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How can USA and Russia’s Plutonium Disposition Program finally become effective?

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 24th April 2018 , During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union manufactured
enormous quantities of plutonium for use in nuclear weapons. When that era
ended, the United States and the newly formed Russian Federation began to
reduce their nuclear arsenals. Both nations possessed large stockpiles of
plutonium—a problem that posed both a sustained threat to the environment
and a risk of future nuclear weapons proliferation.

In 2000, the United States and Russia pledged to dispose of their excess plutonium in order to
mitigate the security concerns, safety risks, and storage costs. They
signed the Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement, which requires
each country to dispose of at least 34 metric tons of weapons plutonium.

Unfortunately, the agreement failed to solve the excess plutonium problem.
Eighteen years later, the United States has been unable to develop a
successful strategy to safely, affordably, and permanently dispose of
plutonium from dismantled nuclear weapons, despite a high degree of
industrial capability and technical expertise. Why has the United States
been unable to either implement its obligations under the disposition
agreement or execute its own policy? And how can the Plutonium Disposition
Program finally become effective?

April 27, 2018 - Posted by | - plutonium, USA

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