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Name: Susan C Robinson
Status: Other
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Question:
How do you plan to dispose of the plutonium from nuclear warheads?
Will this be done At Argonne National Labs in Lemont, IL?



Replies:
That is a really good question Susan, I have been wondering that myself. Some of the research work needed to answer the question "how do you dispose of the plutonium from H-bombs" will be done at Argonne, but the actual disposal probably will not be done there. It is too risky to handle large quantities of plutonium in populated areas like Chicagoland - both because an accidental release might do a lot of harm to the people there, and because with more people around it would be harder to protect the plutonium from thieves. I know that a burial site for civilian nuclear waste is being prepared in the Nevada desert, but I am not sure what the military plans to do with its plutonium.

I found two government reports that should help answer your question. The first is a 1990 General Accounting Office report called "Nuclear Health and Safety: The Status of GAO's Environmental Safety and Health Recommendations to DOE." The second is a summary report by the Office of Technology Assessment called "Complex Cleanup: The Environmental Legacy of Nuclear Weapons Production", published in 1991 by the US Government Printing Office. Ask your librarian for help finding copies of the report by interlibrary loan, or by calling the Superintendent of Documents or the National Technical Information service to purchase the reports.

Mortis



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