AG Wilson gives US Energy Secretary notice of intent to sue over MOX plant

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 22, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson sent a letter today to U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry giving him notice the state intends to file a lawsuit against the United States, the Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration, and their respective officers in their official capacities, to challenge Secretary Perry’s certification to terminate the MOX (Mixed Oxide) Project at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The purpose of the MOX plant is to convert weapons-grade plutonium into fuel for nuclear reactors.

In his letter, Attorney General Wilson says, “South Carolina is disappointed that DOE continues to move forward on a path that fails to comply with governing law and fails to honor the commitments made to the State. Instead, DOE has chosen a path that would render South Carolina the nation’s ‘dumping ground’ for plutonium.”

A 2003 agreement between South Carolina and the Department of Energy required the federal government to remove or recycle one ton of plutonium from the Savannah River Site by January 1, 2016, but that hasn’t happened. The agreement calls for a fine of $1 million per day for up to 100 days if the U.S. does not fulfill that agreement. South Carolina is currently pursuing those fines in federal court in a separate lawsuit.

The attorney general said in the letter the state intends to file this lawsuit no later than Friday and will seek a preliminary injunction to prevent the MOX project from being shut down.

You can read the letter here.

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