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All MOX’d Up




Last September this website published a story highlighting the soaring costs associated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s  “mixed oxide fuel” (MOX) project at the Savannah River Site.

At the time we noted the facility – which is supposed to turn weapons grade plutonium into fuel for nuclear reactors – was supposed to be completed in 2007 at a cost of $1.6 billion to taxpayers.

Well guess what … it still isn’t finished. And now the latest cost estimate for the project has soared from $7.7 billion to $10 billion (assuming U.S. President Barack Obama permits it to move forward).

Obama reduced funding for the plant last year to “just” half a billion – and wants to zero it out moving forward.

Such a move would likely cost South Carolina thousands of jobs – and leave taxpayers on the hook for as much as $3.7 billion in sunk costs.

What happened? Nobody knows. In fact a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released this month reveals that the DOE hasn’t the foggiest of notions why this project’s costs continue to balloon.

Specifically, the report says the DOE “has not analyzed the underlying, or root, causes of the Plutonium Disposition program construction cost increases to help identify lessons learned and help address the agency’s difficulty in completing projects within cost and schedule.”

What’s that they say in Washington, D.C.? “A billion here, a billion there … sooner or later we’re talking about real money.”

Well, this is a multi-billion dollar bath taxpayers are about to take … one that’s going to flush a large number of Palmetto State jobs down the drain with it.

And for what?


UPDATE: For those of you wondering where our headline came from, here’s 311’s “All Mixed Up.”

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