The federal District Court in South Carolina has ordered the Department of Energy to remove one ton of plutonium from the state within two years, according to a news release from the state Attorney General’s Office, which sued DOE in August over its proposed timetable for removing the nuclear weapons material from Savannah River Site.
“This ruling is a vindication of the principle of the rule of law and the state’s position that it will not be a dumping ground for plutonium,” Attorney General Alan Wilson said in the release. “The state thanks the court for holding DOE accountable, although it is unfortunate that the state had to resort to litigation to ask a federal agency to do what the law requires. Now, DOE should turn its attention and resources to complying with the order and the law.”
The two-year time period is consistent with Congressional action, according to the release. DOE had instead offered a 2025 target date for removal.
The court also ordered DOE to provide the state and the court with semi-annual progress reports and to certify compliance with the two-year deadline, according to the release.
There was no reaction from DOE on Wednesday.