NNSA to Resume Plutonium Separation at the Savannah River Site’s H Canyon for MOX Fuel
Aiken, S.C. – Just as the Department of Energy touts the closing and capping of two nuclear waste storage tanks this summer in its brimming H Tank Farm – the result of hundreds of millions of dollars in Recovery Act funds – the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) released a statement on July 11, 2012, that proposes to use the crumbling and problem-plagued 430,000-square-foot H Canyon to process tons of weapons grade plutonium, sending additional high level nuclear waste to the H Tank Farm that was supposed to be cleaned up and shuttered. This process will add to the tens of millions of gallons of highly radioactive liquid waste that have made the Savannah River Site, an EPA Superfund site, the most concentrated and dangerous radioactive site in the United States.
NNSA will take some of the tons of weapons grade plutonium stored in the old K Reactor at SRS and, according to SRS spokesman James Giusti, “it will prepare Pu oxide for use in MOX to its requirements.” The DOE is constructing a problem-plagued mixed oxide fuel plant, the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility, with the French-government-owned contractor Areva, to turn surplus weapons grade plutonium into a kind of high octane civilian nuclear reactor fuel. The MOX plant is over budget and behind schedule. No major utility has agreed to use MOX fuel rods in their civilian reactors. Continue reading EPA Helpless to Stop Further Pollution at Major Superfund Site