William Jefferson Clinton
President of the United States of America

Vladimir Putin
President of the Russian Federation

cc: Albert Gore, Jr., Vice-President of the United States of America

Dear Presidents Clinton and Putin,

As a contribution to permanent arms reduction and disarmament, the United States and Russia have declared about 50 tons each of military plutonium surplus to their requirements. It is generally acknowledged that this commendable step must be followed by measures to put this plutonium into a form that cannot easily be diverted or reused in weapons.

There are several proposals that have been discussed and studied in the last many years in both governmental and NGO circles as to how this problem is to be addressed. The plan that the US and Russian governments have been negotiating involves the conversion of most of this plutonium into a mixed oxide (MOX fuel) for use in commercial nuclear power reactors, mainly light water reactors, in both Russia and the United States. The use of Canadian reactors is also being considered as an option.

This proposal has many drawbacks. It raises many unresolved safety questions and could increase the risk and severity of nuclear reactor accidents. Unless steps are taken to militarize security at these nuclear power plants, the risk of diversion of weapons grade plutonium will increase with time.

We believe that the other option of immobilization of plutonium, which Russia and the US have adopted for only a small proportion of the plutonium, should be extended to cover the full amount. This is a safer, faster, and more economically efficient option. It involves putting plutonium into a non-weapons usable form by mixing it with other materials and making the resultant waste form proliferation resistant. The MOX option should be discarded.

A considerable amount of discussion has also revolved around the financing of the Russian portion of the plutonium disposition plan. This is because Russia has agreed to the current plan, which is dominated by the use of MOX in light water nuclear power reactors, largely at the suggestion of the West. One financing plan has been put forward by a US corporation known as the Non-proliferation Trust, Inc. This would involve importation of up to 10,000 metric tons of foreign spent nuclear power reactor fuel for storage in Russia, a complete halt to commercial reprocessing, and a payment to Russia for building storage facilities, a nuclear waste repository and other purposes. Such a plan is currently illegal under Russian law and hence attempts are being made to amend the law. However, the Russian people are overwhelmingly opposed to such a plan, as is demonstrated by polling and by the firm opposition of environmental NGOs in Russia. Many US NGOs and those in other countries also oppose this plan.

In recognition of the reality that a plutonium disposition plan is needed, we, the undersigned, would like to offer the following proposal based on immobilization.

  1. The same disposition plan in terms of the disposition technical details would be carried out in parallel in the United States and Russia.
  2. It would include all separated commercial and surplus military plutonium.
  3. Reprocessing of commercial spent fuel would be halted.
  4. All separated commercial plutonium in US and Russian stocks, as well as all surplus military plutonium would be immobilized. There would be some flexibility regarding the specific immobilization method.
  5. The immobilized plutonium of each country would be stored in that country and put under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.
  6. The West would lease Russia’s plutonium for 50 years or would purchase it outright. Since plutonium has no commercial value as a fuel, some means has to be found to determine the price to be paid for the non-proliferation benefit. Since Russia regards plutonium as a potentially valuable fuel, the upper limit to the purchase price would be the value of the fuel normally used in light water reactors – low enriched uranium (LEU) – equivalent of the MOX that could be made out of the plutonium disregarding all fuel fabrication costs or any other additional costs associated with the use of MOX. In other words, the maximum amount Russia would be paid would correspond to the LEU fuel value as if the plutonium had already been made into MOX.
  7. The payments to Russia could be stretched out over a time period comparable to the deal that Russia and the United States have made for the purchase of surplus Russian military highly enriched uranium-that is about 20 years-or to the time that it takes to immobilize the plutonium and to put it under IAEA safeguards.
  8. The West would also pay for the immobilization of plutonium in Russia (in addition to the payment described in Item 6 above).
  9. There are a number of ways in which this plutonium disposition plan could be financed. For instance: (1) The G-7, as the group of wealthy western countries is known, could fund it. (2) The European Union could create a Russian plutonium fund. (3) A small tax on natural gas imported from Russia into Europe could finance the plan. (4) The United States could supply part of the funds as the wealthier party to the agreement. (5) NATO could earmark funds for the plan, since this will enhance security for all its members. These financing mechanisms are not mutually exclusive.

In view of the widespread concerns relating to the use of MOX fuel in reactors, and the liabilities that it entails, we urge you not to adopt a plutonium disposition plan that includes the use of MOX but rather to endorse this alternative. We want to thank you for the time and consideration that you have given to this letter and wish you success in your deliberations.

(Read the letter На русском языке / In Russian)

Sincerely,
Janine Allis-Smith
Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment
England

Vivek Ananthan
Center for Creative Activities
Volunteers for International Solidarity
Philadelphia, PA USA

Didier Anger
Comité de Réflexion, d’Information et de Lutte Anti-Nucléaire
Les Pieux, France

Liz Apfelberg
San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace
San Luis Obispo, CA

Kaitlin Backlund
Executive Director
Citizen Alert
Nevada, USA

Hideyuki Ban
Co-Director
Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center
Tokyo, Japan

Kathryn A. Barnes
Sherwood, MI

Mavis Belisle
Peace Farm
Amarillo, TX

Carol Bellin,
South Bend, IN

Robert L Benner
St Francis, WI

Frieda Berryhill
Chairman
Coalition for Nuclear Power Postponement
Wilmington DE

Patricia Birnie
GE Stockholders’ Alliance
Tucson, AZ

Susan Bloomfield, Nuclear Issues Chair
Frank Carl, Group Chair
Sierra Club, Savannah River Group

Kate Coburn Boniske
Program Chair
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Arden, N.C.

Deborah L. Bors
Baltimore, MD

Jacques Boucher
Centre de ressources sur la non-violence
Montreal (Quebec), Canada

Fred Brailey
Ontario, Canada

Buffalo Bruce
Western Nebraska Resources Council

Donald Burch III
Washington, DC

Nancy Burton, Esq.
Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone
Mystic CT

Mary Byrd Davis
Director
Yggdrasil Institute
Paris, France

Paxus Calta
International Campaigner
Nuclear Information and Resources Service
Louisa, VA

Tom Camara
Mill Valley, CA

Corrine Carey
Don’t Waste Michigan
Grand Rapids, MI

Dave Chappell
Penryn, CA

Dr. D.K. Cinquemani
Largo, FL

Jay Coghlan
Director
Nuclear Watch of New Mexico
Santa Fe, NM

Norm Cohen
Executive Director
Coalition for Peace and Justice and the UNPLUG Salem Campaign
Linwood, NJ

George Crocker
Executive Director
North American Water Office
Lake Elmo MN

Kay Cumbow
Board Member
Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination
Lake Station, MI

Lezlie Dalton
New York, New York

Steve Daniels, M.D.
Santa Barbara, CA

Bob Darby
Tom Ferguson
Food Not Bombs
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Mirabel Deming
Janesville, WI

Scott Denman
Executive Director
SECC
Washington DC, USA

Bruce A Drew
Steering Committee
Prairie Island Coalition
Minneapolis MN

Sigrid Economou
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Ed Evans
Cypress, California

Alyson Ewald
Sacred Earth Network
Petersham, MA

Solange Fernex
President
WILPF, France (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom),
Paris, France

Joan Flynn
Ft. Tilden NY

Tom Fusco
Brunswick, ME

Ruth Gabey
West Gardiner, ME

Richard Geary
Oklahoma City, OK

L.J. Glicenstein
Corresponding Secretary
Central Pennsylvania Citizens for Survival
State College, PA

Susan Gordon
Executive Director
Alliance for Nuclear Accountability
Seattle, WA and Washington, DC

Athanasia Gregoriades
New York, NY

Susan B. Griffin
Coordinator
Chenango North Energy Awareness Group
South Plymouth, New York

Keith Gunter
Citizens’ Resistance at Fermi Two
Monroe, MI

Regina Hagen
Darmstadt,Germany

Don Hancock
Southwest Research and Information Center
Albuquerque, NM

Grace de Haro
Lihue Association
Argentina

Dayle Harrison
Kalamazoo River Protection Association
Allegan, Michigan

Howie Hawkins
Co-Chair
Green Party of Onondaga County
Syracuse NY

Stephanie Hiller
Occidental, CA

Horst Hohmeier
Anti-Atom-Plenum
Bochum, Germany

Cindy Hollenberg
Fort Wayne, IN

Crispin B. Hollinshead
San Diego, CA

Daniela Horsman, RN
Woodbridge, VA USA

Chuck Johnson
Center for Energy Research
Salem, Oregon, USA

J.H. Johnsrud
Director
Environmental Coalition on Nuclear Power
State College, PA

Debbie Katz
Citizens Awareness Network

Michael J. Keegan
Coalition for a Nuclear Free Great Lakes
Monroe, MI

Donald F. Keesing
Washington, DC

Marylia Kelley
executive director
Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment)
Livermore, CA USA

Joan King
20/20 VISION
Georgia, USA

Kingston Unitarian Fellowship
Social Action Committee
Kingston, Ontario Canada

Philip M. Klasky
Bay Area Nuclear Waste Coalition
CA

Dave Knight, Chair
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

David A. Kraft
Director
Nuclear Energy Information Service
Evanston, IL

John J. Kulinski
Pittsburgh, PA

Evelyn Lambert
Setauket, NY

Kaleah LaRoche
Bellingham, Washington

Nicholas Lenssen
Energy Analyst
Boulder, CO USA

Thomas Leonard
West Michigan Environmental Action Council
Grand Rapids, MI

Marvin Lewis
Philadelphia PA

Terry J. Lodge
Coalition for a Safe Environment
Toledo, OH

Jake Lowinger
Brooklyn, NY

Andy Mager
Syracuse, NY

Arjun Makhijani
President
Institute for Energy and Environmental Research
Takoma Park, MD

Ak Malten
Global Anti-Nuclear Alliance
The Hague, The Netherlands

Michael Mariotte
Executive Director
Nuclear Information and Resources Service
Washington, DC

Rozetta Mariotte
Hilton Head Island, SC

B.J. Medley
Earth Concerns of Oklahoma
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Margo Menconi
PineGrove Mills, PA

Damon Moglen
Greenpeace USA
Washington, DC

Birgitta Moller
HELSINGBORG, Sweden

Richard Montgomery
Professor, Mathematics,
University of California, Santa Cruz

LeRoy Moore, Ph.D.
Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center
Boulder, Colorado

Michael Murphy
Inter-Church Uranium Committee Educational Co-operative
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Robert K. Musil
Executive Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility

Laura Newell
Bellingham, WA

Barbara A. Nicely
Cleveland Heights, OH

Lars A Norberg
VrЕngЖ
St Anna, Sweden

Kristen S. O’Connor
Sebastopol, CA

E.M.T. O’Nan
Director
Protect All Children’s Environment
Marion, NC

Sara Oberman
Santa Barbara, CA

Pat Ortmeyer
Women’s Actions for New Directions
USA

Josef Osterneck
Raleigh, NC

Gino Palmeri
Brattleboro, Vermont

Thomas A. Peterson
President
West Michigan Environmental Action Council
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Rob Pliskin
Cleveland Heights, OH

Georgiana Podulke
St. Paul, MN

Scott D. Portzline
Security Committee Chairman
Three Mile Island Alert

Peggy Prince
Director
Peace Action New Mexico

David N. Pyles
New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution
Brattleboro, VT

Phyllis and Ed Reinfranck
Evanston IL

Walter Robbins
Coordinator
Campaign STOP (Stop Trafficking Of Plutonium)
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Harry Rogers
Carolina Peace Resource Center
Columbia SC

Chris Rusnov
Winslow Maine

Peg Ryglisyn
Michael Albrizio
Connecticut Opposed to Waste
Broad Brook, CT

John P. Scahill
Pittsburgh, PA

Gladys Schmitz
Mankato, MN

Mycle Schneider
Director
World Information Service on Energy (WISE-Paris)
Paris, France

