Using Nuclear Materials To Prevent Nuclear Proliferation

G.P. Gilfoyle, J.A. Parmentola, "Using Nuclear Materials To Prevent Nuclear Proliferation," Science & Global Security, 9, no. 2, (2001): 81-92.
Efforts to halt proliferation of nuclear weapons are threatened by vulnerability of weapons-usable material to smuggling especially in Russia. Mixing 232U into highly-enriched uranium (HEU) makes it readily observable and harder to steal. Adding a proportion of 233U associated with a specific storage site enables attribution to be performed on stolen HEU that has been recovered. Incorporating 244Pu into plutonium does the same for this material. U.S. programs for radioactive surplus disposition could provide a source for tags. Current U.S.-Russian efforts to dispose of surplus nuclear weapons open opportunities to incorporate tags into large amounts of weapons-usable material. The 232U detection tag would also enhance ongoing US-Russian efforts to detect smuggling of weapons-usable materials out of Russia.

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