Mushroom cloud blast in Nevada delayed indefinitely

Traprock Peace Center homepage

Mushroom cloud blast in Nevada delayed indefinitely

May 26, 2006

By KEN RITTER
ASSOCIATED PRESS

LAS VEGAS (AP) –
The federal government on Friday indefinitely postponed
a massive explosion that planners said would generate
a mushroom cloud over the Nevada desert and critics
feared would spread radioactivity across the West.

Officials said delaying the non-nuclear explosion
dubbed “Divine Strake” would allow time to answer
legal and scientific questions about whether it would kick
up radioactive fallout left from nuclear weapons tests
conducted at the Nevada Test Site
about 85 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

“The previously announced date of no later than June 23
is no longer accurate,” said Darwin Morgan, spokesman
for the National Nuclear Security Administration in
North Las Vegas.
“The experiment will be scheduled at a date later to be
announced pending the legal action.”

Anti-nuclear activists, an Indian tribe and Utah and
Nevada congressional lawmakers have pressed the
government to address safety concerns raised since
James Tegnelia, director of the federal Defense Threat
Reduction Agency, said the blast “is the first time
in Nevada that you’ll see a mushroom cloud over
Las Vegas since we stopped testing nuclear weapons.”
He later retracted the statement, saying it was inaccurate.

A federal judge in Las Vegas let government lawyers
on Friday withdraw a finding that there would be
“no significant impact” from the blast without
acknowledging any shortcomings alleged in a lawsuit
filed by the Winnemucca Indian Colony and
several Nevada and Utah “downwinders.”

U.S. District Court Judge Lloyd George said he wanted
questions about the test resolved.
“You tell the bureaucrats that the time has come
for this thing to move in a timely fashion,”
the judge told Justice Department lawyers as he
canceled a June 8 hearing but called for written filings
from both sides within four weeks.
“I will not endure delay after delay,” the judge said.

The explosion was first scheduled June 2 and
delayed to June 23 to allow time for a court review
of the lawsuit filed by Reno-based lawyer Bob Hager.
The suit claims the federal government failed to complete
required environmental studies before planning to detonate
the 700-ton ammonium nitrate and fuel oil bomb.
Designers said the blast would be of the same material but
some 280 times larger than the bomb that destroyed
the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995.

“This is the second time they have announced the intention
to explode this bomb at the Test Site and the second time that
we’ve stopped them,” Hager said.
“Until they do the science right, they’ll never be allowed
by the court to do this test, and that’s the way it should be.”

A spokesman for the federal Defense Threat Reduction Agency
declined comment. The agency has said the explosion would help
gather data about penetrating hardened and deeply buried targets.
Critics have called the planned blast a surrogate for a low-yield
nuclear “bunker-buster” bomb.

This week Hager filed an affidavit from John Burroughs,
executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy
in New York, calling the test “wholly inconsistent” with
U.S. nuclear weapons nonproliferation treaty obligations.

Hager also submitted opinions from experts, including
Richard Miller of Houston, author of the
“U.S. Atlas of Atomic Fallout,” and Dr. Thomas Fasy,
a board member of Physicians for Social Responsibility
in New York City, that the blast posed a risk of increased
cancer to people living downwind of the Test Site.

The planned blast rekindled fears of illness among
“downwind” residents in Nevada, Utah and Arizona
who recalled government assurances that nuclear tests
in the 1950s and early 1960s posed no risk.

Since 1990, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act
has provided for payments to downwinders who
contracted certain cancers and other serious diseases.

Opponents have collected signatures in Utah to block
the explosion, and a Memorial Day weekend protest is
planned at the Nevada Test Site.

Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate minority leader,
and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah,
issued statements welcoming the delay.

“We have always been concerned about background radiation
at the site,” Hatch said. “We have been repeatedly told …
that this was not a concern. But since we’ve asked them to back up
their conclusions with scientific evidence, it looks like our concerns
are justified.”

A spokeswoman for Utah Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, said
the postponement showed explosion planners were
“proceeding responsibly and with appropriate caution.”

Associated Press Staff Writers Erica Werner and Jennifer Talhelm
contributed to this report from Washington, D.C.

Traprock Peace Action Report – May – 2006

Traprock Peace Center homepage

Dear Friends, Singing the praises of friendship.
Glad for the time of friends, and the music no others make.
Singing in the rain, singing your praises, as governments fail us
Some reprieve — the cool, green lets the black flies sleep!
We wear slickers and ponchos … Mothers birth babies!
We walk in the midst of leaves.
We hug. The lilacs bloom.

