White House commemorates completion of Megatons to Megawatts program

The U.S. and Russia commemorated the completion of the Megatons to Megawatts program on Tuesday, which was one of the most successful non-proliferation programs of all time, according to the White House.

Caitlin Hayden, the spokesperson for the White House's National Security Council, made the remarks on Tuesday following the offloading of the last delivery of low-enriched uranium off the Port of Baltimore in Maryland. The low-enriched uranium was derived from 500 metric tons of highly enriched uranium from Russian nuclear warheads.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Russia and the U.S. signed the 1993 U.S.-Russia Highly Enriched Uranium Purchase Agreement in February 1993, as part of a 20-year effort to convert uranium from nuclear warheads to uranium used to fuel U.S. nuclear reactors. During the 20-year, government-to-government agreement, the low-enriched uranium produced from the highly enriched uranium provided approximately one-third of the enrichment services required to fabricate fuel for U.S. nuclear reactors.

"Our countries have seen to fruition the implementation of the 1993 U.S.-Russia Highly Enriched Uranium Purchase Agreement," Hayden said. "That low-enriched uranium, which was blended down from 20,000 Russian nuclear warheads, became fuel for U.S. nuclear power reactors as part of a program more commonly known as 'Megatons to Megawatts.' The program supplied nearly ten percent of all U.S. electricity over the last fifteen years."

Hayden said the U.S. and Russia remain committed to building on the success of the program and will continue to collaborate across various fields of nuclear research, nuclear security, nonproliferation and nuclear development.