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Romania ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1970, but then-Romanian leader Nicolae Ceausescu pursued a covert nuclear weapons development program. Little information is publicly available on the weapons program, but it is known that hot cells were used for experimental plutonium extraction from irradiated research reactor fuel.
After Ceausescu's overthrow in 1989, the weapons program was terminated. Supply of highly enriched uranium (HEU) for a 14 MW Triga research reactor was terminated by the United States in the late 1980s because of the possibility of diversion of HEU for weapons production; the reactor was shut down from 1989-91 and it was converted to enable use of low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel. A nuclear power program has been in the planning stages for some years in Romania, with five power reactors under construction as of 1995.
On March 30, 1998 Romania and the United States signed an agreement to promote military relations between the two countries and to work together to curb trafficking in deadly chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.On June 30, 2009, the final HEU shipment of Russian origin was repatriated. This was undertaken under the auspices of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative spearheaded by the United States National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and in cohesion with the Russian Federation.
Romania signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) on September 24, 1996 and later ratified the CTBT on October 5, 1999.
A story in the Bucharest newspaper Ziua (April 5, 2005) stated: