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Civilian HEU: United States

  • Oak Ridge Reservation, Tennessee Oak Ridge Reservation, Tennessee
    www.atsdr.cdc.gov
  • The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Kentucky The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Kentucky
    www.usec.com

As the first country to harness the power of the atom, the United States was also the first to enrich uranium. Although it ended all Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) production in 1992, today the United States continues to use HEU for military and civilian purposes, and to engage in HEU commerce. [1] However, Washington has made considerable progress in its efforts to eliminate HEU use in civilian applications worldwide. The United States has expended significant diplomatic effort on this effort, most recently by initiating the Nuclear Security Summit process. Its initiatives have included conversions and shutdowns of research reactors at home and abroad, and movement toward HEU-free medical isotope production.

Overview of United States HEU Holdings

The most complete official record of U.S. HEU stocks comes from two reports from the United States Department of Energy (DOE). In 1996, DOE issued "Highly Enriched Uranium: Striking a Balance," a comprehensive public declaration of U.S. civilian and military HEU holdings. [2] DOE subsequently updated this report in 2006 with a study titled "Highly Enriched Uranium Inventory" (these documents are hereafter referred to as the "DOE HEU Reports"). [3]

The DOE HEU Reports provide snapshots of official accounting of the U.S. HEU stockpile. Between 1945 and 1996, the United States produced 1,045.4 metric tons of HEU, which contained 859.2 metric tons of uranium-235 (U-235). [4] In addition, the United States acquired 3.1 metric tons from downblending and received 6.9 metric tons from foreign countries. [5] The 1996 report stated that as of 30 September 1996, the United States had 740.7 metric tons of HEU, containing 620.3 metric tons of U-235 (U-235). [6] In turn, the 2006 report indicated that as of 30 September 2004, the total U.S. HEU inventory was 686.6 metric tons, containing 590.5 metric tons of U-235. [7] This total number included materials in military and civilian use, as well as materials declared as excess to weapons use. The HEU materials in waste were not reported.

In 1994, Washington declared 174 tons of HEU to be excess to weapons use. Of these, all but 18 tons of HEU (naval reactor spent fuel), were slated for blend-down to Low Enriched Uranium (LEU). In 2005, an additional 200 tons were declared excess. Of these, 20 tons were set aside for research and space reactors, while another 20 tons were to be blended down for LEU fuel. The remaining 160 tons were reserved for naval fuel, of which 8 tons were eventually found unsuitable, and were instead slated for blend-down. [8]

The International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM) estimated the total U.S. HEU stockpile (military and civilian) to be 595 metric tons as of October 2013. [9] Of this material, 260 metric tons of HEU are marked for weapons use; 252 metric tons for naval reactor fuel (100 of them irradiated); 20 metric tons in civilian use; and 63 metric tons declared excess and set aside for blend-down or disposal. [10] These figures also include U.S.-origin HEU that was repatriated from third countries as part of threat reduction efforts.

Military HEU
It is the general position of the Non-Aligned Movement, a grouping of 120 states, that attention should not be unduly directed towards civilian HEU given the large military HEU stockpiles worldwide. [11] As such, there is issue linkage between the United States' large military HEU and nuclear weapons stockpiles and its efforts to restrict civilian HEU use abroad. For example, member state South Africa continues to argue that it does not have to reduce its HEU stockpiles, and that the burden rests on the nuclear weapon states. [12] Despite ceasing the production of HEU for use in weapons in 1964, the United States continued to produce the material for use in naval reactors until 1992. [13] Today, the Department of Defense (DOD) continues to utilize existing HEU stocks in nuclear warheads as well as in naval nuclear propulsion through programs managed jointly with DOE. These stocks are located at the DOE's Y-12 Plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas; and in locations under DOD custody. [14]

The IPFM estimated that the United States had approximately 260 metric tons of HEU designated for possible use in weapons as of mid-2011. [15] At present, there are "approximately 5,000" total nuclear warheads in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. [16] Of this total, about 2,150 warheads are operational. [17] In addition, 152 metric tons of HEU were set aside as fresh fuel to power the U.S. Navy's aircraft carriers and submarines, with another 100 metric tons of HEU in the form of irradiated nuclear reactor fuel. [18] To date, there has been little U.S. government consideration of the possibility of converting these naval reactors to LEU use. [19]

Civilian HEU
The IPFM estimated that in 2013, the United States possessed approximately 20 metric tons of civilian HEU and another 63 metric tons of HEU declared in excess of military needs. [20] Although the United States and the United Kingdom are the only two nuclear-weapon states which have declared their total stockpile (civilian and military HEU), the United States does not voluntarily declare its HEU holdings to the IAEA as part of its annual declaration of plutonium stocks (INFCIRC/549). [21] As a result, its civilian holdings are less transparent than those of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

HEU Production
Prior to the halt of all U.S. HEU production in 1992, the material was produced at several facilities across the United States. These included the Y-12 Plant (which used electromagnetic separation), and the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant (K-25), both near Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant near Portsmouth Ohio. [22] The latter facility was the largest producer of HEU with a total of 552.2 metric tons of HEU containing 509.2 metric tons of U-235, all produced between 1956 and 1992. [23] Furthermore, although no HEU was produced at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant near Paducah, Kentucky, until 1960 the facility produced LEU feedstock that was subsequently further enriched at the sites in Oak Ridge and Portsmouth. [24]

The Energy Policy Act of 1992 created the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC), a commercial entity tasked with enrichment of LEU fuel and the management of sites, excluding Oak Ridge, which formerly produced HEU. Beginning in 1993, USEC also facilitated the implementation of the U.S.-Russian Megatons to Megawatts program that carried out the conversion of HEU from Russia's dismantled nuclear weapons into LEU and its subsequent transfer to fuel U.S. power plants. The final Russian LEU shipment was concluded in August 2013, and the agreement formally ended in December 2013. [25] In total, 500 metric tons of Russian HEU, the equivalent of approximately 20,000 warhead cores, were recycled. [26]

HEU Commerce
After the end of World War II the U.S. Congress passed the Atomic Energy Act of 1946 (the McMahon Act), which sought to maintain the U.S. nuclear monopoly. However, President Dwight D. Eisenhower's 1953 Atoms for Peace initiative clashed with some of the Act's core objectives. Under Atoms for Peace, an effort to promote nuclear science and the use of nuclear technology worldwide, the United States provided assistance to states that agreed to forego the development of nuclear weapons.

A 1954 amendment to the Atomic Energy Act allowed for bilateral nuclear agreements with friends and allies (known as "123 Agreements," named for the relevant section of the Act). [27] These agreements initially only envisioned the export of LEU fuel. Soon, however, new high-powered research and test reactors that required low density uranium fuels enriched to 90-93% were constructed abroad. As a result, in the mid-1960s the United States began to export HEU fuel for their use. [28]

Triggered by Congressional concerns about India's nuclear test, the 1978 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act amended the Atomic Energy Act by establishing a requirement for full-scope safeguards in the recipient country as a condition for all U.S. nuclear exports. That same year, concerns about the proliferation potential of U.S. HEU exports culminated in the creation of the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) Program, led by Argonne National Laboratory. RERTR, now a part of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI), is an effort to design and qualify appropriate LEU fuel substitutes, and to convert research and test reactors in the United States and abroad from HEU to suitable LEU fuel so that these facilities will no longer require U.S.-origin HEU fuel. [29]

In 1992, Congress focused its efforts on further restricting U.S. exports of HEU through the passage of the Schumer Amendment to the Energy Policy Act. This legislation conditioned exports of U.S.-origin HEU on the following criteria: (1) that there was no existing alternative LEU fuel for the reactor in question; (2) that the facility agreed to convert to LEU fuel as soon as it became available; and (3) that the United States was actively developing an alternative LEU fuel suitable for that facility. [30]

According to the 1996 DOE HEU Report, the United States through 1996 exported approximately 25.6 metric tons of HEU, containing 18.6 metric tons of U-235. These exports were provided for civil applications, including as fuel for research reactors and as targets for the production of medical isotopes. [31] This material was transferred largely to the Euratom countries, Canada, and Japan. The exports declined considerably in the 1980's and, after the passage of the Schumer Amendment, continued on a downward trend until 1996, when no HEU was exported. [32]

