Friday, August 11, 2006

Sen. Graham: MOX Plant Construction at SRS Will Begin Before End of 2006

From today's Augusta Chronicle:

If U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham has his way, construction of a mixed-oxide, or MOX, plant at Savannah River Site will begin before the end of the year.

''History will judge us poorly if we let this moment pass,'' Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told the attendees at the luncheon.

"The need for MOX is greater today than the day we awarded the project," said the South Carolina Republican, who spoke Wednesday at the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce meeting.

The MOX project would convert at least 34 metric tons of plutonium into reactor fuel for commercial nuclear power plants.

Congress is divided over funding for the project. The Senate voted to spend $419 million in the next fiscal year on the facility, but the House did not allocate any funding for the project.

As part of the MOX proposal in 2000, Russia also would build a facility to dispose of 34 metric tons of nuclear waste.

However, progress in Russia also stalled, and that country recently decided to develop alternate technology.

Nevertheless, Mr. Graham said a successful collaboration with Russia would be historic.

"History will judge us poorly if we let this moment pass," he said.
For our previous posts on the MOX program, click here.

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2 comments:

Paul Primavera said...

Hooray! "The MOX project would convert at least 34 metric tons of plutonium into reactor fuel for commercial nuclear power plants." And that plutonium will forever be unuseable for nuclear weapons.

Peace and low cost energy - we can have BOTH!

Dezakin said...

This is a bad idea, because all MOX fuel plants I know of use aqueous reprocessing regimes which do little but increase the volume of waste and are never cost effective. Aqueous regimes must be dynamically cooled, have massive infrastructure, and are quite prone to exposure scandals. We should either use molten salt regimes or just send the spent fuel to dry storage casks, because MOX the old fasioned way does little but bolster anti-nuclear arguments.