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Nevada Cites US Warnings in Bid to Block Plutonium Shipments
March 8, 2019

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Nevada’s latest bid to block incoming shipments of weapons-grade plutonium points to the U.S. Energy Department’s own scientific warnings about the dangers of prematurely moving the highly radioactive material out of South Carolina.

State lawyers say in briefs filed this week with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the Trump administration is engaged in a clandestine “charade” intended to turn Nevada “into the nation’s radioactive dump.”

They want the San Francisco-based court to overturn a Reno judge’s refusal to temporarily halt all plutonium shipments to a site near Las Vegas.

U.S. District Judge Miranda Du denied the request Jan. 30, saying any potential harm was speculative. That was the same day the government revealed it secretly shipped a half metric ton (1,102 pounds) of plutonium from South Carolina to Nevada sometime before Nov. 30.

Nevada lawyers said in Monday’s filing that the “stealth” truck shipment increased residents’ radiation exposure equivalent to getting 100 to 200 chest X-rays annually for three years.

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