Plan to make fuel from weapons-grade plutonium oxides dead on arrival

Enlarge / The US has already spent $7.6 billion on the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility, which is partially constructed. (credit: MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility)

The Department of Energy (DOE) sent a document to Congress last week formally executing a waiver to kill a project that would have used weapons-grade plutonium and uranium oxides as fuel for electricity generation in Georgia.

The Mixed Oxides (MOX) project, which required the construction of a special facility near the Savannah River nuclear site in South Carolina, has already cost the DOE north of $7.6 billion and would likely cost the federal government tens of billions more to complete, according to the document which was seen by Reuters. Instead of reusing the weapons-grade waste, the DOE proposes to mix the waste with an inert substance and dispose of the mixture at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

Simply disposing of the waste was also proposed by the Obama Administration. A disposal plan would cost $19.9 billion, Reuters reported.

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