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Material Security and Counterproliferation

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The Material Security and Counterproliferation (MSC) Group provides research and development (R&D) technical support to several organizations, with an emphasis on nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and missile applications. Members have hands-on expertise in technical support, design, and analysis of nuclear fuel cycle technologies, including special emphasis in uranium enrichment technologies, fuel fabrication, reactor operations, and used nuclear fuel reprocessing.

The MSC Group is comprised of four specialized teams.

The Domestic Export Control Team provides R&D and technical support to the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) in efforts to control and reverse the international proliferation of nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile (NCBM) technologies and programs that may support weapons research, development, and/or production.

The International Export Control Team provides international and US capacity building in export controls plus selected border security and counterterrorism in support of the United Nations mandate that member states enforce effective measures against the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.

The Plutonium Management Team supports NNSA in the placement of surplus Russian plutonium from the closeout of the Gas-Turbine Modular Gas Reactor Project. The team also assists NNSA and DOE Office of Nuclear Energy efforts in international plutonium management under various working groups between the United States and international partners. The team also leads ORNL’s activities for NNSA Office of Nuclear Counterterrorism, including material attractiveness work and international outreach.

The Emerging Threats Team directly supports NNSA in the safe removal of highly enriched uranium (HEU) fresh and spent fuel from US, Russian, and Chinese-supplied research reactors by packaging it for transport to an appropriate processing site. ORNL’s Mobile Uranium Facility (MUF) stands ready as a US resource to characterize, process, package, and transport uranium materials anywhere in the world.