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Highly enriched uranium from U.K. sent to Y-12 in Tennessee for storage, NNSA says

May 16, 2019 GMT

A tranche of highly enriched uranium taken from the U.K. and brought to the U.S. has been sent to the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee, a National Nuclear Security Administration spokesperson confirmed to the Aiken Standard on Wednesday.

The matter had been previously reported by the local Oak Ridge Today.

The nearly 700 kg of HEU is being securely stored at Y-12, the NNSA spokesperson said. The uranium will eventually be downblended for fuel purposes, according to the spokesperson.


The NNSA, a semiautonomous slice of the U.S. Department of Energy, earlier this month announced a “multi-year effort” to relocate HEU from the U.K. to the U.S. had been completed.

More than a dozen groups representing both countries worked on the transfer. Y-12 supported the campaign, according to the NNSA spokesperson.

“This joint effort highlights our strong cooperation and mutual nonproliferation goals,” NNSA chief Lisa Gordon-Hagerty said in a prepared statement, which was included in the agency’s initial announcement.

The uranium was never sent to DOE Office of Environmental Management facilities at the Savannah River Site, according to a local external affairs director.

The uranium came from the Dounreay nuclear site, which is on the Scottish coast.

Y-12 is involved with nuclear weapons and uranium work.