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U.S. And Russia Complete Nuclear Security Upgrades Under Bratislava Initiative

December 23, 2008 - 9:18am

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WASHINGTON, DC -The U.S. Department of Energy today delivered the Bratislava Nuclear Security report to the White House, which detailed the status of work agreed to by Presidents Bush and Putin in Bratislava in 2005. U.S. and Russian officials from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the U.S. Department of Defense, the Russian Ministry of Defense and State Atomic Energy Corporation "Rosatom" reviewed work to complete nuclear security upgrades in Russia at meetings in Moscow last week.  Building on this success, both countries will continue to actively pursue additional Presidential objectives.

"U.S. cooperation with Russia to reach the goals of the Bratislava Nuclear Security Initiative has made the world a safer place," said U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman. "I am proud of the work we have accomplished together, which has made an enormous contribution to global security.  These efforts demonstrate our recognition of the grave threat posed by a terrorist's acquisition of nuclear weapons and our determination to prevent this from happening."

The Bratislava Nuclear Security Initiative was launched by President Bush and then-President Putin during their meeting in Bratislava, Slovak Republic in February 2005.  Both sides agreed to enhanced cooperation in five key areas: upgrading security of nuclear facilities, expanding emergency response, enhancing nuclear security culture, accelerating research reactor conversions and fuel returns, and sharing best practices.  Nuclear security upgrades were accelerated by two years and will be completed by the end of 2008. 

The upgrades included in the Bratislava Nuclear Security Initiative represented the vast majority of such work in Russia.  Some additional cooperative work that was agreed to after 2005 will continue until 2012.  At the same time, the U.S. and Russia are putting in place the necessary elements to ensure the long-term sustainability of these upgrades.  

In addition, the U.S. and Russia continue to cooperate to fulfill the Bratislava commitments to convert research reactors internationally fueled with highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium fuel and to return all Russian-origin HEU fresh and spent nuclear fuel stored outside research reactors to Russia by 2010.  To complement the physical security upgrades at nuclear weapons storage sites, the U.S. also assisted the Russian Ministry of Defense in automating its nuclear weapons inventory management system and continues to work jointly to enhance the secure transportation of nuclear weapons from operational sites to dismantlement facilities and to centralized storage.

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. Visit www.nnsa.energy.gov for more information.

Media contact(s):

Healy Baumgardner, (202) 586-4940

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