Messing up MOX

Shadowy study hampering mixed-oxide fuel facility at SRS

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Government officials have claimed they are shuttering the mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility under construction at Savannah River Site because its “life-cycle” costs are too high.

An oft-quoted but never-seen government study supposedly puts that figure at $30 billion.

The study exists, says the U.S. Department of Energy. The National Nuclear Security Administration and even the White House says so, too.

OK – so where is it?

Few people apparently have seen it. The MOX contractor has not seen it. Local officials have not seen it. Not even members of Congress have seen it.

The Obama administration has used this study for the past two months to derail a multibillion-dollar federal project tied to a global nuclear arms-reduction agreement. Shouldn’t it have been released by now?

Officials with the NNSA, the agency that manages the MOX facility, are not commenting on why the study has not been made available. And they also won’t say when it will be released.

Something smells awfully foul here.

It’s been rightly suspected from the moment President Obama’s 2015 budget abandoned the 60-percent-completed project that politics, not costs, were at play.

If the goal is to appease anti-nuclear environmentalists and punish a conservative-voting state – two things this president is not above doing – then eliminating MOX and the thousands of jobs tied to it accomplishes that task adroitly.

The state of South Carolina obviously suspects less-than-altruistic motivations. It filed suit last month against the federal government to stop it from putting the 600,000-square-foot facility into so-called “cold standby.”

The contractor, Shaw Areva MOX Services, doesn’t believe the government’s life-cycle estimates either. One of its senior executives last week estimated the project’s remaining costs at about $12 billion: $3 billion to finish construction, $1 billion to start it up and $8 billion to run it during the next 20 years.

That’s less than half of what the government estimates in its study – assuming there is such a study.

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Rhetor
1082
Points
Rhetor 04/10/14 - 04:52 am
3
4
hmm

Well, maybe. I suppose that there could be another conspiracy theory here, although I doubt it. But look at the bigger picture. MOX is exactly the kind of thing that conservatives say they oppose. It is a big government program, over budget (by how much? I don't know), experimental, with no clear endgame in sight. The only big difference between this and Solyndra is that MOX in our backyard. You guys all want to cut government, but you never want to cut it in a way that will hurt you. You only want it cut in ways that hurt someone else. It doesn't work that way, does it?
For my part, I support MOX. It's important, and it's worth the financial risk to get the job done. But, then, I'm not a conservative.
BTW, ACES, thanks for supporting this important project in our community.

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 04/10/14 - 05:14 am
5
1
I don't oppose MOX the idea.
Unpublished

I don't oppose MOX the idea. I oppose MOX the government project. The idea of taking the Pu that we spent billions of dollars to make and using it to generate energy instead of just putting it in the ground is a GREAT idea. The problem is that the government, as usual can't do anything efficiently. So careful, Rhetor, before you try to paint all conservatives with the same brush. And another big difference between Solyndra and MOX is that Solyndra is a private company.............as MOX should be.

KSL
143689
Points
KSL 04/10/14 - 06:03 am
5
1
I didn't oppose Yucca

I didn't oppose Yucca Mountain. Who did?

SCEagle Eye
958
Points
SCEagle Eye 04/10/14 - 06:06 am
3
1
MOX causes confusion

Secretary of Energy Moniz said at yesterday's Senate hearing that there was confusion about the $17 billion figure. That's only for MOX plant construction and operation ($543 million/year - no wonder AREVA wants operation to go forward!). Moniz repeated the $30 billion life-cycle figure. This would include all aspects of MOX, including administration, waste management, payment to reluctant utilities and, perhaps, decommissioning. Beyond a few comments at a meeting, which is being repeated by MOX boosters, where is the Shaw Areva MOX Services estimate? Release it!

edcushman
7930
Points
edcushman 04/10/14 - 07:05 am
2
1
Obama right hand person the
Unpublished

Obama right hand person the communist Valerie Jarrett said 'we will punish our enemies and SC and GA went republican in the last 2 elections.

Bizkit
35534
Points
Bizkit 04/10/14 - 07:50 am
1
1
Obama wants to be like

Obama wants to be like Germany and close all the nuclear power plants. However Germany now has more coal plants (than solar or wind any green) so increased their carbon footprint. A recent US govt study says it is cheaper to replace coal with wind or solar and say green (most of the added cost isn't direct but from cost to human health and the environment) is the way to go-but who can believe the study cause Obama has taken to lying and manipulating data in many agencies. Well you can tell the study is a fix because they ignore all the toxic pollutant and carbon footprint from generating solar panels. California passed laws to monitor pollutants from said companies-some really nasty stuff. Obama and his minions are just blatantly lying to manipulate people to achieve their personal goals. Now we see Dems and progressives attack the Supreme Court-my hopes the court will retaliate and put them in place. The Dems could care less about separation of power and are now a threat to our govt. Since they seem to think they can declare war on everyone else I am afraid everyone else may declare war on the Dems with their blatant abuse and obfuscation of justice with cover ups and lies. Obama's culture of corruption far exceeds the culture of corruption of Bush.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 04/10/14 - 10:56 am
2
1
KSL @ 7:03

"I didn't oppose Yucca Mountain. Who did"

My theory is that Yucca Mountain was "can'd" for a favor to Sen Reid.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 04/10/14 - 11:08 am
0
3
Editorial

I can not believe that war-hawk conservatives would be in favor of MOX. I thought the more times that The US can distroy the Earth, the better!! Can't do that, trust the Russians, and have MOX at the same time!! After all, with things like they are in the world, I believe we all have a death wish!! Welcome to my world!!

