Protesting California’s Nuclear Bomb Shop

Your tax dollars at work – Livermore Lab’s website graphic.

Nuclear Weapons “Stockpile Stewardship” –
Gearing Up for Global Destruction

Founded by the University of California, Berkeley in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California is mainly funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).  It is managed and operated by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS), a partnership of the University of California, Bechtel, BWX Technologies, AECOM, and Battelle Memorial Institute in affiliation with the Texas A&M University System.

According to its website, “Our mission is to make the world a safer place. We lead the nation in stockpile science and deliver solutions for the nation’s most challenging security problems.” 

Behind the PR rhetoric, it is in fact a key hub in the extensive US national weapons development complex, and an epicenter of the new global nuclear arms race triggered by America’s bellicose ‘nuclear posture’ under the Trump Administration.

Every year, on the anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that began the Nuclear Age in 1945, Tri-Valley CAREs and a consortium of other citizens’ organizations organize a commemoration in opposition to what former war-planner turned whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg has dubbed America’s ‘Doomsday Machine.’

Here is EON’s video report on this year’s commemoration rally, march and non-violent protest action.

Welcome by Andrew Kodama and Julia Malakiman

Andrew Kodama and Julia Malakiman are co-emcees. They represent the fresh, dynamic leadership of young adults in the peace movement. Kodama is an educator, artist, and organizer born and raised in Walnut Creek, California. After working for the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center for two years doing community outreach he recently transitioned into the role of Executive Director in June. Malakiman returns to the Bay Area after completing graduate studies in France in Human Rights. She leads the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center in Palo Alto. As Director, she amplifies youth and minority voices while honing in on the grassroots success that local activists before her have fought for and achieved.

Marylia Kelley addresses Livermore Lab’s role in promoting a new, destabilizing global arms race. She is Executive Director at the Livermore-based Tri-Valley CAREs and brings 36 years of research, writing and facilitating public participation in decisions regarding the Lab and the U.S. nuclear weapons complex. Kelley has testified before the House Armed Services Committee of the U.S. Congress, the California Legislature and the National Academy of Sciences, among other deliberative bodies. She has lived in Livermore since 1976. Kelley was inducted into the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2002.

Rev. Nobuaki Hanaoka

Nobuaki Hanaoka, the special guest speaker, was an infant when the bomb fell on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. His mother and sister died from illnesses linked to radiation poisoning and his brother died at age 39 from premature aging associated with fallout from the bomb. Rev. Hanaoka is a retired minister in the United Methodist Church, who came to the U.S. following seminary training in Japan. He has settled in the Bay Area where he speaks, writes and teaches on topics of peace and human rights. Rev. Hanaoka will present the “Hibakusha Appeal” and solicit signatures from participants.

Rafael Jesús González

Rafael Jesús González offers poetry and insight into the movement for nuclear disarmament. He is the City of Berkeley’s first Poet Laureate and an organizer of the 1983 International Day of Nuclear Disarmament. González has taught at the Univ. of Oregon, Western State College of Colorado, Central Washington State Univ., Univ. of Texas, and Laney College in Oakland, where he founded the Department of Mexican and Latin-American Studies. His poetry and academic articles appear in reviews and anthologies in the U. S., Mexico, and abroad. In 2013 he received the César E. Chávez Lifetime Award. The City of Berkeley honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015.

Dr. Sharat G. Lin

Dr. Sharat G. Lin speaks on current nuclear flashpoints. He is a research fellow and past President of the San José Peace and Justice Center. Lin writes and lectures on global political economy, labor migration, social movements, and public health. Last August he delivered an apology from the American people to the Japanese people for the U.S. atomic bombings at mass rallies in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A medical radiation scientist by training, Lin has connections to the nuclear energy programs in Iran and India, providing him with inside knowledge of the decision-making behind those programs. His insights on the nuclear calculations of Iran and North Korea are reinforced by personal visits to these countries, and provide a vision for denuclearization.

