The Department of Energy plans to increase plutonium pit
production to 30 pits annually until 2030 when the number will be ramped up to 80.
The postponement will halt the nation's expanding capacity to produce Plutonium pits
, a key component of nuclear weapons, Roth wrote in a report on his center's website.
Right now, Rafi explains, one of the main focuses of the atomic-testing program is to examine the old plutonium pits
, manufactured at the now-closed Rocky Flats plant outside of Denver, that make up the bulk of our nuclear arsenal and even to replace some of those pits with new ones made at Los Alamos.
For nearly 40 years, Rocky Flats, just 15 miles northwest of downtown Denver, produced plutonium pits
or "triggers" for thousands of the country's stockpiled nuclear weapons.
Instead, they lock up the plutonium pits
to keep them from doing harm, as if trying to imprison some Frankestein monster that just can't be killed.
"The DOE is trying to make them happy by shifting some plutonium pit
production from Los Alamos New Mexico to South Carolina, which is going to lead to higher costs and uncertainty there, putting national security goals at risk," Udall said.
In a further blow to the Bush Administration's nuclear ambitions, Congress also imposed a 75 per cent cut to its program to resume production of Plutonium pits
, the fissile cores for nuclear warheads, with a more modest cut to the nuclear "test readiness" program.
Expressing concern that options to refurbish the nuclear arsenal could be limited by a weakened infrastructure, the NPR called for a revitalized weapons complex, including the capacity to renew testing at short notice and re-start Plutonium pit
The DOE has said the Savannah River site could be used to manufacture new plutonium pits
, or triggers, for nuclear weapons.
At the Savannah River Site, the future of the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility is in jeopardy after a report last month by the National Nuclear Safety Administration recommended the facility be repurposed to produce plutonium pits
while also maximizing pit production activities at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
South Carolina to continue production of plutonium pits
. Those are
Finally, funding was requested for a Modern Pit Facility to produce the Plutonium pits
for nuclear warheads.
Still, in order to produce those weapons, the United States would need to churn out large numbers of plutonium pits
. Now that Rocky Flats, the former pit production site outside Denver, is out of commission, the DOE says there's no longer a U.S.