Reading Room

Trump Bomb-Making Plans Require Review

Saturday, December 8, 2018
Posted by Kathy Crandall Robinson

Tri-Valley CAREs is building the campaign against the Trump Administration’s plans to quadruple production of plutonium bomb cores, or so-called pits.  

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced plans in May 2018 to produce 80 plutonium pits or more per year by 2030, at least thirty at Los Alamos National Labs and at least fifty at the Savannah River Site (SRS).  This expansion of production legally obligates a review under the National Environmental Policy Act.  

On Friday, December 7, 2018, the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) sent a letter to NNSA demanding the agency conduct a legally required Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) reviewing pit production plans and alternatives.

ANA is a network of 30 organizations, including Tri-Valley CAREs, working to address nuclear weapons production and waste cleanup. The ANA letter follows and supports a similar demand letter sent October 31 by Tri-Valley CAREs and two additional ANA colleague organizations, Nuclear Watch New Mexico and Savannah River Site Watch.   

Both letters note that the current production limit of 20 plutonium pits at Los Alamos was set through a previous PEIS review process and codified in a 1996 Record of Decision. The ANA letter states that, “Eighty plutonium pits/year is significantly more than 20/year, and the NNSA plan involves unexamined health, safety and environmental risks as well as financial costs. Further, the proposal would create a new mission at SRS and would involve newly created wastes and other consequences that would likely impact other sites in the nuclear weapons complex.”

Tri-Valley CAREs, ANA, and colleagues will cultivate a growing campaign demanding a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on expanded plutonium pit production. We are also reaching out to key leaders in Congress to push for a PEIS review.  This crucial review process will include opportunity for public comment and engagement on the health, safety, environmental, and financial costs and impacts of these production plans. The PEIS will also stimulate open debate on the rationale for this large-scale bomb production.

CLICK HERE to read Alliance for Nuclear Accountability letter, December 7, 2018.

CLICK HERE to read Tri-Valley CAREs, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, Savannah River Site Watch letter, October 31, 2018.