NNSA’s Proposed Plutonium Bomb Plant at Savannah River Site and Lessons Learned from the Rocky Flats Plutonium Disaster

Plutonium pit forum event in Aiken, SC, Nov. 12, 2019

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SRS Watch is a non-profit organiation working in support of sound policies and projects by the U.S. Department of Energy, with a focus on the Savannah River Site (SRS)

Abdoned plutonium fuel (MOX) buiding at Savannah River Site, Not Suited to become a Plutonium Bomb Plant (PBP), coutersy High Flyer – ©2019SCHighFlyer – to SRS Watch

Rocky Flats Disaster: Red Light for SRS Plutonium Bomb Plant (PBP) for Fabrication of “Pits” for Unneeded New Nuclear Weapon – Forum in Aiken, SC on November 12

Plutonium contamination left behind from pit production at Rocky Flats signals caution for a Plutonium Bomb Plant at SRS, where the focus must remain on clean-up and not bringing in more plutonium.”

— Tom Clements, Director, Savannah River Site Watch

AIKEN, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA, October 30, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — As it means more plutonium, more nuclear waste and more risk of nuclear accident at the U.S. Department of Energy's sprawling Savannah River Site in South Carolina, a public forum will be held at 7 p.m. on November 12, 2019 in the Aiken, South Carolina public library. The free event will address the risks of the Plutonium Bomb Plant (PBP) proposed for the site.

The forum will focus on lessons learned from pit production at DOE’s plutonium-contaminated and now-closed Rocky Flats site, located upwind from Denver, Colorado. Dr. LeRoy Moore and Patricia Mellen, Esq., representing the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, will discuss the plutonium contamination left at the site due to accidents and plutonium fires and give an update on the on-going efforts by a number of public interest groups to obtain grand jury documents sealed after a 1989 raid of the Rocky Flats site by the FBI.

The title of the forum is "Rocky Flats Disaster: Red Light for SRS Plutonium Bomb Plant." The message from the speakers is one of caution – that people in South Carolina do not want the risks of plutonium disasters like Rocky Flats to occur at SRS.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 7-8:45 p.m.
Aiken Country Public Library
314 Chesterfield Street S
Aiken, South Carolina 29801

Link to a Facebook event on the forum is at:

A news conference by participants at the forum will also be held:
Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 2 p.m.
Augusta-Richmond County Public Library, 3rd floor
823 Telfair Street
Downtown Augusta, Georgia 30901

Tom Clements, director of Savannah River Site Watch (SRS Watch, will give an update on the pit production proposal of DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and review where things stand in Congress with the project, as of yet unauthorized and unfunded.

“NNSA has failed to show need for new pit production and has made no attempt to make a case that the old MOX building can be redesigned for the complex and dangerous pit mission,” said Tom Clements, director of the public interest group Savannah River Site Watch. “The plutonium contamination left behind from pit production at Rocky Flats should give great pause to acceptance of pit production at SRS, where the focus must remain on clean-up and not bringing in yet more plutonium and generating more nuclear waste,” added Clements. “No matter where you stand on the proposed Plutonium Bomb Plant, we encourage citizens of all viewpoints to join in the discussion, something NNSA has unfortunately not promoted.”

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has proposed expanding the production of plutonium pits, the core of nuclear weapons, to 80 or more per year at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico and at SRS. All of the new pits would be for a proposed and unneeded nuclear warhead, designated the W87-1, posing the risk of a new nuclear arms race with Russia.

At the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site, NNSA has proposed converting the shuttered plutonium fuel (MOX) plant into a Plutonium Bomb Plant. But NNSA has made no case that the partially finished MOX plant, fraught with construction and design problems, can be converted to carry out the complex and dangerous pit mission. Production of pits at SRS, being pursued primarily to give the site work in the coming years, would result in yet more plutonium imported to SRS – on top of the 12 metric tons currently stored in the old K-Reactor – and yield hard-to-manage waste streams for on-site and off-site disposal. SRS has no experience making pits and plutonium production in dedicated nuclear reactors at the site was halted in the late 1980s.

At both November 12 events, SRS Watch will continue to call for an investigation into fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement during construction of the bungled MOX project, on which $8 billion was wasted. And, the demand will be made that the Rocky Flats grand jury documents must be released prior to any further talk of expanding pit production.

SRS Watch, Nuclear Watch New Mexico and Tri-Valley CAREs, all partners in the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA), along with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), have informed NNSA that failure to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact State (PEIS) on pit production is a violation of both the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and a court order on the pit issue. The groups are awaiting a response by NNSA to several letters on the legal requirement for the PEIS and are reviewing next action if NNSA chooses to keep ignoring the law.


Link to share on the Plutonium Bomb Plant event, on the SRS Watch Facebook page:


Photos of terminated MOX project, released September 27, 2019, ©2019SCHighFlyer:


Thomas Clements
Savannah River Site Watch
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Source: EIN Presswire