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Civilian HEU: Russia

  • VVR-c Reactor, Karpov VVR-c Reactor, Karpov
    Karpov Scientific Research Institute of Physics and Chemistry
  • Hot cells at the Karpov Scientific Research Institute of Physics and Chemistry Hot cells at the Karpov Scientific Research Institute of Physics and Chemistry
    Karpov Scientific Research Institute of Physics and Chemistry
  • The BARS-6 Pulsed Reactor, Obninsk The BARS-6 Pulsed Reactor, Obninsk
    The Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (IPPE), Obninsk
  • SSM Reactor, SRIAR, Dimitrovgrad SSM Reactor, SRIAR, Dimitrovgrad
    All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Atomic Reactors, Dimitrovgrad

Russia is estimated to hold the world's second largest stocks of civilian HEU, after the United States. [1] Moscow operates over fifty research reactors, pulsed reactors and critical assemblies using highly enriched uranium (HEU), as well as five HEU-fueled icebreakers. [2] Individual Russian institutes and organizations participate in international programs to replace HEU with LEU in Soviet-supplied research reactors abroad, develop alternative fuels, and repatriate fresh and spent HEU fuel from third countries. Russia had taken no significant steps towards reducing the domestic use of HEU until 2010, when it announced the shutdown of several reactors, and agreed to a joint study with Washington into the feasibility of converting six Russian research reactors from HEU to LEU-based fuels. [3] However, Russia announced in 2012 that the Electrochemical Plant in Zelenogorsk (EKhZ) was preparing to produce HEU, and in 2013 Russia declared it would sell HEU to France. [4] Moscow remains torn between the commercial benefits of HEU and its political and security costs.

HEU Official Policy

During a February 2005 U.S.-Russian meeting in Bratislava, Moscow committed to the removal of Soviet-origin fresh and spent HEU fuel from research reactors outside Russia. Washington was unable to convince its Moscow to initiate the conversion of its domestic research reactors. [5] Russia's historic hesitancy appeared to be linked to the potential cost of reactor conversion, and the lack of an overarching plan for the future of Russia's research reactor fleet. In addition, Russian officials seemed to believe that the threat of terrorists acquiring HEU for the purpose of fabricating an improvised nuclear device was not very high. [6] Some Russian researchers also claimed that HEU fuel provided technical advantages. This argument was often voiced by reactor operators in other countries 30 years ago, but has lost support as the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) program has gained momentum.

At a July 2009 summit with President Obama in Moscow, President Medvedev made a commitment to conduct feasibility studies into the conversion of reactors in Russia. The joint statement issued by Presidents Obama and Medvedev read: "we note the importance of HEU minimization in civilian applications and support such efforts to the maximum extent possible, where feasible." [7] This suggested that Moscow would move to convert its reactors after the completion of the feasibility studies, as LEU fuel for the types of reactors being studied had already been developed to convert Soviet-supplied reactors abroad. [In February 2010, the NNSA verified the shutdown of three reactors-the PhS-4, PhS-5, and STRELA.] A December 2010 meeting between U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman and Rosatom Director General Sergei Kiriyenko led them to sign an official agreement to conduct feasibility studies on six Russian research reactors. As of July 2013, all six feasibility studies have been completed, and Rosatom and the Department of Energy are in negotiations for a possible expansion of the cooperation agreement. [8]

The six reactors covered by the agreement in question are:

The ARGUS reactor should be converted to LEU use by 2014, under a contract announced in September 2012. [10] Russia officially announced in 2012 a domestic plan to convert Russian research reactors to LEU, and also initiated a feasibility study for the conversion of the WWR-TS reactor at Karpov Institute. [11] Russia, unlike other countries involved in HEU conversion work, has expressed interest in funding these conversions. [12] This likely reflects Moscow's desire for an independent policy vis-à-vis the United States in nuclear matters. [13]

