JSC Techsnabexport

Русская версия

 TENEX » Dear Readers » Key results in the reporting period » HEU-LEU Programme: A Unique Project of Multilateral Nuclear Cooperation – Lessons and Outcomes
 

HEU-LEU Programme: A Unique Project of Multilateral Nuclear Cooperation – Lessons and Outcomes

The HEU-LEU Agreement

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government
initially incorporated the budget neutrality principle, i.e. LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
derived from HEU

Highly Enriched Uranium
was placed on the open market of nuclear fuel cycle products and services through commercial contracts.
In November 2013, JSC Techsnabexport completed the deliveries of low-enriched uranium

Uranium with a uranium-235 content less than 20% by mass.
under the HEU-LEU Agreement

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government
. The deal is unique, primarily due to the fact that it was implemented using market mechanisms that had not been applied before under disarmament arrangements.
Unlike other Russia–US nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation projects (Cooperative Threat Reduction, Material Protection, Control and Accounting, Nuclear Cities Initiative, etc.) funded by the US federal budget, the HEU-LEU Agreement

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government
initially incorporated the “budget neutrality” principle, i.e. LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
derived from HEU

Highly Enriched Uranium
was placed on the open market of nuclear fuel cycle products and services through commercial contracts.
The technology that made it possible to produce LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
from HEU

Highly Enriched Uranium
such that it is usable as fuel for US NPPs was developed and patented by the staff of JSC UECC in February 1996. The core feature of this technology is the production of “slightly enriched” uranium blendstock for HEU

Highly Enriched Uranium
from depleted uranium.
The processing of HEU

Highly Enriched Uranium
into LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
was carried out by five enterprises: PA Mayak, UECC, AECC, SCC, and ECP. The blendstock (blending material) production technology has been continuously enhanced. The last patent was granted to AECC in April 2013.
Macro flowchart of HEU

Highly Enriched Uranium
to LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
process

In pursuance of the HEU-LEU Agreement

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government
of 14 January 1994, JSC Techsnabexport and USEC signed a contract (HEU-LEU Contract

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government
) under which JSC Techsnabexport undertook to deliver to the USA, by the end of 2013, LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
that was produced by processing 500 tonnes of HEU

Highly Enriched Uranium
extracted from dismantled nuclear charges. USEC undertook to place the delivered LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
on the open nuclear cycle product and service market and paid its cost, including the cost of separative work units and the natural uranium/ feed component (LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
FC).
In 1996, the US Congress adopted legislation under which USEC was privatised and unbound to pay for LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
FC. Commencing in 1997, USEC started transferring natural uranium in the US territory to Russian ownership, in an amount equivalent to LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
FC, most of which could not be sold in the US territory due to sales quotas imposed by the said legislation.
The situation was complicated by the fact that the initial HEU-LEU Contract

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government
pattern was shaped considering provisions of the Agreement Suspending the Antidumping Investigation on Uranium from the Russian Federation (Suspension Agreement

Agreement Suspending the Antidumping Investigation on uranium products from the Russian Federation
) of 1992. The pattern provided, among others, the American party’s paying for LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
FC as it was being sold or used, but not later than 2013. As per the Suspension Agreement

Agreement Suspending the Antidumping Investigation on uranium products from the Russian Federation
terms, SWU

Separative Work Unit
s in LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
could be sold in the United States for US reactor fuel without restraints, while natural uranium, which was transferred to USEC by utilities in exchange for LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
FC derived from HEU

Highly Enriched Uranium
(about one-third of the LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
cost), was not subject to sale in the US market.
In March 1999 JSC Techsnabexport signed a contract for purchasing a part of LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
FC from the Russian side with the so-called Group of Western Companies (GWC), which consisted of Cameco (Canada), Cogema/AREVA (France), and Nukem (Germany/USA).
It was impossible to import natural uranium to Russia because there was no framework agreement for cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy (123 Agreement). This led to the formation of a multimillion dollar debt for the supplied LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
FC that seriously hindered further implementation of the HEU-LEU Agreement

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government
.
Uneasy negotiations with a number of foreign companies that took nearly three years resulted in a contract in March 1999 that JSC Techsnabexport signed with the so-called Group of Western Companies (GWC), which consisted of CAMECO (Canada), Cogema/AREVA (France), and Nukem (Germany/USA). The contract concerned purchasing a part of LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
FC from Russia. In the same year, the Agreement between Minatom of Russia and the US Department of Energy concerning the transfer of the source material to the Russian Federation was signed in order to solve the issue of returning the remaining part of LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
FC.

