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NBC News reports the Rooftop where the gunman shot at Trump was identified as a security vulnerability; Judge Cannon dismisses Classified Documents Case against Trump; UTA professors refuse to comply with Title IX of abortion law; smaller ranchers voice concerns about USDA electronic tag mandates.

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Former President Trump is injured but safe after an attempted assassination many condemn political violence. Democrats' fears intensify over Biden's run. And North Carolina could require proof of citizenship to vote.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Alliance: 'Skyrocketing' Y-12 facility costs affect TN taxpayers

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Tuesday, March 19, 2024   

A Knoxville-based environmental group is voicing concerns over what it sees as an increasing financial strain imposed on taxpayers by nuclear weapons projects. Expenses for the Y12 Uranium Processing Facility in Oak Ridge are expected to increase as it ages.

Tanvi Kardile, coordinator for the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, said the National Nuclear Security Administration requested an extra $810 million for the Y12 complex. That pushes its total cost to $9 billion, which is $2.5 billion more than the initial estimate.

Kardile suggested this money could be better spent on other state priorities.

"It would just be so great for the state to up their health care, up education. We don't have public transportation here. That can be something great for us - but instead, we're paying towards nuclear weapons," Kardile suggested.

Kardile added the Biden administration total weapons budget for the nation is $19.8 billion. She pointed out delays in construction of the Uranium Processing facility mean it won't be completed until 2029, several years behind schedule.

She said her group is also concerned with the ongoing environmental hazards and public health risks tied to enriching uranium and other activities at the weapons complex. But proponents of the plant point to the jobs and economic impact it has for the local area. Kardile said that wouldn't necessarily go away if the facility closed.

"If the plant were to shut down operations, they would still have to be cleanup, because there is a lot of contamination and radiation from the plant. So, it would still provide jobs for years to come, because that contamination is not going to go away in our lifetime," Kardile added.

She emphasized the importance of Tennesseans collaborating with lawmakers to find the best path to allocate their tax dollars.

Disclosure: Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance contributes to our fund for reporting on Environment, Nuclear Waste, Peace, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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"I truly love our Country, and love you all, and look forward to speaking to our Great Nation this week from Wisconsin," wrote Former President Donald Trump on social media. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

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