Gov. Nikki Haley and other South Carolina leaders have been pushing the Obama administration to complete a project at Savannah River's nuclear facility that would help dispose of nuclear fuel.
And while leaders want that project completed, they also don't want the site to become a permanent dumping ground for nuclear waste.
As the AP's Meg Kinnard reported, South Carolina leaders, including Haley, Rep. Joe Wilson and Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, have convinced the Department of Energy to see the so-called MOX project through at Savannah River. Construction began in 2007 on the MOX facility, which is part of an agreement with Russia to turn nuclear weapons into reactor fuel. The project is currently billions of dollars over budget and has had years-long delays.
South Carolina has agreed to drop a lawsuit against the feds over the matter now that it appears it will come to fruition.
Even though leaders want to see the project completed, a new deal in the works gives Haley and others pause. As Germany shuts down its nuclear plants in the wake of the Japanese Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, they have asked the U.S. to help process their nuclear fuel. The Obama administration is considering the Savannah site - and that worries many of the state's leaders.
South Carolina does not want to be a permanent home for the world's trash, they said. "What we do not need is for this state to continue to be a dumping ground," Haley said.
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