HEU Removal in Vietnam
In July, the U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration’s (DOE/NNSA) Global Threat Reduction Initiative, in a joint operation with the Russian Federation’s State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), successfully removed the last 11 kilograms of highly enriched uranium (HEU) from the Dalat Nuclear Research Institute in Dalat, Vietnam.
The removal was executed in close coordination with the Russian Federation, which has now partnered with the United States on similar projects in 14 countries. With this shipment, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam became the eleventh country from which all HEU has been removed since President Obama’s 2009 announcement in Prague of an international effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world.
Sub-Working Group on Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation Holds Mid-Year Tech Review
The sub-Working Group on U.S. – Russian Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation, under the Auspices of the BPC’s Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Security (NENS) Working Group, held its mid-year technical review via video teleconference between Washington, D.C. and Obninsk, Russia.
The meeting was chaired by the U.S. and Russian Technical Coordinators, Andrew Griffith of the U.S. Department of Energy and Valery Rachkov, the Scientific Director of the Institute for Physics and Power Engineering. The meeting was also attended by the U.S. and Russian leads for the various technical elements under the Working Sub-Group.
Workshop on Exports Controls and Dual-Use Commodities
The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration conducted a training workshop in Troitsk on August 28-30 for representatives from Rosatom’s Trinity Institute and the Russian Academy of Science to discuss international export controls for sensitive dual-use commodities. Participants indicated that the training was very helpful in familiarizing them with the procedural requirements needed to pursue technical exchanges with foreign partners that adhere to Russia’s export control regulations.
Poneman, Kiriyenko sign Joint Statement on Research Reactor Conversion
U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman visited Russia from June 24-28 to participate in the APEC Energy Ministerial in St. Petersburg and the Bilateral Presidential Commission’s Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Security (NE&NS) Working Group plenary in Moscow, as well as to discuss other bilateral issues with the Russian government and with U.S. and Russian industry. At the NE&NS Working Group plenary, co-chairs Poneman and Rosatom Director General Kiriyenko signed a Joint Statement on Research Reactor Conversion. The two sides also announced that Russia and the United States will aim to conclude an agreement on civil nuclear and energy-related research and development cooperation by the end of 2012.
Nuclear Energy and Security Co-Chairs Met in Moscow
On June 26, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman and Rosatom General Director Sergei Kiriyenko co-chaired the fifth Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Security Working Group meeting in Moscow. They signed the Fourth Action Plan for the Working Group, signed a Joint Statement on Research Reactor Conversion, and discussed opportunities and ideas for 2013.
Meeting of Nuclear Energy Leaders
During the week of May 21, a U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) delegation traveled to Moscow to participate in a Working Group meeting with Russian counterparts on the conversion of Russian Research Reactors from highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU). In 2010, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman and Rosatom Director General Sergey Kiriyenko signed an Implementing Agreement to perform feasibility studies on the conversion of Russian research reactors. Since then, the two parties have initiated work on eight feasibility studies. The Russian delegation provided updates on the status of the ongoing feasibility studies and the status of conversion activities for the ARGUS reactor. Representatives from Russia’s fuel fabricator (TVEL) also provided updates to the group on dispersion fuel development for Russian reactors.
Nuclear Material Security Talks and Outreach Activities in St. Petersburg
The Co-Chairs of the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) on Material Protection, Control, and Accounting (MPC&A) met in St. Petersburg, May 22-24, to discuss the status of nuclear material security cooperation between the United States and Russia. John Gerrard, DOE Assistant Deputy Administrator for International Material Protection and Cooperation, led the delegation for the United States, and Konstantin Denisov, Deputy Director General for Security in Rosatom, hosted the meeting for the Russian side. This JCC marks the twentieth meeting to discuss progress on the bilateral cooperation on nuclear security.
During May 29-31, DOE/NNSA’s International Nonproliferation Export Control Program (INECP), Rosatom’s Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (Obninsk), and Rosatom’s Information Association of Enterprises in Nuclear Power and Industry (Inform-Atom), jointly conducted an enterprise outreach event in St. Petersburg for managers of companies in the North-West region of Russia. State Corporation Rosatom enterprises, which implement international contracts regarding controlled commodities and technologies subject to export control laws, also attended this event.
U.S. Energy Delegation Explores U.S.-Russian Civil Nuclear Cooperation
U.S. Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Dr. Peter Lyons led a delegation from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and national laboratory personnel that visited several Russian nuclear facilities and research institutes, April 10-19. The visit was the second part of an exchange between DOE and the Russian State Corporation for Atomic Energy (Rosatom). In August 2011, Rosatom officials conducted a similar visit to several DOE facilities and universities in the United States. Through these visits, the two sides have identified many new areas that would complement and deepen existing cooperation.
► Click here to read more the DOE visit.
