All highly-enriched uranium removed from Vietnam

At a joint press event during the International Conference on Nuclear Security in Vienna, Russia, the United States, and Vietnam announced that they completed removal of all highly-enriched uranium from Vietnam.

The material in question is HEU in spent fuel of the research reactor at the Nuclear Research Institute in Dalat, which has been using LEU fuel since 2011. It used 36% enriched HEU fuel since 1983 (see the earlier post for the history of the reactor). According to the announcement, the total amount of HEU removed from the reactor site since 2007 is 16 kg. Given that 4.3 kg of fresh HEU fuel was removed in 2007, the most recent shipments contained about 12 kg of HEU.

UPDATE 07/03/2013: According to the NNSA press release, the shipment contained 11 kg of HEU. Container with the material was driven from the Dalat research center to Bien Hoa Air Force Base, where it was loaded on an An-124 cargo plane to be flown to Russia. NNSA released photo and video accounts of the operation.

Vietnam became the 26th country that had their HEU removed, leaving 31 country with more than 1 kg of HEU on their territory.