1. Join us — Sat/Sun Walk to & Demo at Entergy;
2. Mothers Day for Mother Earth, Northampton
3. Mothers Day in DC
4. Don’t Attack Iran — Petitions to DC;
5. Celebrating HS Peace Makers!
6. Memorial Days
7. NRC Scoping Meetings – June 7

————————————-

1. Walk and Free Speech Demo at Entergy Nuclear HQ,
“Join Us!” anytime during this 24-hour, spring, full moon demo
saying NO melt down in this valley, as Entergy goes to 120%.

Reddy Kilowatt joins No-Nukes Movement!
Saturday May 13 – Sunday May 14
Moms speak up, here & by phone

Neighbors in Greenfield, Gill, Deerfield, Leverett, Shelburne Falls, Shutesbury, Massachusetts and South Londonderry, Vermont invite you to join us at a demonstration in front of Entergy Nuclear’s offices on Old Ferry Road, (north of exit 3 in Brattleboro) on Saturday and Sunday, May 13 or 14. Come when it suits you.

At noon on Saturday walkers will gather at the Wells Fountain in Brattleboro, at the junction of Linden and Main Streets. The walk will take Route 5 north through town to Entergy Nuclear Offices, rain or shine. Organizers recommend participants wear bright clothes and sturdy shoes, and bring water and snacks as needed. Signs will be available to carry. (Always nice surprises on a peace walk — Tim–shonin is coming!)

At 2 pm at the Entergy offices, the puppet, “Reddy Kilowatt” will announce he has decided to join the anti-nuclear movement, admitting that he was wrong about, “too cheap to meter.” Musicians are invited to celebrate his conversion. (Beth Adams will bring her guitar at about 6.)

At 3 pm Carol Boyer from Interhelp offers activities to tap into energy and compassion to sustain active citizens for the long haul. Carol is an art therapist from Florence, Mass, connected with the deep ecology movement for ten years. Interhelp is an all-volunteer, international group of activists and people who care about the future. If it’s raining at 3 we’ll use a motel.

At 5 pm we’ll share a pot-luck supper, followed by planning for activities for June. Affinity groups are welcoming new members!

An all-night vigil follows, with excursions for soup and tea throughout the night. On Sunday morning share a pot-luch brunch as free speech continues, with a talking stick passed to all who wish to speak. The 24-hour Free Speech Demonstration concludes at 2pm Sunday, May 14, which is Mothers’ Day.

Since November 2005, monthly actions and rallies have brought increased public awareness of continuing and increasingly hazardous operations at Vermont Yankee Nuclear Reactor in Vernon, VT only 6 miles away from Brattleboro.

A variety of resources explaining the dangers and risks of nuclear reactors and their waste can be found at www.nukebusters.org and www.traprockpeace.org. For information on the walk call Citizens Awareness Network at 413-339-5781 or 413-863-8952. For information about the 24-hour Free Speech Demo call Traprock Peace Center at 413-773-7427.

—– PLEASE SAVE THE DATE. —–
The Strawberry Full Moon is Sunday June 11.
2pm to 2 pm
2.————————————————–

Mothers Day for Mother Earth,
in Northampton

The 7th annual area-wide peace and justice march and rally in celebration
of Mother’s Day will be held from noon until 2 p.m. this coming Sunday, May
14, in Northampton. Organized by the Women’s Congress for Peace, the event
is entitled “Mother’s Day for Mother Earth.” It will focus on working
together for “A World for the Children,” based on non-violence, diversity,
true democracy, environmental justice, and a sustainable economy.

Led by a women’s drumming band, the march will start at the Bridge Street
School (Route 9), and end with prose, poems, and song at the Hestia Mural
in downtown Northampton; or at Pulaski Park, for those with young children.
For more information, contact Emily Lewis at (413) 256-1760.

3. ————————————————–

Mother’s Day in DC with CODEPINK!

Code Pink will be gathering in Washington DC for a 24-hour vigil outside
the White House on May 13-14, and will be joined by amazing
celebrity actresses, singers, writers, and moms, including Cindy
Sheehan, Patch Adams, and Susan Sarandon! Bring your mother,
children, grandmothers, friends, and loved ones. We will be
honoring the mothers of the fallen by sending them organic
roses. Click here to send your rose! We’re also writing letters
to Laura Bush to appeal to her own mother-heart, turning
them into a book, “Letters to Laura.”

