The Energy Department says it will import about 20 tons of nuclear waste from research reactors in 41 countries to prevent the weapons-grade material from being used for bombs.
Much of the material comes from Europe, with lesser amounts from Australia, Asia and South America. It includes about five tons of highly enriched uranium that could be extracted from spent nuclear fuel and used to produce nuclear weapons.Over the past 40 years the fuel was sent overseas by the United States for medical and research purposes. Now the used fuel is building up and foreign countries want the United States to take it back for disposal.
The Energy Department said Monday it will take 13 years to import all the waste.