In 2005, this decline was reversed when the Burr Amendment to the National Energy Policy Act allowed the United States to license the export of HEU to several states without a requirement to convert their research reactors to an LEU-based production process. The amendment reflected Congressional concerns about the supply vulnerabilities of a critical medical isotope called Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99). MDS Nordion, the Canadian radioisotope producer, reportedly also lobbied for an exemption to the Schumer Amendment that would allow the United States to export HEU for use at Canada's NRU reactor. [33]

Since the passage of the Amendment, the United States has continued to export HEU abroad for the production of Mo-99. Between 2005 and 2012, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensed over a dozen export transactions to France, Belgium, and Canada for use as target material and reactor fuel. [34] For example, the United States shipped 186.4 kilograms of HEU with 174 kilograms of U-235 to France in April 2012. [35] However, at the March 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands committed to convert their Mo-99 production to LEU by 2015. In light of these commitments, the United States promised to supply "the necessary HEU target material to ensure uninterrupted production of medical isotopes" to these states up to their conversion deadline. [36]

Radioisotope Production

Though the patients in its hospitals comprise roughly 50% of the entire global demand for medical isotopes, the United States has no domestic Mo-99 production capability at this time. [37] Because of the low number of producers and the isotope's extremely short shelf life, the reliability of Mo-99 supply is a delicate issue. [38] While reactor fuel conversion efforts have made significant progress, the process of moving to LEU targets has been considerably slower, in part because such changes require both reactor operators and processing companies to initiate changes.

Since 2005, the reliability of the suppliers using HEU for isotope production has been repeatedly called into question. The most vivid example has been Canada's NRU reactor, which has traditionally provided the majority of isotopes for the U.S. market. In 2007 and 2009, as discussed in Canada's HEU profile, this reactor was repeatedly shut down for prolonged periods of time. In 2009, its shutdown coincided with a maintenance shutdown at the HFR reactor in the Netherlands, the second largest supplier of isotopes for the U.S market. These events triggered repeated shortages of Mo-99 in the United States. [39]

In 2007, the National Academy of Sciences began a study that examined the conflicting goals of reducing exports of U.S.-origin HEU (the Schumer Amendment), and assuring the reliability of the Mo-99 supply (the Burr Amendment). In 2009, the NAS report concluded that there were "no technical reasons that adequate quantities cannot be produced from LEU targets in the future." [40] The report recommended that DOE consider sharing conversion-related research and development costs with existing customers to help alleviate some of the financial burden, and also suggested finding other means for incentivizing domestic LEU-based production of Mo-99. [41]

Since then, the NNSA has sought to increase the supply of LEU-based isotopes on the U.S. market. In 2010, the NNSA announced that a consortium of producers from South Africa and Australia would begin to supply LEU-based Mo-99 to the United States. This consortium has, at times, supplied as much as a third of the Mo-99 market for diagnostic procedures in the United States. [42] In addition, the NNSA has worked with the IAEA to develop small-scale regional production capabilities in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and elsewhere. In turn, European Mo-99 producers have pledged to convert their facilities to LEU use by 2015. [43]

The NNSA has also pursued the development of an indigenous medical isotope production capability. Following the NAS report's recommendations, it concluded cooperative agreements with several U.S. companies to explore alternative methods of Mo-99 production (e.g., methods that would not involve the irradiation of targets in research reactors). [44] However, issues such as waste disposal, environmental reviews, and the licensing of new facilities remained causes for concern. Establishing a reliable supply of LEU-based medical isotopes has also proven difficult because the aging facilities that use HEU in the production of Mo-99 are effectively subsidized by their governments, while newer facilities that do not use HEU generally operate on a market basis. In addition, the production of Mo-99 with HEU is presently cheaper, particularly given that LEU-based facilities tend to generate significantly more waste. [45]

