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Thursday, March 22, 2018

The cause of suspension of the agreement with the US on plutonium disposition

The Russian President signed a decree Monday suspends agreement with the US on the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium. The reason, according to the document, “the emergence of threats to strategic stability” because of the hostile actions of Washington against Moscow, as well as the inability of the U.S. to comply with previous contractual obligations.

photo: Natalia Gubernatorova

Let me remind you, the agreement to eliminate 68 tons of weapons-grade plutonium (34 tons from both parties), which was declared surplus to defense needs, the United States and Russia signed in August 2000. This document sets out the terms of processing weapons-grade plutonium in mixed fuel, which then can be used in nuclear reactors.

The process of implementation of the agreement because of the different kind of differences — sources of funding, volumes of processing — a long time to brake. In the end the parties agreed that the agreement should work since 2009. Then, in 2010, was signed an additional document on which the disposal was scheduled to begin in 2018.

In particular, the agreement provided that “recycling is carried out by irradiation of recyclable plutonium as fuel in nuclear reactors or any other methods that may be agreed by the Parties in writing”.

Such coordination — and it was confirmed by signatures of the parties — assumed that the plutonium is burned to the point where it almost ceases to be a plutonium. However, the Americans unilaterally, without any consultation with Russia suddenly decided that it was better to destroy your plutonium differently. In fact, they decided to simply “doomed” him, calling it a “new way” of recycling.

Russia, naturally, did not agree, so how is it that we your plutonium to destroy finally and irrevocably, and the Americans, “prikopa” its at any time can just as easily “dig out” and use to create nuclear weapons.

In April of this year, speaking at the media forum of the Russian popular front, Vladimir Putin has already expressed his dissatisfaction with such developments. Then the head of state said that the States “retain the so-called returnable potential” plutonium, and Russia need to think about a response.

But how can you react when you are actually cheating, taking, to put it mildly, for a simpleton? The way out is to cancel with someone who is cheating on you, all previous agreements, respectively, freeing himself from all obligations on this issue.

That is what we are seeing today. And at this point we are still talking only about the suspension of the agreements with the United States on weapons-grade plutonium. Apparently the discussion on this issue will be deferred until then while the chair in the oval office of the White house in Washington won’t take the new owner.


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