NRC issues safety report for Savannah River MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility

On 27 December 2010, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued the 578-page Final Safety Evaluation Report of Shaw/AREVA's Savannah River Mixed Oxide Fuel (MOX) Fabrication facility at Savannah River (Aiken, South Carolina). (Full report and press release). While the issuance of the report constitutes an important step in the licensing of the plant, it is not equivalent to an operating license, a decision that "is expected to be several years away," according to an NRC press release.

The NRC concluded in its safety report that the facility would "not pose an undue risk to worker and public health and safety." The MOX plant has been under construction since 2005 and is designed to absorb excess weapons plutonium under a US-Russian plutonium disposition agreement. The project is several years behind schedule.

More information about the licensing procedure of the MOX fuel fabrication plant is available at the NRC website.