MOX, High Flyer (copy)

An aerial view of the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility, which is located at the Savannah River Site.

Close to 1,000 Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility workers have now received layoff notifications.

On Thursday, 372 CB&I Project Services Group employees were issued layoff notices, according to a mass-layoff spreadsheet maintained by S.C. Works, a statewide employment agency and initiative.

Those employees will leave the terminated project on Feb. 4, 2019.

In early November, 502 CB&I Project Services Group and 114 Orano Federal Services employees received MOX layoff notices, according to the same S.C. Works document.

Those employees will leave the project Jan. 7, 2019.

That brings the documented total to 988, roughly two-thirds of the overall MOX workforce. The S.C. Works spreadsheet was last updated Dec. 7.

One MOX worker the Aiken Standard had been in contact with described the atmosphere at the project in November as "depressing."

The layoff notification process – that includes Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification act notices – took hours to complete last month and this week, according to those familiar with the matter.

The WARN act is a labor law that requires major employers to give employees a heads up regarding major layoffs or plant closures.

MOX, located at the Savannah River Site, was designed to turn weapons-grade plutonium into nuclear fuel. On Oct. 10, the National Nuclear Security Administration terminated the MOX contract in full, effective immediately.

The project had been more than a decade in the making. It also had exceeded its initial budget and completion timeline.

In May, the NNSA and the U.S. Department of Defense together recommended repurposing MOX for an enduring plutonium pit production mission. Pits are nuclear weapon cores.

The third and final wave of MOX layoff notifications will be issued the week of Jan. 28, 2019, according to an internal memo, which the Aiken Standard obtained.

The memo was written by MOX Services President David Del Vecchio. MOX Services is the prime contractor at the MOX project.

Colin Demarest is the government and Savannah River Site reporter with the Aiken Standard. Follow him on Twitter: @demarest_colin