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Partnership was established to address environmental problems, including nuclear submarine and icebreaker disposal and also nonnuclear environmental problems. It accepts funds from international donors, and in these cases the emphasis is of course on joint planning.

Before the SMP was developed, there was no properly justified concept for coping with problems of submarine decommissioning and environmental rehabilitation, and the use of available financial resources to solve the problems was far from optimal. The SMP has been very important in improving the situation.

The SMP does not include a strict short-term time line. However, it adheres closely to the dual objectives of prompt disposal of nuclear vessels and preservation of the environment. The SMP integrates all previously developed planning aspects that had been approved. Concepts for some parts of the SMP were not well defined, and a series of strategic studies has been undertaken to elaborate these concepts. More than 70 high-priority projects are under way pursuant to the more than 40 approaches justified within the framework of the SMP.

Sergei Serebryakov of the RAS Oil and Gas Research Institute led a discussion of pipeline security. Russia has 34 percent of proven world reserves of natural gas and 13 percent of world oil reserves. Natural gas is shipped through a series of Gazprom trunk pipelines. System operation stability is achieved by effective reliance on diagnostics and timely repair. Today the system operates at nearly 100 percent capacity. There are plans for further expansion of the system by Gazprom and independent companies.

The 2005 report of the Federal Authority for Industrial Safety Issues identified the following pipeline hazard factors:

  • Stress corrosion (for pipelines built more than 15 years ago)

  • Theft from pipelines

  • Accidents due to poor quality installation practices and assembly work and poor quality assurance

To help ensure industrial safety and security, owners such as Gazprom, Transneft, and Transneftprodukt have approved plans for reconstruction and major overhaul of selected facilities. Also, all entities have plans for countering terrorism. To date, there have been several acts of terrorism carried out against pipelines in Russia (for example, in Dagestan).

Pipelines and trunk lines make attractive targets for terrorists worldwide, as has been seen recently in Iraq. Serebryakov contended that the political situation in Iraq has prompted attacks against pipelines in Sudan, India, Turkey, Colombia, and Nigeria. He added that the pessimistic conclusion is that as long as gas and oil are the basis for economies in many areas of the world, it is difficult to eliminate the terrorist threat completely.

Vyacheslav Kuznetsov of the Russian Research Center—Kurchatov Institute described underwater technologies for transportation of liquefied natural gas

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