U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Director General of the Russian Federation State Corporation “Rosatom” Sergey Kirienko today signed the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Russian Federation on Cooperation in Nuclear- and Energy-Related Scientific Research and Development on the margins of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s General Conference in Vienna, Austria.
The Agreement provides the legal framework necessary to expand cooperation between U.S. and Russian nuclear research laboratories, institutes, and facilities in a broad range of areas, including nuclear technology, nonproliferation, fundamental and applied science, energy, and environment. It will complement provisions of the U.S. – Russian Agreement for Cooperation in the Field of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, which came into force in January 2011 and opened new opportunities to work together on a wide range of issues in this sphere.
“This Agreement supports President Obama’s nonproliferation and climate priorities by providing a venue for scientific collaboration and relationship-building between the U.S. and Russian research and technical communities,” said Energy Secretary Moniz. “Jointly, these communities will work to further develop advanced technologies that can address some of our most pressing nuclear energy and nuclear security challenges.”
Potential projects covered by the Agreement could include international safeguards, establishment of a Multi-Purpose Fast Research Reactor International Research Center, irradiation of fuels and materials in the fast-spectrum research reactor “BOR-60,” and defense from asteroids, among others. The United States and Russia are equal partners under the Agreement, with each country bearing its own costs.
The United States and Russia have a long history of cooperation on nonproliferation, nuclear security and nuclear energy. This new framework builds upon the success of the 1992 Agreement between the United States of America and the Russian Federation Concerning the Safe and Secure Transportation, Storage and Destruction of Weapons and the Prevention of Weapons Proliferation, commonly known as the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Umbrella Agreement, which expired in June 2013.
Later this year, the United States and Russia are scheduled to celebrate the final delivery of low enriched uranium under a 1993 agreement that provided for the conversion of 500 metric tons of Russian highly enriched uranium from nuclear weapons to non-weapons usable low enrichment uranium for use in U.S. commercial reactors.