In 2002, the Department of Energy dumped tons of plutonium at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina and promised to remove it in 15 months.
The original deal was to remove everything by 2016. To sweeten the pot, DOE decided to build a multi-billion-dollar MOX (mixed oxide fuel) plant to handle the plutonium but was abandoned.
Now. we still have tons of weapons grade plutonium as well as $600 million and another promise. What a lousy deal!
By 2037, all of the current players will likely will be dead, retired or in new jobs.
What happened to the multibillion-dollar nuclear storage in Nevada?
Or how about resurrecting the failed nuclear plant here and use the plutonium to power it?
I’m sure we could sell it on the open market.
The proposed $75 million payout to outside lawyers is ridiculous because that’s 12.5% of the settlement because they performed poorly; the plutonium is still here.
My great concern is that the storage of the plutonium is a disaster beyond belief that will eventually occur as time marches on.
Beware flag symbols
An Aug. 23 article “Mississippi ponders new flag designs” is about the removal of the state’s Confederate symbol on that flag. Commissioners will choose a new design, and voters will decide whether to agree on that design.
Unfortunately, by state law the flag must display the words “In God We Trust,” a provision that persuaded some conservative Mississippi lawmakers to retire the Confederate symbol.
“In God We Trust” became our official U.S. motto only in 1956 at the height of the Cold War, as a means to separate us from “godless communism.”
The de facto motto established by our founders had been E pluribus unum, Latin for “out of many, one.” This phrase affirms American diversity is our source of strength, a country of people with many faiths and none.
Our secular government must remain neutral with respect to religion. A government that feels entitled to tell you to trust in God also can feel entitled to tell you there is no God.
Mississippians practice a variety of religious faiths and none, with approximately 14% identifying as nonreligious.
More recently, “In God We Trust” has been adopted as a rallying symbol by white Christian nationalists, who push for it to be included on license plates, schools and elsewhere.
While I support the removal of the Confederate flag, replacing one divisive symbol of exclusion with another solves one problem, but creates a new one.
Don’t save smokestacks
I am all for historic preservation, but I do not see wasting money on saving two eyesores. Smokestacks are not iconic.
There are many iconic structures, including the Ravenel Bridge, the Battery, Rainbow Row, the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building. But two ugly smokestacks?
Spend the money on ridding the city of the eyesores of utility poles and power lines or building a few more parks.
There are far better things to make the city look more attractive.
Foreign aid important
As a Borgen Project supporter, I am writing to express my concern about the recent announcement of our government’s intention to decrease the International Affairs Budget by 22%.
I believe foreign affairs are an important part of America’s position as a great international leader. This budget includes countless efforts that not only help the people of the world but provide increased national security to our country while strengthening our economy.
Aid, such as that provided by the International Affairs Budget, is essential in helping to stabilize the futures of impoverished individuals. With more than 736 million people across the globe living under the poverty line, the reduction of the International Affairs Budget puts millions of lives at a greater risk of starvation, malnourishment and other misfortunes associated with poverty.
Poverty-reducing international aid also positively impacts American employment, as such efforts are an important step toward opening new markets for U.S. companies.
I urge Sens. Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham to support the International Affairs Budget.
Bright news welcome
With everything going on now, it was wonderful to read Liz Foster’s Aug. 17 Post and Courier article shining some light on local and statewide groups that are doing a variety of good deeds for our fellow South Carolinians.
We are fortunate.
Carmel Bay Drive