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


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.

Click here for more info...





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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