S.C. senators debate how to spend $525M from plutonium deal

South Carolina State House
South Carolina State House(WRDW)
Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 2:57 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. - Along with billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief money, South Carolina lawmakers have another large bonus pot of money to spend soon.

The state is getting $525 million from the federal government over plutonium still being stored at the Savannah River Site.

The highly radioactive material was supposed to leave by 2017, although that deadline is now 2037.

The two state senators who represent the site want most of the money spent first in Aiken, Barnwell and Allendale counties where the site sits.

“We’re not asking for all the money, but we’re asking we get our fair share based on the history of this site,” said Sen. Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg.

He wants $425 million for the local counties and $100 million for statewide projects.

Sen. Tom Young, R-Aiken, said a ring of local counties should get more money because they were promised more jobs through the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility before it was finished.

The senators have a list of possible projects, including new high schools, industrial park renovations, new programs at Aiken Technical College and efforts with the Georgia Cyber Center in Augusta.

No votes were taken by a Senate subcommittee Tuesday.

Also in the news ...

NEW RECORDS: The Savannah River Site tritium extraction facility has exceeded all previous records for the number of extractions completed in a single fiscal year. It completed seven tritium extractions during Fiscal Year 2021, – the five that were promised for 2021 and the first two for next fiscal year. This more than doubles the previous record of three extractions in a single year.

CROSSING THE RIVER: Savannah River National Laboratory officially opened its Critical Infrastructure, Industrial Control System Cybersecurity Laboratory at the Georgia Cyber Center in Augusta. It is part of the lab’s efforts to leverage its primary cybersecurity laboratory at the Savannah River Site with external capabilities and institutions.

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