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June 10, 2013

Bulletin #172:  Fundraising drive; upcoming meetings and film screenings; more

Dear friends –

1.  Help us fundraise, please!

Many of you have very generously supported the Study Group through the years, and that support has made a significant difference in U.S. nuclear weapons policies.  We have played an important and unique role in many policy debates over the past two decades.  Again and again we have rebuffed efforts to expand plutonium capabilities at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and as a result there are no expanded facilities to produce entirely new warheads on a large scale.  We intend to make sure that continues to be the case.  We are making progress, even in these difficult political times.

This is possible because the U.S. nuclear weapons establishment rests on a foundation of lies.  It is antithetical to humane values – to, as a Vatican ambassador once put it, “the peace we seek.”

You can donate on-line here, or you can mail us a check (to 2901 Summit Place NE, Albuquerque, 87106).  Call 505-265-1200 or write us if you wish to make other arrangements.

Please consider bringing our work to the attention of your friends and associates.  It could make a big difference.

2.  Please join us at these upcoming New Mexico meetings and events (and one radio show)

  • June 13 and July 11: regular Santa Fe LASG meetings, 6:00 pm at Second Street Brewery, 1814 2nd St., Santa Fe (map).  Open to all.
  • June 15, interview with LASG Fellow Mia Gandenberger on “Women’s Focus,” hosted by Carol Boss on KUNM (89.9 FM).  The show runs from 12:00 to 2:00 pm.
  • June 20 and July 18: regular Albuquerque LASG meetings, 6:00 pm at 2901 Summit Place NE (map).  Open to all.
  • June 27: Public discussion, “The New Disarmament Movement,” featuring Ray Acheson, Director of the acclaimed NYC- and Geneva-based Reaching Critical Will (RCW) nuclear disarmament project of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, with Greg Mello and Mia Gandenberger of LASG, 6:00 pm, Santa Fe Woman’s Club, 1616 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe (map).  For background on RCW – and on the upsurge in activity on nuclear disarmament worldwide – see this excellent Pressenza interview with Ray (Apr 23, 2013).
  • July 6-13: International “Nuclear Abolition Week” discussions, including screenings of the award-winning “In My Lifetime” documentary by Robert Frye.
    • July 12, 6:00 pm at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, 601 Eubank Blvd. SE, Albuquerque (map).
    • July 13, 6:00 pm at the Santa Fe Woman’s Club, 1616 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe (map).  At this event we will have with us special guest Kathy Christison – writer, former CIA analyst and long-time Study Group member, coauthor of Palestine in Pieces and other writings on the Middle East.
    • We are still working on Los Alamos and Taos venues and dates this week.  We will send out an updated schedule but in the meantime please feel free to call us at 505-265-1200 for updates.

3.  The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and the U.S. nuclear weapons enterprise overall, is in trouble.

In Bulletin #171 we said NNSA was “deteriorating” and predicted that we would soon see more evidence that NNSA’s nuclear modernization programs were spiraling out of control.   We said the Obama administration had “almost gone on vacation” as far as nuclear weapons management goes, with increasing hell to pay.

The very next day, NNSA Administrator Neile Miller resigned (“As Problems Mount, U.S. Nuke Warhead Chief Steps Down,” LASG press release of May 17, 2013).

As we have said in recent meetings, there is absolutely no way NNSA can complete its ambitious work plan, whether or not it gets its proposed ever-larger budgets.  Likewise, there is absolutely no way DoD can or will buy all the nuclear weapons delivery systems now promised.  The administration’s baseline nuclear weapons plan is simply inexecutable.

We are now expanding on this theme in some detail and will be briefing our results on Capitol Hill soon.

4.  The latest plan for Los Alamos plutonium facilities: underground factory "modules"

The details – or we know of them – are in our press release of May 7, 2013.

ant farm

See also these press reports:

We have gathered together some of the best original references on the new plutonium plan in a new web page (LANL's proposed Modular Pit Facility – “It grows as it goes”).  You might be interested in these links:

5.  Recent publications

There is much more to say but perhaps this is enough for one bulletin.  Thanks for all your support.

Greg, Trish, and Mia, for the Study Group

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2901 Summit Place NE Albuquerque, NM 87106, Phone: 505-265-1200

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