Missing the MOX

Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication FacilityMissing the MOX

Energy & Natural Resources,  | Quick Take
Feb 12, 2018  | 1 min read | Print Article

The FY19 Budget Request takes the axe to the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility.

Staying true to their commitment to end the program, the Trump Administration request echoes last year’s call for the termination of the massive facility which was aimed at converting plutonium into fuel for use in commercial reactors – but quickly became a financial train wreck for taxpayers, plagued with ballooning costs and technological challenges.

The $279 million included in the FY19 request for MOX under the DOE’s Nonproliferation Construction Account fund is earmarked for shutdown activities. The budget also states that the DOE will pursue the “dilute and dispose” alternative to the project.

TCS has long opposed the MOX facility’s construction as a raw deal for taxpayers. Unfortunately, though the termination of the facility has enjoyed bipartisan support, with the Obama Administration first proposing its termination in its FY2017 budget, the project continues to live on. It’s time for this phase down to phase out and save taxpayers $10-$12 billion, as the budget request proposes.

MOX FUNDING 2014-2019 (All funds requested since FY2015 have been for putting the project in “cold standby” or terminating it outright)

($, in millions)

Fiscal Year 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
President’s Requested 320 196 345 270 270 279
Enacted 344 345 340 335 332*
*Since the FY2018 appropriations have not been finalized this number is an estimate.