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Heu Leu Agreement


Another argument put forward by Rybachenkov at the 1999 hearing was that the revenues from the strong currency generated by the HEU-LEU agreement constituted an important source of additional financing for the Russian nuclear industry, which was facing a large government funding gap. Finally, he said, the total value of the agreement was set at $12 billion based on global market prices at the time the agreement was signed. According to a preliminary estimate, the total revenue generated by the SUR LEU agreement for Russia could reach $17 billion, with about $13 billion in hard currency directly to the public treasury. [8] The program`s revenues, particularly in the 1990s, contributed significantly not only to the profits of the Russian nuclear industry, but also to the Russian treasury. In 1999, one year after the 1998 financial crisis, revenues from the SUR LEU agreement were nearly 3% of the Russian federal government`s revenue. [9] The money has been used in part to fund programs to improve security at Russian nuclear power plants, convert defence facilities to peaceful uses, and clean up contaminated areas as a result of nuclear activities in recent years, particularly in the Ural Mountains region. This rhetoric culminated in 1999 at a special hearing of the geopolitics committee of the Russian Duma. The Duma members who led the hearing invited representatives of the ministries of atomic energy, foreign affairs and defence to testify. In his introductory remarks, the chairman of the committee, Alexei Mitrofanov, then a member of the nationalist political party LDPR, essentially repeated the above arguments. He said the Duma should discuss the issue of Russia`s withdrawal from the agreement because the agreement would be contrary to Russia`s national interests.

Nuclear industry sources predicted a strong shift in demand, which would require finding alternative sources of uranium supply after the Megatons to Megawatts agreement was concluded. [6] In 2011, TENEX and USEC signed a long-term contract (TSA) for the provision of enrichment services in the United States, which could reach annual deliveries after 2015 reaching a level of about half the annual volume of deliveries under the HEU agreement. [7] No plans for new initiatives similar to the Megatons to Megawatts program have been announced. However, Russia has no intention of renewing the LEU agreement. Senior Rosatom officials have pointed this out on more than one occasion and insisted that the remaining surplus stockpiles of Russian HEU would be needed for the Russian nuclear industry.