Chile commits to global security and hands over enriched uranium

The Chilean Government sent its reserves of highly enriched uranium (HEU) to the United States, which is spearheading a campaign to prevent the material’s use to make weapons.

Enriched uranium
Uranium is considered one of the most dangerous materials in the world

Uranium is considered one of the most dangerous materials in the world. You only need 25 kg of this radioactive element to build a bomb capable of destroying an entire city. Given this threat, Chile decided to hand over its reserves of highly enriched uranium (HEU) to the United States, which will dispose of them.

The Chilean measure anticipates the US campaign that US President Barack Obama will lead during the Nuclear Security Summit that will be held on 12-13 April in Washington and will be attended by the leaders of 47 countries from around the world, including Chilean President Sebastián Piñera.

At the meeting Obama will ask the presidents of other countries to hand over their HEU stockpiles so they can be taken to safe places and in that way prevent them from falling into the hands of terrorist groups.

Storing HEU safely requires experts, expensive technology, and years of planning and the United States is the only country that fulfills these requirements. In fact, the country has helped to convert or verify the closure of 67 nuclear reactors in 32 countries.

Meanwhile in Chile, Fernando López, director of the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission, CCHEN, considered the initiative positive. “I am happy that we got rid of this,” López said.

In addition, he added the importance of having gotten rid of the waste, especially because the material had accumulated and is dangerous. “Putting it in a safe place will benefit everybody. We want a safer world,” the expert stated.

This post is also available in Spanish