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AECL and the United States Department of Energy announce completion of a multi-year campaign

On February 12  2020, the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited announced the completion of a multi-year campaign to move spent highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Canada to the United States at the International Conference on Nuclear Security (ICONS) in Vienna, Austria.

This multi-year effort beginning in 2015, moved HEU from two Canadian research reactors at Chalk River Laboratories in Chalk River, Ontario, to the Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina, was completed in 2019 – 12 months ahead of schedule. It is identified as the largest removal of used fuel to the United States ever completed under the Nuclear Material Removal Program.

The material was used in the National Research Universal (NRU) and National Research Experimental (NRX) reactors at Chalk River.

“This is another great example of AECL and the NNSA working together to advance our shared non-proliferation objectives and advance global nuclear security,” said Alastair MacDonald, Vice President, Decommissioning and Waste Management at AECL. “By partnering with the NNSA, we are effectively addressing our liabilities while achieving our joint commitments to HEU repatriation.”

“Our collaboration on this project has demonstrated, once again, that when the United States and Canada work together, we can make the world a safer place,” said Lisa E. Gordon Hagerty, DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator.

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, and Savannah River Nuclear Solutions were key partners and played a pivotal role in the success of the campaign.

NNSA Press release (available in English only) : https://www.energy.gov/nnsa/articles/united-states-canada-announce-completion-spent-nuclear-fuel-shipping-campaign-icons