Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Councilor Wants Better Nuke Plan
By Jim Ludwick
Journal Staff Writer
City Councilor Miguel Gómez introduced a proposal Monday calling for better planning in case of an emergency involving nuclear munitions stored in the Albuquerque area.
"This is a common-sense approach to dealing with an issue that's been around for a long time," Gómez said.
The proposal says newspapers and specialized publications covering national defense "have reported Albuquerque to be home to the largest depot of nuclear munitions anywhere in the world."
It says there have been tests and training exercises at Kirtland Air Force Base "simulating accidents in which nuclear materials have been dispersed in a subcritical (dirty bomb) explosion in the city of Albuquerque."
There have also been tests at Sandia National Laboratories.
"The damage to our local economy and civic life would be catastrophic," it says.
Gómez's proposal calls on the city to makes its best effort to coordinate disaster preparedness plans with Kirtland. It calls for "formal agreements with Kirtland Air Force Base, such as memoranda of understanding, or mutual support agreements."
The proposal says public-safety agencies should make quarterly reports to the mayor and the City Council about disaster preparedness plans.
It says the city should disseminate information to the public "that is necessary to prepare the citizens of Albuquerque for an emergency at Kirtland Air Force Base or elsewhere in the region" involving munitions storage.