January 13, 2022

Victor T. Volskay Jr.

Commentary: SC plutonium pit plan distracts from our most pressing threat

The federal government has unveiled plans to construct a plutonium pit manufacturing plant at the Savannah River Site near Aiken, a decision the League of Women Voters of South Carolina opposes.

A plutonium pit is the bowling ball-size radioactive core used to trigger the detonation of a nuclear warhead. The proposed Savannah River Plutonium Processing Facility would have the capability of producing an additional 50 plutonium pits per year by 2030, and it would bring environmental concerns such as the generation of mixed (radioactive and nonradioactive) hazardous waste. The S.C. Environmental Law Project, which has sued the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration, says these agencies have failed to undertake a new or supplemental programmatic environmental impact statement as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.

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