Medvedev signs Russia-US plutonium deal

7th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday signed an updated Russian-US agreement for scrapping weapons-grade plutonium, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

Russia and the United States will each dispose of 34 tonnes of excess plutonium, using it as fuel in reactors and immobilizing it in nuclear waste disposal facilities, the president's office said in a statement.

The amount to be eliminated by the two former Cold War rivals is enough to make 17,000 nuclear weapons, officials said.

The agreement was initially reached in 2000, but was modified in April 2010 by an additional protocol stipulating a US financial commitment of $400 million.

If the money is not provided, Russia may halt the programme, according to the protocol.

© 2011 AFP

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