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Energy Department Says It Will Remove Plutonium From Nevada

RENO, Nev. (AP) — U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry is pledging to expedite the removal of weapons-grade plutonium secretly shipped to Nevada last year.

Perry said in an April 24 letter to Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto that the Energy Department intends to start removing the highly radioactive material in 2021 and finish by the end of 2026.

In the letter released Tuesday, he also assured her that his department won't ship any more plutonium from South Carolina to the site north of Las Vegas.

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As a result, Cortez Masto says she's dropping all holds she had placed on pending nominations to fill Energy Department vacancies.

Nevada is seeking a court order to temporarily ban new plutonium shipments to the state and has a related case before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.