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Letter to the Editor: Plutonium Bomb Cores Coming to Livermore Labs is Potentially Illegal

Tri-Valley CAREs will be hosting a forum on the transport of plutonium to Livermore at main Livermore Library starting at 7 p.m.

By Marylia Kelley, Executive Director of Tri-Valley CAREs

On Wednesday, Tri-Valley CAREs will host a time-critical community forum featuring environmental, legal and nuclear weapons experts from New Mexico and California. We will discuss the potentially illegal transport of plutonium bomb cores from Los Alamos Lab in New Mexico to Livermore Lab.

These bomb cores are part of the government's "Life Extension Programs" for nuclear weapons. After arriving by truck at Livermore Lab, the plutonium cores will undergo a series of tests, including vibration, thermal and drop tests, to determine how the bomb cores will perform in a "storage, transportation or use environment." Following the diagnostic tests, the plutonium bomb cores will be put back on trucks and sent on the highway again to Los Alamos.

On Sept. 30, 2012, Livermore Lab's security status was downgraded from a Category I/II facility to the lower threshold of a security Category III facility, meaning it is no longer authorized to handle, test or store bomb-usable quantities of plutonium, including these plutonium bomb cores.

According to various officials I interviewed, the Dept. of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration has yet to complete any detailed written plan, and so the number of bomb cores that will be put on the road is not known. One official told me the shipments could go back and forth "around six times a year." The number could vary greatly, however, depending on the nuclear weapon "campaigns" going on that year. There has been no stringent environmental review of the hazards, which could be extreme.

Livermore Lab stands at a crossroad. Without the large quantities of plutonium and security infrastructure it once had, its nuclear weapons R&D capabilities are necessarily limited. Thus, the Lab faces two options. It can hang on to its bomb-testing apparatus and give itself security variances (potentially violating environmental and safety laws), or, instead, it can forge a new path, focused on cleanup of the poisons that have already leaked in our environment and far safer civilian science missions like non-polluting renewable energy technologies and global climate modeling.

The Jan. 30 forum will feature Jay Coghlan, Executive Director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico. Coghlan has worked on issues involving Los Alamos Lab, nuclear weapons and the environment for 22 years. I will speak as Tri-Valley CAREs Executive Director with 30 years of experience investigating programs at Livermore Lab, its role in the nuclear weapons complex and its impacts on community and worker health and the environment. Together, we will share information from numerous meetings with decision-makers in Washington, DC.

The forum will also feature Tri-Valley CAREs Staff Attorney, Scott Yundt, on the legal questions posed by the plutonium plan, and Peter Strauss, an environmental scientist and technical advisor on the Superfund cleanup of toxic and radioactive contamination at Livermore Lab.

There will be Spanish translation available, refreshments and plenty of time for community discussion. Presented free of charge, the event takes place from 7-9 pm on Wed., Jan. 30 at the Livermore main library, 1188 South Livermore Avenue. For more information, contact Tri-Valley CAREs at 443-7148 or www.trivalleycares.org.