Macro flowchart of the HEU-LEU Group

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government
of Contracts pack implementation

The large-scale nature, complexity, and duration of the HEU-LEU project

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government
revealed the necessity of periodic updating concerning its implementation mechanisms that had been initially agreed upon. In total, 20 amendments to the HEU-LEU Contract

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government
and nine amendments to the contract with GWC

Group of Western Companies
were signed.
The last amendment to the HEU-LEU Contract

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government
made on 5 June 2012 stated the condition of the accelerated (not later than 22 November 2013) completion of LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
deliveries to ensure timely (not later than 30 December 2013) importation of LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
under the HEU-LEU Agreement

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government
, in the amount of 500 tonnes of HEU

Highly Enriched Uranium
to the USA.
Over the entire HEU-LEU Contract

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government
implementation, deliveries of the Russian LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
, its shipment schedule, and obligations on LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
FC delivery to customers were completed in full and strictly on time, starting from the first shipment of 24 tonnes of LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
from the St. Petersburg seaport in May 1995 until the last shipment of 60 tonnes of LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
from the same port of export in November 2013.
In the reporting year, JSC Techsnabexport shipped 840 tonnes of LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
containing 5,079 tonnes of SWU

Separative Work Unit
s to the USA. The total volume of deliveries in 2013 amounted to US $1.002 billion. As of the yearend data, the cumulative volume of currency received by the federal budget through the HEU-LEU Contract

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government
exceeded US $12 billion.
On 14 November 2013, JSC Techsnabexport and USEC signed a joint statement regarding Russia’s completion of its contractual obligations on the deliveries of LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
to the USA (Joint Statement Regarding the Final Delivery under the Contract DE-AC01-93NE50067, 08843672/50067-02 of 14 January 1994).
On 18 December 2013, the US Administration confirmed Russia’s completion of its obligations under the HEU-LEU Agreement

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government
and documented the fact of downblending no less than 500 tonnes of weapons-origin HEU

Highly Enriched Uranium
and of importing the LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
resulting from the downblending of HEU

Highly Enriched Uranium
to the US. Before that, the US Department of Commerce had published a determination saying that 14,446 tonnes of LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
from 500 tonnes of processed HEU

Highly Enriched Uranium
were imported to the USA over the period of 1995 to 2013 (US Department Of Commerce Determination Of The Quantity Of Russian Low-Enriched Uranium

Uranium with a uranium-235 content less than 20% by mass.
Declared To Be Derived From Highly Enriched Uranium And Imported Into The United States).

The impeccable fulfilment of JSC Techsnabexport’s contractual obligations under the “Megatons to Megawatts” Programme has laid the sound basis for further development of Russia–US NFC cooperation. In 2011, JSC Techsnabexport and USEC signed a long-term contract for delivery (now on a commercial basis) of uranium enrichment services (Transitional Supply Agreement), the annual quantity of which will be about one-half of the annual HEU-LEU Contract

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government
deliveries after 2015.
The prospects of building up commercial EUP exports to the US uranium market are also linked with shaping direct contractual relations between JSC Techsnabexport and US utilities, i.e. the end users of LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
supplies by the Company under the HEU-LEU Contract

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government

Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government
. Over the two decades of the Deal, JSC Techsnabexport has never failed to meet the schedule and terms of LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
delivery and has sustainably satisfied about one-half of the annual needs of US nuclear power plants in terms of uranium enrichment services, which gives US utilities the assurance of a high quality of rendered services and the reliability of the Russian EUP exporter.
Over the two decades of the Deal, JSC Techsnabexport has never failed to meet the schedule and terms of LEU

Low-Enriched Uranium
delivery and has sustainably satisfied about one-half of the annual needs of US nuclear power plants in terms of uranium enrichment services.

The “Megatons to Megawatts” Programme played a significant part in stabilising the economic situation in the Russian nuclear industry in the systemic crisis conditions of the 1990s by meeting the capacities of the enrichment enterprises and retaining scientific and engineering potential for further development.

The financial resources yielded from the programme implementation made up a weighty share of the federal budget income and were spent on military conversion programmes, NPP safety enhancement programmes, and clean-up programmes for radiation-contaminated territories, as well as on support for basic and applied science, among others.

Megaton to Megawatts Programme in figures



Previous page
Next page