U.S. ASSISTS RUSSIA WITH NUCLEAR MATERIALS SECURITY
On January 20, 1995, officials of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and
Russia's Ministry of Atomic Energy (MINATOM) amended an agreement to provide up
to an additional $20 million in U.S. assistance for the protection of materials
that could be used in the production of nuclear weapons. Funds will be
provided under the Department's Cooperative Threat Reduction (Nunn-Lugar)
The Department has agreed to assist Russia's MINATOM in improving the physical
security and accounting of highly enriched uranium and plutonium that is
currently being held in Russia's laboratories, research institutes, and nuclear
materials processing plants. This amendment marks the first time Russia has
agreed to accept U.S. assistance to apply safeguards to materials that could be
used directly to manufacture nuclear weapons. This assistance package has been
under negotiation with Russia for nearly a year.
Though the assistance provided to Russia under this agreement has not been
fully defined, it is likely that it will include: improved sensors for
monitoring entry and exit of nuclear materials sites; computer systems for
materials accounting; and more precise assaying equipment to measure amounts of
highly enriched uranium and plutonium.
The Department's Cooperative Threat Reduction (Nunn-Lugar) program is assisting
countries of the former Soviet Union to dismantle nuclear weapons systems and
to deal with related problems such as preventing the theft or diversion of
nuclear weapons materials.