Pantex Public Meetings to Determine Nuclear Future

Panhandle residents are helping to determine the future of our nation's nuclear program. 

A process that began this morning at a public meeting in Amarillo. 

NewsChannel10's Tina Berasley attended the morning session and has the details.

The National Nuclear Security Agency or NNSA wants to reduce our supply of nuclear weapons under a plan called "Complex 2030". 

Here's how it would work... The NNSA hopes to decrease that stockpile by 50% by the year 2012.  Then by the year 2030 the entire overhaul would be complete.  As part of this plan, the  agency will decide how to consolidate those weapons, and whether or not they may move the locations of certain programs.

Other plant locations are also being considered for the program.

Before they can make a final decision they have to conduct an environmental impact study on the areas surrounding the eight nuclear facilities involved in this plan-including our own Pantex. 
Ted Wyka was here representing the NNSA, he explains what elements the study would include;  "The land, on the water sources, socio economic factors, looking at different accident analysis, looking at a comprehensive study on various factors to determine impact on the environment, community and workforce that's why were here. "

Sara Black is one concerned resident we spoke with ,she says having less nuclear weapons is a good idea... But the government needs to keep a close eye on one of the panhandle's most precious resources in the process.  "There are several indicators, Lake Meredith is one but there are tests all over the panhandle where some of the industrial operations have just yanked that water down to 50% of what it was and we need to be concerned about our ability to get water to drink and to take care of human use."

The public input will continue at another meeting going on right now at the Globe News Center in Amarillo. 

If you can't make tonight's meeting the NNSA will continue to accept comments in writing through January 18th.

We will have more tonight on NightCast.

More on the web:

Complex 2030 Explained