Gov. Sisolak Wants Meeting With Pres. Trump on Plutonium, Yucca
Governor Steve Sisolak has sent a letter to President Trump requesting a meeting to discuss the recent shipment of half a metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium to Nevada.
Nevada's governor is asking for a face-to-face meeting with President Trump to protest federal shipments of weapons-grade plutonium to the state and to argue against plans for a national nuclear waste repository.
Gov. Steve Sisolak points in a Wednesday to a White House comment this week about being open to discussions.
A White House press official did not immediately respond to messages on Thursday.
The Democratic governor boycotted National Governors Association functions in recent days in Washington to protest shipment of plutonium from South Carolina to Nevada despite previous Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval's opposition.
Sisolak's protests came after the Energy Department disclosed Jan. 30 that it secretly trucked 1,000 pounds (453 kilograms) of the highly radioactive material to a facility at the former Nevada Test Site nuclear proving ground.
The DOE insists appropriate notice was provided in August when it approved plans to temporarily store plutonium there to meet a court-ordered deadline to remove it from South Carolina by 2020.
On November 30, 2018, Nevada filed a motion for preliminary injunction with the U.S. District Court to halt plutonium shipments from the U.S. Department of Energy pending a full environmental impact analysis as prescribed by law. A hearing took place on the state’s motion on January 17, 2019, during which Judge Miranda Du expressed hope that the federal government would not ship any plutonium to Nevada until she had ruled on the state’s motion for preliminary injunction. On January 30, Nevada received notice from the U.S. Dept. of Energy revealing that it had already shipped half a metric ton of plutonium to Nevada. Later that same day, Judge Du denied the state’s motion for preliminary injunction.
A congressional delegation led by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) was scheduled to tour Yucca Mountain this Friday, March 1st, with Nevada Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen accompanying. Energy Secretary Rick Perry was also scheduled to attend; however, the trip was canceled. Gov. Sisolak’s office reached out to DOE about setting up a face-to-face meeting with Secretary Perry while he was slated to be in Nevada, and the governor’s office is working with DOE to set up that meeting when the congressional visit is rescheduled.
(The Governor's Office, The Associated Press contributed to this report.)