Separated plutonium is a sensitive material that presents
both proliferation and nuclear security risks. However, unlike highly enriched
uranium (HEU), separated plutonium has not received sufficient attention
as a security risk, argues NTI Counselor John
Carlson in a new paper.
Eight countries hold more than 375 metric tons of separated
plutonium, which is produced by
reprocessing irradiated nuclear fuel.
The paper, “Mitigating
Security Risks from Separated Plutonium: Some Near-Term Steps,” recommends
minimizing stocks and specific actions in production, storage, and use of the
material, including developing a code of conduct.
“Even small quantities [of plutonium] could be of interest
to terrorists if they see opportunities for acquiring plutonium in a number of
locations or for use in a radiological dispersal device,” Carlson says.
To download the paper in PDF Form, click
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