South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges (D) said last week that he would do "whatever it takes" to keep plutonium shipments from coming to the Savannah River Site, a nuclear-processing complex run by the U.S. Energy Department near Aiken, S.C. Hodges says the Bush administration has gone back on a plan he worked out with the Clinton administration, under which plutonium at the Savannah River Site would be taken from the state after it was converted to power-plant fuel or encased in glass. With no guarantee that processed plutonium will leave the state, Hodges fears the site could become a de facto permanent storage site for plutonium in the country. He is considering a lawsuit to block the shipments and has ordered the state Highway Patrol to draw up plans to block the state’s borders to federal trucks carrying plutonium.
Get Grist in your inbox