BILLIONS DOWN THE DRAIN … COURT BATTLE HEATS UP
In February of 2014, this website reported exclusively on U.S. president Barack Obama‘s plans to shut down the mixed oxide fuel (a.k.a. “MOX”) program at the Savannah River Site (SRS) near Aiken, S.C.
We supported that decision … for reasons which have become abundantly clear in the intervening years.
MOX was supposed to turn weapons grade plutonium into fuel for nuclear reactors. The program was supposed to cost $1.6 billion. And it was supposed to be up-and-running in 2007.
Nearly a decade later, with cost overruns abounding and the projected total tab for the program soaring past the $10 billion mark – it’s still not operational.
Unfortunately, Palmetto politicians of both major parties – including U.S. Reps. Jim Clyburn and Mark Sanford – have pushed to keep the project alive.
Why? For them it’s a jobs program – although don’t ask governor Nikki Haley about the quality of the workers applying for those gigs.
Anyway, South Carolina is now suing the federal government for millions of dollars in fees related to this unfinished project – which has left plutonium sitting in the Palmetto State past a January 1, 2016 deadline.
According to reporter Meg Kinnard of the Associated Press, the state’s case will soon be decided by a federal judge.
(Read her story here).
At stake? Up to $100 million a year in fines owed to the state by the feds.
While the case moves forward, South Carolina continues to receive nuclear waste from foreign governments.
This website has been clear in its position on these issues from the beginning. We believe MOX should be abandoned and that Washington, D.C. should take its damn plutonium back.
In fact we have consistently called out the “Yucca Mountain Conspiracy,” a shady, backroom deal in Washington, D.C. which effectively shut down a nuclear waste repository in Nevada and cost U.S. taxpayers (especially South Carolina taxpayers) billions of dollars in the process.
It’s time for the federal government to honor its word … for once. But it’s also time for South Carolina politicians to stop pushing the MOX fantasy as a taxpayer-subsidized employment scheme.