WINTER 2020/2021 ISSUE

Russian Nuclear Security Update
Dear Colleagues,
We are pleased to share with you the Winter 2020/2021 issue of the Russian Nuclear Security Update.

This issue highlights the availability of credible evidence that Rosatom and the nuclear operators maintain and improve nuclear security at sites and nuclear security infrastructure at the state level. This is reflected in Rostechnadzor's ten-year regulatory development plan, development of Russian indigenous equipment for MC&A measurements, and the level of funding dedicated to nuclear security.

In December, Rosatom and its subsidiaries allocated almost 2.5 billion Rubles (more than USD 33 million) for various procurements related to nuclear security. This shows the remarkable resources the government and nuclear industry spend on physical protection, control, and accounting of nuclear material. The availability of this data is also a testament to the transparency of the Russian nuclear industry. The law requires Rosatom and its subsidiary organizations to publish the procurement information at the dedicated website – http://zakupki.rosatom.ru. Those documents add a critical layer of credible data to our understanding of the state of Russian nuclear security.

This procurement information serves as a basis for a substantial share of the Update, including a stand-alone section on nuclear security procurements highlighting the most interesting cases. Make sure you give it a look.

Enjoy your reading!
Russian Nuclear Security Update Team

On December 17, 2020, Rosatom signed a 24.5 million rubles (USD 334 000) contract with its subsidiary Atombezopasnost for providing services necessary for the operation of Rosatom's center for acquiring and analyzing evidence of illicit trafficking in nuclear material. From January to December of 2021, the contractor will provide the following services:

– maintenance of the database on illicit trafficking in nuclear material in Russia and abroad;

– acquisition and analysis of information on illicit trafficking from available sources, including media, Internet, reports from Rosatom organizations and government bodies (contractor should submit requests to government bodies to receive additional incident information, as necessary), as well as the IAEA Incident and Trafficking Database;

– drafting of reports (quarter and annual) and analytical reviews for Rosatom management and other stakeholders;

– supporting data exchange between Rosatom and Federal Security Service within the framework of integrated database "Anti-Terrorism".

Contracts for providing services necessary for the operation of Rosatom's center for acquiring and analyzing evidence of illicit trafficking in nuclear material have been signed with Atombezopasnost annually since at least 2015.

Sources:
1. Procurement # 201208/0451/289. Providing services necessary for the operation of the information-analytical center for acquiring and analyzing evidence of illicit trafficking in nuclear material and radiological substances of the Rosatom state corporation. December 17, 2020.
2. Procurement # 150406/0451/076. Providing services necessary for the operation of the information-analytical center for acquiring and analyzing evidence of illicit trafficking in nuclear material and radiological substances of federal unitary enterprise Atombezopasnost of the Rosatom state corporation. April 13, 2015.

          On February 27, 2021, an important milestone was reached in the conversion of the Kazakh IVG.1M nuclear research reactor from highly enriched uranium to low enriched uranium (HEU to LEU) fuel. LEU fuel produced by a Rosatom company Luch was delivered to the reactor site.

          HEU-LEU conversion feasibility studies, including fabrication and tests of pilot LEU fuel, were a trilateral effort between Kazakhstan, the U.S., and Russia. Earlier in the conversion program, scientists from the National Nuclear Center of the Republic of Kazakhstan in cooperation with Argonne National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, and Luch Scientific Production Association ran analyses and experiments to validate the LEU fuel performance for the IVG.1M reactor. The trial use of two fuel assemblies in the reactor core, as well as material testing out of the reactor, confirmed their safety conformance, performance, and suitability for conversion purposes.

          The LEU fuel will be uploaded into the reactor in 2021. Following the stages of physical and power startups, IVG.1M with the new core will start operation in 2023. This will allow to carry out experiments as a part of state programs and international contracts for years to come.
          IVG.1M reactor is of Russian design. Initially, the reactor was designed as an HEU reactor. The total amount of 90% enriched uranium in the reactor core is 4.6 kg. The reactor was commissioned in 1990 and shut down in 2011 for conversion.

          Sources:
          1. Fresh Low-Enriched Uranium Fuel Delivered to the National Nuclear Center of the Republic of Kazakhstan. March 1, 2021.
          2. Second National Report of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Compliance with Obligations Subsequent Upon the Convention on Nuclear Safety. 2016.
          3. The Conversion of IVG.1M Research Reactor. June 2015.

                  On December 31, 2020, in the city of Sosnoviy Bor (Leningrad region), a guard detained a man carrying drugs in his vehicle at a checkpoint of the protected site of Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant.

                  During the inspection of a cargo truck, the second lieutenant of the National Guard found two suspicious packets. The driver refused to be searched and locked himself in the car. The guard detained the man and handed him over to the police. His blood samples later revealed the drug use. The analysis showed that the packets contained plant-based drugs.

