Reading Room

For immediate release: March 14, 2008

Public Hearings in Livermore and Tracy on Energy Dept. Plan to Build New Nukes, to Be Held on 5th Anniversary of Iraq War

Peace, Environmental, Religious, Science & Policy Groups to Tell Government "Stop Dangerous, Polluting New Bombplex," Obey Non-Proliferation Treaty

for more information, contact:
Marylia Kelley, Tri-Valley CAREs, (925) 443-7148
Cara Bautista, Peace Action West, (510) 849-2272 ext. 122
Jackie Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation, (510) 839-5877

What: Public Hearings in Livermore and Tracy on Dept. of Energy (DOE) "Complex Transformation" plan to modernize the nuclear weapons complex, including designing new H-bombs at Livermore Lab and producing new bomb cores at Los Alamos Lab. A broad range of local, regional, national and international public interest organizations will hold news conferences, with interesting photo opportunities - including a photo exhibit provided by the Hiroshima Peace Museum - at both hearing locations.

When: Tuesday, March 18, 2008 Tracy News Conference - 6:30 PM (evening session only) The Tracy public hearing will run from 6 PM to 10 PM, beginning with a walk around DOE "poster session" for the first hour. The news conference and photo opportunity will be held at 6:30 PM during the DOE "poster session" and will conclude before the public hearing plenary is convened.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008 Livermore News Conference - 11:30 AM & 6:30 PM (day & evening session) The Livermore public hearing will have both a day session (11 AM - 3 PM) and an evening session (6 PM - 10 PM), with a walk around DOE "poster session" for the first hour of each session. The news conferences will be held at 11:30 AM and 6:30 PM, during the DOE "poster sessions" and will conclude before hearings are convened.

Where: Tracy Public Hearing - Holiday Inn Express, 3751 North Tracy Blvd. Livermore Public Hearing - Robert Livermore Community Center, 4444 East Ave.

Who: Participants in one or more sessions will include: Marylia Kelley, Tri-Valley CAREs Janis Turner, Tri-Valley Sierra Club Rebecca Griffin, Peace Action West Jackie Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation Steve Leeper, Mayors for Peace Dr. Robert Gould, Bay Area Physicians for Social Responsibility Mary Alice O'Connor, Mt. Diablo Peace Center Father Louie Vitale, Franciscan priest, Nevada Desert Experience Sandra Schwartz, American Friends Service Committee Laura Santina, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Special guest: Mr. Koji Hosokawa, Hiroshima A-bomb survivor. (with additional community leaders, scientists, non-profit organizations, and others)

Why: The DOE has a new plan to rebuild the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, called "Complex Transformation" (formerly Complex 2030). The driving force for this new "Bombplex" is the controversial Reliable Replacement Warhead program to re-design every nuclear weapon in the enduring U.S. arsenal. The first new RRW nuclear weapon is being designed at Livermore Lab. While Congress cut its funds in 2008, the DOE is back with a 2009 budget request that contains more than $40 million attributable to the RRW program. In sum, the DOE "Bombplex" plan means "nuclear weapons forever," including a new plutonium bomb core factory to manufacture 80 plutonium "pits" per year and a new uranium processing facility.

Peace advocates, environmentalists, religious leaders, scientists and policy analysts will discuss the nuclear proliferation risks, financial costs, environmental degradation and health threats posed by the DOE's dangerous "Complex Transformation." International representatives, including a survivor of the U.S. atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 as well as the Chair of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, will offer perspectives from other nations.

Local groups, including those representing residents around the Livermore Lab main site in Livermore and its Site 300 high explosives testing range in Tracy will outline the harms they face if this plan is implemented. As well, they will detail an alternative future for the Livermore Lab, more in line with genuine national and community security and the environment.

The DOE is conducting the public hearings pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. Hearings are being held in communities near DOE nuclear weapons sites across the country. These are the most important public hearings to be held in more than a decade on the future of nuclear weapons and the nuclear weapons complex.

The Livermore hearings on March 19 coincide with the fifth anniversary of the U.S. attack on Iraq, a war launched on the pretest of ending a nuclear weapons program that did not exist. "Complex Transformation" is a plan to modernize the very real laboratories and factories where the U.S. designs, builds and maintains nuclear weapons. Many of the organizations that will be present at the press conferences are affiliated with national and international coalitions and can discuss responses to the "Bomplex" plan at other locations around the nation and the globe.

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