Representative Joe Wilson

Representing the 2nd District of South Carolina

The State: MOX Facility A National Asset

Feb 1, 2013

Sunday, The State published concerns about the MOX facility, a project under construction at the Savannah River Site, for projected cost increases and the lack of a committed utility purchaser for the fuel.

            This immensely complicated project is subject to stringent federal regulations and uncontrollable commodity prices. I support Senator Lindsey Graham’s point to contractors, as well as National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), that the program must be run as efficiently as possible. Additionally, great progress has been made in locating potential customers and I am confident there will be multiple buyers for MOX fuel.

            Despite these two issues, the public needs to know the reasoning for the MOX project. In 1999, the Clinton Administration decided to pursue this technology as a means to disposition weapons grade plutonium. In 2002, President Bush supported the program to honor the United States’ part in an agreement with Russia to disposition 34 metric tons of military grade plutonium. Last year, President Obama understood the importance of this program and requested $917 million in his FY13 budget.

            As a member of Congress who has work experience at SRS, I appreciate the national importance of this facility. The facility will turn bombs meant to end life into electricity. This facility will force Russia to honor its obligation and will take a sizeable amount of weapons grade plutonium out of a very dangerous part of the world. Above the economic impact on our state, the MOX facility is a national asset to our country and it must be completed.