Ed Lyman: President-elect Donald Trump has promised to renegotiate international agreements to get “better deals” for the United States. A good place for him to start would be the U.S.-Russia Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement (PMDA), which obligates each country to dispose of 34 metric tons of excess plutonium from their military stockpiles, so the dangerous material cannot easily be reused for nuclear weapons. Collectively, this plutonium is enough for more than 15,000 nuclear bombs. The agreement was originally signed by the Clinton administration in 2000 and amended in 2010, partly in response to a request by Russia. The agreement is a bad deal, at least for the United States. It commits the U.S. government to dispose of the plutonium by converting it into “mixed oxide” (MOX) reactor fuel and burning it in commercial nuclear reactors—a program that is now estimated to eventually cost U.S. taxpayers more than $50 billion and last 50 years or more.
Union of Concerned Scientists 22nd Nov 2016 read more »