,600 members, most of whom live and/or work in the shadow of Livermore Lab.

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A PDF of the Complaint filed today is available at here

We can also email it upon request. Call us at (925) 443-7148.

CONTACT:

Marylia Kelley, 925-443-7148, marylia@trivalleycares.org

Scott Yundt, 415-990-2070, scott@trivalleycares.org

###



Tri-Valley CAREs to Speak at Courthouse on Lab Nuclear Programs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 17, 2016

*May 25 Defendants of the Good Friday witness held on March 25 at the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory will appear at the Alameda County Courthouse in Fremont.

*WHAT* Press conference outside courthouse. More than a dozen nonviolent protesters cited and released at the gates of Livermore Lab will speak to media prior to entering the courthouse to answer their summons and determine their legal fate. Marylia Kelley of TriValley CAREs will also speak on the ongoing nuclear weapons development underway at Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab.

*THERE WILL BE A PHOTO OP* as defendants and their supporters will gather for song, and release a statement that on “Good Friday we remembered the death by torture of a leader in nonviolence at the hands of the Roman Empire at the location where we see a modern day parallel. Nuclear weapons designed at Livermore Lab are central to enabling today’s empire of violence around the world.”

Joining the faith-based defendants at the press conference will be Marylia Kelley of Tri-Valley CAREs, a noted Livermore Lab watchdog organization. Kelley will report on the current nuclear weapons development activities at the Livermore Lab, illuminating the reason for protest at that site.

WHEN AND WHERE:* May 25, 8:15 a.m., Fremont Hall of Justice, 39439 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont, CA 94538, entrance of courthouse.

*WHY* On Good Friday of this year, some one hundred and fifty people gathered for prayer outside of the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory, hearing from Rev. Deborah Lee, Senior Program Director of Immigration with the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity. Also speaking was Rev. Julian Riklon of the Marshall Islands where many people suffered the effects of nuclear weapons tests. After a prayer service, including song and liturgical dance, the group proceeded to the gates of the lab where 23 people were arrested as they stood or knelt in prayers for peace.

*BACKGROUND* Livermore Lab was founded in 1952 to develop the hydrogen bomb, and it continues to be the place where new weapons of mass destruction are designed. People of faith together with others concerned about the continuing development of nuclear weapons have gathered there for more than 25 years on Good Friday to call for an end to these weapons. The witness at which the defendants were arrested was sponsored by Ecumenical Peace Institute/CALC and the Livermore Conversion Project.

CONTACT:

Carolyn Scarr, Ecumenical Peace Institute: 510-527-8370, (cell) 510-847-7613 epicalc@lmi.net

WATCHDOGS HEAD TO CAPITOL HILL TO STOP NUCLEAR WEAPONS “TRILLION DOLLAR TRAINWRECK”-- REPORT SEEKS BIG CUTS IN WARHEAD MODERNIZATION AND BOMB PLANTS; DIVERTING SAVINGS TO CLEANUP AND WEAPONS DISMANTLEMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 13, 2016

Livermore Group Highlights “Trillion Dollar Trainwreck” Policy Recommendations with Appearance Today on Democracy Now!

Dozens of community leaders from around the country will visit Washington, DC April 18 - 20 to oppose what they call “out-of-control” U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear weapons projects that accelerate wasteful spending, increase proliferation risks, and generate radioactive contamination. The group will meet with leading members of Congress, committee staffers, and administration officials responsible for U. S. nuclear policies to press for new priorities.

Activists from nearly a dozen states are participating in the 28th annual Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) "DC Days." They will deliver copies of ANA’s new report, Trillion Dollar Trainwreck (bit.ly/trilliondollartrainwreck), which dissects the Obama Administration’s latest plans to spend more than a trillion dollars over the next 30 years on the U.S. nuclear arsenal, including massive amounts on Life Extension Programs (LEPs), new production facilities, and other projects at DOE sites. According to the 20-page analysis, “Most of [these programs] are completely unnecessary for national security. All of them are mismanaged, behind schedule, and wildly over budget.” ANA members will urge policymakers to redirect the money saved by cutting these programs to speeding up warhead dismantlement and cleaning up the legacy of nuclear weapons research, testing and production.

Marylia Kelley, executive director for the Livermore, CA-based Tri-Valley CAREs co-authored the report. “The escalating cost of maintaining US nuclear weapons is due not to the difficulty of the task or to excessive ‘aging.’ It is due to elective changes the DOE and its weapons labs are introducing into the stockpile,” she noted. “The new nuclear tipped cruise missile, in particular, should be cancelled.” Kelley appeared on Democracy Now! this morning with Amy Goodman.

ANA is a network of local, regional and national organizations representing the concerns of communities downwind and downstream from U.S. nuclear weapons research, production and waste disposal sites. DC Days participants include activists from groups that monitor such U.S. nuclear weapons facilities as Hanford, Lawrence Livermore, Rocky Flats, Los Alamos, Kansas City Plant, Pantex, Sandia, Oak Ridge, Savannah River and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

Tri-Valley CAREs is the 33-year strong nuclear weapons watchdog organization located next to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, one of two locations where all U.S. nuclear weapons are designed. The group works to prevent proliferation-provocative new U.S. warheads and bombs, support nonproliferation locally and globally, and achieve cleanup under the Superfund law of toxic and radioactive wastes at Livermore Lab that have migrated through the environment into multiple groundwater aquifers. Tri-Valley CAREs has been an ANA member group since 1989 and is co-author of Trillion Dollar Trainwreck.

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Click here to read the "Trillion Dollar Trainwreck" report.

As part of its DC Days, ANA will sponsor an Awards Reception honoring leaders of the movement for responsible nuclear policies on Tuesday evening, April 19. Honorees include U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Representative Adam Smith, Los Alamos whistleblower Chuck Montano, and anti-nuclear reactor organizer Kay Cumbow: The event will take place in Room 902 of the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.

CONTACT:

Marylia Kelley, 925-443-7148, marylia@trivalleycares.org

###



LOCAL GROUP HEADS TO WASHINGTON TO PRESS CONGRESS, OBAMA OFFICIALS TO STOP U.S. NUCLEAR WEAPONS “TRILLION DOLLAR TRAINWRECK” -- PUSH TO CANCEL BOMB PLANT AND WARHEAD “MODERNIZATION,

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 11, 2016

Five members of Tri-Valley CAREs will visit Washington, DC from April 17 to April 20 to oppose U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear weapons projects, which they say will lead to a “trillion dollar trainwreck” through out-of control spending, radioactive waste generation, and weapons proliferation. The group will meet with leading members of Congress, committee staffers, and top administration officials with responsibility for U. S. nuclear policies to press for new funding priorities.

The California delegation will be working with colleagues from a dozen other states who are participating in the 28th annual Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) "DC Days." The activists will meet with Senators and Representatives from [your state], leaders of congressional committees that oversee nuclear issues, and key federal agency staffers. They will share copies of ANA’s new report, “Trillion Dollar Trainwreck” a detailed analysis of the Obama Administration’s latest plans to spend more money on nuclear weapons without enhancing U.S. security.

Tri-Valley CAREs Executive Director, Marylia Kelley said, “Massive spending on nuclear weapons ‘modernization’ creates catastrophic risks for U.S. taxpayers, the environment and world peace. We will press policy-makers to cut programs that fund dangerous DOE boondoggles. The money saved should be redirected to dismantling weapons and cleaning up the legacy of nuclear weapons research, testing and production.”

Tri-Valley CAREs Staff Attorney, Scott Yundt will join Tri-Valley CAREs delegation along with Vecky Elliot of Tracy, Julie Kantor of San Francisco, and Avi Taylor of Washington DC.

