MOX contractor reports nonconforming welds to Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The contractor building the mixed oxide fuel plant at Savannah River Site informed federal regulators this week that it is working to correct “nonconforming welds” in housings of filters used to contain radioactive materials.

The disclosure, made by Shaw AREVA MOX Services to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said the affected filters failed to meet required standards.

“MOX Services will ensure repairs are performed by either the vendor, MOX Services or a third party” and that “the repairs will be performed in support of the construction schedule.”

The MOX project is designed to dispose of plutonium from dismantled nuclear bombs by using small amounts for the manufacture of commercial reactor fuel.

Tom Clements, the Southeastern nuclear campaign coordinator with Friends of the Earth, said in a news release that the weld issues were discovered in August.

“While it is troubling that radioactive filter units with defective welds have been found at the MOX plant, it is encouraging that MOX Services caught the problem and eventually reported it to the NRC,” he said.

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