The 4th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday denied South Carolina's request
to keep trucks hauling weapons-grade plutonium out of the state.
Gov. Jim Hodges vowed to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme
In his appeal,
Gov. Hodges argued the U.S. Energy Department needed to do more
environmental studies before shipping six tons of plutonium from
Colorado to the Savannah River Site near Aiken. The governor also
claimed the agency failed to fully consider the risks of long-term
storage of plutonium.
had been delayed since last fall because of an ongoing dispute
between Hodges and the DOE. The governor 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.
also threatened to lie down in the road to block the shipments,
but was ordered by a federal judge in June not to impede traffic.
The shipments reportedly have already started.