The independent resource on global security

World Inventory of Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium 1992

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN 0-19-829153-1
246 pp.

Plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU) are the basic materials used in nuclear weapons. Plutonium also plays an important part in the generation of nuclear electricity. Knowing how much plutonium and HEU exists, where and in which form is vital for international security and nuclear commerce. For the first time, this book provides a rigorous and comprehensive assessment of the amounts of plutonium and HEU in military and civilian programmes, in nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states, and in countries seeking to acquire nuclear weapons. The capabilities that exist for producing these materials around the world are examined in depth. Containing much new information, this book is indispensable to all those concerned with three great contemporary issues in international nuclear relations: arms reductions in the United States and the former Soviet Union, nuclear proliferation, and the roles of plutonium and enriched uranium in the nuclear fuel-cycle.


Part I. Introduction

1. Reasons, aims and sources

2. Characteristics of highly enriched uranium and plutonium and their production processes


Part II. Military inventories in the nuclear weapon states

3. Inventories of military plutonium in the nuclear weapon states

4. Weapon-grade uranium inventories in nuclear weapon states


Part III. Principal civil inventories

5. Plutonium produced in power reactors

6. Reprocessing programmes and plutonium arisings

7. Commercial and research and development uses of plutonium

8. Civil highly enriched uranium inventories


Part IV. Material inventories and production capabilities in the threshold states

9. De facto nuclear weapon states: Israel, India and Pakistan

10. Countries of concern: Iraq, North Korea, Iran and Algeria

11. Countries backing away from nuclear weapons: Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and Taiwan


Part V. Conclusions

12. Overview of present and future stocks of plutonium and highly enriched uranium

13. Two policy issues


Appendix A. Enrichment technologies

Appendix B. Calculation of plutonium production in power reactors

Appendix C. Separation of plutonium from power reactor fuel at reprocessing plants

Appendix D. Research reactors (>1 MWth) using HEU fuel