WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States has recently announced a change in its plutonium disposition policy from mixed oxide nuclear fuel to one of dilute-and-dispose.
"Russia changed its disposition technology in 2010 and there was an update to the PMDA accordingly to take that into account," Roecker stated. "And so, we think that there’s precedence for that and we believe that the dilute-and-dispose plutonium disposition technology is consistent with the PMDA."
The issue has raised the question of whether the US move could violate the plutonium management disposition agreement with Russia.
"We believe that there are very clear clauses in that agreement that allow for a change in disposition technology."
The director added that the United States and Russia should hold a meeting to resolve potential concerns about the US plutonium disposition technology.
"We need to work with our Russian colleagues to negotiate that [the disposition technology] and to come to an agreement on that fact."
Under the PMDA agreement, the United States and Russia committed to each dispose of no less than 34 metric tons of excess weapon-grade plutonium. The total amount of material could be enough for approximately 17,000 nuclear weapons.