Safer Uranium Fuel Change for MIT's Nuclear Reactor Delayed

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Dec. 29 (UPI) — The nuclear reactor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology won’t be converted to a safer fuel for at least five years, authorities said.

The university’s 50-year-old reactor is to be switched from highly enriched uranium to low enriched uranium, which cannot be used to make nuclear weapons.

The safer fuel, however, will require at least five years for design and testing to ensure it provides the same performance as the current fuel, said David Moncton, who oversees the reactor.

The delay in converting the university’s reactor could be used as a reason for countries to delay converting reactors of their own, The Boston Globe reported Tuesday.

The United States has been pressuring other Iran and other countries to switch to low enriched uranium to prevent the spread of atomic weapons.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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