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Submission + - Sandia Helps Secure Kazakh Nuclear Material ( 1

RedEaredSlider writes: One of the ongoing problems with unclear non-proliferation efforts is what to do with nuclear material in the former Soviet Union. A group from Sandia National Laboratories recently completed a project in Kazakhstan, and managed to take another step towards securing it.

A large cache of enriched nuclear fuel – some 13 metric tons — was stored in a nuclear reactor in the port city of Aktau, on the Caspian seacoast. The reactor was a Soviet-era fast breeder reactor, designed to make nuclear fuel for both weapons and power plants. The reactor, which started operations in 1973, also provided 135 megawatts of electricity, 9 million gallons of water per day and steam for hot water and heating for Aktau. It was shut down by the Kazakh government in 1999.

Getting the material out of a seaport was one way to make it harder to steal, Barber said. So the U.S. and Kazakh governments embarked on a project to move it to a guarded — and remote — facility in the interior.

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Sandia Helps Secure Kazakh Nuclear Material

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