Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 27, 2021

Support for SRS Clean-up Funding, Spent Fuel Storage Concern by Hilton Head Island Newspaper

By Thomas Clements | Jan 08, 2013
Photo by: Bobbie Paul, Executive Director, Georgia Women's Action for New Directions (GA WAND) Secretary of Steven Energy Chu chats with Tom Clements, Nonproliferation Policy Director with the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA), and Susan Corbett, chair of the South Carolina Chapter of the Sierra Club, about Savannah River Site (SRS) issues, including the folly of bringing highly radioactive commercial spent fuel to the site for "consolidated spent fuel storage" and reprocessing.  Given growing concern in Aiken, South Carolina and throughout the state, it is becoming clear that "consent" will not be given by the public for any plans to make SRS the new Yucca Mountain spent fuel dump.

Opposition grows to radioactive spent fuel storage in South Carolina

UPDATE of January 11, 2013:  DOE has today issued it's report "Strategy for the Management and Disposal of Used Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste" -

The report sets the stage for legislation in Congress on high-level radioactive waste management and presents the basis for input from a wide range of views into the "consent" - better described "non-consent - process concerning spent fuel storage.  This will be good for people and Aiken and throughout South Carolina, as opposition ("non-consent") to spent fuel storage will likely be strong across communities. The report does not endorse any reprocessing at SRS of research reactor fuel in the aging H-Canyon reprocessing plant.


The Hilton Head Island (South Carolina) newspaper, the Island Packet, has on January 8 called for more funding for the clean-up of the Savannah River Site (SRS) and expressed concern about storage of highly radioactive spent fuel at the site.

This more good news for those in Aiken and South Carolina who are concerned about the clean-up of the Savannah River Site and the threat that the site could become the nation’s dump for commercial nuclear reactor spent fuel if special interests get their way, according to the alliance for Nuclear Accountability.

In the editorial, entitled Congress needs pressure to clean up nuclear waste - - the paper states that “state and congressional leaders must push harder for the U.S. Department of Energy to clean up toxic wastes at the Savannah River Site.”

The paper goes on to voice concern about the clean-up problems being compounded by those wishing to profit from spent fuel dumping at SRS: “It also is worse to hear the Savannah River Site mentioned as a possible place to store highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel from the nation's nuclear reactors.”

Hilton Head residents consume some water from the Savannah River, via the Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority, as do residents of the Beaufort, SC and Bluffton, SC.   Concern about the purity of the Savannah River and the impact to the river of contaminants at SRS is heightened due to the river being a key source of drinking water.

The Island Packet editorial is the third editorial in a South Carolina newspaper expressing concern about storing highly radioactive spent fuel at SRS.  Both the Spartanburg and Rock Hills papers have written strong editorials against the idea being promoted by special interests:

>>> Spartanburg Herald-Journal, September 9, 2012:

SRS is not suitable for high-level radioactive waste - No more nuclear waste

>>> Rock Hill Herald, September 15, 2012:

Don’t bring high-level nuclear waste to SRS in South Carolina - S.C. must insist that high-level nuclear waste not be stored at SRS near Aiken.

It is hoped that Governor Nikki Haley and elected officials are paying close attention to the growing sentiment against turning South Carolina into the new Yucca Mountain spent fuel dump.  Governor Haley has received a number of letters from South Carolina citizens against the spent fuel scheme.  The governor can be emailed at:

As Department of Energy sites may be targeted by special interests wishing to profit from spent fuel storage, Governor Butch Ott of Idaho was reported in a January 4, 2013 blog in the Spokane (Washington) Spokesman-Review to have stated his opposition to bringing spent fuel to the Idaho National Laboratory for storage.  According to the blog, the governor said he would stick with the state’s 1995 position against consenting to spent fuel storage and said “We are not going to become the dumping ground for nuclear waste.”

Governor Haley would garner broad public support for a similar position against bringing spent fuel to South Carolina, which should include a statement against any “consent” by the state to host a spent fuel storage facility at SRS or a private facility (rumored to be under consideration by nuclear alliances).

At the January 28-29 meeting in Augusta, Georgia of the SRS Citizens Advisory Board, concern about dumping of spent fuel at SRS will be raised.  The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA), a public interest group fighting for effective clean-up and an end to wasteful spending at SRS, urges concerned citizens to attend the meeting and speak up against any plans to bring highly-radioactive spent fuel to SRS.

Information about the CAB, including the agenda for the upcoming meeting can be requested by sending an email to:

The French government-owned company AREVA has come out for spent fuel storage and reprocessing, which is part of an effort to get their hands on US taxpayer money, according to Tom Clements of ANA.  In a presentation on December 13, 2012 to the South Carolina Governor’s Nuclear Advisory Council, the general outline of a plan to store and reprocess high-level nuclear waste was presented.

“The claim by AREVA that the reprocessing of spent fuel is recycling is nothing more than greenwashing of a dirty technology that would produce a host of nuclear waste streams that would end up being dumped at SRS,” according to Clements.  “We thank AREVA for alerting the South Carolina public about its interest in creating another nuclear mess in our state.  The public simply won’t accept the dumping of spent fuel at SRS but will support adequate funding of clean-up of the existing nuclear mess at the site, on which SRS management needs to urgently refocus,” said Clements.

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