Russians to Discuss Peaceful Plutonium Use with Canadians

A Russian delegation will fly to Canada on Monday to discuss ways of peacefully using arms-grade plutonium, withdrawn by Russia under a nuclear weapons reduction pact with the US, Tass reported Sunday.

During the trip, the delegation, consisting of experts form the Russian Nuclear Energy Ministry and the All-Russian Non-Organic Materials Institute, will study progress in experiments on the use for energy production of arms-grade plutonium, the ministry press center was quoted as saying.

A program titled "The Parallex Project" provides for burning experimental uranium-plutonium fuel in a Canada reactor, using heavy water as a moderator and coolant. The experimental fuel was made by the Russian research institute and by the US Los Alamos National Laboratory.

It is expected that the experiment will result in receiving unique data on burning the fuel as well as on the behavior of and interaction between fuel and the reactor's shell, according to the press center.

The Russian ministry reported that implementation of the Parallex Project will help to realize a joint Russian-American agreement on cooperation in the peaceful use of arms-grade plutonium.

Russia's Parallex is being implemented with financial support from the U.S. Energy Department and organizational support from the Canadian Ministry for External Affairs.

Russia and the U.S. signed an agreement on September 1, 2000 to reprocess 34 tons of weapons-grade plutonium each into nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes. The Western countries promised to provide funds and technical support for implementing this program.

People's Daily Online ---