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Construction workers install electrical grounding at the Mixed Oxide, or MOX, facility under construction at the Savannah River Site in Aiken County.

A series of layoffs at Savannah River Site’s Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility bring the total South Carolina nuclear construction jobs lost to more than 5,200 in just three months.

Approximately 200 construction jobs were eliminated, according to Chicago Bridge & Iron spokeswoman Gentry Brann. CB&I is a leading contract company in the consortium CB&I Areva MOX Services, responsible for constructing the MOX facility.

“We recently completed layoffs of approximately 200 construction positions at the MOX project,” Brann said.

According to Brann, the MOX workforce now counts about 2,000 jobs. She noted the layoffs followed an evaluation of employment to ensure the company followed federal guidance.

“We are constantly reviewing workforce needs based on the project execution plan and make adjustments as required,” Brann said.

A project execution plan is a guideline from the federal department overseeing a contractor’s work on a federal construction project. According to Department of Energy documents available to the public online, a project execution plan is “guidance for the federal project director to produce a useful and flexible plan.”

The layoffs come less than three months after the loss of nearly 5,000 other nuclear construction jobs in South Carolina when the plug was pulled on the V.C. Summer nuclear station expansion project in July.

Last month, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster penned a letter to U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., after McMaster's Nuclear Advisory Council visited MOX.

McMaster closed the letter with a focused statement on the jobs at MOX.

“I appreciate the South Carolina congressional delegation’s leadership and persistence in fighting for completion of the MOX project and the over 2,100 local jobs it provides,” McMaster wrote in the letter.

Thomas Gardiner is a freelance contributor to the Aiken Standard. He graduated from USC Aiken in 2016.