Lawmaker included MOX cancellation provision in his SANE legislation that cut $100 billion over next decade from nuclear weapons budget
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Edward J. Markey (D- Mass.), senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee today applauded passage of an amendment to the Energy and Water Appropriates bill offered by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) that would reduce the budget for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) plans to build a facility to produce dangerous, highly radioactive nuclear fuel called mixed oxide (MOX). DOE wants to take uranium and plutonium from dismantled nuclear bombs and make fuel for commercial nuclear reactors. The amendment calls for funding for the MOX project to be redirected to the General Threat Reduction Initiative that supports programs that reduce nuclear threats around the world.
“The MOX facility plan would have been a nuclear bomb budget buster, costing American taxpayers billions to produce dangerous, toxic nuclear fuel that no utility in America wants to buy,” said Rep. Markey. “MOX fuel is dangerous, polluting and expensive. We should spend our resources detecting, securing, and disposing of nuclear materials, not making more of it. This amendment is a good first step toward my ultimate objective of cancelling the MOX project altogether.”
In February, Rep. Markey introduced the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act that would cut $100 billion over the next ten from specific nuclear weapons and related programs, including cuts to the current fleet of nuclear submarines, ending the nuclear missions of air bombers, and canceling new, wasteful nuclear weapons facilities, including the proposed MOX facility, among others.