When I was deputy commissioner of environmental conservation in Alaska, we had an environmental problem of note. Seems a farmer had 13,000 chickens that had died. Being the dead of winter, the farmer didn’t want to do anything about them. So the state was left with a huge mass of frozen chickens that were bulldozed into a pile and left. As spring was approaching, we had to do something with these chickens, or when they thawed it would be an awful mess.
Such is the problem the country faces with the stoppage of mixed-oxide fuel funding – only on a more massive and serious scale. In putting the project in “cold standby,” the U.S. Department of Energy basically is saying: Let’s just let the plutonium accumulate in the state of South Carolina, and do nothing, but create a committee to re-study the situation. And then, after “x” years (you fill in the timeline), maybe we’ll come up with another solution.
We, as taxpayers, have spent $3.8 billion, the project is more than 60 percent completed, and the DOE wants to stop it and create another environmental problem. What is up with this? Has the DOE succumbed to the radical environmentalists again?
The DOE has signed an agreement with the state of South Carolina that the plutonium gets out of the state as soon as practicable (dispositioned).
MOX should proceed with no more delays in this environmental problem and not create other problems by waiting.
The state of Alaska went to court and forced the farmer to clean up his dead chickens. Maybe the state of South Carolina should do the same.
Christopher Noah, Ph.D.