previous experience in organizing international cooperation in the sphere of accounting, control, and physical security with the U.S. Department of Energy.
The activities to be implemented at naval installations included
The development of a technical outline for and the design, production, and commissioning of a computerized system of accounting and control of nuclear materials;
The development of a technical outline for and the design, production, and commissioning of physical security systems for land- and sea-based installations;
The completion of normative documentation (methodology, instruction, and guidance manuals);
The training of personnel assigned to operations for the systems described above;
Assessment of the vulnerability at nuclear security-challenged installations;
Construction work; and
The design, development, production, and commissioning of communications systems to enable functioning physical security systems and the actions of security force units.
The cooperation between the Ministry of Defense of Russia and the U.S. Department of Energy was commenced with the Joint Statement on Cooperation in the Area of Accounting, Control and Physical Security of Nuclear Materials, signed in Moscow in 1996 within the framework of the seventh session of the Russian-American Joint Commission on economic and technological cooperation (the Chernomyrdin-Gore Commission). This statement assigned the Kurchatov Institute RRC the role of coordinator of cooperative activities and fundraising for additional aid.
The immediate funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy through its national laboratories (Sandia, Livermore, Oak Ridge, and Los Alamos, with the Pacific National Laboratory joining the program at a later date) within the framework of the joint Russian-American program for the nonproliferation of nuclear materials.
The new cooperation program developed quite dynamically, accounting for tangible activities at Northern and Pacific Fleets, including
Modern storage facilities for new nuclear reactors on nuclear submarines and surface ships have been constructed and commissioned, consistent with up-to-date nuclear and radiation safety requirements; systems of accounting, control, and physical security for these sites have been completed, along with construction of buildings that house security force units and service operators;
Storage facilities for fresh and depleted nuclear fuel at three sea-based technical maintenance bases have been equipped with systems of accounting, control, and physical security;
Communications systems for guard units have been purchased and deployed;
Seven specialized vehicles for nuclear material transportation, seven escort vehicles, two buses for personnel, and a bulldozer have been received;
Reaction force personnel have been issued body armor and helmets;
Systems of physical security have been installed at storage facilities for depleted nuclear fuel, and TUK-18 transportation container loading units have been received;
Buildings for guard units have been constructed, and physical security systems have been installed at special designated sites in the Okol’naya Inlet and nuclear submarine base Skalistii; and
Feasibility studies for a projected coastal compound for unloading depleted nuclear fuel and dismantling nuclear submarines at the Kamchatka ship repair and maintenance facility have been completed.
Meanwhile, the continuation and development of further cooperative efforts called for the drafting of a full-scale legal document. The joint statement was, to a great extent, a political declaration reflecting the general intents of the parties toward bilateral cooperation; it did not contain any legally binding clauses or specific directions for cooperative efforts and their coordinated mechanisms. Besides, continued realization of the joint program required mutually acceptable and coordinated methods and procedures for inspections of facilities to determine whether the assistance rendered had been appropriately applied.
The American side has repeatedly raised the issue of granting extended access to various installations or individual buildings within installations to verify that the allocated funds have been appropriately applied. This situation was sensitive, as cooperative programs were implemented at the installations under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defense of Russia, whose secrecy regime requirements prohibit the access of outsiders, especially foreign nationals, to the installations. Contradictions of this nature could not have been completely resolved; but on a positive note, both sides always seemed willing to find mutually acceptable solutions and continued active cooperation, despite the serious problems encountered during the process.
In part, these contradictions accounted for rather slow progress in the realization of the first Russian-American agreement in the area of accounting, control, and physical security of nuclear materials within the framework of the Nunn-Lugar program. In October 1999, Russian Federation Minister for Atomic Energy Yevgeniy Adamov and U.S. Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson signed a new intergovernmental agreement aimed at expanding bilateral cooperation within the framework of the program of accounting, control, and physical security of nuclear materials. The agreement stipulated the formation of the Joint Coordination