Disposition of Surplus Highly Enriched Uranium
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), is amending the August 5, 1996, Record of Decision (the 1996 ROD) (61 FR 40619) for the Disposition of Surplus Highly Enriched Uranium Environmental Impact Statement (HEU EIS) (DOE/EIS–0240). The 1996 ROD included DOE’s decision to implement a program to render a nominal 200 metric tons of surplus highly-enriched uranium (HEU) non-weapons-usable by blending it down to low-enriched uranium (LEU) and selling as much of the resulting LEU as possible (up to 85 percent) for use as reactor fuel. In 2007, NNSA prepared a Supplement Analysis (DOE/EIS–0240–SA1) to the HEU EIS but did not make a decision at that time. The Supplement Analysis analyzed the potential environmental impacts associated with ongoing HEU disposition activities and potential changes to those activities: supplying LEU to reactors in foreign countries through U.S. persons under certain circumstances; establishing new pathways for disposing of HEU materials that would not be converted to LEU for reactor fuel; and down-blending additional quantities of HEU for use as reactor fuel. NNSA now is amending the 1996 ROD to make decisions regarding each of these proposals.