ANA is a network of three dozen local, regional and national organizations representing the concerns of communities downwind and downstream from U.S. nuclear weapons production and radioactive waste disposal sites. As part of its DC Days, ANA will sponsor an Awards Reception honoring leaders of the movement for responsible nuclear policies on Tuesday evening, April 19. That event will take place in Room 902 of the Hart Senate Office Building from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.

CONTACT:

Marylia Kelley, 925-443-7148, marylia@trivalleycares.org

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QUESTIONS FOR THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE) FY 2017 NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND CLEANUP BUDGET REQUEST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

for use with Tuesday, February 9, 2016 budget release

The Obama Administration’s nuclear weapons policy is revealed much more by its spending plans than its rhetoric. On February 9, the Fiscal Year 2017 Department of Energy (DOE) budget request will illuminate the programs that President Obama wants to pass on to his successor.

Will it increase funding for additional nuclear weapons programs despite warnings that “modernization” is leading to a new arms race? Will the President keep faith with communities harmed by nuclear weapons activities and request the funds needed to stabilize nuclear materials and clean up contaminated land and waters at DOE sites across America?

The DOE Fiscal Year 2017 budget request will answer these and other questions of great importance to the American people and the world. The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA), a 29-year-old network of groups from communities downwind and downstream of U.S. nuclear sites, will be looking at the following issues. For details, contact the ANA leaders listed at the end of this Advisory.

- Will the “top line” budget request for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) rise to support nuclear weapons “modernization” and the new bomb plants necessary to fulfill that scheme?

- Does the budget request boost spending on a new Long-Range Stand Off warhead to ride atop a new air-launched cruise missile, with a combined $20-$30 billion cost and incalculable proliferation risks?

- Will funding for transforming the B61 bomb into the world’s first “smart” nuclear weapon remain at about $640 million annually? Is NNSA on track to produce the first B61-12 in 2020?

- Will the dismantlement budget increase beyond its current, inadequate $50 million given that there is an estimated backlog of 2,000 nuclear weapons awaiting disassembly?

- Will more than $300 million be provided for Livermore Lab’s National Ignition Facility (NIF), which repeatedly failed to achieve ignition even though taxpayers have already spent nearly $9 billion?

- What is the request for the plutonium fuel (MOX) project at Savannah River, which DOE admits is financially unsustainable: zero, cold standby (~$200 million), or enough to barely survive (300+ million)?

- Will the budget continue to fund the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) bomb plant in Oak Ridge, TN, without requiring a formally approved plan? Given that more than $2 billion has been spent on designing UPF, when will the Administration tell taxpayers how much it intends to spend?

- Does the budget increase funding for expanded production of plutonium “pit” bomb cores at Los Alamos? Why is more production needed when experts conclude that existing pits are durable?

- Does the Environmental Management (EM) cleanup budget (currently $5.3 billion) increase to meet all legally mandated milestones? States say agreements at a dozen DOE sites are underfunded.

- Why did the budget savings from DOE facilities that had a quick cleanup, such as Rocky Flats and Fernald, go to new weapons rather than to other cleanup sites as promised?

- Does the budget include $0 for Yucca Mountain? No funding is consistent with past requests that terminate this technically flawed site that is strongly opposed by Nevada state officials and the public.

- What are the lifecycle cost estimates to clean up the legacy of past nuclear weapons production? Chronic underfunding of DOE environmental programs is factor leading to ever-increasing lifecycle clean-up costs — from $308.5 billion in FY 2013 to $341.6 billion in FY 2016.

- Why is there increased funding for the shut down Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) when its re-opening is behind schedule and over budget? How much more money is requested for the Idaho National Lab, Los Alamos, Savannah River, and Oak Ridge because of the shutdown?

- Does the Hanford budget (more than $2.3 billion) protect workers from toxic chemical exposures, provide an Operational Readiness Review of Waste Treatment Plant safety, and fund construction of new double-shell tanks to replace the leaking ones?

- Does the budget increase funding (currently $29.15 million) for the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) to provide independent oversight of DOE projects that have many cost over-runs, schedule delays, safety culture issues and technical problems?

- Is funding for design and licensing of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) (currently $62.5 million) increasing again even though SMRs are not technically or financially viable? Since private financing is lacking, will DOE reaffirm that it will not finance SMR construction?

CONTACT:

Marylia Kelley, 925-443-7148, marylia@trivalleycares.org

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Media Advisory for October 22, 2015 Public Forum & New Report Release on Water Pollution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 20, 2015

body of press release

CONTACT:

Marylia Kelley, 925-443-7148, marylia@trivalleycares.org

Peter Strauss, 925-443-7148, marylia@trivalleycares.org

Public Forum: “Bomb Tests, Polluted Water and Our Future”

New Report: “State of the Superfund Cleanup - Hazardous and Radioactive Pollution Issues at the Livermore Lab Main Site and Site 300”

WHAT: Public forum and the release of a new report on the Superfund law, hazardous and radioactive contaminants in soil and groundwater aquifers at the Livermore Lab nMain Site and Site 300, how the Lab’s broken public participation program imperils critical progress on cleanup, and what the public can do.

WHEN: Thursday, October 22, 2015 from 7 PM to 8:30 PM

WHERE: Transit Center, Room 105 (note room change), 50 East 6th Street in Tracy

SPEAKERS:• Peter Strauss is an environmental scientist and President of the San Francisco-based PM Strauss & Associates. He began working for Tri-Valley CAREs in 1991 as Technical Advisor on the Superfund cleanup of the Livermore Lab Main Site. In the,mid-90s, Strauss was also awarded a second contract by Tri-Valley CAREs to analyze data and advise on the Superfund cleanup at the Livermore Lab Site 300 high explosives testing range near Tracy. His responsibilities include providing detailed analysis of technical data on soil and groundwater contaminants and their migration through the environment. Strauss also provides analyses of remediation methods. Strauss is the author of a new report that will debut at the forum.

• Marylia Kelley is Executive Director at Tri-Valley CAREs. She brings 32 years of research, writing and facilitating public participation in decisions regarding the Livermore Lab, nuclear weapons, waste and cleanup. Kelley has testified before the U.S. Congress, the California Legislature and the National Academy of Sciences. Kelley has served on the Livermore Lab "Community Work Group" (since 1989) to advise the government and the community on the Lab’s Superfund cleanup of toxic and radioactive pollution at the Main Site. Kelley is leading efforts to revive the Work Group in Livermore and establish a formal mechanism for public involvement in Tracy where none exists.

• Viola Cooper is the Community Involvement Coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region IX. Cooper will outline EPA roles and responsibilities in the Superfund process, including the Superfund law’s public participation provisions.

• Gail Rieger is a long-time Tracy resident who is active in public policy questions. She will offer a community perspective on the importance of achieving a complete cleanup at Site 300. Rieger presently serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors at Tri-Valley CAREs.

• Scott Yundt is the Staff Attorney at Tri-Valley CAREs and will serve as facilitator for the forum.

WHY: The Livermore Lab’s Main Site in Livermore and Site 300 near Tracy are Superfund sites. Congress passed the Superfund law to force cleanup of uncontrolled releases of hazardous and radioactive materials. Decisions being made now will determine the effectiveness of the cleanup. Hanging in the balance are the quality of our groundwater aquifers and the health of our communities. The public’s role is key, yet Livermore Lab has not held a meeting of its “Community Work Group” in about three years. At Site 300, there is no formal process to involve the public in Superfund cleanup decisions.

A preview of the new 19-page report and additional background materials are available at www.trivalleycares.org, or call us at (925) 443-7148.

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Media Advisory: Today's Livermore Lab $37.25 Million Lawsuit Settlement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 30, 2015

Livermore Lab “watchdog” organization Tri-Valley CAREs’ statement on the $37.25 million settlement announced today to settle six years of litigation for age discrimination and wrongful termination brought by 130 longstanding Livermore Lab workers.

