SC legislators want nuclear waste payments halted

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina lawmakers want to stop paying the federal government if it doesn't open a nuclear waste storage site in Nevada.

South Carolina legislators said Thursday they had to do something to put the federal government on notice that it can't collect cash for storage and not deliver a site.

Every state senator signed onto a bill Wednesday to stop the utilities' payments to the federal government and instead direct the money to a state nuclear waste account. The bill calls for the money to go to the U.S. Department of Energy if a federal site opens. Otherwise, the state would begin spending the money by 2012 on its own system.

Legislators delayed action on the bill Thursday after utilities said they were worried about losing their licenses if they didn't make payments to the federal storage program.

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