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Senators urge Energy Secretary Moniz to continue MOX construction

Friday, March 7, 2014 12:45 PM
Last updated Saturday, March 8, 2014 1:43 AM
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Seven U.S. senators sent a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz urging him to continue construction at the Savannah River Site’s mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility until more is known about costs for alternative plutonium disposition methods.

Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, both South Carolina Republicans, and Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, both Georgia Republicans, were among the group that signed the letter Thursday. Other signatures came from Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Kay Hagan, D-N.C.

In its fiscal year 2015 budget Tuesday, the White House proposed $221 million to place the MOX facility on standby while assessing more cost-effective methods. The National Nuclear Security Administration began the process to shut down the construction site and protect and secure what has been completed.

Senators signing the letter criticized using fiscal 2014 funding to begin the process of placing the multibillion-dollar facility on “cold standby,” saying that funding was approved for construction only.

“The $211 million request is significantly lower than what is needed to maintain on-going operations and construction for MOX, will force major layoffs, and threaten the viability of the only congressional authorized disposition path for weapons grade plutonium,” the letter says. “It is our understanding the Department of Energy is planning to use (fiscal year) 2014 funds to begin this process. This would be inappropriate and we discourage this in the strongest possible terms.”

The MOX facility, which is about 60 percent complete, would create commercial nuclear fuel from weapons-grade plutonium and represents an international nonproliferation effort. About $3.9 billion has been spent so far, but construction cost estimates were revised last year to about $7.7 billion.

Discontinuing construction does not align with the White House administration’s contention that it is committed to an agreement between Russia and the U.S. to dispose of 34 metric tons of American weapons-grade plutonium, the letter says.

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obkad
222
Points
obkad 03/07/14 - 02:40 pm
4
3
What's another billion here and there

Sure go-a-head and complain that this facility is needed. Needed for what? No one wants it, unproven technology, (ITP for all those other former employees, navel fuels, K-Area reactor cooling tower) and resources dumped down the drain, but who's counting.. In fact take the money that's being spent and send to Obumer Care they could use it....Please close it, dump it, Leave it.... And take Lindsy Graham with you.

Riverman1
84926
Points
Riverman1 03/07/14 - 02:42 pm
3
1
Raise cain about the wastes

Raise cain about the wastes that have to be disposed of while you're at it. What are we supposed to do wait the 2 million years until it's safe?

SCEagle Eye
917
Points
SCEagle Eye 03/07/14 - 03:29 pm
3
3
MOX radical$ want your $$$

Why did $enator Lind$ey "MOXie" Graham and Rep. Joe Wil$on block DOE's pursuit of immobilization of plutonium in high-level waste at SRS? If this approach had not been derailed by Clinton/Bush and had been backed by the S. C. congressional delegation we'd already be 10 years into immobilizing the plutonium. I bet the "let's do MOX" letter sent by the senators didn't say a word about where $25 billion would come from to continue MOX. Do they think they money falls from the sky in to the hands of the mismanagers ($haw AREVA MOX $ervices)? A reduced budget and fiscal conservativism has finally impacted the run-away costs of MOX and the big-spending radical$ are whining like babie$. When the money machine runs dry reality is so harsh.

jimmymac
41331
Points
jimmymac 03/07/14 - 03:42 pm
1
0
WASTE
Unpublished

Much of the overruns on MOX were the result of changes requested by DOE. Their may be oversight issues by never the less the shutdown of MOX will impact the whole CSRA. The job losses will be felt by every business and home owner. Anybody happy to see MOS closed apparently doesn't mind 1800 people lose good paying jobs. P.S. I'm not one of them.

namlive
32
Points
namlive 03/07/14 - 03:48 pm
2
4
WHAT A SURPRISE!!!!