Uranium Removal Completed in Ukraine
The governments of the United States, Russia, and Ukraine completed the removal of more than 280 pounds (128 kg) of highly enriched uranium (HEU) from two sites in Ukraine during the week of March 22. These shipments marked the successful completion of a two-year effort to eliminate HEU from Ukraine, fulfilling commitments made by Presidents Obama and Yanukovych at the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit. A total of six shipments, totaling 234 kilograms of HEU, were made over the two-year period. All HEU was shipped to Russia, where it will be downblended into low enriched uranium, which—unlike HEU—cannot be used to make a nuclear weapon. This effort was led on the U.S. side by the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative, working with partners in Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM, the Government of Ukraine, and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Rosatom Visit to the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light-water-reactors
A delegation of Russian scientists visited the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light-water-reactors (CASL) at the Energy Innovation Hub at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory during the week of February 21. While at CASL, they discussed nuclear energy modeling and simulation, supercomputing technologies, nuclear safety code development, as well as the mechanics of the virtual collaboration aspects of the Hub. This falls under the auspices of the U.S.-Russian Civil Nuclear Energy Action Plan.
Russian Federal Customs Service Official Meets with Second Line of Defense Program
On December 12, 2011, First Deputy Head of the Russian Federal Customs Service (FCS) Vladimir Malinin traveled to the U.S. for meetings with representatives of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Second Line of Defense (SLD) program. The SLD and FCS recently concluded a joint project that equipped all 383 FCS border crossings with radiation detection equipment. Malinin also visited Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico to meet with technical representatives as well as view the radiation portal monitor test-bed located there.
English-language Version of Administrative Arrangement to the 123 Agreement Signed
Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman and Rosatom Director General Sergei Kiriyenko held the third annual plenary session of the Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Security Working Group via teleconference. In the course of the event, the two signed the English-language version of the Administrative Arrangement to the 123 Agreement and approved the Fourth Action Plan outlining proposed activities of the sub-groups for the next year.
Nuclear Protective Training Center Opens in Gorelovo, Russia
Together with a Department of Energy (DOE) delegation, St. Petersburg Consul General Bruce Turner took part in the official commissioning ceremony of the Russian Interior Ministry Internal Troops (MVD IT) training center located in Gorelovo, Leningrad Oblast. The January 16 opening of the Gorelovo training center is a result of the successful cooperation of DOE, Rosatom, and MVD IT. The center trains protective force personnel responsible for security at nuclear sites in Russia.
Russian and U.S. Nuclear Officials Meet
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) held a Joint Sustainability Working Group meeting in Moscow, October 6-7. The meeting focused on the future of the Joint Material Protection Control and Accounting Transition Plan, which laid out the necessary steps to upgrade and maintain security at numerous sites in Russia where usable nuclear material is stored. The two sides also developed new guidance for site and project teams involved in the program.
Insider Threat Training Held in Moscow
The National Nuclear Security Administaion’s (NNSA) Office of International Material Protection and Cooperation conducted a one-week training seminar on Insider Threat Identification and Mitigation in Moscow the week of October 31. The workshop focused on the analysis of abrupt and protracted insider theft scenarios and appropriate threat mitigation measures. Participants included Material Protection Control and Accounting managers, generalists, and specialists with expertise in vulnerability assessment and effectiveness evaluation.
U.S. and Russian Nuclear Experts Discuss Lab-to-Lab Cooperation
Representatives of U.S. DOE/National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Rosatom, and both agencies’ associated laboratories, met in Barcelona, Spain, October 23-28. Their agenda included ongoing discussions on expanded U.S.-Russian scientific and technical cooperation, a technical exchange between NNSA and Rosatom laboratories on engineering and materials at extreme conditions, and an executive planning session for future lab-to-lab interactions.
Nuclear Legacy a Focus of Moscow Conference
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Acting Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management Dave Huizenga visited Moscow from October 27 to November 1. While there, he attended a Rosatom-sponsored AtomEco conference and made a presentation on DOE programs that address nuclear legacy issues. He also held a number of bilateral consultations with Rosatom counterparts.
NNSA and FCS Complete Installation of Radiation Detection Equipment
National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Deputy Administrator Anne Harrington met with Vladimir Malinin, First Deputy Head of the Federal Customs Service (FCS) of Russia on September 22, at FCS Headquarters in Moscow to celebrate a major milestone in NNSA-FCS cooperation. The two agencies recently completed, on schedule, the installation of radiation detection equipment at all 383 Russia border crossings, with the work and cost having been shared by both sides. They also participated in a demonstration of the Automated Agency Management Informational System (AAMIS), a joint effort between NNSA and FCS to integrate the FCS’s radiation monitoring infrastructure to allow for real-time alarm monitoring. Read the full press release here.
Rosatom and NNSA Officials Meet in Azerbaijan
The Joint Coordinating Committee to implement the U.S.-Russia Material Protection, Control, and Accounting Agreement, co-chaired by NNSA Assistant Deputy Administrator John Gerrard and Rosatom Director for the Department for Security of State Secrets and Information Anatoly Abalov, met in Baku, Azerbaijan, October 11-15. They discussed ongoing and planned cooperation to ensure the security of nuclear material within Russia.