Stockpile Overview

Russia holds the largest stock of HEU in the world. The International Panel on Fissile Materials estimates the current total stock to be approximately 695 metric tons (MT). [14] The majority of Russian HEU is in the military stockpile, either in weapons or in reserve holdings, though the Soviet government ceased production of HEU for weapons in 1989. [15] Military use of HEU also includes fueling nuclear submarines and military surface vessels, although the latter category currently only includes one active-service Project 1144.2 Kirov. [16]

Russia uses civilian HEU as fuel in research and test reactors, critical assemblies, fast reactors, and icebreakers, and for the production of medical isotopes. Russia's overall civilian HEU holdings are estimated to be around 20 metric tons (although this number is highly uncertain), accounting for more than half of the world's civilian HEU. [17] Russia is the only country in the world that uses HEU for civilian naval propulsion, and as such its HEU naval stockpile of 20 metric tons of fresh HEU and 10 metric tons of irradiated HEU is potentially dual-use. [18] There are no publicly available official figures that give the amount of HEU produced for civilian purposes, or the level of current civilian HEU stocks. [19] Russia announced in 2012 that the Electrochemical Plant in Zelenogorsk (EKhZ) was preparing for the production of HEU, officially to meet the needs of research reactors, fast reactors, and icebreakers. [20]

Like Washington, Moscow declared large quantities of former military HEU no longer needed for defense programs. Excess HEU from Russian weapons has been blended down to LEU within the framework of the Megatons to Megawatts program (also known as the HEU-LEU program). A program initiated by a U.S.-Russian agreement in 1993, Megatons to Megawatts saw the United States pay for 500 metric tons of Russian weapons HEU to be downblended, shipped to the United States, and used there as fuel in civilian plants. The final Russian LEU shipment was concluded in August 2013, and the agreement formally ended in December 2013. [21] In total, the agreement brought in at least $13 billion for the Russian state. [22] Since the amount of HEU that is actually excess to military needs is likely far greater than the amount that had been officially declared excess, there have been various calls to extend the program. Russian officials, however, have highlighted their government's opposition to any extension of the HEU-LEU program on several occasions. [23]

HEU Commerce
Russia has been actively repatriating fresh and irradiated HEU fuel exported to foreign research reactors during the Soviet era. For example, Russia has shipped 36 percent enriched fuel to the Maria research reactor in Poland, and repatriated 90 percent enriched HEU fuel from this reactor to Russia. [24]

Russia does not currently have a policy that restricts the supply of HEU to foreign countries, but such shipments only proceed if they do not conflict with domestic regulations and Nuclear Suppliers Group guidelines. Global supply of HEU was constricted by U.S. export limitations under the Schumer Amendment of 1992. [25] Russia seized this market, and exported HEU to France, Germany, the Netherlands, China, and Indonesia post-1992. [26] Three shipments totaling 620 kg of HEU were delivered to fuel three French research reactors from 1996 to 2004. [27] Russia also delivered 300 kg of HEU (93%) following a 1998 agreement with Germany. [28]

In September 2013, Russia's Rosatom and the French Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique publicized a deal that will see Rosatom supply HEU fuel for the initial loading of the Jules Horowitz Reactor at the Cadarache Center. [29] The amount negotiated was not disclosed in this initial announcement.

Radioisotope Production
At present, Russia's domestic demand for the medical isotope Mo-99 is met by production at the VVR-T research reactor at the Karpov Institute of Physical Chemistry. This HEU-powered facility uses HEU targets for the production of Mo-99. [30] In September 2010, Russia's Isotope Company concluded an agreement with Canada's MDS Nordion for supply of the medical isotope Mo-99 for Canada. The Isotope joint stock company, authorized by Rosatom to control isotope production in 2009, planned to use the three reactors at the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (NIIAR) in Dimitrovgrad to produce Mo-99, which Nordion would purify and further process for use in isotopes. These three reactors were the SM, RBT-6, and the RBT-10, along with a processing facility. Having started up production in January 2011, Isotope intended to increase production later that year, and to attain the status of a global supplier in 2012. [31] The Isotope-Nordion venture hoped to eventually capture up to "20% of global Mo-99 demand to back up Nordion's long-term requirements." [32] In addition, MDS Nordion signed a framework agreement with the Kurchatov Institute to produce LEU-based Mo-99 using the Argus Liquid Homogenous Reactor (LHR), which the Russian government recently approved for conversion. This venture would achieve commercial production within 3-5 years, and may seek to capture up to 5-10% of the global Mo-99 supply. [33] While the framework of the Nordion-Isotope agreement remains in place, the agreement itself was terminated on 29 October 2012; Nordion was planning on negotiating with the Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (RIAR) directly, for an anticipated quantity of Mo-99 "significantly lower" than initially planned. [34] However, no updates have been provided.

