Plutonium Pit Production Lawsuit
Plutonium Pit (revered to above as the “core”) is the detonator at the heart of nuclear bombs
— and the United States is planning to make up to 80 pits a year for NEW nuclear weapons,
in addition to the 1,500 ready-to-use devices already in our arsenal. 

This Week’s SPECIAL Feature:

It’s not often that I prep a show’s interviews and then throw them out on Tuesday morning because something more important has happened — but that’s the case this week.  On Monday, June 28, a coalition of community and public interest groups filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) regarding plans to more than quadruple the production of plutonium pitsthe detonating core of nuclear weapons – and split production between the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico and the Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina. 

Today, June 29, representatives of this lawsuit held a press conference on a lawsuit filed against the Biden administration over nuclear bomb core (pit) production plans.  Nuclear Hotseat attended, asked questions, and was so impressed with the clarity of the information, we asked for permission to carry excerpts on this week’s program. 

The speakers on this show include:

  • Jay Coughlin, Executive Director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, who explains what plutonium pits are and what’s wrong with the plan to create more of them.
  • Tom Clements is director of Savannah River Site (SRS) Watch in Columbia, South Carolina. He speaks about the specific problems and inappropriateness of selecting SRS as a site to produce plutonium pits.  
  • Queen Quet, the Chieftess and head of state for the Gullah/Geeche Nation and founder of the Gullah/Geeche Sea Island Coalition.  Her people live in proximity to SRS and she speaks on the human toll of ramping up nuclear pit production.
  • Marylia Kelley of Tri-Valley CARES in Livermore, California, connected the dots as to how a new, untested change in nuclear weaponry developed at the Livermore Labs is being used to push through these new plutonium pits – and why they are not needed.
  • LINK to Full Press Conferencehttps://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=864853474103335&ref=watch_permalink

Numnutz of the Week (for Outstanding Nuclear Boneheadedness):

Note to Chinese water distributor:  “Fukushima” is not positive branding for your product, whether true or not. 


Libbe HaLevy 

00:00:01

Nuclear is the pits. Well, actually, if we’re talking about nuclear weapons, they’re each triggered by a plutonium pit. That’s the trigger. And when it’s detonated, it compresses the plutonium enough to make it super critical. And then, well, that’s the end of life on earth. As we know it, one of the legacies of the past two presidential administrations is the push to create more plutonium pits. So we can make more nuclear weapons because Hey, the 1500, the United States currently has couldn’t possibly be enough, could it, but that’s hardly the only danger we face from this plan, because along with many other issues, it doesn’t account for the high level radioactive waste created by this plutonium pit production. So when a genuine expert has read this frying print and she tells you

Jay Coughlin

00:00:59

And a table in a mirror table, and NSA says it will send pet material from Los Alamos to live or more for quote unquote material testing. There is no accompanying text to analyze this action. Livermore and Los Alamos are about 1100 miles apart. According to that table, plutonium pit material of some size not specified will be shipped from New Mexico by some method not specified to the San Francisco bay area. Some number of times not specified for material testing, not described. My community has a right to know. My community has a right to comment on this proposal. It is workers in the public who will suffer the risks of accidents, spills weeks and exposures, the NSA’s refusal to undertake the appropriate program wide analysis. What this means across the country is robbing fence line communities like mine of our right under the law to participate in decisions that will affect us.

Libbe HaLevy 

00:02:13

Well, when you hear Mary Leah Kelly from Tri-Valley cares and a whole lineup of nuclear experts, explain why this proposed plutonium pit production truly is the pits. And that’s why they have joined together to file a comprehensive lawsuit against the government to stop it. You see how thin the human line is between survival of the species and bit dangerously radioactive seat that we all share

Announcer

00:02:43

To clear hot seat. What are those people thinking, Claire? Hotsy what have those boys been? Braking? Claire. Hotsy the Cari Ms. Sinking. Our time to act is shrinking, but nuclear Hotsy. It’s the bomb.

Libbe HaLevy 

00:03:14

Welcome to nuclear hot seat, the weekly international news magazine, keeping you up to date on all things, nuclear from a different perspective. My name is Leebee Halevi. I am the producer and host as well as the survivor of the nuclear accident at three mile island from just one mile away. So I know what can happen when those nuclear so-called experts get it wrong. This week, we bring you highlights from a high powered press conference held earlier today. It was held to announce a lawsuit that has been filed against the Biden administration over nuclear bomb, core production plans. You will hear today from Jay Coughlin of nuclear watch New Mexico, Tom Clemens from Savannah river site watch in South Carolina, Mary Leah Kelly of tri valley cares, which watchdogs the Lawrence Livermore national laboratory near San Francisco and queen quit. The chief does and head of state for the Gullah Geechee nation about the human cost of the Savannah river site on the local community.

