In addition to the induced fusion experiments, the Soviet scientists have undertaken searches of natural mineral samples for evidence of transuranic
elements that may exist in nature.
The academy found that it would take many decades or even centuries to significantly reduce the net amount of transuranic
Held in slowly deteriorating metal, wooden and fiberglass boxes and metal drums, the waste includes tools, rags, clothing, sludge and dirt--anything contaminated with a transuranic
element, such as plutonium.
According to the GAO report, NNSA removed about 79 per cent of the transuranic
waste at Los Alamos by last July but the remaining 21 per cent includes buried waste, which officials say will be the most difficult and expensive to address.
They use specially designed casks to carry transuranic
material on Interstate 20 through Texas and then to their final destination in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
One of the largest ripple effects of the WIPP shutdown is being felt at Idaho National Laboratory's desert site, where steel drums filled with transuranic
waste are piling up.
The Russian uranium enrichment enterprise Angarsk Electrolysis Chemical Combine (AECC) admitted at a public hearing in early December that radioactive waste containing uranium, transuranic
elements, and uranium fission products are in storage at its "Site 310." But with no detailed plan about what to do next with the waste, the facility and the waste's future remains under debate.