For many years, specialists from the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) have provided serious assistance in our work. It is necessary to mention the efforts of the RAS Institute of Geology of Ore Deposits, Petrography, Mineralogy, and Geochemistry at Lake Karachai and the Techa Cascade and in assessing the ecology surrounding uranium deposits. Also of importance has been the work of the RAS Nuclear Safety Institute on the comprehensive dismantlement of nuclear submarines, resolution of Mayak problems, and general coordination of research efforts aimed at ensuring nuclear and radiation security.
Many interesting and important results have been obtained as a result of cooperation between the Russian and U.S. Academies of Sciences and through work coordinated by the International Science and Technology Center. These efforts include work on radioactive waste management and the rehabilitation of contaminated sites. The practical experience of work done in the United States and other countries to decommission facilities involving nuclear and radiation dangers and to rehabilitate contaminated areas is very important to us.
The problem of rehabilitating contaminated sites has taken on added resonance in connection with the process of converting enterprises to joint-stock companies that we have begun in the industry. In our opinion the reform process that has begun within industry must not lead to a reduction in the level of environmental security that has already been achieved at enterprises, but must also promote resolution of accumulated problems. We have laid the foundation for this to a significant extent. This includes joint implementation of conceptually coordinated programs for the accelerated development of nuclear power and promotion of nuclear and radiation safety that have been developed, taking into account new forms of management and regulation regarding the use of nuclear power. Meanwhile, we need to shape a renewed policy of corporate management of environmental protection and utilization of natural resources. It is understandable that the foundations that have already been laid for environmentally safe operations must be securely consolidated and further developed.
We must remove the unfounded fears of the population associated with the activities of our enterprises. Therefore, information dissemination efforts must be an important part of our work. In recent years we have done a great deal in this regard. Industry reports on security are published openly each year, and a great amount of data on environmental protection issues has been posted on the Web sites of the Atomic Energy Agency.
Today’s workshop has brought together leading specialists in the area of ensuring radiation safety. Their experience in cleaning up radiation-contaminated sites is of great scientific and practical interest. I believe that this workshop will be fruitful for all participants. I wish the participants successful work.