Here we have another white elephant stomping through SRS. Want to see my shocked face? As the politicians whine about the DOE and government, the cost over runs and inability to produce a product anybody wants doesn't seem to be issues. Indeed Duke energy which will run the site, won't buy one modular of MOX fuel. Once utilities look at the hidden costs of burning the fuel, they have backed out. MOX is making a product for non-existing buyers. Georgia and SC have more than their share of nuclear plants. If MOX is so economically important, let these states provide tax incentives for their nuke plants to buy and burn the fuel. The free market has spoken: They don't want MOX. Until there is a buyer, there is no way one can justify paying for cost over runs. Lindsey Graham is no Strom Thurmond. And Joe Wilson is discovering he is a dweeb disliked by his own party and carries no weight.

sawgrass
1693
Points
sawgrass 03/07/14 - 04:24 pm
6
1
SCEagle Eye

You are misleading when you say another 25 billion is needed to continue the MOX. That figure includes the entire plutonium disposition program. The MOX facility is just a small part of that program. That cost includes the "cradle to grave" process. By the way, there are customers who have committed to using MOX fuel.

How would you suggest ridding the world of weapons grave plutonium?

Little Lamb
46405
Points
Little Lamb 03/07/14 - 04:28 pm
1
2
Plutonium

How about detonating it?

sawgrass
1693
Points
sawgrass 03/07/14 - 05:43 pm
5
0
LL

Plutonium is not a bomb. Weapons grade plutonium is a product needed in the process to develop a nuclear weapon.

namlive
32
Points
namlive 03/07/14 - 08:07 pm
2
4
Sawgrass, There were a few

Sawgrass, There were a few who feigned interest, like TVA, but after they crunched the numbers they pulled out. I would be interested in knowing who still wants it if you have a link.

You must also realize that one plant may use only 1-2 modules per 18-24 month fuel cycle. They really need multiple users.

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 03/08/14 - 07:17 am
5
2
obkad, are you saying that
Unpublished

obkad, are you saying that MOX is unproven technology? Try telling that to France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium, who already use it.

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 03/08/14 - 09:57 am
2
2
Nice.....thumbs down for
Unpublished

Nice.....thumbs down for pointing out that MOX is NOT unproven technology. What is it with some of these people and their hatred of the truth?

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 03/08/14 - 01:45 pm
3
0
Titls of the artical

"Senators urge Energy Secretary Moniz to continue MOX construction"

SOME OF US who oppose MOX DO believe the resulting fuel will work. It is the admitted cost over-runs that have SOME OF US against it!! I HAVE WORKED at SRS for 6 years; 1989 to 1995. I saw MORE waste and cost-over-runs than any Democrat or Republican should NEVER WITNESS!! I AM QUITE sure that the "system" has just gotten worse! PERHAPS if these "ROBBING CONTRACTORS" would agree to give some of these taxes back to the government by working for FREE, for at least 1 year, President Obama could do ALL OF YOU REPUBLICANS the favor of allowing you "TO HAVE YOUR WAY" to pay for Republican votes!!!!

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 03/08/14 - 01:49 pm
1
0
Titls of the artical

"Senators urge Energy Secretary Moniz to continue MOX construction"

SOME OF US who oppose MOX DO believe the resulting fuel will work. It is the admitted cost over-runs that have SOME OF US against it!! I HAVE WORKED at SRS for 6 years; 1989 to 1995. I saw MORE waste and cost-over-runs than any Democrat or Republican should NEVER WITNESS!! I AM QUITE sure that the "system" has just gotten worse! PERHAPS if these "ROBBING CONTRACTORS" would agree to give some of these taxes back to the government by working for FREE, for at least 1 year, President Obama could do ALL OF YOU REPUBLICANS the favor of allowing you "TO HAVE YOUR WAY" to pay for Republican votes!!!!

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 03/08/14 - 01:51 pm
0
1
Doublle post, sorry

Sorry My computer is anchente!!

