Disposing of Weapons-Grade Plutonium
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A U.S. Department of Energy project to convert excess weapons-grade plutonium into fuel for commercial nuclear reactors to fulfill an international agreement with Russia is billions over budget and well over a decade behind schedule. This in and of itself is a problem, but the larger problem is that failure to complete the project endangers worldwide nonproliferation and disarmament efforts and leaves one of the biggest stockpiles of weapons-grade plutonium unaddressed. This decision memo reviews several technical reports that have been conducted and recommends pursuing a new strategy to renegotiate the agreement with Russia to allow for the dilution and disposal of the excess plutonium at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico.