The Latest: Nevada senators blast DOE over plutonium

Published 01-30-2019

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RENO, Nev. (AP) - The Latest on a federal court battle over the shipment of plutonium from South Carolina to Nevada (all times local):

2:25 p.m.

Nevada's congressional delegation is joining Gov. Steve Sisolak in expressing outrage over the U.S. Energy Department's new disclosure that it has secretly shipped a half metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium to a site north of Las Vegas.

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto says she's demanding that department officials come to her office on Thursday to explain how such a "reckless" decision was made.

Sen. Jacky Rosen called the move "deceitful and unethical."

The Democratic senators, along with Democratic Reps. Dina Titus, Susie Lee and Steven Horsford, are vowing to work with Sisolak, also a Democrat, to do whatever they can to keep any more plutonium from being shipped from South Carolina to Nevada.

The Justice Department notified a federal judge in Reno on Wednesday that the government had already trucked the radioactive material to the site north of Las Vegas when Nevada filed a request for an injunction to block the move in November.

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1:15 p.m.

The U.S. Department of Energy has disclosed that it already shipped one-half metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium to a nuclear security site in Nevada despite the state's protests.

The Justice Department notified a federal judge in Reno on Wednesday that the government had already

The Justice Department notified a federal judge in Reno on Wednesday that the government had already trucked the radioactive material to the site north of Las Vegas when Nevada filed a request for an injunction to block the move in November.

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1:15 p.m.

The U.S. Department of Energy has disclosed that it already shipped one-half metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium to a nuclear security site in Nevada despite the state's protests.

The Justice Department notified a federal judge in Reno on Wednesday that the government had already trucked the radioactive material to the site north of Las Vegas when Nevada filed a request for an injunction to block the move in November.

Department lawyers said in a nine-page filing that the previously classified information about the shipment from South Carolina can be disclosed now because enough time has passed to protect national security.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak says he's "beyond outraged." He says he's working with Nevada's congressional delegation to fight back against the U.S. government's "reckless disregard" for the safety of Nevadans.

1:15 p.m.

The U.S. Department of Energy has disclosed that it already shipped one-half metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium to a nuclear security site in Nevada despite the state's protests.

The Justice Department notified a federal judge in Reno on Wednesday that the government had already trucked the radioactive material to the site north of Las Vegas when Nevada filed a request for an injunction to block the move in November.

Department lawyers said in a nine-page filing that the previously classified information about the shipment from South Carolina can be disclosed now because enough time has passed to protect national security.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak says he's "beyond outraged." He says he's working with Nevada's congressional delegation to fight back against the U.S. government's "reckless disregard" for the safety of Nevadans.

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10:45 a.m.

Nevada and South Carolina are fighting in court over where to store weapons-grade plutonium.

Each state is claiming in new court filings that theirs is the proper venue to argue over the U.S. Department of Energy's decision to truck the plutonium from South Carolina to Nevada without further environmental review.

A U.S. district judge in Reno is considering Nevada's request to block the shipment to a nuclear security site 70 miles (113 kilometers) from Las Vegas. South Carolina lawyers want the case moved to their state, where a federal judge previously issued an order that the plutonium be removed from a Savannah River site by Jan. 1, 2020.

Nevada argues the DOE has failed to adequately study the potential dangers of moving the material to an area that is subject to flash floods and earthquakes, and that the state's lands and groundwater may already be contaminated with radioactive materials.

The Energy Department defended its decision Jan. 17 at a hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Miranda Du in Reno. Its lawyers argue it doesn't have to disclose top-secret details of the shipment plans because of national security.

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