MOX meeting planned Dec. 17

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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold a public meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, to discuss the progress of the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility under construction at Savannah River Site.

The meeting will be held in the Aiken Municipal Center, 215 The Alley in Aiken. NRC officials will be available to answer questions from the public after the business portion of the meeting, during which the most recent review of the project will be discussed.

The NRC review covered the period from Oct. 1, 2009 to Sept. 30, 2010, and found MOX facility construction activities acceptable. The review also determined that the construction program was being sufficiently implemented. 

The NRC staff identified design control as an area needing improvement during the previous review discussed in Aiken last December.  Since then, the agency has conducted additional inspections in that area and the company has taken steps to improve performance. The NRC did not identify any areas needing improvement during the most recent assessment period. 

The MOX facility, which will be owned by the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, is part of an effort to make surplus weapons-grade plutonium into more proliferation-resistant forms. Converting the plutonium into MOX fuel will enable it to be used in commercial reactors to generate electricity. In the United States, only those reactors authorized by the NRC will be permitted to use MOX fuel.

The performance review letter for the MOX facility is available on the NRC website at www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html .  The number for that document is ML103210588.

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