MOX-production plant project in Seversk in limbo

Publish date: November 18, 2004

Neither Russia, nor USA want to be responsible for the MOX plant’s construction.

The head of radiation safety department at the Tomsk region administration Yury Zubkov said that to “Who will be held responcible in case of an accident at the MOX-plant? Who will be responsible for the daily operation? These questions are open now. While these questions are not answered neither of the G8 countries will not give money to implement the program. England was the first to announce that” Yury Zubkov said. So, it is early to speak about the MOX plant construction, it can be on hold for a indefenite time.

However, the USA try to adopt the French MOX technology MELOX to the conditions in Seversk. According to the Platts news agency, the Department of Energy (DOE) will contract with Cogema to transfer MOX fuel fabrication technology to Russia, DOE announced on November 12. Under the contract, which has yet to be negotiated, Cogema would provide “proprietary intellectual property” and “limited technical support” to the U.S. DOE for construction of a mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication facility in Russia, the department said in a November 12 presolicitation notice. The MOX fuel will be fabricated using some 34 tons of former Russian weapons plutonium as part of the U.S.-Russian plutonium disposition program. Cogema is part of the DCS consortium that plans to construct a MOX fuel plant in the U.S. for plutonium disposition. The contract for work on the project in Russia would run from January 2005 to December 2006, DOE said. The department did not specify a dollar figure for the work. The contract will be negotiated on a sole-source basis because only Cogema can transfer its own MOX technology, DOE said.