U.S. says it will discard some plutonium

Sep 18, 2007

The U.S. Department of Energy announced it will remove 9 metric tons of plutonium from further use as fissile material in nuclear weapons.

The announcement was made Monday in Vienna by Energy Department Secretary Samuel Bodman, speaking during the International Atomic Energy Agency's annual general conference.

Bodeman said 9 metric tons of plutonium is enough material to make more than 1,000 nuclear weapons.

"The United States is leading by example and furthering our commitment to non-proliferation and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty by safely reducing the amount of weapons-usable nuclear material in the world," said Bodman said. "As the United States continues to reduce the size of its nuclear weapons stockpile, we will be able to dispose of even more nuclear material while increasing energy and national security."

He said the excess plutonium will be removed during the coming decades from retired, dismantled nuclear weapons. It will be eliminated by fabrication into mixed-oxide fuel that can be burned in commercial nuclear reactors to produce electricity.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Best of Last Week—Increasing antihydrogen production, converting waste heat to electricity and video game brain impact

Related Stories

Supercomputers a hidden power center of Silicon Valley

26 minutes ago

Silicon Valley is famed for spawning the desktop, mobile and cloud computing revolutions. What is less well known is that it's one of the nerve centers for building the world's fastest number-crunchers.

Recommended for you

Top UK scientists warn against EU exit

May 22, 2015

A group of leading British scientists including Nobel-winning geneticist Paul Nurse warned leaving the European Union could threaten research funding, in a letter published in The Times newspaper on Friday.

Publisher pushback puts open access in peril

May 21, 2015

Delegates at the The Higher Education Technology Agenda (THETA) conference on the Gold Coast last week heard from futurist Bryan Alexander about four possible scenarios for the future of knowledge. ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.