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Energy Net

"60 Minutes" Replays The Weapons-Grade Uranium Plant Assault - 0 views

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    "While the world is busy watching the FIFA World Cup that is being held at South Africa, the CBS on Sunday went to throw some light on a still unsolved issue of 2007 when a raid was carried out at the Pelindaba's nuclear research facility that contained weapons-grade uranium.

    Scott Pelley of CBS' "60 Minutes" is seen exploring the incidents and how such a raid could have had one of the most horrific effects on the whole world. CBS replayed its 2008 famous report on the issue that has brought the matter to the national attention.

    The "60 Minutes" episode that once again enlivened in front of the viewers the horror of the attack with interviews with people who have been present at the place and also experts who provided insight into the matter and what consequences the raid could have yielded. Scott Pelley interviews Anton Gerber the man who was present at the plant on that fatal night and who had worked at Pelindaba for 30 years."
Energy Net

Wayward drum of HEU draws scrutiny at Y-12 | knoxnews.com - 0 views

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    "A drum of highly enriched uranium ended up at the right place, but it got there the wrong way, according to a report confirmed by a spokeswoman at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant. The incident, which involved a violation of technical safety requirements, took place in mid-March during the first phase of loading uranium into the new $549 million Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility. It apparently occurred just a few days before Energy Secretary Steven Chu and other dignitaries arrived to dedicate the new storage facility for bomb-grade uranium.

    Ellen Boatner, a plant spokeswoman, said workers "inadvertently" shipped a container that was not certified to be on board the SST-E truck -- a high-security vehicle that was being used to transfer the special nuclear materials from the plant's old warehouse to the new storage facility. Boatner said there were plans for the drum of HEU to be transferred to the facility but not aboard the SST-E."
Energy Net

Canada to export spent nuclear fuel rods - 0 views

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    Chalk River supply headed back to U.S.

    By Sheldon Alberts, Canwest News ServiceApril 13, 2010



    Canada has agreed to ship an 11-year stockpile of highly enriched uranium back to the United States out of concern the spent fuel could fall into the hands of terrorists and be used to produce a nuclear weapon, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Monday.

    Seeking to burnish Canada's reputation with President Barack Obama on the opening day of a global summit on arms control, Harper said the world faced an "immediate threat" from nuclear terrorism unless nations moved to secure supplies of bomb-grade uranium.

    The deal will result in supplies of spent inventories of uranium at the Chalk River Laboratories being shipped to the U.S. over an eight-year period, starting this year."
Energy Net

The Associated Press: Mexico to convert reactor to low enriched uranium - 0 views

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    "Mexico is saying it will work with the United States and Canada to convert its highly enriched uranium reactor, removing the potential bomb-making materials.

    The agreement is being announced at the 47-nation Nuclear Security Summit called by President Barack Obama to refocus world attention on the dangers of nuclear materials reaching terrorist hands.

    The move is a step toward Mexico's conversion to a reactor that operates on low enriched uranium, a lesser danger for weapons use."
Energy Net

NRDC: make HEU safeguards top priority| knoxnews.com - 0 views

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    "There should be no greater prioirity on nuclear security than safeguarding highly enriched uranium, the Natural Resource Defense Council said in the run-up to the Nuclear Security Summit.

    The NRDC said the nuclear material is difficult to detect, yet relatively easy for terrorists to use in making a crude nuclear device with the potential for devastation. Here's statement from Thomas Cochran, senior staff scientist at NRDC:"
Energy Net

Y-12 celebrates dedication of uranium storehouse » Knoxville News Sentinel - 0 views

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    "OAK RIDGE - U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu was in town Monday to help celebrate a new $549 million storehouse for the nation's supply of bomb-grade uranium - a high-security facility so stout it reportedly could withstand the impact of a commercial aircraft.

