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"Forget the Rest" blog
March 23, 1998
For Immediate Release

Contact: Todd Macon or Greg Mello (505) 982-7747

"Citizen Verification Team" to Hold UNSCOM-Style Inspection at Los Alamos National Lab

On March 26th a "Citizen Verification Team" modeled after UN weapons inspection teams in Iraq will visit Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and demand access to inspect nuclear weapons research and production facilities.  The team will include: 

Catholic Bishop Thomas Gumbleton who visited Iraq on a fact-finding mission in 1997 (as seen on CNN) and helped spearhead the U.S. bishops' pastoral letter condemning nuclear weapons; 

Dr. Zia Mian, a physicist currently with Princeton's Center for Energy and Environmental Studies and expert on proliferation in South Asia; 

Bill Doyle, a retired history professor and WWII veteran currently living in Santa Fe; 

Carolyn Sigstedt, a mother of three and Santa Fe business owner; 

Todd Macon of the Los Alamos Study Group and St. John's College graduate student; and possibly others. 

In a letter dated March 19, 1998, the Verification Team requested that lab management welcome the team, provide it with key documents, and provide access and accompany the team to three facilities (letter available upon request).  The facilities listed in the letter are the plutonium facility at TA-55, the CMR building, and the DARHT facility-all are "suspected" in the development of weapons of mass destruction.  The team will visit the gates of each of these facilities even if access inside is denied. 

The team will be in Los Alamos in the Fuller Lodge parking lot on Central Avenue at 1:50 p.m..  Members of the press are encouraged to meet the team here.  From Fuller Lodge the team will go to the main administrative building then to each of the three sites mentioned above.  A schedule and map of the team's inspection are attached.  A press conference will be held at 4:00 p.m. in the Nambe Room of Fuller Lodge and is open to the public.  Lab management has also been invited to a roundtable discussion with members of the team later that evening, 7-9 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Hall, 417 Agua Fria St in Santa Fe. 

The goals of the Citizen Verification Team are, 1) to educate the public about the United States' own weapons of mass destruction; 2) to call for international transparency regarding all programs which design, produce, or stockpile weapons of mass destruction; 3) to inspire a process of societal verification to bolster non-proliferation and disarmament efforts. 

A similar action will be held on the same day at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and includes former LANL weapons designer Ted Taylor.  The contact for the California inspection is Marylia Kelley of Tri-Valley CAREs at (510) 443-7148.


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