U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham and Russian atomic energy minister Alexander Rumyantsev issued a joint statement on November 7th pledging to cooperate in retrieving Soviet- and Russian-supplied weapons-grade nuclear fuel from 20 research reactors in 17 countries. According to Abraham, the agreement reaffirms our common objective of reducing, and to the extent possible, ultimately eliminating the use of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) in civil nuclear activity. U.S. and Russian authorities working with the IAEA will return weapons-usable HEU from foreign research reactors to Russia. The USA will fund all the works to be done by Russian specialists. The first project will take place at the nuclear centre Ulugbek in the former Soviet republic Uzbekistan in Central Asia.