How can we possibly let another war be aunched. As some point the baby boomers will have lived enough to say, no more. We will simply insist with every fiber of our lives. Are other groups ready to step up to the White House when Code Pink steps down? Can you or your group send a delegation?

4. ————————————————–

Don’t-Attack-Iran Petition
to the White House

Thursday, May 18, 1-3 p.m. ET
Lafayette Square Park, Washington D.C.
We will be joining with a Pray-In held by the Network of Spiritual
Progressives to deliver to the White House all of the signatures and
comments posted below the petition at
http://www.dontattackiran.org

*Join* Cindy Sheehan and representatives of many of these groups:
After Downing Street, Gold Star Families for Peace,
CODE PINK, Progressive Democrats of America,
Democrats.com, Traprock Peace Center,
Global Exchange, Velvet Revolution,
Democracy Rising, Truthout,
OpEdNews, Backbone Campaign,
Consumers for Peace, Campus Antiwar Network,
The Young Turks, Citizens for Legitimate Government,
Counter Punch, United for Peace and Justice,
Stop the War Coalition, This Can’t Be Happening,
Voters Evolt, Springs Action Alliance,
Radio News America, International Socialist Organization,
OrbStandard, Thom Hartmann Show,
Voters for Peace, Environmentalists Against War,
U.S. Peace Council, Grandmothers for Peace,
Justice Through Music, Campaign Against Sanctions &
Voice International, Military Intervention in Iran,
World Can’t Wait, The Rational Response Squad,
Idriss Stelley Foundation, Bush Free Zone,
Foundation for the Development of Human Resources, Tbilisi, Georgia,
Political Cooperative, City Sites,
Agir contre la guerre (France) Americans Against the War (France),
Spiritual Activism Conference, Muslims for Peace (Australia),
AndrewBurgin.com, Peace Movement Aotearoa,
Not in Our Name Aotearoa New Zealand,
Pixel4Peace.

FLYER:
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/downloads/daiflyer.pdf
*/Please spread this flyer around!/*

5. ————————————————————–

Celebrating HS Peace Makers

There were wonderful letters of nomination this year for the annual Franklin County Peace Makers Prize. On Sunday evening, May 7, the Interfaith Council of Franklin County and Traprock Peace Center gave out 33 framed awards, five $100 cash prizes and eight $50 prizes to all individuals and groups nominated. Students, parents, and community members basked in full appreciation for these students initiatives and achievements.

Please see the website soon for pictures and audio celebrating these wonderful students. We’ll give details on who was recognized and why! We’ll ask the two wonderful students who performed a rap about eliminating racism, Josh Mattusz and Aldo Rompies, if they would like their music posted.

Greenfield High School again hosted the Peace Makers Awards ceremony. With help from Terry Fisher, Peter Letson, David James, Marcy and Barbara Hoynowski, we spread tablecloths, lilacs, peacemaker displays, refreshments, and arranged chairs in a big circle for one more year of good cheer. Thanks to all who came and applauded the good works, to parents, teachers, advisors and coaches of various sorts who supported the students in their efforts during the year, and to our donors who make this recognition possible.

http://www.traprockpeace.org

6. ————————————————————–

Memorial Days

If you have a memory of a peacemaker you’d like to share, we’d like to post it on our web site before this Memorial Day. There are so many people who have helped us be who we are, making peace their way. Please reply with the subject “Memorial” to traprock@crocker.com

7. ————————————————————–

NRC Scoping Meetings – June 7

License Extension (Termination) for Vernon Reactor
Thanks to Sally Shaw & the New England Coalition for this Alert

The NRC plans to hold environmental scoping meetings on the ENVY reactor relicensing environmental impact statement. They plan to hold an informal open house to provide information about the environmental review process on Tuesday June 6, 2006 from 2-8 PM. at the Quality Inn and Suites, 1380 Putney Road in Brattleboro.

In addition, the NRC is planning to hold two scoping meetings on one day, Wednesday June 7, 2006, the first from 1:30 – 4:30 and the second from 7:00 – 10:00 PM at the Latchis Theatre.

