Multilateral cooperation of the U.S. and Russia within the framework of the international projects initiated by these countries in the year 2000 on the development of advanced “Generation IV” reactors (GIF) and the IAEA project on innovative nuclear reactors and fuel cycles (INPRO), respectively.
Besides problems and impediments emerging in U.S.-Russian cooperation on nuclear nonproliferation, useful experience has been gained, and many specific results obtained. Prior to the analysis of problems and impediments to bilateral cooperation, it would be worthwhile to summarize the experience and good practices that could be used in the development of recommendations on overcoming or mitigation of the impediments.
When analyzing the achievements, a consideration of some other bilateral U.S.-Russian cooperation projects related to nuclear nonproliferation (e.g., in the area of improving nuclear safety at nuclear power plants (NPPs)) is deemed useful for learning lessons in nuclear nonproliferation projects.
An umbrella Agreement on the safe and secure transportation, storage and destruction of weapons and the prevention of weapons proliferation (also known as the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program (CTR) Program), signed by the Presidents of the U.S. and Russia in June 1992, provided a framework for implementation of the START I Treaty, initiated large-scale cooperation on this subject, and was especially important for strengthening strategic stability. The initiative focused on Russia and some other former Soviet Union countries, and was initiated on the U.S. side by U.S. Senators Nunn and Lugar; for this reason the Agreement is often called the Nunn-Lugar program.
As an extension of the intergovernmental umbrella Agreement, about twenty executive agreements have been signed covering a wide range of bilateral interactions, such as elimination of strategic offensive arms, safety improvements of nuclear weapons transportation and storage, disposal of chemical weapons stocks, improvement of the nuclear material protection, control and accounting system, construction of a storage facility for surplus weapons-grade fissionable materials, and shutdown of weapons-grade plutonium production reactors.
When summing up the CTR program implementation results over more than 10 years, it could be concluded that the Agreement made and still makes it possible to address successfully in a relatively short time such important challenges as:
Ensuring safe shipping to Russia of nuclear ammunition [warheads] from the Ukraine, Byelorussia and Kazakhstan;
Upgrading considerably the safety level in storing both nuclear weapons at R.F. Ministry of Defense facilities and nuclear submarine SNF at the Russian Navy facilities;