As reported by the U.S. agency Associated Press, citing a source in the U.S. State Department, Belarus can get a nuclear reactor to low-enriched uranium in exchange for giving up stocks of highly enriched uranium, which can be used to make nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, the American weekly New York Times, also citing a senior State Department official, in exchange for giving up highly enriched uranium Belarus will receive not the reactor itself, but only advisory information for its construction.
The fact that Belarus eliminates dangerous stocks, the official Minsk announced at the OSCE summit in Astana. Under the agreement, Belarus will give for recycling 220 kilograms of highly enriched uranium.
This year, Alexander Lukashenko said that Belarus has "hundreds of kilograms" of highly enriched uranium, which is used "solely for research purposes." According to the American Institute of International Studies, Belarus has 170 kilograms of highly enriched uranium at the Joint Institute for Power and Nuclear Research in the Pines under Minsk. According to other sources, the highly enriched uranium in Belarus is much smaller — about 40 pounds. Yet even this amount is enough to produce a nuclear bomb. Such a possibility is confirmed by the professor, activist "Scientists for a nuclear-free Belarus" George Lepine:
"If you are measuring in the hundreds of pounds — that's a lot. Because atomic weapons — in the context of enriched uranium or plutonium, the amount measured in a few kilos. This does not mean that they can create
a large set of bombs, but small — yes. However, this requires enrichment. But I caught a saying: Americans want to get a guarantee that the enrichment of Belarus will not be engaged or will not use gasoline or enriched. At the time, we have developed a mobile military reactor and all the fuel left. At first it was left for practical purposes. As long as there is fuel. In the Pines, where it is stored, there is Modal company that operates in hazardous conditions. And this is for employees of the institute, supposedly beneficial. And they have not given fuel Russia, although in principle had to give. "
In a joint statement, the United States and Belarus, adopted at the end of the meeting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus Sergei Martynov, said that Belarus has decided to eliminate all of its stocks of highly enriched uranium and intends to implement it by the next summit on nuclear security in 2012. The representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Andrei Savinykh said that such an agreement has good prospects for Belarus:
"With regard to the Joint Statement of the Republic of Belarus and the United States, it certainly opens up new possibilities of cooperation between the two countries, including the peaceful use of the atom. Which is the format of this cooperation, the future will tell."
But, as the expert in the field of nuclear energy, Ph.D. Yuri Voronezhtsev, American side in a designated future is unlikely to provide Belarus reactor. First of all, for political reasons:
"Providing reactor — is a serious thing. First of all, it's not easy — here you are the reactor, and all. It is very difficult, furnished
Any formal ceremonies and procedures, approval of which stretches over several years. Second, the United States had under the existing regime will not allow any reactor. Imagine what would happen in Congress — it's a scandal! Rather, it is about a research reactor. Because that uranium was used, and that Belarus, as it were, to "voluntarily" rents have been used at the research reactor in the Pines. "
In This year, Belarus, along with Iran and North Korea were not invited to the summit on nuclear security in Washington. The reason for the rejection of Minsk cooperate on enriched uranium. However, after the agreement of Belarus came from a number of rogue states and received an invitation to the EU-Africa Summit in South Korea in 2012. But is it really in Belarus highly enriched uranium so much that it deserves a separate topic? Said Yuri Voronezhtsev:
"I think the topic is raised quite artificial, because in 1996 there raked. Though I do not rule out that some of it was, and from the
something could be done. But, again, not in the case of Belarus, as the atomic bomb did not slyapaesh in the Pines or somewhere at the "Horizon". This requires serious technology. I think that was just a good episode for the same States to show that they are in the wake of the EU policy in relation to the deterioration of relations with Russia. That is, it is all artificial. Because he was lying, lying, no one had the uranium needed, and then suddenly remembered about him. And if what the U.S. reactor we do not get — it's my belief that about uranium — an opinion. "
However, the U.S. State Department can not yet say how much of the uranium, which is stored in Belarus, suitable for the production of nuclear weapons. Joint Institute for Power and Nuclear Research in the Pines declined to comment on the signed agreement of the Belarusian-American.