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A new plant designed to manufacture plutonium triggers for the U.S. nuclear arsenal is likely to cause several fatal cancers among its workforce, according to an independent analysis of newly released government documents. The conclusion is based on a review of the May 2003 draft Department of Energy (DOE) Environmental Impact Statement on its proposed Modern Pit Facility by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER) in Takoma Park, Maryland.
The plutonium "pits" that trigger the initial explosion in modern multi-stage nuclear warheads are similar to the plutonium explosive in the bomb that the United States used to destroy Nagasaki during World War I].
According to IEER, the data tables in the DOE document project that the proposed plant to manufacture 450 plutonium pits per year would expose its workers to radiation …