Dutch adds to USA effort to close down Russia's plutonium reactors

5 July 2005

The Netherlands is to contribute €1 million towards an American effort to close down Russia’s last three plutonium producing reactors in a recent memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two nations.

The US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced the move that will see the Dutch become the third country in 2005 to contribute monetarily to the programme, joining Canada and the UK.

The three reactors are the primary sources of heat and electricity for Seversk and Zheleznogorsk, two closed cities in the Russian nuclear weapons complex. The Russian Federation has agreed to permanently shut down the reactors once replacement facilities are operating and the Dutch contribution will help accelerate the construction of the replacement power facility in Zheleznogorsk.

The US programme, part of the Department of Energy's NNSA Elimination of Weapons-Grade Plutonium Production (EWGPP) plan, aims to develop replacement power plants that are fossil-fuelled.

With the contribution by the Netherlands, the total international contribution to the EWGPP programme has now reached approximately $28.3 million.




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