NRC email reveals US nuclear plant used MOX fuel

Published: April 10th, 2012 at 9:00 am ET


Via Enformable: Nuclear Regulatory Commission email, dated March 28, 2011 2:49 PM

Sheehan, Neil: A question from a reporter is how many and which U.S. plants are using MOX fuel. Does anyone have that information handy?

Burnell, Scott: ZERO

Sheehan: Let me rephrase: Have any plants been testing the use of MOX or signed up to use it in the future?

McIntyre, David: Catawba [in S. Carolina, near Columbia, NC] did for a cycle or two back in 2006, I think. TVA has expressed interest, and Columbia was recently revealed to be in discussions with DOE about it. But nobody has signed up or committed to using it.

See also: [intlink id=”just-in-cnn-nuclear-expert-i-think-russian-mox-fuel-is-being-used-in-us-reactors-made-with-weapons-grade-plutonium-nrc-implies-no-mox-being-used-audio” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]


Published: April 10th, 2012 at 9:00 am ET


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46 comments to NRC email reveals US nuclear plant used MOX fuel

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    "McIntyre, David: Catawba [in S. Carolina, near Columbia, NC] did for a cycle or two back in 2006, I think."

    Followup question that I'd ask if I could: What happened to the MOX fuel after that – where is it now?

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    Posted. This just came through too:
    US National Academy of Sciences to Set Up Fukushima Investigation Commission via @exskf

    • Hurray! What is mox fuel anyway? Hope other enebloggers drop links this way. Reality Check Plutonium etc thread … pretty bare, but will add ….,188.0.html

      • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven


        The important quantity is not the VOLUME or MASS of plutonium, but its TOXICITY.

        0.1 micrograms of Plutonium can overdose one civilian.

        According to the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility (CCNR) 0.1 grams would overdose one million people, one gram, ten million people, 100 grams, one billion people and 600 grams, six billion people.

        Various charts

        This arms race is symbolic of a perverted world where the possession of nuclear weapons is taken as a sign that a country is important and should be listened to. Instead I believe we must create an international atmosphere where the possession of nuclear weapons is a cause for embarrassment and shame — rather than for power and prestige. ..stated by Herbert Scoville-
        Former Technical Director of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project
        Former Head of Scientific Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency [CIA]
        Former Assistant Director of Science & Technology, Arms Control & Disarmament Agency
        Director of the Arms Control Association

        • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

          "A rapid release of one kilogram of plutonium at ground level in dispersible, inhalable form would cause a public health emergency of the first magnitude. Plutonium air concentrations could be on the order of hundreds of micrograms per cubic meter of air at one kilometer from the release site. Individuals breathing this air would inhale enough plutonium to cause cancer with certainty within minutes," said Dr. Edwin S. Lyman of the Nuclear Control Institute. This is the nightmare of nightmares. There is an incredible amount of plutonium in this plant that could very well put us all in supercritical danger.

          • HoTaters HoTaters


            " Mixed oxide fuel, commonly referred to as MOX fuel, is nuclear fuel that contains more than one oxide of fissile material. MOX fuel contains plutonium blended with natural uranium, reprocessed uranium, or depleted uranium. MOX fuel is an alternative to the low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel used in the light water reactors that predominate nuclear power generation. For example, a mixture of 7% plutonium and 93% natural uranium reacts similarly, although not identically, to LEU fuel. "

            • vital1 vital1

              We all tend to concentrate on the dangerous radioactive effects that Plutonium, Uranium and all the other isotopes derived from their radioactive decay, have on the body.

              Another important point most people are not informed about is that independent of their lethal radioactive affects they are also heavy metals like lead and mercury.

              This means these radioactive elements can be just as chemically toxic to the body, and sometimes more toxic chemically!

              Use this information as a resource when taking to people about their toxicity.


