Megatons To Megawatts: Russian Warheads Fuel U.S. Power Plants

Here’s a remarkable fact: For the past two decades, 10 percent of all the electricity consumed in the United States has come from Russian nuclear warheads.

It was all part of a deal struck at the end of the Cold War. That deal wraps up today, when the final shipment of fuel arrives at a U.S. facility.

The origins of the plan lie in the early 1990s. At the time, was working for the U.S. Department of Energy. The Soviet Union had just disintegrated, and Sewell’s job was to find ways to collaborate with the former adversaries.

“Russia’s nuclear industry badly needed the funding,” says , the director of the Center for Energy and Security Studies outside Moscow. He says Russia’s nuclear complex had nearly a million workers who weren’t getting paid a living wage.

So, in 1993 : The Russians would turn about 500 tons of bomb-grade uranium into nuclear fuel. The U.S. would buy it and sell it to commercial power plants here.

Khlopkov says it was a win-win. “This is the only time in history when disarmament was actually profitable,” he says.

Full article: Megatons To Megawatts: Russian Warheads Fuel U.S. Power Plants (NPR)

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