The Department of Energy's Offsite Source Recovery Project Joins International Efforts to Form the Global Threat Reduction Initiative


J. P. Grimm, M. W. Pearson


2004 has been an important year for domestic efforts to recover excess and unwanted radioactive sealed sources in the United States. In June, the Offsite Source Recovery (OSR) Project topped the 10,000 mark for numbers of actinide-bearing sealed sources recovered for safe and secure storage. More significantly, the project has expanded its efforts into additional radionuclides. In January, the project recovered more than 60,000 Ci of Sr--90 from a commercial storage facility in Houston, Texas. This material had concerned homeland security officials in advance of last winter's Superbowl. The OSR Project additionally funded its first recovery of Cs-137 and Co-60 sources. Commercial contractors safely removed nearly 500 of these sources from a bankrupt and abandoned Pennsylvania facility. In another action, Cs-137 irradiators were removed from two high schools in the New York City area. Most of these sources will be disposed of or recycled. These changes to the project have occurred as a result of its inclusion in the Department of Energy's Global Threat Reduction Initiative announced in March 2004 by Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham. This project oversees a number of government efforts to increase security for radiological materials and facilities not only in the United States, but also in nearly 40 cooperating countries around the world. The projects are also addressing return of spent nuclear fuel from research and test reactors and replacing older fuel in operating reactors with lower-enrichment fuel.


This abstract was presented at the 38th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Materials Control and Security: Risk Assessment, Handling, and Detection", Source Security and Monitoring Programs Session, 2/13/2005 - 2/16/2005, held in New Orleans, LA.

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