NRC finds one minor violation in recent MOX audit

Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 8:27 AM
Last updated Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 2:06 AM
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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s most recent round of inspections at the U.S. Department of Energy’s mixed oxide fuel facility yielded one minor violation, according to a copy of the report made public last week.

Inspectors, whose 47-page report covered reviews at the construction site from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, said the violation occurred on or before Oct. 22, when plant officials failed to realize they had not met quality control inspection requirements. Specifically, the report said, there was a failure to inspect the internal portion of two welds on stainless steel duct work that later were found to have “rejectable features.”

The violation was assigned a priority level of IV – the least serious on the agency’s scale – and has been addressed by Shaw AREVA MOX Services, which is building the $6.8 billion project.

Audits of other programs, including construction activity, record-keeping, quality control, procurement and all other facets of the project were all found to be adequate, with no “findings of significance” reported.

The MOX facility, scheduled to open at Savannah River Site in 2016, is designed to dispose of 34 metric tons of surplus weapons-grade plutonium by using small amounts to make fuel for commercial nuclear reactors.

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IAmISaid 02/20/13 - 02:36 pm
Can you say....boondoggle?

I knew that you could. If you think the $6.8 billion figure is astronomical (and that's just the number DOE is willing to admit to - it's likely to be at least double if not triple that), wait till you see the annual operational cost - there isn't a single customer for this fuel (the only reasonable use for this in existing reactors is in heavy water reactors - LWR and other reactor types must be extensively modified to use it). MOX is the very definition of a black hole - one you don't need a telescope mounted on a satellite to see.

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