One of the challenging aspects of the project has been the fact that Isotope's Mo-99 production is set to utilize RIAR-designed HEU targets. Russian officials have suggested that conversion to LEU is possible, but would be unlikely for several years. [35] At the High Level Group on the Security of Supply of Medical Isotopes in July 2012, the Russian delegate stated that Russia would switch its targets to LEU in its medical isotope manufacturing process by 2018; however, this declaration was not an official Russian position statement, and would in any case not bar HEU use as reactor fuel for the procedures. [32] Two other officials have since repeated this position. [36] Although the details of the supply agreement are confidential, some have noted that it "provides for the parties to address LEU conversion of the ... production facilities. The timing and approach of conversion are currently under discussion for finalization." [37] In February 2011 testimony to Congress, the NNSA's Parrish Staples indicated that U.S. officials intend to raise the HEU issue at a high level with their Russian counterparts at Rosatom, "to ensure that their actions are consistent with their Presidential-level commitments ... made at the April 2010 Nuclear Security Summit to minimize and, where possible, eliminate the use of HEU in civilian activities." [38]

Conversion and Shutdown of HEU-Fueled Reactors and Reactor Projects
Like the United States, the Soviet Union became concerned about the possible misuse of HEU in civilian installations abroad in the late 1970s, and initiated a program to remove very highly enriched (≥80%) uranium and replace it with 36% enriched fuel at reactors outside of Russia. However, due to funding difficulties, the program ended in the mid-1980s. Then, in 1993, the U.S. RERTR program approached Russian scientists to cooperate on the development of high-density LEU fuels to make the conversion of Soviet-built reactors possible, and invited scientists to participate in annual RERTR conferences. In September 1994, representatives of the U.S. Department of Energy and the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy signed a protocol of intent on cooperation in the development of higher-density 19.75% enriched uranium fuels, and on the demonstration of the feasibility of reactor conversion to work with LEU fuel. Concrete work in this area began in 1996.

In February 2005, Russia committed to converting all Soviet-supplied research reactors abroad under the Bratislava Initiative, described above. [39] The Bratislava Initiative has been implemented through a joint Rosatom-U.S. Department of Energy action plan for the conversion of reactors in third countries that was approved in September 2007.

The first conversion of a Soviet-supplied reactor was completed in October 2005. The VR-1 ("Sparrow") reactor in the Czech Republic received new 19.7% enriched IRT-4M fuel, which was licensed in November 2004 from Russia's Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant. Its old IRT-3M HEU fuel was repatriated to Russia by the Russian company Sosny in operations that also involved the cooperation of the U.S. Department of Energy, the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Czech State Office for Nuclear Safety, and various subcontractors. [40] Russia also supplied Libya's IRT-1 reactor with LEU fuel in December 2005. Conversions of Libya's critical facility and its 10 MW reactor were completed in January 2006 and October 2006, respectively. The Soviet-supplied reactor at Vietnam's Dalat Nuclear Research Institute was converted in September 2007. In 2008, conversions of the VVR-SM research reactor at the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Uzbekistan and the WWR-M reactor at the Kiev Institute of Nuclear Research took place. The Budapest research reactor in Hungary, the VVR-SM reactor in Uzbekistan, and Bulgaria's IRT-2000 research reactor in Sofia were converted in 2009. [41] The Maria reactor in Poland and the WWR-K critical assembly in Kazakhstan were converted in 2012. [42] Conversion and cleanout of the REZ reactor in the Czech Republic ended in 2013. [43] The conversion possibility of two other Soviet-supplied facilities has been raised, namely the Yalina critical assembly in Belarus and the Foton reactor in Uzbekistan. [44]

