The statement also called for "international negotiations for a verifiable treaty to end the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons," a step that has never been taken before. Obama also pledged to work for ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which the Senate rejected in 1999. The arms-reduction talks are designed to produce a treaty that contains stringent measures to verify warhead and missile levels.
The Megatons to Megawatts Program is a unique, commercially financed government-industry partnership in which bomb-grade uranium from dismantled Russian nuclear warheads is being recycled into low enriched uranium (LEU) used to produce fuel for American nuclear power plants. USEC, as executive agent for the U.S. government, and Techsnabexport (TENEX), acting for the Russian government, implement this 20-year, $8 billion program at no cost to taxpayers. The U.S. is also building a facility in South Carolina that will convert plutonium into a fuel that can be used in commercial nuclear power plants. This mixed oxide (MOX) fuel is currently used in American plants and in other countries. (WashPost, 4/3/09)