“While it is regrettable the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory dragged its feet for years on the age-discrimination and wrongful termination claims, we are celebrating a long-overdue victory for justice for workers. Plaintiffs’ attorneys at Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer, worked tirelessly to achieve today’s result, said Tri-Valley CAREs Staff Attorney, Scott Yundt. “This settlement announcement verifies the failure of this federal public institution, the Livermore Lab, to act in the best interest of its own employees, which is in flagrant violation of its own employment agreement,” according to Yundt.

Yundt continued, “I have mixed feelings as news comes out today that the six-year wrongful termination lawsuit against Lawrence Livermore Lab, brought by workers laid-off in 2008, has finally settled. On the one hand, I am happy and relieved that 129 of the workers bringing suit will be compensated. On the other hand, the uncalled for terminations were the result of the new Livermore Lab management and operations (M&O) contracting system that had just been put into place. That contracting system and the corporate entities that run it remain in place today. Indeed, the suit arose after 430 permanent employees were laid off immediately following the 2008 privatization of the Lab.”

Yundt explained further: “In 2005, Tri-Valley CAREs, Livermore-based community ‘watchdog’ organization that monitors Lawrence Livermore’s activities, closely monitored the process under which the management contract for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was put up for bid for the first time in its history.

“While exclusive University of California management had come under fire in the media and on Capitol Hill for lax security and other problems, as a public watchdog group, we were concerned about the for-profit contract management process and its potential to reduce transparency and make dangerous choices in the name of maximizing profits.

“The 430 permanent employee layoffs that immediately followed the 2008 privatization and creation of Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (“LLNS”), a consortium led by the giant San Francisco based private contractor, Bechtel Corporation, confirmed the validity of our concerns. There had been lay-offs in the past at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, but they were normally voluntary and allowed the employees some time to pass on their work and/or specialized knowledge.

“It was concerning as a public “watchdogs” aware of the sensitive nature of much of the nuclear weapons and other national security work at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to stand by while many senior employees (the average age of whom was 54) were suddenly laid-off without a chance to ensure their institutional knowledge regarding operational safety, hazardous materials management and security was passed on. They employees have said that the lab had disregarded its own rules that were supposed to protect senior employees.

“The jury in this case found in 2013 that LLNS did not have good or reasonable cause to terminate the plaintiffs’ employment and/or that it acted in bad faith. Thus, LLNS breached its contractual obligations to its employees and the jury awarded some of the plaintiffs $2.7 million.

“This raised important issues about the privatization of management of the Lawrence Livermore and other national labs. These labs have a broad mission and manage to spend billions in taxpayer dollars each year. However, they have come under fire for producing relatively little science given the large investment, far exceeding budget estimates for projects, opaque and wasteful fiscal management and other problems. It has become clear that this general mismanagement has increased rather than decreased since privatization of the labs occurred in 2005-2006. This waste of government resources has consequences for the public’s interest.

“The problems have reached the level that the Department of Energy’s own Inspector General has called for a process to potentially realign and even close some national energy labs. Recognizing the significance of the problems and the important public interest, Congress called for the establishment of, (and appropriated funds for), a Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Labs (http://energy.gov/labcommission/commission-review-effectiveness-national-energy-laboratories). Among other things, this commission is reviewing the effects of privatization of the National Labs.”

More information, contact scott@trivalleycares.org.

Tri-Valley CAREs: 925-443-7148

CONTACT:

Marylia Kelley, 925-443-7148, marylia@trivalleycares.org

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VIDEO CONTEST OPENS TO ENGAGE YOUTH IN ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES AT LIVERMORE LAB

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 3, 2015

The launch this month of Livermore-based Tri-Valley CAREs’ second annual Youth Video Contest is part of the group’s ongoing initiative to engage the next generation in nuclear weapons and environmental policy questions and to ensure that their voices are heard.

“Youth voices are often left out of environmental decision-making at Livermore Lab,” noted Tri-Valley CAREs’ Staff Attorney, Scott Yundt, who is coordinating the contest. “The 2015 Youth Video Contest allows young people to speak to issues that will impact their future through video, a format of interest to many youth.”

“Nuclear Weapons or a Healthy Environment?” is the theme of this year’s Youth Video Contest. The basic instructions are simple: Describe what you think and what is important to you through the medium of video.

Youth from ten to thirty years old are invited to submit videos of two minutes or less, with a Grand Prize of $500, a Second Place prize of $250, and a Third Place prize of $100. All videos are due electronically by October 31, 2015 and will be posted on the contest Facebook Page: Click here . Details of the contest can be found at: here.

While submitters may take a broad perspective, contest rules require that the video address some aspect of environmental pollution or nuclear weapons activities at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Main Site in Livermore or its Site 300 near Tracy, CA. Both locations are on the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Superfund” list of the most contaminated sites in the country. Cleanup of contamination at both sites is scheduled to take another 40-60 years or more.

Contestants need not be from Livermore or Tracy. Nuclear contamination affects a wide area. A committee that includes a professional videographer has been empaneled to judge the videos.

Video submittals can be cartoons, live-action, documentary style, etc. Contestants can film with such technologies as cell phones and laptop web cams.

Winners will be notified in November 2015. The three winning videos will be shown at a special awards ceremony and party on December 8th at the Livermore Main Library, 1188 South Livermore Ave. The contest, now in its second year, attracted impressive entries last year, and the three 2014 winning videos can be viewed on Tri- Valley CAREs’ website.

CONTACT:

Scott Yundt, 925-443-7148, scott@trivalleycares.org

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HISTORIC 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF ATOMIC BOMBING OF HIROSHIMA, NAGASAKI: Major Protests at U.S. Warhead Facilities Across the Nation Unite to Decry Trillion Dollar Plan for New U.S. Nuclear Weapons; Advocate Disarmament

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 4, 2015

A thousand or more peace advocates, Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors), religious leaders, scientists, economists, attorneys, doctors and nurses, nuclear analysts, former war planners and others across the country are coming together to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki this August 6 through 9 at key sites in the U.S. nuclear weapons complex.

Major commemorations, rallies, protests and/or nonviolent direct actions will place at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in CA, the Los Alamos National Laboratory in NM, the Kansas City Plant in MO, the Y-12 Plant in TN, the Rocky Flats Plant in CO, the Pantex Plant in TX, and in GA near the Savannah River Site. These events are united by their reflection on the past, and, uniquely, their focus on the present and future with a resolute determination to change U.S. nuclear weapons policy at the very locations that are linchpins in producing the new trillion dollar stockpile of nuclear weapons and their delivery vehicles.

“We stand on the brink of a new, global nuclear arms race,” noted Ralph Hutchison, the longstanding coordinator for the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance. “This is epitomized by government plans for a new Uranium Processing Facility to produce H-bomb components at Y-12, including for new-design weapons.”

“U.S. plans to ‘modernize’ the arsenal are also underway at Livermore Lab,” stated Marylia Kelley, Tri-Valley CAREs’ executive director. “A new Long-Range Stand Off warhead design and the start of plutonium shots in the Lab’s National Ignition Facility reveal two facets of this new arms race,” Kelley continued. “In contrast to the cold war, which was largely about sheer numbers, the new arms race and its dangers stem from novel military capabilities now being placed into nuclear weapons.”

Around the world, pressure for the U.S. to show leadership toward the abolition of nuclear weapons is growing. Pope Francis has repeatedly pressed the moral argument against nuclear weapons, inveighing not only against their use but also against their possession. In the wake of the successful Iran agreement, many are suggesting that since it has been settled that it would never be legitimate for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon, shouldn’t we also agree that the 16,000 nuclear weapons in existence have no legitimacy either. Moreover, 113 governments recently signed the “Humanitarian Pledge,” circulated by Austria, to press the U.S. and other nuclear weapons states to fulfill their disarmament obligations.

