Ukraine Vows to Get Rid of its Enriched Uranium

From the Financial Times: Ukraine pledged yesterday to get rid of its stockpile of highly enriched uranium, enough to make several nuclear weapons, within two years – a good omen for President Barack Obama as he opened a nuclear security summit in Washington.

The agreement between Mr Obama and Viktor Yanukovich, his Ukrainian counterpart, will see Ukraine starting to transfer its weapons-grade uranium to a secure location this year, part of the US president’s efforts to ensure that nuclear materials cannot fall into the hands of terrorists. …

The US will provide technical and financial assistance and Ukraine will convert its nuclear power plants to operate on lowenriched fuel. Almost half of the country’s power comes from nuclear energy. …

However, it still has about 163kg of highly enriched uranium, 107kg of which is 90 per cent enriched in uranium oxide and could be converted into fissile material relatively easily.

"By the end of this year, Ukraine is going to have the larger part of this uranium taken out of the country," Mr Yanukovich told CNN yesterday. (photo: Reuters)

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