The Diversification Statement was published in the Sun NewsJune 21, 2007

Sign On in Support of LANL DiversificationJune 23, 2007

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Related Links:

LANL Project Page

DOE's Proposed Mission for LANL

DOE's Proposal for the Nuclear Weapons Complex

Time to Diversify:
Transforming the Mission of Los Alamos National Laboratory

The mission of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) must be diversified in order to create a new security for our country and the world. This new mission would transfer funding and expertise away from nuclear and non-nuclear weapons design, development and production, and into clean up, nonproliferation, emergency management and preparedness and basic sciences.

The mission diversification can be achieved by prioritizing the following:

Clean Up

The extent of environmental contamination at LANL is such that realigning the mission to focus on clean up would provide a source of jobs for years to come. Reliance on regionally-based companies for this work would foster local economic development and employment, as well as a sense of ownership during cleanup. LANL scientists can address the harm which nuclear weapons production has caused by:

  • Researching and developing effective waste storage, environmental monitoring, cleanup and restoration and recovery technologies for hazardous, toxic and radioactive contaminants.
  • Expanding the educational curriculum at Northern New Mexico College to provide degree programs in clean up and laboratory analysis, as well as courses in citizen environmental monitoring and health studies. Thus empowering local residents to participate in clean up.


Nonproliferation is the prevention, detection, and elimination of the spread of materials, technology, and expertise relating to weapons of mass destruction. Genuine curatorship of nuclear weapons is necessary while we progress toward the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Article VI mandate to disarm. LANL scientists could assist in global nonproliferation by:

  • Developing technology to detect nuclear weapons development and testing in order to verify compliance with disarmament and Test Ban Treaties.
  • Developing remote detection capabilities for nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and materials.
  • Supporting nonproliferation intelligence work, such as nuclear materials accounting and tracking.
  • Increasing technical support for dismantlement, immobilization, and ultimate disposition of plutonium pits. However, we do not support expanding the LANL mission to include dismantlement, likewise the plutonium must not be used for new pit production.

Emergency Management and Preparedness

In order to protect the public, culture, environment and national infrastructure from accidents, terrorist events and natural disasters, LANL scientists could assist in emergency management and preparedness. These activities must begin on-site. The budget for safety must be increased and LANL documents required for safe operations must be brought up-to-date. DOE nuclear facilities are required to evaluate accident conditions, derive hazard controls and define the process for keeping these controls current. In some instances, LANL is years behind in preparing these documents. LANL scientists could help prevent these events and address the impacts should one occur by:

  • Performing technical support and modeling of these events. This modeling would allow us to know in advance what we must prepare for.
  • Development of nuclear forensics methods and technology, to identify the source of nuclear material used in an attack. Proper identification can significantly deter attacks and allow for an appropriate response.
  • Developing technology to detect nuclear weapons development and testing in order to verify compliance with disarmament and Test Ban Treaties.

Basic Sciences

In the past, LANL scientists engaged to a greater degree in basic sciences, such as astrophysics and research into renewable technologies. This type of work could be re-prioritized by:

  • Supporting current global climate change modeling by performing advanced supercomputing.
  • Pursuing clean regional renewable resources that may benefit regional economic development. For example, LANL should reopen its Fenton Hill geothermal site, which conceived and developed the technology to mine heat from hot rocks.
  • Promoting health and well-being by providing technology to alleviate the burden of disease generated by radioactive and toxic material.

Endorsed by:

Amigos Bravos, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety. Embudo Valley Environmental Monitoring Group, Loretto Community, Peace Action New Mexico, Physicians for Social Responsibility New Mexico and Tewa Women United.

Join these organizations in working for mission diversification at LANL. Click here to download the diversification statement.

Please send signed forms to: CCNS, 107 Cienega Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501

Updated June 22, 2007