With the facility already more than 60% complete, the MOX Project is achieving construction, safety and functional milestones towards fulfilling America’s international nonproliferation goals.
As the first major nuclear-grade construction project in more than 20 years and the first-of-its-kind facility in the U.S., the MOX Project is a national and economic investment in establishing a nuclear-certified national supply chain, developing and fine-tuning new construction processes, and training a highly skilled, 2,200-person workforce from the ground up.
The MOX Project supply chain already reaches coast-to-coast, purchasing materials and equipment from 39 states in businesses employing more than 4,100 Americans—and what a wealth of material and economic benefit it represents. The latest MOX Project factsheet [PDF file] lists the expected final tally as:
- Concrete: 170,000 cubic yards
- Reinforcing Steel: 35,000 tons
- Process Piping: 85 miles
- HVAC duct work: 1,000 tons
- Conduit: 500,000 linear feet
- Cable Tray: 47,000 linear feet
- Power/Control Cable: 3,600,000 linear feet
- Process Systems: 300
- MFFF and Support Facilities Size: 600,000 square feet
Managing any national construction project of this scope would be a challenge in terms of worker safety, material costs, and regulatory compliance. Impressively, the MOX Project construction workers have achieved more than 14.5 million safe work hours without an accident causing a lost workday. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a typical site would have averaged 112 lost workdays. This determined focus on employees’ safety and well-being requires paced, carefully considered fulfillment of daily tasks in a complex construction environment.
Material costs are also closely managed, but when purchasing, transporting, and working with quantities like those listed above, even a moderate increase in costs can significantly impact project expenses. One unfortunate result of the MOX Project’s unique nuclear-grade training and construction experience is the recruitment of these highly skilled workers away from MOX Project to go work on the two new nuclear reactor projects. The ongoing loss of these MOX-trained workers requires constant replenishing, training, and investment in new construction employees. But development continues, and the NRC recently acknowledged appropriate progress was being made in the construction of MOX Project.
In all, the MOX Project is accomplishing the task and challenges of delivering on America’s nonproliferation commitment, and also leading the economic renewal of American nuclear energy supply chains and competencies.