RENO — Nevada’s latest legal bid to block shipments of weapons-grade plutonium to the state cites the Energy Department’s own scientific warnings the past two years about the dangers of prematurely moving the highly radioactive material out of South Carolina.
Nevada’s lawyers say in new briefs filed this week in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals the Trump administration is engaged in a clandestine “charade” intended to turn the state “into the nation’s radioactive dump.”
They want the San Francisco-based court to overturn a Reno judge’s refusal to temporarily halt all plutonium shipments to a site north of Las Vegas.
U.S. District Judge Miranda Du concluded Jan. 30 any potential harm to the state was speculative.
State lawyers say a secret shipment last year increased radiation exposure to Nevadans equivalent to 100 to 200 chest X-rays annually for three years.