Navigation Links
Ben-Gurion University engineers develop technique to help combat nuclear proliferation
Date:3/4/2009

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
andrewlavin@alavin.com
212-290-9540
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Source:Eurekalert

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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for ... Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window ... imaging data, the first application of deep learning to ... stem cell lines and a growing suite of powerful ... for these and future publicly available resources created and ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, IsoPlexis ... a statistically significant association between the potency ... and objective response of cancer patients post-treatment. ... whether cancer patients will respond to CAR-T ... as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing and ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... 29, 2017  higi, the health IT company that ... North America , today announced a Series B ... of EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s ... to transform population health activities through the collection and ... higi collects and secures data today on behalf ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... 26, 2017 , ... WonderWorks, Myrtle Beach’s science focused amusement ... of deep space exploration and inspire space enthusiasts. The exhibit features interactive exhibits ... guest appearance by former Shuttle Astronaut Don Thomas. , The intergalactic weekend kicks ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... As the call ... healthcare industry stakeholders, the discussion surrounding the topic will continue at WEDI 2017- ... in Los Angeles, Calif. Hosted by the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... R.I. , April 25, 2017 ... Inc. ("EpiVax") has licensed its novel immune-modulating technology to ... autoimmune disease and allergy. Tregitopes, pronounced ... in human immunoglobulin by EpiVax CEO Annie ... Similar to intravenous immunoglobulin G, an autoimmune disease ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... , April 24, 2017  Dante Labs announced today the ... EUR 850 (ca. $900). While American individuals have been able ... time Europeans can access WGS below EUR 1,000. ... to leveraging genetic information to make informed decisions about disease ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: