Roof of the MOX Facility Completed

The final layer of structural concrete was poured on the roof of the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility recently, completing the exterior structure of the nuclear facility.

The 600,000-square-foot MOX facility is under construction at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C. As a key component in the nation’s non-proliferation program, the MOX facility will convert surplus nuclear weapon-grade plutonium into reactor fuel for nuclear power plants.

“The completion of the roof and the exterior structure is an important milestone in the progress of MOX construction,” said Kelly Trice, president and chief operating officer of Shaw AREVA MOX Services, which is designing and constructing the facility. “We have much more work to do as we move to the next phase of the project, focusing on interior construction and equipment installation. Our 2,400 team members and more than 1,000 suppliers from across the country are proud to be a part of building this first-of-its-kind nuclear facility for our country’s national security.”

The 140,000-square-foot roof covers the process facility where production of MOX fuel will occur in a two-step process known as aqueous polishing and fuel fabrication. The process begins in the aqueous polishing portion of the building where surplus weapon-grade material will be cleaned and purified during a chemical process. Manufacturing of the fuel takes place in the fuel fabrication section where the material is formed into MOX fuel pellets for reactor fuel assemblies.

More than 21,000 tons of reinforced steel and 138,000 cubic yards of structural concrete were used to construct the roof and the exterior walls.

With the exterior structure of the main process building complete, the project will focus on interior construction with installation of electrical, mechanical and heating ventilation and air conditioning equipment and systems.

The MOX building has over 100 construction openings to allow the installation of equipment. These temporary access ports will be closed up as equipment is installed.

The MOX project began construction in 2007. More than $1.8 billion in subcontracts for supplies, equipment and services to over 1,000 businesses in 43 states have been awarded by the project to date.

Shaw AREVA MOX Services, LLC has a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to design, build and operate a facility to convert surplus nuclear weapon-grade plutonium into reactor fuel for use in commercial nuclear power plants. This work supports NNSA’s nuclear nonproliferation program to eliminate nuclear weapon-grade plutonium in the U.S. Under a 2000 agreement, the United States and Russia will dispose of 68 metric tons of surplus plutonium, sufficient for approximately 17,000 nuclear weapons. For more information, visit www.moxproject.com.