published Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Federal plan to bury Oak Ridge, Tenn., nuclear waste in Nevada drawing fire

Aerial photograph of the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge.
Aerial photograph of the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge.
Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

LAS VEGAS — Federal plans to truck radioactive material from a World War II-era plant in Tennessee to Nevada for burial are renewing a long-fought battle to prevent the Silver State from becoming the nation's nuclear dumping ground.

Energy Department officials are telling residents at town hall meetings in Las Vegas and rural Pahrump that the state doesn't have authority to prevent shipments of uranium waste from Oak Ridge, Tenn., to the Nevada National Security Site north of Las Vegas.

Project administrators said Wednesday that a first truck is loaded and shipments could begin under armed guard in January.

They call the material low-level nuclear waste, and say moving it is a national security concern.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval says it's premature to say whether the state will sue to block the shipments.

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