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Korea, Belgium, France, U.S. agree to develop high-density LEU

South Korea, Belgium, France and the United States said Tuesday they have agreed to develop high density, low enriched uranium (LEU) to replace highly enriched uranium (HEU) used in research reactors, removing a potential source of nuclear terrorism.

The project, announced on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, comes as part of efforts to minimize civilian use of HEU, the four countries said in a joint statement released by the South Korean government and the White House.

"In this regard, expressing our strong commitment to achieving the nuclear security objectives and noting the continued use of civilian HEU as research reactor fuel, we are cooperating on utilizing high-density low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel powder production technology ... as part of an effort to convert research reactors from HEU fuel to LEU fuel," the statement said.

The two-day summit has drawn leaders and representatives from 53 nations and four international organizations to discuss nuclear safety and safeguards against nuclear terrorism. Participating nations are expected to pledge further reductions in stockpiles of HEU and radioactive material, which could be obtained by terrorist groups to build nuclear explosives.

Outside the defense sector, research reactors are the largest consumers of HEU, with some 20 high-performance reactors around the world running on more than 600 kilograms of HEU per year, according to experts. These reactors use HEU that has a degree of enrichment above 90 percent, and cannot be fueled by ordinary LEU.

If successful, the four countries also agreed to share relevant technology with other countries seeking to convert reactors from HEU fuel to LEU fuel, the statement said. (Yonhap News)

Korea, Belgium, France, U.S. agree to develop high-density LEU

South Korea, Belgium, France and the United States said Tuesday they have agreed to develop high density, low enriched uranium (LEU) to replace highly enriched uranium (HEU) used in research reactors, removing a potential source of nuclear terrorism.

The project, announced on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, comes as part of efforts to minimize civilian use of HEU, the four countries said in a joint statement released by the South Korean government and the White House.

"In this regard, expressing our strong commitment to achieving the nuclear security objectives and noting the continued use of civilian HEU as research reactor fuel, we are cooperating on utilizing high-density low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel powder production technology ... as part of an effort to convert research reactors from HEU fuel to LEU fuel," the statement said.

The two-day summit has drawn leaders and representatives from 53 nations and four international organizations to discuss nuclear safety and safeguards against nuclear terrorism. Participating nations are expected to pledge further reductions in stockpiles of HEU and radioactive material, which could be obtained by terrorist groups to build nuclear explosives.

Outside the defense sector, research reactors are the largest consumers of HEU, with some 20 high-performance reactors around the world running on more than 600 kilograms of HEU per year, according to experts. These reactors use HEU that has a degree of enrichment above 90 percent, and cannot be fueled by ordinary LEU.

If successful, the four countries also agreed to share relevant technology with other countries seeking to convert reactors from HEU fuel to LEU fuel, the statement said. (Yonhap News)



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