Vice President Al Gore Signs U.S. - Russia Plutonium Disposition Agreement
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release                                   Contact: Matt
Friday, September 1, 2000                                        (202)

                       VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE SIGNS

Washington, D.C. -- Vice President Gore signed today the United
States-Russian Federation Agreement for irreversibly transforming excess
weapons plutonium into forms unusable for weapons, announced by President
Clinton and President Putin at the June 4 Moscow Summit.   With this action
and Prime Minister Kasyanov?s signature, the Agreement shall be applied as
of today?s date.  This accomplishment advances the critical task of
reducing stockpiles of excess weapons plutonium and contributes to key U.S.
arms control and non-proliferation objectives.

The Agreement requires that 68 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium, 34
tons for each Party, be disposed.  This is enough plutonium for thousands
of nuclear weapons.  It will be disposed by irradiating it as fuel in
reactors or by immobilizing it with high-level radioactive waste, rendering
it suitable for geologic disposal.  Implementation will require the
construction of new industrial-scale facilities to convert and fabricate
this plutonium into fuel in both countries, and to immobilize a portion of
the U.S. material.  The Agreement sets 2007 as the target date to begin
operating such facilities with a minimum disposition goal of 2 metric tons
per year and an obligation to seek to at least double that rate.

The Agreement establishes the goals, timelines, and conditions for ensuring
that this plutonium can never again be used for weapons or any other
military purposes.  Both the process and the end products will be subject
to monitoring and, thus, transparent.  The Agreement bans reprocessing of
any of this plutonium prior to the disposition of all 34 metric tons.  Any
reprocessing thereafter must be under mutually-agreed, effective monitoring
measures.  Plutonium immobilized under the program must never be separated
from the immobilized forms.  The Agreement allows plutonium that may be
designated as excess to defense needs in the future to come under the same

As the Presidents? Joint Statement noted, the Agreement will enable new
cooperation to go forward between the United States and the Russian
Federation.  Thanks to the leadership of Senator Domenici and others in the
U.S. Congress, $200 million has already been appropriated to help implement
the Russian program.

Other G-8 countries have strongly endorsed and advanced this cooperation.
This United States and Russian Federation have urged the G-8 leaders at
their recent summit to accelerate this cooperation by directing development
of necessary multilateral arrangements and an international financing plan
for assisting Russia?s program.  The plan will consider both public and
private sector financing mechanisms.

Also present at today?s signing was Michael Guhin, U.S. negotiator.


President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House | White House for Kids
White House History | White House Tours | Help
Privacy Statement


Site Map

Graphic Version

T H E   W H I T E   H O U S E