• United States



by Paul Kerstein

U.S. to Produce More Plutonium for Spacecraft and Security

Jun 28, 20051 min
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Reaffirming a previous decision, the U.S. Energy Departmentwill resume production of plutonium-238 as an energy source for spacecraft andsome national security issues, which have not been disclosed at this time. Whilenot used for nuclear weapons, P-238’s steady release of heat during decay makesit a valuable source to produce electricity in spacecraft and satellites thatcan’t rely on the sun for energy. The Washington Post reports that the decisionwas made because current stocks will be depleted by 2010. The Energy Departmentalso plans to consolidate production activities at the government’s IdahoNational Laboratory to increase security. Read more.