officials likely won't get official warning from the federal government
on when scheduled plutonium shipments will arrive. Instead, officials
may find out only after the shipments pass a weigh station.
Energy Department has said for security reasons it will not disclose
when the shipments leave Rocky Flats, CO, or when they arrive
at the Savannah River Site in Aiken, SC. Federal agents will escort
the semis loaded with barrels of smaller cans of weapons-grade
plutonium and will be authorized to use deadly force to protect
spotting the convoy, authorities likely won't know the plutonium
has crossed the border until the rigs pass a weigh station. The
trucks won't stop. Instead, the lead vehicle reportedly will pull
into the station and warn officers the plutonium truck is approaching.
have been delayed since last fall because of an ongoing dispute
between Gov. Jim Hodges and the DOE. Hodges sued the department
and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham to halt shipments of the
plutonium, fearing the radioactive material would not be disposed
of once arriving in Aiken.
A judge threw
out Hodges' lawsuit and the governor's appeal is scheduled to
be heard July 10 by the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court in Virginia.
Hodges had also threatened to lie down in the road to block the
shipments, but was ordered not to impede traffic by a federal