Actions this week at U.S. nuclear weapons facilities will highlight the mounting international calls for nuclear abolition, with U.S. organizers lending their deep and often unique “on the ground” knowledge from the gates and fence lines of the facilities involved in creating new and modified U.S. nuclear weapons. “This 70th anniversary should be a time to reflect on the absolute horror of a nuclear detonation,” mused Ann Suellentrop of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Kansas City, “yet the new Kansas City Plant is churning out components to extend U.S. nuclear weapons 70 years into the future. The imperative to change that future is what motivates me to organize a peace fast at the gates of the Plant.”

Key events at U.S. nuclear weapons complex sites include:

• Y-12 – pastoral letter, remembrance, rally and nonviolent direct action, peace fast and lanterns. (For more Click here.)

• Livermore Lab - peace camp, August 6 rally and nonviolent direct action, peace fast at the gates. (More: Click here.)

• Los Alamos Lab - film screening, panels, rally and conference (More Click here.)

• Kansas City Plant – atomic photographers exhibit, speakers, film screening, and peace fast at the gates. (More: Click here.)

• Savannah River Site – film screening, vigil, and circle of hope. (More: Click here.)

• Rocky Flats Plant – peace quilt, concert, film screening, labyrinth mourning walk. (More from judithmohling76@gmail.com)

• Pantex Plant – Hiroshima exhibit, panel discussion. (More: Click here.)

These and other Hiroshima events and actions at sites in the U.S. nuclear weapons complex are being led by organizations that are members of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, which represents about three dozen groups. More about ANA can be found at www.ananuclear.org.

CONTACT:

Joni Arends, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, jarends@nuclearactive.org, 505 986-1973 (NM sites)

Jay Coghlan, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, jay@nukewatch.org, 505-989-7342 (NM sites)

Ann Suellentrop, Physicians for Social Responsibility-KC, annsuellen@gmail.com, 913-271-7925 (MO site)

Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear, kevin@beyondnuclear.org, 240-462-3216 (Ohio sites)

Jerry Stein, Peace Farm, Cletus@am.net, 806-351-2744 (TX site)

Judith Mohling, Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center, judithmohling76@gmail.com, 303-447-9635 (CO sites)

Glenn Carroll, Nuclear Watch South, atom.girl@nonukesyall.org, 404-378-4263 (SC, GA sites)

Paul Kawika Martin, Peace Action, pmartin@peace-action.org, 951-217-7285 (in Hiroshima)

Ralph Hutchison, Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, orep@earthlink.net, 865-776-5050 (TN sites)

Marylia Kelley, Tri-Valley CAREs. marylia@trivalleycares.org, 925-443-7148 (CA sites)

Jackie Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation, United for Peace & Justice, wslf@earthlink.net, 510-839-5877 (CA sites, calendar of national events)

Additional resources for media:

Physicians for Social Responsibility calendar and map of Hiroshima and Nagasaki actions: Click here.

United for Peace and Justice, Nuclear Free Future Month calendar of events: Click here.

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70 YEARS OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS – AT WHAT COST?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 3, 2015

Daniel Ellsberg, A-bomb Survivor Takashi Tanemori, Country Joe McDonald to Headline Historic 70th Anniversary Hiroshima Commemoration, Protest & Nonviolent Direct Action at the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab

WHAT: Northern California peace advocates will mark the historic 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the Livermore Lab, where the U.S. is presently spending billions of dollars to create new and modified nuclear weapons. The Lawrence Livermore Lab is one of the two national laboratories that have designed every warhead in the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.

WHEN: Thurs., August 6, 2015. Rally will begin at 8 AM. An A-bomb survivor from Hiroshima will speak at 8:15 AM, the moment the first atomic bomb used in war exploded over the city he loved. At 9 AM there will be a procession to the Livermore Lab’s West Gate, followed by a traditional Japanese Bon dance, and the chalking of human bodies on the pavement to mimic the vaporized shadows of human beings left on the streets of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the atomic bombings. Those who choose will peaceably risk arrest. Others will offer witness and support.

WHERE: Livermore Lab, corner of Vasco & Patterson Pass Roads in Livermore. The procession, led by Buddhist drummers, will go south down Vasco Road to Westgate Drive.

FEATURED SPEAKERS AND PERFORMERS:

Daniel Ellsberg is best known as the courageous whistleblower who published “The Pentagon Papers” and was sentenced to 109 years in prison before his conviction was overturned. Earlier, Ellsberg served as a strategic analyst at the RAND Corporation, and consultant to the Defense Department and the White House, specializing in problems of the command and control of nuclear weapons, nuclear war plans, and crisis decision-making. In addition to becoming a prominent opponent of the Vietnam War, Ellsberg has been a leading advocate for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. His forthcoming memoir is tentatively titled, “America’s Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner.”

Takashi Tanemori is a survivor of the August 6, 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Then eight years old, he was less than one mile from ground zero when the bomb exploded. Tanemori-san is a renowned artist, writer and poet. His testimony of losing both parents and two siblings, losing his eyesight, facing humiliation, and overcoming hatred is documented in his 2007 book, “Hiroshima: Bridge to Forgiveness, Takashi Tanemori’s Hiroshima Story.”

Country Joe McDonald straddles the two polar events of the 1960s, Woodstock and the Vietnam War. The first Country Joe and the Fish record was released in 1965, in time for the Vietnam Day Teach-In anti-war protest in Berkeley. He sang one of the great anthems of the era, “I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag,” to an audience of a half-million at Woodstock in 1969. After 48 albums and more than four decades in the public eye as a folksinger, Country Joe McDonald qualifies as one of the best known names from the 60s rock era still performing.

Chizu Hamada is a member of No Nukes Action, formed after the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown disaster to protest Japanese and US government nuclear policy. For more than three years she has organized rallies on the 11th day of each month at the Japanese consulate in San Francisco. She owns a Japanese gift store in Berkeley.

Marylia Kelley is Executive Director of Tri-Valley CAREs. She brings 32 years of research, writing and facilitating public participation in decisions regarding the Livermore Lab and the U.S. nuclear weapons complex. She has testified before the U.S. Congress, the California Legislature and the National Academy of Sciences, among other deliberative bodies. In 2002, Kelley was inducted into the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame. She has lived in Livermore since 1976.

WHY: Seventy years after the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, preparations for nuclear war are ongoing at the Livermore Lab. Over 85% of the Fiscal Year 2016 budget request for the Lab is dedicated to Nuclear Weapons Activities. Scientists at Livermore are developing a modified nuclear warhead for a new long-range stand off weapon to replace the air-launched cruise missile. Nearly 16,000 nuclear weapons - 94% of them held by the U.S. and Russia - continue to pose an intolerable threat to humanity. Nuclear weapons have again taken center stage on the borderlands of Europe, one of several potential nuclear flashpoints. Whether a nuclear exchange is initiated by accident, miscalculation or madness, the radiation and soot will know no boundaries.

The U.S. plans to spend a trillion dollars over the next thirty years “modernizing” its nuclear bombs, warheads, delivery systems and infrastructure to sustain them for decades to come. The human cost is immeasurable—to our health, environment, ethics, and democracy, to our prospects for global peace, and to our confidence in human survival. We gather at Livermore Lab to demand that nuclear weapons spending be slashed and redirected to meet human needs. On this 70th anniversary date, we welcome the Iran deal and call on the U.S. government to now lead a process, with a timetable, to achieve the universal elimination of nuclear weapons.

WHO: 40 sponsoring organizations

CONTACT:

Marylia Kelley, 925-443-7148, marylia@trivalleycares.org

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LIVERMORE-BASED WATCHDOG GROUP HEADS TO D.C. TO TELL CONGRESS & THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO CONFRONT “THE GROWNING NUCLEAR THREAT”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 13, 2015

Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment), a Livermore-based non-profit that monitors the activities of the Lawrence Livermore National Lab and the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex, will be sending three local students and two senior staff members to join community leaders from around the country in Washington, DC next week to oppose U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear weapons projects, which they say will waste billions in taxpayer funds, damage the environment and undermine the Nation’s non-proliferation goals. The group will meet with leading members of Congress, committee staffers, and top administration officials with responsibility for U.S. nuclear policies to press for new funding priorities.

