Russian Nuclear Weapons: U.S. Implementation of the Soviet Nuclear Threat Reduction Act of 1991, Statement for the Record by Frank C. Conahan, Assistant Comptroller General, National Security and International Affairs Division, Testimony before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate   [open pdf - 486KB]

"The Nuclear Threat Reduction Act of 1991--passed in response to the turmoil associated with the collapse of the Soviet Union--provided $400 million to transport, store, safeguard, and destroy Soviet nuclear and chemical weapons. Preventing the proliferation of such weapons was a key objective. GAO [General Accounting Office] found that a shortage of funds has not been a problem, although most of the $400 million has yet to be tied to specific projects. U.S. executive branch agencies have been engaging in an unprecedented dialogue with their Russian counterparts on how to handle the Soviet nuclear arsenal. They have negotiated several agreements to help protect Russian nuclear weapons in transit, assist Russia in responding to possible accidents involving these weapons, and provide containers for transporting and storing nuclear materials. These agreements are not, however, directly linked to accelerating dismantling Russian nuclear weapons. Russian officials have sought U.S. help in building a large facility for storing highly enriched weapons-grade uranium and plutonium from dismantled weapons. GAO believes that the Russian request raises many questions about both the facility and its role in the ultimate disposal of these materials in a way that minimizes the risk that they could be reused for weapons."

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