Environmentalist Reacts to Attorney General’s $100 Million Lawsuit Against U.S. Dept. of Energy

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO)- Attorney General Alan Wilson is bringing about a major lawsuit against the federal Department of Energy.

“Under federal law, for every day in 2017 they don’t remove the Plutonium at Savannah River Site, they have to pay South Carolina one million dollars the first 100 days that the obligation is not met. That 100 days has come and gone and now we are suing the federal government for $100 million,” said Wilson.

Wilson said the filing is not only about the law but also about the protection of our citizens.

“This is really about the rule of law and it’s really about public safety. These are two things I can say: first off, South Carolina is not going a dumping ground for nuclear waste. The federal government under federal law, says they would either store it at Yucca- which they did not do, that they would process it at the MOX facility- which they have not done, or that they would remove it-which they have not done,” said Wilson.

Environmentalists said this lawsuit may not help with the issue of nuclear waste removal. “I appreciate the sentiment here, but they can’t tell the judge to force the federal government to fund the MOX project, she can’t Congress to fund the MOX project so I don’t think this is going to end up doing much but this does underscore that the MOX project has been pretty much a big failure,” said said Savannah River Site Watch Director Tom Clements.

The MOX facility in Aiken was supposed to be a safe place to store the plutonium but now environmentalist are exploring other alternatives.

“We have advocated putting the plutonium back into the high-level nuclear waste at the Savannah River Site, that’s really where it came from after it was processed upon removal from the reactors. What they are actually doing now is down blending the plutonium with a secret material and taking it to Mexico for disposal,” said Clements.

Although the lawsuit was  filed, the outcome of the dispute remains uncertain.

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