The United States and Russia have converted 10 metric tons of highly enriched Russian uranium to low-enriched nuclear reactor fuel, the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration announced yesterday (see GSN, July 14, 2006).
The U.S.-Russian Material Consolidation and Conversion program effort has eliminated the proliferation risk posed by the original material, which could have been used in 400 nuclear weapons, according to an NNSA release.
"This important milestone highlights progress in U.S.-Russian nonproliferation cooperation," said NNSA Deputy Administrator William Tobey in a press release. "Our efforts to convert this material have successfully reduced the supply of dangerous nuclear material, while our consolidation efforts have decreased the cost of securing the material."
The U.S.-Russian effort targets stockpiles of highly enriched uranium not used in weapons. The countries this year observed the 15th anniversary of the HEU Purchase Agreement, an arrangement allowing U.S. power companies to purchase low-enriched uranium produced from weapon-usable material (U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration release, April 24).