Daniel Ellsberg on the New Nuclear Arms Race

Daniel Ellsberg – the keynote speaker. He is perhaps best known as the whistleblower who released “The Pentagon Papers” to hasten an end to the war in Vietnam. He was an analyst at RAND Corp. and a consultant to the Defense Dept., specializing in problems of command and control of nuclear weapons, war plans and crisis decision-making. In 2017 Ellsberg released his critically acclaimed memoirs, “America’s Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner.”


Roxanne speaks on divestment from nuclear weapons and war. She is a retired Judge who has worked and lived in Indian Country and seen firsthand the impacts of sacrifice zones created by the development of nuclear weapons. Roxanne first came into contact with nuclear issues in the College of Chemistry at UC Berkeley, which moved her to pursue graduate studies in renewable energy alternatives to the pollution, destruction and terror that nuclear weapons inflict. Roxanne currently organizes with CODEPINK’s Divest From the War Machine campaign.

Call to Action – Phyllis Olin and Jackie Cabasso

Phyllis Olin and Jackie Cabasso, respectively Board Member and Executive Director of the Western States Legal Foundation give the call for non-violent action.

March & Non-Violent Action

Protesters march to the Livermore Lab gate commemorate the victims of US atomic bombs and risk arrest in opposition to the Labs nuclear weapons program.
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The Unholy Nuclear Trinity – Energy, Weapons & Waste – Indigenous Impacts

EON’s Mary Beth Brangan and Jim Heddle interview Acoma Pueblo elder Petuuche Gilbert at one of the over 500 abandonded uranium mines that continue to contaminate Navajo tribal lands in New Mexico. Photo by: Libbe HaLevy

Joined At the Hips

Since their conjoined birth in the 1945 Trinity Test in the New Mexico desert that began the Atomic Age, nuclear energy, weapons and waste have been inextricably connected.

Long denied by government and industry sources, that inseparable connection has now been cited by former US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and other nuclear enthusiasts, as a prime rationale for keeping America’s deadly and dying nuclear industry going.

They argue that only by subsidizing a dangerous, obsolete and uneconomic ‘civil’ nuclear energy program, and its trained labor pool and industrial infrastructure, can the US maintain its ‘global nuclear leadership’ and ‘weapons superiority.’

EON’s work has been tracking that lethal connection for decades.

This year – as we have done in many years past – we were honored by Tri-Valley CARE’s Director Marylia Kelly to document the annual Hiroshima Day rally and non-violent direct action at the gate of Livermore Lab, a key node in America’s new nuclear arms race system.

U of C Runs California’s Nuclear Bomb Shop

As a preview, here is a clip of the keynote speaker Daniel Ellsberg, with additional powerful speakers to come soon in the series, as well as a report on the march and demonstration.

SHUTDOWN The Movie – Coming Soon

We are charging toward completion early next year of our forthcoming feature-length documentary SHUTDOWN – which explores the importance of informed citizen action in the face of America’s growing nuclear waste challenge, as aging nuclear reactors are shuttered with nowhere for their tons of accumulated lethal waste to go and the Age of Nuclear Waste begins in earnest.

Please visit for more information.

Don’t Dump on the Southwest!

A national push (by Senator Feinstein, among others) is building for ‘temporary’ Consolidated Interim Storage (CIS) sites for the nation’s entire inventory of reactor waste that targets low-income, Hispanic and Indigenous communities in New Mexico and Texas.  We were able to travel to a recent conference in New Mexico to bring their informed, opposing voices to a wider audience.

Here’s a clip from a recent Environmental Justice Panel in Albuquerque featuring Santa Clarita Pueblo downwinder, Tina Cordova, Co-founder of the New Mexico community organization Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium (TBDC).  She tells of the devastating health impacts of the Atomic Age on her people.
The devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has been widely acknowledged, yet it was America’s own people and original inhabitants, the Indigenous Peoples of the southwest, who had the actual first atomic bomb dropped in their land.

The world’s first atomic bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945, in New Mexico—home to 19 American Indian pueblos, two Apache tribes and some chapters of the Navajo Nation. Manhattan Project scientists exploded the device containing six kilograms of plutonium 239 on a 100-foot tower at the Trinity Site in the Jornada del Muerto (Journey of Death) Valley at what is now the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range.  At the time an estimated 19,000 people lived within a 50-mile radius.

