October 28, 1989 |
The Energy Department said Friday that it has suspended commercial shipments of tritium, a radioactive gas used primarily in nuclear weapons, because small quantities are missing. But an official called the action "no big deal" and suggested that shipments may be resumed next week. Spokesman Phil Keif said that a review of the matter is "pretty well over" and that Energy Secretary James D.
February 3, 1989 |
Failure to restart tritium gas production this year at the government's Savannah River, S. C., weapons plant eventually could impair the nation's nuclear arsenal, a top Energy Department official said Thursday. But his testimony suggested that the problem is less immediate than some officials had indicated earlier. Troy E.
December 23, 1988
Despite fresh obstacles to restarting nuclear weapons reactors at the government's Savannah River Plant in South Carolina, the United States does not face a shortage of perishable tritium gas that could imperil the nation's nuclear force, Energy Secretary John S. Herrington said. Herrington said that he foresees no need to "cannibalize" tritium from some weapons to keep others in working order, as some officials have suggested might be necessary.
August 31, 1989 |
The Energy Department has decided after a lengthy review to recommend restarting a troubled South Carolina nuclear reactor in July, 1990, so it can resume production of tritium, a vital component of nuclear weapons, government sources said Wednesday. The new timetable means that operation of the tritium-producing reactor at Savannah River will be delayed at least six months beyond the target previously set by the department. But Energy Secretary James D.
October 18, 1988 |
Despite the shutdown of all three of its weapons production reactors for safety reasons, the government has sufficient supplies of tritium, a key fuel in thermonuclear weapons, to meet current defense needs at least until 1990, according to federal officials and independent analysts.
February 25, 1991 |
The Energy Department has enough of the vital radioactive gas tritium to meet its nuclear weapons production requirements for several years and can substantially slow the timetable for restarting a reactor that produces the gas in Savannah River S.C., a study by the General Accounting Office says.