Category Archives: OREPA

Near-term happenings

Members of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, which includes more than 30 activists groups at DOE sites around the country, will be in Washington this week for the annual “DC Days.” The activists plan to meet with congressional staff members and decisionmakers in Washington to discuss issues of interest — especially funding for nuclear weapons and related projects and priorities for environmental cleanup at Cold War nuclear sites. IMG_5674As part of the event, the ANA will present awards to Sen. Dianne Feinstein “for extraordinary leadership to constrain destabilizing new warheads, support global nonproliferation and provide for cleaning up U.S. nuclear weapons sites”; Rep. Adam Smith “for supporting a rigorous, safe cleanup at the Hanford nuclear site by fighting to ensure that workers are protected from exposure to toxic vapors”;  Chuck Montaño “for tireless efforts as an activist, author and personal exemplar of courage to hold the nuclear weapons complex accountable for waste, fraud, and whistle-blower retaliation”; and  Kay Cumbow, who will receive the Judith Johnsrud Unsung Hero Award in collaboration with Beyond Nuclear  “for demonstrating tireless dedication and stubborn determination, despite daunting odds, in her creative, visionary work for a Nuclear-Free Great Lakes. ” Continue reading

Peace activists protest weapons spending

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Kevin Collins, left, and Dennie Kelley of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance were among the protesters who gathered around noon Thursday outside the Federal Building in downtown Knoxville. The “Tell the Taxpayer” rally was staged to draw attention to the amount of money being spent on nuclear weapons and  modernization of production facilities. (KNS photo/Frank Munger)

‘Trillion Dollar Train Wreck’

IMG_5674The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, which includes the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance and other activist groups situated near Department of Energy nuclear sites, has produced a 20-page report that blasts the government’s spending on nuclear weapons. The title of the report is “Trillion Dollar Train Wreck,” referencing plans to spend about $1 trillion over the next 30 years on modernization of nuclear weapons, delivery systems and weapons-related facilities.

Here’s a link to the report. Continue reading

UPF opponents plan ‘Tell the Taxpayer’ rally

upfporkActivists opposed to construction of the Uranium Processing Facility in Oak Ridge plan to stage a “Tell The Taxpayer” rally Wednesday in downtown Knoxville near the local offices of Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., a key supporter of the multibillion-dollar project.

Members of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance urged Tennesseans over the past month to write letters to the senator and ask him to provide citizens with more information about the development of the project at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant and how taxpayer dollars are being spent.

The peace activists have accused Alexander of holding secret meetings with project managers and sharing little information with the public. Continue reading

16 years

photo Sunday’s Peace Vigil at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge will mark the 16th anniversary of the weekly event staged by the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance. It is one of the most enduring peace actions of its kind in the U.S. The Nov. 29 gathering begins at 5 p.m. across the street from Y-12’s main entrance on Scarboro Road.

Peace group launches ‘Tell the Taxpayer’ campaign

UPF Site RenderingThe Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance this week began a month-long campaign urging Tennesseans to write letters to U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who chairs the Senate Appropriations energy and water subcommittee. OREPA said Alexander is “bankrolling” the multibillion-dollar Uranium Processing Facility, holding secret meetings with project officials and not sharing information with the public.

OREPA opposes construction of the UPF as part of the modernization program at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge. Continue reading

Peace activist reportedly gets visit from terrorism task force

hutchisonralphRalph Hutchison, peace activist and long-time coordinator of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, said he got a visit this morning at his home from two agents who identified themselves as being with the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

According to Hutchison, most of the officers’ questions had to do with photographs taken of the Uranium Proccessing Facility or, perhaps, the office facilities that host most of the engineers and others who work on the multibillion-dollar project.

Hutchsion spells out this morning’s visit in some detail on the website of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance and adds some levity to the piece, although he didn’t seem happy that his taking of photographs at Y-12 or related facilities prompted a concern. He wondered if this action was taken solely because he is a known opponent of the UPF. Continue reading

Ceremony at Y-12 on anniversary of Hiroshima

A small security team were visible during the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance Names and Remembrance Ceremony outside the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex East Bear Creek entrance Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. The ceremony includes reading of names of victims of the August 6, 1945, atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, using uranium produced ay Y-12. It’s the 70th anniversary of the event in Japan. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Participants silently stand across from the entrance of the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant following this morning’s Names and Remembrance Ceremony. (KNS photo/Michael Patrick)

About 25 pacifists gathered before dawn on the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, to remember those who died from the atomic blast and its after effects.

The annual Names & Remembrance Ceremony was held across the street from the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, which produced the enriched uranium that fueled the “Little Boy” bomb dropped on Hiroshima near the end of World War II. Continue reading

Y-12 security

Today’s Names and Remembrance Ceremony on the 70th annniversary of the Aug. 6, 1945 bombing of Hiroshima was held across the street from the entrance to the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, and the security presence was visible.

Asked about security this week at Y-12, with multiple events scheduled including a Saturday protest, here’s what federal spokesman Steven Wyatt said: Continue reading

Sister Megan Rice: ‘It’s a great encouragement’

meganrice.jpgI talked with Sister Megan Rice this afternoon via phone and asked her for reaction to the government’s decision not to contest the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling last month that overturned the Y-12 protesters’ conviction on sabotage charges and freed them from their incarceration at various federal sites.

“I think we can all say it’s a great encouragement to carry on with this movement, to try to transform our weapons-of-mass destruction facilities into places where life can be pursued in all its fullness,” the 85-year-old nun said. Continue reading

‘DC Days’

Six members of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance will join fellow activists from communities near Department of Energy sites around the U.S. in Washington, D.C., next week for “DC Days.” The annual event is sponsored by the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, a mix of activist groups concerned about environmental cleanup and radioactive waste, weapons production, wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars or other issues. Continue reading