U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and State Corporation for Nuclear Energy (Rosatom) Director General Sergey Kirienko today held talks in Washington, D.C., about the future of U.S.-Russia collaborative work in the nuclear energy field, including nuclear research and development, commercial aspects of cooperation, nuclear safety, and nonproliferation.
The meeting coincided with the arrival of the final shipment of low enriched uranium (LEU) at the Port of Baltimore from Russia, marking a major milestone in the completion of the 1993 U.S.-Russia HEU Purchase Agreement, commonly known as the Megatons to Megawatts Program. In addition, Deputy Secretary Poneman and Director General Kirienko had productive discussions on a range of issues – including the conversion of the first Russian highly enriched uranium (HEU) research reactor – as co-chairs of the Bilateral Presidential Commission’s Working Group on Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Security.
The Parties were pleased to commemorate the completion of LEU deliveries under the Agreement, under which more than 500 metric tons of weapons-origin HEU was downblended from dismantled Russian nuclear warheads and shipped to the United States to fuel U.S. nuclear reactors. Implementation of the Agreement has been an outstanding example of close and transparent US-Russia collaboration and an important contribution to nuclear disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation.
Following the discussions between Director General Kirienko and Secretary Moniz, initiatives will go forward and strengthen the DOE-Rosatom collaboration:
- Proposed collaborative projects are moving ahead under the new Government-to-Government Agreement on Cooperation on Nuclear- and Energy-Related Scientific Research and Development, which provides the legal framework necessary to expand cooperation between U.S. and Russian nuclear research laboratories in areas including nuclear technology, fundamental and applied science, energy, environment, and nonproliferation;
- Memoranda under the Protocol to the Framework Agreement on a Multilateral Nuclear Environmental Program in the Russian Federation were signed, establishing procedures for work to support bilateral cooperation in nuclear and radiological material security, reactor conversion, combating the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological material, and other areas; and
- Rosatom and the Department of Energy are in the process of extending the Russian-origin Research Reactor Fuel Return program, under which the United States has worked closely with Russia to remove all Russian-origin HEU from nine counties. With the extension of this program, additional HEU will be able to be removed from several other countries.
The Parties agreed to hold the fifth session of the Working Group on Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Security under the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission in 2014. In addition, Director General Kirienko invited Secretary Moniz to visit Russia at his convenience in 2014.