Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement

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The Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement is an agreement between the United States and Russia signed in 2000. An amended version was signed in April 2010 and went into effect in July 2011.

The agreement regulates the conversion of non-essential plutonium into mixed oxide (MOX) fuel used to produce electricity.[1] Both sides were required to render 34 tons of weapons grade plutonium, into reactor grade plutonium alongside reaching the spent fuel standard, that is mixed with the other more highly irradiating products within spent fuel. In total, the US has about 90 tons of weapons-capable plutonium and Russia has 128 tons.[2]

In 2007, the US began constructing the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF) on the Savannah River Site.[3] For financial reasons, US president Barack Obama canceled construction of the MFFF in 2016 and proposed that the plutonium be diluted with non-radioactive material and disposed in the underground WIPP facility.[2][4] However, the dilution could be reversed, and the material reconverted into weapons-grade plutonium.[2]

By 2015, Russia was on track and had begun producing MOX fuel at its own MOX facility, for its fast reactor, the BN-800.[4]

On October 3, 2016, Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered the agreement to be suspended because the US did not meet their obligations.[5]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Plutonium – wohin damit?" (PDF) (in German). Labor Spiez. August 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Pavel Podvig: Can the US-Russia plutonium disposition agreement be saved? Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 28. April 2016.
  3. ^ "National Nuclear Security Administration – The MOX Project". Areva. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Obama seeks to terminate MOX project at Savannah River". World Nuclear News. 10 February 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  5. ^ Указ Президента Российской Федерации от 03.10.2016 № 511 (in Russian).