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The Nation

A loan to rebuild a chemical plant has been approved after being delayed until the plant’s owner was cleared of suspicion that it knew of secret attempts to ship a rocket fuel element from its plant to Iran. The $92-million loan for the plant, vital to the nation’s rocket fuel supply, was approved by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration nearly a year after the plant blew up at Henderson, Nev. The loan from a Seattle bank, to be repaid almost entirely by federal taxpayers, is to Pacific Engineering & Production Co. NASA and the Defense Department have agreed to buy 140 million pounds of ammonium perchlorate--a rocket fuel oxidizer--over seven years. The destroyed plant is about 30% rebuilt but at a new location: Cedar City, Utah.


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