U.S. policy has increasingly aimed to level the playing field for new LEU-based producers. [46] In June 2012, the White House announced that it was committed to eliminating the use of HEU in the production of medical isotopes, while also assuring supply reliability. In order to achieve both of these goals, official U.S. policy would encourage the purchase of HEU-free Mo-99 at home and abroad. According to the White House release, policy steps would include the following:

  • "*Calling upon the Mo-99 industry to voluntarily establish a unique product code or similar identifying markers for Mo-99-based radiopharmaceutical products that are produced without the use of HEU;
  • *Preferentially procuring, through certain U.S. government entities, Mo-99-based products produced without the use of HEU, whenever they are available, and in a manner consistent with U.S. obligations under international trade agreements;
  • *Examining potential health-insurance payment options that might promote a sustainable non-HEU supply of Mo-99;
  • *Taking steps to further reduce exports of HEU that will be used for medical isotope production when sufficient supplies of non-HEU-produced Mo-99 are available to the global marketplace;
  • *Continuing to encourage domestic commercial entities in their efforts to produce Mo-99 without HEU during the transition of the Mo-99 industry to full-cost-recovery, and directing those resources to the projects with the greatest demonstrated progress;
  • *and Continuing to provide support to international producers to assist in the conversion of Mo-99 production facilities from HEU to LEU." [47]

After several years of debate, Congress approved legislation to this effect. [48] In regard to health insurance payment options, in July 2012 the White House unveiled a proposed Health and Human Services department regulation that would incentivize hospitals and medical facilities to use LEU-based isotopes. It would do so by using the Medicare and Medicaid systems to pay an additional $10 each time Mo-99 produced without HEU was used for diagnostics on Medicare and Medicaid patients. This initiative was enshrined in the final 2013 Center for Medicare and Medicaid payment rules. [49] The White House also encouraged the OECD's Nuclear Energy Agency to examine additional incentives for LEU-based medical isotope production. [50] Moreover, President Obama signed the American Medical Isotopes Production Act of 2011 (AMIPA) into law on 2 January 2013. [51] This piece of legislation provides support for the production of Mo-99 without the use of HEU in the United States, and requests the phase-out of U.S. HEU exports over seven years, albeit with a 6-year-delay exception clause in case the termination of such exports would unduly harm Mo-99 supply. [52]

Fuel Return

Between 1958 and 1986, the United States accepted 6.9 metric tons of HEU from foreign countries; the total mass contained 4.9 metric tons of U-235. [53] The majority of this was U.S-origin material, received in the form of spent nuclear fuel from Euratom countries, Canada, Japan, and South Africa. The terms of the Atoms for Peace program allowed for the return of highly enriched spent fuel for reprocessing in the United States, and the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant received the first shipment of irradiated reactor fuel in July 1953. [54]

In 1986 the United States suspended the return of U.S.-origin spent nuclear fuel from foreign research reactors, but revised this policy in 1996 when the DOE unveiled the Foreign Research Reactor Spent Nuclear Fuel (FRR SNF) Acceptance Program. Its intention was to recover as much U.S.-origin HEU as possible, while assisting foreign research reactor operators with LEU conversion. Another initiative, the Gap Materials Program, was soon also created to address vulnerable, high-risk nuclear and radiological materials throughout the world that were not addressed under other existing programs (i.e., materials that were neither U.S. nor Russian-origin). [55] Both programs were subsequently folded into the GTRI program.

The FRR SNF and the subsequent GTRI program have actively repatriated U.S.-origin HEU fuel since 1996. The GTRI program has also actively assisted in repatriation efforts between third countries, having helped facilitate the return of 1,751 kg of HEU to Russia and 323 kg of gap HEU. [56] By March 2012, 58 shipments to the United States had been completed (a total of 9,261 fuel assemblies) with the participation of 30 countries. Of these shipments, 45 consisted of aluminum-based spent nuclear fuel and were placed into storage at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, 4 consisted of fresh or slightly irradiated fuel and were thus sent to the Y-12 National Security Complex, and the remaining 8 consisted of TRIGA-type fuel and were stored at Idaho National Laboratory. [57] As of mid-2013, 1,261 kg of U.S.-origin HEU had been repatriated. [58] GTRI plans to complete its total repatriation goal of 1654 kg of U.S.-origin HEU by 2016. [59]

