Groups sue Biden administration over planned expansion of nuke work – News Vibe24

    Groups sue Biden administration over planned expansion of nuke work - Times of India
    COLOMBIA: Groups of observers sued the Biden government on Tuesday over its plans to produce plutonium nuclei for U.S. nuclear stockpiles, arguing that federal agencies failed to conduct a detailed environmental review of the potential impact on the Neolithic .
    A lawsuit filed against the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Safety Administration calls on the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and Bombing to take a legally required “hard look” at the impact on local communities and possible alternatives. the construction of nuclei used to detonate nuclear weapons.
    The lawsuit comes as US officials have redoubled their efforts to modernize the country’s nuclear arsenal and the accompanying science and technology, citing global security concerns. The nuclear service said most of the plutonium nuclei have been in stock since the 1970s and 1980s.
    The Los Alamos National Laboratory in northern New Mexico and the Savannah River area near Aiken, South Carolina face deadlines for producing a fixed number of plutonium nuclei in the coming years.
    On Monday, the National Nuclear Safety Administration gave basic approval for the production project on the Savannah River site. Annual production of 50 or more cores at the South Carolina site is now estimated to cost between $ 6.9 billion and $ 11.1 billion, with completion dates from 2032 to 2035.
    Observer groups said Tuesday that the agency took a piecemeal approach to deciding where to locate production in Los Alamos and on the Savannah River site, where neighboring communities have already been under-represented and under-served.
    “The environmental risk of an accident at any site causing the release of radioactive material is real and will have significant consequences for the environment and communities,” said Leslie Lenhardt, a lawyer with the South Carolina Environmental Law Project, which represents the groups.
    A spokesman for the nuclear service declined to comment, citing a policy on pending litigation.
    Efforts to strengthen the nuclear arsenal extend to several presidential administrations, with the Biden administration reconsidering modernization efforts that began during the Obama years under President Donald Trump.
    Critics of the plan worry about overdue deadlines and inflated budgets, in addition to safety concerns and the risks of nuclear waste and contamination. Some have argued that the US does not need the new plutonium nuclei.
    Savannah River Site Watch’s Tom Clements said the South Carolina site was chosen for political reasons following the failure of a facility designed to convert weapons-grade plutonium to commercial nuclear fuel. Since the Savannah River Site has never served as a storage or production site for pits in its history, creating a pit construction would be “a terrifying technical challenge that has not been properly addressed,” Clements said.
    Beginning in the 1950s, plutonium pits were created at the Rocky Flats facility in Colorado, which had a long history of leaks, fires, and $ 7 billion in environmental damage for years of cleaning. This has left critics worried about similar problems that could arise if new plutonium head plants are set up in New Mexico and South Carolina.
    Production shifted to Los Alamos in the 1990s, where production has been sporadic over the years, plagued by safety concerns and concerns about lack of accountability.


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