Federal goverment removes one ton of plutonium from South Carolina following lawsuit

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – One ton of plutonium has been removed from South Carolina by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Congress passed a law requiring that the plutonium be removed from the Savannah River Site by January 1, 2016, if the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Facility’s production objective was not met by January 1, 2014.

That deadline was not met, leading the state to sue the Department of Energy.

A judge sided with the state and ordered that one metric ton of plutonium be removed from the state by January 1, 2020. The department filed an appeal with the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, who upheld that district court’s order.

“Today’s news that one ton of weapons-grade plutonium has been removed from the state is a victory for South Carolinians and the rule of law,” said SC Attorney General Alan Wilson, who filed that lawsuit against the Department of Energy.

AG Wilson went on to say: “The Department of Energy disregarded many of its obligations to the state, and this outcome confirms the state will not sit idly by while the department does so. We will continue enforcing the law and hold the federal government to its commitments to South Carolina and its citizens.”

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