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  • iindelco iindelco Apr 16, 2013 12:37 PM Flag

    Swords-Into-Plowshares Nuclear Venture Hit by Budget Cuts

    Article on Bloomberg re: the US government plant in SC for "down blending?" Pu being at risk due to budget cuts.

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    • It dorsn't affect USEC directly. USEC enriches uranium, the plant I believe you are referring to makes mixed-oxide fuel (MOX) out of plutonium. It does, however, indicate that the President wants to cut spending on non-"Green" energy, which would affect USEC, Obama does not consider nuclear energy "Green" enough.

      From the Aiken Register:
      The MOX project has been left reeling as President Barack Obama’s budget for fiscal year 2014 not only cut its funding by $115 million, but also is looking into “alternative plutonium disposition strategies.”

      “This current plutonium disposition approach may be unaffordable, though, due to cost growth and fiscal pressure,” the Department of Energy budget states. “While the Administration will assess the feasibility of alternative plutonium disposition strategies, resulting in a slowdown of MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility construction in 2014, it is nonetheless committed to the overarching goals of the plutonium disposition program.”

      The budget request sent to Congress is seeking $503 million for fissile materials disposition with the majority of the money going to the MOX project. That’s $182 million less than the fiscal year 2012 budget and significantly less than funding provided in last year’s Continuing Resolution.

      “The president’s request in FY14 is $503 million for the entire fissile materials disposition program, under that $320 million is allocated for support of continued construction on the MOX facility, at a reduced pace, while we conduct an assessment of alternative disposition options,” said Andrew Bieniawski, an official for National Nuclear Security Administration’s Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation program