‘Greening’ a Nuclear Weapons Plant
Convert the Military-Industrial Complex!

January 30, 2007

'Greening' a Nuclear Weapons Plant
Can a Team of Citizen Activists Turn America's Leading Nuclear Weapons Lab into a Green Lab for Renewable Energy?
Marylia Kelley / Tri-Valley CARES

The Search for Family
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's high-security weapons facility covers a one-square-mile block of land east of San Francisco Bay.
On October 27, 2006, the Livermore Lab GREEN, LLC submitted a bid to take over management of the troubled Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The proposal would move Livermore Lab in a new direction to better meet present day national security priorities for energy independence and nuclear nonproliferation.

The Livermore Lab GREEN (Green Renewable Energy and Environmental Nexus), LLC consists of two nuclear "watchdog" organizations, the Livermore-based Tri-Valley CAREs and Nuclear Watch of New Mexico, partnered with an academic institution, New College of California, and a green energy company, WindMiller Energy.

The 4 organizations incorporated as a Limited Liability Company on October 4, 2006 to comply with the Dept. of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration's bidding requirements.

"Our management proposal is both innovative and complete," said Marylia Kelley, Executive Director of Tri-Valley CAREs. "I expect that NNSA will be reluctant to consider genuine change. However, in our view, that is exactly what is required. The country deserves more than it is presently getting from its national labs."

The Livermore Lab GREEN, LLC management proposal would transition Livermore Lab from nuclear weapons development to an unclassified "World Class Center for Civilian Science" within 5 years. Plutonium and highly enriched uranium would be removed in 4 years.

The National Ignition Facility (NIF), which is over budget and still under construction at Livermore Lab, would be modified in size and opened as a research tool for astrophysics, earth sciences, materials science and other unclassified uses. The Livermore Lab GREEN, LLC proposal would prohibit presently planned experiments on NIF with fissile materials (e.g., highly enriched uranium, plutonium-239).

Management Reforms
The Livermore Lab GREEN, LLC proposal contains numerous management reforms at Livermore Lab, emphasizing worker health and safety and whistleblower protections.

"Under our management," explained Kelley, "there would be a new Office of Whistleblower Protection and an Ombuds Office. We emphasize worker and community participation in our management strategy, and we challenge other bidders to show how they would accomplish this objective."

The management structure proposed by the "green" bidders also elevates Environmental Restoration to an associate directorship, alongside a new Science associate directorship.

An overarching goal of the new management team is to attract truly world-class science to Livermore Lab. In keeping with that philosophy, the "green" bid boosts the profile and footprint of civilian science projects that already exist at Livermore Lab and lays out a plan to attract new ones.

"There is Simply No Need for New Nukes"
Marylia Kelley, director of Tri-Valley CAREs, has a plan to transform a nuclear weapons plant into a "world-class center for civilian science" within five years.
Credit: The-Edge.org
A further commitment made by the Livermore Lab GREEN, LLC involves bringing Livermore Lab programs in on time and on budget. Their choice for Lab Director reflects this priority.

"Today, I am extremely pleased to announce our choice for Livermore Lab director," said Kelley. "Dr. Robert Civiak is a physicist with the broad experience in science and budget planning needed to guide Livermore Lab into new missions and a brighter tomorrow."

Dr. Robert Civiak received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Pittsburgh. From 1978-1988, he was a specialist in Energy Technology and Section Head at the Congressional Research Service in the Library of Congress. During the spring and summer of 1988, he was a visiting scientist at Livermore Lab. From November 1988 - August 1999, Dr. Civiak was the Budget Examiner for DOE's nuclear weapons programs in the White House Office of Management and Budget.

"I believe the management of the Laboratory needs to become more budget conscious. I bring a successful track record in that regard," explained Dr. Civiak. "I would apply my experience to reduce the wasteful duplication of effort at Livermore and the other nuclear weapons laboratories."

