22.01.2015 16:35 | Communications Department of ROSATOM
Russia and the United States of America bear a special responsibility for ensuring safety and security of nuclear materials and their reliable physical protection, preventing them from falling into the hands of terrorist organizations.
In particular, Russia has repatriated highly enriched in uranium fresh and irradiated fuel of research reactors from 14 countries, thereby eliminating the risk of unauthorized use of these materials, including potential terrorist threat. In general, 2136 kg of highly enriched nuclear fuel have been returned to Russia since 2002, which amount would be enough to produce about 85 nuclear weapons. The cooperation will further continue: Russia is planning to return highly enriched fresh and irradiated fuel from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Poland.
It is also worth noting that at present Russia is the only country that has downblended 500 metric tons of HEU to the level of energy-grade uranium (or low-enriched
uranium used in civil nuclear energy). This program has considerably reduced the amount of weapon-grade material on a global basis (the amount of this material would be enough to produce 20 000 nuclear weapons). The American side is still to make this step.
It should be pointed out that this one and other partnership programs were supervised by the Working group on nuclear energy and safety within Russian-American Presidential Comission. However, in March, 2014, by the announcement on the website, the Department of State notified us about the suspension of work within this mechanism which we find very efficient.
Also, in May 2014 the formation of the plan of activities to be undertaken by U.S. national laboratories and Russian nuclear industry enterprises under the Intergovernmental Agreement on scientific and technical cooperation in nuclear area signed in September 2013 in Vienna, was suspended by the initiative of the American side.
The Russian Federation strictly follows all international standards and regulations for nuclear and radiation safety, as well as for nuclear materials security on its territory. All the necessary actions are performed with administrative and financial support from the Government of the Russian Federation. We are firmly convinced that the use of nuclear energy is a strategic area with very long life cycles. It cannot and should not depend on situational changes of political environment. We will be ready to return to the cooperation when the American side is ready for that, and, certainly, strictly on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and respect.