Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Decommissioned Russian warheads are fueling “approximately half of the nuclear energy in the United States,” a senior US State Department official said Wednesday.
“Over the past 15 years, nuclear fuel from this source has accounted for approximately 10 percent of all electricity produced in the United States,” US Acting Under Secretary of State for Arms Control Rose Gottemoeller told a United Nations committee in New York.
Under a landmark 1993 nonproliferation deal, the United States has purchased uranium derived from around 20,000 Russian nuclear warheads eliminated under the accord – informally known as the “Megatons to Megawatts” program – and converted the material into nuclear fuel to be used by nearly all US nuclear power plants, Gottemoeller told the committee.
A final shipment of low-enriched uranium derived from 500 metric tons of highly-enriched uranium from Russian weapons is set to be loaded onto ships in St. Petersburg next month in the presence of US officials and delivered to the United States, she said.
“We will meet again in the United States when that ship delivers this important cargo in December,” Gottemoeller said. “We look forward to jointly celebrating this historic achievement.”
In her remarks to the committee, Gottemoeller praised bilateral nonproliferation efforts
between the two countries but said what has been accomplished “is not enough.”
“The United States and Russian Federation still possess over 90 percent of the nuclear weapons in the world, and it is time we move beyond Cold War postures,” she said.
US President Barack Obama said in a speech in Berlin in June that he would negotiate to cut another one-third of US and Russian nuclear arsenals and seek “bold reductions in US and Russian tactical weapons in Europe.”
Russian officials at the time expressed doubts about the proposed cuts, but Gottemoeller said Wednesday that Washington will “pursue a treaty” with Moscow on negotiated cuts in the two sides’ respective nuclear arsenals.
Since the New START nuclear disarmament treaty entered into force in February 2011, the United States and Russia have exchanged more than 5,000 treaty notifications providing the two sides “day-to-day updates on the status of each others’ nuclear forces,” Gottemoeller said.
“These are joined by the 97 on-site inspections that we have now conducted under New START, which give us even more insights into each others’ nuclear forces, thus enhancing predictability for both countries,” she said.
The New START Treaty was signed by US President Barack Obama and former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in April 2010 and was held up by both sides as the centerpiece of their vaunted campaign to “reset” rocky US-Russian relations.
Source: RIA Novosti
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C.—For the past decade, we’ve been hearing reports that Iran is six months away from attaining a nuclear bomb. Using that logic, one could say that the Islamic Republic now has 20 nuclear bombs. If that is true, then why even attempt to stop a country that already has nuclear weapons in its arsenal? The latest news from nuclear inspectors is that Iran is already installing its next generation centrifuges at its main nuclear facility.
According to Deutsche Welle, in a report on issued Thursday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said 180 of the IR-2m centrifuges had been either fully or partially mounted at the Natanz facility.
“On February 6, 2013, the agency observed that Iran had started the installation of IR-2m centrifuges at the Natanz plant,” the report said.
The IR-2M centrifuges can be used to enrich uranium three to five times faster than the existing centrifuges, named IR-1.
“This is the first time that centrifuges more advanced than the IR-1 have been installed at the plant,” the report said.
However the report noted that Iran had a usable stockpile below the threshold level of about 250 kilograms, the amount necessary to build one bomb. Iran has said its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
The US State Department meanwhile warned that the installation of such centrifuges, as reported, would be a “provocative step.” The UN Security Council has passed several resolutions demanding that Iran suspend all uranium enrichment, with a raft of US-led sanctions now in place.
“The installation of new advanced centrifuges would be a further escalation and a continuing violation of Iran’s obligations,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
Nuland urged Iran to engage seriously with talks set to begin next Tuesday between Iran and the so-called P5 plus 1 group – permanent Security Council member the US, China, Russia, Britain and France, as well as Germany.