Group of U.S. statesmen push for completion of MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility

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Two former U.S. senators and one former governor have teamed up against nuclear proliferation by recommending the completion of the MOX (mixed oxide) Fuel Fabrication Facility, currently under construction in South Carolina.

The completion would allow the U.S. to fulfill the Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement (PMDA) that it has made with Russia. The agreement aims to eliminate weapons-grade plutonium from any use.

“Let’s not allow the DOE to cancel the important MOX Project construction – instead, we should find a way to move forward, finish the job, and work to eliminate these dangerous nuclear materials in both the U.S. and Russia, ensuring that they won’t fall into the wrong hands to be used against us or our allies,” former Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) wrote in a recent letter to Sen. Mitch McConnnell (R-KY).

Lugar, former Sen. Slade Gorton (R-WA) and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson have teamed up to support the MOX Project. They have two goals, once the MOX Project is finished: The completion would prevent Russia from being released from the PMDA, and the plant would help the U.S. work toward achieving nonproliferation through the permanent reduction of plutonium.

“There is tension in the U.S.-Russian relationship, and we don’t need to add more by jeopardizing the plutonium agreement, which is working well,” Richardson wrote to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). “Russia is keeping its side of the plutonium agreement, and we need to keep our side of it.”

Russia is working toward the PMDA's goals through its BN-800 fast reactor, which burns up surplus plutonium in a MOX fuel.

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