• Maintain operability of MPC&A related systems and equipment.

The U.S.-Russian cooperation on this subject involving nuclear facilities of the R.F. Minatom and the R.F. Ministry of Defense (MOD) has been carried out for about 10 years and is characterized by high efficiency and appreciable practical results.

The security level of nuclear materials was considerably improved at more than 25 Minatom facilities involving tens of tons of nuclear materials (including fissionable weapons grade materials). Among such facilities are Federal Nuclear Center “Arzamas-16” (Sarov) and “Cheliabinsk-70” (VNIITF, Snezhinsk), IPPE (Obninsk) and RRC “Kurchatov Institute.”

A long-term plan of joint activities at 10 other Russian nuclear facilities was agreed. During implementation of projects focused on equipping the R.F. MOD facilities with up-to-date physical protection systems the following equipment has been supplied: over 120 units of perimeter protection systems, 400 sets of computer equipment, devices to detect alcohol and drugs in human bodies, and a training complex for the maintenance personnel.

Storage facilities for non-irradiated cores of nuclear submarine reactors equipped with up-to-date MPC&A systems were built for the Arctic and Pacific Navy; storage facilities for both non-irradiated and spent nuclear fuel were equipped with similar systems.

An integrated pilot MPC&A system for the multi-purpose experimental pulse nuclear reactor facility housing tens of kilograms of nuclear weapons-grade materials was developed in 1995 through 2002 at VNIITF in Snezhinsk. For these purposes the U.S. granted an equivalent of $13.1 million as financial and technical support.

These activities were based on the U.S.-Russian CTR Agreement of June 17, 1992; the Protocol of June 15-16, 1999; and the U.S. DOE and R.F. Minatom Protocol of April 25, 2002 addressing the work at VNIITF. According to the latest Protocol, $38 million is to be allocated in 2002-2006 for the continuation and further development of the work.

A special U.S. DOE working group comprising representatives of six U.S. national laboratories served as points of contact with the U.S. labs. The contents of every working stage, labor days, equipment composition and costs were discussed and coordinated at working meetings between the U.S. DOE working group and VNIITF specialists. The working group members controlled the quality of work and the use of funds.

2.9. Inter-Laboratory Cooperation Programs

Relations between Russian Nuclear Centers and the U.S. national labs were not always unclouded. In this context an initiative of S. Hecker, the former Los-Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Director, to conclude so-called “umbrella” cooperative agreements was of major importance. To date VNIITF has umbrella agreements with LANL, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL).

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