Activists from a dozen states across the Nation are participating in the 27th annual Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) "DC Days." They will deliver copies of ANA’s just-published report, The Growing U.S. Nuclear Threat. The 20-page analysis dissects the Obama Administration’s latest plans to spend hundreds of billions on unnecessary nuclear weapons programs that may reduce, rather than enhance, U.S. security.

“Profligate spending on nuclear weapons ‘modernization’ increases the nuclear danger for the U.S and the world. Moreover, lack of accountability at DOE wastes billions more while risking public health and safety, including in Livermore,” said Marylia Kelley, Tri-Valley CAREs’ Executive Director, and a contributor to the ANA report.

Tri-Valley CAREs’ Staff Attorney, Scott Yundt, is on the 2015 DC Days Planning Committee. Yundt noted that “ANA members from across the country will urge policymakers to cut programs that fund dangerous boondoggles, like the plutonium MOX (mixed-oxide) factory at Savannah River Site and the National Ignition Facility at Livermore Lab.”

Also on the team are two local high school seniors, as well as a law student from the University of Pittsburg who grew up in Livermore. “The money saved from wasteful nuclear weapons programs could be redirected to cleaning up the legacy of nuclear weapons research, testing and production. Some funds could also be put into higher education to give more Americans better access to college,” Said Hayden King, a student intern at Tri-Valley CAREs who will be bringing a “next-generation” perspective to his meetings with Congress and the administration.

ANA is a network of local, regional and national organizations representing the concerns of communities downwind and downstream from U.S. nuclear weapons production and radioactive waste disposal sites.

As part of its DC Days, ANA will sponsor an Awards Reception honoring leaders of the movement for responsible nuclear policies on Monday evening, May 18. Honorees include Northern CA Congressman John Garamendi, who will be recognized for his work on the House Armed Services Committee where he plays a leadership role cutting back dangerous nuclear weapons schemes. Other awardees will include Nevada Senator Harry Reid, Los Alamos Lab whistleblower Dr. James Doyle, former FBI environmental crimes investigator of Rocky Flats, Jon Lipsky, and nuclear campaigner Michael Keegan. The event will take place in Room B-340 of the Rayburn House Office Building from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Journalists are welcome to attend.

CONTACT:

Marylia Kelley, 925-443-7148, (Cell in DC (925) 255-3589), Scott Yundt, Cell in DC (415) 990-2070 marylia@trivalleycares.org

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QUESTIONS FOR THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE) FY 2016 NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND CLEANUP BUDGET REQUEST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 29, 2015

The US nuclear weapons budget continues to spiral out of control. Look for double-digit increases in Department of Energy (DOE) weapons activities. Core nonproliferation programs will be cut because of funding for mixed-oxide fuel. Cleanup of radioactive and toxic pollution from weapons research, testing, production and waste disposal will fall further behind. The DOE budget for FY 2016 will illuminate the Obama Administration's misplaced nuclear priorities.

The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA), a 28-year-old network of groups from communities downwind and downstream of U.S. nuclear sites, will be looking at the following issues. For details, contact the ANA leaders listed at the end of this Advisory.

-- Does the budget request boost funding for "modernization" programs that indefinitely maintain nuclear warheads? Such funding is contrary to the Obama Administration’s previously declared goal of a future world free of nuclear weapons.

-- Does the budget reflect the Administration's commitment to reduce funding (currently $335 million) on the multi-billion dollar Uranium Processing Facility at Oak Ridge by downsizing it to the capacity needed to support stockpile surveillance, maintenance and limited life extension?

-- Does the budget increase funds for nuclear weapons dismantlement capacity? Will cooperative programs with Russia be maintained?

-- Is there increased funding for expanded production of plutonium bomb cores? Why is expanded production needed when expert studies find that existing plutonium pits are durable?

-- Is more than $300 million provided for the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Livermore Lab that has repeatedly failed to achieve “ignition”? What is the funding level for uncontained plutonium shots that will taint the NIF target chamber and optics with alpha radiation?

-- Does the budget seek an increase for the B61 Life Extension Program (currently $643 million)?

-- As DOE affirms that the $30-billion plutonium fuel (MOX) project at the Savannah River Site is financially unsustainable, is the MOX plant construction again proposed for “cold standby” (~$200 million) or a level to barely allow it to survive (~300+ million)? Does the budget include the current validated base-line cost of MOX plant, a validated construction and operation schedule and names of nuclear utilities willing to use experimental MOX fuel?

-- Does the budget include $0 for Yucca Mountain? No funding is consistent with past requests that terminate this technically flawed site that is strongly opposed by Nevada state officials and the public.

-- Does the budget provide additional Environmental Management (EM) funding (currently $5 billion) to meet all legally mandated cleanup milestones? States say cleanup agreements at a dozen major sites are underfunded by hundreds of million dollars.

–- How will DOE and its contractors pay fines for missing milestones? In the past three months, New Mexico, Idaho, and Washington state have issued fines of tens of millions of dollars, and fines loom in South Carolina. In which other states does DOE face fines and lawsuits for missing milestones?

-- What is the high range for total life-cycle clean-up costs (LCC) for EM sites? Because of funding shortfalls, High Range LCC costs have increased from $308.5 billion in the FY 2013 Budget Request, to $330.9 billion in the FY 2014 Request, and were $328.4 billion in the FY 2015 Request.

-- How much does the budget include for the shut down Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)? How much is for recovery and how much for waste emplacement (previously $220 million a year) even though no waste is being emplaced? How much additional funding is requested for the Idaho National Lab, Los Alamos, Savannah River, and Oak Ridge because of the shutdown?

-- Does the budget for Hanford (more than $2 billion) protect workers from toxic chemical exposures, provide an Operational Readiness Review of the nuclear safety of the Waste Treatment Plant, and fund construction of new double-shell tanks to replace the leaking ones?

-- Does the budget increase funding (currently $28.5 million) for the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) to provide independent oversight of DOE projects because of the many cost over-runs, schedule delays, safety culture issues and technical problems?

-- Is the funding for design and licensing of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) enough to make them viable? As private financing is lacking, will DOE reaffirm that it will not finance SMR construction?

CONTACT:

Marylia Kelley, 925-443-7148, marylia@trivalleycares.org

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Tri-Valley CAREs & NRDC Ask Energy Secretary to Halt Plutonium “Shots” in NIF Scheduled to Begin Thursday at Livermore Lab

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 28, 2015

Groups’ Attorneys Cite Unaddressed Plutonium Exposure Risks and Nuclear Non-Proliferation Concerns

LIVERMORE, CA AND WASHINGTON, DC – Citing potential risks to public health, the Livermore-based Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) are calling on the U.S. Secretary of Energy to immediately cancel highly secretive experiments involving plutonium at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility (NIF) mega-laser. Government documents released to Tri-Valley CAREs under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that the experiments will be conducted without an inner containment vessel in the target chamber to capture the plutonium debris.

The urgent request was made in a 10-page letter yesterday to the Department of Energy (DOE) by the Washington, DC law firm of Meyer, Glitzenstein and Crystal, acting as counsel for the environmental groups.

"Livermore Lab plans to zap plutonium with lasers in NIF with the clear risk of contaminating the laser optics and target chamber, and potentially exposing workers and the public to plutonium," charged Marylia Kelley, Tri-Valley CAREs' executive director and a long-time Livermore resident. "Before these controversial experiments begin, at a minimum, we believe the government must undertake a stringent environmental review and solicit public comment pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act."