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 04/10/14 - 11:36 am
3
1
T3....we were SUPPOSED to use
Unpublished

T3....we were SUPPOSED to use Russian Pu to make the MOX.

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 04/10/14 - 11:37 am
3
1
"My theory is that Yucca
Unpublished

"My theory is that Yucca Mountain was "can'd" for a favor to Sen Reid."

100% correct.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 04/10/14 - 11:42 am
1
1
edcushman @ 8:05

"Obama right hand person the communist Valerie Jarrett said 'we will punish our enemies and SC and GA went republican in the last 2 elections"

It may be much believed that the Obama Admin. is the enemy, and perhaps I agree, BUT we; as a country; must see the Russians and the crud going on in Syria and Iran as being the worst enemy!! If we keep up this constant "in fighting", we will indeed be OUR OWN ENEMY!!

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 04/10/14 - 11:48 am
1
1
PL @ 12:36 & 12:37

OK, using MOX fuel for peaseful purposes. I do understand this technology to some extent as I worked at SRS for 6 years. I don't understand why gun-loving conservatives believe that The US should take away ANY stock-piles of war grade PU. AND FORGET about The Russians being honest on this issue. I don't believe we should even trust Russia to "CONTROL" Syrian weapons.

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 04/10/14 - 11:49 am
4
1
"BUT we; as a country; must
Unpublished

"BUT we; as a country; must see the Russians and the crud going on in Syria and Iran as being the worst enemy!!"

Obama literally laughed at Romney when he said that.

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 04/10/14 - 11:50 am
3
1
" I don't understand why
Unpublished

" I don't understand why gun-loving conservatives believe that The US should take away ANY stock-piles of war grade PU."

Because most of us understand how much you actually need.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 04/10/14 - 11:53 am
0
3
PL @ 12:49 & 12:50

First, you have me at a great disadvantage in my typing skills.

Why are we going to take away much of our war grade PU when we can not trust The Russians anymore.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 04/10/14 - 11:57 am
0
2
PL @ 12:50

"Because most of us understand how much you actually need"

I guess I see ultra-conservatives as "servivalists". (LOL) OK, I will give you that statement as believing it, BUT why should we take PU away from our military program?? The more PU, the more war deterent.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 04/10/14 - 12:03 pm
2
1
Editorial

If I, as a moderate, can agree that Obama has a questionable "back-bone", THEN why go through with MOX?? I have a feeling that all of you conservatives want to cry faul because of the jobs which will be lost!!

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 04/10/14 - 12:06 pm
1
2
Editorial

"The contractor, Shaw Areva MOX Services, doesn’t believe the government’s life-cycle estimates either. One of its senior executives last week estimated the project’s remaining costs at about $12 billion: $3 billion to finish construction, $1 billion to start it up and $8 billion to run it during the next 20 years"

What else do you expect these engineering and archect firms to say??!! Why don't they GIVE VERY GOOD REASONS why there has allready been SOOOO much cost over-runs?

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 04/10/14 - 12:19 pm
2
1
Editorial

One of the Rants in the R&R's says you can't trust our government no more than you can trust a drug dealer. I say, "How can we trust ANYTHING that these engineering firms say especially when they are the ones that have "RUN THROUGH" billions of OUR TAX DOLLARS??!!

GiantsAllDay
10484
Points
GiantsAllDay 04/10/14 - 04:51 pm
2
1
AC opposes big gov't. Except

AC opposes big gov't. Except when it pours $$$ into the CSRA. MOX was bad deal from the beginning. High school educated people know this. Clint Wolfe, phD knows this. Either he knows this or he drinks kool Aid

Bizkit
35534
Points
Bizkit 04/10/14 - 06:25 pm
3
0
"One attraction of MOX fuel

"One attraction of MOX fuel is that it is a way of utilizing surplus weapons-grade plutonium, an alternative to storage of surplus plutonium, which would need to be secured against the risk of theft for use in nuclear weapons.[2][3] On the other hand, some studies warned that normalising the global commercial use of MOX fuel and the associated expansion of nuclear reprocessing will increase, rather than reduce, the risk of nuclear proliferation, by encouraging increased separation of plutonium from spent fuel in the civil nuclear fuel cycle.[4][5][6]" So we have a real way to use spent plutonium from nuclear weapons for nuclear reactors or the fear that somehow this will increase nuclear proliferation. Isn't that called "fear-mongering"? It is a great idea-just Obama doesn't want nuclear power-which is odd cause DOE got more than their fair share of funding over NIH to research clean energy this last cycle.

sawgrass
2655
Points
sawgrass 04/10/14 - 07:12 pm
2
1
SCEagleEye

Where do you get your information? The 30 billion dollars for the MOX project have never been published in any documents from the energy department or any other government entity. This has been a grossly overestimated figure used by groups opposed to the MOX project. There is no other viable option of plutonium disposition other than the MOX project. Vitrification does NOT render weapons grade plutonium safe. It can be extracted and converted to develop weapons, against the United States by the way. What is your solution? WIPP is not the answer either.

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