Nuclear & Radiological Material Removal

NNSA removes and disposes of excess weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-usable nuclear and radiological materials from civilian sites worldwide.  These efforts result in permanent threat reduction.  NNSA is returning Russian-origin highly enriched uranium (HEU) fresh and spent fuel from Russian-designed research reactors worldwide to Russia and returning U.S.-origin HEU and low enriched uranium spent nuclear fuel to the United States.  NNSA also addresses Gap nuclear materials (or nuclear material not covered by other pre-existing nuclear material threat reduction programs) by removing or verifying the disposal of vulnerable nuclear materials that are not covered under the Russian-origin and U.S.-origin nuclear removal activities.

NNSA is addressing emerging threats by developing and maintaining a capability to rapidly de-nuclearize comprehensive nuclear development programs while supporting verifications efforts.  This capability includes in-country stabilization, packaging and removal of nuclear materials through independent, self-sufficient operations and the identification and training of rapid response teams to ensure that when opportunities present themselves (e.g. Libya in 2004), the United States is able to respond quickly and efficiently.

NNSA removes international radiological materials by recovering and permanently disposing of excess and abandoned radiological material overseas. This includes Russian radioisotopic thermoelectric generators (RTGs), U.S.-origin sealed sources off site link in other countries, and other orphaned radiological materials.  However, NNSA also operates domestically, removing radiological materials by working in cooperation with federal, state, and local agencies, and private industry to recover and permanently dispose of excess radiological sources in the United States.