Dr. Matthew McKinzie, a physicist and the director of NRDC's nuclear program, noted, "The planned use of plutonium in NIF raises serious non-proliferation concerns. Indeed, NIF construction and operation was predicated on agency assurances that plutonium would not be used in experiments, as evidenced in NIF's 1995 Nonproliferation Report."

Plutonium is a highly toxic radioactive metal that in some forms can be used to create atomic weapons. The government said it may conduct up to 120 plutonium experiments, also called shots, at the NIF facility.

The letter urgently requests that before any plutonium experiments begin, the agency:

(1) Clearly delineate its plan, timeline, and potential isotopic mixes for plutonium in NIF;

(2) Publicly describe steps the agency will take to insure the experiments are consistent with non-proliferation objectives; and

(3) Publicly commit to delaying initiation of the experiments – which may be scheduled to begin as soon as January 29, 2015 – until adequate environmental review is completed.

The groups' letter poses key questions about potential exposure scenarios, and seeks to halt the plan until they are answered. Those impacts include possible airborne contamination; off-site exposure in the event of an accident, earthquake or other natural disaster; the scope of worker exposures due to the inevitable contamination of the NIF target chamber; and, the impact on future civilian science uses of NIF, given contamination resulting from the lack of inner containment for plutonium shots.

"We are hopeful that the Secretary of Energy responds in good faith to our request today, and that he suspends the initiation of plutonium experiments in NIF until the necessary reviews are completed," Kelley concluded.

CONTACT:

Marylia Kelley, 925-443-7148, marylia@trivalleycares.org

Matthew McKinzie, mmcKinzie@nrdc.org

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to download the Press Release...

to download the letter...




Status of the “Superfund” Cleanup: Toxic and Radioactive Wastes at Livermore Lab Require Urgent Attention and What the Public Can Do

Media Advisory for Thurs., Sept. 18, 2014 event in Livermore

September 16, 2014

WHAT: Community meeting on the Superfund law, the hazardous contaminants in the environment, and why Livermore Lab’s broken public participation program imperils critical progress on cleanup.

WHEN:Thursday, September 18, 2014 from 7 PM to 8:30 PM

WHERE: Livermore Library Community Room A, 1188 So. Livermore Ave

SPEAKERS:

• Peter Strauss is President of the San Francisco-based PM Strauss & Associates. He began working for Tri-Valley CAREs in 1991 as Technical Advisor on the Superfund cleanup of the Livermore Lab's main site. In the mid-90s, he was also awarded a second contract by Tri-Valley CAREs to analyze data and advise on the Superfund cleanup at the Livermore Lab's site 300 high explosives testing range. His responsibilities include providing detailed analysis of reports, well logs and other technical data on soil and groundwater contaminants and their migration through the environment. Strauss also provides analyses of remediation technologies.

• Marylia Kelley is Executive Director at Tri-Valley CAREs. She brings 31 years of research, writing and facilitating public participation in decisions regarding the Livermore Lab, nuclear weapons, waste and cleanup. Kelley has served on the Livermore Lab "Community Work Group" (since 1989) to advise the government and the community on the Lab’s Superfund cleanup of toxic and radioactive pollution. Kelley has testified on issues related to the U.S. nuclear weapons complex before the House Armed Services Committee of the U.S. Congress, the California Legislature and the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, among other deliberative bodies.

• Scott Yundt is Staff Attorney at the Livermore-based Tri-Valley CAREs. He heads the group’s environmental and “right to know” litigation, and is managing Tri-Valley CAREs analysis of the renewal of Livermore Lab’s permit to store and treat hazardous and “mixed” radioactive wastes on site. Yundt also facilitates a support group for Livermore Lab and other workers made ill by on the job exposures.

WHY: At the main site, Livermore Lab has not held a meeting of its official “Community Work Group” in about two years. The public is being excluded. Contributing problems include a thick veil of institutional secrecy, hypertechnical “Lab-speak,” an absence of Spanish translation, and the regulatory agencies’ inability to compel meaningful changes in the Lab’s public involvement methods. At Site 300, a pressing problem is the lack of any official process to involve the public in Superfund cleanup decisions. Background on environmental contaminants at Livermore Lab is available at www.trivalleycares.org, or call us at (925) 443-7148. ###

Click here for more info...



“Failure to Disarm: Holding Our Government Accountable”

Hiroshima Commemoration, Protest & Nonviolent Direct Action at Livermore Lab Highlights Courageous “Nuclear Zero” Lawsuits Brought by the Marshall Islands

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 31, 2014

WHAT: California peace advocates will mark the 69th Anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the Livermore Lab, where the U.S. is spending billions of dollars to create new and modified nuclear weapons. The aptly titled event, “Failure to Disarm,” will highlight the landmark litigation filed recently by the tiny Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), used as a U.S. nuclear test site for 12 years, against the nine nuclear weapons states for their failure to disarm under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and customary international law. The RMI also filed a separate case against the U.S. in Federal Court in San Francisco. The complaint specifically cites Livermore Lab’s activities to modernize the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile as a breach of the NPT and flagrant violation of international law.

WHEN: Wed., August 6, 2014. Rally will be from 7:30 AM to 8:30 AM, with a moment of silence at 8:15 AM, the moment the first atomic bomb used in war exploded over Hiroshima. At 8:30 AM there will be a procession to the Livermore Lab West Gate, with a traditional Japanese dance and the chalking of human bodies on pavement to commemorate the vaporized remains found after the atomic bombings. Those who choose will peaceably risk arrest. Others will offer witness and support.

WHERE: Livermore Lab , corner of Vasco & Patterson Pass Roads in Livermore. Procession will go southward down Vasco Road to Westgate Drive.

SPEAKERS: • Rick Wayman will deliver the keynote. Wayman is Director of Programs for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. He worked on nuclear policy with the UK Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament before moving to Santa Barbara in 2007 to join NAPF. Wayman works closely with the government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands to coordinate the educational, policy and legal components of the litigation.

• Scott Yundt will detail weapons activities currently underway at Livermore Lab. Yundt is Staff Attorney at the Livermore-based Tri-Valley CAREs. He manages the group’s environmental and “right to know” litigation, and is preparing an amicus brief in support of the Marshall Islands’ Federal case. Yundt facilitates a support group for Livermore Lab and other workers made ill by on the job exposures.

• Jackie Cabasso will address resurgent U.S. militarism in Asia-Pacific and the growing dangers of great power wars among nuclear armed nations. Cabasso, Executive Director of the Oakland-based Western States Legal Foundation since 1984, is an internationally recognized leading voice for nuclear weapons abolition. She was the recipient of the 2008 Sean McBride Peace Prize.

• Chizu Hamada will speak on the links between nuclear weapons, nuclear power and the ongoing dangers at Fukushima Daiichi. Hamada is a San Francisco business owner and spokesperson for the No Nukes Action Committee, a group of Japanese citizens, Japanese-Americans and others who came together after the 3/11/2011 earthquake, tsunami and meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

• Music by Duamuxa, world music ensemble, and Daniel Zwickel, singer-guitarist.

WHY: On the 69th Anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, we will gather at the location where scientists are developing new and modified nuclear weapons. The Livermore Lab budget request reveals that 89% of the money will go to nuclear weapons activities in the coming fiscal year. Overall, the U.S. government spends nearly $2 million each hour on the nuclear weapons stockpile. U.S. spending will reach nearly $4 million each hour by 2030. This reality stands in stark contrast to the President’s rhetoric of seeking a “world without nuclear weapons” and the U.S. legal commitment to disarm under the NPT. The tiny Pacific Island Nation of the Republic of the Marshall Islands has filed valiant “Nuclear Zero” lawsuits against the U.S. and eight other nuclear weapons states in the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The nuclear nine are: the U.S., Russia, UK, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea. The Marshallese have also filed separately against the United States in the U.S. Federal District Court in San Francisco. The Marshall Islanders know all too well the devastating effects of living in the nuclear age. From 1946 to 1958, the U.S conducted 67 nuclear weapons tests in the Marshall Islands. Their explosive power was estimated to be 1,000 times greater than the atomic bombs that leveled Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yet, the Marshallese are not seeking damages in their historic litigation. Instead they seek to compel compliance with the nuclear disarmament obligation enshrined in the NPT and in customary international law binding on all states.