Betty Schroeder
Arizona Safe Energy Coalition
Tucson, AZ

John P. Shannon
Saratoga Springs, NY

John Serop Simonian
Jesuit Volunteer Corps Cleveland
Cleveland, Ohio

Bill Smirnow
Nuclear Free New York
Huntington, NY

Harold Stokes
Scott Heinzman
Codirectors
Metro-Detroit Alliance for Democracy
Michigan, USA

Art & Cindy Strauss
Columbus Ohio

Daniel Swartz
The ZHABA Collective
Budapest, Hungary

Chartis Tebbetts
Cohasset MA

Ellen Thomas
Executive Director
Proposition One Committee
Washington DC, USA

Judy Treichel
Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force
Las Vegas, NV

Chris Trepal
Earth Day Coalition
Cleveland, OH

Uberparteiliche Plattform gegen Atomgefahren
Linz, Austria

Roger Voelker
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana
Indianapolis, IN

Jim Warren
Director
NC WARN (North Carolina Waste Awareness & Reduction Network),
Durham, NC

Harvey Wasserman
Citizens Protecting Ohio
Bexley, OH

Andrea Wells
Bethlehem CT

Suzanne Westerly
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety
Santa Fe, NM

Galen White
Australia

Barbara Wiedner
Founder/Director
Grandmothers for Peace International
Elk Grove, CA

Helen Wiegel
Ohio, USA

Kathleen Whitley-Bartell
Westbury, N.Y.

Kathy Willingham
Macon, GA

Greg Wingard
Executive Director
Waste Action Project
Seattle, WA

Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom
Environment Committee
Philadelphia, PA

Soenke Zehle
Saarbruecken, Germany

Signatories from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia, and Moldova (web posted June 14, 2000):

Russia

Vladimir Sliviak
Antinuclear Campaign
Socio-Ecological Union
Moscow, Russia

Elena Nikulina
“Anti-Atom Press”
Moscow, Russia

Galina Raguzina
WISE-Russia
Galiningrad, Russia

Alexandra Koroleva
Ecodefense!
Kaliningrad, Russia

Alexsey Kozolv
Center for the Support of Citizen Iniatives
Voronejh, Russia

Anna Shvedova
“No Corporations”
Voronejh, Russia

Alexsey Yablokov
Center for Russian Environmental Policy
Moscow, Russia

Natalya Baranova
Victor Dulepov
“Social Ecology”
Novosibirsk, Russia

Alexander Arbachakov
Agency for Research and Protection of the Taiga
Kemerovskaya oblast
Mejhdurechensk, Russia

Tamara Dobretsova
Valentina Yamchshikova
“In the Name of Life
Kostroma, Russia

Andrey Pechnikov
ISAR
Moscow, Russia

Sergey Shapkhaev
Buryatian Regional Union on Baikal
Ulan-Ude, Russia

Natalya Ragozina
Center for Public Health
Novosibirsk, Russia

Alexsander Veselov
Union of Environmentalists
Bashkortostan Republic, Russia

Vladimir Iakimets
Center for Russian Environmental Policy
Moscow, Russia

Mikhail Bogomolov
“Citizen”
Moscow, Russia

Nadejhda Kutepova
Planet of Hope
Ozersk, Russia

Andrey Rudomakha
Independent Environmental Service for Northwest Kavkaz
Kavkaz, Russia

Askhat Kayumov
Nijhniy Novgorod Branch of the Socio-Ecological Union
Nijhniy Novgorod, Russia

Anjhela Bakka
“Dront”
Nijhniy Novgorod, Russia

Boris Nekrasov
Association of Young Journalists of Tomsk Oblast (ASMO-Press)
Tomsk, Russia

Lyudmila Romanova
“Harmony”
Kamchatkaya Oblast, Russia

Elena Kruglikova
Apatiti Branch of the Kolskiy Coordinated Environmental Center
Murmanskaya oblast
Apatiti, Russia

