Technology: Court rules for US in fight over Nevada plutonium shipment - PressFrom - US
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TechnologyCourt rules for US in fight over Nevada plutonium shipment

00:30  14 august  2019
00:30  14 august  2019 Source:   msn.com

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They say shipments to Nevada would avoid heavily populated areas of Las Vegas. Nevada 's congressional delegation swiftly condemned the This article originally appeared on Reno Gazette Journal: Trump administration secretly shipped weapons-grade plutonium from S. Carolina to Nevada .

"They lied to the state of Nevada , misled a federal court , and jeopardized the safety of Nevada 's Justice Department lawyers said any additional plutonium removed from South Carolina would not Meanwhile, the states of Nevada and South Carolina are continuing to argue over where any legal

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled against Nevada in a battle with the U.S. government over its secret shipment of weapons-grade plutonium to a site near Las Vegas.

Court rules for US in fight over Nevada plutonium shipment© Provided by The Associated Press FILE - In this Feb. 18, 1997 file photo, then John McGrail, director of the Department of Energy stockpile stewardship program, talks about the $100 million Device Assembly Facility behind him at the Nevada Test Site in Mercury, Nev. Nevada's U.S. senators and Energy Secretary Rick Perry are set to tour the site north of Las Vegas where the federal government is handling weapons-grade plutonium shipped from South Carolina. A federal appeals court has ruled against Nevada in a legal battle over the U.S. government's secret shipment of weapons-grade plutonium to a site near Las Vegas. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, denied the state's appeal after a judge refused to block any future shipments to Nevada. The court in San Francisco says the matter is moot because the Energy Department already sent the radioactive material and has promised that no more will be hauled there. (AP Photo/Lennox McLendon, File)

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the state's appeal after a judge refused to block any future shipments to Nevada. The court in San Francisco said the matter is moot because the Energy Department already sent the radioactive material and has promised that no more will be hauled there.

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A time line of the court fight over plutonium shipments to Nevada : — August: The Department of Energy issues an analysis of a proposed transfer of one metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium from the Savannah River Site in South Carolina to the Nevada National Security Site near Las Vegas and

"The remedy Nevada sought — stopping the government from shipping plutonium from South Carolina to Nevada under the proposed action — is no longer available," the court wrote.

Nevada also wanted the court to order the government to remove the plutonium it shipped last year but didn't reveal had arrived there until January.

The 9th Circuit said that issue also is moot because the state failed to include that request in its original motion seeking to block future shipments.

"Because the government completed the shipment, any harm caused by the shipment cannot be 'undone' by granting the motion Nevada actually filed," the ruling said.

Court rules for US in fight over Nevada plutonium shipment© Provided by The Associated Press FILE - In this 1997 file photo a group of people walk down a hallway which winds through the Device Assembly Facility which houses 30 separate buildings at the Nevada Test Site in Mercury, Nev. A federal appeals court has ruled against Nevada in a legal battle over the U.S. government's secret shipment of weapons-grade plutonium to a site near Las Vegas. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, denied the state's appeal after a judge refused to block any future shipments to Nevada. The court in San Francisco says the matter is moot because the Energy Department already sent the radioactive material and has promised that no more will be hauled there. (AP Photo/Lennox McLendon, File)

Neither the state nor the Energy Department immediately responded to requests for comment.

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The plutonium went to the Nevada National Security Site, about 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The department led the State of Nevada to believe that they were engaging in good-faith negotiations with us regarding a potential shipment of weapons-grade plutonium , only to reveal that those

The US Department of Energy secretly shipped half a metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium to Nevada despite the state ’s strong opposition to Sisolak is pursuing “any and all legal remedies,” including contempt of court orders to be filed against the federal government, in fighting back

Nevada sued in federal court in Reno last November, accusing the agency of illegally deciding it could transport the material without completing a full environmental review of potential health and safety dangers.

Although Nevada wasn't aware at the time, the government had already shipped a half metric ton of plutonium from South Carolina to the Nevada National Security Site, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northwest of Las Vegas. That site is separate from but close to the Yucca Mountain site in the Mojave Desert where the Trump administration wants to build a high-level radioactive waste repository.

Court rules for US in fight over Nevada plutonium shipment© Provided by The Associated Press FILE - In this May 10, 2017, file photo provided by the Los Alamos National Laboratory, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, second from left, accompanied by Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan, second from right, learns about capabilities at the Los Alamos Laboratory Plutonium Facility, from Jeff Yarbrough, right, Los Alamos Associate Director for Plutonium Science and Manufacturing, in Los Alamos. A federal appeals court has ruled against Nevada in a legal battle over the U.S. government's secret shipment of weapons-grade plutonium to a site near Las Vegas. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, denied the state's appeal after a judge refused to block any future shipments to Nevada. The court in San Francisco says the matter is moot because the Energy Department already sent the radioactive material and has promised that no more will be hauled there. (Los Alamos National Laboratory via AP, File)

Nevada says the Trump administration abused "top secret" classifications to meet a court order to remove a ton of weapons-grade plutonium from the Savannah River site in South Carolina by Jan. 1, 2020.

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Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said he's "beyond outraged by this completely unacceptable deception." In January, Du declined to immediately block the plutonium and indicated she wouldn't rule until Meanwhile, the states of Nevada and South Carolina are continuing to argue over where any legal

"They lied to the state of Nevada , misled a federal court , and jeopardized the safety of Nevada 's Justice Department lawyers said any additional plutonium removed from South Carolina would not Meanwhile, the states of Nevada and South Carolina are continuing to argue over where any legal

While Nevada's appeal was pending, Energy Secretary Rick Perry sent a letter to Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, a Nevada Democrat, pledging to expedite removal of the plutonium already sent to Nevada — beginning in 2021 — and promising no more will be sent there.

The radioactive material isn't intended to be unpacked in Nevada, only temporarily stored before it is moved again, most likely to New Mexico or Texas for reprocessing for use in building nuclear weapons.

The Energy Department has said it expects to move the plutonium from Nevada to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico "or another facility" by the "2026-2027 timeframe."

Nevada's lawyers argued that Energy Department couldn't be trusted because of past misrepresentations about the covert shipment. The state said U.S. officials selectively declassified information as it suited their needs.

The Energy Department insists the plutonium was properly classified for security.

It disclosed the material was in Nevada on Jan. 30, the same day Judge Miranda Du in Reno denied a state request to temporarily halt all shipments. She also ruled that the matter was moot.

Nevada argued in its appeal to the 9th Circuit that the case wasn't moot partly because the government had "voluntarily" ceased the shipments and could resume them at any time.

But the court ruled that "the alleged injury was no longer redressable."

Nevada could now request a hearing before the full 9th Circuit or seek a new court order to remove the plutonium that's already been shipped.

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