June 29, 2021

Michelle Liu, Associated Press

Groups sue Biden admin over planned expansion of nuke work

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Watchdog groups sued the Biden administration Tuesday over its plans to produce plutonium cores for the U.S. nuclear stockpile, arguing federal agencies have failed to conduct a detailed environmental review of potential impacts around installations in New Mexico and South Carolina.

A lawsuit filed against the Energy Department and the National Nuclear Security Administration calls on the federal agency that oversees U.S. nuclear research and bombmaking to take a legally required “hard look” at impacts on local communities and possible alternatives before expanding manufacturing of the plutonium cores used to trigger nuclear weapons.

The suit comes as U.S. officials have doubled down on a push to modernize the country’s nuclear arsenal and the science and technology that accompany it, citing global security concerns. The nuclear agency has said most of the plutonium cores currently in the stockpile date back to the 1970s and 1980s.

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