U.S. says it will discard some plutonium

September 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: DOE project to evaluate safety of transporting used nuclear fuel

Related Stories

Fusion energy—a time of transition and potential

November 30, 2016

For centuries, humans have dreamed of harnessing the power of the sun to energize our lives here on Earth. But we want to go beyond collecting solar energy, and one day generate our own from a mini-sun. If we're able to solve ...

How much carbon and nitrogen is there on planet Earth?

November 29, 2016

Carbon and nitrogen are central to life on Earth – life cannot exist without them, but an overabundance in the atmosphere imperils the life we have. So how much carbon and nitrogen is there on (and in) planet Earth? And ...

The future of nuclear energy

November 28, 2016

Early this year, Rachel Slaybaugh attended a campus mixer on technological innovation. When she introduced herself as a professor of nuclear engineering, other attendees would pause and ask for clarification. She remembers, ...

Recommended for you

Amber specimen offers rare glimpse of feathered dinosaur tail

December 8, 2016

Researchers have discovered a dinosaur tail complete with its feathers trapped in a piece of amber. The finding reported in Current Biology on December 8 helps to fill in details of the dinosaurs' feather structure and evolution, ...

Scheduling leisure activities makes them less fun: study

December 8, 2016

Nothing ruins a potentially fun event like putting it on your calendar. In a series of studies, researchers found that scheduling a leisure activity like seeing a movie or taking a coffee break led people to anticipate less ...

0 comments

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.