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Nuclear Materials Consolidation and Disposition


Fact Sheet
Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation
March 26, 2012

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In 2005, the Secretary of Energy established a senior level management group to plan and coordinate nuclear material consolidation and disposition activities. The Department of Energy (DOE) has made significant progress in consolidation and disposition of nuclear materials, resulting in a significantly smaller “footprint” of Security Category I nuclear facilities. As the table below illustrates, Category I/II Special Nuclear Material (SNM) has been removed from facilities at Rocky Flats, Savannah River, Idaho, Hanford, Y-12, Sandia, and Los Alamos.
 

Completed SNM Removal Projects

Site

Completion Date

Y-12

September 2002

Rocky Flats

2003

Savannah River

February 2005

Idaho

July 2005

Hanford

October 2005

Los Alamos

October 2005

Savannah River

August 2006

Sandia

February 2006

Y-12

October 2006

Y-12

April 2011

 

As of January 2012, 128 metric tons of surplus highly enriched uranium (HEU) have been downblended to LEU for use as reactor fuel. An additional 11 metric tons of surplus HEU have been delivered to commercial facilities for near-term down-blending Approximately 4 metric tons of surplus plutonium have been disposed as waste at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Remaining surplus plutonium has been consolidated at Pantex (in the form of nuclear weapon components) and at Savannah River. Construction of the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF) is underway at Savannah River and will provide a disposition pathway for surplus weapons-grade plutonium. Savannah River also has capability to process non-weapons grade plutonium for disposal through its existing H-Canyon complex.

While much progress has been made in reducing the number of Security Category I nuclear facilities, the materials consolidation initiative is not complete. Remaining nuclear material consolidation projects are as follows:

 

Ongoing or Planned SNM Removal Projects

Site

Project Status

Lawrence Livermore

97% complete

Y-12

Phase 1 complete

Oak Ridge (ORNL)

1st shipment in December 2011



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