In 1996, the Department of Energy pledged to publish a comprehensive report entitled "Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU): The First 50 Years."The report was in fact completed in 1997 and formally declassified earlier this year, but it is still being withheld by DOE.
The HEU report, originally requested by the Secretary of Energy in February 1996, describes the history of US production, disposition, and inventories of highly enriched uranium.
"This report will provide assistance to worldwide nonproliferation efforts," according to a 1997 DOE statement, by promoting increased transparency and accountability. "It will also assist regulators in environmental, health, and safety matters at domestic sites where this material is stored or buried."
Yet for no valid reason, and despite its legal obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, DOE has still failed to disclose the 1997 report, which by now is four years out of date.No explanation for the continued withholding of the document could be elicited from a DOE spokesman.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom has surpassed the United States in transparency on this front.In 1998, the UK disclosed its total stockpiles of uranium and plutonium in an unclassified memorandum to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
United Kingdom is the first State among Nuclear Weapon States ... to take
this step," the memo stated.See the text of the memo in IAEA Information
Circular (INFCIRC) 570, dated 21 September 1998, here:
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