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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.