Shaw Areva MOX Services, LLC, MOX fuel fabrication plant project (South Carolina)
(last updated 7 Oct 2011)
> See also Current Issues for
NRC Docket No. 07003098
> View Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility Licensing (NRC)
Shaw Areva MOX Services, LLC (formerly Duke, Cogema, Stone & Webster)
Savannah River Site facility to be used to feed future MOX plant
> View here
Congressional committee wants updated details on MOX project at Savannah River Site
Congressional budget writers want the National Nuclear Security Administration to provide updated cost and operating projections for its mixed oxide fuel project at Savannah River Site.
The Energy & Water Development Appropriations committee proposes $500 million in construction funds for the program in fiscal 2012, but also reiterated concerns about cost overruns, delays and the inability to find clients willing to use its products.
The $4.8 billion plant in Aiken County, scheduled for startup in 2016, is designed to dispose of 34 metric tons of high-grade plutonium from about 17,000 dismantled nuclear warheads.
The material would be blended with traditional uranium to make fuel suitable for use in commercial reactors.
So far, however, no clients have agreed to use the fuel in an era when nuclear safety is under heightened scrutiny after Japan's Fukushima disaster.
“The Committee further notes wavering interest and lack of firm commitments from U.S. utilities to irradiate MOX fuel in their reactors,” the committee wrote, in an updated version of its 2012 Energy & Water Development Appropriations bill.
The appropriations committee asked that it be provided, no later than Dec. 31, “a status report that includes the status of agreements from U.S. utilities to irradiate MOX fuel in their reactors, the deadline to obtain such agreements, and the status of contingency plans NNSA has developed should it fail to achieve such agreements.”
Another issue raised by budget writers is the lack of progress on a separate facility at SRS where plutonium “pits” will be dismantled and converted to powder that can be used at the MOX plant. Critics say the lack of a disassembly facility might leave a completed MOX plant with no feedstock to operate.
(Augusta Chronicle Oct. 6, 2011)
> Read the complete MOX discussion on page 110-111 of Energy & Water Development Appropriations bill, 2012 , Sep. 7, 2011 (521kB PDF - GPO)
Delays and rising costs of MOX fuel plant project cause worry
The House Appropriations Committee is increasingly concerned over rising cost and potential delays at the U.S. Energy Department's mixed oxide fuel project under construction at Savannah River Site.
"The costs of this program continue to escalate, with current estimates of as much as $9.7 billion, just to construct the needed facilities," committee members wrote in the fiscal 2012 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill.
Other committee concerns include the NNSA's inability to find clients willing to use MOX in its commercial nuclear reactors.
Although the Tennessee Valley Authority is exploring its use in as many as five of its reactors, the recent crisis with Japan's nuclear program will make such an alliance less likely, and much more difficult.
Because MOX fuel was being tested at the Fukushima Daiichi complex damaged during the earthquake and tsunami, new concerns over its safety are likely to require new assessment studies before TVA would commit to its use, the committee said.
(Augusta Chronicle June 15, 2011)
NRC issues Notice of Opportunity To Request a Hearing and To Petition for Leave To Intervene on license amendment request for Shaw Areva MOX Services MOX fuel fabrication plant project
Requests for a hearing or leave to intervene must be filed by June 21, 2011.
Any potential party as defined in Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 2.4 who believe access to sensitive unclassified non-safeguards information (SUNSI) is necessary to respond to this notice must request document access by May 2, 2011.
Federal Register: April 22, 2011 (Volume 76, Number 78) p. 22735-22739 (download full text )
> View Docket ID NRC-2011-0081
DOE plans redesign of partially built MOX fuel plant - for lack of potential clients
The U.S. Department of Energy wants to redesign its partially built mixed oxide fuel plant to make nuclear fuel for a wider variety of reactors.
The facility under construction at Savannah River Site is designed to make fuel rods for pressurized water reactors in use at many commercial power plants.
Under proposed changes outlined in an April 1 "interim action determination," however, the redesign would enable the plant to also make fuel for boiling-water reactors and the next generation of light-water reactors.
