Tracking highly enriched uranium and plutonium, the key nuclear weapon materials

Last HEU-LEU program shipment to leave Russia

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On 14 November 2013 Russia has shipped the last batch of low-enriched uranium under the U.S.-Russian HEU-LEU program (also known as "Megatons to Megawatts"). An official ceremony took place in St. Petersburg, where the containers were loaded on a transport ship. The cargo will be delivered to Baltimore and then to USEC's Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Kentucky, where the uranium will be used to manufacture fuel for U.S. nuclear power plants.

The HEU-LEU deal, formally known as the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Russian Federation Concerning the Disposition of Highly Enriched Uranium Extracted from Nuclear Weapons, was signed in 1993. Under the agreement, first suggested in 1991 by Thomas Neff, Russia has blended down 500 tonnes of HEU from its weapons - an equivalent of about 20,000 weapons. The agreement included a series of transparency measures that allowed the United States and Russia to monitor implementation of the agreement. The first shipment of LEU took place in 1995 (see the detailed timeline of the program at USEC site).

UPDATE 12/10/2013: The shipment arrived in Baltimore on 10 December 2013.

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