Russian and Japanese scientists are the first in the world to have successfully reprocessed 20 kilos of weapons-grade plutonium, which is equivalent to 2-3 atomic bombs. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has announced this news during his speech addressed to the participants of the international conference "Nuclear age: science and society", which was held on Saturday in Moscow. According to the Japanese Premier, the achievement has become possible owing to Russian cutting-edge technologies.
Japan intends to continue its cooperation with Russia in reprocessing nuclear fuel from salvaged Russian nuclear submarines and the plutonium left after dismantling nuclear weapons, announced Koizumi.
He mentioned that after the end of the "cold war" Russia and the United States made a significant progress in reducing their nuclear arsenals. However, the plutonium from the destroyed nuclear weapons could be used to make new nuclear weapons or could end up in the hands of terrorists. That's why the world community must create a reliable system of reprocessing excessive plutonium, Koizumi said. He also announced that Japan is willing to contribute $100 million dollars for the G8 program on reprocessing excess weapons-grade plutonium.