GAO: SC fuel fabrication plant will cost $2B more

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 14, 2013 at 3:59 pm •  Published: February 14, 2013
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But criticism has swirled around the project, on which construction began in 2007 and is expected to be complete in 2016. The MOX plant has been slow to attract customers for the commercial reactor fuel it will produce, although Bryan Wilkes, a spokesman for MOX Services, said Thursday that negotiations are under way with several utility companies interesting in buying the fuel.

The Tennessee Valley Authority has also begun a process of holding public meetings and gathering input in preparation for potentially signing on as a MOX customer, he said.

Tom Clements, an anti-nuclear activist with the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, said he was glad that the GAO had revealed the cost increase, something he said NNSA has long refused to do.

"Confirmation of a stunning $2-billion cost increase of the MOX plant construction spells big trouble for the project," Clements said. "There has been nothing short of a cover-up by NNSA of the huge cost increase, so GAO has done a public good by doing what NNSA adamantly has refused to do."

NNSA officials did not immediately comment on the report or the MOX budget.

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Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP