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.