Libbe HaLevy 

00:04:25

We’ll also have nuclear news from around the world numnuts of the week for outstanding nuclear bone headedness, and more honest nuclear information. Then you can find in that trillion dollar infrastructure bill, all of it coming up in just a few moments today is Tuesday, June 29th, 2021. And here is this week’s nuclear news from a different perspective, starting out in the U S in California, where NASA has made the announcement that it will dismantle two test sites at the toxic Santa Susana field lab area. Toxic is an understatement because that’s where rockets were tested and were nuclear reactors without containment vessels around them were also tested including one that had a partial meltdown and vented its radiation into the environment with no notice to the local people and many places where radioactive material was just dumped as to this cleanup. Critics say that NASA has already agreed under the terms of a binding agreement with the state in 2010 to clean the soil up to the most stringent standards and a tearing down of these two sites is not aligned with that agreement.

Libbe HaLevy 

00:05:41

The on-site testing, which was done primarily in the 1950s, left the area contaminated with radioactive and chemical toxins affecting nearby communities of Chatsworth thousand Oaks, Canoga park, west Hills and Simi valley, which are the, that are closest in proximity to it. And nearly 400,000 people currently reside for decades. Activists have been calling for the cleanup of the sprawling area, but a full scale cleanup has not yet been launched west Hills resident and leading activist, Melissa Bumstead who has been on nuclear hot seat on this issue, wondered whether quote NASA is testing the department of toxic substance control. That’s the California agency in charge of all cleanups to see if they can quietly abandon their legal cleanup agreements and apply their version of a suburban residential cleanup standard. Even though it would leave 95% of the contamination at the Santa Susana field lab permanently in place, the residents official pushback will be chronicled on the show in the coming weeks.

Libbe HaLevy 

00:06:51

In another example of radiation contamination, being the gift that keeps on giving in Apollo, Pennsylvania, more than 30 RV campers have been parked at the site of Apollo’s former Babcock and Wilcox nuclear fuel site. Since early may. This has prompted some environmental activists in the area to question whether that vial is land use restrictions on the site, the RVs are parked on part of the 22 acre parcel that was home to the former nuclear materials and equipment Corp or new MC and its successors, the Atlantic Richfield company and Babcock and Wilcox, which was also the company behind three mile island. The site has a history of radiological contamination and litigation. Several hundred area residents have sued Babcock and Wilcox and Atlantic Richfield claiming radioactive emissions from the former nuclear processing plant caused cancers and property damage. They settled for more than $80 million in federal court.

Libbe HaLevy 

00:07:58

More than a decade ago, Patty amino and Apollo native, who has been featured on nuclear hot seat said she believes that disturbing soil on the site violates the covenants of that agreement. She said any disturbed soil might have contamination. And the last thing that people of the valley want is to be exposed to nuclear material again, in a story that almost made it to numnuts of the week, but it’s too important and deserves more of a news focus. The vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff stated in a letter on June 22nd, that his greatest infrastructure concern is quote, any delay that translates to miss deadlines for plutonium pits, the nuclear weapons course to be produced as proposed in both South Carolina and New Mexico general, John heighten wrote to a member of the house armed services committee stating as our nuclear weapons, stockpile ages. It is essential that we continue to modernize our aging DOE department of energy infrastructure.

Libbe HaLevy 

00:09:05

The lies in his letter are revealed in depth in today’s special feature, plutonium, Pitt production and everything. That’s wrong with it. As for the word infrastructure general, you should look it up because it means public and private physical structures, such as roads, railways, bridges, tunnels, water, supply, sewers, electrical grids, and telecommunications, including internet connectivity and broadband access, which nowhere states that the expansion of the ability to blow up the planet and all life on it does not appear. And the propaganda drum beats keep beating for bill gates and his earth 300 a nuclear powered, $700 million yap that wants to save the world except they spelled it. Y a T C H or Yatch, which wants to save the world that sounds ever so much better in phrasing, obviously lifted directly from a press release the article states to make sure something is monolithic. Is this doesn’t further harm the planet it’s powered by a zero emissions energy source.

Libbe HaLevy 

01:10:22

Get this derived from an onboard molten salt reactor developed by bill gates, Tetra power company. But it’s a, yeah. If you can’t get your copy editing, correct. What makes you think you can get something like a, like a nuclear driven seagoing vessel, right? But as they say, the devil is in the details over to Japan where the national Federation of fishermen’s cooperative associations held its general meeting in April and unanimously adopted a resolution against the release of contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean sand that unacceptable that it had promised to quote, dispose of any contaminated water without the understanding of the people concern. But the government has reversed. This promise and fishermen across the country are voicing their anger. Also in April, the Japanese government decided to release the contaminated water from the Fukushima plant, meaning radioactive water, holding tritium into the Pacific ocean for about 30 years after quote, reducing the concentration of radioactive materials below the legal limit.

