NNSA Works With Russia To Remove Nuclear Material from Research Institute

Press Release
Jul 13, 2006
For the First Time With NNSA Support, An Entire Stock of Material Has Been Eliminated

 Removing highly enriched uranium from a Russian research facilityWASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has successfully completed a two-year cooperative effort to remove highly enriched uranium from a Russian research facility and consolidate it at a more secure site in Russia.

NNSA worked jointly with the Russian Federal Agency of Atomic Energy (Rosatom) to transfer the highly enriched uranium from the Krylov Shipbuilding Research Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia to the Research Institute of Atomic Reactors in Dmitrovgrad.

The material will join the 8,000 kilograms (17,600 pounds) of material down-blended to low enriched uranium so far under this program. It is available for use in Russian nuclear power plants.

"With NNSA's support, a Russian institute has eliminated its entire stock of nuclear material," said NNSA Administrator Linton F. Brooks. "By reducing the number of sites with highly enriched uranium, the challenge of protecting the material from theft and the overall costs of doing so are reduced."

Removing highly enriched uranium from a Russian research facilityUnder its Material Consolidation and Conversion (MCC) project, NNSA teams worked with their Russian counterparts in St. Petersburg for two years to successfully complete the transfer, including validating the inventory and confirming that material was packaged securely for transport. NNSA teams also worked with their counterparts in Dmitrovgrad to support its secure storage and eventual conversion to low enriched uranium, which will eliminate it as a proliferation concern.

NNSA's MCC effort helps to reduce the proliferation risk associated with nuclear material inside Russia. It supports the transfer of highly enriched uranium from Russian institutes where it is no longer needed to secure locations within Russia for eventual conversion to low enriched uranium. Consolidation and conversion efforts significantly reduce the requirements and costs of securing material. The MCC project has also supported the secure storage and conversion of Russian-origin highly enriched uranium that has been returned from countries such as Serbia, Bulgaria, Uzbekistan, the Czech Republic, and Latvia.

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.

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