The Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico has taken over the lead role in the US Department of Energy’s effort to demonstrate the transmutation of nuclear waste into safer forms through the use of accelerators. In January, Los Alamos launched a new national Advanced Accelerator Applications programme, headed by Dr Edward D Arthur.
The AAA programme, funded at $34 million in Fiscal Year 2001, will incorporate the DoE’s former Accelerator Transmutation of Waste (ATW) programme (see NEI, February 2001, p16). Los Alamos will build an accelerator-driven test facility, which will also function as a national nuclear science and engineering user facility. In addition, the test facility will be used to demonstrate the use of accelerators as a back-up technology for producing tritium for US defence programmes.
No date has been set yet for the start of construction on the test facility.