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‘Beyond Hiroshima’ discussion group set for Monday

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By The Staff

The Los Alamos Study Group will host a panel discussion at 6 p.m. Monday at Fuller Lodge on the theme of “Beyond Hiroshima.” 

The speakers will include Santa Fe filmmaker Godfrey Reggio, San Ildefonso Pueblo leader Gilbert Sanchez, public health expert and activist Carol Miller, writer, educator and mother Marita Prandoni, and study group member Greg Mello. 

Monday will be the 73rd anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, the first use of nuclear weapons in war.

The rallying cry of “Never again!” from the surviving victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks has troubling historical relevance in New Mexico even now, given the continuing mission of New Mexico’s nuclear labs. 

Just this week, STRATCOM Commander Hyten said the National Nuclear Security Administration must resolve its plutonium pit (atom bomb core) production impasse by year’s end. “By about next spring, we have to be on a path to building them (pits),” he said. 

Currently and for at least the next decade, LANL is the only place pits can be made. 

Two billion dollars in building modifications and new equipment have been approved to prepare LANL for pit production. Extensive new facilities costing many billions more are being considered for possible subsequent expansion.  

Also this week, a new Defense Authorization Act was sent to the President’s desk. For the first time it permits the manufacture of low-yield submarine-launched ballistic missile warheads, sought (and opposed) for their greater perceived threat and potential usability against Russia. 

The new warheads might be produced as early as late next year. Two or possibly three additional new nuclear weapons are under development for deployment in the 2020s.

“These priorities, part of a more than one trillion dollar plan to upgrade and replace the whole U.S. nuclear arsenal, impoverish our state and our country,” Mello said. “Apart from their direct danger, they draw our political system backwards. They capture skills and resources we need elsewhere. They draw our leaders’ attention toward instruments of death, not the nurturing of life.”