Libbe HaLevy 

01:11:45

Two things wrong with that. First of all, dilution is not the solution to nuclear pollution because a single atom can be dangerous. B it releases neutrons. That’s like the little bullets, a little machine gun coming out from it. So you’re not diluting it, which usually means to make weaker, but you’re diffusing it. Meaning it’s just going in smaller quantities, over a larger area. Secondly, legal limit is a human construct. Easily manipulated does not mean that it’s safe. And speaking of not safe, Japan is rebooting the aging Mahama nuclear reactor, even as experts have been expressing concern, Kansai electric power, which serves Osaka has restarted the number three nuclear reactor at its Mohamad station in Western Japan as of Wednesday, June 24th, the reactor is the oldest to be restarted since the 2011 Fukushima disaster and needed special approval to have its lifetime extended beyond the standard 40 year limit.

Libbe HaLevy 

01:12:56

The 40 year limit is there because when nuclear reactors were first built engineers, estimated that was the longest they could be run safely before the nuclear reactions. So in brittle the metal that it became dangerous and there could be a major accident. This reactor has also been standing idle for 10 years. Tatsu Jiro Suzuki, former your deputy chair of the cabinet offices, atomic energy commission told Reuters. It looks like the industry and the government have not learned the lessons of Fukushima regarding nuclear safety and Japanese opinion polls regularly show that the public remains opposed to nuclear power over to Pakistan where that country’s prime minister, Emory Khan has said that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is quote, simply a deterrent to protect the country. And there will no longer be any need for it. Once the cashmere issue is solved. Pakistan has 165 nuclear warheads, and it appears to be expanding its nuclear arsenals this according to a study by Stockholm international peace research Institute, prime minister Khan did say that he was quote completely against nuclear arms, but went on to say any country, which has a neighbor seven times its size would be worried on a hopeful note.

Libbe HaLevy 

01:14:21

He added the moment. There is a settlement on Kashmir. The two neighbors would live as civilized people. We will not need to have nuclear deterrence. And now in the latest edition of nuclear bone headedness

Libbe HaLevy 

01:14:46

I think in China, the JJ king based bottled water brand known Fu spring has received backlash from its Chinese netizens. After its peach flavored, sparkling water was marketed as sourcing peach ingredients from Japan’s Fukushima prefecture tastes good and it glows in the dark, a Chinese netizen posted a photo on social media platform. Weebo showing an advertising board in a supermarket saying a peach flavored sparkling water from spring uses Kuti peach from Japan’s Fukushima prefecture as an ingredient along with screenshots of the drinks introduction from Springs, official Weechat account stating the peach is from Japan, Fukushima prefecture upon learning of this citizen led outing of their ingredient. Non-food spring updated their website saying that the company just used a recipe to imitate the taste of the peach later. They changed their story to emphasize that it was the type of peaches mentioned in the advertisement that originated from the Fukushima, but they had been introduced to China in the last century. Still no word from the company, whether they were using artificial ingredients to imitate the flavor of Fukushima peaches, whether they were using originally from Fukushima peaches that were now in China or whether they had been caught out in something else. Meanwhile, the shares of non-food spring fell 1.5, 8% on Monday following the online backlash that started on Sunday, using anything from Fukushima as a sales promotion point, what were your advertising people thinking? And that’s why knowing Fu spring you are this week’s

Libbe HaLevy 

01:16:51

Here’s this week special feature. I had another set of interviews, all prepped for this week show, but a press conference held earlier today, presented information that is urgent and requires our attention. It’s on a lawsuit filed against the Biden administration over nuclear bomb, core production plans, generally known as plutonium pits, a coalition of community and public interest groups filed a lawsuit against the us department of energy, the DOE and the national nuclear security administration known as the N N S a. This legal action is prompted by the agency’s failure to take a hard look required by the national environmental policy act at their plans to quadruple the production of plutonium pits and split their production between the Los Alamos national laboratory in New Mexico and the Savannah river site in South Carolina, the following are excerpts from a much longer press conference, and we will have links up to the full press conference. If you want to take a look at it, plus the PowerPoint visuals, it’s all available on nuclear hot seat.com under this episode, number 5 23, but these explanations I’m about to share were so well crafted and delivered by the participants that I wanted to bring it to your attention. As soon as possible. First, you will hear from Jay Coughlin, he is executive director of nuclear watch New Mexico, and here he explains what plutonium pits are and what’s wrong with the plan to create more of them

Jay Coughlin

01:18:28

Just to start with the basics of what a pit is. And I once went to Russia with effects sheet I wrote, and the word PIP got mistranslated as a hole in the ground. So I ended up with a very puzzled Russian audience. So in this case, the pit is like the core, like the pit of a peach. So a plutonium pit is the fizzle core of a nuclear weapon. And it’s surrounded by conventional high explosives that when detonated compresses the pit into a critical mass creating nuclear fission, which in turn creates fusion in the secondary component of the nuclear weapon, creating the immense H bonds of today. Now regarding the current state of play in going back in history, first of all, the department of energy lost the capability to mass produce pits when FBI raid investigating environmental crimes shut down production in 1989 at the Rocky flats plant near Denver, Colorado in 1996, the department of energy relocated PIP production to Los Alamos after following or fulfilling its legal requirements under the national environmental policy act to conduct, what’s known as a programmatic environmental impact statement.

