World Inventory of Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium 1992

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byDavid Albright, Frans Berkhout, William Walker

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Plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU) were first introduced fifty years ago. In the Manhattan project the amounts separated were measured in kilograms, enough for the first atomic bombs. Today there are about 1000 tonnes of plutonium and 1300 tonnes of HEU in existence, the result ofthe great expansion of nuclear weapon and nuclear power programmes in recent decades. Controlling and disposing of these vast quantities is now one of the most serious challenges facing the international community. Despite the great significance of plutonium and HEU for international security and nuclear commerce, there are no international statistics on these materials. Information on them is generally classified in countries possessing or trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and holders of civil materialsonly give information to safeguards agencies on condition that it remains confidential. This book fills the gap. It provides for the first time a comprehensive and authoritative assessment of the amounts of plutonium and HEU in military and civilian programmes, country by country. World Inventory of Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium 1992 is based on knowledge of how nuclear reactors, reprocessing and enrichment plants have been operated around the world. Step by step, it explains how civil and military nuclear programmes have been run, which technologies and facilitieshave been used, and what has happened to the materials produced by them. It details the huge amounts of plutonium and HEU that will be extracted from dismantled weapons as the United States and the former Soviet Union reduce their nuclear arsenals, and the equally large amounts of plutonium thatwill be separated from civil fuels in Britain, France, Japan and Russia if reprocessing plans are implemented. It also contains the most thorough examination yet of the efforts by Iraq, Israel, Pakistan, India and a few other countries to acquire the materials needed to build nuclear weapons. Andthroughout, the book points out the main uncertainties over the quantities and whereabouts of these vital materials. The book ends by stressing the need to end the over-supply of civil plutonium and to develop plans for disposing of surplus stocks of both plutonium and HEU. Much of the plutonium will have to be treated as a waste, while the HEU can be diluted and used as nuclear fuel. It also calls on theinternational community to end the secrecy surrounding these materials. The United Nations should publish annual statistics on every country's holdings of plutonium and HEU, including materials in nuclear weapon states.

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Plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU) were first introduced fifty years ago. In the Manhattan project the amounts separated were measured in kilograms, enough for the first atomic bombs. Today there are about 1000 tonnes of plutonium and 1300 tonnes of HEU in existence, the result ofthe great expansion of nuclear weapon and nucl...

David Albright is at the Institute for Science and International Security, Washington DC. William Walker is a Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.83 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198291531

ISBN - 13:9780198291534

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` SIPRI's study is a remarkably impressive attempt to describe and analyze the presence, functions and future of these materials throughout the world ... Another excellent aspect of the study is a thoughtful and carefully considered discussion of options for thecontrol and disposal of plutonium and highly enriched uranium ... this is one of SIPRI's best contributions to the literature on disarmament and proliferation control for some years, and is a powerful reminder of why SIPRI is such an important research center.'Paul Rogers, Defense Analysis