May 01 2006

500 Jobs Coming to Savannah River Site

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced 500 new jobs will be coming to the Savannah River Site (SRS) this year. The jobs are related to construction of the MOX facility at SRS which will begin later this year. “This is welcome news for Savannah River Site, the MOX program, and the state,” said Graham. “The MOX program is incredibly important to the Site, nation, and world. I’m glad we are taking steps to get the construction and eventual operation of the facility moving forward.” The first phase will see approximately 200 employees from the MOX contractor, Duke Cogema Stone & Webster (DCS), transition from their current offices in Charlotte to the Site by the end of the year. The bulk of these employees are expected to move this summer. These employees will be involved in managing the MOX facility construction and startup activities, providing engineering support during the construction phase, and obtaining an operating license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In addition, DCS says it plans to hire approximately 320 subcontractor employees for construction by the end of the year. These employees will perform construction activities, such as excavating the MOX facility site, pouring the concrete foundation, and installing equipment. In 2000, the U.S. and Russia agreed to dispose of 68 metric tons (34 metric tons each) of surplus, weapon-grade plutonium by turning it into MOX fuel for use in existing, commercial nuclear reactors. Once the MOX fuel has been created and irradiated in a nuclear reactor, the plutonium can no longer be used for nuclear weapons. Sixty-eight metric tons of plutonium is enough material for 17,000 nuclear weapons. “The congressional delegation is committed to ensuring the MOX program becomes a reality and today we are taking another step forward,” said Graham. “The MOX program is vital to our national security and we will continue to work together to ensure it is adequately funded. The citizens of South Carolina, along with the Savannah River Site workforce, should be proud of the role we are playing in making the world a safer place.” #####