Gregory S. Jones, “Reactor-Grade Plutonium and Nuclear Weapons: Ending the Debate.”  This article in The Nonproliferation Review was first published on-line May 9, 2019.  The article is a somewhat updated version of my book on reactor-grade plutonium and demonstrates that by using a reduced mass core, a country can manufacture reliable nuclear weapons with reactor-grade plutonium.  These weapons can have the same design, size, weight and predetonation probability as weapons using weapon-grade plutonium and would require no special cooling.  The article can be obtained here.  Non-subscribers will need to pay a fee to access the article.  The article’s technical appendix describes in detail my calculations of the predetonation probability of nuclear weapons using reactor-grade plutonium.  My methodology allows, for the first time, accurate calculation of the predetonation probability and yield of unboosted implosion weapons using reactor-grade plutonium.  The appendix can be downloaded for free here

Book Publication, April 16, 2018, Reactor-Grade Plutonium and Nuclear Weapons: Exploding the Myths, by Gregory S. Jones.  This book uses publicly available, unclassified information to debunk the persistent fallacy that reactor-grade plutonium cannot be used to build reliable nuclear weapons.  This belief has long been held by a segment of the nuclear power industry determined to use plutonium as reactor fuel despite its highly uneconomical nature.  Further, this mistaken belief has made it possible for many non-nuclear weapon states to readily acquire reactor-grade plutonium.  Such countries would find it difficult to obtain weapon-grade plutonium, as Syria found out in 2007 when Israel bombed its partially-completed plutonium production reactor. 
 The book shows that nuclear weapons can be manufactured using reactor-grade plutonium that have the same predetonation probability, size and weight as nuclear weapons using weapon-grade plutonium.  In addition to technical analysis, the book describes how Sweden and Pakistan planned to use reactor-grade plutonium for their nuclear weapons programs and how India may be planning to do so today.  This work also details how the U.S. successfully tested a nuclear weapon using what was truly reactor-grade plutonium in 1962.  All of this leads to the recommendation for bans on plutonium recycling in non-nuclear weapon states and on reprocessing globally.  To read a full pdf of the book click here.  Hard copies of the book can be purchased from Amazon


Gregory S. Jones, "What Was the Pu-240 Content of the Plutonium Used in the U.S. 1962 Nuclear Test of Reactor-Grade Plutonium?,"  May 6, 2013.  There have been many assertions that the plutonium used in this nuclear test was not truly reactor-grade but only fuel-grade.  However, an examination of the historical evidence shows that it was indeed reactor-grade.  To read a pdf of the full paper click here.