News

USIS Washington 
File

02 September 1998

TEXT: CLINTON-YELTSIN STATEMENT ON PLUTONIUM DISPOSAL

(Will be nuclear reactor fuel, buried with atomic waste) (650)



Moscow -- Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin have agreed that the United
States and Russia will each remove approximately 50 metric tons of
plutonium from their respective nuclear weapons programs and convert
it into a form that will assure it can never again be used in such
weapons.


In a September 2 statement of principles for managing this effort, the
Presidents said the plutonium will either be used as fuel in civilian
nuclear reactors or immobilized in glass or ceramic form with other
highly radioactive wastes.


Following is the text:



(begin text)



Joint Statement of Principles

For Management and Disposition of Plutonium

Designated as No Longer Required for Defense Purposes



The Presidents of the United States and the Russian Federation affirm
the intention of each country to remove by stages approximately 50
metric tons of plutonium from their nuclear weapons programs, and to
convert this material so that it can never be used in nuclear weapons.
Recognizing that further arms reductions Will increase such plutonium,
measures to manage and reduce such stockpiles are an essential element
of irreversible arms reduction efforts and are necessary to ensure
that these materials do not become a proliferation risk.


As an essential step in achieving this goal, at the July 1998 meeting
of their Joint Commission, the U.S. and Russia reached agreement on
scientific and technical cooperation in the management of plutonium
that has been withdrawn from nuclear military programs. We have agreed
on principles that will guide our governments in cooperating to
achieve the objectives set forward in this statement. Our work today
builds on the achievements of the 1996 Moscow Summit on Nuclear Safety
and Security, and of the 1997 and 1998 G-8 Summits.


We have agreed on the following principles:



-- The U.S. and Russia will each convert approximately 50 tons of
plutonium withdrawn in stages from nuclear military program into forms
unusable for nuclear weapons. We recognize that interim storage will
be required for this material.


-- The two governments will cooperate to pursue this goal through
consumption of plutonium fuel in existing nuclear reactors (or
reactors which may enter into service during the duration of our
cooperation) or the immobilization of plutonium in glass or ceramic
form mixed with high-level radioactive waste.


-- The U.S. and Russia expect that the comprehensive effort for the
management and disposition of this plutonium will be a broad-based
multilateral one, and welcome close cooperation and coordination with
other countries, including those of the G-8. They further intend to
encourage partnership with private industry.


-- In cooperation with others, the U.S. and Russia will, as soon as
practically feasible and according to a time frame to be negotiated by
the two governments, develop and operate an initial set of
industrial-scale facilities for the conversion of plutonium to fuel
for the above-mentioned existing reactors.


-- Conditions on cooperative projects for plutonium management and
disposition will be determined by mutual consent of the parties
participating in those projects.


-- In the plutonium management and disposition effort, the U.S. and
Russia will seek to develop acceptable methods and technology for
transparency measures, including appropriate international
verification measures and stringent standards of physical protection,
control, and accounting for the management of plutonium.


-- We also recognize that in order for this effort to be carried out,
it will be necessary to agree upon appropriate financing arrangements.


Both sides will develop strategies for the management and disposition
of plutonium, taking into account the July 1998 agreement as well as a
bilateral agreement, based on the principles set forth in this
statement. They will initiate negotiation of this bilateral agreement
promptly with the intention of concluding the agreement by the end of
this calendar year.


THE PRESIDENT OF THE

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA



THE PRESIDENT OF THE

RUSSIAN FEDERATION:



Moscow

September 2,1998



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