Unmaking the Bomb: A Fissile Material Approach to Nuclear Disarmament and Nonproliferation

Max-von-Laue-Vortrag auf der Jahrestagung der DPG 2015 in Berlin

We, 18.03.2015 18:00  –   We, 18.03.2015 19:00
Frank von Hippel, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA
TU Berlin
Hauptgebäude, Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin
H 0105
Event partner:
TU Berlin
Contact person:
Götz Neuneck,
DPG Association:
Working Group on Physics and Disarmament (AGA)  
External Link:


The number of operational nuclear weapons in the world has dropped from about 65,000 at the end of the Cold war to about 10,000 and can be driven much lower. But we have a huge amount of highly enriched uranium and separated plutonium from these dismantled Cold War nuclear weapons and from failed civilian plutonium breeder reactor commercialization programs. To make nuclear disarmament irreversible and prevent nuclear terrorism, all this material must be secured and disposed of. We also must abandon the idea of using a nuclear-weapon-usable material as a fuel * that is plutonium in power reactors and highly enriched uranium in naval-propulsion and research reactors. Fortunately, using plutonium as a fuel is uneconomic and research and naval reactors can be designed to use low-enriched uranium. Finally, we must move away from ambiguous national enrichment programs like Iran*s to multinational enrichment programs such as Urenco.