Nevada suing US in bid to block plan for plutonium shipments

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Material will eventually come to LANL

By KEN RITTER, Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada is suing the federal government in a bid to stop plans to ship plutonium cross-country next year from South Carolina to the nation's former nuclear proving ground north of Las Vegas.

In a statement Tuesday, outgoing Gov. Brian Sandoval and Attorney General Adam Laxalt repeated a vow that the state will fight "at every level" the U.S. Department of Energy plan to store radioactive bomb-making material at the

Nevada Nuclear Security Site.

Sandoval, a Republican, said Nevada won't stand for the threat that shipping and storing highly toxic and cancer-causing material could pose to public health and safety.

State officials worry that an accident could permanently harm a Las Vegas area home to 2.2 million permanent residents and host to more than 40 million tourists a year.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Reno, accuses the Energy Department of failing to properly study environmental threats posed by moving about 2,200 pounds (1 metric ton) of weapons-grade plutonium from the federal Savannah River nuclear weapons refining complex in South Carolina to Nevada by New Year's Day 2020.

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