01 September 2000

Text: Gore Signs U.S.-Russia Plutonium Disposition Agreement

(Each side pledges to dispose of 34 tons of weapons-grade plutonium)

Vice President Al Gore signed the U.S.-Russia Plutonium Disposition
Agreement September 1, which, with the signature of Russian Prime
Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, will go into effect as of this date.

The agreement was announced by President Clinton and Russian President
Vladimir Putin during their summit in Moscow June 4 and provides for
the irreversible transformation of excess weapons plutonium into forms
unusable for weapons.

An announcement from Gore's office said the agreement requires each
party to dispose of 34 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium --
enough for thousands of nuclear weapons. The two means of disposition
are irradiation in reactors or immobilization with high-level
radioactive waste, rendering the plutonium suitable for geologic

"This accomplishment advances the critical task of reducing stockpiles
of excess weapons plutonium and contributes to key U.S. arms control
and non-proliferation objectives," the announcement said.

Following is the text:

(begin text)


Office of the Vice President 

September 1, 2000


Washington, D.C. -- Vice President Gore signed today the United
States-Russian Federation Agreement for irreversibly transforming
excess weapons plutonium into forms unusable for weapons, announced by
President Clinton and President Putin at the June 4 Moscow Summit.
With this action and Prime Minister Kasyanov's signature, the
Agreement shall be applied as of today's date. This accomplishment
advances the critical task of reducing stockpiles of excess weapons
plutonium and contributes to key U.S. arms control and
non-proliferation objectives.

The Agreement requires that 68 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium,
34 tons for each Party, be disposed. This is enough plutonium for
thousands of nuclear weapons. It will be disposed by irradiating it as
fuel in reactors or by immobilizing it with high-level radioactive
waste, rendering it suitable for geologic disposal. Implementation
will require the construction of new industrial-scale facilities to
convert and fabricate this plutonium into fuel in both countries, and
to immobilize a portion of the U.S. material. The Agreement sets 2007
as the target date to begin operating such facilities with a minimum
disposition goal of 2 metric tons per year and an obligation to seek
at least double that rate.

The Agreement establishes the goals, timelines, and conditions for
ensuring that this plutonium can never again be used for weapons or
any other military purposes. Both the process and the end products
will be subject to monitoring and, thus, transparent. The Agreement
bans reprocessing of any of this plutonium prior to the disposition of
all 34 metric tons. Any reprocessing thereafter must be under
mutually-agreed, effective monitoring measures. Plutonium immobilized
under the program must never be separated from the immobilized forms.
The Agreement allows plutonium that may be designated as excess to
defense needs in the future to come under the same program.

As the Presidents' Joint Statement noted, the Agreement will enable
new cooperation to go forward between the United States and the
Russian Federation. Thanks to the leadership of Senator Domenici and
others in the U.S. Congress, $200 million has already been
appropriated to help implement the Russian program.

Other G-8 countries have strongly endorsed and advanced this
cooperation. The United States and Russian Federation have urged the
G-8 leaders at their recent summit to accelerate this cooperation by
directing development of necessary multilateral arrangements and an
international financing plan for assisting Russia's program. The plan
will consider both public and private sector financing mechanisms.

Also present at today's signing was Michael Guhin, U.S. negotiator.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site:

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