Last Russian plutonium production reactor to shut down in 2009

The last Russia's plutonium production reactor, ADE-2 in Zheleznogorsk, will indeed be shut down earlier than it was originally planned (in 2010). Construction of the replacement heat-generating plant in Zheleznogorsk is expected to be completed in the fall of 2009, after which Rosatom would shut down the ADE-2 reactor. The construction of the plant is financed by the United States. Sergey Kiriyenko, the head of Rosatom, said that if the U.S. financing is delayed, the reactor would continue to operate producing weapon-grade plutonium. According to Kiriyenko, Rosatom is spending about 1 billion rubles ($40 million) a year to keep the reactor in operation.