MOX, High Flyer (copy) (copy)

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

Hundreds of Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility workers were given layoff notices last month.

According to a mass-layoff spreadsheet maintained by S.C. Works, 369 CB&I Project Services Group employees as well as 38 Orano Federal Services employees received pink slips.

This latest batch of layoff notifications – which afford workers a 60-day warning, as required by federal labor law – was delivered Jan. 31, according to people familiar with the matter.

Those given layoff notices on Jan. 31 will leave the contract-canceled MOX project at the start of April, according to the S.C. Works spreadsheet, which was last updated Feb. 4.

As of January, more than 1,000 MOX workers had effectively been laid off.

MOX, located at the Savannah River Site, was designed to turn weapons-grade plutonium into fuel for nuclear reactors; the National Nuclear Security Administration terminated the over-budget, incomplete project on Oct. 10, 2018.

The U.S. Department of Energy intends to pursue dilute-and-dipose – another plutonium disposition method – instead of MOX. At the same time, the NNSA aims to repurpose the MOX facility for a long term plutonium pit production mission.

Dilute-and-dispose involves mixing plutonium with inert material and then shipping it to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico where the mixture will be stored at length. Plutonium pits are nuclear weapon cores.

The NNSA is a semiautonomous DOE agency.

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