Rich Buckley January 30, 2013 at 02:28 PM
Has anyone ever tried to commit suicide at the lab? I'm sure I worry needlessly. So this is what it means to have super computing power that alleviates underground testing. We just bring the "safe and really-hard-to-mess-with-bomb-cores" to town and look them over here. What could possibly go wrong with this much safety awareness and training? I'm obviously not smart enough to appreciate the brilliance of this concept. I try so hard but I just don't get it. http://tinyurl.com/a89tw2h
Rich Buckley January 30, 2013 at 03:27 PM
What could possibly go wrong in running maybe 6000 nuclear warheads through LLNL? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapons_and_the_United_States Maybe it's just me, but could anyone explain why we would choose to recertify nuclear warheads on the eastern edge of the densely populated Silicone Valley? What if we instead set up an expanded lab right where these warheads are actually manufactured? The Kafka-like thinking of the outside managers of LLNL (the group that recently took over from UC Berkeley) that plans our nuclear stockpile maintenance, seems to harbor such an embedded conflict of interest in the nuclear power industry and military industrial complex they are making what seems to be end-of-days confrontational, risk-it-all-effort to set up the next major false flag incident to start, rather than avoid, WWIII. Realistically it would require 2 warheads a day, 60 per month to set up a re-certify plan. Brining 1 warhead to town is unacceptable. What unbelievable cynicism and hubris.
anon January 30, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Why cant they setup The equipment to do the tests at los Alamitos And not transport these back and forth numerous times? IMO This seems to be the most efficient way to handle it.
Al Shumate January 30, 2013 at 04:49 PM
All this to do over some mushroom seeds. And as hard up for well paying jobs in California as the state is it would seem to me that testing the Cores at their Labs would be efficient. So I guess Livermore Lab ought to just pack up and move to Los Alamos and problem solved leaving California without even more jobs. And therefore California and Marylia Kelley can don sack cloth and cover themselves in ashes and cry to all that will listen and have pity about all those jobs leaving the Golden State. Hey people, wake up and smell some coffee – they are Cores, nothing more. There is a whole lot more that has to be done to make them grow.
Douglas Linman January 30, 2013 at 05:38 PM
Well this type of lab should not be around any population anyway. Confined Core testing nuclear core material in small quantity is generally safe. Not sure why it needs to travel to Livermore when the government has plenty of better sites for this test! Probably political.
Rich Buckley January 30, 2013 at 05:47 PM
Al your point, sadly enough is the divide-and-intimidate methodology used economically to terrorize citizens and our elected officials into submission everywhere in the world. But there reaches a point in life and death struggle where the higher-self, regardless of the economic costs, must say no to the temptation,.... if you want to call jobs of carrying bomb cores into a dense urbanization as a positive "temptation." This so-called "strategic plan to re-certify bomb cores" could also be accomplished by the US Navy on one well defended floating platform somewhere on the ocean surface. For that matter it could also be done on a nuclear sub-fleet specifically outfitted for the task. There are also underground cities built around the US by our military which could be retrofitted for the task in non-urbanized remote areas. The hubris of this scheme to psychologically condition us to live and love bomb cores, is an all too obvious high risk set-up for another False Flag attempt to start WWIII. If there is any group of people that need to wake up and smell the coffee, it is the replacement team managers that took over the UC Berkeley management functions to manage the Labs. Think through the dynamics and logistics of any plan to bring in bomb cores and you will quickly encounter a series of "Oops, we didn't think of that" security concerns, which are not worth taking regardless of the jobs. http://tinyurl.com/6pv4m8c
Rich Buckley January 30, 2013 at 06:02 PM
I would instead challenge this outside group of LLNL managers (the corporations that took over from UC Berkeley management), "strategic vision" as being so corrupted be their apparent embedded conflicts of interest in nuclear power industry at all levels, and in the Military Industrial Complex, that they instead act to suppress energy innovation, the National Ignition Facility notwithstanding. I would challenge them all to put together a team with outside participants, which they pay for nonetheless, and search the world over to assemble within six months to a year, a public Zero Point Energy conference and demonstration fair open to the general public and well promoted. http://tinyurl.com/87n23fx
Buckhorn Ewing January 30, 2013 at 08:29 PM
WOW! Thought I lived in America?! What's wrong with you all? How soon we forget the cold war. Patriotism? This lab has been here for generations. They want to test the cores that are in storage, just in case the fecal matter hits the air mover. They need to find out how they react to shipping/ driving. To move the equipment, or rebuild a facility somewhere else, would probably bankrupt the government. There are so many safety precautions in place, it is mind blowing. I would personally pitch a tent next to the building they are doing the testing. Live there and only worry about a skunk or mountain lion visit! Let them do their jobs and keep us safe, no one else will!
