(November 2, 1998) In 1995 the United States' Department of Energy asked nuclear utilities if they were interested in using MOX as fuel. The DOE had decided on a dual-track approach towards the problem of surplus military plutonium: use it as nuclear fuel in civil nuclear power plants or mix it with high-level waste and store it after vitrification.
(501.4945) WISE Amsterdam - The utility Commonwealth Edison (Comed) was among those which said yes. But at the last moment it changed its mind and pulled out. On September 3, one day before it had to respond to the request of the DOE, it ended its three-year participation. Several anti-nuclear organizations had tried to put pressure on Comed to quit the MOX program. Comed spokesman Don Kirchoffner said the utility had assumed that the DOE MOX program was safe, acceptable and beneficial to its customers. It entered the program as an interested participant, not as a proponent. After three years of study, the management concluded it would be in the best interest of the company to concentrate energy and resources in other areas. Paul Leventhal, president of the Nuclear Control Institute which opposed the MOX program, congratulated Comed on its decision. Comed's new management has done the right thing, he said. He was confident that other nuclear utilities, such as TVA, would come to the same conclusion once it considered the costs and risks of MOX.
Source: Nuclear Fuel, 7 September 1998, p.4,5
Contact: Nuclear Control Institute, Paul Leventhal, 1000 Connecticutt Ave, NW#804, Suite 704, Washington DC 20036, USA.
Tel: +1-202-822 8444; Fax: +1-202-452 0892