COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Federal regulators have given good marks to progress at a South Carolina project to turn weapons-grade plutonium into nuclear reactor fuel.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said appropriate progress was being made at the mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility at the Savannah River Site near Aiken.

The plant to blend weapons-grade plutonium to create commercial nuclear reactor fuel would be the first of its kind in the United States. The mammoth structure is being built at a former nuclear bomb plant whose reactors have been shut down for more than a decade.

The project is expected to be completed in 2016. Last month, the General Accountability Office said the plant was expected to cost about $2 billion more than originally expected, putting its anticipated cost at around $7 billion.

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