Advertisement
HomeCollectionsPlutonium
IN THE NEWS

Plutonium

FEATURED ARTICLES
NEWS
March 31, 1995
The world is becoming awash in deadly plutonium, a result of nearly half a century of atomic weapons production and a 30-year buildup of waste products from the nuclear power industry. Plutonium is one of the most toxic substances on Earth, but increasingly no one knows what to do with it -- a dilemma underscored by the current debate among scientists over the safety of the government's long-planned nuclear waste disposal site in the Nevada desert.The problem is going to be with us a long time.
ARTICLES BY DATE
FEATURES
November 17, 2007
Critic's Pick -- Dying from radiation poisoning, a man (Paddy Considine) gets mixed up in a plutonium scheme in PU-239 (8 p.m., HBO).
Advertisement
NEWS
By JONATHAN POWER | November 13, 1992
London. -- Of all 1992's incidents of unnecessary risk, not one exceeds the wilful decision of the Japanese and French authorities to ship over the high seas from France to Japan a cargo of plutonium, the most toxic, dangerous and expensive substance known to man.We are told that this cargo, carrying enough plutonium to make over a hundred nuclear bombs, is well protected -- by a single Japanese escort warship, with extra monitoring by U.S. warships, planes...
NEWS
By Bennett Ramberg | September 16, 2007
As the Bush administration attempts to beat back the nuclear weapons ambitions of Iran and North Korea, it recently raised the specter that the United States has become perilously close to neutering its own atomic capacity. The alarmist forecast emerges in "National Security and Nuclear Weapons: Maintaining Deterrence in the 21st Century," a July statement by the secretaries of defense, state and energy. According to the secretaries, the "aging" and "hazardous" Cold War stockpile puts at risk "the long-term ability of the United States to sustain its strategy of deterrence [and]
NEWS
July 11, 1994
A dozen years ago, after furious debate, the federal government scrapped ambitious plans to build a breeder nuclear reactor, designed to produce tons of plutonium as fuel for other reactors even as it generated nuclear power.The Clinch River breeder project is dead, a recognition its toxic plutonium fuel was unneeded domestically and threatened further international nuclear weapons proliferation. But Congress has continued to pay for nuclear breeder research -- almost $9 billion worth. Eleven days ago, against the urging of the Clinton administration and the House, the Senate voted to spend another $98 million for breeder reactor research, a pork barrel gesture for laboratories in Idaho and Illinois.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | August 14, 1994
MUNICH, Germany -- German officials said yesterday that police had made the biggest seizure yet of weapons-quality nuclear materials smuggled from Russia, calling it the most unsettling indication to date of a well-organized criminal conspiracy to provide buyers with the ability to build a bomb.As much as 500 grams, more than a pound, of highly radioactive plutonium 239, the prime fissionable material of atomic warheads, was seized Wednesday from baggage from a Lufthansa flight originating in Moscow at Munich international airport, the officials said.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | November 15, 1993
In 16 concrete bunkers built by the Army for a war with Hirohito and Hitler, the United States has begun assembling about 50 tons of plutonium, a vast stockpile of one of the most expensive materials ever produced and perhaps the most important to safeguard. The Department of Energy says the World War II bunkers, each about the size of a two-car garage, are going to be used for interim storage, meaning six or seven years.But plutonium, which was invented by the Energy Department's predecessor, the Manhattan Project that produced the atomic bomb, may turn out to be the hardest thing on earth to dispose of.And at the Energy Department, "interim" can have an elastic meaning.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | August 16, 1994
MOSCOW -- Russia's Ministry of Atomic Energy said yesterday that there was no plutonium 239 missing from its inventory and no evidence that Russia is the source of any of the plutonium smuggled into Germany. But the German government immediately challenged the Russian denial, saying that Bonn had clear evidence of Russian manufacture for some of the highly enriched, weapons-grade contraband.Germany said that three separate shipments of weapons-grade nuclear material from the former Soviet bloc have been seized within the last four months.
NEWS
By Merrill Goozner and Merrill Goozner,Chicago Tribune | February 8, 1992
TOKYO -- Later this year, Japan will begin importing plutonium and constructing a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant that will combine to give this pacifist nation the world's largest stockpile of plutonium, the raw material for atomic weapons.The program, which officials here say has no military intentions, is expected to be completed early next century. It calls for the widespread use of plutonium-fueled nuclear reactors to meet Japan's fast-growing demand for electricity. The long-term Japanese goal is to reduce its dependence on Middle Eastern oil and uranium-producing nations like the United States.
NEWS
By JoAnna Daemmrich and JoAnna Daemmrich,SUN STAFF | September 24, 1997
The delegation: space scientists armed with charts and a model. The mission: to convince Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke that NASA's nuclear-powered voyage to Saturn will be safe.Five NASA and Department of Energy officials visited City Hall yesterday to reassure the mayor about the launch of the Cassini spacecraft that will be powered with 72 pounds of radioactive plutonium. They left vowing to update NASA's Web page.Twelve days ago, Schmoke grew nervous about the Cassini mission while reading about it on the Internet and wrote Vice President Al Gore asking him "to intervene to question NASA officials about the potentially harmful environmental impact."
