SC, Ga. senators voice MOX support to White House

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Republican senators from South Carolina and Georgia want the Obama administration to keep funding a program to turn weapons-grade plutonium into commercial nuclear reactor fuel.

Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott of South Carolina and Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson of Georgia wrote to President Obama this week that efforts to slow funding for the mixed-oxide fuel program could hurt both states' relationships with the federal government.

The MOX plant under construction at the Savannah River Site near Aiken is part of a nonproliferation effort. The United States and Russia have committed to dispose of at least 34 metric tons each of weapons-grade plutonium.

The project is billions of dollars over budget. The Obama administration said in a recent budget request to Congress that high costs "may make the project unaffordable."

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Online: www.moxproject.com

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Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP

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