Representatives of several utilities involved in current and potential future construction of new nuclear power facilities recently visited the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility, one of the country’s first new nuclear projects in decades. The group discussed best practices and lessons learned with executives from Shaw AREVA MOX Services, including early and frequent engagement with suppliers throughout the fabrication process.

“MOX has borne a significant amount of the cost and leadership in restarting nuclear construction in a regulated environment in the United States,” said Steve Marr, Shaw AREVA MOX Services executive vice president and deputy project manager. “From renewing a previously dormant supply chain, to ensuring qualified vendors and craft workers, the MOX project has led the way, and we look forward to continued interactions with industry to ensure all lessons learned are shared. The result of this meeting was an open forum on best practices for nuclear construction from all the participants.”

Members of the group toured the MOX facility and met with project leaders to learn about design, construction, procurement and regulatory experiences. The group also received information on MOX fuel, which will be produced by the MOX facility for use in commercial nuclear power plants.

Participants in the conference included industry representatives as well as a member of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations.

The MOX project began construction in 2007 at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site and is more than halfway complete. The project is widely-suspected to have funding cut back dramatically in the next week or so. The project recently had its price tag raised by $2 billion, to $6.8 billion.