President Putin recently made some alarming statements about U.S. plans to cancel the current American approach to disposing of excess plutonium. His comments are important because the United States and Russia have an agreement to each dispose of 34 tons of excess plutonium generated by the two countries’ nuclear weapons programs. The Russian president suggested that the approach proposed by the Obama administration, to dilute the plutonium and dispose of it in a geological repository, was unsatisfactory and could damage U.S.-Russian relations. Read more >
April 21, 2016 11:19 AM EDT
April 19, 2016 6:00 AM EDT
Disaster by Design/Safety by Intent #28
Disaster by Design
This commentary describes a progression leading to overheating damage of fuel in a spent fuel pool. Next week’s post will describe how fuel in a spent fuel pool could experience a reactivity excursion. Read more >
April 12, 2016 6:00 AM EDT
Disaster by Design/Safety by Intent #27
Disaster by Design
Disaster by Design/Safety by Intent #26 described the accident progression resulting in meltdown of a reactor core. Such scenarios factored in the accidents at Fermi Unit 1 in October 1966, Three Mile Island Unit 2 in March 1979, and Fukushima Daiichi Units 1, 2, and 3 in March 2011. Read more >
April 11, 2016 5:01 PM EDT
Last week the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) released its Fiscal Year 2017 Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan, the agency’s annual update on its 25-year plan for the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. It is the most comprehensive, long-term plan related to nuclear weapons available from any government.
The key takeaway from this year’s stockpile plan is that very little has changed since last year. The overall vision has not changed, the schedule has not shifted, and the budget estimates, while modestly smaller for some projects, are still harrowingly large.
And that is a bad thing, because the NNSA’s plan has significant problems.
April 7, 2016 3:53 PM EDT
This Monday, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) released its 25-year plan for the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. This document, the Fiscal Year 2017 Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan, is the most comprehensive, long-term planning document related to nuclear weapons available from anywhere in the U.S. government. Or from any government, for that matter.