The changes are necessary to ensure that clients can be found to use the MOX fuel, which is made by blending small amounts of plutonium from dismantled nuclear bombs with uranium.
The process renders the weapons-grade plutonium permanently unusable for nuclear weapons.
The National Nuclear Security Administration, which manages the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile, has faced challenges finding clients willing to use the fuel assemblies.
Critics of the MOX program say the plan could further inflate the cost of the $4.86 billion facility and underscores the government's inability to secure clients willing to use the fuel after the site goes into commercial production in 2018.
"Redesign of the MOX plant at SRS in order to provide a wider variety of reactors to use the controversial MOX fuel is presented as a step forward but actually confirms that no progress in this troubled program has been made," said Tom Clements, the Southeastern Nuclear's campaign coordinator for Friends of the Earth.
The plant's cost was estimated at $1.6 billion in 2004, Clements said, and it is about 36 percent complete, with more than $3 billion spent.
(Augusta Chronicle April 15, 2011)
> Download Interim Action Determination: Flexible Manufacturing Capability for the Mixed Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF) , April 1, 2011 (413k PDF)
NRC panel allows groups to raise arguments on security plan of South Carolina MOX fuel plant project
Opponents of a nuclear fuel plant under construction at the Savannah River site along the Georgia-South Carolina border can argue that its security plan is inadequate before authorities decide whether to license it, a judicial panel ruled Friday (Apr. 1).
Judges on the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board voted 2-1 to allow the groups to raise arguments about the security plan of the Shaw Areva MOX Services plant being built near Aiken, S.C. The facility would take weapons-grade plutonium left over from the Cold War and turn it into a specially blended fuel consisting of uranium and plutonium that can be used to power civilian nuclear reactors that generate electricity.
The latest arguments in the case by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Nuclear Watch South and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service have not been publicly released because the judges said they involve security-related details. The panel is an independent judicial agency within the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
(The State Apr. 1, 2011)
> Download NRC release Apr. 1, 2011
NRC issues final Safety Evaluation Report for South Carolina MOX fuel plant
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has published its final Safety Evaluation Report
(SER) for the license application by Shaw AREVA MOX Services, LLC, to possess and use
radioactive material at the Mixed-Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site near Aiken, S.C.
> Download NRC news release Dec. 27, 2010 (PDF)
> Download Final Safety Evaluation Report , Dec. 2010 (3.2M PDF)
NRC issues draft Safety Evaluation Report for South Carolina MOX fuel plant
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has published its draft Safety Evaluation Report (SER) for the license application by Shaw AREVA MOX Services, LLC, to possess and use radioactive material at the Mixed-Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site near Aiken, S.C.
> Download NRC news release Aug. 25, 2010 (PDF)
> Download draft Safety Evaluation Report (2.8M PDF)
More plutonium identified for potential processing in South Carolina MOX plant
Savannah River Site's Mixed Oxide Fuel Facility might be directed to process more surplus plutonium than previously announced.
Its announced mission is to convert 34 metric tons of plutonium into fuel safe enough for use in commercial reactors.
The Obama administration, however, recently told the National Nuclear Security Administration that "it has identified the potential for nine more tons" of weapons-grade plutonium in the future, according to Clay Ramsey, the MOX facility's federal project director.
(The Augusta Chronicle June 14, 2009)
DOE's Inspector General issues report on quality assurance problems identified at construction of MOX fuel fabrication facility
"Our review disclosed that the Department had procured and installed safety-class and safety-significant SSCs (structures, systems and components) that did not meet NQA-1 (Quality Assurance Requirements for Nuclear Facility Applications) quality standards. Specifically, we identified multiple instances in which critical components did not meet required quality and safety standards."
> Download Audit Report, The Procurement of Safety Class/Safety-Significant Items at the Savannah River Site, DOE/IG-0814 , U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Inspector General, Office of Audit Services, April 2009 (1.4M PDF)
Sole prospective customer of South Carolina MOX fuel plant drops contract
Duke Energy Corp. did not renew its contract to use mixed-oxide fuel that will be developed from surplus weapons-grade plutonium at the Savannah River Site.
