Posted 5 years ago on June 26, 2013, 8:54 a.m. EST by GirlFriday
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Before retiring from Congress four years ago, David Hobson, a powerful subcommittee chairman, says he couldn't fathom why the Energy Department was so determined to build a multi-billion dollar plant in South Carolina for transforming plutonium into fuel for U.S. nuclear reactors.
Although the plant was billed as a noble arms control initiative, meant to dispose of the plutonium so it could not be used in weapons again, Hobson was troubled by its billions in cost overruns, a lack of demand for the reactor fuel, and the existence of cheaper alternatives.
Hobson, now 76, said in an interview that he concluded the project had three real aims: It was a multi-billion dollar jobs program for South Carolina, a Bush White House political gift to then-Gov. Mark Sanford and the state’s mainly Republican congressional delegation, and the potential kickoff of a much more ambitious and costly enterprise meant to benefit the nuclear industry.