Key findings

  • The federal government has long ignored what scientists say is a viable alternative to a nuclear fuel factory in South Carolina that is billions of dollars over its budget.
  • The alternative – which experts say could eliminate the dangers posed by excess U.S. plutonium -- is now getting a new look by the Obama administration.
  • A substance made of “classified” materials may allow the plutonium to be encasing and buried at a fraction of the cost of converting it into nuclear fuel.
  • If the alternative is chosen, it could bring large savings, but the South Carolina plant may wind up being shut without any public benefit.