Duke was the only utility contracted to use the fuel, called MOX. Spokeswoman Rita Sipe said the company remains interested in the program and would use MOX at reactors at its Catawba Nuclear Station in South Carolina and its McGuire plant near Charlotte. But Duke was unable to reach an agreement with Shaw Areva MOX Services to extend its previous contract beyond Dec. 1, 2008.
Duke contracted with Shaw in 1999 and expected the site to begin fabricating MOX fuel in 2007.
The timeline for production is actually much further away than that. The facility at the Savannah River Site is expected to open in 2016.
(Charleston Regional Business Journal March 17, 2009)
NNSA issues Amended Record of Decision: Surplus Plutonium Disposition; Waste Solidification Building (South Carolina)
Amended Record of Decision: Surplus Plutonium Disposition; Waste Solidification Building
Federal Register: December 10, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 238) p. 75088-75090
(download full text )
NRC issues Information Notice regarding deficiences observed with concrete placement at planned MOX fuel plant and other nuclear facilities
In view of the deficiencies observed with concrete placement at the MOX fuel plant construction site in South Carolina, and similar problems at nuclear power plant construction sites in Finland and France, the NRC has issued an Information Notice to alert other licensees on the matter.
> Download IN2008-17: Construction experience with concrete placement, Oct. 22, 2008
NRC issues Notice of Violation to Shaw Areva MOX Services for deficiencies during MOX fuel plant construction
On July 29, 2008, NRC issued an inspection report and Notice of Violation to Shaw Areva MOX Services, citing several violations of the MOX Project Quality Assurance Plan (MPQAP).
> Download NRC Inspection Report 70-3098/2008-002 and Notice of Violation (Adams Acc. No. ML082120091)
Shaw Areva MOX Services awarded construction option for DOE MOX facility
On May 23, 2008, Areva announced that Shaw Areva MOX Services, LLC and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have signed an agreement implementing construction of the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site, located in Aiken, South Carolina. Through this agreement, valued at nearly $2.7 billion, the DOE is exercising the construction option that was included in the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility contract signed in 1999. The agreement's scope includes the actual construction of the main MOX facility and all support facilities; cold start-up of the MOX plant; and continued support of Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing activities associated with the project.
The facility will remove impurities from surplus weapon-grade plutonium and mix it with uranium oxide to form MOX fuel pellets for reactor fuel assemblies. The assemblies will then be used in commercial nuclear power reactors. The design of the 600,000-square-foot facility is based on Areva's La Hague and Melox fuel treatment facilities in France.
Construction activities began on August 1, 2007, and continue to proceed on schedule.
ASLB issues Notice of Oral Argument and of Opportunity To Make Limited Appearance Statements re Shaw Areva MOX Services' MOX fuel plant project
Atomic Safety and Licensing Board; In the Matter of Shaw Areva MOX Services (Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility); Notice of Oral Argument and of Opportunity To Make Limited Appearance Statements
A written request to make an oral statement must be received at NRC Headquarters by noon, EDT on Friday, August 17, 2007.
Federal Register: August 9, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 153) p. 44877-44878 (download full text )
> See also NRC release Aug. 14, 2007
Construction work begins on MOX fuel plant; critics fear facility undermines international security
On Aug. 1, 2007, the U.S. government began building a MOX fuel plant at the Savannah River Site.
The plant, which is not scheduled to come online until 2016, is already several years behind schedule and billions of dollars over its original budget.
But federal officials say the $4.8 billion project is the only safe and efficient way to dispose of some 75,000 pounds [34 t] of surplus plutonium stored at government sites around the country. That's enough plutonium to make 17,000 nuclear weapons.