                  The National Guard of the Russian Federation is a paramilitary force reporting to the President responsible among other things for the protection of critical state facilities, including nuclear sites. The Central District of the National Guard reported that in 2020 its units protecting the critical state facilities detained 800 offenders.

                  Rosatom's own guard service Atomguard, which provides Rosatom sites with pro-force protection services, is also detaining violators. On December 29, 2020, a guard at the checkpoint of the Novouralsk closed city (Sverdlovsk region) stopped and blocked a vehicle with a drunk driver. On November 11, 2020, in the same city, a trespasser was detained at the protected territory of NO RWM, Russian national operator for radioactive waste management.

                  Sources:
                  1. The Serviceman of the Northwestern National Guard District Detained a Citizen Carrying Drugs. December 31, 2020.
                  2. Central District of the National Guard took stock of the activities in 2020. December 11, 2020.
                  3. The employee of the interregional directorate #5 detained a drunk driver. February 3, 2021
                  4. A violator was detained. February 1, 2021.

                          On February 1, 2021, the media broke the news about a bomb threat to the Rostov nuclear power plant (NPP). Referring to an unnamed NPP official, the media reported that the head of the NPP security department received an anonymous e-mail claiming that there was an explosive device at the NPP site.

                          Following this news, Rosenergoatom, NPP operator, released a statement saying that "Rostov NPP conducts an inspection in response to an anonymous message according to standard procedures... The work of the NPP was not affected. The plant operates within normal operational limits and conditions."

                          The operator released no further information on inspection results. The media reported that no explosive device was found.

                          Previously on December 20, 2020, a resident of a settlement close to the Leningrad NPP contacted the police with the information about a planned bomb attack on the power plant. According to the media, the security services checked both Leningrad-1 and Leningrad-2 NPPs for the explosive devices and did not find any. The power plants were not evacuated.

                          Sources:
                          1. Anonymous Message Regarding Bomb Threat Was Sent to Rostov Nuclear Power Plant – Source. February 1, 2021
                          2. Power Units of Rostov Nuclear Power Plant Operate Normally. February 1, 2021
                          3. Message on Bomb at Rostov Power Plant Turned Out to Be Fake. February 2, 2021
                          4. Search for a bomb at the Leningrad NPP after a call from a resident of Krasniy Bor. December 21, 2020.

                                  On January 25, 2021, Belarus state media reported that one of the servicemen of a paramilitary unit reporting to the Belarus Ministry of Internal Affairs that protects the Belarus Nuclear Power Plant fatally shot himself.

                                  The serviceman in question was a conscript. He passed medical and psychiatric tests, as well as psychological surveys, that are a regular part of the conscript's recruitment process.

                                  Belarus Investigative Committee investigates the case. The Committee seized the video record of the soldier shooting himself.

                                  Recently Russian Nuclear Security Update reported on another case of psychological breakdown of a conscript guarding a Russian nuclear site. On October 25, 2019, a Russian serviceman killed eight colleagues and seriously injured two more at a military base in the country's Far East. This base is allegedly used by the 12th Main Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Russia (12th GUMO) responsible for the maintenance of nuclear weapons. The soldier previously successfully passed psychiatric and psychological tests mandatory for recruits.

                                  Although in both cases servicemen did not threaten nuclear sites, the cases highlight potential risks. The risks are associated with insufficient reliability programs in the military that do not prevent armed individuals with mental or personality disorders from accessing nuclear sites.

                                  Sources:
                                  1. Deadly Harm to a Serviceman in Ostrovets. January 21, 2021.
                                  2. "Regulation on Medical Tests for the Military" enacted by the Decree of Belarus Council of Ministers #868 of June 1, 1998.
                                  3. "Instructions on Organizing Preliminary Review and Selection of Conscripts by Military Commissioners and Officials from Military Units" enacted by the Decree of Belarus Ministry of Defence #8/10991 of May 26, 2004.

                                          The psychology support service of the Russian National Guard celebrated another anniversary on December 24, 2021. The service was established in 1997. Its functions include psychological support to the regular activity of Russian National Guard personnel, analysis of individual personality traits of individuals joining the National Guard, and determining their preparedness for service. Russian National Guard functions include protection of critical facilities according to the list approved by the Government, including all major nuclear sites in Russia.

                                          National Guard psychologists are trained at the Psychology support department of the National Guard Military Institute in Saint-Petersburg. As of the end of 2020, 339 psychologists who graduated from the institute served in the National Guard. These psychologists report to the Main Staffing Directorate of the Russian National Guard.