The Japanese Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) also speak for global nuclear disarmament. Each August 6 and 9th, their voices are raised to cry “never again,” so that no others shall ever feel the horrific blast, heat, thirst, radiation sickness and either bloody death or [often] lingering illness that follows. On this August 6th, we will remember with sadness our government’s use of nuclear weapons on the Japanese people and recommit with joy to our ongoing our efforts to abolish nuclear weapons – an urgent necessity for our collective survival. We will stand, too, in solidarity with the people of the Marshall Islands as their historic litigation for nuclear zero wends its way through the international and domestic court systems.

OPS: Pre-event interviews with speakers, artists or organizers available on request.

Photo opportunities available at the rally site at 7:30 AM, and also along the procession route and at the Livermore Lab’s West Gate. Call for details.

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Inaugural Youth Video Contest on Livermore Lab Contamination Issues

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 24, 2014

Livermore, CA - “Six Decades of Nuclear Bombs at Livermore Lab” is the theme of the inaugural Youth Video Contest sponsored locally by Tri-Valley CAREs*. The instructions are simple: Describe why a clean environment is important to you.

On Tuesday, July 29th at 10am at Livermore Main Library (1188 South Livermore Avenue), Tri-Valley CAREs will hold a press conference announcing the video contest. Members of the organization will put up a display on the bulletin board in the main hall, as well as be available for interviews, questions, and photo opportunities.

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LIVERMORE GROUP HEADS TO WASHINGTON TO EXPOSE “BILLION DOLLAR BOONDOGGLES” FOR NUCLEAR FACILITIES & WARHEADS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 14, 2014

Livermore, CA - Members of Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment) will be in Washington, DC the week of May 18 to oppose U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear projects, including work proposed for, and being done at, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, that will waste billions in taxpayer funds, damage the environment and undermine the nation’s non-proliferation goals. The group will meet with leading members of Congress, committee staffers, and top administration officials with responsibility for U. S. nuclear policies.

The Livermore delegation will be working with colleagues living around other DOE facilities, from a dozen other states, who are participating in the 26th annual Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) "DC Days." The activists will meet with California Senators and Representatives, as well as leaders of congressional committees that oversee nuclear issues, and key federal agency staffers.

On Monday, May 19, ANA will release Billion Dollar Boondoggles, a comprehensive analysis of the Obama Administration’s latest plans to spend more money for less security. Tri-Valley CAREs’ Executive Director, Marylia Kelley, authored several sections of the report and will speak at the Monday news conference to release it to media and the public. The report highlights the proposed use of plutonium in the National Ignition Facility at Livermore Lab and warhead “Life Extension Programs,” among other topics.

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Budget Dispatch #3 – NUCLEAR AGENCY WITHHOLDS CRITICAL BUDGET DOCUMENTS; WATCHDOG GROUP DECRIES DELAY, PROVIDES OVERVIEW OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS, NONPROLIFERATION & CLEANUP FUNDING REQUEST BASED ON AVAILABLE DOCUMENTS

This is the third in a series of Tri-Valley CAREs’ dispatches from deep within the FY 2015 budget request documents for the Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). This dispatch will conclude our remarks on the budget documents released today. The NNSA’s detailed budget submittal to Congress has yet to be made public. We will resume these dispatches when key details become available, which may not be until March 11, 2014.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 4, 2014, 5PM

Tri-Valley CAREs celebrated important budget victories in the placement of the Mixed Oxide Plutonium Fuel (MOX) program into “cold standby” and the 5-year deferment, amounting to cancellation, of the new W78/88-1 “interoperable” nuclear warhead (see dispatches #1 and #2). The overview of the entire nuclear weapons budget request is far less rosy, however.

The “top line” request for DOE NNSA nuclear weapons activities rises to $8.3 billion, an increase of nearly $534 million, or about 7%, above the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 level, which was already far too high. Notably a major increase is requested in FY2015 for “directed stockpile work” (mostly to combine 4 versions of the B61 into a new B61-12 nuclear bomb, a risky enterprise that is neither desirable nor necessary). Additionally, the related increase in NNSA’s “readiness campaign” was also attributed to the B61-12. (See pages 12 and 13 in the DOE Budget Highlights).

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Budget Dispatch #2 – INTEROPERABLE W78/88-1 WARHEAD DESIGN DEFERRED 5-YEARS; TRI-VALLEY CAREs PRONOUNCES THIS LIVERMORE LAB PROGRAM “DEAD”

This is the second in a series of Tri-Valley CAREs’ dispatches from deep within the FY 2015 budget request documents for the Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 4, 2014, NOON

Tri-Valley CAREs applauds the White House decision to defer the W78/88-1 "interoperable" nuclear warhead by at least 5-years. Further, the nuclear watchdog group declares that the Livermore Lab-led program is now “effectively dead in the water.”

The W78/88-1 Life Extension Program, as envisioned by weaponeers at Livermore Lab, would have entailed the design of a new, untested warhead “mash up” of the land-based W78 warhead, the submarine-launched W88 warhead and the core from a third design, the W87. The NNSA estimated about its cost at around $14 billion, but congressional staff and independent analysts, including at Tri-Valley CAREs, estimated its costs would meet or exceed the $28 billion mark.

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Budget Dispatch #1 – TRI-VALLEY CAREs CELEBRATES MAJOR VICTORY; MIXED OXIDE FUEL (MOX) BOONDOGGLE IS PUT IN “COLD STANDBY”

This is the first in a series of Tri-Valley CAREs’ dispatches from deep within the FY 2015 budget request documents for the Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 4, 2014

Tri-Valley CAREs declares a major victory as the White House announces it will place the Dept. of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration’s beleaguered Mixed Oxide Plutonium Fuel (MOX) program into “cold standby” as it examines other less costly alternatives for disposition of plutonium declared surplus from nuclear weapons programs.

The MOX plant, under construction at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, has been rife with escalating costs, including a new, internal estimate rumored to top $30 billion. Tri-Valley CAREs is one of dozens of organizations across the country that has worked tirelessly over the past several years to bring accountability to the MOX program and to encourage the federal government to reopen a search for disposition alternatives that will be safer, faster and cheaper, including further analysis of the “immobilization” option.

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QUESTIONS FOR THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE) FY 2015 NUCLEAR WEAPONS, REACTOR AND CLEANUP BUDGET

from Tri-Valley CAREs, Livermore, CA & Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, Washington, DC

for use with March 4, 2014 Obama Administration Budget Request

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 3, 2014

The U.S. nuclear budget is out of control. Huge cost overruns for unnecessary production facilities are common. At the same time, cleanup of radioactive and toxic pollution from weapons research, testing, production and waste disposal is falling behind. The Department of Energy (DOE) budget for FY 2015 will reveal the Obama Administration’s nuclear priorities.

The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA), a 25-year-old network of groups from communities downwind and downstream of U.S. nuclear sites, will be looking at the following issues. For details, contact the ANA leaders listed at the end of this Media Advisory.

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Unfinished Business and Our Most Urgent Responsibility: Banning the Bomb at the Livermore Lab and Globally

Hiroshima Commemoration, Protest & Nonviolent Direct Action at Livermore Lab

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 1, 2013

WHAT: Northern California peace advocates will mark the 68th Anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the Livermore Lab, where the U.S. is presently spending billions of dollars to create new and modified nuclear weapons. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is one of two locations that have designed every warhead in the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.

