'Megatons to Megawatts' program concludes

Dec. 11, 2013 at 7:51 AM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- The U.S. Energy Department announced a 1993 deal to convert weapons-grade nuclear material from Russia to fuel for the U.S. energy sector was completed.

The last shipment of low-enriched uranium arrived at a port city in Maryland from Russia this week. The shipment marked the last delivery resulting from a 1993 program where weapons-grade uranium is converted from Russian nuclear warheads to fuel for use in the U.S. nuclear energy sector.

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in a statement Tuesday said the so-called Megatons to Megawatts program accounted for nearly 10 percent of the electricity generated in the United States during the last 15 years.

"The Megatons to Megawatts program made a substantial contribution both to the elimination of nuclear weapons material and to nuclear energy generation in the United States," he said in a statement. "Nearly every commercial nuclear reactor in the United States received nuclear fuel under the program."

Both countries pledged to continue working on nuclear-related issues in the future.

Approximately 20,000 Russian nuclear warheads were dismantled as a result of the 1993 agreement.

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