Julia January 30, 2013 at 08:32 PM
Ah... who "WINS" a nuclear war? Is it even possible?
Mama Tex January 30, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Really Douglas -- the lab was built in 1952 way before all the newer housing that has built all around it! Thank your elected officials at the time (maybe prior to 1989 - present) for allowing these newer houses to be built!!! And Springtown was built in the early 1960's so this means the Lab was already here first as well!
Rich Buckley January 30, 2013 at 10:24 PM
Buckhorn, Any group of 10 determined warrior spirits could breech security on this plan and hold an entire country hostage over this decision. Worse yet, there are forces at play within the military bent on a New World Order, and Livermore would be as good an area as any to topple our liberty once and for all. We're armed about as well as a boy scout camp. The Department of Homeland Security is near paranoid enough over these concerns to be purchasing enough ammunition of (non-Geneva Convention) hollow point 40-caliber rounds in the multi-millions of rounds count, to fight a full theater of war domestically... just in case. So sober up friend. When even one war time attack, just one, not two, not several, but just one, is all that is needed to render the real estate for a 15 mile radius, unlivable, your call for patriotism and flag-waving is exactly what brings many of us on the defensive against the unbelievable hubris of these outside, new Lab managers. We are thinking like school children playing a game of doge-ball but underlying real forces at play here Buckhorn, are playing for keeps. They don't give a damn about killing thousands of innocents in their world power games. If loosing eastern Alameda County and all that went with it got them what they wanted, they'ed do it in a heart beat. So I shouldn't rush to start calling us names and insulting our patriotism just yet. It won't work on us.
Ajax January 30, 2013 at 10:34 PM
Good thing terrorists aren't on the internet to see this information on the transportation of nuclear material such as the stuff we just read. Bringing nuclear warheads to Livermore for check ups several times a year via our freeways sounds like a safe and cost effective means of travel...NOT!
Terry January 30, 2013 at 11:00 PM
Thoughts about GE Nuclear Plant behind Ruby Hills on I-84. General Electric built that nuclear power plant to create nuclear material to sell to LLNL. It still quietly creates nuclear material today.
Terry January 30, 2013 at 11:03 PM
Trucks quietly get hazardous transport permits to LLNL. But break,law by using truck wash down facilities at Stanley Road gravel pits when they arrive empty to get new cargo.
Owl January 31, 2013 at 02:03 AM
Let us remember that our nations research laboratories conduct activities that support the PREVENTION of war and serve to strengthen our nation. The freedom and peace provided gives ample opportunity for the great spewers of hyperbole to hone their blather from the comfort of a warm, safe home. Carry on.
Rich Buckley January 31, 2013 at 02:48 AM
Get real Owl! None of the founding directors, not even Dr Teller himself stood for building and or certifying bomb cores here. This "need" has been discussed for several decades and former prudence of management avoided creating such a catastrophic safety scenario. We have seen a change of management attitude from prudence to hubris boarding on psychological warfare with the residents themselves. Only an absentee landlord thinks and operates this way. There is a reason Tri-Valley CAREs is warning us of the likely illegality of this Lab proposal. It is irresponsible of you to whitewash this act of brining in bomb cores to a highly urbanized area as somehow sound. Tell me one thing I am spewing that is not based on fact.
Steve January 31, 2013 at 05:06 AM
Hubris! Hubris! I say!!!.
Terry January 31, 2013 at 01:10 PM
Me thinks he doth protest too much.
Terry January 31, 2013 at 01:12 PM
If general public finds out about cores it will lower home prices on Livermore. Then it will get rejected.
Terry January 31, 2013 at 01:15 PM
If Wente wine and Concannon Wine distributors find out about Plutonium in their wine orchard ground water from LLNL then cores will be turned away when wine shipments drop like a nuclear bomb.
Terry January 31, 2013 at 01:20 PM
Someone take out a full page ad on Google search engine. "Livermore Wine Valley Winegrowers Association sues LLNL for plutonium core mining adjacent to consumer grape orchards." Realtors and Wine Growers demand jury provide $2 billion in relief.
Terry January 31, 2013 at 01:22 PM
Livermore Superfund Cleanup terms are violated by new plutonium core transport and handling on property.
Rich Buckley February 01, 2013 at 04:12 PM
How quickly bringing weapons grade materials to Livermore gets moved off Livermore's opening home page of Patch, a practice unique to this topic perhaps? Bringing weapons-grade materials into any highly urbanized area should be front page reporting and stay there. So far a check in other Bay Area communities indicates the topic has been kept hyper-local in Patch. Not even a poll is offered to keep it alive? http://tinyurl.com/alhxr7p Expect misdirection, debunking, concealment and intimidation in regards to this topic. The replacement managers to the formerly prudent UC Berkeley managers are absentee Globalists whose agenda has little bearing on prudence.
Julia February 01, 2013 at 06:39 PM
the turn out at the meeting last night made the morning news on channel 2
Rich Buckley February 02, 2013 at 05:30 PM
Letter to My Old Squadron Buddies -- The Next Big False Flag Set-up http://tinyurl.com/a3snstz

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