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Still Mox’d Up

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PROGRAM’S COST ESTIMATE DOUBLES …

|| By FITSNEWS || Last February, this website broke the news that U.S. president Barack Obama‘s administration was planning to shut down the mixed oxide fuel (a.k.a. “MOX”) program at the Savannah River Site (SRS) near Aiken, S.C.

Apoplexy ensued, but we maintain this was the correct decision.

The MOX facility was supposed to have been completed in 2007 at a cost of $1.6 billion – but nearly $4 billion later it still hasn’t been finished, and the total tab for the project now exceeds $10 billion (oh, and there’s a report on the cost overruns associated with this project that will make your blood boil).

The latest news?

According to a new U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) report, the $400 million annual cost of maintaining this program is “inadequate.”

How much are they saying it will take?  Twice that – a whopping $800 million.

“If the MOX pathway is to be successful, then annual funding for the whole program would have to increase from the current $400 million per year to $700 to 800 million per year over the next 2-3 years,” the report concluded.

The government’s MOX facility was supposed to turn weapons grade plutonium into fuel for nuclear reactors – but it’s taken so long to get up and running that its intended purpose is on the verge of becoming antiquated.

We’ve consistently argued that the project should be abandoned – although “pro-jobs” politicians of both parties in South Carolina have argued in favor of continuing to fund it.

Among them?  S.C. governor Nikki Haley, who hasn’t always viewed the workers filling these positions in the highest esteem.

“Down on River Site, they were hiring a few hundred people, and when we sat down and talked to them … they said of everybody they interviewed, half of them failed a drug test, and of the half that was left, of that 50 percent, the other half couldn’t read and write properly,” Haley told a group of Lexington County, S.C. Rotarians in September 2011.

Challenged to provide documentation for this bizarre claim, Haley initially vowed to do so … but later backed down completely.

Bottom line?  This program is a multi-billion dollar money pit that needs to be completely abandoned.

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