"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.