Conversion and Shutdown of HEU-Fueled Reactors and Reactor Projects

The United States began to make significant progress on the technical challenges of conversion of research and test reactors following the creation of the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) program in 1978. Six years after the program started, the Ford Nuclear Reactor at the University of Michigan had been converted. During the 1980s, however, RERTR efforts became marginalized by the Department of Energy and Congress, and the program's funding was consistently challenged. Furthermore, the United States backtracked on conversion efforts when it initiated the development of the Advanced Neutron Source, a research and test reactor that would have been powered by HEU (the construction of this reactor was subsequently cancelled). [60]

Political developments in the early 1990s and 2000s brought a renewed focus to fissile materials security. When the Soviet Union dissolved, U.S. policymakers became concerned about the security of materials on its territory, initiating cooperative threat reduction projects that also included the repatriation of HEU materials. Also in the 1990s, U.S. and Russian officials began to pursue research and test reactor conversion efforts cooperatively. [61] The RERTR program was further boosted in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, as the United States became increasingly concerned about the security risks posed by the HEU held at research and test reactors around the globe. As a result, all U.S. civil HEU minimization efforts were reorganized into the Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) in 2004. [62] Since 2004, GTRI efforts have converted or shut down research and test reactors. [63]

Only five research reactors still use HEU in the United States; these require new fuel whose development is underway. [64] The following reactors, listed in scholar Margarita Jimenez's article on the subject, were awaiting conversion as of 2013:

  • "Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at Idaho National Laboratory,
  • High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
  • Missouri University Research Reactor (MURR) at the University of Missouri in Columbia,
  • National Bureau of Standards Reactor (NBSR) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology,
  • MIT Reactor-II (MITR) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology." [65]

Policy Issues

Over the last several decades, the United States has led international initiatives to convert research and test reactors, repatriate HEU fuel worldwide, and develop HEU-free medical isotope production capabilities. As further discussed in other sections of the NTI Civilian HEU Collection, efforts such as the Nuclear Security Summits have focused the world's attention on nuclear security problems, and especially the challenges posed by HEU in civilian applications. Since 2010, the Nuclear Security Summits have formed an important mechanism for drawing high-level attention to the issue of fissile material security by facilitating information sharing and providing an incentive for states to follow through on their commitments.

The United States has also made great strides in promoting fissile material transparency. The release of two DOE Reports on HEU, combined with the reports on Plutonium production, offers lessons in leadership by example. Whether another excess materials declaration by Washington would be able to convince Moscow to respond in kind remains an open question. Some have argued that the United States should be able to declare more HEU excess to its defense needs as it dismantles weapons in its arsenal and considers the needs of the naval propulsion program. [66] However, another excess declaration poses the question of how much material should go to naval and other uses as opposed to the commercial market, an issue where there is no consensus option between reactor operators and commercial fuel providers. Furthermore, the downblending of the HEU already declared excess to weapons needs would take until 2050 if it proceeds at the current rate of 3-4 tons per year. This is due to the slow speed of warhead component dismantlement. [67]

One issue that has become linked with the efforts to reduce civilian HEU use has been the continued use of HEU for military naval propulsion in the United States. To date, the U.S. Navy has not seriously considered the conversion of its reactors to LEU. This arguably undermines U.S. leadership on nonproliferation and HEU reduction, in light of India's development of nuclear propulsion and Iran's stated interest in using HEU to fuel nuclear submarines. [68] HEU use for naval reactors is a known loophole in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which allows a non-nuclear weapon state to obtain weapons-grade (>90% U-235) HEU without being in explicit violation of its NPT commitments. [69]

This debate joins the long-standing argument raised by states such as South Africa, which have used their civilian HEU stockpiles as leverage to push for their disarmament goals. For example, in a 2006 Symposium on HEU minimization held in Norway, South Africa's Abdul Samad Minty noted the "linkage between the need to minimize and/or eliminate civilian HEU and, at the very least, the HEU declared as excess in the military stockpiles of the weapon states." "In South Africa's view," Minty stated, "the threat to our very existence constituted by the continued utilization of such material for weapons purposes remains as real as ever." [70] These statements highlight the fact that U.S. policy regarding its large military HEU stockpile may be linked with its diplomatic ability to advocate for further civilian HEU minimization.

