The Military Significance of Small Uranium Enrichment Facilities Fed with Low-Enrichment Uranium

by Victor Gilinsky, William E. Hoehn

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The production and stockpiling of highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons is of high importance for the United States. The improved prospects of producing uranium in an enrichment facility for foreign commercial development by non-nuclear countries is significant and being discussed for military awareness.

The United States Atomic Energy Commission is permitting foreign nations to stockpile slightly enriched uranium up to a five-year plan and, as the authors note, amending this plan would only intensify the "security-of-supply" concern. The elimination of easy, high production methods could serve as a substantial deterrent to countries attempting to make nuclear weapons.

The global uranium and nuclear weapons issue is complex, and maintaining control on the spread of the related technology in cooperation with allies should be a high-priority for the United States.

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