DOE Will Dispose of 34 Metric Tons of Plutonium by Turning it into Fuel for Civilian Reactors

January 23, 2002
DOE Will Dispose of 34 Metric Tons of Plutonium by Turning it into Fuel for Civi
Washington, DC

Secretary Abraham announced that DOE will dispose of 34 metric tons of surplus weapons grade plutonium by turning the material into mixed oxide fuel (MOX) for use in nuclear reactors. The decision follows an exhaustive Administration review of non-proliferation programs, including alternative technologies to dispose of surplus plutonium to meet the non-proliferation goals agreed to by the United States and Russia in September 2000. Eliminating immobilization from the disposition pathway saves nearly $2 billion in funding, decreases plutonium storage costs, and facilitates the closure of DOE's former Nuclear Weapons Complex sites.