Reluctant Nonproliferation

Russia is no longer cooperating with the National Nuclear Security Administration on many previous nuclear nonproliferation efforts, said NNSA Administrator Frank Klotz on Monday. “Historically [Russia] has been a very, very important part of our nonproliferation agenda,” said Klotz during a talk in Arlington, Va., sponsored by AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. Russia and the United States partnered under the Cooperative Threat Reduction agreement, and undertook efforts to secure nuclear facilities and materials, convert reactors to use lower enriched uranium, and enable the tracking of hazardous materials to prevent misuse, among others. “This has been very productive, very professional, and very useful work, and I think it is unfortunate that Russia has signaled that it is no longer interested in doing a large part of that,” said Klotz. Russia has expressed interest in continued cooperation to retrieve US- and Russian-origin enriched material from third parties “back to countries of origin or some other secure place for disposition,” he said. “I hope that that work will go forward,” and in the meantime, the United States will continue cooperative nonproliferation efforts with other, more willing partners, said Klotz.