MOX Services gets settlement deal for shuttered facility at Savannah River

20 November 2019

The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has reached a settlement agreement with MOX Services and its parent companies to resolve all contract closeout matters pertaining to the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF) project at the Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina.

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry informed Congress in May 2018 that he had ended the project (Image: Areva)

The agreement, announced yesterday, resolves all contract litigation and covers the cost of contract closeout. If it had continued, NNSA said the MFFF project would not have been completed until 2048, at a cost of USD17 billion.

Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, DOE under-secretary for nuclear security and NNSA administrator, said the agreement allows NNSA to move forward with its plan to repurpose MOX for plutonium pit production, while it remains committed to removing surplus plutonium from South Carolina "using the proven dilute and dispose method".

The agreement is valued at USD186 million, according to information reviewed by the Aiken Standard, a daily newspaper published in the city of Aiken, though the NNSA statement does not include that figure.

NNSA issued a contract termination notice to CB&I Areva MOX Services in October 2018 and in February this year the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission granted a request by the consortium to terminate the construction authorisation for the MFFF. About 70% complete, the facility was intended to dispose of 34 tonnes of weapons-grade plutonium by turning it into fuel for commercial nuclear reactors.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News