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Plutonium shipped from Japan to go to Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), New Mexico

wastes-1Plutonium from Japan to be disposed of underground in New Mexico, Japan ship radiationTimes, KYODO APR 2, 2016   U.S.-bound plutonium that has recently been shipped out of Japan will be disposed of at a nuclear waste repository in New Mexico after being processed at the Savannah River Site facility in South Carolina, according to an official of the National Nuclear Security Administration.

“The plutonium will be diluted into a less sensitive form at the SRS and then transported to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) for permanent disposal deep underground,” said Ross Matzkin-Bridger, who is in charge of the operation at the NNSA, a nuclear wing of the Department of Energy.

“The dilution process involves mixing the plutonium with inert materials that reduce the concentration of plutonium and make it practically impossible to ever purify again,” he said in a recent phone interview.

The official made the remarks ahead of the latest Nuclear Security Summit, sponsored by President Barack Obama, which began Thursday in Washington.

On Friday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Japan will give up more highly enriched uranium (HEU) as part of what Obama hailed as an unprecedented bid to tighten control over unused nuclear material…..

Japan received the plutonium and HEU fuels from the U.S, Britain and France from the late 1960s to early 1970s for research purposes in the name of “Atoms for Peace.” The nuclear fuel delivery, however, has generated controversy in South Carolina since it was reported that it was en route to the U.S. government-run SRS facility in the state.

South Carolina is “at risk of becoming a permanent dumping ground for nuclear materials,” Gov. Nikki Haley said in a recent letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, calling for the shipment to be stopped or rerouted…….

In the statement, the Japanese government made a new pledge to remove and transfer HEU fuels from the Kyoto University Critical Assembly (KUCA), another Japanese research institute, to the United States for down-blending and “permanent threat reduction.”…….

the materials recently transferred from Japan are only the tip of the iceberg. Currently, Japanese utilities possess over 47 metric tons of separated plutonium, which is equivalent to about 6,000 nuclear bombs http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/04/02/national/politics-diplomacy/plutonium-japan-disposed-underground-new-mexico/#.VwGXrZx97Gj

April 4, 2016 - Posted by | - plutonium, USA, wastes

1 Comment »

  1. WOW that’s some REALLY GREAT STUFF NOW—-> Twenty radioactive isotopes of plutonium have been characterized. The longest-lived are plutonium-244, with a half-life of 80.8 million years, plutonium-242, with a half-life of 373,300 years, and plutonium-239, with a half-life of 24,110 years.

    Comment by gunslinger748 | April 4, 2016 | Reply


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