GTRI’s Nuclear and Radiological Material Removal


The Global Threat Reduction Initiative’s (GTRI) Nuclear and Radiological Material Removal program removes and disposes of excess, disused, or unwanted Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) -usable nuclear and radiological materials from civilian sites worldwide.  These efforts result in permanent threat reduction because WMD-usable material is eliminated and can no longer be used by terrorists to make a nuclear weapon or radiological dispersal device (aka “dirty bomb”).

Key initiatives that fall within the Remove subprogram include:

  • Repatriating Russian-origin HEU fresh and spent fuel from Russian-designed research reactors worldwide to Russia.
  • Repatriating U.S.-origin HEU and LEU spent nuclear fuel from Training, Research, Isotopes, General Atomics (TRIGA) and Materials Test Reactor (MTR) research reactors to the United States
  • Addressing Gap nuclear materials by removing or verifying the disposal of vulnerable nuclear materials that are not covered under the Russian-origin and U.S.-origin nuclear remove activities.  This could include: U.S.-origin HEU other than TRIGA and MTR fuels; HEU of non-U.S.-origin; and separated plutonium.
  • Addressing emerging threats by developing the capability to respond rapidly when needed to denuclearize countries of concern through the removal of HEU and plutonium.  This includes developing independent, self-sufficient operations with trained rapid response teams to allow for in-country stabilization, characterization, packaging and removal of nuclear materials.  This ensures that the United States is able to respond quickly and efficiently to new removal opportunities when needed.
  • Recovering and permanently disposing of excess, disused, unwanted, or abandoned radiological material overseas.  This includes the recovery of Russian radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) and disposal at secure Russian facilities, the repatriation of U.S.-origin sealed sources in other countries and disposal at secure U.S. facilities, and the recovery of other orphaned radiological materials and consolidation at secure storage facilities in other countries.
  • Working in cooperation with Federal, State, and local agencies, and private industry to recover and permanently dispose of disused and unwanted radiological sources in the United States.
    • If you would like to learn more about NNSA’s recovery of disused and unwanted radiological sources or register your devices with NNSA for recovery, please click here.

Fact Sheet

GTRI: Removing Vulnerable Civilian Nuclear and Radiological Material