US urged not to use bomb-grade uranium in nuclear power experiment

“It is shocking that the Energy Department, without even notifying the public, would undermine a decades-old, bipartisan U.S. policy to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons,” said Alan Kuperman, a professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, who organized the letter.

By , REUTERS | May 30, 2023

Undated publicity photograph shows the "material and fuels complex" facility at the The Idaho National Laboratory
An undated publicity photograph released to Reuters on November 8, 2011 shows the “material and fuels complex” facility at the The Idaho National Laboratory, a U.S. Energy Department nuclear research site in eastern Idaho. REUTERS/Idaho National Laboratory/Handout/File Photo

WASHINGTON, May 30 (Reuters) – Former U.S. State Department and nuclear regulatory officials on Tuesday urged the U.S. Energy Department to reconsider a plan to use bomb-grade uranium in a nuclear power experiment, saying that its use could encourage such tests in other countries.

The Energy Department and two companies aim to share costs on the Molten Chloride Reactor Experiment (MCRE) at the Idaho National Laboratory and use more than 1,322 pounds (600 kg) of fuel containing 93% enriched uranium.

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