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Plea for money to resume space plutonium production

Science groups are lobbying Congressional appropriators to provide funding for the government to resume production of Pu-238, a non-weapons grade form of plutonium used to fuel NASA’s deep space investigations.

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) announced on 5 July that it has joined three of its member societies—the American Astronomical Society, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Physical Society—to urge lawmakers to support the Obama administration’s request to provide the Department of Energy (DOE) and NASA with $10 million each in fiscal year (FY) 2012 appropriations bills to support this initiative. The language was recently dropped from the DOE section in the House version of the FY2012 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill.

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