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Watts Bar 2 to Start Weapons Tritium Production When Current Refueling Outage Wraps
When the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear reactor reactivates from a refueling outage that started Oct. 26, it will begin producing tritium for nuclear weapons for the first time, a National Nuclear Security Administration spokesperson said Monday. The specialized rods will start producing yield-boosting gas for nuclear weapons during Watts Bar Unit 2’s Cycle 4. Watts Bar Unit 1 already makes tritium and is on its 17th fuel cycle. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) loaded Watts Bar Unit 1 was loaded with 1,792 tritium producing burnable absorber rods for its current cycle; Unit 2 is supposed to get 900 rods for its first tritium-producing cycle, according to…
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New Mexico Biding its Time With Permits for LANL Tritium Venting
The state of New Mexico last week was noncommittal about when it might approve a pair of permits the Los Alamos National Laboratory needs to vent tritium gas into the atmosphere. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the venting,…
Weapons Complex Monitor
Pandemic Numbers Continue Surge at Nuclear Cleanup Sites
There are 194 active cases of COVID-19 across the Department of Energy’s nuclear cleanup complex as of Thursday. The number represents an increase of 53 over the 141 active cases a week ago, a DOE Office of Environmental Management (EM)…
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RadWaste Monitor
Biden Transition Announcements Largely Skirt Nuclear Power, Waste Issues
President-elect Joe Biden unveiled his transition team this week, and though the landing team bound for the Department of Energy was 20 deep and stacked with nuclear-savvy ex-DOEers, the announcement revealed little about the incoming chief-executive’s thinking on nuclear waste…
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Final Solicitation for Y-12, Pantex Contact Drops; Senate Questions Lack of Competition for DOE, NNSA Contracts
The same day the National Nuclear Security Administration requested proposals for a potentially decades-long contract to run two of its three major nuclear weapons production sites, Senate appropriators asked why there is so little competition for such contracts at the…
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