Plutonium Wastes from the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex

Robert Alvarez, "Plutonium Wastes from the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex," Science & Global Security, 19, no. 1, (2011): 15-27.
The amount of plutonium discarded as wastes from the U.S. nuclear weapons complex appears to be significantly greater than the U.S. Department of Energy's 1996 declaration of its plutonium holdings. This is due to in part to improved radioactive waste characterization and the disposal of plutonium residues originally intended for use in weapons. The Hanford site in Washington State has the largest quantity of plutonium wastes, which pose potentially serious human risks to ground water and the near shore the Columbia River. The department should revise its accounting for plutonium, and take steps to remove plutonium discarded to the environment at Hanford, as it is required to do at Idaho National Laboratory.

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