WHAT: Public interest groups will hold a Zoom press conference for a major announcement of a forthcoming legal action as the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration forge ahead with plans to drastically expand production of plutonium pits, the cores of nuclear weapons, at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina and the Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico. The legal action follows previous unanswered requests from the groups to DOE and NNSA as seen in correspondence in February and April.

We ask reporters to join the Zoom press conference with their video on so the panelists see you as you ask questions. The press conference will be simultaneously livestreamed for the general public on the South Carolina Environmental Law Project’s Facebook page. Reporters who ask questions will appear on the screen to the speakers and to the public.


  • Tom Clements, director of Savannah River Site Watch
  • Jay Coghlan, executive director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico
  • Marylia Kelley, executive director of Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive Environment (CAREs)
  • Leslie Lenhardt, staff attorney at South Carolina Environmental Law Project (SCELP)
  • Queen Quet, the Chieftess and head of state for the Gullah/Geechee Nation and the founder of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition
  • Dr. Frank von Hippel, senior research physicist and professor of public and international affairs emeritus at Princeton University

WHEN: Tuesday, June 29, 2021, 12:00 p.m. ET


The Zoom press conference is for credentialed media only and registration is required via this link:

A confirmation email will be sent to registrants with a link to join the meeting.

To receive additional material under embargo, members of the media can contact John Pope ([email protected], 717-386-9270) or Lorraine Chow ([email protected], 843-527-0078). Journalists must clearly state in the email that they will honor the embargo and not publish the material until after the press conference concludes.


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The South Carolina Environmental Law Project uses its legal expertise to protect land, water, and communities across South Carolina. Savannah River Site Watch is based in Columbia, SC and monitors DOE activities at SRS. Nuclear Watch New Mexico is based in Santa Fe, New Mexico and focuses on nuclear weapons activities at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive Environment (CAREs) is located in Livermore, California and monitors the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a key nuclear-weapons-design facility. The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition operates in accordance with the mission of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and spans from North Carolina to northern Florida and receives the downward flow of the Savannah River.