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      Blue Ribbon panel holds public meeting near SRS

      AIKEN, S.C. (AP) -- A federal panel appointed by President Barack Obama to examine U.S. nuclear waste policies is holding a public meeting near a former nuclear weapons complex in South Carolina.

      The 15-member Blue Ribbon Commission is sponsoring the meeting Friday in Augusta, Ga. The forum takes place a day after commission members planned to tour the 310-square-mile Savannah River Site to examine facilities for treating, packaging and storing used nuclear fuel and waste.

      Savannah River once produced plutonium and tritium for atomic bombs. Work there is now focused mostly on research and cleaning up areas of the site contaminated during weapons production.

      The commission has been meeting at nuclear sites around the country.

      (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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