Germany Returns Shipment of Enriched Uranium to Russia

Germany Returns Shipment of Enriched Uranium to Russia

A Russian cargo plane carrying around 330 kilograms (730 lbs) of enriched uranium from Germany has landed at an airport near Moscow, Russia’s nuclear watchdog said.

The uranium was supplied to the Rossendorf nuclear research center, shut down in 1991, as part of bilateral cooperation agreements between the former Soviet Union and former East Germany, the Federal Nuclear Power Agency said in a statement.

The one million euro ($1.31 million) relocation, funded by Germany, falls under the Russian Research Reactor Fuel Return (RRRFR) program, designed to reduce global stockpiles of highly enriched uranium.

The shipment includes about 268 kilograms (590 lbs) of highly enriched uranium and 58 kilograms (128 lbs) of low-enriched uranium, and is set to be used at one of Russia’s nuclear power plants.

The weekly storage cost of the uranium at the Rossendorf center was 92,000 euros ($120,000), including spending on security.

Therefore, the authorities of Germany’s Saxony region are interested in relocating of all its “nuclear legacy,” estimated at around 4,500 kilograms (9,900 lbs), to its ex-Soviet supplier. The program will end in 2011.

Since 2004, Russia has also repatriated new highly enriched uranium from Soviet-built plants in eight other countries — Serbia, Romania, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Libya, Latvia, Poland and Uzbekistan.

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