Dept. of Energy pays S.C. $600M for plutonium removal

FILE –  S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson speaks to the crowd at a Conservative Leadership Project presidential forum, with Republican candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford, File)

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UPDATED 7:34 AM PT – Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The Trump administration is moving forward with its commitment to remove plutonium from a South Carolina nuclear power plant.

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) met with South Carolina officials and granted the state $600 million upfront as part of a settlement.

The agreement prohibits South Carolina from bringing a lawsuit to the DOE regarding plutonium removal until 2037. This ends six-years of litigation between the state and the federal government to remove weapons-grade plutonium from the state.

“It contractually enshrines obligations on the federal government over the long run that will prevent South Carolina from becoming a nuclear dumping ground,” explained state Attorney General Alan Wilson. “And it brings in well over half-a-billion dollars to the state at a time when South Carolina needs it the most.”

The DOE has estimated it will clear nearly 10 metric tons of nuclear waste from the state by 2049.

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