A little known project at Savannah River nuclear site is the construction of a US MOX (mixed oxide plutonium fuel) plant. This incredibly expensive plant would make a type of nuclear fuel that none of the power companies in the US is willing to use. As part of a pilot project nuclear power plant operators were invited to do test runs of MOX fuel in an effort to build up business for this type of fuel. One operator, Duke Energy did a test run but cut it short after abnormalities appeared while using the fuel. Duke pulled out of the deal with the Department of Energy. No other power companies wanted anything to do with this new fuel. This leaves the US with no customers at all for this expensive and dangerous fuel. Meanwhile construction continues on the MOX plant at Savannah river. The UK recently closed their failed MOX plant citing production problems and the end of the Japanese MOX program after the Fukushima disaster.
Now Congress is considering cutting the $4.8 billion USD in taxpayer funding for the MOX plant.
“A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives this week calls for a reduction of $100 billion to nuclear weapons programs, as well as the termination of the $4.8 billion MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility project at the Savannah River Site. Introduced by Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., the bill – Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures Act 2012”
U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., said this whopper:
” I stand committed to ensuring MOX construction continues on schedule so that America can carry out its international nuclear nonproliferation obligations while simultaneously producing fuel which supplies power to millions of Americans.”
Maybe Joe missed the fact that no nuclear power plants in the US is foolish enough to run MOX fuel.
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