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For media inquiries contact: Marylia Kelley, (925) 443-7148,


This is the first in a series of Tri-Valley CAREs' dispatches from deep within the FY 2015 budget request documents for the Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)


March 4, 2014

Tri-Valley CAREs declares a major victory as the White House announces it will place the Dept. of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration's beleaguered Mixed Oxide Plutonium Fuel (MOX) program into "cold standby" as it examines other less costly alternatives for disposition of plutonium declared surplus from nuclear weapons programs.

The MOX plant, under construction at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, has been rife with escalating costs, including a new, internal estimate rumored to top $30 billion. Tri-Valley CAREs is one of dozens of organizations across the country that has worked tirelessly over the past several years to bring accountability to the MOX program and to encourage the federal government to reopen a search for disposition alternatives that will be safer, faster and cheaper, including further analysis of the "immobilization" option.

"Today's announcement is the first step toward canceling the MOX program. This is a win for taxpayers and nuclear safety alike," said Marylia Kelley, the Executive Director at Tri-Valley CAREs. "Taxpayers will save because the MOX project has skyrocketed out of control and may cost in excess of $30 billion. Further, proponents of nuclear safety can celebrate a victory because the MOX program would have resulted in putting plutonium from U.S. nuclear weapons into commercial nuclear power plants. Plutonium should be carefully guarded, not put into the civilian energy economy."

Here is the language from the White House budget document, titled, "The Budget for Fiscal Year 2015" at page 77. "Following a year-long review of the plutonium disposition program, the Budget provides funding to place the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility in South Carolina into cold-standby. NNSA is evaluating alternative plutonium disposition technologies to MOX that will achieve a safe and secure solution more quickly and cost effectively. The Administration remains committed to the U.S.-Russia Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement, and will work with its Russian partners to achieve the goals of the agreement in a mutually beneficial manner."

Additional dispatches will follow on a variety of NNSA programs as more detailed budget justification documents become available. Stay tuned.


Marylia Kelley, Tri-Valley CAREs: (925) 443-7148