May 8, 2022, Minute

Horry Friends approved concurrence with CFM’s Minute on Nuclear Weapons June 5, 2022

As South Carolinians, we feel a special responsibility to speak out against the production of plutonium pits and Tritium Producing Burnable Absorber Rods (TPBARs) in our state. Plutonium pits would be produced at Savannah River Site (SRS) in Aiken, South Carolina, and TPBARs are currently produced at Wesdyne in the Westinghouse facility near Columbia, South Carolina. The plutonium pits and TPBARS are created solely for nuclear weapons.

Plutonium pit production is a hedge against plutonium aging, but pits today are not at an aging risk. This has been well documented by experts and should not be used as a justification for creating more plutonium pits at SRS. The NNSA budget request for Fiscal Year 2023 for SRS is a total of $1.47 billion. That includes Savannah River Operations Office plus SRS contractors. The bulk of that amount consists of planning for fabrication of plutonium pits, the core of all US nuclear weapons, and for processing and packaging of tritium gas, a radioactive gas that boosts the explosive power of all US weapons. The SRS and Los Alamos pit facilities are slated to fabricate new pits for new nuclear weapons, not for pits to maintain existing weapons.

The Columbia Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) affirms and celebrates the ongoing efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons. As Quakers we oppose war and preparations for war and therefore oppose allocating $1.47 billion for devices that can only be used for destruction of most life on earth. We affirm protecting human civilization and all life on earth.