October 19, 2021

Biology Reporter

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MW to MW. How the United States gave Russia nuclear weapons to uranium plants [KOMENTARZ]

In discussions of the general use of the atom, the argument about the risk of nuclear proliferation is often encountered. According to many anti-nuclear activists, the construction of new nuclear power plants will help expand access to technologies that will enable the production of highly enriched uranium for military purposes. In other words: according to these allegations, nuclear power nations could easily turn to nuclear weapons. History shows that this is not the case – there are many countries that use nuclear weapons for civilian purposes (energy and research) without the necessary infrastructure to build them. However, countries like North Korea do not have an operating energy reactor, but have nuclear weapons in their arsenal.

One of the clearest proofs that nuclear power does not represent the proliferation of nuclear weapons is (or rather) project MW to MW (MW to MW). The initiative began in an October 1991 article in the New York Times by physicist Thomas Nef, which proposed the purchase of Russian military uranium for a US civilian nuclear program. This idea blended into the atmosphere of nuclear disarmament, which was initiated by the activities of the United States and the Soviet Union in the late 1980s.

The idea appealed to the administration of President George HW Bush, which sent negotiators to Moscow. Negotiations with the Russian side led to a 20-year agreement on August 28, 1992. It was signed in 1993 by the new US President Bill Clinton.

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The US-Russia agreement involved the processing of about 500 tons of Russian uranium with high concentrations (derived from about 20,000 atomic bombs). Uranium HEU (Eng. Highly enriched uranium), For fuel that can be used in nuclear power plants (i.e. LEU, low enriched uranium). The first LEU exports reached the United States in May 1995.

The project lasted until 2013, when – as scheduled – it was completed. As part of that, about 500 tons in the military HEU, about 15 thousand. Tons of LEU, then went to US nuclear power plants. The value of the initiative is estimated at $ 17 billion. In the 20 years since Megadon’s first megawatt project, about 10% of the electricity generated in the United States comes from fuel generated from Russian nuclear weapons.

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