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(Reuters) - A 20-year-old deal that has powered American homes while reducing the risk of Russian nuclear material falling into the wrong hands approached its end on Thursday when the final shipment of uranium left St Petersburg for Baltimore.
Under the 1993 HEU Purchase Agreement, Russia downblended 500 metric tons of highly enriched uranium (HEU) from nuclear weapons into low-enriched uranium and sent it to the United States, where it was made into fuel for nuclear power plants.
Over much of the life of the deal, it was used to generate roughly half of all commercial nuclear energy produced in the United States, or nearly 10 percent of all U.S. electricity, according to the U.S. Energy Department.
USEC fulfills about half its enrichment supply contracts with Russian HEU that has been blended down into LEU, which totaled 858 metric tons in 2010.52