Converting Weapons Labs to Green-enery Factories

November 2nd, 2006 - by admin

Bruce Gagnon & The Stockton Record & the AP – 2006-11-02 08:36:07

Convert the Military-Industrial Complex!
Bruce Gagnon / Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

Maine’s Congressional delegation recently sent around news releases proudly proclaiming that they helped to bring big money to our state. They said the Senate Appropriations Committee had approved, for fiscal year 2007, $3.4 billion for DDX destroyer ships at Bath Iron Works and an additional $50 million for smaller military contracts sprinkled throughout the state.

This is the industrial policy of America today. Weapons production. It is our #1 industrial export product. And when weapons are your #1 industrial export product, what is your global marketing strategy for that product line? That’s right, endless war.

Our Congress should be fighting to bring funding to our states to build rail systems, solar power and windmills. At a time when we are told that we are having the hottest summer in the recorded history of the US, does it not make sense that the taxpayers should be demanding that OUR TAX DOLLARS be used to expand the production of sustainable technologies?

What does more military production do to alleviate global warming? How will we be able to get to work when gas hits $4, $5, $6, $7 a gallon if we don’t have public transit?

Think of the jobs created by building the industrial capacity to put a solar system on every house and business in the US! Think of the jobs created if we built a world-class rail system connecting every corner of the country.

Why don’t we citizens demand the conversion the military-industrial complex to peaceful production?

What are we waiting for? We will never end war as long as making weapons for endless war employs growing numbers of people in the US.

This is the direction that the corporate militarists are taking our nation as they now determine that ìsecurity exportî will be our role in the New World Order. What does it do to the soul of our nation when we have to make weapons of destruction in order to employ people so they can feed their families?

Today the US is feverishly resupplying Israel with new orders to replace the bunker buster and cluster bombs, bullets, tanks shells and other weapons they used to destroy Lebanon. All the while people work overtime at military production sites to keep up with these contracts for more weapons. An endless cycle of death and destruction. I speak with military production workers often and they routinely say they’d rather be building something socially useful.

The Congress is complicit in the disinvestment in American peacetime industry. We don’t make hardly anything in this country anymore. Look in any Wal-Mart store and see for yourself. But what we do make is weapons.

We must demand over and over again that we want OUR TAX DOLLARS to be used for peaceful and sustainable production. We can’t end global warming by building weapons so that we can grab the diminishing supplies of the world’s oil and natural gas. We must convert the military-industrial complex.

Trains not tanks. Windmills not Star Wars. Solar power not fighter planes and new generations of naval destroyers.

We need life not death for our children and grandchildren.

Help us make this demand public.

Bruce K. Gagnon is Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space in Brunswick.

3 Teams Vie to Manage Research at Lawrence Livermore Lab
Scott Lindlaw / Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 27, 2006) – Three teams have submitted bids for the right to manage Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, including one consisting of nuclear watchdogs, academics and a “green” energy firm, the groups said Friday.

Livermore Lab GREEN, as the team calls itself, would halt the nuclear weapons research that has been the lab’s primary mission since its inception in 1952.

For the first time in its history, the federal government opened up the process for securing the management contract for Lawrence Livermore to competitive bidding.

Lawrence Livermore, one of the nation’s nuclear-weapons research sites, is
currently overseen by the University of California, but its contract ends
in September 2007. UC and Bechtel National Inc. submitted one of the three
bids ahead of this week’s deadline. Their proposed team also includes BWX
Technologies Inc.; Texas A&M University; Washington Group International;
and Battelle.

A UC-Bechtel partnership last year won the government contract to continue
managing the Los Alamos National Laboratory that built the atomic bomb.
That management team also includes Washington Group and BWX.

Another team that bid for Lawrence Livermore this week is led by Northrop
Grumman Corp. Northrop earlier this year beat out incumbent Bechtel for the
contract to manage the Nevada Test site, the area where nuclear weapons
were once tested – now used for testing conventional weapons, emergency
response training and other purposes.

The Northrop Grumman team also includes Nuclear Fuel Services; CH2M Hill;
AECOM; and Wackenhut.

The three teams submitted their bids to the National Nuclear Security
Administration, a semi-autonomous branch of the Department of Energy. A
panel of government experts will make their decision by March 31, 2007.

