Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Megatons to Megawatts Reaches Another Milestone

megatonslogo_220Yesterday brought some happy news from our friends at USEC:

USEC Inc. announced today that the Megatons to Megawatts(TM) program has converted 450 metric tons of weapons-grade uranium from dismantled former Soviet Union nuclear warheads into low enriched uranium fuel to generate clean, reliable electricity in commercial nuclear power plants. The program is now 90 percent complete.

[...]

Megatons to Megawatts is a 20-year, commercially financed government-industry partnership in which 500 metric tons of Russian weapons-grade uranium is being downblended to low enriched uranium for use as commercial reactor fuel. USEC, as executive agent for the U.S. government, and JSC "Techsnabexport" (TENEX), acting for the Russian government, implement the program.

The Megatons to Megawatts program is on track to downblend the equivalent of 20,000 nuclear warheads into nuclear fuel by the end of 2013. The fuel generated to date has the energy equivalent of more than 193 billion gallons of gasoline, which equals more than 17 months of U.S. consumption. In past years, up to 10 percent of the electricity generated in the United States came from nuclear power plants using this fuel.
We've been writing about this program since the very dawn of the blog, and it's always been great to see USEC marching through milestone after milestone on its way to the completion of the project. Just think of it: what other government/industry partnership has transformed a national security threat into a pillar of energy security?

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