The Department of Energy was contractually obligated to finish building a plant in South Carolina that would convert weapon grade plutonium into fuel for nuclear power plants by January 1st of 2016. The mixed-oxide project (MOX), near Savannah, Georgia is only about one third of the way done. The original cost of the factory was to be 1 billion dollars. They have spent 4.8 billion already. Now, it appears that the project will never be completed because the Department of Energy has decided it’s cheaper to bury it than to re-purpose it due to the cost overruns and long delays in the project.
That leaves South Carolina holding the bag. There is not now, or will there ever be a plant built but the DOE has taken in plutonium waste from the UK and Japan. (Why should we be responsible for their waste?) The contract between the DOE and South Carolina calls for fines of 100 million a year after January 1st, 2016 until either the plant is built or the plutonium is removed. Neither appears likely.
The fuel should have been taken out of South Carolina and taken to the Yucca Mountain in Nevada and buried deep into the ground, but Obama shut down the program in 2011.
Haley had written to the DOE earlier, reminding them of the agreement but she received no response. So now, she has decided to initiate a lawsuit to force payments to the state. South Carolina had sued before over the plant but the DOE temporarily restarted the program and the state dropped it’s suit. This is probably just one more example of Obama trying to trying to run the clock out so that his screw ups don’t show up until he leaves office, so he can blame it on the next president.