VT Nuclear Education: Explosive Properties of Reactor Grade Plutonium (docs)

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By Jeff Smith with Gordon Duff

The following discussion focuses on the question of whether a terrorist organization or a threshold state could make use of plutonium recovered from light-water-reactor fuel to construct a nuclear explosive device having a significantly damaging yield.

Questions persist in some nonproliferation policy circles as to whether a bomb could be made from reactor-grade plutonium of high burn-up, and if so, whether the task would be too difficult for a threshold state or terrorist group to consider.

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