I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones
-Albert Einstein (contemplating nuclear devastation)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Endorse Ground Zero's January event honoring MLK

Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action will hold its annual event honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 19, 2013.

We invite organizational support for Dr. King’s legacy of nonviolence and our work to abolish nuclear weapons by endorsing this event.  We will celebrate under the theme “WE ARE ONE”. 

We will list endorsers on all materials publicizing the event, and we ask endorsing organizations to publicize the event among their members. No financial contribution is required. We also welcome people from your organization to join us on January 19th. 
Background: When Ground Zero Center co-founders Jim and Shelley Douglass spoke at our recent Hiroshima/Nagasaki observance they spoke about how they began 35 years ago by leafleting at the Trident base.  Their purpose was to share the message (to quote Dr. King) that "Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation, and this means we must develop a world perspective.”  Hence the theme, “WE ARE ONE” for our MLK observance.
Thanks to the following organizations that have endorsed WE ARE ONE (list will be kept updated at the EVENTS page):
  • Seattle Raging Grannies
  • Veterans for Peace, Seattle, WA, Chapter 92
  • Lake Forest Park for Peace
  • The Nuclear Resister
  • Code Pink, WA
  • Action des Citoyens pour le Désarmement Nucléaire  (ACDN), France
  • Campaign for a Nuclear Weapons Free World
  • Friends of the Earth, Australia
  • Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
  • Peace Action West
  • Arab Human Security Network, Damascus, Syria (branch of UNESCO)
  • Veterans for Peace, Portland, OR, Chapter 72
  • Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple, Bainbridge Island, WA
  • Tacoma Catholic Worker, Tacoma, WA

To endorse our MIK Day event please provide the following information:

1. Name of Organization  

2. Name and email, phone, or postal address of person submitting the endorsement (so we can confirm your endorsement)

3. Send this information by December 1st to:  Tom Shea, member of GZ Outreach Committee, at: tomshea@centurytel.net, P.O. Box 200, Snoqualmie WA 98065 or to Leonard Eiger at subversivepeacemaking@gmail.com.

Questions:  425-831-0033 or tomshea@centurytel.net         

Tom Shea 


Learn more about Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action at our Website.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

W-76 Life Extension... Problems, Problems, Problems

A report by the U.S. Energy Department's Inspector General made public yesterday paints a bleak picture of the government's program to extend the life of the current W-76 thermonuclear warhead, which is deployed on the Trident II D-5 submarine launched ballistic missile.

The W-76 has been undergoing "refurbishment" under the National Nuclear Security Administration's "Life Extension Program", designed to give the "aging" warheads a new lease on life.

And quite a lease it is.  Existing warheads are removed from either storage or from the missiles on which they are deployed and transported to the Pantex facility in Texas.  There they are disassembled, and are reworked to produce what the government calls "refurbished" warheads.  In fact the refurbished warheads receive a number of upgraded components, including guidance systems, and are an improvement over the original warheads.

Of course, conducting such highly technological and sensitive work is neither cheap, nor can it be done quickly.  The Inspector General's report concludes that the "NNSA may be unable to complete the W76 LEP within established scope, cost and schedule parameters..."  These findings should come as no surprise, nor should any subsequent request for more funding to bail out the program.

What follows is the statement (by the Inspector General) that seems (to me) to be the crux of the matter and begs the question, "What, if anything, will change to make future work on the W76 any more efficient or cost effective???"

...the W76 Life Extension Program (LEP) has experienced significant delays in startup and in achieving production goals. By the end of Fiscal Year 2011, NNSA had completed less than half of the anticipated units due to technical production issues. NNSA intended to address this problem by increasing production rates in future years.
Based on the performance (or lack thereof) so far it looks like a long-shot for NNSA to be able to play catch-up on the W-76 Life Extension Program, no matter how much money Congress may decide to pour down the hole.
Perhaps someone should re-evaluate, in light of realistic disarmament objectives, just how many of these warheads need to be refurbished after all.  Perhaps it's time to end the W-76 Life Extension Program (with a whimper rather than a bang) once and for all.
An additional benefit would be one more reason NOT to build the Second Explosives Handling Wharf at the Bangor Trident submarine base (Naval Base Kitsap Bangor)!!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Safety board rejected new explosive wharf at Bangor (Kitsap Sun)

The Kitsap Sun uncovered an interesting bit of news.  To summarize - It seems clear that the Department of Defense (DOD) Explosives Safety Board (note that word "Safety") rejected the plan for a 2nd explosives handling wharf at the Bangor sub base. 

