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Russian and US nuclear experts sum up cooperation results under Megatons to Megawatts Program

August 01, 2013, 12:43 UTC+3
The program envisages conversion of high enriched weapons-grade uranium in low-enriched uranium by dilution for further use as fuel for U.S. nuclear reactors
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

CHELYABINSK, August 1 (Itar-Tass) - Chief executives and specialists of the Mayak Production Association, one of the biggest nuclear facilities in Russia, met with U.S. observers. The meeting in the city of Ozersk, Chelyabinsk region, has finalized Russian-U.S. cooperation under the Megatons to Megawatts Program. The bilateral cooperation under this program lasted 20 years, since the governments of the United States and Russia signed in February 1993 an agreement on the use of high enriched uranium extracted from dismantled nuclear weapons.

U.S. observers are visiting the first Russian nuclear enterprise the 90st time. During the meeting the partners summed up the results of work under this program, as reported by the press service of regional governor on Thursday.

The program envisages conversion of high enriched weapons-grade uranium in low-enriched uranium by dilution for further use as fuel for U.S. nuclear reactors. Total amount of high enriched uranium, which was subject to conversion, has made 500 metric tons for all enterprises, which were involved in the agreement. That is the equivalent to eliminating 20,000 nuclear warheads. The agreement was being implemented through a system of contracts, all the revenues from which were transferred in the Russian budget. Russia was committed to deliver to the United States the low enriched uranium converted from 500 tons of high enriched uranium for 20 years. The U.S. was committed to receive, pay and use this amount of nuclear fuel in the reactors at the nuclear power plants.

Mayak got involved in works under the agreement in spring of 1997. In April 1998, the U.S. observers paid the first visit to an enterprise of the Mayak Production Association in Ozersk.

Mayak has recycled over 150 metric tons of high enriched uranium into low enriched uranium. All commitments of the enterprise under this agreement are fulfilled, the chief executives of the production association confirmed to Itar-Tass.

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