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Site for MOX is accepted

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AIKEN --- Construction work at a $4.8 billion plant that will convert plutonium from dismantled nuclear warheads into fuel safe enough for commercial reactors was given a passing grade Monday by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Work began in 2007 on the 600,000-square-foot Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at Savannah River Site, where 34 metric tons of plutonium will be converted to commercial nuclear reactor fuel over a 20-year period.

The commission's inspectors spent more than 4,300 staff hours over a two-year period evaluating all aspects of the project, including quality control programs, construction activities and record-keeping, said Deborah Seymour, the chief of the NRC's Construction Projects Inspection Branch.

"There were no specific areas that needed improvement," she said, noting that the only minor violations were detected.

David Stinson, the president of Shaw AREVA MOX Services LLC, the primary contractor, said he is pleased with the progress so far.

"We started out with a very large hole with a concrete ramp," he said, adding that -- eventually -- the project will use 170,000 tons of concrete and 7,000 tons of re-enforcing steel bars.

Although the NRC found no major problems, Dr. Edwin Lyman, a senior analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists' Global Security Program, said by teleconference Monday night that he was "appalled" that the report failed to explore faulty rebar that found its way to the site.

"You went over performance, management and quality assurance and came up with no improvement needed," he said. "How do you justify a statement like that?"

The rebar problem was also noted in a Dec. 10 report issued by the House Energy and Water Subcommittee.

"DOE has received a notice of violation on accepting delivery of over 3,000 tons of reinforcement bar that did not meet industry standards for nuclear facilities," the report said. "This infraction indicates problems with DOE's implementation of an adequate quality assurance program, a key component of the Department's project management guidance."

Tony Gody, the NRC's deputy director for the division of construction projects, said during Monday's meeting that the rebar problem was detected early and immediately corrected by the contractor, which subsequently changed suppliers.

"It did not meet our threshold for areas needing improvement," Mr. Gody said.

Reach Rob Pavey at (706) 868-1222, ext. 119 or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.

MIXED OXIDE FUEL FABRICATION

PURPOSE: Convert weapons-grade plutonium from dismantled warheads into commercial nuclear reactor fuel.

STATUS: Construction began in 2007, with full operation expected by 2016.

IMPACT: The MOX plant will dispose of 34 metric tons of plutonium and create 800 jobs.

PRIMARY CONTRACTOR: Shaw AREVA MOX Services LLC

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wildman
1375
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wildman 12/16/08 - 05:09 am
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MOX is a money pit that will

MOX is a money pit that will never work.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
16488
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 12/16/08 - 08:13 am
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Uncle BS, your opinion, just

Uncle BS, your opinion, just like your southbound end is odorous and uneducated!

jhvenier
0
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jhvenier 12/16/08 - 08:44 am
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I agree with Cold Beer. We

I agree with Cold Beer. We need the MOX for future nuke plant fuel needs, I would rather process the plutonium into a useable fuel than try to process it into a storable waste. We need these new technologies for the strength of our country. Unfortunately it is the dinosaurs of this country that have turned it into the mess we have now, we need to purge these pathetic losers and gain our edge we have lost to China, Russia, Japan and India. GO NUKES!!!

justus4
124
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justus4 12/16/08 - 08:53 am
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Stinson and associates must
Unpublished

Stinson and associates must have given to the election of the governor to get such a big contract. Bet there is a connection and nobody cares. Wow!

jhvenier
0
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jhvenier 12/16/08 - 09:09 am
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Stinson (Areava) have been in

Stinson (Areava) have been in the area of MOX in France, do you think it might be because SHAW (Areave) is a large company used to dealing with many forms of energy, fuel processing? Read/Educate prior to posting garbage!!

SCEagle Eye
993
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SCEagle Eye 12/16/08 - 09:36 am
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The MOX program's main goal

The MOX program's main goal is to redistribute our money to Areva and other contractors. To that end the projects is quite successful and will become more successful the higher the cost spirals. It's a win-win for those pushing a socialist, nuclear agenda and a lose-lose-lose for tax payers, non-proliferation and the environment.

devojoe
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devojoe 12/16/08 - 10:22 am
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Not only is the MOX project

Not only is the MOX project good for the future of Nuclear disarmament, it is good for the local economy providing employment .The MOX site also supports local charities and educational institutions in the area. Before you put down a process you should review the MOX website at www.moxproject.com and see the overall success of MOX facilities already in use. This projoect will stimulate the economy for years to come.

jboy
0
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jboy 12/16/08 - 01:53 pm
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Justus you are an idiot, MOX

Justus you are an idiot, MOX is a federally funded project not state.

jhvenier
0
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jhvenier 12/16/08 - 02:30 pm
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As far as accepting delivery

As far as accepting delivery of rebar that did not meet specifications. Rebar usually does not make a difference structurally as far as the grade of rebar. A specification which might require the use of one type or grade of rebar in lieu of another does not mean that just because the incorrect type was delived that it was accepted. During receiving, it some times (and I am sure is the same if a multi tonnage amount of rebar was delivered) requires dropping the load then goping through specifications to acknowledge the correct item has been delivered. There are times all cannot be verified while still being on the truck. If, the rebar had been inspected and accepted and then used, it would have at that time have gone through numerous departmental verifications first. If, the rebar was delivered and then rejected before useage after the inspection for type and grade there is nothing wrong with that other than the supplier pays the bill for hauling and re-delivery of the correct type and grade along with the question regarding the delays for construction.

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