Say “No” to More Nuclear Weapons; Comments due August 12th
Thank you to everyone who submitted comments to the Department of Energy (DOE) and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) for plans to manufacture plutonium triggers, or pits, for nuclear weapons at the Savannah River Site. Public comments are now needed on those plans, plus plans for a 50 percent increase in pit manufacturing at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) by 2030. These plans were revealed in the 2008 Complex Transformation Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, also known as the “Bombplex,” and they are back. Comments are due on Monday, August 12th to NEPA-SRS@srs.gov. A sample public comment letter is available on Nuclear Watch New Mexico’s website at https://nukewatch.org/
Overall, NNSA plans to quadruple production from 20 to 80 pits per year. NNSA plans to produce at least 30 pits at LANL and 50 pits at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.
Expanded plutonium pit production is a crucial part of the $1.7 trillion “modernization” plan to completely rebuild the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile; its supporting research and production complex; and the missiles, submarines, and bombers to deliver nuclear weapons. Together, the modernization plan is fueling a new global nuclear arms race that is more dangerous than any time since the height of the Cold War.
Expanded pit production, costing an estimated $43 billion over thirty years, is not needed. More than 15,000 existing pits are already stored at NNSA’s Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas, while independent experts have found that pits last more than a century.
No pit production is scheduled to maintain the safety and reliability of the existing nuclear weapons stockpile. Instead, NNSA plans to produce heavily modified pits for speculative new-design nuclear weapons. This could degrade confidence in stockpile reliability since new pits cannot be full-scale tested because of an international testing moratorium. In the extreme, it could even prompt the U.S. to resume nuclear weapons testing, which would have severe international proliferation consequences.
To meet public review requirements under the federal NEPA, NNSA completed a Supplement Analysis to determine whether existing nation-wide programmatic public review of pit production should be supplemented. NNSA has already decided no.
It is time to tell NNSA that a new programmatic environmental impact statement is required. Please email your comments to NEPA-SRS@srs.gov by August 12, 2019, or as soon thereafter as possible. Please customize your comments before emailing, as that is more effective.
NNSA did not respond adequately to public comments submitted in 2008. If you submitted comments then, please attach them to your new comments.
To learn more about plutonium pit production, check out Nuclear Watch New Mexico’s fact sheet at https://nukewatch.org/newsite/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/PitProductionFactSheet.pdf
To learn about what is happening with the Bombplex at LANL’s “sister” lab at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Northern California, go to the Tri-Valley CAREs [Communities Against a Radioactive Environment] website at http://www.trivalleycares.org/
1. Monday, August 19th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, CCNS is hosting a public information meeting about the “fake” discharge permit for LANL’s Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility. The state permit will not go into effect until there is a discharge. But LANL has not discharged since November 2011, and has no plans to do so. The permit cannot be enforced because it will not go into effect.
Soon, because of defects in the public notice, the New Mexico Environment Department’s draft permit will be re-noticed for public comments. As a result, the public hearing will be delayed until November or later.
CCNS has argued for over a decade that the facility should be regulated by the federal and state hazardous waste laws and regulations because it treats and stores hazardous waste. The hazardous waste laws and regulations are more protective than the NM Water Quality Act. Join us for this important public information meeting at the Santa Fe Downtown Library! Learn how you can get involved!
3. Thursday, August 29th from 11 to 1 pm, the Cold War Patriots are hosting a public meeting for DOE/NNSA/LANL/Sandia/WIPP workers and former workers about how to navigate the complex EEOICPA and RECA government programs at St. John’s Methodist Church in Santa Fe. https://coldwarpatriots.org/
4. Thursday, September 26th is the United Nations’ International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. Let’s organize commemoration events in New Mexico. https://www.un.org/en/events/nuclearweaponelimination/
Tags: Bombplex, Complex Transformation Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, Department of Energy, DOE, LANL, Los Alamos National Laboratory, modernization, National Environmental Policy Act, National Nuclear Security Administration, NNSA, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, Pantex Plant, plutonium pits, Savannah River Site, Supplement Analysis, Tri-Valley CARES