May 23 2017

Trump Budget Continues Obama Administration's Failed Approach to MOX

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made these statements on the Trump Administration’s budget and the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site (SRS).

“I was hoping the Trump Administration’s budget proposal would mark a clean break from Obama’s failed approach to MOX.  Instead, it appears they are doubling-down. 

“This budget proposal, much like the Obama Administration’s, embraces a process of ‘dilute and dispose’ for surplus weapons-grade plutonium.  There are several shortcomings with this approach.  First, it has already been considered.  Second, it was rejected.

“The reasons were clear.  It violates an important international non-proliferation agreement.  It also doesn’t take into consideration the legislative and regulatory changes needed to store the excess material underground.  And it fails to account for the political opposition, on both sides of the aisle, that is likely to occur and will undoubtedly result in extended delays.  This plan will strand the material in place – which is unacceptable.  The only option with a clear disposition path is MOX.

“In Congress, I will continue to work with the members of our delegation and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry on the correct path forward.  I think we should work toward a fixed lifetime contract negotiated between the Department of Energy and the contractor.  Let’s see if we can get a better price in place without crippling this important national security program.”