World Inventory of Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium, 1992

Front Cover
SIPRI, 1993 - Political Science - 246 pages
0 Reviews
Plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU) were first introduced fifty years ago. In the Manhattan project the amounts separated were measured in kilograms, enough for the first atomic bombs. Today there are about 1000 tons of plutonium and 1300 tons of HEU in existence, the result of the great expansion of nuclear weapon and nuclear power programmes in recent decades. Controlling and disposing of these vast quantities is now one of the most serious challenges facing the international community.

Despite the great significance of plutonium and HEU for international security and nuclear commerce, there are no international statistics on these materials. Information on them is generally classified in countries possessing or trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and holders of civil materials only give information to safeguards agencies on condition that it remains confidential. This book fills the gap. It provides for the first time a comprehensive and authoritative assessment of the amounts of plutonium and HEU in military and civilian programmes, country by country.

World Inventory of Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium 1992 is based on knowledge of how nuclear reactors, reprocessing and enrichment plants have been operated around the world. Step by step, it explains how civil and military nuclear programmes have been run, which technologies and facilities have been used, and what has happened to the materials produced by them. It details the huge amounts of plutonium and HEU that will be extracted from dismantled weapons as the United States and the former Soviet Union reduce their nuclear arsenals, and the equally large amounts of plutonium that will be separated from civil fuels in Britain, France, Japan and Russia if reprocessing plans are implemented. It also contains the most thorough examination yet of the efforts by Iraq, Israel, Pakistan, India and a few other countries to acquire the materials needed to build nuclear weapons. And throughout, the book points out the main uncertainties over the quantities and whereabouts of these vital materials.

The book ends by stressing the need to end the over-supply of civil plutonium and to develop plans for disposing of surplus stocks of both plutonium and HEU. Much of the plutonium will have to be treated as a waste, while the HEU can be diluted and used as nuclear fuel. It also calls on the international community to end the secrecy surrounding these materials. The United Nations should publish annual statistics on every country's holdings of plutonium and HEU, including materials in nuclear weapon states.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Reasons aims and sources
3
Conclusions
7
Characteristics of highly enriched uranium and plutonium and
9
1 Plutonium half lives and weapongrade and reactorgrade
17
Inventories of military plutonium in the nuclear weapon states
25
5
33
5 Estimated Soviet military plutonium output calculated from
37
1
40
4 Estimated US military inventory of fuel and reactorgrade 35
109
3 Estimated spent fuel and plutonium discharges from power 80
115
Commercial and research and development uses of plutonium
117
4 Past and projected MOX fuel reloads at Electricite de France
136
5 Estimated LWRMOX fuel outputs in 19912000 and
139
Civil highly enriched uranium inventories
144
Material inventories and production capabilities in
151
2 Estimated inventories of Israeli weapongrade plutonium
157

7 Estimated British inventory of military plutonium end of 1990
43
2 Independent estimates of US consumption of weapongrade
51
1 Historical sources of weapongrade plutonium 27
57
4 Low and high estimates of Soviet enriched uranium
58
Plutonium produced in power reactors
71
Reprocessing programmes and plutonium arisings
84
2 Commercial reprocessing plants around the world
93
2 Past and projected plutonium separation from oxide fuel at the
95
5 Existing contracts for reprocessing at La Hague France 1991
99
6 Past and projected quantities of plutonium separated at the
104
4 Estimated production of weapongrade uranium at the
166
Argentina
179
Overview of present and future stocks of plutonium and highly
195
7 Approximate quantities of material subject to IAEA
202
10 Illustrative amounts of weapongrade plutonium released
208
Appendix A Enrichment technologies
219
Separation of plutonium from power reactor fuel at
229
Index
238
2 Projected LWRMOX production at the German Hanau 133
241
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1993)

David Albright is at the Institute for Science and International Security, Washington DC. William Walker is a Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex.

Bibliographic information