More US plutonium destined for MOX

06 September 2007

The US Department of Energy will consolidate its stores of surplusnon-pit plutonium (stocks other than those from nuclear weaponstriggers) at Savannah River. It said this would "greatly reduce storagecosts" and "significantly enhance security." Shipments would beginwithin a month and be completed by 2010. The materials, which totalabout 3000 containers, would come from the Hanford, Lawrence Livermore,and Los Alamos sites. Most of the plutonium would finally be sent tothe mixed-oxide (MOX) nuclear fuel facility, currently underconstruction, for recombination in new fuel for civilian powerreactors, and the H-Canyon chemical separations plant. A proposed small-scale vitrification plantcould immobilize the rest in a glass-like matrix for final disposal,but this is under evaluation.

Further information

US Department of Energy

The Savannah River Site

WNN: NNSA MOX facility construction starts