June 6, 2011
Bulletin #117: No
meeting tomorrow; new CMRR resources; House likely to propose warhead
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We are postponing tomorrow night's (Tues, June
7th) Study Group meeting at St. John's United Methodist Church in
Santa Fe. Since my return from Washington, DC last week we
have been very involved with urgent and requested follow-up and we
must focus intently on fulfilling those requests, which encompass a
diversity of National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and
Department of Energy (DOE) issues and programs.
you may be interested in this recent paper (Reasons
Not to Build, or to Delay CMRR-NF), which formed the core of
briefings I gave in Washington to numerous government officials and
two arms control groups.
Most if not all arms control
organizations and their principle funders still believe this project
should not be opposed. (I'm
Speaking of Washington, last
week the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations
a large cut in Obama's requested increase in nuclear warhead
spending, including a cut in FY2012 spending for the proposed Los
Alamos Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility
(CMRR-NF). The line-by-line details of these concerns, and how
they will propagate through the (broken) appropriations process, are
at the moment unclear.
No newspaper saw fit to report
the $500 million Republican-led proposed cut in nuclear
warhead spending. Not all the details were available.
Perhaps the public will be allowed a peek into their evolving nuclear
future next week. Or not.
The shadow cast by our
recently-dismissed litigation continues to delay CMRR-NF. Even
though the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) process
that began in response to our litigation is totally bogus from a
legal perspective and as a study of alternatives (it considers none),
NNSA wisely chose not to let additional construction contracts during
the lawsuit, and is still holding them back during pendency of the
SEIS and its Record of Decision (ROD). Also and related,
project expenditures in the present fiscal year are, we hear,
accordingly far less than originally projected. Yes, the
project has been slowed -- as is more than proper given its cost
explosion and contraction in justification.
supply more details about the CMRR-NF "state of play"
here. (That was the topic of last week's public discussion in
To repeat what we said in our press release
regarding Judge Herrera's recent decision, "It is never legal
for a federal agency to decide to implement a project with
significant environmental impact without an applicable, objective
EIS, and that is what is happening here." NNSA is not at
all out of the woods, legally speaking, and we are working on that
More fundamentally, certain facts are a problem
for the project: high seismicity, a cramped site, poor geology, a
lack of need, declining availability of federal funds, negative
international repercussions, the irrelevance of the mission to
today's real national (security) crises, and more. It's a
fiasco now and will remain one until it is eventually abandoned.
Here's a handy compendium of recent developments and
resources on CMRR-NF.
We look forward to seeing many of you next Tuesday evening, June
14th, 7-9 pm at St. John's United Methodist Church in Santa Fe.
The topics and speakers are at the moment under development and
Many of you are already supporting
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way, we are always looking for volunteer staff. Only the best
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Thank you all.
Greg, Trish, and gang