Chapter 5:

Summary of Recommendations

International Safeguards

All the options recommended should be designed to be compatible with international safeguards. Since at present the Russians are reluctant to accept international safeguards, the Steering Committee does not recommend directly linking technical aid to a need for comprehensive safeguards on civilian plutonium. But the Steering Committee strongly recommends a sustained international diplomatic effort to negotiate a regime of comprehensive international safeguards for all kinds of plutonium in all countries.

Material Protection, Control, and Accounting (MPC&A)

Technical aid for Russian MPC&A should be enhanced in all phases of the disarmament process and Germany should contribute to these efforts. The Steering Committee recommends that the Gesellschaft für Reaktorsicherheit (GRS, Society for Reactor Safety) should be tasked to develop individual projects for collaboration with Russian labs, in cooperation with senior U.S. and Russian officials responsible for the lab-to-lab activities, and a European coordinator.

Intermediate Storage

The Steering Committee recommends German support for the U.S.-Russian cooperative program to design and build a storage facility. Germany could contribute funding and technology, such as specialized construction equipment, metal and radiation portal detectors, access control and personnel identification technology, video cameras, and motion-detection alarms. As long as the components are in a form that could reveal classified information on warhead design, there must be no German contact with storage of warhead components.

The “Hanau Option”

The Steering Committee agrees that the technically fastest solution for the disposal of weapons plutonium would be transferring Russian plutonium to the plant at Hanau for fabrication into MOX, followed by use in existing light water reactors. The Steering Committee recommends testing the political acceptability of this option by sounding out whether consensus could be reached among the German federal government, the Hesse government, and the major political parties in Germany, and with Russia on its possible implementation. If such a broad consensus appears realistic, the option should be strongly pursued.

A Large MOX Fabrication Plant in Russia

The preferred Russian option is probably the construction of an industrial-scale MOX facility in Russia, but substantial political obstacles in Germany and Russia would have to be overcome to make this a viable solution. A solution that helped move Russia closer to a closed fuel cycle runs counter to current U.S. policy concerning nuclear power, so U.S. political or financial



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U.S.-GERMAN COOPERATION IN THE ELIMINATION OF EXCESS WEAPONS PLUTONIUM Chapter 5: Summary of Recommendations International Safeguards All the options recommended should be designed to be compatible with international safeguards. Since at present the Russians are reluctant to accept international safeguards, the Steering Committee does not recommend directly linking technical aid to a need for comprehensive safeguards on civilian plutonium. But the Steering Committee strongly recommends a sustained international diplomatic effort to negotiate a regime of comprehensive international safeguards for all kinds of plutonium in all countries. Material Protection, Control, and Accounting (MPC&A) Technical aid for Russian MPC&A should be enhanced in all phases of the disarmament process and Germany should contribute to these efforts. The Steering Committee recommends that the Gesellschaft für Reaktorsicherheit (GRS, Society for Reactor Safety) should be tasked to develop individual projects for collaboration with Russian labs, in cooperation with senior U.S. and Russian officials responsible for the lab-to-lab activities, and a European coordinator. Intermediate Storage The Steering Committee recommends German support for the U.S.-Russian cooperative program to design and build a storage facility. Germany could contribute funding and technology, such as specialized construction equipment, metal and radiation portal detectors, access control and personnel identification technology, video cameras, and motion-detection alarms. As long as the components are in a form that could reveal classified information on warhead design, there must be no German contact with storage of warhead components. The “Hanau Option” The Steering Committee agrees that the technically fastest solution for the disposal of weapons plutonium would be transferring Russian plutonium to the plant at Hanau for fabrication into MOX, followed by use in existing light water reactors. The Steering Committee recommends testing the political acceptability of this option by sounding out whether consensus could be reached among the German federal government, the Hesse government, and the major political parties in Germany, and with Russia on its possible implementation. If such a broad consensus appears realistic, the option should be strongly pursued. A Large MOX Fabrication Plant in Russia The preferred Russian option is probably the construction of an industrial-scale MOX facility in Russia, but substantial political obstacles in Germany and Russia would have to be overcome to make this a viable solution. A solution that helped move Russia closer to a closed fuel cycle runs counter to current U.S. policy concerning nuclear power, so U.S. political or financial

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U.S.-GERMAN COOPERATION IN THE ELIMINATION OF EXCESS WEAPONS PLUTONIUM support for this option is unlikely. The Steering Committee recommends pursuing this option only if it becomes clear that the various obstacles to its success stand a reasonable chance of being overcome. Small MOX Fabrication Facility The Russian-German feasibility study recommended German assistance for the building of a small MOX fabrication facility in Russia with a consumption rate of one ton of weapons plutonium per year, in order to demonstrate the application of the technology in the Russian environment. The Steering Committee endorses this recommendation in parallel with several other activities, including collaborative work between appropriate German and Russian institutes and industries to analyze the operation of Russian VVER-1000 nuclear power reactors with MOX fuel. This should be complemented by the fabrication of some MOX fuel assemblies to be consumed in the VVER-1000s, with appropriate safeguards. Small Pilot Vitrification Facility The Steering Committee does not recommend efforts to gain Russian acceptance for a major vitrification facility for Russian WPu at this time. On the other hand, in addition to the WPu from warheads, Russia has a substantial amount of residual WPu, and vitrification, for technical reasons, appears to be the preferable disposal option. The Steering Committee therefore recommends the development and construction of a small vitrification facility in Russia as a pilot project. The Russians would become familiar with the preferred Western vitrification technology and the associated safeguards and the experience might reduce Russian opposition to this option.