production, which the military says is needed to replace pits in older nuclear warheads, is limited by law to 20 pits per year.
Using less than 8 grams of plutonium, they obtained information useful in assessing how long a plutonium pit
, or the core of an implosion weapon, can be kept in a reliable state.
Another major player flouting the NPT, according to nuclear disarmament activists, is the US government, which has been making efforts to expand plutonium pit
production for nuclear weapons, while top US officials have made public avowals that they were prepared to use nuclear weapons in Iraq and Iran.
A new $22 million plutonium pit
production facility has been proposed so that stockpiled weapons can be "refreshed" in the name of homeland security.
Wearing gloves, face masks, and lead aprons to shield them from plutonium's radioactivity, they remove the plutonium pit
from the bomb's warhead.
The work scope at Pantex also includes high explosive research and development and interim plutonium pit
The funding targeted stockpile management; construction projects; nuclear safeguards; and a series of specific campaigns for research, engineering, Plutonium pit
production, and stockpile readiness.
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
Metal Trades Council-represented workers at Pantex are responsible for the nuclear weapons life extension programs: weapons dismantlement; development, testing and fabrication of high explosives components; and storage and surveillance of plutonium pits
Work performed at Pantex includes support of the nuclear weapons life extension programs; nuclear weapons dismantlement; the development, testing and fabrication of high explosive components; and interim storage and surveillance of plutonium pits
Finally, funding was requested for a Modern Pit Facility to produce the Plutonium pits
for nuclear warheads.
The workers are members of OPEIU Local 306, part of the Amarillo Metal Trades Council (MTC), a 10-union council within the Metal Trades Department that represents roughly 1,200 Pantex workers who are responsible for the nuclear weapons life extension programs -- weapons dismantlement; development, testing and fabrication of high explosives components; and storage and surveillance of plutonium pits