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"Forget the Rest" blog
Area G Waste Disposal Site, Los Alamos Click here for full screen image.

Did You Know?

There is a nuclear dump just 19 miles from the Santa Fe Plaza. It's called "Area G".

Area G annotated photos

#1 - vertical (1.33MB pdf), or (352KB gif)
#2 - horizontal (1.33MB pdf), or (342KB gif)

--- August 6, 2003 - Letter to Governor Bill Richardson requesting the cessation of nuclear waste disposal at Los Alamos National Laboratory’s (LANL’s) “Area G” landfill and formal closure of the site, as required by law.

--- September 19, 2001 - 1,000 Citizens Request Governor To CloseNorthern New Mexico Nuclear Dump: Nuclear Waste Disposal Illegal Since 1985, Group Charges; Action Overdue.

--- January 15, 2001 - Letter from twenty-seven area groups to Secretary of the Environment Department, Pete Maggiore, calling for the cessation of nuclear waste disposal at "Area G" landfill and formal closure of the site, as required by law.

It's Growing. And It's Ours Forever

  • Larger than WIPP (the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, near Carlsbad, New Mexico)

  • Permanent waste disposal in shallow unlined pits and shafts covered with dirt 

  • Enough buried radioactive and chemical wastes to fill 1.4 million 55 gallon drums -- plus 60,000 drums' worth of temporarily-stored waste 
  • Expected to recieve 54,000 drums' worth more waste each year, mostly from nuclear weapons production and testing 

  • Slated to expand in size indefinitely -- two other mesas are also targeted for dump sites 

  • No external oversight by any regulatory agency 

  • Most of this waste production is entirely unnecessary 

And just where is all this nuclear waste coming from?  Almost all of it is coming from nuclear weapons programs.  Most people do not know that these programs have grown tremendously in recent years, and are now much larger than they were on average during the Cold War, even after correcting for inflation.

Weapons design and testing has begun again -- here.  Production of plutonium bomb cores has begun -- here.  A second plutonium plant is planned -- here.  Many more tons of plutonium are needed for the bomb factories -- here.  Huge new facilities for weapons testing and for novel kinds of nuclear processing -- which will produce even more waste -- are planned -- here.

So the Department of Energy (DOE) and the University of California (UC, which makes millions of dollars operating the lab and the dump) assume you don't mind them burying most of the waste here, with a smaller amount going to WIPP.

How much of this nuclear waste generation is really necessary?

DOE and UC hope you won't ask that question.

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