Monday, September 20, 2010

Albuquerque City Council to Vote on Calling on The Federal Government to Remove and Dismantle Nuclear Weapons from KAFB

In keeping with the current national spirit of disarmament, Albuquerque’s City Council will consider and vote upon R-10-121, a resolution that calls for the dismantlement of the 2000-plus nuclear weapons at Kirtland Air Force Base.

In April 2010 Defense Secretary Robert Gates stated that “by reducing the role and numbers of US nuclear weapons… we can put ourselves in a much stronger position to persuade our NPT partners to join with us in adopting the measures needed to reinvigorate the non-proliferation regime and secure nuclear materials worldwide.” (NPR, p. v)

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has been conducting hearings on the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), a bilateral treaty between the US and Russia which will reduce the number of nuclear warheads deployed on vehicles such as bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles and sub-launched ballistic missiles. This treaty will also reduce the number of deployed nuclear warheads to 1,550 or less within seven years and will probably result in more nuclear weapons coming to Albuquerque.

Albuquerque is already home to more than 2000 nuclear weapons which have been deactivated and slated for dismantlement. These nuclear weapons still contain their high explosives and nuclear materials, plutonium and uranium. Now is the time to dismantle, not just deactivate, these nuclear weapons, as we were told they would be when they were placed here.

10,000 citizens, most of them residents of Albuquerque, have signed a petition calling for the dismantlement of these nuclear weapons.

State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino will reintroduce a memorial in the state senate this year calling for the dismantlement of the nuclear weapons at Kirtland, in a collaborative effort with Rey Garduno’s resolution at the city level.

Below is the bill's language, R-10-121:

Whereas, the 377th Air Base Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, which maintains more than 2000 + nuclear warheads (Air Force Times, 2/12/10), has recently had difficulty with decertification of its authorization to handle nuclear weapons (on January 27, 2010) after a series of high profile mistakes (US Air Force website, 2/9/10)( 2/11/10), and

Whereas, Albuquerque is reported in professional and local newspapers to be home to more than 2000 nuclear weapons (Air Force Times, 2/12/10), making it the highest concentration of nuclear munitions anywhere in the world; and

Whereas, in accordance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Albuquerque City Council supports the dismantlement of nuclear weapons as part of the current global spirit of nuclear disarmament;

Therefore be it resolved that the City of Albuquerque City Council call for Congress and the U.S. Senate to seek funding so that the Pantex Plant in Texas, site of the nation’s only dismantlement center, could be expanded in order to facilitate the dismantlement of nuclear weapons;

Be it further resolved that the City of Albuquerque City council call for the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Senate to take action and have the nuclear weapons at Kirtland removed and dismantled at the earliest possible time for the safety and welfare of the people of the Albuquerque area.

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