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Nuclear Weapons Complex Monitoring Begins

A watchdog group announced today that it will monitor the United States' nuclear weapons complex. This will be the first public-interest, independent monitoring of the main U.S. nuclear facilities.
A watchdog group will measure radioactivity from the main U.S. nuclear weapons facilities, beginning in 2005. The RadioActivist Campaign (TRAC) announced its National Nuclear Monitoring Program (NNMP) today.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) operates research, development, production, and testing facilities to produce next-generation "bunker busters." Each DOE site monitors itself, with limited checking by regulators. The U.S. nuclear weapons complex is not monitored, as a whole. NNMP will be the first program to independently monitor the U.S. nuclear weapons complex. TRAC's monitoring will identify and publicize previously undisclosed releases of radioactivity into public water, air, land, and vegetation.

According to TRAC's director, Norm Buske, "This monitoring will shift responsibility for and control over U.S. nuclear weapons facilities from the bomb builders to the public. An informed, concerned public can stop the harms nuclear weaponry does to our health, environment, and democratic process."

Mr. Buske says TRAC's discovery of radioactive fallout from the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, last year, proved the need for independent monitoring. TRAC then showed that 5 months of independent monitoring around DOE's Livermore laboratory, near San Francisco, stopped releases.

In 2005, TRAC will monitor DOE sites in California, Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

The RadioActivist Campaign has measured radioactivity from 27 nuclear sites, over the past 21 years. This experience is the scientific foundation of NNMP. TRAC is a non-profit, public-interest organization, based in Belfair, Washington. The RadioActivist Campaign is the only non-governmental organization in the U.S. that conducts complete radiological investigations.

An overview of TRAC's National Nuclear Monitoring program is posted at www.radioactivist.org/current.html. Information about individual site monitoring is posted at www.radioactivist.org/adopt.html.

homepage: homepage: http://www.radioactivist.org