For those of you who follow South Korea’s interest in pyroprocessing spent nuclear fuel (or “recycling used fuel” as proponents are apt to say) Dick Stratford made an unusually straightforward comment at the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference that pyroprocessing is reprocessing.

Here is the full-text of Stratford’s reponse to a question by Daryl Kimball.  (You can listen to the full remark in the audio at 57:48):

DOE states, frankly and positively, that pyroprocessing is reprocessing. Period.  Full-stop.  They did not say that five years ago when we started down the road to cooperation on pyroprocessing.  Then the product was not weapons-usable.

But, electroreduction combined with electrorefining has moved to the point where the product is dangerous from a proliferation point of view. So for that reason, pyroprocessing is reprocessing  …

Stratford dropped a couple of other bombs during his remarks, including references to quiet DOE discussions with Mongolia that might lead to a 123 Agreement.  More on that tomorrow.