WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced the public release of a report that details the current plutonium inventory of the U.S. Titled The United States Plutonium Balance, 1944-2009, the document serves as an update to Plutonium: the First 50 Years, which was first released by the Department of Energy (DOE) in 1996. The report provides the U.S. inventory of plutonium owned by DOE and includes material in the possession of the Department of Defense (DoD). It can be found online at http://nnsa.energy.gov/plutoniuminventory.
As an update to the report released in 1996, the current document provides data on the plutonium inventory through 2009. The four most significant changes since 1994 include: the completion of clean-up activities at the Rocky Flats Plant in Colorado in 2005; material consolidation and disposition activities; 2007 declaration of an additional 9.0 MT of surplus weapons-grade plutonium; and the opening of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico. The updated report does not account for highly enriched uranium (HEU), planned disposition activities at the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility, or material obtained through President Obama’s four year plan to secure vulnerable nuclear material around the globe.
“The public release of the U.S. plutonium inventory is a demonstration of our commitment to transparency whenever possible,” said NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino. “As the United States moved into the 21st Century, our nuclear security footprint changed, and our nonproliferation goals evolved. The updated inventory is a reflection of that transition and an important gesture of openness to the international community.”
The report contains important revisions to previously reported data. The most significant revisions include increases in waste estimates for DOE sites in both Washington and Idaho, based on improvements in waste characterization and reviews of historical records.
Key elements of the report include:
Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.