April 19, 1999

Mr. Paul Leventhal
Nuclear Control Institute
1000 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 804
Washington, DC 20036

Dear Mr. Leventhal:

    Thank you for your letter regarding conversion of Russia's plutonium-production reactors.  The U.S. Government is committed to timely, safe and secure conversion of these reactor cores.  A number of USG offices, including the National Security Council (NSC) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), have asked the interagency network to examine the issues you have raised.

    In part because of your letter, my staff also contacted offices in the State, Defense and Energy Departments, as well as the NRC and the NSC about your concerns.  During the most recent consultations between the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy (MINATOM) and the U.S. team working on the core conversion project, the U.S. side informed MINATOM that we have agreed to the use of HEU fuel for the initial cores, but will concurrently pursue the development and qualification of an LEU fuel design for the converted reactors when it becomes available.

    Thank you again for your interest in this very complex set of issues.




Al Gore


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