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Charge to the Panel At the request of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Academy of Sciences formed In fall 1998, under the auspices of its Com- mittee on International Security and Arms Control (CISAC), a Panel to Review the Spent-Fuel Standard for Disposition of Excess Weapons Plu- tonium. Under its charge, the Panel was to (1) amplify and clarify the "spent-fuel standard" introduced in CISAC's 1994 and 1995 reports on the disposition of excess weap- ons plutonium2 as the criterion for judging the adequacy of resis- tance to theft and proliferation conferred by the intrinsic charac- teristics of the Anal plutonium form produced by a disposition option; and (2) use the results of (1) to determine whether the final plutonium forms produced by the two primary-candidate disposition options currently being pursued by DOE under the "dual-track" approach "can-in-canister" immobilization of the plutonium together with high level radioactive wastes and once-through irradiation of the 2These studies were: Committee on International Security and Arms Control, National Academy of Sciences, Management and Disposition of Excess Weapons Plutonium, Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1994, 275 pp. (hereinafter CISAC, 1994~; and Panel on Reactor-Related Options, Committee on International Security and Arms Control, National Academy of Sciences, Management and Disposition of Excess Weapons Plutonium: Reactor- Related Options, Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1995, 408 pp. (hereinafter CISAC, 1995). 5
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6 SPENT-FUEL STANDARD FOR DISPOSITION OF EXCESS WEAPON PLUTONIUM plutonium in mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel in commercial light-water or Canadian deuterium-uranium (CANDU) reactors meet this standard. The Panel was not asked to address the proliferation and theft resistance of the steps that lead, under these disposition options, to the final plutonium forms, nor was it asked to address issues related to geo- logic disposal or interim storage of these final forms except insofar as the properties of the final forms under such disposal or storage relate to assessing compliance with the spent-fuel standard. Neither was the Panel asked to address compliance of final plutonium forms other than those of the two primary-candidate disposition options currently being pursued by DOE.3 The consequent omission from consideration of other final forms, including some that have been proposed since the earlier CISAC reports on plutonium disposition, does not reflect any judgment by the Panel about whether these forms would meet the standard. The Panel provided an Interim Report to DOE in July 1999, conveying preliminary findings relating mainly to the "can-in-canister" approach to plutonium immobilization and, more specifically, to the variant of this approach described in the documents and briefings made available to the Panel in the first part of 1999. The Final Report provided here updates and expands those preliminary findings in a number of respects, including consideration of the next iteration of DOE's can-in-canister design, fur- ther attention to MOX options, and expanded argumentation in support of the Panel's conclusions. i: 3The complete charge to the Panel may be found in Appendix A.