US senator helps open spent-fuel complex

PRAVDA.Ru has reported that a new complex for spent nuclear fuel from subs was constructed at the Zvezdochka enterprise in Russia’s northern city of Severodvinsk in the network of the Russian-American Cooperative Threat Reduction (CRT) program. The program is also known by the names of its authors, US senators Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar. A ceremonial opening of the new complex took place on Friday, August 23. Mr. Lugar personally took part in the ceremonial launching of the complex. Sam Nunn was expected to take part in the ceremony as well, but the senator didn’t arrive in Severodvinsk. This was Senator Lugar’s third visit to the northern Russian city.

The ceremonial meeting opened with the US national anthem, as the construction of the new complex was financed by the USA. Specialists say that the complex meets Russian and American safety norms. The CTR program was created ten years ago when the then-presidents of Russia and America concluded an agreement on the 10+10 utilization program. At the ceremonial opening in Severodvinsk, Mr. Lugar said that the program had been originally designed for the utilization of strategic nuclear submarines of the Russian Navy, a problem about which the USA was and is currently very concerned. At that, America doesn’t care where Russia should find the money for its utilization. The problem has turned from economic into a political one long ago. Mr. Lugar told journalists that he was satisfied with realization of the program at the Zvezdochka enterprise. Zvezdochka Director General Nikolay Kalistratov, in his turn, thanked the Americans for their participation in the CTR program.

Plans for the alteration of battleship subs into submarine tankers or ore carriers failed thanks to the USA. It is remarkable that America won’t finance the utilization of out-of-date and written-off nuclear submarines, which amount to about 50 in the Russian Navy.

The opening ceremony was nearly upset by an internal scandal at the Zvezdochka enterprise. Employees demand that their wages be raised. Recently, the Zvezdochka trade union appealed to the state inspector for labor in the Arkhangelsk region for assistance in the internal scandal. They demand that the director general should be called into administrative account for infringement of the Collective Treaty and Labor Code. Russia’s Special Prosecutor’s Office, Federal Security Service, trade-union bosses, and mass media are already involved in the scandal. If the trade union at the Arkhangelsk enterprise manages to prove the legality of its claims, this will be a precedent of a nation-wide scale in Russia. Vitaly Bratkov PRAVDA.Ru Severodvinsk

In the photo by V.Vladimirov: Senator Lugar satisfied with CTR realization

Translated by Maria Gousseva

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