Index

06 September 2000

Text: U.S., Russian Navy Expand Cooperation to Secure Nuclear Materials




The United States and the Russian Federation are continuing
cooperative efforts to secure nuclear materials used by the Russian
navy and have signed an agreement to expand their cooperation in the
future, according to a press release issued during Energy Secretary
Bill Richardson's visit to Russia.


On September 1, Richardson commissioned the completion of security
upgrades at two sites near Vladivostok, one that stores irradiated and
damaged naval fuel and another that stores fresh naval fuel. The U.S.
Department of Energy (DOE) designed the security upgrades to provide
better protection from theft or diversion of weapons-usable nuclear
materials, the release said.


Following is the text of the release:



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U.S. Department of Energy

Washington, D.C.

www.doe.gov

September 1, 2000



SECRETARY RICHARDSON HAILS COMPLETED SECURITY UPGRADES AT CEREMONY IN
RUSSIAN FAR EAST


EXPANDS COOPERATION WITH RUSSIAN NAVY TO SECURE NUCLEAR MATERIALS



In Russia's Far East today, Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson
commissioned the completion of security upgrades at two Russian Navy
nuclear fuel storage sites located near Vladivostok. The upgrades were
designed by the U.S. Department of Energy to provide better protection
from theft or diversion of weapons-usable nuclear materials.


"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 the world in
its pursuit of peace," said Secretary of Energy Richardson.


The Secretary presented plaques and letters of commendation to those
involved in significantly improving security of these nuclear
materials. The naval sites involved are Site 32, which stores
irradiated and damaged naval fuel, and Site 34, a large capacity
facility able to hold tons of fresh naval fuel. The Russian Navy is a
major user of highly enriched uranium fuel, that if stolen, could be
processed for use in nuclear weapons.


Separately, security upgrades to a nuclear fuel service ship were
commissioned in a separate ceremony near Vladivostok attended by other
Energy Department officials on August 30.


On August 31, Secretary Richardson signed an agreement with the
Russian Federation Navy that outlines expanded future cooperation in
the area of nuclear material security. Commander-in-Chief of the
Russian Navy Admiral of the Fleet Vladimir Kuroyedov signed on behalf
of the Russian Federation.


This effort is a component of the Department of Energy's Material
Protection, Control and Accounting (MPC&A) Program, which seeks to
reduce the threat of theft or diversion of weapons-usable nuclear
material in Russia by cooperatively upgrading physical security and
accountancy systems.


Since 1996, the Department of Energy has been cooperating with the
Russian Federation Navy to upgrade the security of naval nuclear
material. Security upgrades for a naval fuel storage site and security
enhancements aboard a nuclear-powered service ship of the Northern
Fleet were completed in September 1999.

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