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Energy Secretary May Speed Plutonium Removal From Nevada

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto says Energy Secretary Rick Perry has committed to expediting the removal of weapons-grade plutonium it secretly shipped to a site in Nevada last year if she agrees to stop blocking appointments to vacant positions in his department.

But it's not clear how soon that could happen or where the material that's currently scheduled to be moved to New Mexico by 2026-27 would go in the meantime.

Cortez Masto told reporters in Carson City Wednesday night that Perry phoned her last week to discuss the matter. The Nevada Democrat says they talked about removing the radioactive material from a site north of Las Vegas over the next three to five years. But she says she wants a commitment to that effect in writing.

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The Energy Department didn't immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday.