Nuclear Strategy and Arms ControlNuclear proliferation

Nuclear proliferation

Belgian Reactor 2, seen from above during operation, requires highly enriched uranium. Credit: SCK•CEN

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved the export to Belgium of nuclear fuel assemblies containing 144 kg of weapons-grade uranium, despite the objections of a nuclear nonproliferation activist. The 17 February decision will permit the largest export of US weapons-grade material in five years—enough uranium enriched to 93.3% 235U to fashion at least five nuclear weapons. The export license had been held up by a petition filed with the NRC in August 2016 by Alan Kuperman, a professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.