TriValley CAREs – Communities Against a Radioactive Environment – is planning a public forum for this evening to tell people about the U.S. Department of Energy’s proposal to transport plutonium bomb cores, also known as “pits,” to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
"Lawrence Livermore failed security drills and no longer has the security for bomb-usable plutonium,” said Marylia Kelley of TriValley Cares.
Kelley says she’s been to Washington, D.C. to talk to lawmakers about the proposal, which she says has been in the making since last spring. “This is not two guys talking in a hallway,” Kelley said.
However, the Public Affairs spokesman from Lawrence Livermore Laboratory says nothing has been decided, and that in fact, there is no plan in place.
“If the National Nuclear Security Administration decides to go down that route, and they decide that they want to have testing here - and there are a lot of if’s here - security is something that would have to be part of the conversation,” said spokesman Jim Bono.
Bono adds that Lawrence Livermore Lab won’t really have a say in the decision that will ultimately be made by the NNSA.
The statement from NNSA reads in part, “NNSA has no plans to return Security Category I/II material such as pits to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Should it become necessary to revisit this decision, NNSA would only do so after carefully evaluating the policy and program implications of such a change.”
Kelley says she agrees that there is no “final” plan, and thus, this is the time for the public to act to make sure the plutonium cores don’t end up at a facility without the proper security, even if it's just a for testing.
“There are safer alternatives. It makes nobody safer to put these bomb cores on trucks at Los Alamos, bring them through three states if they take the shortest route, test them at Livermore lab, put them back on a truck send them back across the three states and to Los Alamos lab,” Kelley says.
The public forum is Wednesday, January 30th from 7pm-9pm at the Livermore Public Library at 1188 S. Livermore Avenue, Livermore.
For more information, visit www.TriValleyCAREs.org