Repatriation of used fuel completed from Canada to USA

18 February 2020

Chalk River Labs in CanadaThe US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) have completed of a multi-year campaign to move used highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Canada to the USA.

The campaign to move HEU from two Canadian research reactors at Chalk River Laboratories in Ontario, to the Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina, began in 2015 and finished in 2019.

The work was completed 12 months ahead of schedule.

The campaign totalled over 66,000 miles of safe, secure transportation and resulted in the return of more than 200 kilograms of HEU.

It is the largest removal of used nuclear fuel to the USA ever completed under the Nuclear Material Removal Programme.

The fuel was returned under the US-Origin Foreign Research Reactor Spent Nuclear Fuel Acceptance Programme, which was established in 1996.

The programme's mission is to repatriate US-origin used nuclear fuel and other weapons-grade nuclear material from civilian sites worldwide.

The material returned from Canada was used in the National Research Universal and National Research Experimental reactors at Chalk River.

Highly enriched uranium fuel used in Canadian research reactors at the Chalk River site has been returned to the USA (Credit: CNL)

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