Reprocessing Revisited: The International Dimensions of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership

By Edwin Lyman and Frank N. von Hippel

"Reprocessing creates huge stockpiles of separated plutonium that would make it possible for countries to deploy weapons quickly and massively in a time shorter than required to mobilize domestic and international opposition. These plutonium stockpiles could also become targets of theft for would-be nuclear terrorists."

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Union of Concerned "Scientists" has done American Energy Policy a great disservice by opposing reprocessing. Calling the present practice of leaving plutonium scattered about the US “benign” is laughable. There are tens (hundreds?) of poorly guarded locations with spent fuel left in perpetual interim storage. This is their solution? I am not sure whether we are in greater danger of theft or simply losing some through carelessness.

We know how to build reactors that burn plutonium. If we built a reprocessing plant on the same site as a fast burner reactor we could burn the plutonium and the actinides and reduce both the volume and long term reactivity of the waste by at least a factor of 20. We could also breed fuel and quit mining uranium.