Jay Coughlin

01:19:55

Now having done that DOE explicitly limited production at Los Alamos to more, no more than 20 Pittsburgh a year. However, following that DOE is newly created national nuclear security administration tried four times in between the years of 2003 and 2008 to expand PIP production through various processes under the national environmental policy act. And all four times DOE was defeated primarily due to overwhelming citizen opposition. Now fast forward to 2018 in may when MMSA announced its plans, its overly ambitious plans to begin production of at least 30 pits per year at Los Alamos by the year 2026 and at least 50 pits per year at the Savannah river site by 2030. And we know that schedule has already slipped by up to five years. It should be noted. This is a crucial point. None of this future PIP production is to maintain the safety and reliability of the existing nuclear weapons, stockpile.

Jay Coughlin

02:21:11

Instead it’s all for speculative new designs that can’t be tested thereby perhaps undermining confidence in stockpile, reliability and in the extreme, even creating pressures for the U S to resume nuclear weapons tests. So what lessons has an in a safe learned apparently it’s to duck its legal responsibility under the national environmental policy act to complete an new programmatic environmental impact statement. And then the essay has learned again to try to cut the public out. And that’s why today we have filed this lawsuit to seek, to enforce the public’s right to comment on the tens of billions of dollars that are going to be put into expanded pit production and the growing nuclear arms race

Libbe HaLevy 

02:22:02

Coughlin went on to speak about issues specific to Los Alamos national laboratory. In

Jay Coughlin

02:22:09

First of all, within the last month, the government has committed that PIP reduction will be delayed at the Savannah river site, which Tom will address, but it’s questionable as well that mantle our Los Alamos national laboratory can meet the stated goal of 30 pits per year by the year 2026. Now, first of all, I want to mention how unnecessary all of this is independent experts have concluded that pits last, at least a century. And we already have some 15,000 pits stored at the Pantex plant near Amarillo, Texas. Now regarding the lab’s ability to produce 30 pits per year, it should be noted that the most it has produced to date has been 11 in the year, 2011. And since then the laboratory has produced zero pits for the stockpile. It has reduced so-called practice pits, but again, getting pit certified to go into the stockpile has been incapable of doing that since the year 2011.

Jay Coughlin

02:23:17

And do note that mammals pet production facility cause goes by the moniker PFR it’s aging. It began operations in 1978. There’s also a number of other major Pantonium operations that compete for floor space and all of this, I have to wonder whether the known delay at SRS will have a boomerang effect on the already stressed capability of Los Alamos to produce pits. Now, needless to say, there’s been a number of problems with PIP production at Los Alamos. There’s a long track record of chronic Nixon or credit quality safety issues, which even shut down PS4 for three years, with respect to the national environmental policy act, it’s often said by aficionados of NEBA, that risk analysis is at the heart of NEPA and it should be noted that the highest dose that NSA has calculated to the public today is 8.2 milligram, which is roughly equivalent to a typical chest x-ray and contrast the independent defense Nicanor facilities.

Jay Coughlin

02:24:29

Safety board has postulated potential doses to the public of 24 rooms, which has some 3000 times higher than an NSA is ever calculated. And in fact, the safety board postulated occupational doses of 760 rim to workers, which is lethal again, going back to risk analysis twice over the last two decades, the laboratory has been seriously threatened by catastrophic wildfires and in the year 2000 even had to evacuate the entire lab and the town site yet I find it completely egregious that the DOE inspector general found just this February, that laboratory neglect was increasing the potential for a devastating wildfire. That’s just outrageous. Finally I’ll note the serious environmental justice, you know, she was here, the Biden administration has purportedly begun to pay a lot of attention to environmental justice. And in fact, president Biden issued an executive order towards that end, but do know that in Lamaze so-called region of influence, which is a 50 mile radius, that the population is 68% people of color.

