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Listen to Episode 12

Understand SC: We store the nation's most dangerous nuclear materials. Why does it matter?

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In Episode 12, we talk with reporter Thad Moor about how South Carolina is likely stuck with a stockpile of the nation's most dangerous nuclear materials. 

Did you know that there's enough nuclear material in South Carolina to build the bomb dropped on Nagasaki nearly 2,000 times over?! I sure didn't until a few weeks ago when reporter Thad Moore told me about his latest project.

Apparently, the material – plutonium – has been here since 2002, but was supposed to be out of the state by 2022. It's currently stored in in a 65-year-old decaying building just outside of Aiken, S.C.

Thad, along with reporter Colin Demarest, obtained a restricted government document that revealed that we are likely stuck with it for decades more. 

So why is it a problem exactly? When Thad first told me about the situation, my mind immediately went to the recent popular HBO miniseries "Chernobyl" which recounts the 1986 nuclear plant disaster in the former Soviet Union. Let's be clear here: This is not a Chernobyl situation. Are there risks though? Of course – but it's probably not quite what you think.

In this week's episode, we talk about what those risks are, how the plutonium got here and why it's not going away any time soon.

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