[ RadSafe ] Plutonium from Power Reactors

Franta, Jaroslav frantaj at aecl.ca
Thu Apr 10 08:36:35 CDT 2008

Peter Bossew wrote:
Tests with bombs made out of reactor Pu have been carried out by the US (and others, I am sure) in the 1960-1970s (?), allegedly "sucessfully", but apparently details were never made public (probably for good reasons).
I think some information can be found in http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/index.html .


The following may be found at this reference:

"  The only publicly known US test of a reactor-grade device was a 1962 explosion, partially declassified in 1977. However, in 1962 the term "reactor-grade" included any purity less than 93% Pu-239 [14]. The plutonium for the 1962 test came from a British MAGNOX reactor (a dual-purpose electricity/plutonium-production design), and is suspected of being in the range 80-90% Pu-239, although this fact remains classified [14,15,16,33]. "

[14] DOE Facts, "Additional Information Concerning Underground Nuclear Weapon Test of Reactor-grade Plutonium", Washington, D.C., http://apollo.osti.gov/html/osti/opennet/document/press/pc29.html, June 1994. 

[15] A. DeVolpi, "A Cover-up of Nuclear Test Information?", Physics and Society, Vol. 25, No. 4, http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/1996/october/aoct96.cfm#a2, October 1996. 



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