As this collection's article on the International Politics of Civilian HEU Elimination discusses in greater detail, the United States has played a central role in diplomatic efforts aimed at minimizing the civilian use of HEU. The Nuclear Security Summit process has successfully accelerated the "lockdown" of vulnerable civil materials. However, only the successful conclusion of a Fissile Material (Cutoff) Treaty (FM(C)T) would provide a binding international fissile material regime for weapons materials.

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[37] James Harvey, "Alternative Production of Mo99," presentation given at the 2013 SNMMI Winter Meeting, New Orleans, U.S.A., p. 3, www.snm.org; Cristina Hansell, "Nuclear Medicine's Double Standard," The Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 15, No. 2, July 2008.
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[40] Committee on Medical Isotope Production without Highly Enriched Uranium, National Research Council, Medical Isotope Production without Highly Enriched Uranium (Washington: The National Academies Press, 2009), pp. 1-15.
[41] Committee on Medical Isotope Production without Highly Enriched Uranium, National Research Council, Medical Isotope Production without Highly Enriched Uranium (Washington: The National Academies Press, 2009), p. 3.
[42] National Nuclear Security Administration, "Record Levels of Non-HEU-Based Mo-99 Supplied to the United States," NNSA Press Release, June 2, 2011, www.nnsa.energy.gov. It should be noted, however, that as of mid-2012, NECSA still supplied HEU-based Mo-99 to Europe because it is not yet licensed to supply LEU-based Mo-99 there.
[43] Miles Pomper, ""HEU Minimization after the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit," paper presented at the International Nuclear Materials Management conference in Orlando, Florida, United States, July 2012.
[44] Cristina Hansell, "Nuclear Medicine's Double Standard," The Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 15, No. 2, July 2008, p. 165.
[45] National Nuclear Security Administration, "NNSA Signs Cooperative Agreement to Support the Production of Molybdenum-99 in the United States Without the Use of Highly Enriched Uranium," NNSA Press Release, May 8, 2012, http://nnsa.energy.gov; Anya Loukianova "What the Doctor Ordered: Eliminating Weapons-Grade Uranium from Medical Isotope Production," Nuclear Threat Initiative Article, September 5, 2012, www.nti.org. For a detailed example of the challenges involved in conversion, see: G. Ball, O. Knoesen, A. Kocher, "Status Update on Conversion to LEU Based 99Mo Production in South Africa," paper presented at RERTR 2011- 33rd Meeting on Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors, Santiago, Chile, October 23-27, 2011, pp. 6-7, www.rertr.anl.gov.
[46] Miles Pomper, ""HEU Minimization after the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit," paper presented at the International Nuclear Materials Management conference in Orlando, Florida, United States, July 2012.
[47] "Encouraging Reliable Supplies of Molybdenum-99 Produced without Highly Enriched Uranium," The White House Office of the Press Secretary, June 7, 2011, www.whitehouse.gov.
[48] Regarding the debates in Congress, see for instance: Jared Berenter, "Argentina: Medical Isotope Production," Nuclear Terrorism and Global Security: The Challenge of Phasing Out Highly Enriched Uranium, eds. Alan J. Kuperman (Abingdon: Routledge: 2013), pp. 38-39; "Public Health and Nuclear Experts Warn Against Importing Russian Medical Isotopes," press release by the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project, January 18, 2012, http://blogs.utexas.edu.
[49] Roy W. Brown, "An Update on the Conversion from Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) to Low Enriched Uranium (LEU)," presentation given at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Technical Meeting on Conversion Planning for Molybenum-99 (Mo-99) Production Facilities, slides dated May 23, 2013, p. 9, www.iaea.org; Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc., "Lantheus' Low-Enriched Uranium (LEU) Technelite® Generator is Now Available," January 2013, www.lantheus.com.
[50] Douglas P. Guarino, "U.S. Proposes Bigger Medicare Payouts to Avoid Bomb-Grade Uranium," Global Security Newswire, July 11, 2012, www.nti.org.
