NRC plans Jan. 15 meeting on MOX project

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has scheduled a public meeting for Jan.15 to provide information regarding the construction of the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility being built near Aiken, S.C., and changes to the NRC inspection procedures for the facility.

The MOX facility is being constructed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River site near Aiken, S.C. The facility will be owned by the DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration and will convert supplies of surplus weapons-grade plutonium into more proliferation-resistant forms by blending it with natural or depleted uranium. Converting the plutonium into MOX fuel will enable it to be used in commercial reactors to generate electricity.

The NRC issued a construction authorization for the facility in March 2005 and extended the project’s construction deadline by an additional 10 years in November 2014. The deadline is now March 30, 2025. The NRC also changed the licensee name on the construction authorization to CB&I AREVA MOX Services to reflect Chicago Bridge & Iron’s acquisition of the Shaw Group in 2013.

The NRC revised its Inspection Manual Chapter 2630, entitled “Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication facility Construction Inspection Program” in its entirety on May 9, 2014.