COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The price tag on a South Carolina project intended to turn weapons-grade plutonium into fuel for nuclear reactors has gone up.

A report released Thursday by the General Accountability Office says the National Nuclear Security Administration recently estimated the mixed-oxide fuel project at the Savannah River Site near Aiken would cost about $2 billion more than expected.

That would put the total cost estimate for the MOX facility at around $7 billion.

Energy Department officials did not immediately comment on the report.

The facility is being built at a former nuclear bomb plant whose reactors have been shuttered for more than a decade. The MOX plant would be the first of its kind in the United States and is expected to be up and running in 2016.

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