U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham informed South Carolina yesterday that the federal government would ship plutonium to the state, over the objections of Gov. Jim Hodges (D). The announcement was the latest in the country’s ongoing debate about what to do with its surplus weapons-grade plutonium. The feds want to store some of it in South Carolina on a temporary basis while other sites around the country are being cleaned up, and Abraham said about 76 truckloads of the highly radioactive material could begin arriving as early as May 15. A spokesperson for the governor said the state could use troopers or legal methods to block the shipments. Hodges has said that he is willing to accept the plutonium temporarily, but will not do so until he has a legally enforceable guarantee that the government will not leave the waste in his state permanently.