    While Chu had words of praise for the massive structure - known officially as the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility - and those who designed and built it, the secretary's most welcome words at the ceremony were those supporting an even bigger project at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant."
Energy Net

Tennessee: Retired Nukes Get a New Life - Newsweek.com - 0 views

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    "President Obama has called for a world without nuclear weapons. As he prepares to whittle down America's arsenal, however, a crucial question remains: what to do with the bomb material? Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. has decommissioned thousands of warheads-the explosive cores of which are in storage, pending a way to dispose of their plutonium. Leaving it intact is a potential security risk. But most of the alternatives (including launching it into the sun) have their own risks. While non-weapons-grade plutonium is used to fuel nuclear plants in Europe, it has never been processed out of a warhead and into a form for commercial reactors.

    That could change. The Department of Energy is building a South Carolina-based plant that can convert America's plutonium stockpile into fuel. And late last month, the Tennessee Valley Authority agreed to evaluate it for use in its reactors near Chattanooga and Athens, Ala. If the TVA ultimately accepts the fuel, which energy analysts expect it to, the final home of much of the U.S. arsenal could be the heart of Dixie-and lightbulbs throughout the nation."
Energy Net

New federal uranium storage facility opens - UPI.com - 0 views

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    "The National Nuclear Security Administration says it has authorized the start-up of the new Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility.

    NNSA officials said the opening of the "ultra-secure" warehouse facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex -- near the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee -- marks a major milestone in its efforts to create a modern, 21st century nuclear security enterprise.

    The $549 million facility is the Y-12's largest construction project in more than 40 years. It is designed to consolidate enriched uranium storage into a single state-of-the-art facility that reduces operating costs and improves security, efficiency and operations, officials said."
Energy Net

Used nuclear fuel arrives from abroad 012210 - The Augusta Chronicle - 0 views

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    "Spent nuclear fuel shipped under heavy guard from Israel and Turkey is the latest batch of weapons-grade material now stored at Savannah River Site.

    The shipment -- four casks with 131 spent fuel assemblies -- entered the U.S. through the Charleston Naval Weapons Station and was moved by truck to SRS last week.

    The material contains highly enriched uranium -- a critical ingredient for nuclear weapons -- and marks the 50th such operation completed since 1996, when the U.S. government launched a program to recover material in foreign countries that could be vulnerable to exploitation by terrorists."
Energy Net

Spent HEU fuel from Israel | knoxnews.com - 0 views

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    "riends of the Earth reported this week that spent nuclear fuel from an Israeli research reactor has arrived at Savannah River Site in South Carolina. According to Tom Clements, the group's southeastern nuclear campaign coordinator, the shipment of 102 spent fuel assemblies of "material bearing bomb-grade uranium" was listed in a Dept. of Energy document that identifies U.S.-origin nuclear materials returned to the United States as part of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative. He provided that document as well.

    Jennifer Wagner, a spokeswoman for the National Nuclear Security Administration, confimed the shipment, but provided few details. "NNSA cooperated with Israel on the return of U.S.-origin HEU spent nuclear fuel," she said. "The shipment arrived at the Savannah River Site in January in conjuction with a U.S.-origin fuel return from Turkey.""
Energy Net

The weapons-to-power nuclear argument | knoxnews.com - 0 views

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    There's been a lot of megatons-to-megawatts activity in recent years, but some folks aren't too sure if that's going to continue to be a big factor in the downsizing of the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals. Of course, a lot of folks are skeptical, period, about a nuclear renaissance.

    Darrel Kohlhorst isn't one of them. I've had a couple of opportunities in recent weeks to talk to the general manager at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant. During a conversation at a hearing for Y-12's Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement, he offered some views on nuclear power.

    Here's what he said:
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    There's been a lot of megatons-to-megawatts activity in recent years, but some folks aren't too sure if that's going to continue to be a big factor in the downsizing of the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals. Of course, a lot of folks are skeptical, period, about a nuclear renaissance.

    Darrel Kohlhorst isn't one of them. I've had a couple of opportunities in recent weeks to talk to the general manager at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant. During a conversation at a hearing for Y-12's Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement, he offered some views on nuclear power.

    Here's what he said:
Energy Net

Russia looks beyond U.S. to conquer uranium markets | Reuters - 0 views

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    * Russian supplies to keep filling global supply gap

    * Russia seeks lucrative direct deals with U.S. firms

    * Eyes China, India and other markets

    * Uranium mines to expand production

    By Robin Paxton

    MOSCOW, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Nearly one in 10 U.S. households runs on power from Soviet nuclear bombs.

