Y-12 makes the world safer

Posted: February 7, 2013 - 6:55pm | Y-12 Report | Volume 9, Issue 2 | 2013

Supports the nation's deterrence policy.

Y-12 manufactures complex weapons components, safeguards and stores special nuclear materials, and ensures a safe and reliable nuclear deterrent. Every weapon in the nation's nuclear arsenal has components made, maintained or dismantled at Y-12.

Secures other nations' vulnerable nuclear materials.

Y-12 has retrieved and secured vulnerable nuclear materials from more than 20 countries, often in secret. Y-12 then securely stores this material and makes it available for non-weapon-related uses. When the material is in Y-12's hands, it's not in terrorists' hands.

Converts former nuclear weapons for peaceful purposes.

Y-12 has downblended enough highly enriched uranium from former nuclear weapons to power all U.S. residences for more than 300 days. The energy produced from this former weapons material has eliminated the need to ship and burn more than 800 tankers full of oil, or 3.5 million railcar loads of coal.

Trains first responders to better protect nuclear materials.

Y-12 uses its unique facilities, equipment and know-how to train response professionals from around the nation and world to safeguard nuclear materials. In the past two years, Y-12 has trained more than 2,000 law enforcement, emergency response and military personnel in real-world scenarios.

Solves global security challenges through Nuclear detection and forensics.

Y-12 has developed expertise in performance-testing nuclear detection technologies and in the forensics of tracing nuclear materials to their source, key components of protecting the world against nuclear terrorism. Y-12 is home to the nation's archive of uranium samples and data for identifying nuclear evidence.

Provides safer fuel for the world's research reactors.

Since 1996 Y-12 has downblended approximately 4.5 metric tons of weapons-grade uranium for use as research reactor fuel, targets for medical isotope production or advanced material studies in research reactors around the world. This downblended uranium, no longer weapons usable, is not an attractive target to terrorists.