Re Fusion

Jim Nantz jimn at INFICAD.COM
Wed Jun 4 18:36:58 MDT 1997

At 07:07 PM 6/4/97 -0400, Dennis wrote:

>I believe you are referring to a breeder reactor. The reason this died is
>because the reprocessed material is high grade fissionable material. This
>was considered too high a security risk since, with that stuff, even Sadam
>could build a thermonuclear device.

Dennis with the reactor I've heard of the spent fuel was not cleaned up to
the point that it would be weapons grade material.  It's cleaned up only
enough to be fuel grade material once again.  If I remember correctly the
breeder reactor project would take spent fuel from other facilities and
reprocess it.  I do remember the federal officials saying the reactor was
not cost effective when they shut it down.

Also it seems that the security risk would be lower if the fuel were
reprocessed at each plant only to the point of being reusable.  In fuel
grade material only a small percentage of the material (5% or so) is
capable of taking part in the reaction.  If a terrorist did manage to steal
the fuel he would have this material that would kill him if it were not
stored or handled properly.  Also there would be the problem of seperating
the 5% of the material that could be used for a bomb from the remainder
that would be useless to him.  A terrorist organization that had this
equipment would also have the ability to mine uranium ore and go from there.

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