The environmental review submitted by Entergy (and on which the NRC will no doubt rely heavily) is available for the public to review at public libraries in Vernon, Brattleboro, Hinsdale, and Northfield, or it can be viewed on the internet at www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/licensing/renewal/applications/vermont-yankee.html

The NRC intends to gather information to prepare a reactor-specific supplement to the “Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants” (an oxymoron if I ever heard one).

The NRC must provide information on possible alternatives to the proposed action (license renewal) including no action and reasonable alternative energy sources.

Any person who requests an opportunity to participate in the scoping process may do so. To register to participate, contact Richard Emch by phone at 1-800-368-5642 or email at RLE@nrc.gov; no later than May 31, 2006.

Written comments on the environmental scope of the VY license renewal may also be sent to VermontYankeeEIS@nrc.gov by June 23, 2006. (Cite Federal Register notice 71 FR 15220).

Bless your heart – You make peace

In a neighbors network to end war,

Sunny, 413 773-7427
Traprock Peace Center
103A Keets Road, Deerfield, MA 01342

Traprock Peace Center homepage

Cindy Sheehan to Lead Delivery of Petition to White House

For Immediate Release May 11, 2006
Contact David Swanson 202-329-7847
http://www.dontattackiran.org

Traprock Homepage

Cindy Sheehan to Lead Delivery of Petition to White House
Ray McGovern to Lead March to Sec. Rumsfeld’s Home

Delivery of petition to White House opposing attack on Iran
When: 1-3 p.m., Thursday, May 18
Where: Lafayette Square Park, in front of White House, Washington, D.C.

March to Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld’s House
When: Departing at 3 p.m., Thursday, May 18
Where: Lafayette Square Park, in front of White House, Washington, D.C.

A broad coalition of organizations has collected over 40,000 signatures on a petition opposing a U.S. attack on Iran. See the list of participating organizations, the petition, signatures, and comments at:
http://www.dontattackiran.org

Cindy Sheehan plans to lead the delivery of the petition and signatures to the White House between 1 and 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 18, in cooperation with a “Pray In” in Lafayette Square Park organized by the Network of Spiritual Progressives:
http://www.tikkun.org/community/spiritual_activism_conference

Prayer leaders will include: Bob Edgar, Rev.Lennox Yearwood, Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, Ahmed Ahrar, Holly Near, Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, Rev. Jim Winkler, Rev. Penny Nixon, John Dear S.J., Archdeacon Michael Kendall, and Pledge of Resistance to the Iraq War: Ken Butigan. Also speaking in support of the petition delivery will be Cindy Sheehan, founder of Gold Star Families for Peace, Medea Benjamin, Co-Founder of Code Pink: Women for Peace, and David Swanson, Co-Founder of the After Downing Street Coalition.

Following remarks by these speakers and delivery of the petition, along with boxes of signatures and comments, to the White House, Ray McGovern, U.S. Army veteran and retired 27-year CIA analyst, will lead a march through downtown Washington, D.C., to the home of Donald Rumsfeld, where protesters will gather to ask Rumsfeld why he lied about the need for a war on Iraq.
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/rumsfeld

Representatives of many of these organizations, which promoted the petition, will be present and available for comments: Gold Star Families for Peace, CODE PINK, Progressive Democrats of America, Democrats.com, Traprock Peace Center, Global Exchange, Velvet Revolution, Democracy Rising, Truthout, OpEdNews, Backbone Campaign, Consumers For Peace, Campus Antiwar Network, The Young Turks, Citizens for Legitimate Government, Counter Punch, United for Peace and Justice, Stop the War Coalition, This Can’t Be Happening, Voters Evolt, Springs Action Alliance, Radio News America, OrbStandard, International Socialist Organization, Voters for Peace, Thom Hartmann Show, Environmentalists Against War, U.S. Peace Council, Grandmothers for Peace, Justice Through Music, Campaign Against Sanctions & Military Intervention in Iran, World Can’t Wait, The Rational Response Squad, Idriss Stelley Foundation, Bush Free Zone, Voice International, Foundation for the Development of Human Resources, Tbilisi, Georgia, Political Cooperative, City Sites, Agir contre la guerre (France), Americans Against the War (France), Spiritual Activism Conference, Muslims for Peace (Australia), AndrewBurgin.com, Peace Movement Aotearoa, Not in Our Name Aotearoa New Zealand, Pixel4Peace, Liberty News TV, IntelligentFuture, CampUS Strike for Peace,

Contact David Swanson 202-329-7847
http://www.dontattackiran.org