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Nuclear Nonproliferation: DOE Needs to Take Action to Further Reduce the Use of Weapons-Usable Uranium in Civilian Research Reactors

By United States. Government Accountability Office.


A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Nuclear research reactors worldwide use highly enriched uranium (HEU) as fuel and for the production of medical isotopes. Because HEU can also be used in nuclear weapons, the Department of Energy's (DOE) Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors program is developing low enriched uranium (LEU), which would be very difficult to use in weapons, to replace HEU. To date, 39 of the 105 research reactors in the United States and abroad targeted by DOE have converted to LEU fuel. GAO was asked to examine (1) the status of the remaining research reactors in converting to LEU fuel, (2) DOE's progress in developing new LEU fuels for reactors where conversion is not yet technically feasible, (3) DOE's progress in developing LEU for the production of medical isotopes, and (4) the status of DOE and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) efforts to improve security at research reactors.

Topics: Government accountability -- United States., international affairs, energy, nuclear nonproliferation, letter report
Publisher: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Year: 2004
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Provided by: UNT Digital Library
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