                                          Lately, there was multiple evidence highlighting the need for psychology support in the military units guarding nuclear sites and additional attention to the quality of this support:

                                          - In October 2019, a Russian serviceman killed eight colleagues and seriously injured two more at a military base in the country's Far East. This base was allegedly used by the 12th Main Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Russia (12th GUMO) responsible for the maintenance of nuclear weapons. The soldier previously successfully passed psychiatric and psychological tests mandatory for recruits. For details see the article on this case in the October/December 2019 issue of Russian Nuclear Security Update.

                                          - On January 25, 2021, Belarus state media reported that one of the servicemen of a paramilitary unit reporting to the Belarus Ministry of Internal Affairs that protects the Belarus NPP fatally shot himself. The serviceman was a conscript. He passed medical and psychiatric tests, as well as psychological surveys, that are a regular part of the conscript's recruitment process.

                                          - On March 2, 2021, in Energodar, Ukraine, a 33-year-old female guard in the military unit protecting Zaporizhzhia NPP fatally shot herself while on duty.

                                          Sources:
                                          1. The personal of the psychology support service of the Russian National Guard celebrates the professional holiday. December 24, 2020.
                                          2. A servicewoman shot herself at the NPP in Energodar: commentary from the police. March 3, 2021.

                                                  On January 28, 2021, a Russian court put into custody Mr. Vyacheslav Konovalov, former Director-General of "Eleron", Rosatom company specializing in the development of physical protection systems for nuclear sites and responsible for the maintenance of automated transportation security system used during transportation of category I and II nuclear material. Ms. Irina Smoldyreva, former Chief Financial Officer of "Eleron", was put under house arrest. Both former executives were charged with large-scale fraud.

                                                  Mr. Konovalov and Ms. Smoldyreva committed protracted theft of a relatively small amount of money over four years. According to the court's materials, from 2015 to 2019, Mr. Konovalov and Ms. Smoldyreva have regularly signed fraudulent contracts with seven companies, which did not conduct business activity. The contracts dealt with the procurement of inexpensive items like furniture and office supplies. "Eleron" subsequently paid for the goods without receiving them. In this way, the company was defrauded of 209 million rubles (USD 2.8 million). The investigation continues and it is possible that the total damage will be several times higher.

                                                  Rosatom detected the fraud during the financial audit of "Eleron" and reported the case to the 4th Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) of Russia responsible for prevention and investigation of crimes at sensitive facilities, including nuclear, and in closed cities.

                                                  The scheme used by fraudsters is a typical corruption scheme in Russia when the customer accepts and pays for contracted work, but actual deliverables do not correspond to the contract requirements and amounts paid. Recently the Russian Nuclear Security Update highlighted another corruption case in the nuclear industry likely based on such a scheme. In that case, the head of Rosatom's Electrohimpribor Plant was sentenced for improperly conducted upgrades of Lesnoy closed city hosting the plant, which is currently considered one of two remaining weapon assembly sites. The managers accepted and paid for fence upgrades that resulted in an 11 km perimeter protection fence losing its main function to prevent unauthorized access to the closed city restricted area.

                                                  Eleron and Electrohimpribor Plant cases show that Rosatom and law enforcement authorities fight fraud and corruption. At the same time, the very fact of top management of companies with nuclear security responsibilities involved in fraud is troubling, as it highlights risks of misspending of funds allocated for nuclear security projects.

                                                  Source: Former Executives of a Rosatom Subsidiary Arrested. February 13, 2021

                                                          The city court of Novouralsk (Sverdlovsk region) sentenced former director-general of "Atommashcomplex of Urals Electrochemical Integrated Plant (UEIP)" Mr. Taras Krokos. The court found Mr. Krokos guilty under article 189 of the Russian Criminal Code "Illegal export of raw material, material, equipment and technology, and information from Russia, as well as providing services, that may be used to manufacture weapons of mass destruction". The investigation was run by the regional office of the Federal Security Service.

                                                          According to the court information, "Atommashcomplex of UEIP" won a contract awarded by Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC). The contract included fabrication of equipment for a facility for fabrication and refabrication of mixed nitride uranium-plutonium fuel constructed at SCC site to supply fuel for BREST-300-OD fast neutron reactor constructed at the same SCC site. Equipment to be fabricated included "boats" needed for the manufacturing of mixed nitride uranium-plutonium fuel pellets. When it turned out that Atommashcomplex was not able to manufacture the "boats" on its own, Mr. Krokos chose to subcontract a Chinese company to produce them. Although the "boats" and related technical information are subject to export control according to the List of Nuclear Materials, Equipment, Special Non-nuclear Materials, and Associated Technologies Subject to Export Control, enacted by Presidential Order # 1661 from December 17, 2011, Mr. Krokos decided to proceed without receiving a necessary export control license from the Russian regulator Federal Service for Technical and Export Control. He instructed his subordinate to send the "boats" blueprints to the e-mail of the Chinese company to start negotiating the future contract.