[51] "Lantheus Introduces Low-Enriched Uranium (LEU) Tc-99m Generator," Diagnostic and interventional Cardiology, January 16, 2013, www.dicardiology.com.
[52] Jared Berenter, "Argentina: Medical Isotope Production," Nuclear Terrorism and Global Security: The Challenge of Phasing Out Highly Enriched Uranium, eds. Alan J. Kuperman (Abingdon: Routledge: 2013), pp. 38-39.
[53] "Highly Enriched Uranium: Striking a Balance," United States Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, Office of the Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs, January 2001, revision 1, pp. 69-70, retrieved at: www.fas.org.
[54] "Highly Enriched Uranium: Striking a Balance," United States Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, Office of the Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs, January 2001, revision 1, p. 69, retrieved at: www.fas.org.
[55] Anya Loukianova and Cristina Hansell, "Leveraging U.S. Policy for a Global Commitment to HEU Elimination," The Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 15, No. 2, July 2008.
[56] Chuck Messick, Jeff Galan, "U.S.-Origin Nuclear Fuel Removals," Global Threat Reduction Initiative, U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, p.7, http://energy.gov.
[57] C.E. Messick and J.J. Galan, "Global Threat Reduction Initiative's U.S.-origin Nuclear Material Removal Program: 2012 Update," International Topical Meeting on Research Reactor Fuel Management (RRFM), Prague, Czech Republic, March 2012, pp. 247-248, www.euronuclear.org.
[58] Chuck Messick, Jeff Galan, "U.S.-Origin Nuclear Fuel Removals," Global Threat Reduction Initiative, U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, p.7, http://energy.gov.
[59] Chuck Messick, Jeff Galan, "U.S.-Origin Nuclear Fuel Removals," Global Threat Reduction Initiative, U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, p.7, http://energy.gov.
[60] Anya Loukianova and Cristina Hansell, "Leveraging U.S. Policy for a Global Commitment to HEU Elimination," The Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 15, No. 2, July 2008.
[61] "IAEA Welcomes U.S. New Global Threat Reduction Initiative," IAEA, May 27, 2004, www.iaea.org.
[62] Anya Loukianova and Cristina Hansell, "Leveraging U.S. Policy for a Global Commitment to HEU Elimination," The Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 15, No. 2, July 2008.
[63] "Domestic U.S. Reactor Conversions," U.S. Department of State Fact Sheet, March 22, 2012, www.state.gov.
[64] National Nuclear Safety Administration, Domestic U.S. Reactor Conversions: Fact Sheet," NNSA Fact Sheet, March 23, 2012, www.nnsa.energy.gov.
[65] Margarita Jimenez, "USA and Europe: High-Power Research Reactors," Nuclear Terrorism and Global Security: The Challenge of Phasing Out Highly Enriched Uranium, eds. Alan J. Kuperman (Abingdon: Routledge: 2013), p. 56.
[66] Steven Aftergood and Frank von Hippel, "The U.S. Highly Enriched Uranium Declaration: Transparency Deferred but Not Denied," The Nonproliferation Review, 141/1, March 2007.
[67] "Global Fissile Material Report 2011: Nuclear Weapon and Fissile Material Stockpiles and Production," The International Panel on Fissile Materials, January 10, 2012, p. 9, http://fissilematerials.org.
[68] David Albright, Andrea Stricker, Christina Walrond, "Discouraging Any Iranian Decision to Produce Highly Enriched Uranium," Institute for Science and International Security, October 25, 2012, http://isis-online.org.
[69] Nate Sans, "Why the United States Should Redesign its Nuclear Submarines," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, September 3, 2013, www.thebulletin.org.
[70] Abdul Samad Minty, "South African Perspectives on Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU)," presentation for the International Symposium on HEU Minimization, June 2006, www.nrpa.no.

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents.

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The article is part of a collection examining civilian HEU reduction and elimination efforts. It details current U.S. HEU policies, progress reducing and eliminating the civil use of HEU in the United States, and remaining challenges.

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