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Tri-Valley CAREs Blog

Fiscal Year 2016 Livermore Lab Budget Request

Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Posted by Scott Yundt

The DOE NNSA released the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request to Congress. For Livermore Lab, Nuclear Weapons Activities still dominate the budget at over 85%. Click on the pie chart to see more...

Click here to download the pie chart...

Some Key Numbers from the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request for Nuclear Weapons

3 PM, Monday, February 2, 2015
Posted by Marylia Kelley

President Obama sent his Fiscal Year 2016 budget request for nuclear weapons to Congress today, making it publicly available for the first time. At Tri-Valley CAREs, we are sifting through its thousands of pages for key details. We are concentrating on budget submittals of the Department of Energy and, in particular, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The NNSA is responsible for the design, development, testing, production and dismantlement of U.S. nuclear weapons as well as certain aspects of environmental cleanup (e.g., at Livermore Lab) and various other activities. Here is some of what we have uncovered so far.

Despite President Obama’s rhetoric on U.S. leadership in nuclear weapons disarmament, the NNSA received a double-digit boost in the President’s budget request, up from the already too high $11.4 billion appropriated in FY 2015 to a soaring $12.6 billion for the coming fiscal year, an increase of more than $1 billion. Budget austerity apparently applies more to programs of social uplift than those of mass destruction.

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Click here for the DOE and NNSA FY 2016 budget request.

National, Local Groups Call for Halt in NIF Plutonium Shots

Wedsnesday, January 28, 2015
Posted by Marylia Kelley

On behalf of Tri-Valley CAREs and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the law firm of Meyer, Glitzenstein, and Crystal sent a detailed, 10-page letter yesterday calling on the Secretary of Energy to cancel plutonium experiments at Livermore Lab’s National Ignition Facility (NIF). The plutonium experiments, also called shots, are slated to begin as early as Thursday, January 29, 2015.

The groups’ letter points out the potential health and environmental impacts as well as the planned experiments’ nuclear non-proliferation risks, poses key questions to the agency, and seeks to halt the plan until the questions are answered and required reviews are completed.

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Click here to download the full Press Release...

Click here to download the letter...

FOIA Documents on Plutonium at NIF

Wedsnesday, January 21, 2015
Posted by Scott Yundt

The following documents were received by Tri-Valley CAREs in 2014 in response to Freedom of Information Act requests we made to the National Nuclear Security Administration asking for documents that concern the use of plutonium, other fissile and/or fissionable materials at the NIF. We requested this information in 2011 and again in 2013.

These documents formed the basis for the article in our November/December 2014 Citizen's Watch newsletter and the subsequent handout/flier for LLNL workers with the 10 good reasons plutonium in NIF is a bad idea.

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Report Out: Vigil Protesting NIF Plutonium Shots

Friday, January 9, 2015
Posted by Marylia Kelley

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.”

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Click here to read and article about the vigil in the Contra Costa Times.

BAD IDEA: Plutonium in the National Ignition Facility. An Emergency Call to Action

Monday, January 5, 2015
Posted by Marylia Kelley

The Livermore Lab has announced that it plans to begin plutonium experiments in the National Ignition Facility later this month. Tri-Valley CAREs has obtained some of the plans. Here are 10 good reasons it’s a bad idea.

1. The Lab has not figured out how to conduct the shots without contaminating the entire NIF target chamber, which differs from the original plan.

2. There will be at least 100 to 120 of these plutonium shots, conducted over a 10-year span. So the impacts involve many shots, not just one.

3. Lab documents say the experiments may “generate airborne contamination that exceeds the derived air concentration” (i.e., the legal limit). This plutonium would be outside the NIF target chamber.

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Tri-Valley CAREs is co-hosting a vigil with the Catholic Worker Farm to oppose plutonium use in the National Ignition Facility tomorrow, Tue., January 6 at 7 AM at the Lab’s East Gate on Greenville Rd., just south of Patterson Pass Rd. in Livermore.

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