In May 2004, the Global Threat Reduction Initiative agreement was signed by the governments of the United States and the Russian Federation. The goal of this initiative is to minimize, in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, the existing threat of misuse of nuclear and radioactive materials for terrorist purposes, particularly highly enriched uranium (HEU), fresh and spent nuclear fuel (SNF), and plutonium, which have been stored in a number of countries. Within the framework of the initiative, HEU materials and SNF from research reactors of Russian origin will be transported back to the Russian Federation for reprocessing/liquidation. The program is designated as the Russian Research Reactor Fuel Return (RRRFR) Program and is similar to the U.S. Foreign Research Reactor Spent Nuclear Fuel Acceptance Program, which is underway for nuclear materials of United States origin. These RRRFR activities are carried out under the responsibilities of the respective ministries (i.e., U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Russian Federation Rosatom). The Czech Republic and the Nuclear Research Institute Rez, plc (NRI) joined Global Threat Reduction Initiative in 2004. During NRI’s more than 50 years of existence, radioactive and nuclear materials had accumulated and had been safely stored on its grounds. In 1995, the Czech regulatory body, State Office for Nuclear Safety (SONS), instructed NRI that all ecological burdens from its past activities must be addressed and that the SNF from the research reactor LVR-15 had to be transported for reprocessing. At the end of November 2007, all these activities culminated with the unique shipment to the Russian Federation of 527 fuel assemblies of SNF type EK-10 (enrichment 10% U235) and IRT-M (enrichment 36% and 80% U235) and 657 irradiated fuel rods of EK-10 fuel, which were used in LVR-15 reactor.

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