Russian scientists have been working on the development of the higher-density LEU fuels needed to convert other research reactors under a Russian federal program called the "National Technology Base," as well as a contract between the Bochvar All-Russian Scientific Research Institute for Inorganic Materials (VNIINM) and Argonne National Laboratory. The United States is helping to fund fuel development, including pre-reactor, reactor and post-reactor studies in test assemblies, while Russia is paying for materials, equipment, and facilities. Some of the other Russian organizations engaged in these activities include: TVEL, the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (NIIAR), the Institute of Reactor Materials (IRM) and the St. Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute (PIYaF). [45]

Under the plan with Argonne, the Russian organizations are working on the development and licensing of high density uranium-molybdenum (U-Mo) dispersion and monolithic fuel along with the development of manufacturing methods, fuel fabrication, chemical and physical tests of fuel and blanket compatibility, and LEU fuel radiation tests of both pin-type and tubular fuel elements. The development of higher density U-Mo fuel was necessitated by conversion requirements for reactors in the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. [46]

The U.S.-Russian RERTR program also became involved in HEU fuel removal activities, under which Russia takes back Soviet-supplied fresh and spent fuel from reactor operators if the operators agree to convert their facilities to use LEU.

Within Russia itself, progress has been slower. Only one site has been reportedly cleaned out of all HEU materials. With the assistance of the U.S. Department of Energy's Material Consolidation and Conversion program, all HEU (65 kg U-235 contained in 181 kg of uranium), was consolidated from the Krylov Shipbuilding Research Institute to the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (NIIAR) in Dimitrovgrad by March 2006. [47] The Krylov site has one research reactor that uses 10% LEU, and had three critical assemblies that were shut down as unneeded in the 1990s. However, the HEU materials for the facilities remained onsite until 2005-2006.

Other facilities have been shut down as well, though in some cases the HEU fuel has remained on-site. For a table of operational and shut down HEU facilities, including notation of the status of HEU materials located on-site, see Appendix A in Pavel Podvig, Consolidating Fissile Materials in Russia's Nuclear Complex. Many of these facilities are now included in the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, since its scope expanded in fall 2009.

HEU Fuel Removals
Since 2002, Russia has been consolidating fresh and spent Soviet-origin HEU fuel from foreign countries under the Russian Research Reactor Fuel Return Program (RRRFR). A table listing these shipments can be found in the Past and Current Efforts to Reduce Civilian HEU Use file.

A formal agreement regarding fuel removal was concluded between the U.S. and Russian governments and signed in May 2004. The Agreement covers major activities related to providing assistance to return Soviet-origin nuclear fuel from 13 countries to Russia. As of July 2011, fresh (unused) HEU fuel had already been removed from Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Libya, the Czech Republic, Uzbekistan, Latvia, Vietnam, Germany and Kazakhstan. Fresh HEU fuel located at three sites in Ukraine has also been removed in accordance with a 2010 Nuclear Security Summit commitment. [48] Spent fuel has already been removed from research reactors in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, and Uzbekistan. The irradiated fuel is reprocessed at the Mayak Production Association.

