Federal regulators discussing MOX plant progress

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Federal regulators are in South Carolina to discuss progress at a delayed, over-budget project to turn weapons-grade plutonium into commercial reactor fuel.

Representatives from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission are meeting Wednesday at the Savannah River Site to talk about the mixed-oxide fuel, or MOX, fabrication facility.

The plant is part of a nonproliferation effort, with the United States and Russia committed to disposing of at least 34 metric tons each of weapons-grade plutonium.

Last month, the NRC gave good marks to progress on the project, which was originally slated for completion in 2016. But the General Accountability Office says the plant is more than three years behind that deadline and is also now expected to cost $3 billion more than expected.

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

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