The U.S. Department of Energy is preparing to use plutonium-based (or MOX--mixed oxide) fuel in commercial nuclear reactors. In addition, the DOE is producing tritium for nuclear weapons in civilian reactors operated by Tennessee Valley Authority. These far-reaching steps violate every non-proliferation principle advanced by the U.S. government for decades.
NIRS is unalterably opposed to the use of MOX fuel and the production of tritium in commercial reactors. Use of MOX would contribute to the worldwide "plutonium economy," and would undercut our non-proliferation efforts worldwide. In addition, it would produce more plutonium in so-called "low-level" radioactive waste, exacerbate utility decommissioning efforts and increase costs, expose more people to danger from plutonium through frequent shipments across railways and highways, and increase electricity costs.
Similarly, production of tritium in commercial reactors is little more than a scheme to allow uneconomic reactors to operate with increased government subsidies. Further, it would break down any remaining barrier between commercial and military uses of nuclear energy--leaving us with a new, and frighteningly powerful military-industrial-utility complex.
April 1, 2011: Serious Security Issues at MOX Plutonium Factory Recognized by Regulators. Press Release.
April 12, 2010: New in-depth report from Russia’s Ecodefense finds Russian plutonium fuel program may produce more plutonium than is disposed; the report also cites safety and cost problems with Russian surplus weapons-grade plutonium disposition program. Press release. Full report in English.
January 19, 2007: 44
Groups Call on Congress to Eliminate DOE¹s Plutonium Fuel (MOX) Program
and Support Plutonium Immobilization in 2007 Budget.
Joint NGO Statement on Plutonium Fuel to Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Meeting at UN. 05/11/2005
NIRS files contentions against Duke Power plan to test use of MOX, October 21, 2003
Press Advisory; Contentions
Letter to DOE Secretary Spencer Abraham from environmental groups across the globe demanding preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement for MOX tests. September 15, 2003
No Longer Business As Usual At Duke Reactors. An info sheets.
Why Environmentalists Say Nix to Mox Plutonium Fuel . An info sheet.
100+ groups send letter to Belgian government urging them to turn back the MOX program, August 27, 2002
- NIRS files challenge to license renewal of Duke Energy's McGuire and Catawaba reactors, based on MOX, reactor aging, nuclear security and more. Press Release, 12/11/01; Text of contentions .
- Take Action! Tell Congress that Price-Anderson should not cover plutonium fuels. There is no justification for increasing nuclear dangers, but if a nuclear reactor owner is going to increase risk levels significantly, they should pay for it!
- Women's Action for New Directions (WAND) has a "Nix Mox" Bulletin Board to help anti-MOX activists stay in touch with each other, share news and information, and network locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. May 2001 and July 2001.
- Statement by Leni Sitnick, Mayor, City of Asheville at the Charlotte, North Carolina U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Scoping Hearing (May 8, 2001).
- SAFE ENERGY E-JOURNAL No.20 May-June 2001
- NIRS Comments on the Scope of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Environmental Impact Statement on Production and Use of Mixed Oxide Fuel, (May 2001)
- The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is engaged in a licensing process for a new nuclear fuel factory at the Savannah River Site in SC that would make experimental nuclear fuel from plutonium recovered from nuclear weapons (and residues from the bomb-making process) for use incommercial nuclear power reactors. NRC must do an environmental impact statement to "inform"their MOX licensing decision. NRC is now collecting public comments on the"scope" of this EIS. SHORT COMMENT PERIOD! To learn more about this issue and to find out where to send your comments go here. May 2001. Meeting locations and times. There is a meeting on May 8 in Charlotte, NC!
- Southeastern Public Interest Community Speaks Out Against Plutonium Fuel Plan (April 16, 2001)
- Plutonium Fuel: Making North Carolina's Nuclear Power More Dangerous (Spring 2001)
- Price-Anderson and the Commercial Nuclear Power Industry , in relation to Mox Fuel (April 2001)
- Plutonium Fuel "Scoping" (Spring 2001) - Questions to Consider for the public meetings.
- The Department of Energy is planning to pay DCS (an international corporate consortium) to build and operate a new factory at the Savannah River Site (SRS) to make experimental nuclear reactor fuel out of plutonium from nuclear bombs. NIX-MOX in Georgia!
- Final Letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on Mox, (February 22, 2001)
- Take Action! New legislation introduced in the US Senate by Energy Committee Chair, Frank Murkowski (R-AK), would insure the expanded use of nuclear power in the United States, and encourage the use of nuclear fuels derived from reactor waste. Call and write your Senators and Reps and tell them not to support S 388 (February 2001).
- Blue Ride Environmental Defense League requesting that Secretary Richardson takes immediate action to halt design, construction, and licensing work on the proposed Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF) at the Department’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina (January 10, 2001).
- What is "INTERVENTION" in an NRC license process? Fall/Winter 2000.
