Judge Sides with South Carolina Attorney General and Blocks Shutdown of Project
Monday, June 11th, 2018
A federal judge has blocked the proposed shutdown of the MOX Project at the Savannah River Site in Aiken County. Judge Michelle Childs sided with Attorney General Alan Wilson’s argument that allowing the project to be shut down would irreparably harm the state.
The state argued in federal court on Tuesday that shutting down the project would doom the state to being the nation’s permanent dumping ground for plutonium since there is no other disposal method approved by Congress.
The MOX Project will turn weapons-grade plutonium into mixed oxide fuel to be used in commercial nuclear reactors.
“We are very pleased with the judge’s ruling today,” Attorney General Wilson said. “The court’s decision is based upon the rule of law and common sense. This is a victory for the people of South Carolina and the safety of all South Carolinians.”
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry had issued a stop-work order for the MOX Project that would have taken effect on Monday, June 11th. The State argued that if that were allowed to happen, the workers building the MOX plant would move on and the plant would be dead forever.
The State is suing the U.S. Department of Energy to permanently protect the MOX Project, which was approved and funded by Congress.
“The MOX Project has been many years in the making and has the full support of Congress and the South Carolina delegation. We are delighted that the federal government has been stopped from terminating MOX and firing its workers,” said Wilson.