One of Global Threat Reduction Initiative’s (GTRI) three key pillars is to work toward the conversion of research and test reactors and isotope production facilities from the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel and targets to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel and targets. These conversion efforts were first started under the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) program in 1978. Today GTRI’s Convert program continues the work of the RERTR program in converting domestic and international civilian research reactors and isotope production facilities.
The Convert program achieves its mission by assisting reactor operators in performing feasibility studies and safety analyses required for regulatory approval to convert, procuring LEU replacement fuels, developing and qualifing new high-density U-Mo LEU fuels to convert high performance reactors, and supporting the development of a U-Mo LEU fuel fabrication capability to commercially produce new high-density fuel.
The Convert program also provides assistance to isotope production facilities to convert from HEU targets to LEU targets, and is working to accelerate commercial production of the medical isotope molybdenum-99 in the United States using non-HEU processes.
Taken together with NNSA’s work to prevent proliferation and secure nuclear material, the Convert Program demonstrates GTRI’s commitment to protecting the American people and the rest of the world from nuclear and radiological terrorism.