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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Several Republicans want South Carolina's governor to explore possible legal action to avoid the closure of a project to turn weapons-grade plutonium into commercial nuclear reactor fuel.

U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott and U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson have asked Gov. Nikki Haley to work with state prosecutors to "explore any legal avenues" to keep the mixed-oxide fuel project going at the Savannah River Site.

In his proposed 2015 budget, President Barack Obama put the MOX project on "cold standby" while officials evaluate alternative ways to dispose of plutonium.

The U.S. Energy Department effort would be the first of its kind in the United States to create fuel from weapons-grade plutonium and represents an international nonproliferation effort. The project has had years of delays as costs have risen.

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