US Consulting With IAEA to Dilute, Remove 6 Metric Tons of Plutonium

© AFP 2022 / JOE KLAMARIAEA flag flatters in the wind in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency headquarers in UN city in Vienna
IAEA flag flatters in the wind in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency headquarers in UN city in Vienna - Sputnik International
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Department of Energy said that United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency are beginning consultations to monitor the cleanup of up to six metric tons of surplus plutonium from the Savannah River Site in the US state of South Carolina.

The flag of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) flies in front of the Vienna headquarters at the Vienna International Center. (File) - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) The United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are beginning consultations to monitor the cleanup of up to six metric tons of surplus plutonium from the Savannah River Site in the US state of South Carolina, the Department of Energy said in a press release on Monday.

"We are embarking on an effort at the Savannah River Site to dilute and dispose of approximately six metric tons of surplus plutonium — additional to the 34 metric tons of material we have committed to dispose under the US-Russia Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement — and are beginning consultations with the IAEA for the monitoring and verification of this process," Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz stated.

In March, the Energy Department announced it would disposition six metric tons of surplus plutonium at the Savannah River site using the dilute and dispose approach.

Under that approach, the plutonium will be rendered safe, packaged in secure canisters and permanently disposed of in a geologic repository.

The IAEA will monitor and verify the process, the Energy Department noted.

Added to the 34 tons of surplus plutonium disposal agreed to by Washington and Moscow, the new cleanup will bring the United States’ total amount of eliminated plutonium to 40 metric tons.

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