Global Stocks of Separated Plutonium - Stalled on the Path to Elimination

Frank N. von Hippel, Masafumi Takubo, "Global Stocks of Separated Plutonium - Stalled on the Path to Elimination," Science & Global Security 28, no. 3 (2020): 171-209

With the end of the Cold War, Russia, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom declared an end to their production of plutonium for weapons and Russia and the United States declared large quantities excess to their future weapon requirements. The disposal of these excess stocks has stalled, however, and during the next two decades, the relatively small stocks of weapons plutonium in India, North Korea, Pakistan and possibly also China could increase significantly. Meanwhile, despite the failed commercialization of plutonium breeder reactors, the separation of civilian but weapon-usable plutonium from power-reactor fuel continues in France, India, Japan, Russia, and has begun in China. The global stock of separated civilian plutonium now exceeds that of weapons plutonium and could increase further during the next two decades.

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