Moscow, Nov 20 (UNI) Moscow has reached an agreement with Washington to dispose off 34 metric tons of Russian weapon-grade plutonium.
Under the 2000 Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement, the US and Russia are obliged to each other to dispose of the surplus weapon-grade plutonium in an effort to counter global nuclear proliferation.
The agreement's implementation was previously delayed owing to disagreements between the parties.
US Secretary of Energy Samuel W Bodman and Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency Director Sergei Kiriyenko have signed a joint statement outlining a plan to dispose of 34 metric tons of surplus plutonium from Russia's weapons programme, RIA Novosti reported today.
''Along with the US programme to dispose of plutonium as mixed oxide fuel in light water reactors, the Russian programme will ensure that enough plutonium for thousands of weapons is converted into a form that cannot be used to construct a weapon and will instead be used to provide fuel to produce clean electricity,'' Mr Kiriyenko said.
Both the countries agreed to use the BN-600 and BN-800 fast reactors to dispose of Russia's surplus weapons plutonium, he added.
Under the plan, Russia would begin disposing weapons plutonium in the BN-600 reactor by 2012. The BN-800 reactor would also be brought into use soon thereafter.
The two reactors could dispose approximately 1.5 metric tons of Russian weapons plutonium per year.