The U.S. government could begin moving radioactive plutonium from Colorado into South Carolina’s Savannah River nuclear complex as soon as this weekend, following a federal judge’s refusal yesterday afternoon to block the shipments. Gov. Jim Hodges (D) has vowed to appeal the ruling, and maintains that he won’t allow the plutonium into South Carolina until he has a legal guarantee that its storage there will be temporary. Legal battles are just one weapon in Hodges’ arsenal: He has also lambasted the federal government in television commercials, mobilized state troopers, and threatened to set up a roadblock to keep the waste out. “I’ve certainly made some dramatic gestures,” the governor said. “But disposing nuclear weapons, well, that’s a dramatic problem.”

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