Ten more years to complete US MOX plant

17 November 2014

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has signed an order extending the completion deadline for a mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility in South Carolina until 2025.

The facility is under construction by CBI AREVA MOX Services at the Department of Energy's Savannah River site in Aiken, South Carolina. NRC initially granted a 10-year construction authorization for the plant on 30 March 2005.

The consortium applied for an extension in May this year, after construction was delayed by funding cut backs, delays in the delivery of components and other key construction activities. The new order means the facility will need to be complete by 30 March 2025.

NRC said it found no significant environmental impact would result from extending the authorisation. In addition NRC said its staff found that MOX Services had shown 'good cause' to extend the deadline for completion of the plant.

NRC also noted that order reflects some administrative changes to the construction authorization, including a change in the licensee's name to CB&I AREVA MOX Services to reflect Chicago Bridge & Iron's acquisition of The Shaw Group in 2013.

CB&I AREVA MOX Services, previously Shaw AREVA MOX Services, has a contract with the US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to design, build and operate a facility to convert surplus nuclear weapons-grade plutonium into reactor fuel for use in commercial nuclear power plants.

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