140 kilograms of former weapons-grade plutonium arrived at the COGEMA-La Hague plant today at 12 a.m. after being shipped from Charleston (South Carolina, United States) to Cherbourg (France) on board a UK-registered ship dedicated to the transport of nuclear materials, the Pacific Pintail.

At COGEMA-La Hague, the material will be transferred from a maritime transport container to a road container. The plutonium will then leave for the COGEMA-Cadarache site.

This operation is part of a program being implemented by the United States Department Of Energy (USDOE) and the Russian Federation for the disposition of former nuclear weapons-grade plutonium, by using it in reactors to generate electricity. The program starts with the manufacturing of four MOX (Mixed Oxyde) fuel assemblies in France, in order to qualify this fuel in the United States.

The plutonium necessary for the fabrication of the four assemblies is shipped in casks that comply with the regulation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It is transported under the strongest safety and security measures.

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