The National Nuclear Security Administration today announced that highly enriched uranium from Japan’s Fast Critical Assembly reactor has arrived at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge, where it reportedly will be placed in secure storage and later processed and down-blended to create low-enriched uranium.
“Any use of the enriched uranium or its byproducts shall be subject to all terms of the Agreement for Cooperation and any bilateral agreements between the governments of Japan and the United States,” the NNSA release stated.
The unspecified amount of HEU shipped to Y-12 coincides with the delivery of plutonium from the Japanese nuclear facility to the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, where it will be prepared for eventual disposal at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico.
Here’s a statement from NNSA Administrator Frank G. Klotz, who visited Y-12 last Thursday and Friday, apparently before the uranium arrived:
“The removal of the material from Japan represents a significant accomplishment in our broader global nuclear security efforts to secure highly enriched uranium and plutonium worldwide. Japan has been one of the United States’ staunchest allies in the global effort to minimize, and when possible eliminate, the use of sensitive nuclear materials at research facilities. This strong partnership has helped the international community ensure that these materials never find their way into the hands of criminals, terrorists, or other unauthorized actors.”
The NNSA said the shipments fulfill commitments announced at Nuclear Security Summits to remove materials from Japan’s nuclear facility.
A feature on Atomic City Underground allows readers to sign up for email updates and receive a notice each time new information is posted. Just put your email address in the box on the lower right of the blog’s front page and follow instructions. Thanks to all loyal readers.