GAO: SC reactor fuel plant cost rises to $7.7B

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by The Associated Press

WCNC.com

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 6:48 PM

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The price tag for a South Carolina project intended to turn weapons-grade plutonium into fuel for nuclear reactors has risen by nearly $3 billion. 

David Trimble of the General Accountability Office said in written testimony submitted to Congress Wednesday that the National Nuclear Security Administration project is now estimated to cost $7.7 billion. Its original cost was estimated at $4.9 billion. 

Trimble also said the project wouldn't be complete until November 2019 -- more than three years later than originally expected. 

The MOX plant would blend weapons-grade plutonium to create commercial nuclear reactor fuel and would be the first of its kind in the United States. It's being built at the Savannah River Site, a former nuclear bomb plant whose reactors have been shuttered for more than a decade.   

 

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