Sunday, The State published concerns about the MOX facility under construction at the Savannah River Site, such as projected cost increases and the lack of a committed utility purchaser for the fuel.
This immensely complicated project is subject to stringent federal regulations and uncontrollable commodity prices. I support Sen. Lindsey Graham’s point to contractors, as well as the National Nuclear Security Administration, that the program must be run as efficiently as possible. Additionally, great progress has been made in locating potential customers, and I am confident there will be multiple buyers for MOX fuel.
Despite these two issues, the public needs to know the reasoning for the MOX project. In 1999, the Clinton administration decided to pursue this technology as a means to disposition weapons-grade plutonium. In 2002, President Bush supported the program to honor the United States’ part in an agreement with Russia to disposition 34 metric tons of military-grade plutonium. Last year, President Obama understood the importance of this program and requested $917 million in his budget.
As a member of Congress who has work experience at SRS, I appreciate the national importance of this facility. The facility will turn bombs meant to end life into electricity. It will force Russia to honor its obligation and will take a sizeable amount of weapons-grade plutonium out of a very dangerous part of the world. Above the economic impact on our state, the MOX facility is a national asset to our country, and it must be completed.
Rep. Joe Wilson