Going through my files, I found a letter to The Chronicle dated June 25, 1997. It described a meeting held June 19 to promote "...a plutonium mission for the Savannah River Site." The writer called it "...a noble concept."
Several hundred people had been bused into Augusta to show support for the project, which envisioned bringing weapons-grade plutonium to SRS to make MOX (mixed-oxide nuclear fuel).
Rep. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., wanted it. Former Gov. David Beasley, R-S.C., wanted it. Mayors from towns near SRS spoke in favor of the project.
The one lone dissenter was mentioned by name. I was that individual.
Today, a different South Carolina governor says he'll call out state troopers to prevent this same plutonium from entering the state. Apparently, all those individuals who were in favor of the project in 1997 are now afraid if the plutonium reaches their state, they'll be stuck with it forever.
I will repeat the warning I gave in my own letter to The Chronicle dated June 25: Producing MOX from plutonium will not destroy the plutonium. On the contrary - it will produce more plutonium and more radioactive nuclear waste.
Whether the MOX project is funded and moves ahead or not, once the plutonium reaches SRS, the state will be stuck with long-term radioactive contamination and the threat of terrorism that always accompanies this nasty stuff.
Joan O. King, Sautee, Ga.
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