Apr 14 2016
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said he was pleased the Senate Appropriations Committee rejected the Obama Administration proposal to terminate the MOX program at Savannah River Site. The committee approved $270 million in continued funding for MOX.
“If the Obama Administration thinks they are going to cancel the MOX program and not have a viable path forward, they’re in for a rude awakening,” said Graham.
Graham noted the Senate Armed Services Committee, of which he is also a member, has agreed to schedule a hearing with the Department of Energy to discuss the future of the MOX program.
He noted the Department of Energy’s current alternative disposition plan has not been vetted and presents several major issues including:
• Obtaining approval for a new plutonium disposition path from Russia which has accused the United States of breaking the Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement (http://1.usa.gov/1ShFfh8); and
• Questions of support level from New Mexico which has been cited as a possible repository for plutonium. http://www.cq.com/doc/news-4849943?6
“This committee has made a wise decision to look at the MOX program anew and not terminate it at this time,” said Graham. “Can the MOX program be reengineered to be cheaper and more affordable? What are the consequences of abandoning the agreement? These questions need to be answered.
“This is a national and international problem,” said Graham. “If you can convince me there’s a cheaper way to do this that meets our international commitment and overcomes the regulatory and statutory hurdles I’m all ears. But, don’t give me an ill-conceived plan no one has thought through that doesn’t have a snowballs chance in hell of working. We need to get this right. And as a nation, we better get this right.”
Graham Speaks at Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on the MOX Program http://bit.ly/1MvWOaZ