South Carolina drops lawsuit challenging MOX shutdown

Friday, May 2, 2014 5:01 PM
Last updated Saturday, May 3, 2014 1:36 AM
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The state of South Carolina dropped its legal challenge to the U.S. Department of Energy’s decision to shutter the mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility at Savannah River Site on Friday.

The lawsuit, filed in mid-March, accused Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and the National Nuclear Security Administration of using fiscal year 2014 funding approved to construct the site to shut it down. The federal agencies announced Tuesday that construction would continue until at least the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

In a statement, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said the state won a small victory in Tuesday’s announcement that will temporarily safeguard the MOX program.

“Although I am disappointed that, once again, the state was forced to seek redress from the courts to protect the citizens of South Carolina from a federal government ignoring the rule of law, we are pleased with the outcome in this case,” Wilson said. “The federal government will continue moving forward, at least for now, on this project that is critical to security of our state and country.”

The multibillion-dollar MOX project is intended to convert 34 metric tons of U.S. weapons-grade plutonium into commercial reactor fuel. Cost overruns in the billions led the Obama administration to slash funding for the project and propose placing it on “cold standby.”

An agreement dismissing the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Aiken said the federal government’s direction to the MOX contractor to continue construction through September “resolves the pending controversy at this time.”

Wilson said the state will continue to fight for the project to continue in fiscal year 2015.

“While this is undoubtedly a victory for South Carolina, its citizens and all Americans, the battle is not over,” he said. “We must remain ever-vigilant in continuing the fight to uphold the rule of law and ensure that this important program continues.”

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SCEagle Eye
SCEagle Eye 05/02/14 - 07:04 pm
MOX = madness

The MOX project has got to be one of the largest boondoggles in DOE history. What a shame that the taxpayers have been so abused for so long by DOE and MOX Services and their political protectors like Lindsey Graham and Joe Wilson. Come September30 let's hope the MOX nightmare ends.

WarrenvilleRepublican 05/02/14 - 09:42 pm
Back Room Politics

The State of South Carolina dropping this lawsuit due to a 4 month delay in the shutdown SCREAMS of a back room deal. A deal that I am sure does not help CSRA residents.

GiantsAllDay 05/03/14 - 11:18 am
It looks like they are

It looks like they are spending 2014 dollars until the end of FY 2014. Then on October 1, 2014 MOX will stand as a monument to mankind's stupidity and selfishness.

H1 05/05/14 - 01:10 pm

The SRS has slowly changed from a National Asset to a huge welfare project. When the SRS began, it had a mission and hired the best and brightest to fulfill that mission. Now SRS has no useful mission and has trouble keeping a skilled workforce. The Local Role Employees are capable, but the site can't hire or keep a skilled technical staff. A large percentage of the paid "professionals" never received formal training in their discipline and were promoted because of the sites Good Old Boy's policy. If you don't believe this I would welcome a GAO audit of the staffing. Taking the on site 4- hour class in order to be a RAD worker does not qualify one as a Nuclear Engineer.

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