Rosen Receives Transparency Commitment from National Nuclear Security Administration Nominees on Removal of Weapons-Grade Plutonium from Nevada

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, during a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) nomination hearing, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) questioned Jill Hruby, nominee to be Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and Frank Rose, nominee to be Principal Deputy Administrator of NNSA, on their commitment to ensuring a transparent process as NNSA removes secretly shipped plutonium from Nevada. A transcript of the Senator’s exchange can be found below, and a video of the Senator’s exchange can be found aquí.

ROSEN: Thank you. I want to move on now to plutonium removal. And in 2018, of course, the Department of Energy secretly shipped a half metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium from South Carolina to the Nevada National Security Site. As part of an effort to restore trust with the people of Nevada, NNSA committed to begin the removal of the South Carolina material from Nevada no later than 2021 and complete removal by 2026. So, Ms. Hruby and Mr. Rose, can you both commit, if confirmed, to provide the Nevada delegation and our staff with updates on the removal of plutonium from Nevada?

HRUBY: Yes, Senator Rosen.

ROSE: Yes, Senator Rosen.

ROSEN: Thank you. I appreciate that. I look forward to, if confirmed, working with both of you on making sure the Nevada National Security Site can complete its mission in the safest way for Nevadans, for our country, and for our homeland security and safety. Thank you.

BACKGROUND: In February 2019, Senators Rosen and Cortez Masto sent a letter to former Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry demanding information about the agency’s decision to secretly transport one-half metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium to the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) and expressing outrage over the Department’s lack of good-faith negotiations with the State of Nevada.

In 2019 and 2020, Rosen and Cortez Masto sent letters to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging them to include language in the Fiscal Year 2020 and Fiscal Year 2021 spending bills to block the Department of Energy from transporting weapons-grade plutonium to the state of Nevada without the state’s knowledge and consent.