U.S. restarts plutonium production for space probes

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) – The Department of Energy has produced its first batch of non-weapons grade plutonium, used to power space probes, since a nuclear reactor shutdown 25 years ago, NASA officials said on Monday. The U.S. space agency turned to buying radioactive plutonium-238 from Russia after safety issues prompted the Department of Energy to close its Savannah River Site in South Carolina in the late 1980s. …

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