WHEN: Tues., August 6, 2013. Rally will be from 7 AM – 8:15 AM, the moment the first atomic bomb used in war exploded over Hiroshima. At 8:15 AM there will be a procession to the Livermore Lab West Gate and the chalking of human bodies on pavement to commemorate the vaporized remains found after the atomic bombings. Those who choose will peaceably risk arrest. Others will offer witness and support.

WHERE: Livermore Lab, corner of Vasco & Patterson Pass Roads in Livermore. Procession will go southward down Vasco Road to Westgate Drive.

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Tri-Valley CAREs Files Federal Lawsuit to Compel Release of Information About Nuclear Weapons Activities at Livermore Lab

Group charges Energy Dept. illegally withheld documents on dangerous plans to use plutonium in the National Ignition Facility, ship nuclear bomb cores to California, and more; requests Special Prosecutor be named

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, June 7, 2013

LIVERMORE & OAKLAND, CA – Today, Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment) filed a Federal lawsuit in United States District Court for the Northern District of California against the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) and its National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) for numerous failures to comply with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which requires federal agencies to respond to public requests for information within 20 days.

According to the complaint filed today in US District Court, Tri-Valley CAREs alleges five separate instances the DOE and NNSA failed to provide responsive, unclassified documents regarding operations at the agencies’ Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) as required by law. The information that is the subject of the litigation is overdue by time periods between one and two years.

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For a PDF of the press release, click here.

To read the whole Tri-Valley CAREs' Complaint filed against the DOE and NNSA, click here.



Tri-Valley CAREs Team Heads to Washington to Cut Spending on Nuclear Weapons Programs; Restore Needed Funds for Radioactive Waste Cleanup and Securing Nuclear Materials

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A unique delegation of activists and experts from Tri-Valley CAREs will be in Washington, DC from April 14 through 17 to conduct meetings with leading members of Congress and the Obama Administration in the wake of the Fiscal Year 2014 budget request’s increases for nuclear weapons, which were released April 10, 2013. The team aims to prevent billions of dollars from being spent on ill-conceived nuclear weapons projects that threaten the nation’s nonproliferation goals as well as public health and the environment.

Representing the Livermore, CA-based group will be Janis Kate Turner, the Board President whose home sits near a contaminated groundwater plume emanating from Livermore Lab. Additionally, Dr. Robert Civiak, a physicist and former White House official, will be joining the team. Rounding it out will be Scott Yundt, the group’s Staff Attorney, and Marylia Kelley, its longtime Executive Director. Tri-Valley CAREs’ delegation will be in DC working with colleagues from a dozen other states who are participating in the 25th annual Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) “DC Days.”

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For fact sheets and more information on “DC Days” events, check here.



From Tri-Valley CAREs, Livermore, CA for Reporters and the Public: Our Initial Response to the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Request for Nuclear Weapons

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 10, 2013

Noon April 15, 2013: The “top line” budget numbers for the Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) are now on the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) website. Tri-Valley CAREs notes with concern that the NNSA “nuclear weapons activities” are receiving an increase in this era of budget austerity.

The request of $7.87 billion for Fiscal Year 2014 (page 89) is actually $900 million (13 percent) above the FY 2013 final enacted level including the sequester. Indeed, all posted comparisons in the NNSA budget request to FY 2013 funding levels are misleading, because they do not reflect the effect of the 7.8 percent sequester.

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QUESTIONS FOR THE APRIL 10 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE) FY 2014 NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND CLEANUP BUDGET ROLLOUT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 8, 2013

for further information:

Marylia Kelley, Tri-Valley CAREs, Livermore, CA (925) 443-7148

Katherine Fuchs, ANA, Washington, DC (202) 544-0217

Bob Schaeffer, Public Policy Assoc. and ANA, (239) 395-6773

and local contacts listed below

An overriding issue for the Wednesday, April 10, budget release is: Will the Obama Administration continue to escalate funding for unnecessary nuclear programs in light of current fiscal constraints while cutting legally required cleanup spending? The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA), a national network of groups from communities downwind and downstream of U.S. nuclear facilities, is concerned that out-of-control spending on nuclear weapons will divert resources from legally required environmental cleanup, dismantlement, and critical nonproliferation efforts. Here are some key questions that the Department of Energy (DOE) budget should address:

-- How much will be spent on construction of the Mixed Oxide (MOX) plutonium fuel plant at the Savannah River Site, which is far behind schedule and over budget? What is DOE’s re-baselined cost estimate for building the facility, recently reported by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to have increased from $4.9 billion in 2008 to $7.7 billion? What is the projected life-cycle cost for all aspects of the MOX program, which ANA estimates to be over $20 billion?

-- Will the budget rein in over-spending on the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) in Oak Ridge? Will there be any accountability for the flawed $500 million building design fiasco before more money is spent? Will an Independent Cost Estimate be required before UPF construction funding is released?

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Federal Official “Cooks the Numbers” in Livermore Lab Management Review; $44 Million Bonus and Contract Extension Unwarranted, Charge Watchdogs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 7, 2013

As the nation faces sequestration and across the board budget cuts, one federal official has made "an adjustment to the recommended incentive fee" for the Limited Liability Company (LLC) that manages and operates the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for the U.S. Dept. of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The contractor, Lawrence Livermore National Security (LLNS), LLC is a consortium made up of Bechtel National, the University of California, Babcock and Wilcox, the Washington Division of URS Corp. and Battelle.

The just-released NNSA Fiscal Year 2012 Performance Evaluation Report (PER) shows that the numbers were cooked to benefit the management contractor after the evaluation had been completed, allowing for an increased fee award and an extra year, non-competitive extension of the contract for the LLC. Nuclear watchdogs, including the Livermore-based Tri-Valley CAREs, are crying foul and calling for "greater oversight of taxpayers’ money and a more open and transparent contract process."

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Click here to read the publically available summary of the Fiscal Year 2012 Performance Evaluation Report of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Click here to read the FULL Fiscal Year 2012 Performance Evaluation Report of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory




Livermore Lab at the Crossroad

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 28, 2013

Forum this Wednesday on Potentially Illegal Plan to Ship Plutonium Bomb Cores from NM to CA

On January 30, Tri-Valley CAREs will host a forum in Livermore with environmental, legal and nuclear experts from New Mexico and California to discuss a federal proposal to transport plutonium bomb cores from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in northern New Mexico to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the Bay Area. Livermore and Los Alamos are the nation’s two major nuclear weapons design facilities. The event will be held from 7 PM to 9 PM in the large community room at the Livermore main library, 1188 South Livermore Avenue. Livermore Lab permanently lost its security authorization to handle, use or store bomb-usable quantities of plutonium, including bomb cores, on September 30, 2012. At that time, Livermore Lab changed from a Category I/II security infrastructure to a lesser Category III security posture, which does not allow any nuclear bomb-usable quantities of plutonium on-site. Yet, the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE), the agency that owns both weapons labs and mandated the de-inventory of plutonium from Livermore Lab, left a suite of bomb core diagnostics in a service bay in Livermore’s Bldg. 334. The DOE now proposes to bring whole plutonium pits from NM to CA to utilize the diagnostics, known as “shake and bake,” which consist of a shaker table, thermal unit and drop test. Los Alamos Lab does not currently possess this particular diagnostic suite and Livermore Lab does not possess the security infrastructure to safely handle the plutonium bomb cores, also called “pits”.

Tri-Valley CAREs’ Executive Director Marylia Kelley commented on plan, “Livermore Lab management appears to be placing its bomb testing desires above public safety. Moreover, DOE is exercising poor planning in leaving the diagnostics behind. The bottom line,” Kelley continued, “is that communities should not be put in danger because Livermore Lab has ‘plutonium envy’ and DOE Headquarters suffers from an abysmal lack of foresight. The government must either decommission the bomb core diagnostics at Livermore or move them to where the bomb cores are located.”

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