June 4, 2000


                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                             (Moscow, Russia)
For Immediate Release                                   June 4, 2000

                                FACT SHEET

    United States - Russian Federation Plutonium Disposition Agreement

President Clinton and President Putin today announced that the United
States and the Russian Federation have completed a key arms control and
nonproliferation agreement providing for the safe, transparent and
irreversible disposition of 68 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium --
enough plutonium to make thousands of nuclear weapons.

The United States and Russia have already agreed to nuclear arms reductions
that have led to the removal of weapons-grade plutonium from their military
programs.  This new agreement details the goals, schedules, monitoring
principles and conditions for the irreversible disposition of that

Unlike weapons-grade uranium, which is being blended down for use as
nuclear power fuel both in the United States and in Russia, plutonium
cannot be blended with other materials to make it unusable in weapons.
Under the agreement, each Party must dispose of at least 34 metric tons of
weapons-grade plutonium by irradiating it as fuel in reactors or by
immobilizing it with high-level radioactive waste, rendering it suitable
for geologic disposal.  The United States intends to use 25.5 tons as fuel
and to immobilize 8.5 tons; the Russian Federation intends to use 34 tons
as fuel.

Both Russia and the United States will accelerate their work leading toward
construction of new industrial-scale facilities for conversion of the
plutonium and its fabrication into fuel.  The Agreement requires each Party
to seek to begin operation of such industrial-scale facilities by 2007, to
achieve a disposition rate of at least 2 metric tons of weapons-grade
plutonium per year and, working with other countries, to identify
additional capacities at least to double that disposition rate.

The agreement establishes certain rights, obligations and principles for
monitoring and inspecting the disposition and the end products to ensure
the plutonium can never again be used for nuclear weapons or any other
military purposes. The agreement bans reprocessing of this plutonium until
the entire 34 metric tons have been disposed.  After that, any reprocessing
of this plutonium must be done under effective, mutually agreed monitoring

The agreement also anticipates that any additional plutonium designated in
the future as excess to defense needs can be disposed under these same
terms and conditions.

The Russian program is estimated to cost over $1.7 billion over twenty
years. The U.S. program, which includes immobilization facilities as well
as conversion and fuel fabrication facilities, is estimated to cost $4

The agreement recognizes the need for international financing and
assistance for the Russian Federation to fulfill the obligations of the
agreement. There is strong international support, particularly among G-8
nations, for the initiation and implementation of plutonium disposition.
The United States and the Russian Federation will work with other countries
to develop an international financing plan for the Russian program and
multilateral arrangements to integrate and coordinate this extensive
cooperation with Russia.  This will be on the agenda for the G-8 Summit in
Okinawa in July.

The U.S. Congress has already appropriated $200 million for plutonium
disposition in Russia, which will now be used for pre-construction design
work for industrial-scale facilities in Russia. Today's agreement will also
accelerate research, development and demonstrations under the 1998
technical agreement for plutonium disposition between the United States and
Russian Federation.

The agreement is a critical, indispensable step toward the goal of ensuring
proper disposition of this plutonium from weapons programs. Next steps
include negotiating multilateral cooperation arrangements, establishing
international financing, and developing plans to accelerate plutonium

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