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Environment

U.S. Agrees To Take Ukraine’s Uranium

by David J. Hanson
October 3, 2011 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 89, ISSUE 40

The U.S. and Ukraine signed a memorandum of understanding on Sept. 26 designed to prevent nuclear proliferation and modernize Ukraine’s nuclear research facilities. Under the agreement, Ukraine will get rid of the last of its highly enriched uranium left over from when it was part of the Soviet Union and convert its nuclear reactors to allow use of low-enriched uranium. The U.S. will provide financial and technical assistance to eliminate the highly enriched uranium and to convert the reactor. The U.S. will also construct and equip a state-of-the-art research and neutron source facility in Ukraine that will allow Ukraine to produce its own medical isotopes. The highly enriched uranium will be transferred by March 2012, and the research facility and neutron source is expected to be fully operational by 2014. Cost to the U.S. for this program is estimated to be $60 million.

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