Contractor wants more time for Savannah River work

SAVANNAH RIVER SITE, S.C. (AP) - The contractor of a nuclear fuel project at the Savannah River Site near Aiken wants more time for its work.

Local media outlets report Shaw Areva MOX Services asked the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in May for a 10-year extension to build the mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility.

The project is part of an agreement with Russia to turn nuclear weapons into reactor fuel. It is billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule. The current construction permit expires next year.

The issues have led the Obama administration to slash funding and propose shutting down construction to search for cheaper alternatives. Congressional support has backed funding through this fall, although a budget has not been passed.

NRC officials told the Augusta Chronicle no decision has been made on the request.

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