Steven Dolley

Nuclear Control Institute


October 2000


September 1993 Clinton Administration commits to disposal of surplus plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU) from dismantled nuclear weapons


March 1995 President Clinton declares nominal 200 metric tons of plutonium and HEU surplus to defense needs


January 1994 National Academy of Sciences study recommends mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel and immobilization with high-level waste as preferred methods for disposal of surplus warhead plutonium in the United States and Russia


June 1994 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announces intention to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) on the storage and disposition of weapons-usable fissile materials


December 1996 Final plutonium-disposition PEIS


January 1997 Record of decision on plutonium disposition specifies a dual-track approach utilizing both mixed-oxide fuel (MOX) and immobilization of plutonium with high-level waste


September 1997 President Boris Yeltsin declares up to 50 tons of Russian weapons plutonium surplus to defense needs


May 1998 NGOs launch campaign against Commonwealth Edison plans to use MOX fuel in its reactors


September 1998 Commonwealth Edison announces that it will not participate in the MOX-fuel program


December 1998 DOE Request for Proposals (RFP) solicits bids for MOX-fuel program contract


January 1999 Nuclear Control Institute releases study by Dr. Edwin Lyman calculating that 25% more cancer deaths would result in a severe reactor accident involving MOX fuel rather than uranium fuel. DOE revises its accident fatality estimates upwards.


March 1999 DOE awards $130 million MOX-fuel contract to DCS (Duke-Cogema-Stone Webster) consortium, which includes Duke Powers McGuire and Catawba nuclear plants and Virginia Powers North Anna nuclear plants


November 1999 Final site-specific PEIS


January 2000 DOE record of decision for surplus plutonium disposition designates Savannah River Site for MOX-fuel fabrication, Duke Power and Virginia Power reactors for MOX-fuel irradiation


April 2000 In what it describes as purely a business decision, Virginia Power withdraws its North Anna reactors from the MOX program


July 2000 At Okinawa summit, G-8 nations fail to reach agreement on international funding of plutonium disposition


September 2000 U.S. and Russia conclude a bilateral agreement on disposition of warhead plutonium


2001 Duke Power scheduled to submit license-renewal applications to NRC for McGuire and Catawba reactors


January 2001 DCS (MOX-fuel consortium) scheduled to apply to NRC for construction permit for MOX-fuel fabrication facility


October 2003 Construction of MOX-fuel fabrication plant scheduled to begin at Savannah River Site


October 2003 Duke Power scheduled to begin irradiation of lead MOX-fuel test assemblies in McGuire reactors


2003 Duke Power scheduled to apply to NRC for license amendment permitting MOX-fuel irradiation in McGuire and Catawba reactors


March 2007 Full-scale fabrication of MOX fuel scheduled to begin at Savannah River Site


September 2007 Scheduled first full-scale loading of MOX fuel into Duke Powers McGuire and Catawba reactors


March 2008 Full-scale plutonium immobilization scheduled to begin at Savannah River Site


2025 Scheduled completion date for U.S. and Russian plutonium disposition



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