Analysis of Alternative Methods to Dispose of Plutonium
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties between the Soviet Union and the United States led to the need to dismantle many nuclear weapons and to dispose of the nuclear material to minimize security risks. This trend was magnified after the dissolution of the Soviet Union because Russia and the United States have undertaken even deeper reductions in tactical nuclear weapons under reciprocal unilateral initiatives. There are between 10 to 20 thousand excess warheads in the U.S., and at least a similar number in the former Soviet Union, containing well over 100 metric tons of plutonium (Holdren, et al., 1995), one of the most toxic and persistent materials known. Major concerns are to minimize the risk that plutonium could be used by terrorists, to minimize the risk that plutonium could be reintroduced into arsenals, and to strengthen arms control to assure continued arms reductions and to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.
KeywordsLife Cycle Cost Technical Maturity Light Water Reactor Fissile Material Multiattribute Utility
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