05/26/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Russian Arms Reduction Could Mean More U.S. Nuclear Energy

The news of the United States and Russia agreeing to slash their nuclear weapon stockpiles could mean a boost for a little known energy program. Called Megatons for Megawatts, this government-industry partnership has converted 15,294 nuclear warheads into electricity.

How it works: The program buys Russian warheads and uses their fuel for nuclear power. According to Stewart Brand, co-founder of the Global Business Network and president of The Long Now Foundation, 20-percent of U.S. electricity comes from nuclear power and half of that is being powered by Russian nuclear weapons.

Critics of the Megatons to Megawatts program may argue that no proper solution exists for the spent fuel from nuclear plants. The rebuttal to them: What would you have Russia do with its former warheads? Far better for them to be used for green energy.

Watch Stewart Brand describe how Russian nuclear weapons get recycled to U.S. electricity:

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