Target: Ernest Moniz, Secretary of U.S. Energy
Goal: Stop sending radioactive material to the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.
Radioactive material from a Japanese research project is being sent to a nuclear reservation in South Carolina despite protests from the state’s governor that the area would risk becoming a “permanent dumping ground for nuclear materials.” The decision to send 730 pounds of plutonium to the Savannah River Site on the border of South Carolina and Georgia was announced ahead of the Nuclear Security Summit. That’s enough plutonium for more than 40 nuclear weapons, and the material is highly toxic.
According to the Institute for Southern Studies, the area in which the Savannah River Site is located already has longstanding environmental health risks that are disproportionately placed on low-income and African American communities. Greenpeace has claimed that the shipment of plutonium being brought over from Japan is the largest since 1992. Thirteen metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium are already stocked at the Savannah River Site, and concerns have been raised that excessive radiation could be emitted if the toxic material reaches a certain mass.
Low-income areas should not becoming dumping grounds for this toxic material. Nikki Haley, the governor of South Carolina, wrote a letter to U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz before the Summit took place, demanding that the plutonium shipment be stopped or rerouted. Sign the petition below to urge Secretary Moniz to reconsider these demands and find a better solution for disposing of dangerous nuclear materials.
Dear Secretary Moniz,
Radioactive material is being shipped from Japan to the Savannah River Site nuclear reservation in South Carolina despite protests about the environmental risks. Governor Nikki Haley objected to the shipment weeks ago, arguing that it will put South Carolina at risk of becoming a “permanent dumping ground for nuclear materials.” The area is already facing environmental health risks that are disproportionately focused on low-income and African American communities, and the danger of excessive toxic material cannot be permitted.
According to Greenpeace, this shipment of 730 pounds plutonium, enough for almost 50 nuclear weapons, is the largest since 1992. There are already thirteen metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium stockpiled at the Savannah River Site, and excessive radiation can occur if the toxic material reaches a certain mass.
Low-income areas should not suffer simply because they are convenient dumping grounds for toxic material. I am urging you to reconsider Governor Haley’s request to stop or re-route the plutonium shipment, and take action to work toward a better solution for the disposal of dangerous materials like plutonium.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Savannah River Site