MOX workers' safety record rewarded with barbecue

The mixed oxide fuel facility, or "MOX plant," is under construction at Savannah River Site, where workers were treated to a barbecue picnic Wednesday.

One of the government’s largest nuclear construction projects became the site of one of the biggest picnics Wednesday.

 

Caterers fed barbecue and side dishes to more than 2,800 employees and subcontractors at the Mixed Oxide Fuel Facility, or “MOX Plant,” at Savannah River Site as a reward for achieving 10 million consecutive work hours without an injury resulting in a lost workday.

In addition to food, workers heard remarks from officials in charge of the $4.8 billion project, which is designed to convert plutonium from surplus nuclear bombs into fuel rods for commercial power reactors.

So far, more than 19,000 tons of rebar have been installed along with 118,000 cubic yards of concrete poured at the MOX project. In addition to about 2,800 personnel on site, there are also about 800 personnel employed by MOX suppliers.

“While this is a significant accomplishment for a project of this size, complexity and importance, the most important element of this milestone is what it means for the people behind the number,” said Kelly Trice, president and chief operating officer of Shaw AREVA MOX Services.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a typical U.S. construction site experiences one lost workday for every 125,000 hours worked. In the span of 10 million hours worked, a typical site would have 80 lost workdays.

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