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US and UK complete project to remove highly enriched uranium

3rd May 2019

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Photograph of US and UK complete project to remove highly enriched uranium

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and US Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) have completed the transfer of around 700kg of highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Dounreay, in the north of Scotland, to the US.

The HEU transfer, from Dounreay to the United States, was announced by the UK Government as part of its commitment to the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington DC.

NDA CEO, David Peattie, thanked the staff from Dounreay Site Restoration Limited, counterparts from the US Department of Energy and the other agencies involved with coordinating the movement of the material, for their commitment and hard work.

David Peattie said:The successful completion of the complex work to transfer HEU is an important milestone in the programme to decommission and clean up Dounreay Site.

The HEU will be down-blended in the US to be used as fuel in civil nuclear reactors - for entirely peaceful purposes.

The US is sending a different form of the material to Europe, where it will be used as research reactor fuel and in the production of medical isotopes.

Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator, added:

This joint effort highlights our strong cooperation and mutual non-proliferation goals.

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