Russia and the United States Sign Nuclear Cooperation Joint Statement
On September 20, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the signing of a Joint Statement on the strategic directions of U.S.-Russian nuclear cooperation with the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Rosatom Director General Sergey Kiriyenko signed the Joint Statement at the conclusion of bilateral consultations at the International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference in Vienna, Austria. This Joint Statement recognizes that the U.S. and Russia have together actively and consistently demonstrated leadership in the nuclear sphere, particularly in the areas of nuclear disarmament, nonproliferation, and counterterrorism. Read the full press release here.
Bilateral Agreement for Disposal of Weapon-grade Plutonium
July 13 marked the formal entry into force of the amended Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement (PMDA). The amended Agreement commits each country to dispose of no less than 34 metric tons of excess weapon-grade plutonium, beginning in 2018, by irradiating the plutonium as mixed oxide (MOX) fuel in nuclear power reactors. The material to be disposed under the Agreement is enough for 17,000 nuclear weapons. Read more here.
NNSA Deputy Administrator Travels to Moscow
Anne Harrington, Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation at the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and co-coordinator of the WG, traveled to Moscow from June 23-29 to participate in the International Science and Technology Center’s Governing Board meeting. While in Moscow, she also conducted bilateral meetings with her Russian counterparts to advance a number of WG activities.
U.S. and Russian Sides Convene to Discuss Research Reactors
On June 8-9, the U.S. and Russian National Academies of Science held a “Russian-American Symposium on the Conversion of Research Reactors to Low Enriched Uranium Fuel” in Moscow to discuss opportunities and technical challenges for the conversion of research reactors in Russia and the United States. Addresses by NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino and Rosatom Deputy Director General Vyacheslav Pershukov were the symposium’s highlight, which had over 75 attendees from the Russian and U.S. governments, Academies of Science, and technical organizations.
Working Group Co-Chairs Meet During IAEA Conference
The Co-Chairs of the Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Security WG, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman and Rosatom General Director Sergey Kiriyenko, held a bilateral meeting in Vienna on the margins of the IAEA Nuclear Safety Conference on June 20-21.
Coordination Meeting Examines Fuel Return Program and Lessons Learned
On June 6-7, the Global Threat Reduction Initiative hosted the seventh annual U.S.-Russia Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) Meeting for the Russian-origin Fuel Return Program in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Dave Huizenga, NNSA Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation and Ivan Kamenskikh, First Deputy Director General of Rosatom, co-chaired the meeting in which participants discussed the current status of the program and upcoming shipments of Highly Enriched Uranium to Russia. The JCC was immediately followed by a Lessons Learned Workshop that included participants from over 15 countries and the IAEA who have participated in the Russian-origin Fuel Return Program.
Agreement Extends Cooperation on Nuclear Security
On March 23, ROSATOM General Director Sergei Kiriyenko and Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman met in Washington, D.C. and announced an agreement which extends cooperation on nuclear security between the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Russian Federal Environmental, Industrial, and Nuclear Supervision Service (Rostechnadzor) for an additional seven years. Deputy Secretary Poneman remarked that, "This agreement and NNSA’s ongoing work with Russia are vital to reducing international nuclear threats and implementing President Obama's ambitious nuclear security agenda." Read the NNSA Press Release»
123 Agreement Signed Into Force
On January 11, Ambassador John Beyrle and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov exchanged diplomatic notes to bring into force the Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy (the 123 Agreement). This agreement provides the legal foundation for long-term U.S.-Russia civil nuclear cooperation, expanded commercial opportunities for both Russian and U.S. industry, and enhanced cooperation on important global nonproliferation goals. Learn More»
Co-Chair’s Meeting in Moscow
Working Group Co-Chairs Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Poneman and Rosatom Director General Sergey Kiriyenko met December 6-7 in Moscow and signed an Implementing Arrangement on Research Reactor Conversion Feasibility Studies and a Joint Statement on the achievements and concrete near-term activities of the Working Group. Read the Joint Statement here. Deputy Secretary Poneman and Ambassador Beyrle also travelled to Zheleznogorsk and Krasnoyarsk with a delegation from Russia’s ROSATOM to see firsthand the results of Department of Energy (DOE)/National Nuclear Security Administration cooperation in the region.
U.S. and Russia Work Together To Remove Poland’s Nuclear Fuel
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) worked with Poland and Russia to remove more than 450 kilograms (more than 1,000 pounds) of Russian-origin highly enriched uranium (HEU) spent fuel from Poland. The nuclear material, enough to make more than 18 nuclear weapons, was sent back to Russia in a series of five shipments over 12 months and marks the completion of the largest spent fuel shipment campaign in NNSA’s history. The campaign also included the largest single shipment of HEU spent fuel (187 kilograms) and involved the entire fleet of spent fuel transportation casks used for transportation of Russian-origin HEU. Learn More» View Photo Stream»