Las Vegas Sun

April 18, 2019

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Nevada appeals judge’s decision not to block plutonium shipment

The fight over the federal government’s secret plutonium shipments to Nevada continues to escalate.

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford filed a notice of appeal today with the U.S. District Court after the 9th Circuit denied the state’s request for a preliminary injunction that would have at least temporarily stopped federal shipments of plutonium for storage in the state.

“My administration continues to exercise every legal tool at our disposal to fight back against the federal government’s reckless disregard for the safety of Nevada’s families and environment,” Gov. Steve Sisolak said in a statement.

The request for an injunction was filed in late November, and would have frozen plutonium shipments from the U.S. Department of Energy until a full environmental impact analysis was completed.

Two months later, on the same day Judge Miranda Du denied the request for an injunction, the Department of Energy revealed it had already shipped half a metric ton of plutonium into the state, triggering outrage from state lawmakers.

The plutonium came from South Carolina, where a federal judge ordered a full ton of plutonium to be removed from the Savannah River Site, a nuclear facility and storage site.

“This notice of appeal will serve as a message to the courts and to every Nevadan: that the Nevada Attorney General’s Office will exhaust every legal avenue to ensure the health, safety and economic prosperity of its residents is not jeopardized,” Ford said in a statement.