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Side Letter to the Agreement
between the DOD and MINATOM
re Plutonium Production Reactors


U.S.-Russian Joint Commission on Economic and Technical Cooperation


The following side letter was released September 23, 1997, by the White House Office of the Vice President following the ninth meeting of the U.S.-Russian Joint Commission on Economic and Technical Cooperation, also known as the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission.

Several stylistic adjustments have been made to the text (fonts, indentation, and internal linkages) to increase readibility on the Web.


Side Letter to the Agreement
Between
the Department of Defense of the United States of America
and
the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Atomic Energy
Concerning the Modification of the Operating Seversk (Tomsk Region) and Zheleznogorsk (Krasnoyarsk Region) Plutonium Production Reactors

The U.S. Department of Defense and the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Atomic Energy agree that, since the design activities for the reactor modification have not yet been concluded, the total cost of activities for reactor modification may differ from the preliminary estimate. If the result of these activities demonstrate that the preliminary estimate is inaccurate, the U.S. Department of Defense and the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Atomic Energy will discuss modifying the amount of the preliminary estimate as appropriate, taking into consideration that in the course of implementing the Russian Plutonium Production Reactor Core Modification Project, additional adjustments to the preliminary estimate may be necessary.

The total cost of the Project is tentatively determined by the U.S. and Russian experts to be about US$150 million. The scope of work includes both the activities on core modification proper and the activities related to the creation of enhanced safety systems including development of emergency core cooling systems (ECCS) as well as the improvement of control and protection systems (CPS). These funds also cover the activities on "alternative" fuel manufacturing line modification and on the initial load with new fuel in the cores of the modified reactors.

In Fiscal Year 1997, the U.S. Congress authorized and appropriated up to US$10 million for the implementation of the Project.

The U.S. Department of Defense intends to provide up to an additional US$70 million as those funds are appropriated by the U.S. Congress and are made available consistent with amendments to the Agreement between the Department of Defense of the United States of America and the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Atomic Energy Concerning the Modification of the Operating Seversk (Tomsk Region) and Zheleznogorsk (Krasnoyarsk Region) Plutonium Production Reactors. That estimate of up to US$70 million may be revised based on refined estimates and the recommendations of the U.S. and Russian experts currently working on the reactor modification design activities.

The U.S. Department of Defense and the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Atomic Energy intend to take all appropriate steps to provide the complete amount of assistance, including financing as appropriate, required for the implementation of the whole complex of work on the modification of the plutonium production reactors in order to achieve the objectives of the Agreement between the Department of Defense of the United States of America and the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Atomic Energy Concerning the Modification of the Operating Seversk (Tomsk Region) and Zheleznogorsk (Krasnoyarsk Region) Plutonium Production Reactors.

Department Of Defense
The United States of America
For the Ministry for Atomic Energy
The Russian Federation

Moscow, September 23, 1997



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