Policy Issues

HEU-to-LEU domestic reactor conversion has been a recent, slow, and uncertain process in Russia. The apparent high short-term financial costs of converting to LEU, the perceived advantages offered by the use of HEU for some advanced research projects, and the fear of losing a potential technological edge vis-à-vis other countries (despite the lack of current plans to employ HEU in any future reactor projects), all contribute to the current Russian policy. For example, at the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit, Russia maintained that eventual reactor conversion was dependent upon economic feasibility. [49] In addition, facility operators may be concerned that the conversion effort could negatively impact personnel salaries, be riddled with bureaucratic and regulatory obstacles, or ultimately lead to the shutdown of their facilities. [50] It is telling that Moscow also envisioned a business opportunity in expanding its HEU-based production of medical isotopes (and invested funds in a processing facility based on this assumption) despite an emerging global norm to move away from using HEU for this purpose. The recent announcement of a Franco-Russian HEU export deal will likely reaffirm Russian beliefs in the commercial value of HEU. [51] The Russian move to open a new civilian HEU production line is similarly damaging for the global norm against HEU use.

An additional challenge in gaining Russia's support for this norm is Moscow's perception that the threat of terrorists acquiring HEU for the purpose of fabricating an improvised nuclear device is not very high. [52] Other nuclear and radiological terrorism scenarios, particularly an attack on a nuclear facility or the detonation of a dirty bomb using radioactive materials, are viewed as much more likely. Nevertheless, some consolidation of HEU materials has occurred within Russia, in part with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Energy's Material Consolidation and Conversion program. The threat posed by HEU has also been reduced by bolstering the security systems of icebreakers, some reactors, and some fuel cycle facilities. Interviews with Russian officials suggest that the U.S. decision to seriously pursue domestic reactor conversion, and the ability to show that conversion could be carried out without causing a loss in reactor performance had an impact on the Russian perspective. [53]

