New Projects, Nuclear

Construction of MOX fuel facility will continue through September

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) would continue construction of the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility in the state through September.

Graham said in a release that he spoke with DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz and was assured the DOE would continue construction on the facility through the end of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. The facility would dispose of 34 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium.

President Obama did not include enough funding for the planned MOX plant in the fiscal year 2015 budget, essentially putting the project in “cold standby,” stating that the plant is significantly more expensive than anticipated.  Areva said putting a project in cold standby is a euphemism for terminating the project. Joint venture Shaw Areva MOX Services LLC has a contract with the National Nuclear Security Administration to design, build and operate the facility.

DOE also released a report that said the MOX option is the best for fulfilling the nonproliferation treaty with Russia, according to Areva.

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