Reading Room

Plutonium Pit Production Lawsuit: Jay Coghlan, Marylia Kelley, Tom Clements – Nuclear Hotseat #523

June 30, 2021
Nuclear Hotseat

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.

By Libbe HaLevy

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 pits – the 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 Coghlan, 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 Conference:

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