"SC Delegation, Putin Agree: Obama’S MOX Shutdown Would Breach Treaty"

"WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration’s plan to pull the plug on an unfinished, $5-billion nuclear plant has brought together some unlikely allies – the South Carolina congressional delegation and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The mixed oxide (MOX) facility in Aiken, S.C., is part of a 2000 nonproliferation agreement with Russia that calls for the two countries to dispose of 34 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium. After years of cost overruns and chronic delays, the Obama administration effectively scrapped the S.C. project in its 2017 budget in favor of a cheaper, faster alternative called downblending.

“This is not what we agreed on,' Putin said earlier this month, according to a translation provided by the Kremlin. Putin said the decision was the reason he did not attend a major nuclear summit in Washington, D.C., a few weeks ago. 'Russia fulfilled its obligations in this regard and built these facilities, but our American partners did not.'

Members of the South Carolina delegation, who have often framed opposition to cutting the project’s funding in terms of the federal government breaking its promise to their state, piled on."

Vera Bergengruen reports for McClatchy Washington Bureau April 25, 2016.

Source: McClatchy, 04/27/2016