The end of the Cold War and centralized authoritarian rule in the former Soviet Union have brought about unprecedented opportunities, not only for deep reduction of US nuclear arms and a reordering of government priorities at home, but also for the realization of longstanding US nuclear nonproliferation goals. The US government can no longer claim an urgent need to subordinate nonproliferation objectives to the imperative of maintaining political-military alliances aimed at "containing" a hostile communist superpower. Plutonium in US nuclear weapons is weapon-grade in the form of delta-phase metal. Despite the fact that all isotopic grades of plutonium in relatively small quantities, irrespective of their designation as civil or military, have an inherent capability to be used in weapons, the nonproliferation regime allows national separation and acquisition of plutonium under an internationally monitored commitment of peaceful use.