DOE should continue to work with Rosatom to develop a common sustainability strategy, modifying the concept to embrace indigenization. Russian officials and specialists should be encouraged to develop their own concept of indigenization as a basis for reaching agreement on a common approach. Unless Rosatom is fully committed to indigenization, U.S. efforts will have a limited effect. Thus, as a first step, it is important that U.S. efforts be oriented toward supporting compliance with Russian legal obligations as a means of reducing the likelihood of theft, diversion, or misuse of material in the long term. Also, as previously noted, DOE and Rosatom should subject a draft of the strategy to external review by recognized experts in order to obtain independent perspectives.
DOE and Rosatom should ensure that each site where cooperative MPC&A projects are located has a jointly developed indigenization plan. DOE and Rosatom should provide guidance for preparing such plans, recognizing that indigenization must be tailored to each individual facility. DOE and Rosatom need clearly understood and peer-reviewed metrics for measuring progress toward achieving the goals of these plans, using a methodology that is developed and embraced by Russian specialists. Progress should be measured by an appropriate Russian review body at least annually; the results of this review could then be shared with DOE. Since the cooperative program is only part of Russia’s MPC&A upgrade activities, Russian specialists should also be encouraged to share their own experiences among themselves.
DOE should clarify the significance and function of MPC&A commissioning ceremonies held at Russian facilities for interested U.S. and Russian officials, specialists, and the general public. Rather than being considered the completion of the most important phase of MPC&A cooperation, these ceremonies should represent the beginning of the equally important phase of indigenization. For example, the transfer of responsibility for MPC&A equipment is a critical component of indigenizing the overall MPC&A system at the national and facility level. A limited number of U.S. specialists should continue to periodically visit commissioned facilities for several years after the ceremony to review the state of MPC&A systems and ascertain how the U.S. government might further encourage the indigenization process.
DOE should provide Rosatom and other Russian counterparts with information concerning nonproliferation and the prevention of catastrophic terrorism that would be of interest to the Russian public and encourage its wide distribution. Indeed, public outreach in Russia should become an increasingly important aspect of the cooperative program.
The foregoing actions, if implemented, would raise the awareness of the importance of effective MPC&A systems in Russia. They would greatly assist in encouraging Russian specialists to become MPC&A champions in both the short term and long term.