An aerial view of the Device Assembly Facility.

Enlarge / The Device Assembly Facility at the Nevada National Security Site. (credit: Nevada National Security Site )

This week, Energy Department Secretary Rick Perry sent a letter to Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto saying that the Department would move a half-ton load of plutonium waste out of Nevada between 2021 and 2026.

Last year, the federal government said it would move plutonium from South Carolina to the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) for temporary storage before moving it on to its final destination. The state of Nevada sued the federal government in the hopes of stopping the planned shipment, but months into the legal action, the federal government told the court that the plutonium had already been secretly delivered to the NNSS.

Nevada politicians were incensed, and Cortez Masto, who holds a seat on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, placed holds on any pending Trump administration nominations to the Department of Energy.

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