10% of US nuclear energy comes from recycled Soviet nuclear weapons.
When explained, it seems much less out there. What it basically comes down to is that the uranium and plutonium used in nuclear weapons can be used for energy. The uranium and plutonium in nuclear weapons are very high enriched, and as a result can be used in fuel for electricity production.
What’s good about this is that the uranium from weapons stockpiles is taking the place of 10,600 tons of uranium production from mines every year. This significantly reduces the amount of labor and mining going in to producing energy.
The reason why we have so much available to recycle is because back in 1987, the United States and USSR agreed to reduce their nuclear arsenals by about 80%. This resulted in a surplus of uranium and plutonium, both of which were repurposed for commercial energy in nuclear reactors.
Uranium was, for three decades, a high focus of concern on the idea that uranium meant for power could be used in weapons. Today, however, uranium’s biggest role is as a major source of fuel for nuclear power.
Presently, there is about 2,000 tons of uranium in US and Russian weapons, which is about twelve times the annual amount produced in mines. So at the end of the day, it’s good that materials produced for war are instead being used to power our world.