Sources:
[1] International Panel on Fissile Materials, "Increasing Transparency of Nuclear-warhead and Fissile-material Stocks as a Step toward Disarmament," April 24, 2013, p. 8, http://fissilematerials.org.
[2] Rosatom's website appears to be unfortunately outdated in regards to Russian icebreaker status, listing six icebreakers and one transport ship as still active: Rosatom, "Nuclear Icebreakers," 2008-2012, http://rosatomflot.ru. In reality, it appears only five icebreakers are still operating, with the transport ship removed from the registry and in the process of being scrapped: Oleg Nekhai, "Russia to Build Three New-Generation Ice-Breakers for Northern Sea Route," The Voice of Russia, August 25, 2013, http://voiceofrussia.com. Atle Staalesen, "No Future for Nuclear-powered Container Ship,"Barents Observer, October 24, 2012, http://barentsobserver.com. For further discussion of phasing out civil HEU in Russia, see: Matthew Bunn, Securing the Bomb 2008 (Cambridge, Mass. and Washington, DC: Project on Managing the Atom, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School and the Nuclear Threat Initiative), 18 November 2008, www.nti.org; Elena Sokova, "Phasing Out Civilian HEU in Russia: Opportunities and Challenges," Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 15.2, July 2008; Pavel Podvig, Consolidating Fissile Materials in Russia's Nuclear Complex, International Panel on Fissile Materials research report, May 2009, http://fissilematerials.org.
[3] Thomas Young, Cole Harvey and Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress, "It's Not Just New-START: Two other U.S.-Russian Nuclear Agreements Boost U.S.-Russian Reset," CNS Feature Story, 21 December 2010, www.nonproliferation.org.
[4] Pavel Podvig, "Russia Launches HEU Production Line," International Panel on Fissile Materials, October 29, 2012, http://fissilematerials.org; Pavel Podvig, "Russia is Set to Produce New Highly-Enriched Uranium," International Panel on Fissile Materials, June 1, 2012, http://fissilematerials.org; International Panel on Fissile Materials, "Increasing Transparency of Nuclear-warhead and Fissile-material Stocks as a Step toward Disarmament," April 24, 2013, p. 8, http://fissilematerials.org.
[5] See Anya Loukianova and Cristina Hansell, "Leveraging U.S. Policy for a Global Commitment to HEU Elimination," Nonproliferation Review, vol. 15, no. 2 (July 2008): p. 168.
[6] On Russian threat perceptions, see Cristina Hansell, "Nuclear Terrorism Threats and Responses," in Future of the Nuclear Security Environment in 2015: Proceedings of a Russian-U.S. Workshop, Ashot Sarkisov and Rose Gottemoeller, eds. (Washington: National Academies Press, 2009), pp. 153-162.
[7] President Barack Obama, President Dmitry Medvedev, "Joint Statement by President Barack Obama of the United States of America and President Dmitry Medvedev of the Russian Federation on Nuclear Cooperation," White House, Office of the Press Secretary, July 6, 2009, www.whitehouse.gov.
[8] Pavel Podvig, "Progress in the US-Russian Reactor Conversion Program," International Panel on Fissile Material, June 28, 2013, http://fissilematerials.org.
[9] Christopher Landers, "Global Threat Reduction Initiative: Furthering HEU Minimization through Conversions," RERTR 32nd Annual Meeting, October 11, 2010.
[10] Paris Staples, "Progress towards Eliminating Use of Highly Enriched Uranium in Medical Isotope Production and Research and Test Reactor Fuel and Repatriation of Excess HEU," presented at the Nuclear Radiation Studies Board Meeting, June 4, 2013, p. 9, http://dels-old.nas.edu.
[11] Paris Staples, "Progress towards Eliminating Use of Highly Enriched Uranium in Medical Isotope Production and Research and Test Reactor Fuel and Repatriation of Excess HEU," presented at the Nuclear Radiation Studies Board Meeting, June 4, 2013, p. 9, http://dels-old.nas.edu.
[12] "Breakout of GTRI Reactor Conversion Expansion," information provided at RERTR-2009, Beijing, October 2009; Alan J. Kuperman, "Global HEU Phase-Out: Prospects and Challenges," in Nuclear Terrorism and Global Security: the Challenge of Phasing out Highly Enriched Uranium, Alan J. Kuperman, ed., (New York: Routledge, 2013), fn. 10 p. 25.
[13] Douglas P. Guarino, "U.S. Official: Most DOE Nuclear Security Work in Russia Will Continue," Global Security Newswire, June 20, 2013, www.nti.org; Douglas P. Guarino, "New U.S.-Russian Security Deal Greatly Scales Back Scope, Experts Say," Global Security Newswire, June 18, 2013, www.nti.org.
[14] International Panel on Fissile Materials, "Increasing Transparency of Nuclear-warhead and Fissile-material Stocks as a Step toward Disarmament," April 24, 2013, p. 8, http://fissilematerials.org.