                                                          Under the Art. 189 par. 3 of the Russian Criminal Code the maximum penalty is up to seven years in jail with a fine of up to one million Rubles (USD $13,000). Mr. Krokos received three years of suspended sentence with two years of probation. According to the court's press service, when considering the sentence, the court took into account the nature and degree of public danger of the crime and the absence of aggravating circumstances. According to the case file, the court also took into account that the defendant had young children, health issues, family and social connections, permanent place of residence and employment, as well as specific circumstances of the case.

                                                          According to the case file, the defendant did not fully admit his guilt, stating that "He did not instruct anyone to send the documentation to the Chinese company, and did not know who obtained the blueprints of the "boats" and sent them to China". He also insisted that he did not know that the documentation was subject to export controls and could be used for nuclear weapons production as he did not work with foreign counterparts before. Mr. Krokos told that he received the blueprints from SCC through business e-mail without any notes or signs that these documents were classified. However, the court noted that Mr. Krokos was aware of export control requirements and committed to comply with these requirements, as being the head of "Atommashcomplex of UEIP" he applied for and received a license for manufacturing equipment for nuclear sites. During licensing process, he submitted a list of regulations governing activities of "Atommashcomplex of UEIP", including export control regulations. License terms included compliance with these export control regulations.

                                                          "Atommashcomplex of UEIP" is located in the closed city of Novouralsk (Sverdlovsk region). The company was formerly a part of UEIP, which is a part of the Rosatom State Corporation. In 2011, "Atommashcomplex of UEIP" became an independent company specializing in the design and production of specialized equipment for the nuclear, oil, and natural gas industry. Mr. Krokos was director-general of "Atommashcomplex of UEIP" in 2014-2019

                                                          This case highlights that insufficient qualification of suppliers and communication between nuclear customers and suppliers regarding the information protection and export control issues may result in the proliferation of sensitive information related to nuclear material and technologies.

                                                          Sources:
                                                          1. Judgement in the criminal case № 1-270/2020. December 15, 2020.
                                                          2. The technologies were transferred to China unknowingly. January 11, 2021

                                                                  On March 12, 2021, Russian nuclear regulator, Rostechnadzor, released the "Strategic Plan on Implementation of the Concept for Improving Security Regulation and Standardization in the Nuclear Energy Use for 2021-2031". The Plan is aimed at implementing Rostechnadzor's Concept for Improving Security Regulation and Standardization in Nuclear Energy Use. 2021-2031 plan replaces previous regulatory development plan approved in 2015.

                                                                  The Plan includes the development of new federal norms and rules and updating the existing federal norms and rules that establish mandatory requirements for nuclear safety and security at civilian nuclear sites. The Plan also envisions regular reviews of valid federal norms and rules to define whether they need revisions. Based on the Plan, the period between the reviews is four to five years on average.

                                                                  The plan covers several federal norms and rules key to nuclear security:

                                                                  - NP-030-19 Basic Rules for Control and Accounting of Nuclear Material (also known by its Russian acronym OPUK). The document will be reviewed in 2024 and 2029

                                                                  - NP-083-15 Requirements to Physical Protection System at Nuclear Sites and During Ground Transportation of Nuclear Material. Rostechnadzor will develop a new revision of this document in 2021-2023 and review the document in 2028

                                                                  - NP-085-19 Requirements for Physical Protection of Vessels with Nuclear Reactors, Nuclear Service Ships, Vessels Transporting Nuclear Material, and Floating Nuclear Power Plants. The document will be reviewed in 2024 and 2029

                                                                  In addition, the plan includes federal norms and rules governing issues affecting and supporting nuclear security:

                                                                  - NP-071-18 Procedures for Conformity Assessment for Equipment and Services Used in Nuclear Industry. This document governs the mandatory certification of equipment used in physical protection systems at nuclear sites and during the transportation of nuclear materials.

                                                                  - NP-072-13 Rules for Reclassifying Nuclear Material as Radioactive Substances or Radioactive Waste.

                                                                  - NP-090-11 Requirements for Quality Assurance Programs for Atomic Energy Sites. This document governs the development of a site program aimed at organizing nuclear safety and security at sites in a way that ensures compliance with applicable nuclear safety and security requirements.

                                                                  The Plan also includes updates and reviews of federal norms and rules governing the security of radiation sources, radiation substances, and nuclear waste, e.g. NP-034-15 Procedures for the Physical Protection of Radiation Sources, Storage Points, and Radioactive Substances and NP-073-11 Procedures for the Physical Protection of Radiation Sources and Radioactive Substances during Transportation.

