US-Russia Bombs-to-Fuel Program 95% Complete

MOSCOW, June 25 (RIA Novosti) – A landmark nuclear nonproliferation program involving the conversion of Russian weapons-grade highly-enriched uranium (HEU) into nuclear fuel is 95 percent complete, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) said on Tuesday.

More than 475 metric tons of Russian HEU has been eliminated under the program known as Megatons to Megawatts, representing 19,000 nuclear warheads converted to civilian use, the NNSA said in a statement.

Under the 1993 US-Russia HEU Purchase Agreement, Russia converts HEU from dismantled nuclear weapons into low-enriched uranium, which is delivered to the US and used in nuclear power plants to generate nearly 10 percent of all electricity produced in the United States each year.

Nearly half of all US commercial nuclear energy comes from nuclear fuel derived from Russian nuclear weapons, the administration said.

Since 2000, US experts have monitored the elimination of 30 metric tons of Russian HEU, roughly equivalent to about 1,200 nuclear weapons, every year.

Russia also conducts reciprocal monitoring activities at US facilities to verify the exclusively peaceful use of all LEU delivered under the agreement.

The United States Enrichment Corporation and Russia’s nuclear technology export agency Techsnabexport, the executive agents for the agreement, manage the commercial aspects and logistics of the uranium shipments and transfers, NNSA said.


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