    Now Russia hopes its Cold War arsenal, twinned with fast-growing uranium mines and enrichment capacity, will also be powering China, India and other booming economies when a 20-year nuclear fuel pact with the United States expires in 2013.

    Russia has expressed no desire to refresh the 'Megatons to Megawatts' programme, under which it will recycle the equivalent of 20,000 nuclear warheads and create enough uranium to power the entire United States for two years.
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    * Russian supplies to keep filling global supply gap

    * Russia seeks lucrative direct deals with U.S. firms

    * Eyes China, India and other markets

    * Uranium mines to expand production

    By Robin Paxton

    MOSCOW, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Nearly one in 10 U.S. households runs on power from Soviet nuclear bombs.

    Now Russia hopes its Cold War arsenal, twinned with fast-growing uranium mines and enrichment capacity, will also be powering China, India and other booming economies when a 20-year nuclear fuel pact with the United States expires in 2013.

    Russia has expressed no desire to refresh the 'Megatons to Megawatts' programme, under which it will recycle the equivalent of 20,000 nuclear warheads and create enough uranium to power the entire United States for two years.
Energy Net

'Lost' uranium found in Dounreay clean-up - Scotsman.com News - 0 views

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    NUCLEAR weapons-grade uranium, given up for lost at the Dounreay plant in Caithness, has been found during the clean-up at the sprawling site, it has been revealed.
    A team of specialists found 1.5kg of the highly radioactive material over the past year during an operation to repackage waste at the site.

    Some of the material was found in drums filled with waste and other small particles were found in the "nooks and crannies" of previously inaccessible equipment.

    Three years ago, an official government report revealed that 238g of highly enriched uranium - the material used to make nuclear weapons - was unaccounted for at the Caithness nuclear facility.
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    NUCLEAR weapons-grade uranium, given up for lost at the Dounreay plant in Caithness, has been found during the clean-up at the sprawling site, it has been revealed.
    A team of specialists found 1.5kg of the highly radioactive material over the past year during an operation to repackage waste at the site.

    Some of the material was found in drums filled with waste and other small particles were found in the "nooks and crannies" of previously inaccessible equipment.

    Three years ago, an official government report revealed that 238g of highly enriched uranium - the material used to make nuclear weapons - was unaccounted for at the Caithness nuclear facility.
Energy Net

Munger: Loading of uranium fortress may begin in mid-February » Knoxville New... - 0 views

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    Loading of the government's new storehouse for bomb-grade uranium is expected to begin in mid-February, according to the latest projections.

    Construction of the $549 million Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility was essentially completed in late 2008, and since then, workers have been installing equipment, applying finishing touches to the high-security structure and conducting test operations.

    B&W Technical Services, the managing contractor at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, recently completed its "operational readiness review" and is resolving some of the issues that were identified during that review, B&W spokesman David Keim said.
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    Loading of the government's new storehouse for bomb-grade uranium is expected to begin in mid-February, according to the latest projections.

    Construction of the $549 million Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility was essentially completed in late 2008, and since then, workers have been installing equipment, applying finishing touches to the high-security structure and conducting test operations.

    B&W Technical Services, the managing contractor at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, recently completed its "operational readiness review" and is resolving some of the issues that were identified during that review, B&W spokesman David Keim said.
Energy Net

Tri-Valley CAREs - Citizen's Watch Newsletter - June/July, 2009 - 0 views

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    The government has removed 2/3 of the plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Livermore Lab, according to a recent Dept. of Energy press release. Tom D'Agostino, head of the National Nuclear Security Administration, called it "real progress." We give it a more mixed review.

    For starters, the DOE does not plan to complete the removal of these bomb-making materials from Livermore Lab until the end of 2012, three years from now.

    We have called for their removal by 2010. Livermore Lab is vulnerable every day to a catastrophic release of these materials in the event of an earthquake or terrorist attack. The nearest fault zone lies less than 200 feet from the Lab.
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    The government has removed 2/3 of the plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Livermore Lab, according to a recent Dept. of Energy press release. Tom D'Agostino, head of the National Nuclear Security Administration, called it "real progress." We give it a more mixed review.

