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S.C. governor’s nuclear council to talk SRS, MOX at October meeting

September 25, 2018

The South Carolina governor’s nuclear advisers are set to assemble next month and discuss a breadth of ongoing projects and recent developments.

The Nuclear Advisory Council – a nine-member team that includes state Sen. Tom Young, R-Aiken – will hear from S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster, Savannah River Site manager Michael Budney and the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Savannah River Field Office manager, Nicole Nelson-Jean, among others, at the Oct. 15 meeting.

The Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility, currently under construction at SRS, will also be addressed: SCGNAC Chairman Rick Lee will provide an update on the ever-controversial NNSA plutonium disposition project, and the state’s mounting litigation to keep MOX on track – alive – will be discussed, according to the schedule.

The get-together is scheduled 12:45-3:30 p.m. at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg. McMaster will hold a meet-and-greet with students, faculty and other guests at the beginning of the assembly, according to the schedule.

SCGNAC was formed to keep the governor informed and abreast of all things nuclear in South Carolina. The council’s periodic meetings are held at rotating locations across the state. Of note, though, is South Carolina State University’s distinguished nuclear engineering program.

Lee, on Sunday, said the overlap provides a great opportunity to engage students about nuclear affairs and drum up interest in the field.

Since SCGNAC’s last meeting, held May 21 at the Oconee Nuclear Station, a lot has changed at SRS, a major stake for the council and the state.

At the last meeting, Lee demanded transparency from the U.S Department of Energy and its semiautonomous NNSA.

“Whatever the ultimate solution is, I just want candor and truthful exchange of information more than anything else so that people can make good, sound public policy decisions on what should or shouldn’t be done,” Lee said at the time, addressing MOX and U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry’s congressional attempt to derail and defund the undertaking.

Lee believes October’s meeting will prove fruitful.

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