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ROSEN LEADS LETTER URGING DOE SECRETARY TO STOP PLANS TO SEND WEAPONS-GRADE PLUTONIUM TO NEVADA

September 7, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (NV-03) led a letter to Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rick Perry with Congressman Ruben Kihuen (NV-04) expressing serious concerns over the Department’s plans to send up to one metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium to the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS).

“We write to express serious concern regarding the Department of Energy’s (DOE) recently issued NEPA Supplemental Analysis approving the storage of up to one metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). We believe this project could be detrimental to our national security and military readiness,” wrote the Members.

“With this in mind, we strongly urge you to conduct a full NEPA analysis, and study the impact that such a project would have on DOD and DOE activities. Nuclear waste has no business being transported to and stored at a site that both is, and surrounded by, our nation’s key national security facilities,” concluded the Members.

Read text of the letter here or below:

LETTER TEXT

September 7, 2018

 

The Honorable Rick Perry                                            

Secretary of Energy

U.S. Department of Energy

1000 Independence Ave SW                                         

Washington, DC 20585                                                   

Dear Secretary Perry:

We write to express serious concern regarding the Department of Energy’s (DOE) recently issued NEPA Supplemental Analysis approving the storage of up to one metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). We believe this project could be detrimental to our national security and military readiness. As you know, this approval comes in the wake of an order by the U.S. District Court of South Carolina requiring the removal of one metric ton of plutonium from DOE’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina by January 1, 2020.

As members of the Nevada Delegation, we have already expressed serious concerns to you about the Department of Energy’s plans to transport and permanently dispose of high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, located near the NNSS. Similar to the Yucca Mountain issue, we are extremely concerned about the potential effect the transportation and storage of hazardous materials such as plutonium and nuclear waste could have on Department of Defense (DOD) and DOE national security operations that take place on  the NNSS, at the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR), and at surrounding military installations.

There has long been concern from the Department of the Air Force that transporting and storing highly radioactive and dangerous materials could negatively impact the ability of Nellis AFB to carry out its air combat training mission at the NTTR – the “Crown Jewel” of the Air Force. The NTTR provides the largest air and ground military training space in the contiguous U.S. without interference from commercial aircraft.

With this in mind, we strongly urge you to conduct a full NEPA analysis and study the impact that such a project would have on DOD and DOE activities. Nuclear waste has no business being transported to and stored at a site that both is, and surrounded by, our nation’s key national security facilities.

Thank you for your attention to this important national security matter.

Sincerely,

 

Jacky Rosen

Member of Congress

 

Ruben Kihuen

Member of Congress


 

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