Cover: Controlling the Flow of Weapon-Usable Fissile Materials

Controlling the Flow of Weapon-Usable Fissile Materials

by Brian G. Chow, Kenneth A. Solomon

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Abstract

This research brief describes work documented in Limiting the Spread of Weapon-Usable Fissile Materials (MR-346-USDP).

Excerpt: Since 1991, the world has worried that fissile materials from dismantled nuclear warheads will fall into the wrong hands. Although fears that military leftovers might be diverted and refashioned into nuclear weapons are well justified, little attention has been focused on a possibly more serious threat: the spread of weapon-usable plutonium separated from the spent fuel of civilian nuclear reactors. In Limiting the Spread of Weapon-Usable Fissile Materials, authors Brian G. Chow and Kenneth A. Solomon take an expansive view of the proliferation threat. They recommend a bold course of action for controlling the flow of weapon-usable fissile materials[1] from both civilian and military sources.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research brief series. RAND research briefs present policy-oriented summaries of individual published, peer-reviewed documents or of a body of published work.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.