AREVA: MOX nuclear-fuel fabrication plant 70 percent complete

Photos taken in 2013 and 2016 of the MOX Project site show how the plant's construction has progressed. | Courtesy of AREVA Inc.

AREVA said this week that the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MOX Project), near Aiken, South Carolina, is 70 percent complete.

The company said this facility will play an important role for the U.S. to meet its obligations under the Plutonium Management Agreement with the Russian Federation, which requires that each nation get rid of 34 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium. The MOX process mixes weapons-grade plutonium with other materials to irradiate the plutonium so that it can be utilized in light-water nuclear reactors for power generation.

“Finishing the job at MOX is the most prudent approach,” Former Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) said. Major construction is nearing completion. Much of the sophisticated instruments and equipment that will populate the building is already on site, and it will be tested before installation to ensure it is working properly.”

The company said other nonproliferation methods have been raised, but said the MOX facility remains the most viable to meet U.S. nonproliferation needs.

Those involved in nuclear nonproliferation efforts urge the continued support for the MOX facility construction, and Lugar said the U.S. Department of Energy should help finish the project.

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