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Abstract

Following the signing of the START 2 (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), up to 200 t of weapon grade plutonium (W-Pu) and up to 2000 t of highly enriched uranium (HEU) will result from the dismantling of weapons by the year 2003. Unlike HEU, however, W-Pu requires special processing before it can be incorporated into fuel for reactors. As a medium term alternative to burning, one could mix the W-Pu with highly radioactive waste, thereby making this material as inaccessible as the plutonium that exists in spent fuel (the so-called Spent Fuel Standard).

In the long term, however, steps must be taken to address the proliferation risks associated with this W-Pu and the much larger and increasing amounts of civilian Pu from reactor operation. The options available range from burial in deep boreholes or storage in geological repositories, to reprocessing and fissioning the Pu in a reactor. Main emphasis is on this latter option in which the burning of Pu in various matrices such as uranium, thorium and inert matrices is discussed. .

Additional information

Authors: MATZKE H, JRC Karlsruhe (DE);MAGILL J, JRC Karlsruhe (DE);VAN GEEL J, JRC Karlsruhe (DE)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: 21st Annual Symposium of the Uranium Institute, London (GB), September 4-6, 1996
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 40192 ORA
Record Number: 199611481 / Last updated on: 1997-01-16
Category: PUBLICATION
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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