January 31, 2019

Cortez Masto Demands Answers from U.S. Energy Department on Shipment of Plutonium to Nevada

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement after meeting with officials from the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) about the U.S. Department of Energy’s decision to ship a half metric ton of plutonium for storage in the State of Nevada without the consent of the Governor, Nevada’s congressional delegation and local communities. Senator Cortez Masto questioned the officials about any future plans to ship additional nuclear material to Nevada, how long the Department plans to temporarily store the shipment in our state, the date of its expected removal and the route by which it was transferred.

“This evening, I met with officials from the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and expressed my dismay over how they failed to inform Nevada’s Governor and its congressional delegation about their plans to bring weapons grade plutonium into our state. The Department of Energy (DOE) and NNSA negotiated in bad faith, hiding the timing of their shipment and refused to share crucial information with Members of Congress who had the security clearance to know. I put NNSA officials on notice that they had betrayed the trust of Nevadans and completely undermined a bipartisan working relationship established by Governor Sandoval, and continued by Governor Sisolak. While I remain hopeful we can rebuild that relationship, I made it clear that I’m fighting alongside Nevada’s congressional delegation, Attorney General Ford, and our Governor to hold them accountable and to find out when this plutonium will be removed.”


Present at today’s meeting besides Senator Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) were NNSA General Counsel Bruce Diamond, NNSA Administrator Lisa Gordon-Hagerty and Congressman Steven Horsford (D-Nev.-04).