Nuclear Watch of New Mexico's Scott Kovac added, "There is simply no need for new nuclear weapons designs. Our management will use the tax-payers' hard earned dollars in a positive way to provide for a secure future for all instead of merely funding a few weaponeers."

The Livermore Lab GREEN, LLC challenges the other bidders to likewise make their proposals publicly available.

The Green Lab Team Members

Tri-Valley CAREs was founded in Livermore in 1983 to monitor activities in the DOE nuclear weapons complex, with a special focus on the nearby Lawrence Livermore Lab. The group's 4,800 members work to promote nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, ensure cleanup of the Cold War legacy of radioactive and toxic pollution, safeguard the environment from further contamination, and enhance worker and public participation in decision-making. (www.trivalleycares.org)

New College of California is committed to education in support of a just, sacred, and sustainable world. New College cherishes intellectual freedom, the search for social justice, respect for differences, and a belief in collective responsibility for the welfare of all people. (www.newcollege.edu)

WindMiller Energy was begun in 1990 to promote and distribute wind and related energy technologies and information to small and mid-sized users. The company provides equipment and the technical details needed for user communities to maintain it optimally.

Nuclear Watch of New Mexico provides information to the public on nuclear issues in the Southwest and encourages effective citizen involvement around these concerns. The group promotes environmental protection, safe disposal of radioactive wastes, and federal policy changes to curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons. (www.nukewatch.org)

For more information, contact: Marylia Kelley, Executive Director, Tri-Valley CAREs, 2582 Old First Street, Livermore, CA 94551: (925) 443-7148
Fax: (925) 443-0177. www.trivalleycares.org
Email: marylia@trivalleycares.org or marylia@earthlink.net

Green Groups Vie to Manage
Research at Lawrence Livermore Lab

Scott Lindlaw / Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 27, 2006) -- Three teams have submitted bids for the right to manage Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, including one consisting of nuclear watchdogs, academics and a "green" energy firm.

For the first time in its history, the federal government opened up the process for securing the management contract for Lawrence Livermore to competitive bidding. Livermore Lab GREEN, as the team calls itself, would halt the nuclear weapons research that has been the lab's primary mission since its inception in 1952.

Lawrence Livermore, one of the nation's nuclear-weapons research sites, is currently overseen by the University of California, but its contract ends in September 2007. UC and Bechtel National Inc. submitted one of the three bids ahead of this week's deadline. Their proposed team also includes BWX Technologies Inc.; Texas A&M University; Washington Group International; and Battelle.

A UC-Bechtel partnership last year won the government contract to continue managing the Los Alamos National Laboratory that built the atomic bomb. That management team also includes Washington Group and BWX.

Another team that bid for Lawrence Livermore this week is led by Northrop Grumman Corp. Northrop earlier this year beat out incumbent Bechtel for the contract to manage the Nevada Test site, the area where nuclear weapons were once tested. The Northrop Grumman team also includes Nuclear Fuel Services; CH2M Hill; AECOM; and Wackenhut....

Livermore Lab GREEN provided a detailed overview of its bid, and pledged to place the full text on its Web site by Saturday. Its management team would consist of Tri-Valley CARES and Nuclear Watch of New Mexico, two watchdog groups that have been critical of practices at Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos respectively. The team also would include New College of California and WindMiller Energy.

"Our management proposal is both innovative and complete," said Marylia Kelley, executive director of Tri-Valley CAREs. "I expect that NNSA will be reluctant to consider genuine change. However, in our view, that is exactly what is required. The country deserves more than it is presently getting from its national labs."

The Livermore Lab GREEN bid would transform Lawrence Livermore into an unclassified "World Class Center for Civilian Science" within five years.

Plutonium and highly enriched uranium would be removed in four years.

  • NNSA's overview of the Lawrence Livermore competition: www.doeal.gov/llnlCompetition
  • Tri-Valley CARES: www.trivalleycares.org
  • Bechtel: www.bechtel.com
  • Northrop Grumman: www.northropgrumman.com

    Posted in accordance with Title 17, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

    Environmental Group Wants to
    Turn Weapons Lab Green

    Alex Breitler / The Stockton Record

    LIVERMORE (Oct 28, 2006) -- It has filed more than 20 lawsuits, testified at dozens of hearings and hosted at least 200 community meetings.

