More On NM’s Nuclear Future: Details on Tomorrow’s Town Hall

Today, we update Sunday’s post, integrating feedback from allies, Los Alamos Study Group and Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety. If we don’t say “NO” we will become the lynchpin of the nation’s nuclear arms’ race. Is that what you want for NM? If not, share this post, show up and bring friends. We’ve honed our message and offer more meeting details. Tuesday, 6:30pm, Santa Fe Convention Center, 201 W. Marcy, Santa Fe. Be there, but if you can’t, register for the Zoom at this link.

Just Say NO!

Yesterday, we alerted you to this town hall. Today, after input from allies, we are updating our speaking points, providing more meeting details, and asking you, if you live in or near Santa Fe, to attend in person to raise your voice. Bring friends…

The Feds are coming to town, purportedly to field community input to inform decisions that have long ago been made. The Town Hall will be used to validate the authenticity of the Site-Wide Environmental Impact Study (SWEIS) that DOE and NNSA are conducting.

The Town Hall grew out of two DOE/NNSA/WIPP public meetings where officials could not, or would not, answer questions from the public about the increased risks of expanded pit production at LANL, the transportation of surplus plutonium (a handful of powdered plutonium would be placed in each 55-gallon drum), and emergency preparedness and response capabilities along the routes. County Commissioner Hansen went to DC for meetings and invited DOE/NNSA officials to come to Santa Fe to answer questions. 

Input from the Town Hall may inform the draft SWEIS process, but it appears many, if not most, important decisions have been made. Nonetheless, there is value in showing up and letting NNSA/DOE know, unequivocally, that there are people here who are not in support of these actions…and we are not going away. The draft SWEIS has been delayed and may be out in fall 2023. Importantly, the SWEIS is nearly five years late. In the meantime, DOE/NNSA has made “irreversible and irretrievable” commitments of resources without proper National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) analysis.

Some people may think that pit production at LANL is cast in concrete. We think just the opposite. The new National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) requires a re-think of pit production, but the deadline was too short — passed a few days ago. At some point missed or ignored deadlines for genuine reflection on the need for and the efficacy of this project are going to become problematic. So, if we mount a strong offensive, there will be one more reason for the Feds to rethink this.

Retake hopes you show up in person and if you have one, bring a sign. Not feeling artistic? How about bringing an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper with big black letters saying:


A sign may be confiscated at the door, but a piece of paper will get through. And if we greet NNSA and DOE with a sea of NO PITS IN NM! signs, they will get the message.

If you plan to speak, consider drawing from the points below or craft your own message.

  • Completion of the SWEIS is five years overdue, but even in advance of SWEIS completion, resources are being committed and decisions made also without analysis guided by the National Environmental Protection Policy. How do you justify continued decisions and resource commitment without going through these important steps, that require public review and comment. Given this, how are constituents supposed to trust a process that disregards these safeguards?
  • We do not understand or accept your plan for remediating the hexavalent chromium plume — a plan that is also being questioned by NM Environment Dept. We want more public access to the discussions taking place between NMED and DOE/NNSA about the restoration of the deep drinking water aquifer. 
  • Given the failure of LANL to prevent hexavalent chromium leaks while operating on a far smaller scale, why should we have confidence that leaks will not persist or even increase as operations expand?
  • We do not understand or accept how you plan to double the size of LANL, WIPP, and LANL-based underground waste storage from LANL’s proposed expanded plutonium pit production.
  • Given the current LANL foot print, and the lack of transportation, housing and utility infrastructure that is needed for plutonium pit production expansion, can you explain the exact scale of expansion and what added housing, infrastructure, and transportation investments will be needed to allow that expansion?
  • We do not understand or accept that concerns about community opposition in Rocky Flats, Colorado was enough to close its plutonium work, while you don’t even want to hear, much less consider, this community’s concerns.
  • Since on Feb 9 this year DOE/NNSA announced plans to begin implementation of the expansion of LANL plutonium pit production, what is the purpose of this meeting? DOE/NNSA have allocated time for input and questions, but it appears you’ve made your plans. What would it take for you to stop this project?
  • We don’t want this, never sought it and want to cease all plutonium pit development and waste disposal in NM.

Tuesday, 6:30pm, Santa Fe Convention Center, 201 W. Marcy, Santa Fe. Be there!!! Or click here to register for a virtual link for the April 4 event. But please plan to attend. Please share this post with others and make plans to attend together. We need to demonstrate that the City Different is not the City Indifferent. And we will no longer allow the state of New Mexico to be a sacrifice zone.

In solidarity & hope,

Paul & Roxanne

Categories: Nuclear Weapons

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3 replies

  1. Nice picture!
    Just say NO?
    This is your main ‘Action’ item?

  2. Right on! A beautiful post. Thank you!

  3. I know of two persons who had family members that received payouts for exposure during their employ at LANL and those family members did die from cancer. And I don’t know many people. It would seem nothing changes. My new next door neighbor moved from Carlsbad and is the lead for a WIPP security team of some sort. I don’t have confidence in her as a neighbor let alone WIPP security. Her husband worked in the casino business but has no engineering or science based experience. She got him hired to develop plans for Yucca Mountain. Let that sink in.

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