    For starters, the DOE does not plan to complete the removal of these bomb-making materials from Livermore Lab until the end of 2012, three years from now.

    We have called for their removal by 2010. Livermore Lab is vulnerable every day to a catastrophic release of these materials in the event of an earthquake or terrorist attack. The nearest fault zone lies less than 200 feet from the Lab.
Energy Net

Nuclear Engineering International: NNSA converts two US research reactors from HEU to LEU - 0 views

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    The University of Wisconsin Research Reactor and Neutron Radiography Reactor at INL have been converted from the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel. The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has now converted or verified the shutdown of a total of 67 HEU research reactors around the world.

    The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), in cooperation with Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the University of Wisconsin, the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), and the Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy recently completed the conversion of the two research reactors through NNSA's Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI).
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    The University of Wisconsin Research Reactor and Neutron Radiography Reactor at INL have been converted from the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel. The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has now converted or verified the shutdown of a total of 67 HEU research reactors around the world.

    The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), in cooperation with Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the University of Wisconsin, the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), and the Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy recently completed the conversion of the two research reactors through NNSA's Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI).
Energy Net

Gone: enough HEU for 15,000 weapons| knoxnews.com - 0 views

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    NNSA and USEC announced the same milestone in very different ways today, both saying 375 metric tons of Russia's highly enriched had been eliminated under the nonproliferation program that was initiated in 1993.

    The program, sometimes referenced as Metagons to Megawatts, has converted the weapons-grade material -- enough to reportedly make 15,000 nuclear weapons -- to a low-enriched material of use for nuclear reactor fuel. The milestone is 75 percent of the 500 metric tons targeted for elimination by 2013.

    In a statement, NNSA Administrator Tom D'Agostino said, "The continued success of this important bilateral agreement demonstrates the enduring U.S.-Russian commitment to the safe and irreversible elimination of excess fissile materials, as recently reaffirmed by Presidents Obama and Medvedev in Moscow. This milestone puts us one step closer to accomplishing the President's goal of securing or eliminating weapons-usable nuclear materials worldwide."

    USEC, which purchases the low-enriched material as part of the program and supplies it to customers, said it had paid the Russian Federatlon more than $5.6 billion since 1995.
Energy Net

Associated Press: Romanian uranium taken to secure site - 0 views

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    The last remaining bomb-grade uranium has been shipped out of Romania as part of a U.S.-Russian nuclear nonproliferation program, the Energy Department reported Tuesday.

    Officials at the department's National Nuclear Security Administration said the highly enriched uranium was taken from two research reactors in Romania and flown to Russia for secure storage. The shipment weighed 118 pounds.

    Russia had provided the uranium years ago. The NNSA, working with Romanian officials, moved all the highly enriched uranium, or HEU, of U.S. origin, out of Romania in 2008.

    The effort in Romania is part of a broader program to return all of the HEU that had been provided to various countries by either the former Soviet Union or by the United States for civilian nuclear research back to the originating countries where the material can be kept in more secure locations.
Energy Net

Uranium loading at Y-12 facility predicted for March 2010 | Frank Munger's Atomic City ... - 0 views

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    According to the latest info from the National Nuclear Security Administration's office in Oak Ridge, the initial loading of highly enriched uranium into Y-12's new high-security storage facility is planned for March 2010.

    Federal spokesman Steven Wyatt said that work would begin "following authorization to startup." But there's a lot of work that remains to be done before the new Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility is ready -- even though construction of the $549 million fortress was essentially completed in September 2008.
Energy Net

FR: Executive Order: Proliferation danger from Russian HEU - 0 views

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    Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to the Risk of Nuclear Proliferation Created by the Accumulation of Weapons-Useable Fissile Material in the Territory of the Russian Federation Presidential Title 3-- The President

    [[Page 29391]] Notice of June 18, 2009 Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to the Risk of Nuclear Proliferation Created by the Accumulation of Weapons-Useable Fissile Material in the Territory of the Russian Federation
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