Jay Coughlin

02:25:50

So needless to say, we have some serious environmental issues. The final question, and this is relevant for both Los Alamos and the Savannah river site is where real, all this new PIP production radioactive waste go and note that the laboratory already has from years of nuclear weapons production, some 300,000 cubic meters of existing waste that it plans to leave permanently buried without cleaning them up. As a result we have in this arid state, a serious surface and groundwater contamination, and can’t be stressed enough that our water resources are absolutely vital with respect to where the waste would go. They supposedly would go to the waste isolation pilot plant, which is the nation’s only dump four to Tony and waste in New Mexico. But in 2014 in improperly prepared waste barrel ruptured underground at web contaminated 21 workers and shut it down for three years, costing the taxpayers $2 billion to reopen. And with all this PIP production will double labs. Antonian wastes for whip. Finally note that whip is permitted by the state of New Mexico only through the year 2024, and it’s already oversubscribed. So it’s not clear where all these increased radioactive waste scrum on necessary expanded bomb production is going to go. So we can only conclude that all of these issues and more demand, very careful, deliberate programmatic review, which the national Nixon, our security administration is deliberately and illegally avoiding

Libbe HaLevy 

02:27:43

Jay Coughlin of nuclear watch New Mexico in the press release that was made available. Once the conference began, Coghlan said the national nuclear security administration has tried four times to expand plutonium pit bomb, core production, but failed each time due to overwhelming citizen opposition. And then S a is now cutting the public out by refusing to complete nationwide review of expanded pit production for controversial new design nuclear weapons. We filed this lawsuit to enforce the legal rights of citizens to speak out on the hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. That will be squandered in the new nuclear arms race. Tom Clemens is director of SRS watch, which stands for Savannah river site. Watch in Columbia, South Carolina here, he speaks about specific problems and inappropriateness of selecting SRS as a site to produce plutonium pits.

Tom Clemens

02:28:48

I’m from Savannah, Georgia, and as a child lived across the Savannah river from SRS, the Savannah river plant was established in the early 1950s to produce plutonium and tritium for nuclear weapons since the five nuclear reactors per closed by the mid 1980s, SRS has not produced plutonium. Plutonium from SRS was shipped to the now closed and contaminated Rocky flats site in Colorado for Pitt production. So most importantly, SRS has never stored processed or produced pits for nuclear weapons. Production of pits at SRS will be a daunting technical challenge that has not been properly reviewed. Choosing SRS for Pitt production was done for parochial political reasons due to the failure of the mixed oxide plutonium fuel project by 2018, over $8 billion have been wasted on construction of the Mox plant. And you can see it in the photo there and the cost escalated to 28 billion and the operational date slipped to 2048, but no congressional investigations into that debacle have ever been conducted rather than first preparing their required programmatic EIS, which we’re talking about today.

Tom Clemens

03:30:14

DEO, he skipped it and rushed to preparation of site-specific E EIS or SRS, which was released in September, 2020. And that analyzed the capability to produce 50 to 125 pits for year in the retrofitted Mox plant. That EIS is inadequate. It brushes aside environmental justice concerns fails to review the impact of onsite disposal of low-level nuclear waste utterly fails to analyze all DOE sites involved in pit production fails to analyze plutonium waste disposal is J just reviewed and fails to review the cumulative impact of processing plutonium SRS from three major plutonium projects. The next slide, please. Additionally, the need for new pits for new nuclear warheads, starting with the bit for the w 87 dash one warhead for the controversial ground-based strategic deterrent has not been adequately analyzed in the last month. We have learned that the estimate for the SRS plutonium bomb plant is more than doubled from 4.6 billion in 2022, up to 11.1 billion in the NSA budget request of may 28 and also in critical decision one, which was released yesterday, adding to the troubles for the project.

Tom Clemens

03:31:42

It was recently revealed in congressional testimony that the date for pit plant operation has slipped from 2030 to as late as 2035, the fiscal year 2022 budget requests for the SRS pit plant construction is 475 million. If construction begins in a few years, $1 billion per year will be needed causing havoc in the, in an essay budget and further stalling. The project enclosing storm clouds for pit production at both SRS and Los Alamos or gathering DOE must deliberately slow down, prepare the mandated P E I S, and rethink the folly of its current approach that could play a key role in a dangerous new nuclear arms race.

Libbe HaLevy 

03:32:35

Press-release Clement said, DOE is rushed planning to unnecessarily expand nuclear bomb. Production has already resulted in a massive cost increase and significant delays in the SRS plutonium bomb plant. While more delays and cost increases appear likely it is essential that DOE slow down and comply with requisite environmental laws before jumping into ill-conceived plans to expand plutonium PIP production, which would be a key part of a dangerous new nuclear arms race. That was from Tom Clemens, director of SRS. Watch in Columbia, South Carolina, speaking on community objections to the planned plutonium pit production at Savannah river site was queen quit. She is the chief deaths and head of state for the Gullah Geechee nation and founder of the Gullah Geechee sea island coalition. It is in close proximity with the Savannah river site

Queen Qwit

03:33:41

Today. I’m here because we have joined this lawsuit to ensure that the programmatic EIS has done because we are calling for peace. We want there to be protections of environmental actions and community engagement. The entire process that we are accustomed to is allowing our community to know what impacts things will have on our environment. Many people in our community have never before heard of a plutonium pit quite naturally, then they would assume we’re talking about mining again, because we have this onslaught of mines coming up in South Carolina, not realizing this is a nuclear warhead. And for it to be created, the plutonium that is utilized is a radioactive material. Anything that happens at the Savannah river plant will end up impacting those that are down the watershed. One would say down to curriculum and anything like that. So we’ll reach us in the Gullah Geechee nation.