Alena Vasileva
“Volgograd-Ecopress”
Volgograd, Russia

Nikolai Sukhomlinov
“Khingan”
Birobidjhan, Russia

Nikolai Zubov
Krasnoyarsk Branch of the Socio-Ecologicial Union
Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Olga Morozova
“NOOSFERA”
Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Valentin Zabortsev
Saving the Angara-Enisei Rivers
Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Alexander Novobrantsev
“Harmony”
Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Sergey Levichev
For a clean city and clean Siberia
Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Vladimir Kirilin
“Citizens of Divnogorsk city”
Krasnoyarsk Oblast
Divnogorsk, Russia

Andrey Laletin
“Friends of Siberian Forests”
Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Yuri Pirogov
“Environmental Initiative”
Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Alina Danilevskaya
“World of Youth”
Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Pyotr Shodkin
Environmental Union of Students
Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Anatoliy Prokushkin
“KrasEco”
Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Svetlana Titova
Amurskaya Branch of the Socio-Ecological Union
Amurskaya Oblast
Blagovechshensk, Russia

Alexander Karpov
“Dialogue-21″
St. Petersburg, Russia

Galina Khoreva
GAIA
Murmansk, Russia

Marina Rikvanova
Baikal Environmental Wave
Irkutsk, Russia

Vladimir Mikheev
Krasnoyarsk Citizen Center of Nuclear Non-proliferation
Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Tatyana Artamonova
Svetlana Bondarevskaya
Elena Jhukova
Altai Branch of the Socio-Ecological Union
Barnaul, Russia

Oksana Engoyan
Tatyana Kondrashova
Gorno-Altai Branch of the Altai Branch of the Socio-Ecological Union
Gorno-Altai, Altai Republic, Russia

Mikhail Shishin
Irina Fotieva
Alexander Yumakaev
“Altai – 21st Century”
Barnaul, Russia

Mikhail Piskunov
Center for Assistance by Citizen’s Initiatives
Dimitrograd, Russia

Tatyana Razjhavina
Information-Rights Center
Dimitrograd, Russia

Semen Simonov
“Green Lightening”
Sochi, Russia

Sergey Pachshenko
Siberian Scientists for Global Responsibility
Novosibirsk, Russia

Ukraine

Sergey Shumilo
International Center of Human Initiatives and Environmental Research
Chernigov, Ukraine

Alexsey Svetikov
“Green World”
Severodonetsk, Ukraine

Igor Borodavko
Independent Radiological Laboratory
Kiev, Ukraine

Yuri Vasidlov
“Our Home”
Ivano-Frankovsk, Ukraine

Oleg Savchuk
Youth Agrarian Union
Kiev, Ukraine

Taras Chabanyuk
“Step Towards Understanding”
Odessa, Ukraine

Sergey Shaparenko
“Pechenegi”
Kharkov, Ukraine

Natalya Akulenko
Ukrainian Energy Brigade
Kiev, Ukraine

Irina Butorina
“Strategy”
Mariupol, Ukraine

Alla Shevchuk
Odessa Branch of the Socio-Ecological Union
Odessa, Ukraine

Kazakhstan

Kaisha Atakhanova
“EcoCenter”
Karaganda, Kazakhstan

Sergey Solyanik
“Green Rescue”
Almati, Kazakhstan

Lidiya Astanina
“Green Women”
Almati, Kazakhstan

Belarus

Alexander Vinchevskiy
“Akhova Ptushak Belarusi”
Minsa, Belarus

Armenia

Akop Sanasaryan
Union of Green Armenia
Erevan, Armenia

Moldova

Dinu Kojhokaru
“OZON”

Sergey Rusnak
“Satul Nou”

Oleg Rotaru
“ORMAX”

Ion Bold
“TERRA SANA”

Sergey Maslov
“Protectia drepturilor cetatenilor”

Tamara Krivchyaski
“Bastina”

Valeriy Popovich
“FVLB”

Vitaliy Donich
“AZIMUT”

Viorel Merjhineanu
“MAECENAS”