Judge Considers Nuclear Fuel Dispute Between SC, Energy Dept.

Savannah River Site

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A judge is considering whether South Carolina's lawsuit against the federal government over an unfinished project to turn old plutonium into commercial nuclear reactor fuel should be dismissed.

South Carolina is suing the U.S. Department of Energy over the mixed oxide fuel project at the Savannah River Site. Attorney Randy Lowell said at a hearing Thursday the law is clear that the government owes the state daily fees of up to $1 million and removal of plutonium from the state because the processing plant wasn't operational on time.

Government attorney Spencer Amdur says the lawsuit should be dismissed because such monetary penalties are best handled in a different type of court.

U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs said she'd issue a ruling later on whether the suit will continue.

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