Queen Qwit

03:34:50

It will reach us on the coast and not just by water, but by air. And it has already been discovered in studies that I have reviewed that having this level of radioactivity in communities, that people are ingesting not only through their surface of their skin, but by breathing it in can lead to cancer in some cases. So why is it that the NEPA regulations aren’t being followed? Why is it that our community is not now being engaged so that we are well aware of any injustices and negative environmental impacts that will take place as a result of the creation of these pits. We do not want to have the community pitted against the government, but we see that as what is happening. And so therefore I am here today because we have major concerns about what this will do to the natural environment of what we call the state of beautiful places and smiling faces because no one spaces will be smiling when the environment is harmed permanently.

Queen Qwit

03:36:05

And definitely when it harms the community, ultimately there’s no dollar amount that you can pay to heal communities after they’re harmed. And they are having an onslaught of cancerous things that can get into this system. So we are here to stand up for not only to delegate your nation, but the communities of people of color in South Carolina that are in and around the Savannah river plant and from which the winds and the waters will flow. And so we, again, hold on the government of the us to stand up and follow your own regulations and bring about some peace

Libbe HaLevy 

03:36:46

That was queen quit. The chief, Dez and head of state for the Gulag Geechee nation for the press release. She stated the people of South Carolina are more valuable than plutonium, and we shouldn’t have to use our energy in being pitted against a government agency. We need to protect our communities, and this is best done. When there is transparency in the process concerning any land use, the public should be able to fully engage in determining what happens to the land and to the environment, because this will have irreversible impacts on our quality of life. We are digging for the truth about the impacts that this proposal will have on the environment on us and our communities. Queen quit. We’ll return to this special report on the lawsuit filed today, June 29 against the Biden administration over nuclear bomb, core production plans. But first nuclear hot seat just started its 11th year of weekly programs.

Libbe HaLevy 

03:37:53

And there is no end in sight because Hey, it fills a need. The show is cited in more than 80 academic books and journals and articles. And there are more than 10,000 back links to specific episodes from websites around the world. In its first 10 years, nuclear hot seat has become an important resource for people wanting to know the truth about the nuclear juggernaut and what they can do to help fight against it. But the online world keeps evolving and not for the best. As I’ve mentioned before, Google is changing its algorithm to favor websites, that load faster. And if you don’t do the necessary upgrading and of your site, even if people put in the proper search terms, you and your issue, meaning us will not be found. That’s why nuclear hot seat is embarking on a total website, rebuild, not a cosmetic moving around of the pieces into a pretty new template.

Libbe HaLevy 

03:38:53

It’s a backend rebuild and upgrade to bring the website into alignment with how the internet works. Now with more than 520 episodes, it’s a massive job and the biggest expense undertaken in the history of the show in order to accomplish it, I’m going to need your help. It’s easy. Go to the website, nuclear hotseat.com and click on the big red donate button. That’s where you can donate any amount, your choice, or set up a monthly donation, even as little as $5 a month. The same as a cup of coffee and a tip here in the U S will be an enormous help. And there will be bonuses for donations of $100 or more. We can discuss the specifics of what would be best for you. So if you value nuclear, hot seat and water, see us continue to be found online. Now is the time to support us with donation, go to nuclear, hot seat.com, click on the big red donate button, do what you can to help and know that however much you can help.

Libbe HaLevy 

03:39:57

We are deeply grateful that you’re listening and that you care. Now back to our special report on today’s filing of a lawsuit against the Biden administration over nuclear bomb, core production plans, otherwise known as plutonium Pitt production. We next heard from Mary Leah Kelly of tri valley cares in Livermore, California. This is the group that watched dogs, the Lawrence Livermore national laboratory in Livermore, California. Marilena connected the dots on how a new untested change in nuclear weaponry developed at the Livermore labs is being used to push through these new plutonium pits and why they are not needed.

Marry Leah Kelly

04:40:44

I’m married Leah Kelley I’m executive director at tri valley cares, which stands for communities against a radioactive environment here in Livermore, California, right next to the Lawrence Livermore national laboratory. And I want to dive first into the question what’s driving and NSA pit production plans. And the answer is a new warhead that’s being developed at the Livermore lab here in California called the w 87 dash one. This is driving the schedule and need for 80 plutonium pits annually, all of the pit to be produced at both sites, Los Alamos and Savannah river for at least eight years. We’ll all be the the w 87 dash ones. Novel design features, including its Pitt are elective. There are design options that would not require a new pit production. It’s notable that no pit production is scheduled for nuclear weapons in the stockpile or for any of the warhead types undergoing what’s called refurbishment under the national environmental policy act and an essay must analyze reasonable alternatives, avoiding elective design choices that require new pits is a reasonable option alongside pit reuse, which is a tried and true concept in the nuclear weapons complex.

