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U.S. Dept of Energy pledges to remove plutonium from Nevada

Energy Department says it will remove plutonium from Nevada, abc,By SCOTT SONNER, ASSOCIATED PRESS,  Apr 30, 2019,U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry is pledging to expedite the removal of weapons-grade plutonium secretly hauled to Nevada last year as the state and Trump administration remain locked in a court battle about whether the shipment was legal.

The Energy Department intends to start removing the highly radioactive material in 2021 and finish by the end of 2026, Perry said in an April 24 letter to U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, a Nevada Democrat.

He also assured her in the letter released Tuesday that his department won’t ship any more plutonium from South Carolina to the Nevada Nuclear Security Site north of Las Vegas.

Nevada still is seeking a formal court order preventing any shipments because it says the agency’s track record shows it cannot be trusted. It also has a related case before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

A federal judge in South Carolina has ordered the U.S. government to remove a metric ton (2,204 pounds) of plutonium from the Savannah River site by Jan. 1, 2020, and haul out an additional 5 metric tons (11,020 pounds) in future years.

Nevada sued in November, accusing the Energy Department of failing to do the necessary environmental reviews before adopting a plan last August to ship the plutonium to the state.

The department disclosed in January that it already had shipped half a metric ton (1,102 pounds) of the material before Nevada sued but kept it secret for national security reasons…….

The Energy Department has said it plans to forward the plutonium to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico by the “2026-2027 timeframe.” https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/energy-department-remove-plutonium-nevada-62738713

May 2, 2019 - Posted by | - plutonium, USA

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