All HEU removed from Hungary

The U.S. Department of Energy announced today that it completed removal of all highly-enriched uranium from Hungary. The operation was a cooperative project that also involved Hungary, Russia, and IAEA. According to NNSA, "The final 49.2 kilograms of remaining HEU in Hungary were removed over a series of three secure air shipments during the past six weeks and transported to Russia." In addition, NNSA reports that 190 kg of HEU was removed from Hungary in three earlier shipments - in 2008, 2009, and 2012.

The material removed from Hungary was HEU in fresh and spent fuel of the Budapest Research Reactor at Hungary's KFKI Atomic Energy Research Institute, also known as VVR-SZM. The reactor used HEU fuel with 36% enrichment, but it was converted to LEU in 2009. According to the Russian company Sosny, the 2008 shipment included 154.5 kg of HEU in spent fuel (other source says it was 130.26 kg HEU with 26.50 kg U-235, original enrichment of the fuel 36% U-235, as well as about 100 kg of LEU spent fuel). The 2009 shipment reportedly included 18 kg of HEU (most likely in fresh fuel). The 2012 shipment was described as "ZR-4" fresh fuel - probably fuel elements of the zero power reactor critical assembly. According to IAEA, the 2009 and 2012 shipments transferred 35.4 kg of fresh HEU fuel. The 2013 shipment included spent fuel that was sent to RT-1 reprocessing facility at the Mayak Plant.

As a result of the operation, Hungary became the 27th country to completely remove all its HEU.

NNSA posted a photo set and a video account (Part 1, Part 2) of the operation.