All HEU removed from Chile

NNSA successfully completed removal of all HEU from Chile (AP report, ABC report, via Atomic City Underground). The shipment, which left Chile shortly after the March 27, 2010 earthquake, included fresh and spent HEU fuel from two research reactors. The material was transported by ship from Valparaiso to the Naval Weapons Station in Charleston, SC and from there to the Y-12 National Security Complex (fresh fuel) and to the Savannah River Site (spent fuel). 

According to the reports, all HEU is now removed from Chile, making it the 18th country cleared of HEU with U.S. assistance. Previous shipments of HEU from there took place in September 1996 and in January 2001.

UPDATE 04/09/10: NNSA published a press-release and a photo set about the shipment (there is a video account as well). According to NNSA, it worked together with the Chilean Commission of Nuclear Energy (CCHEN). The shipment included "13.6 kilograms of HEU spent fuel from [the RECH-1 reactor at] the La Reina Nuclear Center in downtown Santiago, Chile, along with 4.3 kilograms of slightly irradiated HEU and 0.3 kilograms of fresh fuel from [the RECH-2 reactor at] the Lo Aguirre Nuclear Center located 40 km west of Santiago, and more than 400 U.S.-origin radiological sources."

The shipment also included some non-U.S.-origin HEU (from the RECH-1 and RECH-2 research reactors). According to NNSA, this was made possible by a Record of Decision signed by NNSA Administrator D'Agostino in January 2009. (See also GTRI plan regrading "gap" material).