Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Media Event: Plutonium, Hazardous Radioactivity Found in NM Water, Plants, Dust as Domenici "Celebrates" New Plutonium Warhead Certification
Re: Radioactivity Levels Hazardous in Los Alamos Area. Plutonium
Detected in Santa Fe Drinking Water.
LANL Plutonium Reported in Santa Fe Drinking Water, While Dignitaries
Celebrate First Plutonium Pit
The Santa Fe Water Quality Report for 2006 was delivered with the June water
bills. The report stated that there was a "qualified detection of plutonium
238" in Buckman Well Number 1. This means that plutonium from the
development and production of nuclear weapons at Los Alamos National
Laboratory (LANL) was detected in Santa Fe drinking water supplies.
However, the actual amount of plutonium contamination could not be
determined by the test performed. The Water Quality Report is issued each
year as required by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. In 2006, all
contamination detections were below federal and state drinking water quality
Plutonium is the main ingredient in the core or trigger of a nuclear weapon,
known as a plutonium pit. At the same time that the detection of plutonium
is being reported, LANL is once again taking its place as the nation¹s
plutonium pit manufacturing facility. Dignitaries were invited to a
celebration for certifying the first plutonium pit to be accepted by the
government for use in the nation's nuclear-weapons stockpile since 1989,
when Rocky Flats was raided by the FBI for environmental crimes. According
to Nuclear Watch New Mexico, a Santa Fe based NGO, this new pit cost
approximately $2.2 billion.
In the production of plutonium pits, contaminants are released into the
environment through air and water emissions and radioactive and hazardous
waste is generated. The first plutonium pit was manufactured at LANL for
use against Nagasaki, Japan during World War II. At that time, the waste
was dumped in unlined and shallow trenches.
Approximately 12,000 cubic meters of plutonium contaminated waste remains in
unlined burial areas on the LANL site, which is a source of the groundwater
contamination. LANL is located above the regional aquifer, which flows
towards the Buckman Well Field, where the City of Santa Fe gets 40% of its
Registered Geologist, Robert H. Gilkeson, said that intermittent and low
level detections can be an early indication of an approaching contaminant
Gilkeson said, "There is an emerging environmental emergency. Detections of
LANL radionuclides in Santa Fe drinking water wells have been published by
the Department of Energy in environmental reports since the late 1990s, but
the detections have not been adequately investigated. The contamination
must be addressed now with monthly sampling using the most sensitive
In addition, a recent independent study of the area surrounding LANL found
elevated and potentially harmful levels of radioactivity in materials which
humans are routinely exposed to, such as dusts and plant life. The
Government Accountability Project performed the study, with technical
assistance from Boston Chemical Data, Inc. They will hold a public press
conference to discuss these findings on Tuesday, July 10 at the Hotel Santa
Fe, beginning at 10:30 am.
Joni Arends, of CCNS said, "LANL contaminants are impacting the surrounding
communities. What is national security if we do not have clean air, water
and soil? LANL contamination must be prioritized as the threat, and the
mission transformed to clean up past operations. The time for nuclear
weapons is over."
Government Accountability Project
West Coast Office
1511 3rd Ave., Suite #321 • Seattle, WA 98101
206.292.2850 • www.whistleblower.org
July 9, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tom Carpenter, GAP Nuclear Oversight Dir.
Phone: cell 206.419.5829
Contact: Dylan Blaylock, Communications Director
Phone: 202.408.0034 ext. 137, cell 202.236.3733
Press Advisory: GAP to Release Report Showing Elevated Radioactivity
Found Around Los Alamos Press Conference to be Held Tomorrow in Santa
What: Press conference to release and discuss latest
report on citizen environmental sampling performed around the Los
Alamos National Laboratory. Report released by Government
Accountability Project (GAP).
When: July 10, 2007, 10:30 a.m.
Where: Hotel Santa Fe, 1501 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, NM
Who: Tom Carpenter, Director, GAP Nuclear Oversight Program
Marco Kaltofen, Scientist, Boston Chemical Data, Inc.
Contact: Dylan Blaylock, GAP Communications Director,
202.408.0034, ex 137
Tom Carpenter, 206-419-5829 (cell)
Government Accountability Project
The Government Accountability Project is the nation's leading
whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating
whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal
reforms, GAP's mission is to protect the public interest by promoting
government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, GAP is a
non-profit, public interest advocacy organization with offices in
Washington, D.C. and Seattle, WA.
Monday, July 02, 2007
For some time I have been considering the development of a contemplative and sustainable living based household here in Santa Fe.
I am a full time student looking to live in a household where meditative and healthy living is a central focus to those living in it. We could combine resources to make living well much more easier. Gardening/permaculture, Community-supported agriculture, along with other aspects of living where combined forces will ease our efforts.
I invite anyone interested and/or has any ideas on this topic to share here. I hope that something will develop along these lines.
Below I have posted some info and a link to a community that is doing some of the things that I am thinking of. This is a dharma house in France, they own the land, but I don't see why we couldn't begin by renting a house and in time consider the development of a larger community.
The Dharmahouse community project
In May 2006 the community moved in and started to live together in an 8 acre property in southern France. The property was previously a farm, and gave us a great opportunity to start to explore our desire for community living in the context of natural surroundings. We started to experiment with growing our own food using ideas based in natural and synergistic agricultural systems. We have also started to explore ecological and sustainable building techniques as a basis for future community building. The present property is serving as a springboard and small-scale temporary model for community living. Our main goal is to establish a co-housing community based around the teachings of the Buddha and environmental concern. Why did we choose Cohousing? And what is it? To start with a dictionary definition Cohousing is:
"a type of collaborative housing that attempts to overcome the alienation of modern subdivisions in which no-one knows their neighbours, and there is no sense of community. It is characterized by private dwellings with their own kitchen, living-dining room etc, but also extensive common facilities. The common building may include a large dining room, kitchen, lounges, meeting rooms, recreation facilities, library, workshops, childcare."
The concept of Cohousing was first established in Denmark in the 1970s; catalysed by frustration at the isolation and impracticality of modern day housing designs, cohousing became an attempt to redefine how our living arrangements can support and develop our human relationships. Taking inspiration from different cultures and traditional village settings, the concept of cohousing is now being developed across Europe, north America, Australasia, and eastern Asia.
Expanding on this definition of cohousing within the context of the Dharma, we are seeking a ‘practicing neighbourhood’, a sangha to provide nurturing and supportive conditions for our spiritual lives. Our common building could perhaps be a Dharma hall, to again support our practice, where we could come together to share, discuss, meditate and support each other. This could also be a place where Dharma teachers could come and lead retreats from time to time.
In the on-going development of this project we are keen to discuss the social, economic and environmental aspects of cohousing. What follows are some of the benefits of cohousing and also some of the issues that we will be looking at in our discussions when we come together in August of this year (1st-5th). I am sure many more questions and discussions will be raised when we meet, this will give us a chance to inquire into what best direction we can take this project in the years to come. A chance to dip in to the sea of possibility! Maybe a few different visions of community will emerge from these discussions, maybe a few different communities could start - the beginnings of small network?