USA, Russia to speed up nuclear materials control and protection program

The USA and Russia have three times sped up the volume of activities to complete a program for physical protection, registration of and control over nuclear materials. This program is to be completed in 2008 - two years ahead of schedule.

U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said Thursday that the program provided for reinforcing security of 600 tons of nuclear materials stored at 58 facilities in Russia as well as in other former USSR republics.

Mr Abraham also said that the program for transfer of nuclear engineers to civil projects already included more than 13,000 scholars in 180 institutes and organizations in Russia and other CIS member-states.

Alexander Rumyantsev, Russian Nuclear Power Minister said that Russia does not see participation of Russian nuclear engineers in foreign commercial projects as a brain drain, as they keep on working at the same Russian scientific centers they used to.

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