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 03/08/14 - 01:56 pm
2
1
obcad @ 1:40 PM 3/7/14

"
Sure go-a-head and complain that this facility is needed. Needed for what? No one wants it, unproven technology, (ITP for all those other former employees, navel fuels, K-Area reactor cooling tower) and resources dumped down the drain, but who's counting.. In fact take the money that's being spent and send to Obumer Care they could use it....Please close it, dump it, Leave it.... And take Lindsy Graham with you."

I don't agree that MOX is un-proven tecnnology, BUT I WOULD SAY that the Republican government establishment and ALL REPUBLICAN voters want MOX!!

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 03/08/14 - 02:05 pm
1
1
Quote from artical

"Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz urging him to continue construction at the Savannah River Site’s mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility until more is known about costs for alternative plutonium disposition methods."

I have to admit, there are few; if any; different ways to handle weapons grade plutonium but through MOX or burial. If MOX is chosen, THEN THE CONTRACTORS must be punished for the $billions of over-runs!!

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 03/08/14 - 02:16 pm
1
1
PL @ 8:37 AM

"(ITP for all those other former employees, navel fuels, K-Area reactor cooling tower) and resources dumped down the drain, but who's counting"

CAN YOU REALLY argue this point from obkad at 1:40 on 3/7/14??

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 03/08/14 - 02:19 pm
1
0
PL @ 8:37 AM

"(ITP for all those other former employees, navel fuels, K-Area reactor cooling tower) and resources dumped down the drain, but who's counting"

CAN YOU REALLY argue this point from obkad at 1:40 on 3/7/14??

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 03/08/14 - 03:34 pm
2
2
I will in no way even try to
Unpublished

I will in no way even try to defend the horrible mismanagement that the government has done with MOX. All the more reason to stop letting the government try to manage what the free market should be doing. The DOE should have nothing more to do with the MOX project other than security.

FastFission
31
Points
FastFission 03/08/14 - 03:44 pm
1
0
Confirm Gen Frank Klotz

Dr. Chu has departed Wash DC, the Senate needs to confirm Gen Frank Klotz as NNSA Admin. and allow him time and the power to correct all NNSA projects. Let the current MOX NNSA project managers be transferred to the Calif. bullet train project.

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 03/08/14 - 06:56 pm
0
2
PL @ 2:34

"All the more reason to stop letting the government try to manage what the free market should be doing. The DOE should have nothing more to do with the MOX project other than security."

I have brought this up before, President Carter put the brakes on the AGNS (Allied General Nuclear Services) attempt to do the same thing as MOX. Are you proposing that the feds allow private business take over the MOX project on federal land??!! I will agree whole-heartedly with this proposal, BUT do you really believe the feds will go for this??

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 03/09/14 - 05:49 am
2
0
The feds seldom give up power
Unpublished

The feds seldom give up power willingly.

SCEagle Eye
917
Points
SCEagle Eye 03/09/14 - 02:28 pm
1
0
MOX private contractors failed

Responding to the misinformed statement: "The DOE should have nothing more to do with the MOX project other than security" - uh, the MOX project has been mismanaged by a private consortium (not a government entity) - Shaw AREVA MOX Services. That private company is a big part of the problem as transference of the AREVA MELOX plant design to the US situation caused huge problems and cost overruns. It was the private entity that royally screwed up, while DOE/NNSA stood by and watched and while Congress (especially Lindsey Graham) let them all get away with it. Shaw AREVA MOX Services - often rightly called SHAMS - should be fired post-haste and DOE/NNSA mismanagers discharged from federal mis-service.

BTW, MOX made from weapons-grade plutonium is experimental and has NEVER been used commercially anywhere in the world. It ain't the same as reactor-grade MOX. SHAMS is proving how hard it is to build a factory to make WG MOX (vs their MELOX RG-MOX factory). Electricite de France places a zero value on separated plutonium and wants to get out of the reprocessing and MOX business, which is only keep afloat by the government. All foreign countries have stopped having their spent fuel reprocessed in France. If French reprocessing & MOX was private and not socialist - down she goes!

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