HEU Minimization


Minimizing the Use of HEU in Civil Applications

Challenge

The world’s most dangerous materials remain scattered across 22 countries and in dozens of facilities, some poorly secured

Action

To minimize – and ultimately eliminate – the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in civilian and naval applications

Results

NTI published two groundbreaking reports on HEU minimization and the establishment of regional HEU-free zones

Highly enriched uranium (HEU), a core component of a nuclear weapon, has also been used for decades to power research reactors, produce medical isotopes and fuel naval submarines. Today, with a few exceptions, technical developments have made it possible to replace HEU with LEU in nearly all current uses and have rendered future new civil uses of HEU obsolete.

NTI supports the phased elimination of civil uses for HEU and is working to build an international consensus on the importance of reducing dependence on HEU for peaceful activities.  In particular, NTI has supported and expanded programs in the United States to convert research reactors using HEU to low-enriched uranium (LEU) and to remove HEU from as many sites and countries as possible.

A series of current and past NTI activities have sought to achieve these goals:

  • In 2002, NTI worked with international partners to transfer, secure, and eliminate through blend down more than 100 pounds of weapons-usable material from the Vinca civilian research reactor in Serbia.
  • NTI also collaborated on a project from 2001-2005 to remove 2,900 kilograms of HEU from the Aktau site in Kazakhstan.
  • In 2010, NTI published a report on the technology used for HEU blend‐down in Russia, which describes the technological issues that must be confronted to increase the rate of HEU blend-down and discusses the options for resolving these technological challenges.
  • In 2015, NTI and the Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) issued a “Roadmap to Minimize and Eliminate HEU” in civilian nuclear applications.

Activity

2016


2016


2016


2015


2015


Action for the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit: Regional HEU-Free Zones

News

Action for the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit: Regional HEU-Free Zones

A new paper published by NTI, the Center for Nonproliferation Studies and the Fissile Materials Working Group calls for the establishment of regional zones free of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in advance of the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit.

2015


NEW Roadmap to Minimize and Eliminate HEU

News

NEW Roadmap to Minimize and Eliminate HEU

A new paper published by NTI, the Center for Nonproliferation Studies and the Fissile Materials Working Group offers timely recommendations for action that countries can pursue ahead of the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit.

2014


From HEU to LEU: A Market-Based Approach for Russia

News

From HEU to LEU: A Market-Based Approach for Russia

A new paper develops a market-based roadmap for Russia to transition from HEU to LEU in the production of Molybdenum-99, an area ripe for a Russian commitment at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit.

2012


Medical Isotopes: Balancing Supply and Security

News

Medical Isotopes: Balancing Supply and Security

A new CNS issue brief by Anya Loukianova discusses U.S. and international efforts to balance the trade-offs between ensuring medical isotope supply and reducing HEU in medical isotope production.

2012


Changing the Conversation on HEU

News

Changing the Conversation on HEU

NTI's Corey Hinderstein and Andrew Newman call for a change in the conversation on highly enriched uranium (HEU) from minimization to elimination.

2012


2012


2010


2009


2008


Securing the Bomb 2008

News

Securing the Bomb 2008

Global Nuclear Terrorism Risk Still High, Despite Progress; New Administration Must Take Immediate Steps to Reduce Dangers

2008


2006


2005


2004


2002


Close

My Resources