Monday, January 23, 2006

Nuclear Fuel Management

Savannah River Site Plans To Consolidate Plutonium
23 January 2006

- To improve defenses against terrorism and better monitor radioactive material, the United States (US) Department of Energy (DOE) is preparing to consolidate the plutonium at the Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina into a single location.
In 2005, the Government Accountability Office reported the current storage complex lacks proper fire protection, ventilation, and filtration. The plan is to move an unspecified amount of plutonium from a production site to an old reactor where there are other stockpiles of plutonium, and the plans include clearing 220 acres around the reactor in order to extend security fences farther out. The storage facility will handle both plutonium that is suitable for conversion to reactor fuel and plutonium not clean enough for conversion.

Source: (Reliability: 7)

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Comment: The DOE committee is studying the possibility of consolidating excess plutonium from around the US in one place, but there are legal restrictions that prevent the Savannah River Site from receiving more plutonium that is not suitable for fuel conversion.


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