Marry Leah Kelly

04:42:21

Today’s filing asked the court to compel the agency to examine reasonable alternatives before spending tens of billions of dollars and adding potential harms to human health and the environment at multiple sites across the country. So to look at some of the unexamined consequences in the final supplement analysis, NNSA lists seven sites across the country that will be involved in pet production. In addition to Savannah river site, Los Alamos and the whip dump facility, however, the agency failed to examine the environmental and health consequences at any of them. The sites are Pantex in Texas, the test site in Nevada, Y 12 and Tennessee, the Kansas city complex and Missouri Sandia lab in New Mexico and in California and the Livermore lab in California, I’ll give one example of an unexamined consequences that Livermore lab in my community, in a table in a mirror table, and NSA says it will send pet material from Los Alamos to Livermore for quote unquote material testing.

Marry Leah Kelly

04:43:44

There is no accompanying texts to analyze this action Livermore and Los Alamos are about 1100 miles apart. According to that table, plutonium pit material of some size not specified will be shipped from New Mexico by some method not specified to the San Francisco bay area. Some number of times not specified for material testing, not described. My community has a right to know my community has a right to comment on this proposal. It is workers in the public who will suffer the risks of accidents, spills, leaks, and exposures, the NSA’s refusal to undertake the appropriate program-wide analysis. What this means across the country is robbing fence line communities like mine of our right under the law to participate in decisions that will affect us. And as described in the complaint in greater detail, Livermore lab has a history of environmental contamination and health risks.

Libbe HaLevy 

04:44:57

Mary Leah Kelly of Tri-Valley cares in the press release. She added the N N S a national nuclear security administration is robbing the public of its right to comment on alternatives. Get those of us in frontline communities will bear the brunt of this refusal. It is workers and the public who will suffer the risks of accidents, spills, leaks, radioactive exposures, and the production and transportation of plutonium waste. Mary Leah Kelly of tri valley cares the watchdog group for the Lawrence Livermore national laboratory in Livermore, California. At that point in the press conference, the call was opened up to questions, and of course I jumped right in those responding, RJ Coughlin, Tom Clements, and Merrill Leah Kelly. First of all, someone spoke about a bill being passed in 2014 when Obama was president that pushed the pits into production or mandated that they happen. And I would like some clarification on that.

Jay Coughlin

04:46:09

It was the fiscal year of 2015 defense authorization act that was passed at the end of 2014. So that was the specific legislation that required at least 80 pits per year. Again, the fiscal year of 2015 defense authorization act.

Tom Clemens

04:46:32

And let me add, it did not specify to pit sites that basically is in an essay policy. It’s not mandated by law to pursue the SRS

Libbe HaLevy 

04:46:46

And the follow-up question, which also relates to this is the old adage follow the money. What has been the motivation behind it? This goes back to 2014, who, and what is the motivation behind and where is all of this money actually going? Because if we don’t have the need, if there’s no reason for them, then the only answer that I can think of is the money. So who’s behind this, how did it get started? And maybe that can point to some ways that we can help to derail this.

Tom Clemens

04:47:25

I can say a few words than I think both of my colleagues near the sites who are members of the Alliance for nuclear accountability can comment the current site manager at SRS, Savannah river nuclear solutions prepared the documents on converting the Mox plant to the pit plant. Beyond that, we really don’t know who are the contractors? Who are they going to be at the various sites? And most of the sites are run by contractors. This project at Los Alamos and Savannah Riverside would be run by contractors and Jake and comment. But I really have no idea who slated to receive that up to $11 billion. And the reason I made a comment in my presentation was the construction of the Mox plant wasted about $8 billion and the administrative costs and the lead in from 1994 was a lot more, where did all that money go? We know the principal contractors who received the money, who I think performed an abysmal job, but Congress has never investigated. So here we are about to throw tens and tens of billions of dollars to contractors who we don’t even know who they are. And Congress has not investigated the waste of eight plus billion dollars. It’s just the way governments should not be functioning. It’s really stunning that this is the situation and that this money is going to, it’s probably going to ban it. Dan is just like for the Mox project, I’m quite concerned about this.

Jay Coughlin

04:48:58

You know, we get into motivation, which is that’s dangerous territory to tread to go into, but I would point out the Frank was pretty good about this pointing out how there’s no real need for pit production. What I want to suggest to you Libby that this entire stockpile stewardship program that’s been in existence since 2004, its purported purpose was to keep the stockpile safe in the absence of underground testing. But now as Mira, Leah has pointed out and the Nisei is becoming more aggressive about instituting elective changes to the stockpile that could undermine confidence in reliability and could leave the us back into full-scale testing. So I want to suggest to you that this whole stockpile stewardship program is a bit of a Trojan horse for the naked or weapons designers to keep on advancing and evolving new designs.

