SRS Sign, MOX Construction Termination, Request

The entrance to the Savannah River Site, a 310 square-mile complex. The Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility is located at SRS.

In a move that can only be described as a death knell, the contractor leading the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility project has requested its nuclear facility construction license be terminated.

In a Nov. 1 letter, MOX Services President David Del Vecchio asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to kill its construction authorization. MOX building had ceased, Del Vecchio noted.

"There are no ongoing activities associated with NRC regulated design and construction," Del Vecchio's letter reads. The president later explained the work now being done at MOX involves preservation of the incomplete facility as well as securing materials and design documents for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Del Vecchio requested the construction license be terminated within 30 days.

The MOX Services letter – a little longer than one page, save for attachments – was made publicly available by the NRC on Dec. 3. It is included in the agency's document database.

The National Nuclear Security Administration canceled the MOX contract in full, effective immediately on Oct. 10.

"MOX Services ceased NRC regulated construction activities for the MFFF as a result of the contract termination," an attachment to Del Vecchio's letter reads.

The NNSA is a semiautonomous DOE agency in charge of the nation's nuclear outfit; the agency oversaw the MOX project.

MOX, a venture more than a decade in the making, was designed to turn weapons-grade plutonium into nuclear fuel.

The MOX construction application was submitted to the NRC in early 2001. It was approved in March 2005. MOX Services then requested a license extension in 2014. The resultant NRC construction authorization was set to expire in 2025.

To date, more than 1,000 MOX workers have received layoff notifications. More layoff notices are expected near the end of January 2019.

Inquiries made to the NRC were not immediately returned.

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