                                                                  Sources:
                                                                  1. Strategic Plan on Implementation of the Concept for Improving Security Regulation and Standardization in the Nuclear Energy Use for the next ten years was approved. March 15, 2021.
                                                                  2. Strategic Plan on Implementation of the Concept for Improving Security Regulation and Standardization in the Nuclear Energy Use for 2021-2031. March 12, 2021.
                                                                  3. Concept for Improving Security Regulation and Standardization in Nuclear Energy Use.

                                                                          Rosstandard, Russian Government Agency responsible for uniformity of measurements in Russia, registered MTI-350GM mass-spectrometer intended for measurement of uranium hexafluoride enrichment. This mass-spectrometer is manufactured by NPO Tsentrotekh, a Rosatom company located in Novouralsk that specializes in making gas centrifuges and other equipment for uranium enrichment. Registration means that this mass-spectrometer has successfully passed certification and testing, meets all requirements for measurement equipment, and allowed for use.

                                                                          This mass-spectrometer is intended for measuring uranium enrichment in the automatic mode at enrichment production lines, as well as in a laboratory. The manufacturer claims that the specification of this equipment is comparable to those of foreign-made analogs. It is expected that it will contribute to the supply of indigenous equipment that can be used for measuring nuclear materials and reduce dependence on foreign-made measurement equipment. The first three items of this equipment have already been supplied to Rosatom enrichment facilities – Urals Electrochemical Plant (UEIP) in Novouralsk and Electrochemical Plant (ECP) in Zelenogorsk, Krasnoyarsk Kray.

                                                                          Source: MTI-350GM mass-spectrometer made by NPO Tsentrotekh is added to State Registry of Measurement Equipment. December 14, 2020.

                                                                                  On February 10, 2021, the Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC) received a license for the construction of a lead-cooled fast neutron rector BREST-OD-300 from the Russian nuclear regulator, Rostechnadzor.

                                                                                  According to Alexey Aleshin, the head of Rostechnadzor, while Rostechnadzor and expert organizations were reviewing the SCC license application, stakeholders developed and approved a set of safety regulations specific to BREST-OD-300 reactor. This includes two Federal Norms and Rules approved by Rostechnadzor that establish mandatory safety requirements to the reactor and sixteen Rosatom standards providing guidance on implementing Rostechnadzor requirements and taking into account the specifics of the reactor.

                                                                                  BREST-OD-300 reactor is a key part of a pilot closed fuel cycle facility (also known as the Pilot-Demonstration Energy Complex) constructed at the SCC site within the framework of the "Proryv" (Breakthrough) Project. The pilot closed fuel cycle facility also includes spent fuel reprocessing module and fuel fabrication and refabrication module.

                                                                                  The SCC started the installation of equipment at the fuel fabrication refabrication module in August 2020. As part of this work equipment for nuclear materials control and accounting and technology process control system was supplied to the site in December 2020 as well. The installation will take about a year and a half. The SCC also completed the design of the spent fuel reprocessing module but did not start construction of the module yet.

                                                                                  According to the management of the "Proryv" Project, the full-scale operation of the pilot closed fuel cycle facility is expected in 2029.

                                                                                  Previous status reports and additional details on the development of the pilot closed fuel cycle facility are available in the July/August 2020 issue of the Russian Nuclear Security Update.

                                                                                  Sources:
                                                                                  1. Rostechnadzor Issued a License for the Development of the World's First Pilot-Demonstration Power Unit with Fast Neutron Reactor BREST-OD-300. February 10, 2021
                                                                                  2. The SCC Starts Installing Equipment Within the Framework of Proryv Project. August 02, 2020
                                                                                  3. Mr. Perchukov: Operation of Pilot-Demonstration Energy Complex in Seversk Will Start in 2029. November 9, 2020
                                                                                  4. Equipment for last three subsystems of technology process control system for fuel fabrication and refabrication module of the "Proryv" (Breakthrough) Project sent to Siberian Chemical Combine. December 17, 2020.

                                                                                          On March 11, Rosatom signed a contract with Amur Shipbuilding Plant for the decommissioning of the Kashalot nuclear submarine of the Russian Pacific Fleet.

                                                                                          According to the Russian state procurement website, the decommissioning will cost 439.6 million rubles (USD 5.9 million). The deadline for the decommissioning is November 30, 2022. According to the contract, the Amur Shipbuilding Plant will perform cutting and stripping of the submarine's hull. The toxic waste should be isolated in accordance with the established procedures.

                                                                                          Kashalot is a project 971 or Shchuka-B (NATO designation: Akula class) submarine. She joined the Pacific fleet in 1989. Since 2003 the submarine was docked at the Amur Shipbuilding Plant awaiting overhaul.