[15] Thomas Cochran, Robert S. Norris, Oleg Bukharin, Making the Russian Bomb: From Stalin to Yeltsin (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1995), p. 52.
[16] Conrad Waters, "Regional Review: Europe and Russia," in Seaworth World Naval Review 2013, Conrad Waters, ed., (Barnsley: Seaworth Publishing, 2012), p. 66, 68.
[17] International Panel on Fissile Materials, "Increasing Transparency of Nuclear-warhead and Fissile-material Stocks as a Step toward Disarmament," April 24, 2013, p. 8, http://fissilematerials.org.
[18] International Panel on Fissile Materials, "Increasing Transparency of Nuclear-warhead and Fissile-material Stocks as a Step toward Disarmament," April 24, 2013, p. 8, http://fissilematerials.org.
[19] International Panel on Fissile Materials, "Increasing Transparency of Nuclear-warhead and Fissile-material Stocks as a Step toward Disarmament," April 24, 2013, p. 8, http://fissilematerials.org.
[20] Pavel Podvig, "Russia Launches HEU Production Line," International Panel on Fissile Materials, October 29, 2012, http://fissilematerials.org; Pavel Podvig, "Russia is Set to Produce New Highly-Enriched Uranium," International Panel on Fissile Materials, June 1, 2012, http://fissilematerials.org; International Panel on Fissile Materials, "Increasing Transparency of Nuclear-warhead and Fissile-material Stocks as a Step toward Disarmament," April 24, 2013, p. 8, http://fissilematerials.org.
[21] "На ЭХЗ завершена переработка «Мегатонн - в мегаватты»," Новости ЭХЗ, August 27, 2013, www.ecp.ru; Nancy Slater-Thompson, Doug Bonnar, "Megatons to Megawatts Program Will Conclude at the End of 2013," U.S. Energy Information Administration, September 24, 2013, www.eia.gov.
[22] "Russia Could Receive $17 Bln from Megatons to Megawatts Deal," Interfax, August 27, 2013, www.interfax.com.
[23] Aleksandr Pavlov, Vladimir Rybachenkov, "HEU-LEU Project: a Success Story of Russian-US Nuclear Disarmament Cooperation," May 27, 2013, p. 6, www.interfax.com.
[24] Elena Sokova, "Phasing out Civilian HEU in Russia," The Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 15, No. 2, July 2008, p. 222.
[25] Elena Sokova, "Phasing out Civilian HEU in Russia," The Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 15, No. 2, July 2008, p. 222.
[26] Pavel Lodvig, "Supply of Russian HEU to Western Europe," International Panel on Fissile Materials, July 27, 2010, http://fissilematerials.org.
[27] Pavel Lodvig, "Supply of Russian HEU to Western Europe," International Panel on Fissile Materials, July 27, 2010, http://fissilematerials.org.
[28] Elena Sokova, "Phasing out Civilian HEU in Russia," The Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 15, No. 2, July 2008, p. 222.
[29] Pavel Podvig, "Russia to Supply HEU Fuel for French Research Reactor," International Panel on Fissile Material, September 18, 2013, http://fissilematerials.org.
[30] Kendra Vessels, "HEU for Isotope Production in Canada and Russia: Expansion or Phaseout?" University of Texas at Austin, April 20, 2011, p. 3, www.heuphaseout.org.
[31] Kendra Vessels, "HEU for Isotope Production in Canada and Russia: Expansion or Phaseout?" University of Texas at Austin, April 20, 2011, p. 8-10, www.heuphaseout.org.
[32] See CORAR's Roy Brown answers for the record in GPO, "American Medical Isotopes Production Act," hearing before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the U.S. Senate, February 1, 2011, p. 26.
[33] See CORAR's Roy Brown answers for the record in GPO, "American Medical Isotopes Production Act," hearing before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the U.S. Senate, February 1, 2011, p. 26.
[34] Nordion Inc., "Global Experience Global Opportunity Annual Information Form 2012," October 32, 2012, Ottawa, Canada, 24.
[35] Miles Pomper, "Meeting the Mark: Ensuring LEU Use for Medical Isotope Production," paper presented at the INMM annual meeting, July 20, 2011, Palm Desert, California. Pomper observes that Russian officials have noted that the consideration of conversion will only begin after the 20% market share is captured. In remarks at a March 2011 event in the Russian Embassy in Washington, DC, Rosatom Director General Sergei Kiriyenko said Russia supported the idea of moving to LEU production, but that Moscow's first priority was ensuring a sufficient supply of isotopes for patients.
[36] Douglas P. Guarino, "Suggestion Russia May Limit HEU Use Prompts Cautious U.S. Response," Global Security Newswire, 17 August 2012, www.nti.org.
[37] Douglas P. Guarino, "Improved Confidence in Russian Vow to limit HEU May Stall Import Ban," Global Security Newswire, 29 January 2013, www.nti.org.
