German nuclear waste could be on way to SRS

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW) – A proposal is on the table to bring nearly 2,000 pounds of German nuclear waste Aiken County.

The U.S. Department of Energy is talks with Germany to bring thousands excess graphite encased balls to Savannah River Site to be broken down into reusable fuel. Today, State Senator Vincent Sheheen met with the media to discuss the issue.

“It's just adding more uncertain waste matter to be put some place and there's no place really to put it,” said Betty Witham, who attended the briefing this morning in Aiken.

Proponents of the project say that it could bring hundreds of jobs to Savannah River Site, much like the MOX facility did a few years ago. But opponents point to MOX as an example of why leaders shouldn’t agree to bring the waste to Aiken County.

The Department of Energy says it’s three years away from developing a technology to break the material down into a safer state.

“I'm very anxious to be sure that there is a great deal of consideration for the clean up of the waste we already have there,” said Witham. “Which seems to always be put on the back burner.”

Leaders say that currently the plan is to ship the waste via sea to Charleston, load it onto a train and bring it up to Savannah River Site. Conservationists say that any kind of accident with the material would be disastrous for the region.

“I say we can’t sell our children's legacy, clean air or clean water,” Sheheen said.


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