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Arms Control Center opens reading room

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By The Staff

The Los Alamos Center for International Nuclear Security Studies and its sister organization, the Los Alamos Committee on Arms Control and International Security (LACACIS) hosted a public lecture and reception at their new office Friday.  

Los Alamos National Bank has generously provided the office, Room 318 on the third floor, named the Bill Beyer Reading Room in honor of the late Bill Beyer, one of the organization’s founders along with Dave Thomson of the organization.   

Kevin Holsapple and Katy Korkos of the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce, as well as members and friends of LACACIS, were on hand to help celebrate the grand opening.

Sig Gerstl, chairman of the Los Alamos Center, described the mission of this non-profit 501-c(3) organization.  

“It is an educational and research group aimed at employing the scientific and policy expertise of the Los Alamos community in the study of nuclear security and related issues. Since the Center is nonprofit, it can accept tax-exempt donations and grants to finance its activities; it also acts as a conduit to receive funding for research proposals on current issues in arms control and nuclear nonproliferation,” Gerstl said. “The Center was spun off in 2004 from LACACIS, founded in 1986 by Los Alamos scientists concerned about international security and nuclear weapons.”

Pete Sheehey, current LACACIS president, explained that the organization’s sponsorship of lectures and programs by local and visiting experts is intended to educate the public on arms control, nuclear energy and related matters.  

“LACACIS is a bi-partisan, independent political organization that studies proposed treaties and works with our elected representatives to promote agreements that enhance the national security of the United States. Support for such agreements is based on facts and careful analysis, which is the work that the Los Alamos Center strives to do,” Sheehey said.

LANL Fellow O’Dean Judd is an independent government advisor and consultant. He went into detail about some of the current issues being studied by a discussion group meeting regularly at the Center.

“The current Strategic Posture of the US, the imminent Nuclear Posture Review, renewal of the just-expired START treaty with Russia, and the Non-Proliferation Treaty were discussed. Also discussed was the issue of balancing deterrence among multiple nuclear weapon powers, as the U.S. and Russian arsenals are reduced in number,” Judd said.

Both organizations welcome interaction with anyone including Los Alamos residents or  visitors who are interested in the issues of arms control, national defense and foreign policy.

The office is open Monday through Friday during LANB working hours. The Center will shortly have a page on the LA Chamber of Commerce Web site at www.losalamoschamber.com including contact information so that appointments can be made to meet at the new office.

Questions and comments should be forwarded to the Web site. Meetings will be arranged with the study group to discuss any and all issues raised by the public inquiries.  

A grant from the family of Bill Beyer is providing many useful materials for the Reading Room, including many of Bill’s books, LANL and other reports on arms control, as well as subscriptions to publications such as Arms Control Today.