(Post and Courier, Aug. 2, 2007)
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) condemned the Department of Energy for proceeding with construction of the plant without honoring its commitment to make the plant available for inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Duke, Cogema, Stone & Webster file license application for MOX fuel plant in South Carolina
> View NRC release Sep. 27, 2006
> Download Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility License Application, 27 September 2006 (ADAMS Acc. No. ML062750195)
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has received, by letter
dated September 27, 2006, November 16, 2006 (document withheld based on
10 CFR 2.390), and January 4, 2007 (a public redacted version), a
license application and supporting documents from Shaw AREVA MOX
Services (MOX Services), requesting a license for possession and use of
byproduct, source, and special nuclear materials for the Mixed Oxide
Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF) to be located on the Savannah River
Site in Aiken, SC.
Any person whose interest may be affected by this proceeding and
who desires to participate as a party must file a written request for a
hearing and a specification of the contentions which the person seeks
to have litigated in the hearing. A request for a hearing must
be filed by May 14, 2007.
> View NRC release March 15, 2007
Federal Register: March 15, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 50) p. 12204-12206
(download full text )
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold a public meeting April 12, 2007, in Aiken, S.C., to discuss its review of an application by Shaw Areva MOX Services to operate a mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication facility at the Savannah River Site.
> View NRC release April 4, 2007
> See also: Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility Licensing (NRC)
On Sep. 15, 2006, the U.S. and Russia signed a liability agreement that clears a legal hurdle for the plutonium disposition program administered by the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).
The plutonium disposition program aims to eliminate a total of 68 metric tons of surplus weapon-grade plutonium (enough for more than 16,000 nuclear weapons) in the United States and in Russia, and stems from a 2000 nonproliferation agreement between the two countries. Both countries will dispose of their plutonium by converting it to mixed oxide (MOX) fuel for use in nuclear reactors. Once the MOX fuel is irradiated, the plutonium has been converted into a form that cannot be used for nuclear weapons.
NNSA is nearing completion of site preparation activities for construction of a Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina. The agency is awaiting completion of the appropriations act for fiscal year 2007 before proceeding with construction.
> View DOE release Sep. 15, 2006
Significant cost rise for DCS MOX fuel fabrication plant, says DOE's Inspector General
The cost estimate for DOE'S mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel plant has risen significantly since the department reported to Congress in 2002 that the plant would cost about $1-billion to design and construct, DOE Inspector General (IG) Gregory Friedman said in a report released on Dec. 23, 2005. As of July 2005, the cost estimate was about $3.5-billion, Friedman said. DOE managers agreed with the report's recommendations for procedural reforms but disputed some points, including the way Friedman calculated the cost increase. (Platts Dec. 23, 2005)
Audit Report, Status of the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Inspector General, Office of Audit Services, DOE/IG-0713, December 2005 (553k PDF)
Groundbreaking ceremony held for DCS MOX fuel fabrication plant
On October 14, 2005, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) held a ceremony commemorating the beginning of site preparation activities for the construction of the MOX (mixed-oxide) Fuel Fabrication Facility at Savannah River in South Carolina.
(Cogema Oct. 17, 2005)
DCS' request for MOX fuel fabrication facility license delayed
DCS' request to NRC for an operating license for a MOX fuel fabrication facility is now targeted for third quarter 2006. Duke Cogema Stone & Webster (DCS) had previously said it planned to submit the application in fiscal 2005. The delay will allow DCS to make changes to the design before sending in the application. Earlier this year, NRC issued a construction permit for the facility, but construction has not yet begun.
(Platts 7 Sep 2005)
NRC authorizes construction of mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility at Savannah River Site
> View NRC release March 30, 2005
NRC issues Final Safety Evaluation Report for MOX fuel fabrication plant project
> Download: Final Safety Evaluation Report on the Construction Authorization Request for the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site, South Carolina (NUREG-1821) , March 2005
EPA continues to have environmental concerns about MOX fuel fabrication plant project
EPA continues to have environmental concerns about the
project regarding the hazardous and radioactive wastes associated with
the exhaust that will be generated during operation of the proposed
facility. However, EPA acknowledges that NRC will address related air
emissions issues during the Clean Air Act permitting process.
