|For Immediate Release||October 21, 2005|
|Media Contact:||James Giusti (803) 952-7697|
Aiken, S.C. - The National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) plutonium disposition program has moved another step forward with the start of site preparation for its Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site.
NNSA announced today that the first subcontract for this work has been awarded to MDM Services Corporation, a small business located in Aiken, SC. MDM Services Corporation will begin relocating approximately 85,000 cubic yards of earth at the MOX site in November, and will be paid $468,013 for the work.
NNSA's plutonium disposition program aims to eliminate a total of 68 metric tons of surplus weapon-grade plutonium both in the United States and in Russia (34 MT in each country), and is based on a 2000 nonproliferation agreement between the two countries. Both countries will dispose of their plutonium by converting it to MOX fuel for use in existing nuclear reactors. Once the MOX fuel has been irradiated, the plutonium can no longer be readily used for nuclear weapons.
Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for maintaining and enhancing the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; working to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; providing the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responding to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and aboard.