Beginning in the 1980’s, a significant number of Department of Energy facilities have been shut down and are in the decommissioning process. The shutdown of additional facilities is planned. In addition, during the past several decades, the Department of Energy has loaned nuclear material to a wide variety of private and governmental institutions for research and educational purposes. Subsequent changes in the Department’s priorities have reduced the need for nuclear materials to support the Department’s programs. Similarly, there has been a reduction in the need for borrowed nuclear materials by organizations and institutions using nuclear materials “on loan” from the Department. As a result, inventories of uranium material from the Department’s facilities and “on loan” must be removed and returned to the Department. This material is in the form of low enriched uranium (LEU), normal uranium (NU), and depleted uranium (DU) in various forms. This uranium material is located at over one hundred sites within the United States and overseas, including universities and laboratories. Much of this uranium is not needed to support national priorities and programs. The Department of Energy has assumed a stewardship role in managing nuclear materials throughout their life cycle, from acquisition to storage. Surplus uranium has created challenges for DOE in managing and storing the material as well as identifying opportunities for its further use. On behalf of the Department, the Oak Ridge Operations Office has been given the responsibility to implement the Department responsibilities in meeting these challenges and managing the Department’s uranium materials. To support this effort, the Office of Nuclear Fuel Security and Uranium Technology within the ORO complex coordinates uranium management functions across the Department of Energy. This coordination provides DOE with a number of important benefits, among which are: consolidated management and storage of uranium; improved security; a reduction of operating costs; effective use and reuse of DOT certified shipping containers; and accelerated site closure.
- Nuclear Engineering Division
DOE’s Stewardship of Government-Owned Uranium Materials
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Jackson, JD, & Donaldson, DE. "DOE’s Stewardship of Government-Owned Uranium Materials." Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering. 10th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering, Volume 4. Arlington, Virginia, USA. April 14–18, 2002. pp. 413-416. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ICONE10-22590
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