[38] See CORAR's Roy Brown answers for the record in GPO, "American Medical Isotopes Production Act," hearing before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the U.S. Senate, February 1, 2011, p. 26.
[39] See GTRI's Parrish Staples answers for the record in GPO, "American Medical Isotopes Production Act," hearing before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the U.S. Senate, February 1, 2011.
[40] See Anya Loukianova and Cristina Hansell, "Leveraging U.S. Policy for a Global Commitment to HEU Elimination," Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 15.2, July 2008, p. 168.
[41] Radek Skoda, "Highly Enriched Uranium Minimization in the Czech Republic," Nuclear Energy Review, 2006, pp. 59-60, www.touchnuclear.com.
[42] Pavel Podvig, "Spent HEU Fuel Removed from Uzbekistan," International Panel on Fissile Materials, November 1, 2012, http://fissilematerials.org.
[43] National Nuclear Security Administration, "NNSA Helps Poland Convert Reactor, Remove Highly Enriched Uranium," NNSA Press Release, September 25, 2012, http://nnsa.energy.gov; "The Critical Assembly," National Nuclear Center of the Republic of Kazakhstan, www.nnc.kz; National Nuclear Security Administration, "GTRI: Reducing Nuclear Threats," NNSA Fact Sheet, April 12, 2013, http://nnsa.energy.gov.
[44] National Nuclear Security Administration, "US Removes Last Remaining HEU from Czech Republic, Sets Nonproliferation Milestone," NNSA Press Release, April 5, 2013, http://nnsa.energy.gov.
[45] Christopher Landers, "Global Threat Reduction Initiative: Furthering HEU Minimization through Conversions," RERTR 32nd Annual Meeting, October 11, 2010.
[46] I. Kamenskikh and Y. Busurin, "Status and Perspective of International Efforts of HEU Minimization Program: Russian View," RERTR-2008, Washington, October 5-9, 2008.
[47] I. Kamenskikh and Y. Busurin, "Status and Perspective of International Efforts of HEU Minimization Program: Russian View," RERTR-2008, Washington, October 5-9, 2008.
[48] V. Struyev, S. Kosmin, and I. Guriyev, "Changing the Status of the Krylov Shipbuilding Research Institute to an LEU Facility by Removing HEU from the Site," unpublished;
National Nuclear Security Administration, "NNSA Works With Russia To Remove Nuclear Material from Research Institute," NNSA Press Release, July 13, 2006, http://nnsa.energy.gov.
[49] National Nuclear Security Administration, "NNSA Achieves Milestone in Removal of HEU from Ukraine," NNSA Press Release, December 31, 2010, http://nnsa.energy.gov.
[50] The Seoul Nuclear Security Summit Preparatory Secretariat, "Highlights of Achievements and Commitments by Participating States as stated in National Progress Reports and National Statements," 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit, Seoul, South Korea, March 27, 2012, www.thenuclearsecuritysummit.org.
[51] Braden Civins, "Conversion Aversion: The Sources of Russian Reluctance to Conversion of HEU-fueled Research Reactors," University of Texas at Austin, April 2011, www.heuphaseout.org.
This mirrors analysis regarding a previous HEU shipment deal with France; see: Alan J. Kuperman, Paul L. Leventhal, "RERTR End-Game: a Win-Win Framework," a paper presented at the International Meeting on Reduced Enrichment for Research Reactors and Test Reactors (RERTR) Program, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, October 5-10, 1997, www.nci.org.
[52] For example, see "Terroristicheskiye organizatsii ne mogut sozdat atomnoy bomby, zayavil ministr Rossiy po atomnoy energii" (Terrorist organizations are not capable of building an atomic bomb, says Russian Minister of Atomic Energy), ITAR-TASS, May 19, 2003; Also see: Cristina Hansell, "Nuclear Terrorism Threats and Responses," in Future of the Nuclear Security Environment in 2015: Proceedings of a Russian-U.S. Workshop, Ashot Sarkisov and Rose Gottemoeller, eds., (Washington: National Academies Press, 2009), pp. 153-162.
[53] Braden Civins, "Conversion Aversion: The Sources of Russian Reluctance to Conversion of HEU-fueled Research Reactors," University of Texas at Austin, April 2011, www.heuphaseout.org.

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents.

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The article is part of a collection examining civilian HEU reduction and elimination efforts. It details current Russian HEU policies, progress reducing and eliminating the civil use of HEU in Russia, and remaining challenges.

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This article provides an overview of Russia’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

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