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Nuclear power ‘seven decades of economic ruin’, says new report

29.07.2019 – London, United Kingdom Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

New research has found that almost all nuclear power plants built since the nuclear industry’s inception have generated large financial losses.

The report by the German Institute for Economic Research examines 674 nuclear power plants built since 1951. Its authors found that typical nuclear power plants averaged 4.8 billion euros in losses.

Nuclear power plant in Cattenom, France (Image by Stefan Kühn on wikimedia commons)

Nuclear power plant in Cattenom, France (Image by Stefan Kühn on wikimedia commons)

The report authors argue that new technology for nuclear plants won’t solve the underlying economic difficulties: “Those in favor of nuclear energy like to point out the ongoing technological developments that could lead to it growing more efficient in the future.

“They include ‘fourth generation’ nuclear power plants and mini-nuclear power plants (small modular reactors, SMRs). Anything but new, both concepts have their roots in the early phase of nuclear power in the 1950s. Then as now, there was no hope that the technologies would become economical and established.”

Kate Hudson, CND general secretary, said:

“The history of nuclear power is seven decades of economic ruin and environmental catastrophe. Toshiba’s decision last year to abandon plans to build a reactor at Moorside in Cumbria and Hitachi’s suspension of work this year on the Wylfa Newydd plant in Anglesey simply reflect the economic reality that this report sets out.

“Nuclear power isn’t only expensive, it creates an unsolvable waste problem, and as the TV drama Chernobyl so graphically reveals, nuclear accidents create human misery and environmental destruction.

“Our new Prime Minister should learn these lessons and adopt a fresh approach to energy that centres on clean and economically viable renewable technology.”

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license

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24 Questions That Show Nukes Are NOT The Answer

July 29th, 2019 by   —

1. How many more decades of uranium does the planet have left?

There are about 8 decades of supply remaining.

“Uranium abundance: At the current rate of uranium consumption with conventional reactors, the world supply of viable uranium, which is the most common nuclear fuel, will last for 80 years.” If nukes were fully built out to provide our full energy needs, we would have about 5 years of uranium remaining on the planet.

Note that nukes are not renewable energy. Anything that has to be mined is, by definition, not renewable.

Image via Land Art Generator Initiative

2. How much are US taxpayers paying to store nuclear power waste?

Billions of dollars and counting.

“The Maine Yankee nuclear power plant hasn’t produced a single watt of energy in more than two decades, but it cost U.S. taxpayers about $35 million this year,” the LA Times reports.

“Almost 40 years after Congress decided the United States, and not private companies, would be responsible for storing radioactive waste, the cost of that effort has grown to $7.5 billion, and it’s about to get even pricier.

“With no place of its own to keep the waste, the government now says it expects to pay $35.5 billion to private companies as more and more nuclear plants shut down, unable to compete with cheaper natural gas and renewable energy sources.”

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Finding a repository for San Onofre plant’s nuclear waste is a difficult task

Putting aside the criticism from some advocacy groups about restarting transfers at all, the move brings up a larger question: Where will the waste at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, known as SONGS, eventually go?

Some of the options are fairly well known, such as reviving a controversial site in Nevada, while others are more obscure, such as a proposal to send the waste down deep boreholes.

But regardless of the pros and cons of each proposal, getting consensus and putting a plan into action can be elusive in a nuclear sector where the confluence of science, industry and politics all too often leads to stalemate.

“Finding solutions is hard,” said David Victor, the chairman of the SONGS Community Engagement Panel. “If it were an easy problem, we would have solved it by now.”

SONGS is located right above the beach at San Onofre and although the plant has not generated electricity since 2012, it is home to 3.55 million pounds of radioactive waste that dates from the time when the plant was active.

Many in the San Diego area worry about the waste (or, as nuclear proponents prefer to call it, spent fuel) resting so close to the ocean and busy Interstate 5 — and located in a populous region with a history of seismic activity.

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