Russia is a nuclear weapon state member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It is estimated to have about 12,000 nuclear warheads, of which about 4,600 warheads are believed to be operationally deployed - 2,600 warheads on strategic delivery vehicles and about 2,000 warheads associated with shorter-range delivery vehicles and other non-strategic systems. About 7,300 nuclear warheads are estimated to be in reserve or awaiting dismantlement.
As of the end of 2012, Russia's fissile material stock is estimated to include about 128 tonnes of weapon-grade plutonium and 695 tonnes of highly-enriched uranium. Some of this material is in weapons. Russia also declared 49.8 tonnes of reactor-grade separated unirradiated plutonium (as of the end of 2011).
Russia is not producing fissile materials for weapons. Production of HEU for weapons was discontinued before 1989. The last plutonium production reactor was shut down in April 2010.
Enriched uranium was produced at four facilities - the Urals Electrochemical Combine in Novouralsk (Sverdlovsk-44), the Isotope Separation Plant at the Siberian Chemical Combine in Seversk (Tomsk-7), the Electrochemical Plant in Zelenogorsk (Krasnoyarsk-45), and Electrolyzing Chemical Combine in Angarsk. The first enriched uranium was produced in November 1949 at the D-1 facility in Sverdlovsk-44. All four enrichment plants continue to operate today, producing LEU for power reactors.
The total amount of weapon-grade HEU that was produced by 1989, when the production ended, is estimated to be about 1470±120 tonnes. Of this amount, about 1250 tonnes was produced as weapon-grade HEU, while the rest was produced as medium enriched uranium that was used to manufacture naval fuel, fuel for research reactors and fast reactors.
About 45 tonnes of HEU was used to manufacture fuel for plutonium and tritium production reactors. About 12 tonnes was used in fuel for research reactors and about 2 tonnes were used in the process of production of fuel for RBMK power reactors. Approximately 7 tonnes were spent in nuclear tests. About 10 tonnes are estimated to have been lost to waste. Of the estimated 150 tonnes that was used to manufacture naval fuel, 140 tonnes have been reprocessed and 10 tonnes are estimated to remain in spent fuel.
Under an agreement with the United States, Russia committed to blend down 500 tonnes of its HEU. The resulting LEU is sold to the United States to produce fuel for power reactors. As of the end of 2012, 472.6 tonnes of this material have been blended down with the remaining 26.4 tonnes to be blended down in 2013. Another program, the Material Conversion and Consolidation project (MCC), has blended down 15.2 tonnes of HEU with plans to blend down about 2 tonnes in 2013.
The current stock of HEU in Russia is therefore estimated to be about 695±120 tonnes, of which 28.4 tonnes will be blended down in 2013. This means that Russia has about 660 tonnes of HEU that is either in weapons or is available for military uses.
Plutonium for weapons was produced at three sites - the Mayak Production Association in Ozersk (formerly Chelyabinsk-65), the Siberian Chemical Combine in Seversk (Tomsk-7), and the Mining and Chemical Combine in Zheleznogorsk (Krasnoyarsk-26). The first plutonium production reactor, Reactor A at Mayak, began operation in June 1948. The last production reactor, ADE-2 in Zheleznogorsk, was shut down in April 2010.
Weapon-grade plutonium separated at dedicated reprocessing plants located at the same three sites. The weapon-plutonium reprocessing facility at Mayak was shut down in 1987, after which the fuel from the Mayak reactors was sent to Tomsk-7 for reprocessing. Reprocessing plants in Seversk and Zheleznogorsk will be shut down after they process the last fuel of the production reactors that are located there, in 2010 and 2012 respectively.
The total amount of weapon-grade plutonium produced by reactors at these three sites is estimated to be 145±8 tonnes. Of these, about 17 tonnes has been used in nuclear-weapon tests or was lost in waste and in warheads in three submarines that sank. About 15 tonnes of the weapon-grade plutonium stock was produced after September 1994 by three plutonium-production reactors that continued operating to supply district heat and electricity to the Siberian cities of Tomsk and Zheleznogorsk. The Russian government committed that this plutonium would not be used in weapons. Nine tonnes of this post-September-1994 stock and additional 25 tonnes of plutonium from the military stock were declared as excess to national security needs. These 34 tonnes of weapon-grade plutonium will be disposed of, most likely as fuel for Russia's breeder reactors.
The total amount of weapon-grade plutonium that exists in Russia today is estimated to be 128±8 tonnes, of which about 88 tonnes are either in weapons or available for military uses (this takes into account that 6 tonnes of post-1994 plutonium is not available for weapons).
Russia is operating the RT-1 reprocessing plant at the Mayak site in Ozersk. The plant can reprocess spent fuel of VVER-440 power reactors as well as HEU fuel of production reactors and fuel of naval and research reactors. Design capacity of the RT-1 plant is 400 tonnes of VVER-440 fuel. The plant began operations in 1976 and continues to work today, although at a fraction of its design capacity.
According to an annual declaration submitted to IAEA, as of December 31, 2011 Russia owned 50.1 tonnes of separated reactor-grade plutonium, most of which was stored at RT-1.