Russia Sends U.S. Last Shipment of Downblended Nuclear Material

None

Global Security Newswire Staff
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Nov. 15, 2013, 6:02 a.m.

Rus­sia on Thursday sent the United States the fi­nal ship­ment of atom­ic-en­ergy ma­ter­i­al pro­duced from down­blen­ded war­head-grade urani­um, sig­nal­ing the end of a 20-year bi­lat­er­al non­pro­lif­er­a­tion pro­gram, the New York Times re­por­ted.

Un­der the Mega­tons to Mega­watts pro­gram, Rus­sia con­ver­ted fis­sile ma­ter­i­al from ap­prox­im­ately 20,000 So­viet-era war­heads in­to ci­vil­ian-grade urani­um that was then used to fuel U.S. atom­ic power plants, gen­er­at­ing roughly 10 per­cent of all of the elec­tri­city pro­duced in the United States.

Seni­or Rus­si­an and U.S. of­fi­cials gathered in St. Peters­burg on Thursday to see off the fi­nal ship­ment, which con­tained enough urani­um to fuel ap­prox­im­ately 80 nuc­le­ar weapons.

“Con­grat­u­la­tions on the last ship­ment! Stay safe!,” wrote act­ing U.S. Un­der­sec­ret­ary of State for Arms Con­trol and In­ter­na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Rose Got­te­moeller on one of the cyl­in­ders filled with low-en­riched urani­um.

“Our fo­cus glob­ally is to min­im­ize high-en­riched urani­um wherever it is found,” Got­te­moeller told the Times.

Rus­sia and the United States con­tin­ue to hold vast amounts of war­head-grade urani­um, which has an en­rich­ment level of around 90 per­cent, which is leftover from the Cold War. The one­time ant­ag­on­ists col­lect­ively are es­tim­ated to pos­sess in ex­cess of 700 tons of highly en­riched urani­um, ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­na­tion­al Pan­el on Fis­sile Ma­ter­i­als. Wash­ing­ton has down­blen­ded 143 tons of former HEU ma­ter­i­al and is com­mit­ted to con­vert­ing an ad­di­tion­al 43 tons. Though Mo­scow has blen­ded down more ma­ter­i­al than Wash­ing­ton, it is be­lieved to still pos­sess a much great­er quant­ity of sur­plus bomb-ready urani­um.

“For two dec­ades, one in 10 light bulbs in Amer­ica has been powered by nuc­le­ar ma­ter­i­al from Rus­si­an nuc­le­ar war­heads,” U.S. En­ergy Sec­ret­ary Ern­est Mon­iz said of the Mega­tons to Mega­watts ini­ti­at­ive, ac­cord­ing to a Re­u­ters re­port.

Rus­sia earned roughly $17 bil­lion over the two-dec­ade run of the pro­gram, ac­cord­ing to Mon­iz.

What We're Following See More »
A DARK CLOUD OVER TRUMP?
Snowstorm Could Impact Primary Turnout
2 days ago
THE LATEST

A snowstorm is supposed to hit New Hampshire today and “linger into Primary Tuesday.” GOP consultant Ron Kaufman said lower turnout should help candidates who have spent a lot of time in the state tending to retail politicking. Donald Trump “has acknowledged that he needs to step up his ground-game, and a heavy snowfall could depress his figures relative to more organized candidates.”

Source:
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
A Shake-Up in the Offing in the Clinton Camp?
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

Anticipating a primary loss in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Hillary and Bill Clinton “are considering staffing and strategy changes” to their campaign. Sources tell Politico that the Clintons are likely to layer over top officials with experienced talent, rather than fire their staff en masse.

Source:
THE LAST ROUND OF NEW HAMPSHIRE POLLS
Trump Is Still Ahead, but Who’s in Second?
1 days ago
THE LATEST

We may not be talking about New Hampshire primary polls for another three-and-a-half years, so here goes:

  • American Research Group’s tracking poll has Donald Trump in the lead with 30% support, followed by Marco Rubio and John Kasich tying for second place at 16%. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton 53%-41%.
  • The 7 News/UMass Lowell tracking poll has Trump way out front with 34%, followed by Rubio and Ted Cruz with 13% apiece. Among the Democrats, Sanders is in front 56%-40%.
  • A Gravis poll puts Trump ahead with 28%, followed by Kasich with 17% and Rubio with 15%.
IT’S ALL ABOUT SECOND PLACE
CNN Calls the Primary for Sanders and Trump
1 days ago
THE LATEST

Well that didn’t take long. CNN has already declared Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump the winners of the New Hampshire primary, leaving the rest of the candidates to fight for the scraps. Five minutes later, the Associated Press echoed CNN’s call.

Source:
×