              Get the message out there on how serious the Fukushima nuclear disaster is
              quickly, and efficiently. You don’t need to explain anything just distribute
              the lifesaver.pdf (or create your own), hand it out, mailbox it, or email it.
              Put it everywhere, libraries, notice boards, web pages, forums, Facebook,
              and tweet! Think outside the box.


              Geiger Counter Use Guide


    • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


      I read the article and their purpose seems to be to "improve the safety" of U.S. Nuclear Plants. They will study this for two years. We want these plants closed immediately and any under construction stopped. They have learned nothing from what happened and is still happening at Fukushima.

  • Wreedles Wreedles

    I remember reading about this from an earlier ENENews article. The fuel was removed after two cycles instead of the planned three because it 'grew' more than allowed to by specifications. I would assume that the MOX fuel is in the spent fuel pool at Catawba, as it won't be ready to be dry-casked until 2016-2017 or so… Good follow-up question though.

  • jec jec

    Didnt we just see a news report of USA purchasing Canada's nuclear fuel? Wonder if it was MOX? Impression was weapons grade..was late last summer/fall 2011. Certainly was AFTER Fukushimas 311…

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    Fukushima Japan: "we're going to need a bigger boat" LIVE FEED Yikes: via @youtube

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    Germany just purchased MOX for the NPP Grohnde from Sellafield…it will be transported via Belgium and via lorry on the highway in the most densely populated area in Germany. E.On said they're going to use it from 2013's revision onwards.

    *shut the beasts down.

  • or-well

    Ah, the NRC…I can't resist:

    You are entering another dimension
    and leaving the one you have known,
    where real words had real definitions
    and where only dogs were tossed a bone,
    where "health" and "safety" had meaning,
    where authority was really responsible,
    where from statements there could be gleaning,
    not bafflegab barely pronounceable.

    Here sight and sound have no meaning,
    neither do heart and/or soul,
    the same goes for logic and reason
    and "right", "truth" and "justice"? So old!
    Here death and disease are acceptable,
    …redacted…unknown participant…
    Irresponsible! Reprehensible! Indefensible!
    You have entered "The NRC Zone" –
    a dimension of imagination,
    where reality is being honed
    by monosyllabic disintegration,
    as if on their power they're stoned.

    It goes on but it does get radical
    and at the moment I have no lawyer.
    They do need feet put to fire,
    that they not make us that much more sorrier.

    Hi everybody! You have all been in my thoughts!
    Nice to see new names here!

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      Hi or-well! Good to see you!!

    • Misitu

      Thank, or-well

    • Misitu

      Thanks, or-well

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter


    • StillJill StillJill

      You're in trouble or-well,…..for scaring the crap out of me,…breaking my heart,….., and for gross abandonment!

      So,……your punishment is: You must write us a poem up on the board everyday for the rest of eternity.

      BTW-I thank God for you! πŸ™‚

      • or-well

        tho that be a spanky –
        I need a hankie !!
        I guess I done wrong –
        but I've been going strong
        on a song different sort
        and for my spirit
        I had to depart –
        it seems so long!
        BING! BANG! Light yer bong
        or whatever ye fancy
        cuz or-well and me
        will be in their pants antsy!
        We don't give up,
        just pause for repair,
        we're gonna be nits
        in nuke pubic hair,
        we're gonna be fleas
        and give nukers rabies…
        oh wait, maybe I mean
        bubonic plague-ies…
        GIVE ME THAT KEYBOARD or-well…

    • What-About-The-Kids

      Welcome back, Or-Well!!! Boy, you have been sorely missed around here. Thank you for yet another BRILLIANT poetic contribution. You never cease to amaze…

      From the many comments here, you surely must feel very loved and appreciated by your fellow enenewsers. May the resulting warm, loving feelings serve to keep the creative fires burning for-ever, Or-well! Your work is so important, in so many ways!

      Thank you a million +!

      • or-well


        Yes, I surely do.
        And I feel a debt.
        I found community
        among the "enenewserai"
        when all around me
        where Biffs and Buffys,
        unknowing, uncaring,
        and ostrich-head stuffing
        up-butt pinfeather-airing!

