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Nuclear Safeguards Education Portal

Direct use material

Nuclear material that can be used for the manufacture of nuclear explosive devices without transmutation or further enrichment. It includes plutonium containing less than 80% 238Pu, high enriched uranium and 233U. Chemical compounds, mixtures of direct use materials (e.g., mixed oxide (MOX)), and plutonium in spent reactor fuel fall into this category. Unirradiated direct use material is direct use material which does not contain substantial amounts of fission products; it would require less time and effort to be converted to components of nuclear explosive devices than irradiated direct use material (e.g., plutonium in spent reactor fuel) that contains substantial amounts of fission products.