More weapons-grade plutonium headed to Savannah River Site

Author: 1 Comment Share:

Savannah River Site - Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility

Nearly an additional ton of weapons-grade plutonium will be shipped to the Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina from Europe, the Pacific Rim (including from Japan), and North America.  The material would be stored at SRS until the federal government determines a final disposition for it.

US government officials say it is necessary to store the materials at SRS to ensure that they cannot be stolen by terrorists.

There are concerns, in part because the SRS site already holds over 12 metric tons of plutonium collected from commercial nuclear power plants across the United States.  The plutonium was expected to be used to manufacture mixed oxide fuel (MOX) for nuclear power plants but the construction of the controversial MOX fuel fabrication facility which was expected to process 34 metric tons of plutonium is only 70% completed, billions of dollars over budget, years behind its original schedule, and has been placed on a shut-down track by Congress.

Officials from South Carolina aren’t too pleased with the accumulating tons of weapons-grade material being stored in their state.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley opposes the permanent disposal of plutonium at the SRS.  Governor Haley has said that the federal government should either process the materials or remove them from the SRS site and is considering suing the government if no action is taken.  Chaney Adams, spokeswoman for the Governor told reporters “South Carolina will not be a dumping ground for weapons-grade plutonium and nuclear waste.”

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham pointed out some of the concerns related to the SRS site, “There has been a lot of anxiety and uncertainty in the community about the program’s future, particularly after the (President Barack Obama) administration tried to cancel the program, which would have left South Carolina stuck with several tons of weapons-grade plutonium.”

Source: The Aiken Standard

Source: The State

Source: The Aiken Standard

Previous Article

The Animals at Fukushima Daiichi and Chernobyl

Next Article

Kyushu Electric set to decommission Genkai Unit 1 reactor