NEWS
By Greg Miller and Greg Miller,Los Angeles Times | October 21, 2006
WASHINGTON -- U.S. intelligence officials and weapons proliferation experts say they are concerned that North Korea could add plutonium to the extensive inventory of weapons components and technologies from which it has sold to such nations as Syria, Pakistan and Libya. Because of North Korea's track record as an eager exporter of arms, some experts are more worried about Pyongyang spreading nuclear technology to other rogue nations than about the possibility of it launching a nuclear attack.
NEWS
By CHARLES D. FERGUSON AND SVEND SOEYLAND | February 20, 2006
WASHINGTON -- What do President Bush and the former director of Greenpeace International, Patrick Moore, have in common? They both back expansion of nuclear energy use. A growing number of prominent environmentalists are hopping on the nuclear bandwagon because of alarm about global warming. The process from uranium mining to nuclear power generation emits less greenhouse gases than conventional coal or oil-fired power generation. In his State of the Union address, Mr. Bush played to concerns about energy dependency and perhaps global warming by calling for more investment in "clean, safe nuclear energy."
NEWS
June 27, 2005
NATIONAL Bush plans plutonium productionThe Bush administration is planning the government's first production since the Cold War of plutonium 238, stirring debate over the risks and benefits of the deadly material. The hot substance, valued as a power source, is so radioactive that a speck can cause cancer. [Page 1a] Mad cow testing changes vowed A third and more sophisticated test on the beef cow suspected of having mad cow disease would have helped resolve conflicting results from two initial screenings, but the United States refused to perform it in November.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | June 27, 2005
The Bush administration is planning the government's first production of plutonium 238 since the Cold War, stirring debate over the risks and benefits of the deadly material. The hot substance, valued as a power source, is so radioactive that a speck can cause cancer. Federal officials say the program would produce 330 pounds over 30 years at the Idaho National Laboratory, a sprawling site outside Idaho Falls, about 100 miles to the west and upwind of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
NEWS
By Alissa J. Rubin and Alissa J. Rubin,LOS ANGELES TIMES | June 16, 2005
VIENNA, Austria - Investigators for the United Nations atomic watchdog agency said in a draft report to be made public today that Iran has acknowledged experimenting with plutonium more recently than was known previously and has yet to fill in crucial information about its efforts to obtain sophisticated centrifuges. Plutonium can be used to make atomic bombs. The centrifuges that Iran was attempting to acquire can be used to purify uranium for civilian purposes such as electricity generation, but also for the more intensive processing used to manufacture weapons-grade fuel.
NEWS
By Barbara Demick and Barbara Demick,LOS ANGELES TIMES | May 12, 2005
SEOUL, South Korea - Pushing its nuclear weapons program forward, North Korea announced yesterday that it had removed fuel rods from its main reactor in a key preparatory step for extracting weapons-grade plutonium. North Korea also said it intended to resume construction on two nuclear reactors that were mothballed under a now- defunct 1994 treaty with the United States. "Necessary measures to bolster its nuclear arsenal" is how North Korea referred to the moves in a statement attributed to an unnamed Foreign Ministry official and carried over the official news service.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | November 15, 1993
In 16 unremarkable concrete bunkers built by the Army for a war with Hirohito and Hitler, the United States has begun assembling about 50 tons of plutonium, a vast stockpile of one of the most expensive materials ever produced and perhaps the most important to safeguard. The Department of Energy says the bunkers, each about the size of a two-car garage, are going to be used for interim storage, meaning six or seven years.But plutonium, which was invented by the Energy Department's predecessor, the Manhattan Project, may turn out to be the hardest thing on Earth to dispose of. And at the Energy Department, "interim" can have an elastic meaning.
NEWS
By John E. Woodruff and John E. Woodruff,Tokyo Bureau | November 22, 1992
TOKYO -- Three decades ago, plutonium, the stuff nuclea bombs are made of, became the stuff industrial countries' wildest dreams were made of.Now it looks more and more as if Japan may be left alone in the dream. Its neighbors, and other countries further away, tend to see it as a nightmare.Used in just the right mixtures with exhausted uranium from older nuclear reactors, plutonium would actually turn spent fuels into more plutonium than was being burned. And the world would have seemingly limitless pollution-free electricity.
NEWS
By Leon V. Sigal | April 20, 2005
NORTH KOREA has just shut down its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon. Soon it will be able to extract the two bombs' worth or more of plutonium contained in its spent fuel and use it to make weapons. The only way for the Bush administration to stop that is to communicate directly and authoritatively to Pyongyang that it is ready to end enmity - by renouncing any attempt to attack or to overthrow the regime and by normalizing relations as the North eliminates its nuclear programs. As North Korea made clear in six-party talks in June, it is ready to freeze its plutonium program as a step to dismantling it. As part of the freeze, it said, it would put the five or six bombs' worth of plutonium it reprocessed last year back under inspection, ensuring that it would not be turned into bombs or sold to terrorists.
NEWS
By Daniel Poneman | August 10, 2004
TAKEN TOGETHER, the 9/11 commission report and the recent Senate Intelligence Committee report on Iraq teach us how incomplete intelligence can lead us to exaggerate some threats and miss others. This suggests that where the mists of uncertainty part to reveal an unambiguous threat to our national security, we must confront it squarely. We now face such an unambiguous threat from North Korea. How do we know? Because we have lost track of five to six atomic bombs' worth of plutonium there.
Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.