- Nuclear Control Institute Finds Ice Condenser containments--as used by Duke Power--more dangerous thanothers. October 2000
- Up-Coming Public Meetings on the Production and Use of Experimental Plutonium "Bomb Fuel" in Southeastern Reactors, June 23, 2000.
- “Expedited motion” filed by a coalition of concerned citizens, environmental organizations, and Native American/First Nation tribes against U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Bill Richardson regarding the “Parallex” shipment of experimental weapons-grade plutonium mixed oxide fuel from Los Alamos Nuclear Lab in New Mexico, through Michigan, to Chalk River Nuclear Lab, Ontario, Canada, March, 2000.
- Comments on: Draft NUREG 1718, Standard Review Plan for the Review of an Application for a Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility, January 2000.
- NIRS press release: Citizens Rally to Protect the Great Lakes-Urge Michigan’s Attorney General to Stop Plutonium Shipments, NIRS press release. November 10, 1999.
- NIRS questions on the “Parallex” Environmental Assessment for the proposed weapons-grade plutonium MOX shipment through Michigan for the meeting in Lansing with the U.S. Dept. of Energy, Oct. 31, 1999.
- NIRS Comments on the DOE Office of Fissile Materials Disposition Environmental Assessment for the Parallex Project Fuel(MOX) Manufacture and Shipment (DOE/EA-1216, dated January 1999), Friday, October 29, 1999.
- DOE’s “Parallex” shipment of weapons-usable plutonium MOX nuclear fuel from Los Alamos, New Mexico to Chalk River, Ontario, Canada. NIRS Alert. October 29, 1999.
- International NIX MOX Action Day, NIRS Alert, May 17, 1999
- Texas Farm Bureau passes resolution against plutonium processing in agricultural areas (November 29, 1998)
- Comments on the Surplus Plutonium Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of the U.S. Department of Energy, (September 15, 1998).
- Comments on Current Radiation Standards in the U.S. (September 1998)
- Draft EIS on MOX is Out! Demand a Hearing in Your Area!! (July 20, 1998)
- International NIX MOX Action Day, March 16, 1998. Info here. Appeal from Russian groups on International NIX MOX Action Day. Read the NIRS Press Release.
- DOE announces intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for tritium production at TVA reactors (including possibly completing unfinished Bellefontecomplex!). Comments are due March 20, 1998. DOE Notice. Oppose this unnecessary and dangerous concept. Quote former Senator Hatfield (see below).
- Speech by Right Livelihood Award Winner Mycle Schneider, December 1997
- Former Senator Mark Hatfield (R-Oregon) writes against trititum production at Hanford, January 1998
- Statement from Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (England) on BNFL and MOX, January 1998
- CNIC & Mycle Schneider win prestigious Right Livelihood Award for their anti-MOX work! October1997
- Press Release following national NIX MOX conference in Washington, DC; 9/29/97.
- MOX Update from July 1997 Nuclear Monitor: new consortia seek MOX contracts; national NIX MOX conference September 27-28; grant money available for anti-MOXwork.
- DOE announces MOX implementation plan. SHORT COMMENT PERIOD, ends in September!Act Now. Download in html format. Notes on economic aspects of MOX implementation plan, July 31, 1997.
- Oregon legislature overwhelmingly approves anti-MOX resolution, June 5, 1997. Here is the text, get your state to pass one too!
- Congressional Research Service paper on MOX, May 22, 1997. CRS tries to treat every subject objectively and almost never issues opinions--this paper is no different.However, it includes nearlyevery argument advanced against use of MOX, including that reactors do not"burn" MOX but rather mix it with high-level radioactive waste, that MOX ismore expensive than immobilization, etc.Good background info, and great forstudents.
- Federal Register notice on DOE's intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement on MOX fabrication and other facilities. The scope of the EIS is now available for comment. At present, the EIS is limited only to new facilities constructionand does not address the broader environmental aspects of the proposed MOX program. FR notice, May 22, 1997.
- NRC paper on possible testing of tritium assemblies at Watts Bar. NRC concludes that TVA will have to get a license amendment to use Watts Bar, and will have to provide more info if they want to enter the tritium production program, May 1997.
- Environmental groups demand to NRC Chair Shirley Jackson and Energy Secretary Federico Pena that Commonwealth Edison be prohibited from pursuing MOX. May 21 1997
- Updated information on Japanese MOX program, from Citizens Nuclear Information Center, Tokyo, March 1997
- 171 organizations/individuals worldwide sign letter to President Clinton urging rejection of MOX fuel option approved by Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary. January 14, 1997. Press release for international letter, 1/14/97.
- Greenpeace press release on DOE plan to produce tritium in commercial reactors, January 27, 1997
- Greenpeace factsheet on tritium production in commercial reactors, January 27, 1997
- Updated info on Nuclear Control Institute MOX website, January 1997. Greenpeace press release on Hanford's Fast Flux Test Reactor as tritium producer, January 1997