(Federal Register: March 18, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 52) p. 13190-13191)
NRC issues Final Environmental Impact Statement for MOX fuel fabrication plant
Federal Register: February 4, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 23) p. 6047-6049
(download full text )
> Download: Environmental Impact Statement on the Construction and Operation of a Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site, South Carolina (NUREG-1767) - Final Report
Construction of MOX fuel fabrication plant delayed
The Bush administration's budget plan for the Energy Department said groundbreaking for a MOX fuel factory planned for South Carolina had been delayed from July 2004 until May 2005. The reason is that the United States and Russia are deadlocked on the liability rules for U.S. workers and contractors who would help build a similar plant in Russia, and the United States will not break ground first. Each plant is to dispose of about 34 tons of weapons plutonium. But another problem is that after years of effort, Western nations have not raised the estimated $2 billion the Russians say they need to build and operate their MOX plant.
(The Arizona Republic Feb. 9, 2004)
Department of Energy's FY 2005 Budget Request to Congress
NRC issues revised draft Safety Evaluation Report on proposed MOX facility
"The revised draft report concludes that DOE's contractor, Duke Cogema Stone & Webster (DCS), has not yet met all of the applicable safety requirements pertaining to construction of the proposed facility in order to provide reasonable assurance of protection against natural phenomena and the consequences of potential accidents. Specifically, the report identifies 19 open items on which the NRC requests further information from DCS before a construction authorization can be granted. These items include questions about nuclear criticality safety, fire safety, chemical safety, and the confinement ventilation system at the proposed facility."
> View NRC release May 2, 2003
> Download revised draft Safety Evaluation Report
NRC issues draft Environmental Impact Statement for MOX fabrication plant for comment
On Feb. 14, 2003, NRC issued its draft Environmental Impact Statement for the MOX fabrication plant for comment.
The comment period has been extended: Comments will be accepted until May 14, 2003.
> See Notice in Federal Register: February 28, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 40) p. 9728-9729 (download full notice ) and erratum in Federal Register: March 17, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 51) p. 12720-12721 (download full text )
Excerpt from executive summary of the draft EIS:
"The annual collective dose to members of the public (i.e., those living and working within 80 km [50 mi] of the SRS [DOE’s Savannah River Site]) produced by routine operation of the proposed MOX facility would be expected to result in a latent cancer fatality (LCF) rate of approximately 0.0004/yr or less.
Routine operation of the proposed MOX facility, the PDCF [Pit Disassembly and Conversion Facility], and the WSB [Waste Solidification Building] is expected to
produce insignificant air quality impacts, and would not cause exceedance of any ambient air
quality standards for criteria pollutants at the SRS. However, maximum levels of PM2.5 [particulate matter with a diameter less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers] in the
vicinity of the SRS already exceed the annual standard of 15 µg/m3. Facility construction would
contribute temporarily less than 0.1% of this PM2.5 standard level, and facility operation would
contribute less than 0.01% of this level.
Construction and routine operation of the proposed facilities would not be expected to cause
any disproportionately high and adverse impacts to low-income or minority populations in the
SRS vicinity. Of the accidents evaluated, a hypothetical explosion accident at the proposed
MOX facility had the highest estimated short-term impacts, approximately 20 latent cancer
fatalities (LCFs) among members of the off-site public. A hypothetical tritium release at the
PDCF had the highest estimated 1-year exposure impact, approximately 400 LCFs among
members of the off-site public. However, it is highly unlikely that such an accident would occur,
and the risk to any population, including low-income and minority communities, is considered to
be low. However, the communities most likely to be affected by a significant accident would be
minority or low income, given the demographics and prevailing wind direction. The extent to
which low-income or minority population groups would be affected would depend on the amount
of material released and the direction and speed of the wind."
NRC issues draft Safety Evaluation Report on proposed MOX facility
> View NRC release May 2, 2002
> Download Draft Safety Evaluation Report
> See also NRC: MOX facility licensing
NRC soliciting comments on Environmental Impact Statement for the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility
> View Notice in Federal Register April 24, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 79) p. 20183-20185
The comment period originally ended August 30, 2002.
