A World Free of Nuclear Weapons

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson let slip last week a few tantalizing details about one of the nation’s most secret military contingency plans: how the United States would try to race inside North Korea to seize its nuclear weapons if it ever saw evidence that Kim Jong-un’s government was collapsing.

The was designed to limit the spread of Nuclear Weapons.

It is currently a waste product of concern due to its extreme toxicity and link to nuclear weapons.

Can thorium reactors dispose of weapons-grade plutonium?

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September 05, 2017 — — The Trump administration is committed to finding a long–term disposal solution for the nation's nuclear waste, but Congress first needs to fund the effort, a top Department of Energy official said Tuesday in Las Vegas.

U.S. GAO - Key Issues: Disposal of High-Level Nuclear Waste

The approximate half-lives of some of the isotopes in the spent nuclear fuel are listed below:It is clear from the table above that the left over nuclear isotopes from the generation of electricity through nuclear power are extremely long lived and therefore must be shielded from humans and the environment for a long time.

That said, the USA exploded a nuclear weapon in 1962 with a 240Pu content in excess of 7%.

Soviet atomic bomb project - Wikipedia

Eventual final disposal of nuclear waste means that the radioactive isotopes will be buried (with appropriate barriers - see "Final disposal" above) in an appropriate disposal site for a very long time.

Nuclear Power Education - The Challenges of Nuclear Power

For example the International Atomic Energy Agency runs frequent conferences on the science of nuclear waste disposal, setting and enforcing safety standards, monitoring safety and security of nuclear waste.

If a batch of Plutonium has more than 7% 240Pu, it is unlikely to used for a Nuclear Weapon.

Nuclear Weapon Disposal - Steam Community

The United States and Russia have now officially adopted a policy of cooperation against the new threats, faced by both nations, of terrorists and unstable or irresponsible governments acquiring nuclear weapons. This replaces the former adversarial relationship of nuclear deterrence based on mutual assured destruction. As stated in the Joint Declaration of Presidents Bush and Putin on November 13, 2001: “The United States and Russia have overcome the legacy of the Cold War. Neither country regards the other as an enemy or threat.” They emphasized that the two nations are allies working together against the spread of nuclear weapons in a “new strategic relationship...That is cooperative rather than adversarial.”

There is very little information on the use of Uranium-233 for constructing nuclear weapons.

The Danger of Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 established federal responsibility for all civilian–used nuclear fuel and mandated the government begin removing used fuel from nuclear facilities by 1998 for disposal in a federal facility

February 02, 2018 — — Proposed amendments to the federal Nuclear Waste Policy Act would accelerate two proposals to bring some of the nation’s commercial high-level radioactive waste to New Mexico and West Texas.

The solidification of nuclear waste (which is necessary for final disposal) usually consists of dispersal in a glass matrix.

Why Doesn't U.S. Recycle Nuclear Fuel? - Forbes

The sources of uranium are: mining, commercial inventories (from earlier periods of oversupply), reprocessing of spent full rods from nuclear power plants and down blending (mixing of enriched uranium with natural or) ofhighly enriched uranium from dismantled nuclear weapons.