COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The federal government says South Carolina's lawsuit over its failure to meet a deadline on a nuclear fuel project should be dismissed.
The U.S. Department of Energy says in court papers filed Monday the state is incorrectly interpreting statutes governing the project to convert nuclear weapons components into reactor fuel. The government also says any potential fines should be handled in a different court system.
In February, South Carolina accused the federal government of acting unconstitutionally in failing to complete the mixed-oxide facility by Jan. 1. The suit also seeks daily fines of $1 million and plutonium removal.
The project is years behind schedule and billions over budget. Because it isn't operating, the federal government was supposed to remove 1 metric ton of plutonium from South Carolina or pay fines.
Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP. Read more of her work at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/meg-kinnard/