Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities for Converting U.S. and Russian Research Reactors: A Workshop Report (2012)Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board
The availability of highly enriched uranium (HEU) is a significant proliferation and security concern, particularly in the civilian sector, where resources may not be available or used to protect the material adequately during storage or transport. This report focuses on the civilian use of HEU as fuel for research reactors, which are used in a broad range of scientific and engineering disciplines, including nuclear engineering, nuclear physics and chemistry, materials science, and biology. The United States and the Russian Federation have worked to convert research reactors from HEU fuel to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel for more than 30 years. Participants at the joint U.S. National Academies and Russian Academy of Sciences workshop Progress, Challenges and Opportunities for Converting U.S. and Russian Research Reactors considered previous conversion efforts, economic and performance challenges of conversion, challenges of reactors that cannot be converted, and the managing of proliferation risks.