So what did the Navy do???  It did an end run and may have received approval through the Secretary of the Navy Explosives Safety Certification. The approval evidently allows the Navy "to deviate from DOD standards if it assumes all risks for exposed sites and potential explosion sites that don't meet DOD safety criteria," (read - "We can do something that doesn't meet safety standards so long as we say it's OK.").

Whoa!!!  Does that make any sense to you?  Who's assuming what risks???  Does this sound like someone who couldn't graduate from medical school and then sends for one of those fake, mail-order diplomas?  Is the Navy playing fast and loose with safety?  What ARE the risks should something go amiss?  There are huge quantities of explosives on those Trident missiles.  Is it time for the Navy to come clean on the risks (to both the base and surrounding communities) created by a second explosives handling wharf

Here is the full Kitsap Sun article.

Safety board rejected new explosive wharf at Bangor

By Ed Friedrich, Kitsap Sun, October 1, 2012

BANGOR — While the Navy was assuring people that a second explosives handling wharf at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor wouldn't create new safety concerns, the military's explosives safety board was refusing to grant a permit for it.

The Department of Defense Explosives Safety Board approved the location and separation distances for three EHWs in Bangor's 1975 master plan, but wouldn't endorse the decision now that the Navy wants to build a second wharf 37 years later. The scenario had changed, it said in papers responding to a lawsuit filed in federal court by the group Ground Zero for Nonviolent Action.

The safety board's rejection hasn't stalled the $715 million project. Construction began last week. The Navy apparently chose another avenue — the Secretary of the Navy Explosives Safety Certification — that allows it to deviate from DOD standards if it assumes all risks for exposed sites and potential explosion sites that don't meet DOD safety criteria. Records indicate the Navy intended to proceed that way, but spokeswoman Leslie Yuenger couldn't confirm it Monday.

The safety board had given preliminary site approval in October 2011, but with three conditions, including proving that an explosion at one EHW wouldn't cause an explosion at the other. It also required that the Navy conduct a study on the likelihood of risk. The Navy declined, saying the study could delay the project and cost tens of millions of dollars that could be better spent elsewhere.

Ground Zero is asking Judge Ronald Leighton of U.S. District Court in Tacoma for a preliminary injunction halting construction until the environmental effects are fully explained and considered, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.

Many documents that were kept from the public during the environmental process have come out during the court proceedings. They had been withheld because they consisted of "unclassified controlled nuclear information." The Navy determined some of the papers shouldn't be classified that way, and Friday released Appendix A in its entirety and Appendices B and C in redacted form.

"The Navy all through its EIS was saying there's no problem with explosives," said Glen Milner, who's named on the lawsuit with Ground Zero. "They said all the way through it they were following Department of Defense safety board regulations, and had no problems. Then we find out at the end that none of this is true."

The Explosives Safety Board was formed by Congress in 1928 after a 1926 explosion at the Naval Ammunition Depot in Lake Denmark, N.J., destroyed the depot, killed 21 people and seriously injured 53. Its mission is to provide objective advice to the secretary of defense and service secretaries on matters concerning explosives safety and to prevent hazardous conditions to life and property on and off Department of Defense installations from DoD munitions.

"Imagine the pressure on these people that work there to say to the Navy, 'We are not going to approve your $700 million project,'" Milner said. "I think that says a lot about the hazards of this project."

Navy officials say they don't comment about ongoing litigation.

The Suquamish Tribe also filed a lawsuit against the Navy and is seeking a preliminary injunction, citing violations of the tribe's treaty rights, the Endangered Species Act, the Administrative Procedures Act and the U.S. Constitution.
© 2012 Kitsap Sun. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


(Source URL): http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2012/oct/01/safety-board-rejected-new-explosive-wharf-at/#ixzz286DTCtyN