NBC Weapons: Russia Renounces Plutonium Production




June 24, 2008:  Russia has shut down two of its three plutonium producing nuclear reactors this year. These are special reactors, which together produced about a ton of weapons-grade plutonium each year. That's enough for 100-200 nuclear weapons. In addition, these reactors provide electricity for the isolated (and top secret during Soviet times) Siberian towns they were in. That's why it took so long to shut them down. The Russian government stopped buying the plutonium in the early 1990s and the U.S. (and several other Western nations) put up over a billion dollars to tear down the plutonium producing plants, and replace them with non-nuclear power plants. The third plutonium plant will close in two years, when its non-nuclear replacement is on line.


Currently, the U.S. has about 115 tons of weapons grade plutonium on hand, while the Russians have 154 tons. Both nations have agreed to dispose (turn into nuclear plant fuel or lock it away somewhere) 75 tons of that.


Article Archive

NBC Weapons: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close