ZUG, SWITZERLAND—A peace award recognizing U.S. energy companies for their role in converting weapons-grade uranium into electricity-producing fuel was presented here Saturday during the Demiurgus Peace International Project Peace Concert and Awards Ceremony.
The Nuclear Energy Institute’s president and chief executive officer, Joe Colvin, accepted a 24-inch statuette of the biblical prophet Isaiah on behalf of U.S. electric utilities. The award presentation was made jointly by USEC Inc. and its Russian partner, TENEX, which are acting as executive agents for the U.S. and Russian governments in the “Megatons to Megawatts” program that converts nuclear warheads into electricity.
“I am privileged to receive this award on behalf of the U.S. energy companies that are participating in this remarkable swords to plowshares undertaking,” Colvin said. “U.S. energy companies are proud to do their patriotic duty by assisting the United States and Russian governments in using what formerly was weapons-grade uranium for the peaceful purpose of providing reliable supplies of emission-free electricity to the American people.”
USEC Inc and TENEX made the presentation at an international gathering of diplomats, scientists and other notables sponsored by the Nuclear Disarmament Forum AG and the World Council of Former Foreign Ministers.
The equivalent of 6,000 nuclear warheads has been eliminated under the “Megatons to Megawatts” program that began in 1994. The uranium fuel derived from one warhead produces enough electricity to power a city the size of Boston for about two weeks.
When the program is completed in 2013, 500 metric tons of Russian weapons-grade uranium—equivalent to 20,000 nuclear warheads—will have been converted into enough commercial reactor fuel to power the entire United States for about two years.
Nuclear energy provides electricity to one of every five U.S. homes and businesses, and plays a significant role in keeping our air clean by producing three-quarters of all emission-free electricity.
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry’s policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available on NEI’s Internet site at http://www.nei.org.