Arms reduction initiatives and the end of the Cold War have placed the governments of the United States and Russia in a position to declare portions of their nuclear weapons stockpiles as surplus. The two nations have agreed to store or dispose of their surplus nuclear materials in a safe and secure manner, so that they cannot be used for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Nuclear materials declared by the U.S. and Russian governments as surplus to defense programs are being converted into fuel for commercial nuclear reactors.
In February 1993, the United States and Russia signed The Agreement between the Government of the United States and the Government of the Russian Federation Concerning the Disposition of Highly Enriched Uranium Extracted from Nuclear Weapons (the Russian HEU Agreement), which provided for the United States to purchase 500 metric tons of Russian HEU over a 20-year period. An announcement by President Clinton in March 1995 declared some 200 metric tons of HEU and plutonium from US defense programs as surplus. Inventories of natural uranium and LEU, already in commercially usable forms, also have been identified as surplus to US defense programs. In September 1998 the US and Russia agreed to 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 June 2000 the two countries agreed to the details of an implementation plan for disposition of 34 tons of plutonium.
A chronological listing of major events and developoments.
Primary documents, including agreement texts and associated memoranda, statements and other related material.
Chronological archive of news reports, factsheets, announcements, speeches and other related material.
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