        Thank YOU so much.

        • What-About-The-Kids

          You're very welcome, Or-Well! LOL! Your latest "Biffs and Buffys" sure put yet another smile on my face. Thank you for making the unbearable somehow bearable. So glad to be among the "enenewserai" too! πŸ™‚

        • HoTaters HoTaters

          Yes, welcome back! Where ya been?

          • or-well


            Yar! I been a'sea
            with Capt. NukeZero –
            the Afterlife Underworlds'
            anti-nuke hero –
            aboard Gaias' Flagship,
            The seacrystal Fin,
            with a crew of the Dead
            called The Sailors O' Dread!
            We been huntin' nuke submarines
            an' dirty damn Whalers
            so I'm writin' me Log
            fer the tellin' o' tales!

            There's nothing like the Sea
            for recharging the spirit, eh.


      guns a blazing or-well! You are a truly unique thinking machine…

      • or-well


        If words were fifty-calibers
        I'd wear 'em in holsters
        with vowel bandoliers,
        from both hips be firing
        like a Terminateer,
        blasting to splinters
        those dirty nuke-pimpers –
        but alas, words without action
        aren't much of a throwdown,
        and it's not High Noon
        but closer to sundown.
        Still, down dusty street
        I'm willing to walk
        and at the word "Draw!" –
        I'll slap leather n' smacktalk!

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    I missed you too..Or-Well

      • or-well

        Me and little "o" or-well,
        we're just a small double (w)
        with but little to offer
        compared to all you,
        but you're all in our hearts
        like bright jumping sparks!
        So we WILL drop by –
        if just to cause trouble!

        • StillJill StillJill

          Nay my friend,….discount not your pearls to me!

        • CB CB

          or-well at least a smile to my face.

          • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

            WELCOME BACK OR-WELL ~!~ Through the fog of despair, frustration & anger you, or-well are a glowing Candle that gives much more than you take. So happy to see your fire still burning bright. πŸ™‚

            • or-well


              Made in Heaven or
              Maid from Above, or
              Mate to the Captain
              of Ship of Love,
              tho torch must sometimes
              be relinquished,
              passed hand-to-hand,
              there's a flame
              can't be extinguished
              by hand of Man
              and by that flame
              we are ignited
              until such time
              the world is lighted.

              We all burn out
              from time to time
              but none burn alone
              so that makes it fine!

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Only a matter of time until all plants using MOX are revealed.

  • StillJill StillJill

    'or-well'–"You talk to me in riddles,
    and you talk to me in rhymes,
    my body aches to hear your thoughts,
    you're words keep me alive"–Sarah McLachlan

    I think you you,…poordaddy, jebus, and a few others, everytime I hear Sarah.

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    New Tweet:
    Russia adjusting nature protection activities after Fukushima accident

  • Fred

    The same French company that has blown up a few times processing fuel in France is building the Savannah River Plant, South Carolina's Nuclear Waste Zone, a new MOX fuel plant near Aiken, SC. The plant will take the weapons grade plutonium from the SALT bombs and turn it into superfuel for the power plants to sell them cheap (or free??).

    The story here is VC Summer loaded one of its reactors with MOX fuel and started to run it. The fuel bundles "swelled" dangerously and the unit was shut down and refuelled with regular uranium fuel as they were afraid the MOX would damage the core, or worse.

    After that, noone wants the MOX anywhere near their reactors so the new, multibillion dollar white elephant has no customers….another government boondoggle in the making.

  • Sickputer

    The NRC blocked public information release of their documentation about the Catawba tests of MOX fuel and why Duke Energy pulled the plug before the start of the third 18-month fuel test. That caused the NRC to lose certification assurances for MOX fuel. The Dr. Frankenstein engineers were devastated in Washington. So they have been trying some endaround ploys in Hanford to roll out another MOX nightmare. Lots of luck with that one!