Southern Nuclear used 847 dismantled warheads for power

Southern Nuclear, a U.S. nuclear facility operator, used 847 dismantled Russian nuclear warheads to generate clean, reliable power during the recently ended Megatons to Megawatts program, the company said on Thursday.

The company's Farley, Vogtle and Hatch nuclear power plants used low enriched uranium fuel created from the warheads after the weapons-grade materials were diluted or downblended to a usable level. Southern Nuclear began participating in the program in 1995. The final shipment of the low enriched uranium arrived in the U.S. from Russia on December 10.

The Megatons to Megawatts program was a partnership in which uranium from dismantled Russian nuclear warheads was recycled to produce fuel for American nuclear plants. The 20-year, $8 billion program dismantled the equivalent of 20,000 nuclear warheads.

"Megatons to Megawatts was a remarkable program that promoted the peaceful reuse of former nuclear weapons material," Steve Kuczynski, the president and CEO of Southern Nuclear, said. "Southern Nuclear has been a great advocate of the peaceful reuse of former nuclear weapons material; this program demonstrated that we can turn swords into plowshares to benefit all parties involved."

Southern Nuclear operates six nuclear units for Alabama Power and Georgia Power. The company is a subsidiary of the Atlanta-based Southern Company.