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Time for a New Direction at Los Alamos National Lab

June 29, 2007

(Los Alamos, NM)  At a time when lab officials are celebrating the past, Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) and its allies are looking to the future.  Despite Los Alamos National Laboratory's continued reliance on nuclear weapons work, PSR and others are suggesting that it is time to retool the lab in order to address the real national security threats that have surfaced since the end of the Cold War.

“Some of the brightest minds in our country work right here at Los Alamos.  We should put them to work solving the security and energy challenges that are immediate threats and affect people in the U.S. everyday.  Instead, the administration is proposing an unnecessary and unjustified nuclear weapons program with enormous costs to the American taxpayer.  It is time to end this march down the nuclear path and take the first steps toward a more secure nation Los Alamos can be a leader by expanding programs that solve energy challenges and address emerging threats,” said PSR Executive Director Dr. Mike McCally.

In recent years more than 70 percent of the budget for Los Alamos has been directed toward nuclear weapons development.  PSR argues that this is an outdated program and there are many other priorities the national laboratories should be addressing.

McCally added, “Let’s look at some of the fine work being done here in New Mexico: preventing the theft or illicit transport of nuclear materials; technology transfer in the area of high-temperature superconductivity to develop electric power and electronic device applications of high-temperature superconductors; working on infrastructure-impact modeling ultimately aimed at restoring communities' lights, heat, phones and natural gas after a major weather event; and establishing baselines for determining detection limits of bio-threat pathogens.  As a trained scientist I know this is very valuable, high tech research.  More importantly it will translate into a better life for Americans.”

Physicians for Social Responsibility has been working to address the greatest threats to mankind since its founding in 1961.  Advocating for changes in the operations at Los Alamos serves to meet two priority goals for PSR, eliminating the threat of nuclear weapons and engendering the energy transformation necessary to slow, stop and reverse global warming.

In the News
Los Alamos lab delivers first bomb-ready nuke trigger in 18 years, Associated Press, July 2, 2007

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