The consortiums led by UC-Bechtel and Northrop Grumman declined to discuss
specifics of their proposals, citing the ongoing competition.

But Livermore Lab GREEN provided a detailed overview of its bid, and
pledged to place the full text on its Web site by Saturday.

Its management team would consist of Tri-Valley CARES and Nuclear Watch of
New Mexico, two watchdog groups that have been critical of practices at Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos respectively.

The team also would include New College of California and WindMiller Energy.

“Our management proposal is both innovative and complete,” said Marylia Kelley, executive director of Tri-Valley CAREs. “I expect that NNSA will be reluctant to consider genuine change. However, in our view, that is exactly what is required. The country deserves more than it is presently getting from its national labs.”

An array of highly classified research is currently conducted at Lawrence Livermore, including work for the Department of Homeland Security, which is attempting to open a biodefense campus where lethal agents would be tested.

The Livermore Lab GREEN bid would transform Lawrence Livermore into an
unclassified “World Class Center for Civilian Science” within five years.

Plutonium and highly enriched uranium would be removed in four years.


• NNSA’s overview of the Lawrence Livermore competition:

• Tri-Valley CARES:

• Bechtel:

• Northrop Grumman:

Environmental Group Bids to Run Livermore Site
Watchdog Group Wants to Turn Weapons Lab Green

Alex Breitler / The Stockton Record

LIVERMORE (Oct 28, 2006) — It has filed more than 20 lawsuits, testified at dozens of
hearings and hosted at least 200 community meetings.

Now a group of environmentalists that has long focused its fury on the
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is taking that watchdog role to a
new level by filing a bid Friday to take over the lab entirely.

Lawrence Livermore, which employs about 2,000 San Joaquin County residents,
has been managed for the past 50-plus years by the University of
California. But for the first time ever, a competitive bidding process is
under way to determine who manages the national security-oriented lab in
the future.

Even the environmental group, Livermore-based Tri-Valley Communities
Against a Radioactive Environment, admits its bid is a long shot.

“We don’t expect they will choose us,” said Executive Director Marylia
Kelley. “But we’re extremely happy with our proposal. We believe it’s
technically feasible and fiscally sound.”

The group’s goal is to convert the lab from nuclear weapons work to more
“socially beneficial” science: the study of sustainable energy, global
warming and other environmental issues. Tri-Valley CAREs in its proposal
has partnered with another nuclear watchdog group, a small wind energy
company and the San Francisco-based New College of California.

Congress three years ago voted to require competitive bidding for the
management of laboratories whose previous contracts had spanned at least a
half-century. UC has already won its bid to continue running the Los Alamos
National Laboratory in New Mexico.

The university and one of its partners, San Francisco-based engineering
company Bechtel, filed a bid for Lawrence Livermore earlier this week, said
Mike Kidder, a Bechtel spokesman. The old contract ends in September. “We are officially in,” Kidder said. “We’ll await the process.”

Under its watch, UC officials say Lawrence Livermore has become one of the
world’s “premiere scientific centers,” examining not only national security
but making other technological contributions, such as a laser that can
break up blood clots before they cause a stroke. The lab employs 8,500
people and receives an annual budget of $1.6 billion from the federal

Tri-Valley CAREs says the lab dedicates too much time to nuclear weapons
study and does so behind a veil of secrecy that does not encourage

The group also questions laboratory safety; Lawrence Livermore officials
were scolded by the federal Department of Energy earlier this year for
violations that occurred in 2004 and 2005.

If awarded the bid, Tri-Valley CAREs would open an office for
whistle-blower protection and promises more transparency for an inquiring

“We’re challenging the other bidders to show how they would handle these
same goals,” Kelley said.

The National Nuclear Security Administration — an office within the
Department of Energy — is expected to pick a lab manager by spring 2007,
said spokesman Al Stotts. He did not know Friday how many bids have been

But all of them will be considered, Stotts said.

Contact: Marylia Kelley, Executive Director, Tri-Valley CAREs, 2582 Old First Street, Livermore, CA 94551: (925) 443-7148
Fx: (925) 443-0177.
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