Here we go again. The federal government wants South Carolina to be the dumping ground for more of the world’s plutonium, a toxic nuclear weapons component. At the same time, it is failing miserably in its promise to process and remove 12 metric tons of plutonium already at the Savannah River Site near Aiken. South Carolina should fight with every tool it has to stop a new plan by the U.S. Department Energy to import nearly a ton of plutonium from the Pacific Rim and North America to SRS. Not an ounce more should arrive until the existing problem is resolved. The news of new shipments is part of an old shell game. In it, the federal government tries to move bad things around because it has enacted no national plan. And it repeatedly fails to live up to its promises and responsibilities to communities around the country. The government’s program to convert weapons-grade plutonium at SRS into a mixed oxide fuel (MOX) that could be used in commercial nuclear reactors is years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget. So into this quagmire stumbles the federal government with the suggestion to do what? Bring in more plutonium. It’s like the theater of the absurd. But it is a serious problem that has been bungled for many decades.
The Island Packet 2nd Jan 2016 read more »