World News

Russia, U.S. sign deal to reduce nuclear risk

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia and the United States agreed on Tuesday to study the possibility of making Russian research reactors less of a nuclear proliferation risk by converting them to use low-enriched uranium fuel.

U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman signed the agreement with the head of Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko, during a visit aimed to further cooperation on nuclear security and peaceful atomic energy.

Russia has dozens of research reactors that run on highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel, prompting fears that it could fall into the wrong hands and be used to make nuclear weapons.

Experts say converting reactors to use low-enriched uranium (LEU), as has been done with some in the United States and other nations, would significantly reduce that risk.

Reporting by Steve Gutterman; editing by Amie Ferris-Rotman