Russia to remove HEU fuel from Belarus

On October 8, 2010 Russia and Belarus signed an intergovernmental agreement on return of HEU fuel to Russian and supply of LEU fuel for research reactors in Belarus. The spent HEU fuel will be taken to the reprocessing plant at Mayak, while HEU from fresh fuel will be blended down at the NPO Luch facility near Moscow. Russia will supply Belarus with fresh LEU fuel for its Giatsint critical facility, which is currently using HEU, in exchange for the fresh fuel of the Pamir-630D reactor, which was built in Belarus during the Soviet times.

The program is financed by the U.S. Department of Energy. Funds for this project, which is part of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI), were included in the NNSA FY2011 budget request.

Russia confirmed its commitment to remove HEU fuel from Belarus and other countries at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington in April 2010. The current plan calls for removal of 2357 kg of HEU fuel from abroad by 2016.