Nearly 50 U.S. universities are involved in the research and design of U.S. nuclear weapons, largely in secret and in contradiction of their mission statements. Students and faculty must demand their universities stop helping to build weapons of mass destruction.
More than 3,800 New Mexicans have been poisoned by fallout from U.S. nuclear weapons tests and uranium mining. Despite this well-documented local harm and the devastating environmental and humanitarian effects of nuclear weapons around the world, the University of New Mexico has recently deepened its partnerships with nuclear weapons labs and other nuclear weapons production sites, even making an unsuccessful bid to manage one of these labs in 2016.
More details about the University of New Mexico’s involvement
The University of New Mexico is connected to Los Alamos National Laboratory through the New Mexico Consortium. The Consortium works to foster research collaborations and economic development opportunities in a variety of scientific areas. The Los Alamos National Laboratory provides design and engineering for several nuclear warhead types, conducts simulated experiments to evaluate warheads, and has the capacity to produce plutonium pits, the core material for nuclear warheads.
In addition, the managing contractor for Los Alamos, Triad, recently signed a five-year institutional agreement with the University of New Mexico that allows reciprocal access to the lab and university settings for researchers in both institutions. In response to questions about its connections to Los Alamos and Sandia, university administration noted that the high-level agreements make collaborations between faculty and lab staff easier to facilitate.
The University of New Mexico is one of Sandia National Laboratories’ five Academic Alliance partner universities. These partnerships help Sandia “identify promising candidates at top universities before graduation and promote joint technology development research between graduate students and SNL researchers, pursuing topics with national security applications.” All Academic Alliance schools are also designated as a Campus Executive university partner by Sandia. In FY2018, Sandia invested $18.7 million in research across its Campus Executive and Academic Alliance universities. In 2016, the University of New Mexico joined Boeing, Battelle, the University of Texas and Texas A&M University in an unsuccessful bid to manage Sandia. Sandia National Laboratories focuses on the non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons and on nuclear weapons systems integration, for example connecting warheads to their missile delivery systems. Sandia also performs simulated experiments to test the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons.
The University of New Mexico entered into a Master Collaboration Agreement with the operator of the Kansas City National Security Campus on June 6, 2016. The operator Honeywell has initiated at least ten “Master Collaboration Agreements” with universities since 2015 “to facilitate closer collaboration on research and development of new technology to meet national security needs.” The work at the Kansas City National Security Campus centers on the manufacturing of non-nuclear components necessary for nuclear weapons.
For more information, including references, you can read the full report.