The comment period is extended to September 30, 2002.
> View Notice in Federal Register September 20, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 183) p. 59320-59321
> See also NRC: Environmental Review for the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility
Georgia environmental group wins hearing on MOX fuel plant project
"An Atomic Safety and Licensing Board of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has awarded Georgians Against Nuclear Energy (GANE) the right to a public evidentiary hearing to investigate unresolved issues concerning a controversial proposal to manufacture reactor fuel from weapons-grade plutonium. The order, issued on December 6, 2001, granted a petition filed last summer by the Georgia citizens group."
"The NRC Board found that 8 of GANE's 13 contentions meet the agency's rigorous pleading standards. In a hearing currently scheduled to begin in October 2002, GANE will be allowed to litigate a range of criticisms of the application, including its failure to protect the public from excessive radiation doses, inadequate provision for high-level nuclear waste storage, poorly prepared seismic analysis, lack of a cost/benefit analysis in the environmental review, and security."
(NCI news release Dec. 13, 2001 )
Accession Number of the LB Memorandum and Order dated Dec. 6, 2001, in ADAMS: ML013410085
NRC, on Sep. 12, 2001 (!), denies need to assess hazard from terrorist attacks on proposed MOX fuel plant
Excerpt from NRC response to Georgians against Nuclear Energy (GANE) et al.:
Contention 12: "SPD EIS and ER are deficient in their failure to analyze malevolent acts
of terrorism and insider sabotage"
GANE's twelfth contention states as follows:
GANE contends that a license must not be given for construction and subsequently
for operation of a plutonium fuel factory at the Savannah River Site which is situated
on the border of Georgia on the Savannah River because it is vulnerable to
malevolent acts such as terrorism and insider sabotage which could create an
unacceptable beyond design basis accident. DOE did not analyze terrorism or
insider sabotage in its Special Plutonium Disposition Environmental Impact
Statement published in 1999. Neither did DCS in its 2000 Environmental Report
which, while dismissing out-of-hand as inconsequential many credible scenarios, did
not even acknowledge the real possibility of terrorism and insider sabotage (see
Section 5.5 of the [DCS] Environmental Report). This deficiency may be terminal to
this licensing effort. In any event, malevolent acts must be analyzed as a
foreseeable environmental impact under NEPA. Lack of analysis of the malevolent
acts scenario leads to failure to design safeguards and failure to plan for emergency
response and mitigation measures. 27
GANE's Contentions, at 45 (footnote added). The Board should reject this contention. Other than
GANE's general reference above to Section 5.5 of the DCS environmental report, the contention
and its supporting bases focus solely on comments made by the State of Georgia to DOE in 1998-
99 -- before the DCS environmental report even existed. See GANE's Contentions, at 45-48.
Alleged deficiencies in DOE's NEPA process are not within the scope of issues raised or
referenced in the Notice initiating this CAR proceeding, and Contention 12 is therefore not
admissible. See River Bend, supra, CLI-94-10, 40 NRC at 51.
Contention 12 also lacks an adequate legal basis, as GANE provides no support for its
general assertion above that "malevolent acts must be analyzed as a foreseeable environmental
impact under NEPA." Under the long-established rule-of-reason line of NEPA decisions, federal
agencies need only address reasonably foreseeable environmental impacts arising from a
proposed action, 28 and GANE does not establish that terrorist acts (involving the proposed MOX
Facility or related materials) fall within the realm of "reasonably foreseable" events .
27 GANE offers no further discussion or evidence that a lack of environmental analysis of
the results of terrorist acts will lead to any failures to adequately design safeguards, or to any other
inadequacies regarding plans for emergency responses and mitigation measures.
