Highly enriched uranium removed from Jamaica

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced Tuesday that highly enriched uranium (HEU) that originated in the U.S. has been removed from Jamaica.

The uranium was housed at the Safe Low-Power Kritical Experiment research reactor. Following the removal of this material, the Caribbean region is now considered to be free of highly enriched uranium.

The research reactor was used in neutron activation analysis, which allowed scientists to determine the elemental chemical makeup of certain materials and has aided studies relating to environment, health and agriculture. These have also helped to increase food and water safety and security.

The reactor has since been converted into a low-enriched uranium core to allow them to continue this research without relying on highly enriched uranium.

“Cooperating with Jamaica and Canada in completing this HEU removal is an outstanding example of how regional cooperation can support global efforts to minimize the civilian use of HEU while preserving important research capabilities,” NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington said. “The removal of the HEU fuel is a significant achievement and could not have been accomplished without the strong leadership and hard work from our counterparts in Jamaica and the technical support of Canada.”

Approximately 1 kilogram of highly enriched uranium was removed from Jamaica and is being stored at the Savannah River Site in Georgia for disposal. 

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National Nuclear Security Administration

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