USEC Inc. shipped the last cylinders of low enriched uranium under the Megatons to Megawatts program from the Port of Baltimore to the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Facility in Kentucky.
The Megatons to Megawatts program is a commercially financed government-industry partnership that downblended bomb-grade uranium from dismantled Russian nuclear warheads and sold to USEC to help fuel U.S. nuclear power plants.
Since 1995, USEC has purchased more than 14,000 metric tons of low enriched uranium downblended from 500 metric tons of weapons-grade uranium extracted from the equivalent of 20,000 Russian nuclear warheads. Nearly 10 percent of all the electricity generated in the U.S. has been fueled by this uranium since the late 1990s.
“Today, the United States and Russia are commemorating the completion of one of the most successful non-proliferation programs in our history,” said U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesperson Caitlin Hayden. “With this week’s off-loading at the Port of Baltimore, Maryland, of the last delivery of low-enriched uranium derived from 500 metric tons of highly enriched uranium, our countries have seen to fruition the implementation of the 1993 U.S.-Russia Highly Enriched Uranium Purchase Agreement.”
In 2011, USEC and Techsnabexport (TENEX) signed a multi-year contract to supply low enriched uranium to USEC starting in 2013, and ramp up the supply until it reaches a level in 2015 that is about one-half the level supplied by TENEX to USEC under the Megatons to Megawatts program.