                                                                                          Last month Rosatom signed another contract with the 30th Ship Repair Yard (Dunai, Primorsky Krai) for the decommissioning of the Admiral Lazarev nuclear-powered guided-missile cruiser.

                                                                                          According to the Russian state procurement website, the decommissioning cost will reach 5 billion rubles (USD 68.2 million). The decommissioning should start by the end of August 2021 and end by November 30, 2025. According to the contract, the 30th Ship Repair Yard will perform cutting and stripping of the cruiser's hull. The toxic waste should be isolated in accordance with the established procedures, the liquid radioactive waste should be recycled, the solid radioactive waste should be put in containers and sent to temporary storage.

                                                                                          Admiral Lazarev is a project 1144 Orlan (NATO designation: Kirov class battlecruiser) guided-missile cruiser. She belongs to the largest and heaviest surface combatant warships in operation in the world. Admiral Lazarev joined the fleet in 1980 and was taken out of service in 1999.

                                                                                          Russian Nuclear Security Update reported extensively on the decommissioning of the Russian nuclear-powered ships. In November of 2020, we run a story about continuing Russian- Japanese cooperation to eliminate the Soviet nuclear legacy in the Far East. In March of 2020, we wrote about the progress of decommissioning of the Lepse floating technical base at Nerpa shipyard.

                                                                                          Sources:
                                                                                          1. Russian nuclear submarine Kashalot will be scraped for 400 million rubles. March 17, 2021.
                                                                                          2. Procurement # 1770641334821000020. Scrappage of the project 971 cruising nuclear submarine serial number 513. Phase 1 (cutting and stripping of the submarine's hull and the equipment in the fore and aft parts). March 11, 2021.
                                                                                          3. Nuclear cruiser Admiral Lazarev was sent to decommissioning. February 18, 2021.
                                                                                          4. Procurement #1770641334821000012. Scrappage of the project 1144 heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser Admiral Lazarev serial number 801. February 16, 2021

                                                                                                  On January 26, 2021, the President of Belarus signed executive order number 32, establishing a fund to finance the maintenance and improvement of nuclear safety and security at the country's first nuclear power plant in Astravets. The same executive order established a separate decommissioning fund for the Belarus NPP.

                                                                                                  The executive order specifies that both funds will accumulate payments from the Belarus NPP, which will be made monthly after the commissioning of the power plant. The Ministry of Energy in coordination with the Ministry of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade and the Ministry of Finance will define the share of revenue to be allocated to the fund. The Ministry of Finance will be responsible for accumulating and administering money allocated to the funds. The total amount of payments could not exceed 15% of the NPP's revenues before taxes.

                                                                                                  Before its commissioning, the Belarus NPP will develop a program for maintaining and improving its safety and security during the power plant's life cycle. Based on this program the Ministry of Energy together with the Ministry of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade will approve an annual plan of activities aimed at maintaining and improving the safety and security of the Belarus NPP. The sum of funding necessary for the implementation of the annual plan will be used to calculate the NPP's monthly payments to the nuclear security and safety fund for a given year.

                                                                                                  The Belarus NPP can fund the following nuclear security activities using nuclear security and safety fund:

                                                                                                  – scientific support for maintaining and improving the security of the NPP;
                                                                                                  – activities aimed at improving nuclear security of the NPP;
                                                                                                  – activities aimed at improving the security of the NPP linked to changes in national requirements and international obligations;
                                                                                                  – maintenance and improvement of the NPP's physical protection system and emergency preparedness and response system;
                                                                                                  – modernization of systems and equipment, installation of the new equipment for maintaining and improving the security of the NPP;
                                                                                                  – acquisition and modernization of hardware and software necessary for evaluation of the security of the NPP.

                                                                                                  Money accumulated in the fund can also be spent on multiple safety issues, including fire safety, ecological safety, and safe handling and storage of spent nuclear fuel, and radioactive waste.

                                                                                                  The decommissioning fund of the Belarus NPP will be run in a similar way. Its size will be based on the calculations of the total decommissioning costs, which will be revised and updated every five years. The presidential order also stipulated that physical protection measures during the NPP decommissioning will be covered from the decommissioning fund.

                                                                                                  Source: Executive Order of the President of the Republic of Belarus # 32. On the Funds of the Belarus Nuclear Power Plant. January 26, 2021

                                                                                                          Russian organizations with nuclear security responsibilities regularly conduct exercises aimed at increasing their preparedness to address nuclear security threats. Background on these exercises is provided in the September 2019 issue of Russian Nuclear Security Update (see "Nuclear Security Exercises in Russia: Background"). Russian Nuclear Security Update tracks available information on exercises in Russia, as well as on exercises in Post-Soviet Space and countries involved in nuclear security cooperation with Russia.

