Argonne National Laboratory
Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors
Nuclear Science and Engineering Division at Argonne
U.S. Department of Energy

Home  :: 2005 International RERTR Meeting Program  :: Related Documents

Abstracts and Available Papers Presented at the
2005 International RERTR Meeting

About the Enrichment Limit for Research Reactor Conversion : Why 20%?

Alexander Glaser
Program on Science and Global Security
Princeton University


This paper reviews the rationale of selecting an enrichment of just less than 20% (low-enriched uranium) as the preferred enrichment level for research reactor fuel in order to minimize overall proliferation risks. The net strategic value of the nuclear material associated with reactor operation is evaluated for a variety of enrichment levels, ranging from slightly enriched to weapongrade fuel. To quantify the proliferation potential, both the demand of fresh uranium fuel as well as the plutonium buildup in the irradiated fuel are estimated via cell burnup calculations. The analysis confirms the usefulness of the current enrichment limit and challenges a recent trend to reconsider fuel enrichment levels between 20% and 50% for new research reactor projects.

PDF version available
DOWNLOAD full paper in PDF format.

Dr. Jordi Roglans-Ribas
Technical Director, RERTR Department
Nuclear Engineering Division 362
Argonne National Laboratory
9700 South Cass Avenue
Argonne, IL 60439
Fax:  +1 630-252-5161

2016 RERTR Meeting

The 2016 International RERTR Meeting (RERTR-2016) will take place in Belgium. Stay tuned for further details.

2015 RERTR Meeting

The 2015 International RERTR Meeting (RERTR-2015) took place in Seoul, Korea on Oct. 11-14, 2015.
For more information visit RERTR-2015.


ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY, Nuclear Engineering Division, RERTR Department
9700 South Cass Ave., Argonne, IL 60439-4814
A U.S. Department of Energy laboratory managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC

Last modified on July 29, 2008 11:33 +0200