Index

Ten Metric Tons of Russian Nuclear Material Secured


U.S. Department of Energy
Washington, D.C.
November 17, 2000

TEN METRIC TONS OF RUSSIAN NUCLEAR MATERIAL SECURED

Consolidation at Novosibirsk Latest Effort to Protect Nuclear Material
Against Theft

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Nuclear Security
Administration today announced the completion of an effort to
consolidate and secure approximately 10 metric tons of weapons-usable
nuclear material - enough material for more than 500 nuclear bombs --
at the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant in Siberia, Russia. The
materials were moved from three separate storage locations to a new
central storage facility equipped with comprehensive nuclear material
security and accounting systems.

"Today's announcement shows the continuing commitment of the United
States and Russia to reduce the risk that terrorists or countries of
proliferation concern might acquire nuclear materials for use in a
weapon," said Secretary Richardson. "It is essential we continue this
vital work to protect America's security and safety."

The systems were installed as part of the U.S.-Russian Material
Protection, Control and Accounting (MPC&A) program, a cooperative
effort with Russia designed to protect hundreds of metric tons of
plutonium and highly enriched uranium against theft or diversion.
Sizable consolidation projects are also underway at large nuclear
facilities like the Scientific Production Association in Luch and the
Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (IPPE) in Obninsk.
Consolidation efforts will reduce the number of storage areas by
roughly 65 percent at these facilities, greatly increasing the
efficiency by which DOE can ensure that attractive nuclear material in
Russia remains secure now and well after DOE's work at the sites is
complete.

The MPC&A program was launched in 1993 in partnership with Russia and
the New Independent States to correct serious deficiencies in systems
to secure nuclear materials against insider and outsider threats.
Through this program, security upgrades are underway for 750 metric
tons of the estimated 960 metric tons of nuclear materials requiring
security.

The main thrusts of the program are to install modern physical
security and material accounting systems; reduce risks by
consolidating materials into fewer buildings and converting highly
enriched uranium to forms not usable in weapons; and promote
sustainability by fostering the development of Russian capabilities to
maintain security upgrades over the longer term.

Media Contact: Tamara Hamilton, 202/586-5806