Dounreay ships highly enriched uranium to the US

A transfer of highly-enriched uranium from Scotland to the US has been completed, the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has said.

About 700kg of material formerly held at Dounreay, near Thurso, has been transported in a series of flights using military aircraft since 2016.

In the US, it is to be used in the making of fuel at civil nuclear reactors.

An agreement between the UK and US banned military use of the material.

Dounreay, the site of Britain’s former centre of nuclear fast reactor research and development, is being demolished and cleaned up.

The highly-enriched uranium (HEU) was moved in batches from Dounreay to Wick John O’Groats Airport and then flown to the States using US military Boeing C-17 transport aircraft.

David Peattie, chief executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, praised staff at Dounreay, the US Department of Energy and the other agencies for their handling of the transfers.

He said: “The successful completion of the complex work to transfer HEU is an important milestone in the programme to decommission and clean-up Dounreay site.”

Other material has been transferred from Dounreay to nuclear sites overseas.

During the 1990s, nuclear material was sent from abroad to Dounreay for reprocessing.

The customers included power plants and research centres in Australia, Germany and Belgium.

Courtesy of BBC News: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-48147424

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