The operator of a sprawling federal nuclear reservation in South Carolina says the vast majority of its 5,500 workers are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19 after the company mandated the shots. But nearly 80 Savannah River Site employees who have refused to get inoculated sued Savannah River Nuclear Solutions over the requirement in South Carolina state court Thursday. Employees who don't get inoculated against the highly contagious virus face firing. The federal contractor says 95% of its workers have gotten the shots ahead of a fall deadline so far. Gov. Henry McMaster says he won't issue an executive order to stop South Carolina businesses from requiring vaccines.
Along with billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief money, South Carolina lawmakers have another large bonus pot of money to spend soon. The state is getting $525 million from the federal government over plutonium still being store at the Savannah River Site. The highly radioactive material was supposed to leave by 2017, although that deadline is now 2037.