U.S. Department of Energy Washington, D.C. SECRETARY OF ENERGY BILL RICHARDSON NAVAL SPENT FUEL STORAGE FACILITY - SITES 32 AND 34 Vladivostok, Russia September 1, 2000 Prepared Remarks This is an occasion for celebration, but one also of sadness. I first want to offer my personal condolences, and those of the American people, for the loss of the brave sailors aboard the Kursk. We in the United States sympathize deeply with your loss, as we have also felt the pain of such tragedies. The 1960s saw the sinking of the U.S. submarines the Thresher and the Scorpion, with great loss of life. We grieved then as you are grieving now. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. This tragedy should remind us of the dangers we face and the grave importance of the urgent work that is needed to secure nuclear materials for the health and welfare of the world's people. That work we do today as we commission the completed Material Protection Control and Accountancy improvements for the Nuclear Fuel Storage Facilities at Sites 32 and 34. This is the latest chapter of the successful cooperation between the U.S. Energy Department and the Russian Navy. I thank you for giving us another unique opportunity to visit important sites such as this one in our joint work. Continued access to sites is vital to our technical teams as they work with you to do the best, safest job possible. With the Navy Northern Fleet Refueling Ship PM-63 and Site 49 Storage Facility commissioned last September, and with the Pacific fleet refueling ship PM-74 commissioned just yesterday, the U.S. Government and the Russian Federation have important models that show us how to contain costs for the Material Protection Control and Accountancy program while providing secure facilities in which to store proliferation-sensitive fuel. Our cooperation in this sensitive arena requires a great deal of trust between our Russian colleagues and ourselves. Through sheer effort and a shared understanding of how important this work is to the security of both our nations, we have forged this trust. The success of our joint cooperation here is further evidence that we can cooperate, no matter the sensitivity of the site, to achieve important results. Site 32, and Site 34, are models for our cooperation. Thank you.