Marry Leah Kelly

05:50:05

I would just say the direct driver of the Lawrence Livermore national laboratory design weapon that they’re currently undertaking called the w 87 dash one. I would add to what I said, that it’s the first warhead being designed in the United States since the end of the cold war that will use all new components, including pet. And as I stated in all state, again, these design features are elective. There are alternatives. And our hope is in obtaining a programmatic environmental impact statement that we will get a full and fair analysis of other reasonable alternatives as the law requires.

Libbe HaLevy 

05:50:51

Those answers were given variously by Jay Coughlin, Tom Clemens, and Mary Leah Kelly. This was all from a press conference held just this morning. I’m the lawsuit which was filed yesterday, June 28th, 2021 against the Biden administration over nuclear bomb, Corp plutonium pit production plans. I need to mention that there were other representatives on the panel as well. And we simply did not have time to give them the space to be on this program. They provided even more detailed information as well, including attorney Leslie Lenhart of the South Carolina environmental law project, which was instrumental in drawing up and filing the lawsuit and Frank Von Hippel, who is a senior research physicist and professor of public and international affairs emeritus with Princeton’s program on science and global security, which he co-founded to watch the full press conference. There will be a link to the video recording up on the website, nuclear hot seat.com. Under this episode, number 5 23, we will also have links to the press conference and the full 42 page legal complaint.

Announcer

05:52:11

Activists

Libbe HaLevy 

05:52:19

Managed Joe Green of Riverkeeper in New York, sent us a great article by Simon Butler out of Edinburgh. It’s entitled 10 reasons. Climate activists should not support nuclear. It’s extensive it’s long. It’s really well thought out and very clear, and we will link to it on the website, nuclear hot seat.com under this episode, number 5 23 nuclear information and resource service or nears sent us a petition put together on clean energy future, no national bailout that’s because last week three senators proposed a new nuclear bailout bill that could become the energy blueprint for president Biden’s $2.3 trillion American jobs plan. They were senators Cardin from Maryland white house from Rhode Island and Carper from Delaware, all of them Democrats, and they want Congress to include a massive subsidy for nuclear power plants in what is currently a good renewable energy bill. The senator’s amendment would give between 50 and $100 billion to dangerous, expensive nuclear power plants.

Libbe HaLevy 

05:53:32

There’s information on who to write to about this. Another link up on the website. And there is a zoom in are coming up on July 8th on the 25th anniversary of the 1996 international court of justice advisory opinion on the legality of threat or use of nuclear weapons that 1996 decision was the first authoritative international judicial opinion on nuclear weapons since their development in the 1940s. And it is generally considered one of the most important opinions that the ICJ, the international court of justice has delivered that’s because it functions as an important reference for civil society in its work towards the elimination of nuclear weapons for this digital event, leading international lawyers and activists, professors of international law and experts on arms control and disarmament law. We’ll discuss the importance of the opinion and its relevance for the present day. Struggle towards nuclear disarmament. Again, link will be up on the website you have to register before you can access.

Libbe HaLevy 

05:54:40

This has been nuclear hot seat for Tuesday, June 29th, 2021 material for this week show has been researched and compiled from nuclear-news.net to own renard.wordpress.com beyond nuclear international.com nuclear information and resource service.org. The international campaign for the abolition of nuclear weapons managed Joe Green, Patty amino, I allana.info daily news.com post and courier.com. Hype beast.com, reuters.com. Business stash, standard.com, rethinking security.org.uk, the international atomic energy agency at dot org. How did the international atomic energy agency get to be a.org instead of a.com global times.cn, the bulletin.org. And of course the captured and compromised by the industry. They’re supposed to be regulating nuclear regulatory commission, thanks to all of you for listening and a big shout out to nuclear hot seat listeners and followers around the world. You know, the show has been downloaded in 123 countries on six continents and still we are counting more. So if you’ve got friends overseas, turn them onto the show, let them download it as well.

Libbe HaLevy 

05:56:02

Let’s keep building the international presence. And for those of you on our growing network of broadcast stations around the west, thank you for listening. And if anyone knows of a community radio station, a nonprofit that would like to have nuclear hot seat, we can make that arrangement and it will cost them nothing. All it takes is an email to [email protected] Now you can guarantee you get the show every week and you can get it in your email. As soon as it posts. It’s an easy thing to do. Just go to nuclear hot seat.com scroll until you see the yellow opt-in box, put in a first name, put in an email address, that’s it. And you will have every week the show with the link, as well as a short description of some of the material that’s in it, real, simple and easy way for you to get your weekly hit of nuclear hot seat.

Libbe HaLevy 

05:56:58

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Announcer

05:58:21

Clear hot seat. What are those people thinking? Nuclear hot seat. What have those boys been breaking their hot seat? Ms. Sinking, our time to act is shrinking, but nuclear Hotsy it’s bomb.