Russia shuts last weapons-grade plutonium reactor


New Member
Feb 16, 2009
(Reuters) - Russia shut its last weapons- grade plutonium reactor on Thursday, local news agencies reported, under a deal with the United States to cut the risk of nuclear proliferation from Soviet era bomb-making plants.


The reactor, known as ADE-2, started up in 1964 while Nikita Khrushchev was in power at a secret plant near the Siberian city of Zheleznogorsk in the Krasnoyarsk region.

After the end of the Cold War, Russia had no need to produce more weapons-grade plutonium as it had large stocks from thousands of decommissioned nuclear weapons. The exact size of its plutonium reserves is a state secret.

Russia and the United States, concerned at the danger of weapons-grade materials being sold on the black market, agreed in March 2003 to shut down Russia's remaining plutonium-producing reactors.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced on April 13, while attending the Washington nuclear summit, that the ADE-2 reactor would be shut.

"This important step forward continues to demonstrate Russia's leadership on nuclear security issues, and will add momentum to our shared global effort," President Barack Obama said on April 13.

Although plutonium production has ended at the Mining and Chemical Combine, its dual-purpose reactor continues to generate heat and electricity for local people, RIA news agency reported.

Under the terms of a deal signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, both countries must dispose of 34 metric tons of plutonium by burning it in nuclear reactors.

(Reporting by Conor Sweeney; Editing by Robert Woodward)


Senior Member
Oct 5, 2009
Russia shuts plutonium reactor

Russia shut its last weapons-grade plutonium reactor on Thursday in line with a pledge President Dmitry Medvedev made at the U.S. nuclear safety summit in Washington earlier this week.

The ADE-2 reactor near the Siberian town of Zheleznogorsk was started in 1964 and holds the world record as the longest operating plutonium reactor.

It was also the last remaining weapons-grade plutonium reactor in the world.

Two other reactors at the Mining and Chemical Combine in Zhelezgogorsk were decommissioned in 1992, as Russia no longer needed to produce weapons-grade plutonium following the end of the Cold war.

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