As noted earlier, it’s become increasingly difficult to get timely information on the Uranium Processing Facility and work that’s taking place in the multibillion-dollar project’s engineering and design center. It’s not clear how much of the design has been completed at this point, although project overseers have said they won’t start construction until the design is 90 percent done.
The current year’s funding for UPF is $430 million with a budget request to bump that up to $575 in FY 2017. A spokesman for NNSA declined to provide the current percentage of design completed or provide details on activities taking place.
Asked last week for more information on the project and its status, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who heads the Senate Appropriations energy and water subcommittee, said the UPF design needs to be 90 percent by the end of 2017, with construction beginning in 2018.
Here’s his statement:
“For the Uranium facility, I have made clear the project needs to be completed by 2025 at a cost no greater than $6.5 billion, and the design needs to be at least 90% complete before construction of the nuclear facilities begins
” Based on our discussions with the Department of Energy, we expect the design to be more than 90% complete by the end of next year, and construction of the nuclear facilities to begin in 2018.”
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