28 See Scientists' Institute for Public Information, Inc. v. AEC, 481 F.2d 1079, 1092 (D.C.
(NRC STAFF'S RESPONSE TO CONTENTIONS SUBMITTED BY DONALD MONIAK, BLUE RIDGE ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE LEAGUE, GEORGIANS AGAINST NUCLEAR ENERGY, AND ENVIRONMENTALISTS, INC., Sep 12, 2001, ADAMS Accession Number: ML012610057 )
(see also Washington Post, Nov. 3, 2001)
NRC Denies Duke Cogema Stone & Webster Proposal to Perform Early Site Work
On April 30, 2001, Duke Cogema Stone & Webster (DCS) submitted a request to perform early site work at the proposed mixed-oxide fuel facility located at the DOE Savannah River site. The proposed work would include moving electrical power lines; clearing the proposed construction site of utilities and temporary facilities; and construction of the administration building, warehouse, diesel generator building, and a motor control center slab. By letter dated May 15, 2001, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff informed DCS that the proposed activities go beyond the scope of what is
allowed under 10 CFR Part 70, and that, if they wanted to pursue this issue further, DCS would need to file for an exemption pursuant to Subpart B of Part 70. (NRC Weekly Information Report For the Week Ending May 25, 2001)
NRC announces opportunity for hearing on proposed mixed oxide fuel facility
NRC has accepted for docketing from Duke Cogema Stone & Webster (DCS) an application for authority to construct a mixed oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication facility. The NRC has accepted the construction authorization request (CAR) for docketing, and, accordingly, is providing this notice of opportunity for hearing
on the DCS application.
Requests for a hearing had to be submitted by May 18, 2001.
> View NRC News Release April 18, 2001
> View related Federal Register Notice (April 18, 2001)
Petitions were submitted by the Blue Ridge Environmental
Defense League, Environmentalists, Inc., Georgians Against Nuclear Energy, and Ms. Edna Foster.
NRC Intends To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility
NRC has started the scoping process for the EIS.
> View related Federal Register Notice (March 7, 2001)
NRC Receives Construction Application For Proposed Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility
> View NRC Release March 2, 2001
Environmental Report for MOX fuel fabrication plant project issued
On December 19, 2000, Duke Cogema Stone & Webster issued the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility Environmental Report.
> The report is available at ADAMS (Docket No. 07003098)
Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility Application Delayed
"On December 6, 2000, the applicant, Duke Cogema Stone & Webster, informed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the submittal Date for the application for the mixed oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication facility has been delayed from December 22, 2000 to February 28, 2001. The Environmental Report associated with the MOX fuel fabrication facility will be submitted on December 22, 2000, as scheduled." (NRC Weekly Information Report For the Week Ending December 15, 2000)
The MOX fuel fabrication plant project
A consortium, Duke, Cogema, Stone & Webster, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy , is expected to submit an application to NRC in late 2000 to construct and operate a mixed oxide (MOX) facility in the U.S. to dispose of weapons-grade plutonium. DOE's preferred site for the facility is the DOE Savannah River Site near Aiken, SC.
The U.S. MOX facility will process approximately 70 MTHM/year (metric tonnes heavy metal per year). It uses designs and components from both the Melox and advanced Melox processes used at the MELOX plant in Marcoule (France). The aqueous processing portion of the U.S. MOX will draw upon two plants -- UP3 and UP2/800 -- from the La Hague facility and from the UP1 plant located at Marcoule.
> View DOE News Release March 22, 1999: Energy Department Selects Private Sector Team to Help Dispose of Surplus Plutonium
> NRC News Release of August 22, 2000: NRC Issues Final Review Plan For Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility
> View related Federal Register Notice (August 23, 2000)
> View Final NUREG-1718, Standard Review Plan for the Review of an Application for a Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility
The NRC held two public meetings to discuss the licensing process for the MOX fuel fabrication facility at Columbia and N. Augusta, South Carolina, on July 12/13, 2000.
> View comments received by NRC on the Draft SRP .
The next opportunity for public involvement will occur in early 2001 following receipt of the application for the license for the MOX fuel fabrication facility, which is expected in late December 2000.
> Background documents available at ADAMS (Docket No. 07003098)