MOSCOW NUCLEAR SAFETY AND SECURITY SUMMIT

Safe and Effective Management of Weapons Fissile Material Designated As No Longer Required for Defence Purposes

April 20, 1996

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As a result of disarmament measures, there are growing stocks of weapons fissile material, separated plutonium and highly-enriched uranium (HEU), designated as no longer required for defence purposes. It is the national responsibility of each state possessing such material to ensure that it is kept safely guarded so that it may not become the object of criminal diversion which would be a serious threat to the international non-proliferation regime.

This fissile material should be safely, affordably, and effectively stored and handled under physical protection, accounting and control measures that meet the highest international standards and that ensure effective non-proliferation controls, until it can be transformed into spent fuel or other forms equally unusable for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices and safely and permanently disposed of.

Significant effort will be required for the storage, handling, and eventual disposal of this fissile material, and each state possessing fissile material designated as no longer required for defence purposes is responsible for its management, taking into account the need to avoid contributing to the risks of nuclear proliferation; the need to protect the environment, workers and the public; the resource value of the material and the costs and benefits involved.

In the context of the Moscow Summit on Nuclear Safety and Security, Participants wished to comment upon the importance of this issue and to address the risks associated with these growing stocks of excess weapons fissile material. At the same time, they identified possible strategies for the safe and effective management of fissile material designated as no longer required for defence purposes. They reached a common understanding on the following:

On the specific question of possible options for dealing with fissile material designated as no longer required for defence purposes, including--for plutonium--safe and secure long-term storage, vitrification or other methods of permanent disposal, or conversion into mixed-oxide fuel (MOX) for use in nuclear reactors, they reached a common understanding on:

Criteria for selecting appropriate national strategies for managing fissile material designated as no longer required for defence purposes, including safe and secure long-term storage, vitrification or other methods of permanent disposal, or conversion into mixed-oxide fuel (MOX) for use in nuclear reactors, were identified as:


Source: Released at the Moscow Nuclear Safety and Security Summit, April 20, 1996.

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