Communities Against a Radioactive Environment
On January 6, a group of Tri-Valley CAREs members joined friends from the Catholic Worker Farm in an early morning vigil at the Livermore Laboratory's East Gate to oppose the planned use of plutonium in the National Ignition Facility.
The National Nuclear Security Administration and Livermore Lab management made a sudden announcement in December that plutonium experiments would begin in NIF in January, in essence launching this new and dangerous program as a "holiday surprise."
Livermore Lab announced it is preparing to conduct at least 10 experiments in 2015 zapping plutonium with lasers in NIF, and vaporizing the radioactive metal. According to documents Tri-Valley CAREs obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, there will be no inner containment vessel to effectively capture the debris.
A central goal of the morning vigil was to raise awareness among Livermore Lab employees about the proposal and the risks it poses to workers and the community. Tri-Valley CAREs prepared a handout for workers, "Bad Idea: Plutonium in the NIF".
However, Livermore Lab security personnel, backed by the Alameda County Sheriffs Department, opted to close the East Gate and turn away the steady stream of Lab employees coming in to work.
This made it difficult to hand out leaflets. Ironically, however, it ensured that everyone at the Lab would hear about our vigil and why we were there.
Tri-Valley CAREs will continue its opposition to plutonium experiments in the NIF. Interested members of the public are invited to discuss the proposal at the group's next meeting, January 15, at 7:30 PM, at the Livermore main library, 1188 South Livermore Ave. Call (925) 443-7148 for more information.
Click here to read and article about the vigil in the Contra Costa Times.