SAVANNAH RIVER SITE, SC (WFXG) - The Savannah River Site will be producing plutonium pits for nuclear weapons according to the National Nuclear Security Administration. It says each year until 2030, it plans to create at least 50 plutonium pits per year in South Carolina.
It is potentially bringing more jobs to the area and receiving millions for funding, but the recent announcement that the Savannah River Site will be one of two locations in the United States for a facility to create nuclear weapons has at least one person worried.
"The scariest part about it is we have no idea what this process is going to mean. You're going to take a building you built for MOX and retrofit it to put plutonium," says Tonya Bonitatibus.
The Mixed Oxide Facility known as MOX has been under construction since 2007. The purpose was to convert plutonium used for nuclear weapons and turn it into a safe fuel to power homes. However, with this recent announcement, the National Nuclear Security Administration is recommending re-purposing that $17 billion-dollar project for this cause. Leaving the Riverkeeper with more questions than answers for this project.
"Doing this kind of stuff out west, that makes more sense. You have more rock, you have less water, you have less people. This is not that rural of an area, you have Savannah and Hilton head downstream." says Bonitatibus. "If you do have something that goes wrong at SRS, there are almost a million people affected directly."
Click this link to read the statement from the National Nuclear Security Administration.