The design and evaluation of an international plutonium storage system
Design and evaluation of an IPSS
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Nuclear Engineering.
Richard K. Lester and John M. Deutch.
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To address the proliferation risk of separated plutonium, a technical and institutional design of an international plutonium storage system (IPSS) is presented. The IPSS is evaluated from two perspectives: its ability to address the proliferation risk of excess civilian inventories, and its ability to reduce the threat from excess Russian military plutonium. A systems dynamic model of global plutonium inventories projects a capacity requirement for an IPSS of 450 to 600 MT. A conceptual design of a representative 100 MT storage facility was shown to meet criticality safety requirements for a range of operational and accident scenarios. From an institutional perspective, a hybrid organizational structure drawing on rganizational features of the United Nations Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency is proposed as a model for system participation and governance. For political and nonproliferation reasons, a multiple-site arrangement for the IPSS is recommended. The following locations are identified as potential IPSS sites: Savannah River (U.S.), Mayak (Russia), La Hague (France), and Rokkasho (Japan). A set of rules governing material ownership and release conditions is also proposed. Intrinsic barriers to the proliferation of plutonium of the type envisioned by the "spent fuel standard" will not be achieved for many years. In the meantime, primary reliance must be placed on extrinsic barriers.(cont.) The effectiveness of an IPSS would derive mainly from the extrinsic (institutional) barriers to proliferation it would provide. An IPSS would significantly enhance the proliferation resistance of global plutonium inventories. Several hurdles to IPSS implementation are identified, and a proposal for implementing the IPSS in Russia is described. The total life-cycle cost of an IPSS is estimated at $9 billion (in 2000 dollars). The cost to the U.S. of addressing the excess military plutonium problem with an IPSS strategy is estimated at $2.9 billion, or $4.2 billion if the U.S. covers Russian costs as well. Several financing options are identified. A lifetime-levelized plutonium storage fee of ~$900/kg-year would be sufficient to recover the full life-cycle cost of the IPSS.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Nuclear Engineering, 2001.Includes bibliographical references (p. 246-250).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Nuclear Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology