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Rosatom chief to visit a US NPS

December 09, 2013, 3:48 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
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WASHINGTON, December 09, 3:23 /ITAR-TASS/. The Russia-US program "Megatonnes into Megawatts", under which for 20 years uranium from Russian nuclear warheads has been processed for subsequent peaceful uses at American nuclear power stations (NPS), is entering the finishing straight.

Sergei Kiriyenko, CEO of the Rosatom state corporation, begins a visit to the US, during which a concluding ceremony connected with the project will be held.

At first Kiriyenko will visit the Peach Bottom NPS in Pennsylvania, one of stations using fuel obtained under the Megatonnes into Megawatts program, also known as the HEU-LEU one. This NPS is one of the oldest in the US. Its first power unit was energized in 1966. Another two power units were put into operation in 1974. Their licenses expire in 2033 and 2034. The station is owned on a parity basis by the Exelon Company and the PSEG Power.

Tuesday will be the main day of the visit. The Rosatom chief will meet with US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman. They are expected to review the implementation of the Russian-US intergovernmental agreement on scientific and technical cooperation, which was signed at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienne in September 2013.

Then the Russian and Amrican delegations, led by Kiriyenko and Moniz, will travel to the port of the city of Baltimore, Maryland, for the above ceremony marking the dispatch of inbound containers, brought from St Petersburg, with uranium extracted from Russian nuclear-tipped warheads to a processing plant at Paducah, Kentucky.

The agreement "On the Use of Highly Enriche Uranium Extracted from Russian Nuclear Weapons", also known as the HEU-LEU, was signed by the governments of the Russian Federation and the United States in February 1993. Under the document, Russia undertook to process 500 tonnes of highly enriched uranium, extracted from the nuclear warheads of Russian missiles, into low-enriched fractions. Thus obtained uranium has been supplied to the American USEC Corporation which paid the cost of both the operations to convert HEU and natural uranium used for diluting HEU.

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