Four public interest groups monitoring the nation’s nuclear weapons development sites are demanding the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Agency conduct a thorough environmental review of their plans to produce large quantities of a new type of nuclear bomb core, or plutonium pit, at sites in New Mexico and South Carolina.
The organizations, Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive Environment, Savannah River Site Watch, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, and Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition, filed suit in late June to compel the agencies to conduct the review as required under the National Environmental Policy Act. They are now fighting an effort by DOE and NNSA to dismiss the suit over the plaintiffs’ alleged lack of standing. The groups are represented by the nonprofit South Carolina Environmental Law Project.
In 2018, during the Trump administration, the federal government called for producing at least 80 of the newly designed pits per year by 2030.