                                                                                                          This article reviews information about exercises, which has become available since the publication of the September/October Update.

                                                                                                          Response to Unauthorized Actions in Russia

                                                                                                          December 12, 2020. Anti-terrorist exercise in Seversk closed city hosting Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC). The objective of the exercise was to train stakeholders in a collaborative response to a terrorist attack. The exercise involved various law enforcement authorities responsible for the security of the closed city and the SCC, including the National Guard, Federal Security service (FSB), Federal Protective Service, and Investigative Committee. The exercise also involved emergency response teams and local administration.

                                                                                                          Emergency Response Exercises in Russia

                                                                                                          · November 18, 2020. Fire-fighting exercise at Novovoronezh NPP. The exercise involved more than 40 people, including NPP officials and emergency response teams.

                                                                                                          · December 23, 2020. Emergency response exercise at Kalinin NPP. The exercise scenario was mitigation of a hypothetical non-radiation accident, including notification of site personnel and collaboration between site personnel and off-site emergency response teams.

                                                                                                          · February 11, 2021. Emergency response exercise at a site of A.P. Alexandrov Technology Research Institute (NITI). The exercise involved site personnel and off-site emergency response teams. The exercise scenario was mitigation of radiation accident emerged during the reload of fuel assemblies, including the use of a drone to survey accident scene.

                                                                                                          Other Exercises and Technical Meetings in Russia

                                                                                                          October 19-30, 2020. Personnel of Regional Office of Rosatom agency pro-force that provides pro-force security services to sites in Chelyabinsk region, including Mayak, completed advanced training course "Administering Sentry Duty".

                                                                                                          Exercises in the Post-Soviet Space and Other Countries

                                                                                                          November 26, 2020. Annual emergency response exercise at South-Ukrainian NPP. The exercise included responding to a blackout at NPP site caused by a thunderstorm and resulted in a malfunction of NPP control systems used during routine operation of the NPP. The exercise was conducted taking into account restrictions put to fight the COVID pandemic.

                                                                                                                  OVERVIEW OF RUSSIAN NUCLEAR SECURITY PROCUREMENTS

                                                                                                                  According to Russian legislation, Rosatom and its subsidiary organizations must publish information related to procurements using federal budget funding as well as their own money. This information is published at a dedicated website – http://zakupki.rosatom.ru/. Around three hundred procurements, including procurements related to MPC&A (material protection, control, and accounting) are published daily. In December 2020, over 240 procurements related to nuclear security were announced.

                                                                                                                  This article reviews the most interesting procurements and related trends.

                                                                                                                  Physical Protection of NPPs

                                                                                                                  Rosenergoatom publishes procurements for onsite protection services, supplies, and maintenance of PP equipment daily. The following are procurements of interest:

                                                                                                                  Rosatom agency pro-force protection services for six nuclear power plants, including floating nuclear power plant Akademik Lomonosov, at a total cost of 603.4 million Rubles (USD $8.1 million). The contract period is one year, 2021;

                                                                                                                  Access control equipment for NPPs for 95.8 million Rubles (USD $1.3 million);

                                                                                                                  Equipment for intrusion detection system and portable explosive detectors for Balakovo NPP for 6.8 million Rubles (USD $93,435);

                                                                                                                  Constriction and commissioning work related to the installation of PP equipment at shut-down power units #5 and 6 of Balakovo NPP for 3.6 million Rubles (USD $ 48,744);

                                                                                                                  Development of design and construction documentation related to the installation of PP equipment at the perimeter of the main building of Bilibino NPP and reconstruction of the video surveillance system of the NPP for 11.8 million Rubles (USD $157,926);

                                                                                                                  Constriction and commissioning works related to upgrading of the automated alerting system used to notify NPP personnel, including PP personnel, on emergencies for Kola NPP for 3.0 million Rubles (USD $39,658.8);

                                                                                                                  PP equipment for Kursk NPP for 19.6 million Rubles (USD $ 267,255.4).

                                                                                                                  Physical Protection of Rosatom Nuclear Sites

                                                                                                                  Rosatom agency pro-force protection services for VNIIEF, Karpov Institute of Physical Chemistry, IPPE, Electrochemical Plant, and Urals Electrochemical Integrated Plant. The total ceiling price of the contracts is 1.2 billion Rubles (USD $16.0 million). Contract periods vary from one to three years;

                                                                                                                  PPS upgrade for Research institute of technical physics and automation (NIITFA) for 24.3 million Rubles (USD $323,524.2);

                                                                                                                  Electrochemical Plant PP system effectiveness evaluation for 974,995.2 Rubles (USD $13,275.1)

                                                                                                                  Construction works and installation of equipment needed for reconstruction and upgrade of VNIIEF PP system for 24.6 million Rubles (USD $322,388.9), as well as installation of PP equipment (access control system, video surveillance system, alarm system) for 9.4 million Rubles (USD $127,823.0);

                                                                                                                  Various PP equipment for Mayak, SCC, VNIITF, and MCC for a total of 26.9 million Rubles (USD $364,848.2);

                                                                                                                  Maintenance of PP equipment used by VNIIEF, IPPE, SCC, Urals Electrochemical Integrated Plant, Mayak, VNIINM, Atomflot and Khlopin Radium Institute for 12.1 million Rubles (USD 163,326.4).

