NNSA Breaks Ground On Mixed Oxide Fuel Facility
Aiken, SC -- On October 14, 2005 the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) plutonium disposition program moved another step forward with the start of site preparation for its Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site (SRS). NNSA Administrator Linton F. Brooks and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham led a group of U.S. and Russian dignitaries in turning the first shovels of earth at the MOX facility site at SRS, located in F-Area.
Following the ceremonies, Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness (CNTA) and the Economic Development Partnership of Aiken and Edgefield Counties (South Carolina) hosted a Public Information Meeting in the City of Aiken. Ambassador Brooks, other Department of Energy (DOE) officials, and local officials met with the interested public and answered questions on the project.
"Starting site preparation in advance of construction for the MOX facility will bring us one step closer to disposing of large quantities of weapon-grade plutonium and in Russia," said Brooks. "The MOX facility will create hundreds of new jobs at SRS and will provide a pathway out of South Carolina for plutonium brought here for disposition."
NNSA's plutonium disposition program aims to eliminate a total of 68 metric tons of weapon-grade plutonium in both the United States and Russia, and is based on a 2000 nonproliferation agreement between the two nations. Both countries will dispose of their plutonium by converting it to MOX fuel for use in existing nuclear reactors. Once the MOX fuel has been irradiated, the plutonium can no longer be readily used for nuclear weapons.
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