Energy Department resumes plutonium production for space missions

03/18/2013 | Reuters

The U.S. government has restarted production of non-military-grade plutonium, the first American-made supply in 25 years. Safety issues in the 1980s prompted the Energy Department to shut down a reactor site in South Carolina, forcing NASA officials to buy plutonium from Russia to power its space probes. The department and NASA produced a small test supply of plutonium at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. The U.S. has yet to determine production plans and costs for any additional supplies.

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