U.S. MOX plant construction license extended

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission signed an order that extended the completion deadline for the construction of the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF) by ten years, until 30 March 2025.

In March 2014, the U.S. administration announced its intent to suspend construction of the plant, placing it on "cold standby" in FY2015, and explore alternative plutonium disposition technologies. The Congress, however, insists on continuing the work - construction continued with the funds available in the FY2014 budget and under FY2015 continuing resolution (which expires on December 11, 2014, but could be renewed). Funds for the construction are also included in the FY2015 appropriations bill. The administration strongly opposed this and other provisions of the bill and threatened to veto it. However, it appears that the issue of MFFF construction alone would not trigger the veto.

The MFFF construction project has been plagued by cost and schedule overruns. The cost of the plant, if completed, may be as high as $10 billion. At the time Areva signed the contract, its cost was reported to be $2.7 billion.