                                                                                                                  Other Site's Procurements

                                                                                                                  Apartments for National Guard personnel securing Leningrad NPP, Beloyarsk NPP, Novovoronezh NPP, and Rostov NPP for 268.4 million Rubles (USD $3.6 million);

                                                                                                                  Rail cars and equipment constituting automated transportation security system (ATSS) for Atomspetstrans (specialized organization transporting nuclear material) for 77.3 million Rubles (USD $1.0 million);

                                                                                                                  Categorization of computer-based systems of Arctic nuclear icebreakers qualified as objects of critical information infrastructure, as well as the development of cybersecurity measures for the Arctic and other constructed icebreakers of the same type. The total cost of respective contracts is 5.7 million Rubles (USD $76,663.9);

                                                                                                                  Information protection equipment and services for VNIITF, IPPE, MCC, and Atomspetstrans (specialized organization transporting nuclear material). The total cost of the contracts is 13.1 million Rubles (USD $176,031);

                                                                                                                  Measurement equipment that may be used for MC&A measurements, including various spectrometers and reference standards, for Mayak, MCC, Khlopin Radium Institute, Urals Electrochemical Integrated Plant, IPPE, Luch, VNIITF, and VNIINM for a total of 25.1 million rubles (USD $334,658);

                                                                                                                  Upgrading MC&A system of Leningrad NPP to add functions necessary to prepare accounting and reporting documents related to nuclear material used at NPP's new power unit for 3.7 million Rubles (USD $50,089.6);

                                                                                                                  Seals for MCC, Urals Electrochemical Integrated Plant, and Beloyarsk NPP for a total of 1.2 million Rubles (USD $16,001.3);

                                                                                                                  Pre-employment medical examination of personnel for Novovoronezh NPP, including psychiatric examination, in 2021 for 4.4 million Rubles (USD $58,776.8) and pre-employment and periodical medical examination of personnel, including psychiatric examination, for Khlopin Radium Institute for 442,000.0 Rubles (USD $5,997.9).

                                                                                                                  MPC&A Infrastructure and Support

                                                                                                                  Rosatom awarded a contract for analysis of the status of PP at Rosatom sites over 2020 and the first half of 2021. The contract ceiling price is 10.4 million Rubles (USD $142,527.6). The contract includes the analysis of inspection reports prepared during Rosatom on-site PP inspections and other information related to the status of PP at sites, development, upgrade, and maintenance of software used to collect, analyze and trend data on PP status at Rosatom sites, preparation of PP status reports. The contract also includes the development of questionaries for PP personnel professional testing and providing personnel with access to these questionaries using dedicated software;

                                                                                                                  Rosatom awarded a contract for analysis of the status of equipment and infrastructure used to conduct and support MC&A measurements in Russia over 2020. This includes the preparation of a status report and recommendations on the elimination of identified deficiencies. Contract ceiling price is 864,000.00 Rubles (USD 11,338.6);

                                                                                                                  Rosatom awarded a contract for the operation of the information analysis center of the Federal Information System used to solicit and process MC&A reports from Russian sites. The contract ceiling price is 13.8 million Rubles (USD $186,745.4). The contract period is one year – 2021. The contract includes maintenance of center equipment and software, information security services, technical support of sites submitting MC&A reports to of Federal Information System, as well as adjustment of software used to solicit and process MC&A reports;

                                                                                                                  Rosatom awarded a contract for issuing the 2020 National Registry of Nuclear Material. The contract ceiling price is 8.7 million Rubles (USD 114,239). The contract includes collecting necessary data from organizations handling nuclear material, reviewing data for consistency and correctness, and drafting the Registry using templates approved by Rosatom;

                                                                                                                  Rosatom awarded a 24.5 million Rubles (USD $334,554.2) contract for services necessary for the operation of Rosatom center for acquiring and analyzing evidence of illicit trafficking in nuclear material. Details regarding this procurement are available above;

                                                                                                                  Rosatom MPC&A training center, Rosatom Technical Academy, awarded a contract for maintenance of computer training system using virtual reality and augmented reality techniques used to support PP training courses delivered by the Academy. Contract ceiling price is 980,000.0 Rubles (USD 13,294.9).


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