be accelerated. These efforts should include plans for the ultimate disposition of the plutonium and highly enriched uranium made surplus by the downsizing of the U.S. and Russian arsenals.
The Academies are encouraged by the recent actions of President Bush and the U.S. Congress to restore funding and a high priority to the joint activities in this domain. They provide the basis for the Russian and American governments to accelerate their cooperative programs to ensure adequate security of all nuclear weapons and weapons-grade material throughout Russia. We urge the two governments to move forward rapidly.
The world has not yet given adequate attention to the dangers of misuse of radioactive sources, spent nuclear fuel, and radioactive waste to make radiological devices. New cooperative activities between the two governments are needed to address these issues—in the United States, in Russia, and throughout the world.
In order to assist their respective governments in all of these efforts, the National Academies and the Russian Academy of Sciences will prepare during the next six months an assessment of the immediate steps that should be taken to upgrade the two governments’ collaborative efforts in this domain. Working together, the Academies will develop an agenda for long-term U.S.-Russian cooperation to reduce the risks from nuclear weapons or materials falling into the hands of terrorists or states with hostile intentions. This will include continuing interacademy attention to problems that may arise and how they can be overcome, such as problems associated with access to sensitive facilities. The following interacademy activities related to this assessment and agenda-setting work are already under way or will soon be initiated to provide more detailed insights and recommendations for consideration by the two governments.
A new project will examine how Russia can develop an effective indigenous, sustainable nuclear materials protection, control, and accounting system. This effort will help the Russian nuclear institutions make the transition for the eventual termination of U.S. financial support of these efforts and it will help the Russian government develop the necessary nuclear legal and regulatory framework and practices.
An assessment of end points for disposition of high-level nuclear waste is currently under way that pays particular attention to the physical protection of spent fuel and high-level radioactive waste in the United States and Russia.