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Diplomacy in Action

Entry into Force of the U.S.-Russian Agreement to Dispose of Excess Weapon-Grade Plutonium


Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 13, 2011

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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov today exchanged diplomatic notes bringing the U.S.-Russian Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement and its 2006 and 2010 Protocols into force. This marks another significant step in both countries’ efforts to eliminate nuclear-weapon-grade materials and to reduce nuclear dangers.

The amended Agreement commits each country to dispose of no less than 34 metric tons of excess weapon-grade plutonium, under strict non-proliferation conditions. The initial combined amount, 68 metric tons, represents enough material for about 17,000 nuclear weapons, and the Agreement envisions disposition of more weapon-grade plutonium over time. Disposition of the plutonium is scheduled to begin in 2018.

Entry into force of the Agreement also represents a significant milestone in U.S.-Russian cooperation on nuclear security measures, and it marks an essential step in the nuclear disarmament process by making these reductions in plutonium stocks irreversible.

In addition, the Agreement breaks new ground on cooperative transparency. Pursuant to a joint request by Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Lavrov to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Amano last August, the two countries and the IAEA are making progress on appropriate IAEA verification measures for each country’s disposition program.



PRN: 2011/1177

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