Navigation Links
Ben-Gurion University engineers develop technique to help combat nuclear proliferation

BEER-SHEVA, ISRAEL, March 4, 2009 Ben-Gurion University of the Negev engineers have developed a technique to "denature" plutonium created in large nuclear reactors, making it unsuitable for use in nuclear arms. By adding Americium (Am 241), a form of the basic synthetic element found in commercial smoke detectors and industrial gauges, plutonium can only be used for peaceful purposes.

This technique could help "de-claw" more than a dozen countries developing nuclear reactors if the United States, Russia, Germany, France and Japan agree to add the denaturing additive into all plutonium. An article on the technique and findings will appear next month in the Science and Global Security journal.

"When you purchase a nuclear reactor from one of the five countries, it also provides the nuclear fuel for the reactor," explains Prof. Yigal Ronen, of BGU's Department of Nuclear Engineering, who headed the project. "Thus, if the five agree to insert the additive into fuel for countries now developing nuclear power -- such as Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Namibia, Qatar, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen -- they will have to use it for peaceful purposes rather than warfare."

Ronen originally worked on Neptonium 237 for the purpose denaturing plutonium, but switched to Americium, which is meant for pressurized water reactors (PWRs), such as the one being built in Iran.

"Countries that purchase nuclear reactors usually give the spent fuel back to the producer," explains Ronen. "They wouldn't be able to get new plutonium for weapons if it is denatured, but countries that make nuclear fuel could decide not to denature it for themselves."

Nuclear fuel used in nuclear reactors has two isotopes of uranium. One is fissionable, while the other is not. The unfissionable component undergoes a number of nuclear reactions, turning some of it into plutonium. The plutonium also includes fissionable and unfissionable components. The amount of fissionable components created in nuclear reactors is enough to be used as nuclear weapons.


Contact: Andrew Lavin
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Related biology news :

1. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev researchers develop new reversible, green window technology
2. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev to host
3. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev researchers help find that hypnosis can induce synesthesia
4. Environmental peace treaty between Israel and Palestinians unveiled at Ben-Gurion University
5. Undesirable evolution can be reversed in fish, Stony Brook University scientists show
6. Queens University Belfast improves Malaysian public health
7. If youre aggressive, your dog will be too, says veterinary study at University of Pennsylvania
8. Famous fossil Lucy scanned at the University of Texas at Austin
9. Concordia University leads academic team for national Cellulosic Biofuels Network
10. Queens University Belfast works to save Strangford horse mussels
11. University of Miami engineer designs stretchable electronics with a twist
Post Your Comments:
(Date:9/28/2015)... According to a new market ... (Scanner & Others), Application (Access Control & Others), Industry ... Geography Global - Forecast to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, the ... Million by 2020, at a CAGR of 23.40% between ... data T ables and 66 Figures ...
(Date:9/24/2015)... YORK , Sept. 24, 2015  EyeLock LLC, ... be showcasing its award winning and latest technology in ... Anaheim, California . EyeLock,s iris ... security with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it the most ... EyeLock,s platform uses video technology to deliver a fast ...
(Date:9/10/2015)... LONDON , Sept. 10, 2015 ... This New Study Reveals Selling Opportunities and Revenue ... What,s the future of biologics, especially new drug ... You will stay ahead with exclusive market data ... can explore trends, developments, results, opportunities and sales ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) (TSX: AEZ) (the ... commercializing novel treatments in oncology, endocrinology and women,s health, ... the Company,s former Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, ... City office.  David A. ... the Company commented, "After a comprehensive review, the Company,s ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... Rochelle, Virginia (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2015 ... ... LLC announced today that Dr. Srini Srinivasan, has joined the firm as a ... expertise and professional stature enable them to bring extraordinary value to the company's ...
(Date:10/10/2015)... 2015 Am 8. Oktober hat die ... für Kalifornien) ihre Würdigung der International Plasma Awareness ... Aufzeichnungen des Kongresses eintragen lassen. Die IPAW wird ... (PPTA) und ihren Mitgliedsunternehmen unterstützt. Ihre Ziele bestehen ... über Plasmaspenden weltweit , Würdigung des Beitrages ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... LEXINGTON, Mass. , Oct. 9, 2015  Pulmatrix, Inc., ... presentation at two upcoming investor conferences. th ... at 11:00 am PDT (2:00 pm EDT). --> ... 20, 2015 at 11:00 am PDT (2:00 pm EDT). ... James 2015 Small Cap Growth Stock Conference on Thursday, October ...
Breaking Biology Technology: