U.S.-Russian Nuclear Breakthrough May Add Uranium to Market

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"As much as 600,000 tons of uranium is stockpiled in Russian and U.S. nuclear-weapons complexes."

A breakthrough in U.S.-Russian talks to dismantle nuclear missiles, entering a second day in Geneva, will bring more uranium to the market, analysts said.

As much as 600,000 tons of uranium is stockpiled in Russian and U.S. nuclear-weapons complexes, Robert Vance, who heads the Paris-based Nuclear Energy Agency's uranium forecasting group, said late yesterday in a briefing. He's among more than 300 scientists and policymakers meeting at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna to talk about the uranium market.

"This is one of the questions that the market has to deal with," Vance said. "It's part of the uncertainty."

U.S. and Russian negotiators are in a third round of meetings aimed at reaching a new accord to reduce nuclear weapons by the end of the year. Negotiators are seeking to present a progress report for President Barack Obama's visit to Russia in July and agree on a replacement to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which expires in December. The nuclear superpowers laid out their positions in Moscow in May.

"We do want to have a significant reduction," U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said yesterday in Washington. Reducing nuclear arms is the centerpiece of Obama's initiative to "reset" relations with Russia after they reached a post-Cold War low under President George W. Bush.

Russia has 13,000 nuclear weapons and the U.S. has more than 9,000, according to estimates by the Washington-based Federation of American Scientists.

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