|published Thursday, August 09, 2012 ||1812 Views :: 0 Comments|
Aug 8, 2012
By John Fleck
From the Journal North
Los Alamos National Laboratory’s proposed alternative to building a multibillion dollar plutonium laboratory would require $800 million over the next decade to upgrade existing buildings to do the lab’s nuclear weapons work, according to lab documents.
The proposal includes doing work in a smaller existing laboratory, shipping some plutonium for chemical analysis to a lab in California, and construction of a $120 million tunnel to allow lab workers to move plutonium from building to building at Los Alamos without the security and safety risks associated with above-ground transport.
One small plutonium-capable lab building, the Radiological Laboratory Utility Office Building, would require nearly $200 million in upgrades to handle larger quantities of plutonium, according to the proposal.
The lab developed what is being called “Plan B” after the Obama administration in February recommended halting work on a major new plutonium laboratory at Los Alamos. It represents the latest in a series of efforts by the lab and its federal managers to sustain the ability to maintain aging U.S. nuclear weapons and manufacture new weapon components if needed.
|published Monday, August 06, 2012 ||1630 Views :: 0 Comments|
Holy cost overruns, Batman!
Aug 5, 2012
By Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board
Appropriate, because cost overruns in the nation’s nuclear weapons complex have reached comic book proportions. But this isn’t funny. In fact, the ineptitude and incompetence of the National Nuclear Security Administration is becoming a real threat to our nuclear deterrence and our national security.
The price tag to refurbish the B61, a nuclear bomb designed by Sandia and Los Alamos national labs in the 1960s, has doubled from about $4 billion two years ago to $8 billion, according to the National Nuclear Security Administration. And it might get worse. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, says an independent review being done by the Defense Department puts the cost even higher, at $10 billion.
This budget buster is hardly an anomaly.
|published Wednesday, April 18, 2012 ||2447 Views :: 3 Comments|
For Immediate release: April 18, 2012
Contact: Jay Coghlan, Nuclear Watch NM, 505.989.7342, c. 505.920.7118, email@example.com
Santa Fe, NM – Our colleagues and friends at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) have released an explosive report based on a leaked Department of Defense memo concluding that “The Department of Energy’s network of privately-operated nuclear weapons laboratories are riddled with waste, redundancies and lackluster scientific standards.” POGO also found that “that seven of the top 15 officials at the three DOE nuclear labs make more than $700,000 per year, with one earning $1.7 million—more than the president of the United States and many government executives.”
Coincidentally, Nuclear Watch New Mexico had been independently compiling data on the salaries of the three laboratory directors, as presented in the table below. It shows that the salary of the Los Alamos Director has nearly tripled since for-profit management began in June 2006, even as the Lab is cutting some 600 jobs. As seen below, privatization of the nuclear weapons labs’ management contracts has resulted in directors’ salaries far above average in both the federal government and the private sector.
|published Thursday, April 12, 2012 ||1719 Views :: 0 Comments|
|published Monday, April 09, 2012 ||1885 Views :: 1 Comments|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 4, 2012
Santa Fe, NM - In response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by Nuclear Watch New Mexico on March 28, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has released the Performance Evaluation Reports for its eight nuclear weapons sites.* These reports are the government’s scorecard for awarding tens of millions of dollars to nuclear weapons contractors, and were previously available to the public until 2009. However, since that time the NNSA has withheld them in a general move toward less contractor accountability. We sought to help reverse that wrong direction through our litigation.
|published Monday, April 02, 2012 ||1078 Views :: 1 Comments|
April 1, 2012
The following segment from CBS's Sunday Morning features an interview with ANA member Marylia Kelley from Tri-Valley Communities Against Radioactive Environments (Tri-Valley CAREs) discussing the prospects of achieving "ignition" and developing commercial fusion power production at the National Ignition Facility located inside of Lawrence Livermore Lab in California.
|published Wednesday, February 15, 2012 ||2913 Views :: 3 Comments|
In the following op-ed, ANA member Marylia Kelley argues that the Department of Energy's nuclear weapons programs are eating up more than their fair share of the federal budget in austere times.
February 15, 2012
By Marylia Kelley
From the San Francisco Chronicle
While most federal agencies are being placed on an austerity diet, the Obama administration's 2013 budget for nuclear weapons activities is more than last year's appropriation and 20 percent higher than President Reagan's largest nuclear weapons budget at the height of the Cold War, adjusted for inflation. If fully funded, Obama's budget will be the biggest nuclear weapons budget in our nation's history.
President Obama firmly declared "America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons" in his 2009 Prague address. The world, including me, cheered. But, Mr. President, this is not a budget that implements our solemn commitment.
|published Thursday, November 17, 2011 ||1390 Views :: 0 Comments|
Nov 17, 2011
From the Albuquerque Journal
Facing intense budget pressure, the U.S. Department of Energy should consider the equivalent of the military’s base closure process for its sprawling research lab complex, an internal agency review has recommended.
Two of those labs are in New Mexico, where the Department’s nuclear weapons program is a major employer.
The Department of Energy spends more money in New Mexico than any other state – $4.1 billion in 2010, the most recent year for which numbers are available. That money supports some 20,000 workers at Los Alamos and Sandia labs, where U.S. nuclear weapons are designed, manufactured and maintained.
|published Thursday, June 30, 2011 ||844 Views :: 0 Comments|
When I first began
monitoring Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a working
scientist there told me, "Follow the money if you want to know
what is really going on." Look at the Department of Energy's
2012 budget request for the Livermore Lab and it becomes apparent
that PR has an inverse relationship to budget.
89 percent of the funds are for nuclear weapons activities. Yet, more
than 89 percent of the press releases showcase programs like
renewable energy and science that receive less than 3 percent of
the spending. This has caused many to believe that Livermore Lab
is converting from nuclear weapons to civilian science.
|published Thursday, June 30, 2011 ||777 Views :: 0 Comments|
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
San Francisco Chronicle
When I first began monitoring Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a
working scientist there told me, "Follow the money if you want to know
what is really going on." Look at the Department of Energy's 2012 budget
request for the Livermore Lab and it becomes apparent that PR has an
inverse relationship to budget.
Some 89 percent of the funds are for nuclear weapons activities. Yet,
more than 89 percent of the press releases showcase programs like
renewable energy and science that receive less than 3 percent of the
spending. This has caused many to believe that Livermore Lab is
converting from nuclear weapons to civilian science.