Scientist develops method to denature plutonium

9 March 2009

An Israeli scientist has proposed adding Americium 241 to fuel stocks that would denature plutonium so that it could not be used for developing nuclear bombs. The radiactive element is used in PWRs.

"When you purchase a nuclear reactor from one of the five countries, it also provides the nuclear fuel for the reactor. Thus if the five agree to insert the additive into fuel for countries now developing nuclear power - such as Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Namibia, Qatar, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen - they will have to use it for peaceful purposes rather than warfare," Ronen told the Jerusalem Post.

The research is headed by Yigal Ronen with Eugene Shwageraus and Leonid Golyand at Israel's Ben-Gurion University and is expected to appear in academic journal Science and Global Security.

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