Global inventories of highly enriched uranium are continuing to gradually decline as global norms against civilian use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) solidify.
Global HEU inventories have decreased by 3,000 kilograms since 2019 and 150,000 kilograms (10%) since 2015. More than 1.3 million kilograms remain. (See Figure 3a.)
The number of HEU facilities across the world has declined steadily, from 131 in 2007 to 85 in 2022, with 2 HEU facilities converting or shutting down since 2020. (See Figures 3b and 3c.)
Countries and areas should codify norms against civilian HEUuse through clear political commitments, laws, or regulations. Doing so will cement the progress of the past several decades and protect against future backsliding.
Countries with existing HEU facilities should accelerate efforts to develop low-enriched uranium (LEU) alternatives and eliminate excess HEU inventories, including those associated with facilities that were shut down years ago.
Countries that use HEU naval propulsion need to engage in serious efforts to move toward LEU alternatives. China and France have demonstrated the technical feasibility of using LEU to fuel their submarines.