Shaw AREVA MOX Services Achieves 10 Million Safe Work Hours Without a Lost Workday
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) recently announced that the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MOX), under construction at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, reached 10 million safe working hours without a lost workday. This significant milestone represents nearly two years of safe work during heavy construction involving approximately 2,800 workers.
As one of NNSA’s core nuclear nonproliferation programs, the MOX facility plays an important role in U.S. national security and energy policy by facilitating the permanent disposition of 34 metric tons of surplus U.S. weapon grade plutonium. The MOX facility will blend this surplus plutonium with depleted uranium oxide to make mixed oxide fuel for use in existing commercial nuclear power plants. Once the MOX fuel assemblies have been irradiated in commercial power reactors, the plutonium can no longer be readily used for nuclear weapons. The U.S. and Russia have an international agreement to use the MOX process for permanent plutonium disposition.
“Successfully completing 10 million safe working hours at the MOX facility demonstrates the exceptional commitment by the workforce and management to safety, efficiency and accuracy,” said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington. “Once the facility is completed it will support the president’s nuclear security agenda with the disposition of surplus weapons grade plutonium.”