Feb 09 2016
Contact: Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417 or Clint Riddle (202) 224-5972
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the Obama Administration’s decision to terminate the MOX program at Savannah River Site and the Obama Administration’s budget submission to Congress.
“I strongly oppose the Obama budget. I’m glad to see that it has no support, no backing, and it’s not going anywhere.”
“The Obama Administration's reckless proposal to terminate the MOX program, without a proven disposition plan in place, is both ill-conceived and dangerous. This isn’t the first time they have proposed halting the MOX program, but given the fact their time in office is running short, thankfully it is their last.
“I look forward to a new presidential administration taking office in 2017 that will hopefully honor the commitment made to South Carolina when it comes to plutonium disposition.
“In 2000 we signed an agreement with the Russians and later identified the MOX program as the disposition path for 34 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium held by the US in excess of our defense needs. The Russians have agreed to reduce their stockpiles by the same amount.
“As we have seen first-hand from their dealings with the Iranians, negotiating with a tough adversary is not a strong suit of the Obama Administration. Now is not the time to change course and have the Obama Administration try to renegotiate anything with the Russians. It will not end well for U.S. interests. One can only imagine what the Russians will ask for in return.
“Finally, the Obama Administration refuses to face up to the reality that today there is no viable alternative to MOX. Simply scrapping the MOX program and not honoring the commitment made to South Carolina is a non-starter. If they have a better idea, one that is well-thought out and properly vetted, then they should bring it forward. Right now, they have nothing.”