    Now a group of environmentalists that has long focused its fury on the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is taking that watchdog role to a new level by filing a bid to take over the lab entirely.

    The group's goal is to convert the lab from nuclear weapons work to more "socially beneficial" science: the study of sustainable energy, global warming and other environmental issues. Tri-Valley CAREs in its proposal has partnered with another nuclear watchdog group, a small wind energy company and the San Francisco-based New College of California.

    Congress three years ago voted to require competitive bidding for the management of laboratories whose previous contracts had spanned at least a half-century. UC has already won its bid to continue running the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

    Under its watch, UC officials say LLNL has become one of the world's "premiere scientific centers," examining not only national security but making other technological contributions, such as a laser that can break up blood clots before they cause a stroke. The lab employs 8,500 people and receives an annual budget of $1.6 billion.

    Tri-Valley CAREs says the lab dedicates too much time to nuclear weapons study and does so behind a veil of secrecy that does not encourage accountability.

    If awarded the bid, Tri-Valley CAREs would open an office for whistle-blower protection and promises more transparency for an inquiring public. "We're challenging the other bidders to show how they would handle these same goals," Kelley said.

    Posted in accordance with Title 17, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

    Convert the Military-Industrial Complex!
    Bruce Gagnon / Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

    When weapons are your #1 industrial export product, what is your global marketing strategy for that product line? That's right, endless war.

    Maine's Congressional delegation recently sent around news releases proudly proclaiming that they helped to bring big money to our state. They said the Senate Appropriations Committee had approved, for fiscal year 2007, $3.4 billion for DDX destroyer ships at Bath Iron Works and an additional $50 million for smaller military contracts sprinkled throughout the state.

    This is the industrial policy of America today. Weapons production. It is our #1 industrial export product. And when weapons are your #1 industrial export product, what is your global marketing strategy for that product line? Thats right, endless war.

    Our Congress should be fighting to bring funding to our states to build rail systems, solar power and windmills. We are having the hottest summer in recorded history. Does it not make sense that taxpayers should be demanding that OUR TAX DOLLARS be used to expand the production of sustainable technologies?

    What does military production do to alleviate global warming? How will we be able to get to work when gas hits $4, $5, $6, $7 a gallon if we dont have public transit?

    Think of the jobs created by building the industrial capacity to put a solar system on every house and business in the US! Think of the jobs created if we built a world-class rail system connecting every corner of the country.

    Why don't we citizens demand the conversion the military-industrial complex to peaceful production?

    We will never end war as long as making weapons for endless war employs growing numbers of people in the US.

    This is the direction that the corporate militarists are taking our nation as they now determine that "security export" will be our role in the New World Order. What does it do to the soul of our nation when we have to make weapons of mass destruction in order to employ people so they can feed their families?

    Today the US is feverishly resupplying Israel with new orders to replace the bunker-buster and cluster bombs, bullets, tanks shells and other weapons they used to destroy Lebanon. People work overtime at military production sites to keep up with these contracts for more weapons in an endless cycle of death and destruction. Military production workers routinely say they'd rather be building something socially useful.

    Congress is complicit in the disinvestment in American peacetime industry. We make very few consumer goods in this country anymore. Look in any Wal-Mart store and see for yourself. But what we do make is weapons.

    We must demand that we want our tax dollars to be used for peaceful and sustainable production. We can't end global warming by building weapons to control the diminishing supplies of the world's oil and natural gas. We must convert the military-industrial complex.

    Trains not tanks. Windmills not Star Wars. Solar power not fighter planes and naval destroyers.

    We need life not death for our children and grandchildren.

    Help us make this demand public.

    Bruce K. Gagnon is Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space in Brunswick.

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