Thursday, October 30, 2014

President of Russia

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Memorandum of the Russian Federation for the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit

The Russian Federation confirms its intention to develop nuclear power as a strategic direction for the development of the country. We are convinced that in spite of the severe accident at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, there are no alternatives to nuclear power in the foreseeable future. It is impossible to meet the challenge of humanity’s energy supply without it. To date, out of all relevant sources of energy, the nuclear power is not only an environmentally friendly and cost-effective, but also a safe source of energy, naturally, provided a responsible approach towards it is taken.

We note that a necessary prerequisite for its use is the provision and maintenance of a high level of safety and security. In view of the lessons of the accident at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, in 2011, Russia held the stress tests at all operating Russian nuclear power plants and a peer review jointly with the World Association of Nuclear Operators, in which experts from France, the USA, Belgium, Hungary and Ukraine, as well as an IAEA expert, took part.

The Russian Federation is convinced of the need to further strengthen the international legal framework for nuclear safety and security. In June 2011 we submitted to the IAEA draft amendments to the Convention on Nuclear Safety and to the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident as well as proposals for strengthening the IAEA nuclear safety standards.

Russia duly implements its international obligations in the sphere of nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear safety and security. We reaffirm the political commitments set forth in this regard in the Communiqué of the Washington Nuclear Security Summit dated 13April 2010.

We stress that the States, consistent with their respective international obligations, bear full responsibility for ensuring efficient nuclear security of all nuclear materials, including nuclear material in nuclear weapons, and nuclear facilities under their jurisdiction and control.

We reaffirm that Russia maintains an appropriate level of its nuclear security, and that all nuclear materials on its territory and relevant facilities are given proper physical protection. On its territory there are no nuclear materials or facilities which would cause concern due to the level of their physical protection.

We have been constantly upgrading regulatory norms for nuclear safety and security and radiological protection. In July 2011, the Federal Law on Radioactive Waste Management was adopted, which sets out the details of a new development stage of Russia's nuclear industry, governs the settlement of problems related to nuclear legacy and the development of modern management mechanisms for nuclear safety and security and radiological protection.

Russia expresses concern that in the world the threat of nuclear terrorism, possibility of illicit trafficking in nuclear materials and radioactive substances, and the lack of efficiency in export control measures persist. We are concerned that the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, amendments to it, and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism are yet to become truly universal legal instruments.

The Russian Federation gives priority to coordination of international efforts to reduce nuclear terrorism risks. Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) is an efficient tool of cooperation and exchange of best practice in addressing nuclear terrorism threat and enhancing nuclear security in the world.

Russia supports the IAEA activities to maintain nuclear security worldwide. We note the Agency’s assistance to its Member States in strengthening their national systems of accounting and control of nuclear material and the systems of nuclear safety and security. We support the implementation of the IAEA Nuclear Security Plan for 2010-2013 aimed at strengthening the coordinating role of the IAEA in maintaining nuclear security, ensuring increased use of information technologies and modern scientific developments and providing relevant assistance to States upon their requests. We support the proposal of the IAEA to hold an international conference on nuclear security in 2013.

Russia also provides assistance in this regard to the States pursuing a path of peaceful use of nuclear energy. The intersectoral special training center in Obninsk continues its training courses on physical protection. The Russian Federation endorses the initiative on promotion of nuclear security culture. Together with the IAEA, we plan to co-host a workshop on nuclear security culture in Russia in summer 2012, primarily for professionals from the countries starting to use atomic energy.

We welcome the establishment of Centers of Excellence and other nuclear security training and support centers since the Washington Summit and encourage the establishment of new ones.

On Russia’s proposal, the Action Plan of the IAEA international project on innovative nuclear reactors and fuel cycles (INPRO) for 2011-2012 has included the establishment of IAEA international training courses on the basis of the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, Moscow, and a center of excellence for young professionals from the CIS, on the application of the INPRO Methodology to assess national nuclear energy systems. Under the special training center in Obninsk an international training course for foreign specialists entitled "The Practice of Operating the Physical Protection Systems at Nuclear Facilities" has been organized. The training is provided using the capabilities of a training ground for means of physical protection of nuclear materials and facilities established with the assistance of the IAEA.

The Russian Federation supports the activities of the IAEA to develop a methodology for checking the declared contents when moving nuclear and other radioactive materials across borders. Russia is one of the countries that has already been applying this technology for 15 years and is ready to support other interested countries in mastering it. The installation of stationary control systems at border checkpoints has been essentially completed. At present we are in the process of operational adjustment of the installed national automated information system for the control of nuclear materials transfer across the state border.

The Russian Federation is working to establish a prototype system for the prevention of illicit trafficking in radioactive materials in the Murmansk Region.

We note the importance of international cooperation in this sphere while complying with the requirements of national legislation, ensuring the confidentiality of information and preventing it from falling into the wrong hands.

The Russian Federation supports the IAEA program to create and maintain information databases on cases of illicit trafficking in nuclear materials and radioactive substances. We are actively participating in the meetings of the working groups for the enhancement of database functionality as well as in information exchange, and we regularly provide relevant information.

We continue to implement the internal program of consolidation and conversion of HEU launched in 1999. Recently (since 2010), 1320 kg of unused HEU (concerning Uranium-235) has been converted to LEU.

Russia has long ago decided to export only LEU fuel for research nuclear reactors. For example, currently only LEU fuel is exported for research nuclear reactors to the Czech Republic, Hungary, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and other countries.

Starting in 2002, we have been implementing in cooperation with the USA the programme on the repatriation of fresh and irradiated HEU from Russian-designed nuclear research reactors which also involves the conversion of these reactors’ cores from HEU to LEU. Since the start of this programme, 604 kg of fresh and 986 kg of irradiated HEU have been repatriated from 14 countries. We now plan to repatriate the fuel from Vietnam, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

At the present moment, Russia in cooperation with the US is assessing the technical and economic feasibility of converting from HEU to LEU six research nuclear reactors in the Kurchatov Institute National Research Center, Moscow Engineering and Physics Institute, Research Institute of Atomic Reactors, and Tomsk Polytechnic University. The decision on the actual conversion will be taken after the additional assessment of its economic effect.

Russia supported the elaboration of the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and acceded to it. We currently maintain the national register of such sources.

Russia gives great attention to ensuring security during the transportation of nuclear materials.

Russia supports the international efforts aimed at implementing the measures for the protection of sensitive information, including cyber security measures at nuclear facilities.

We support the international efforts aimed at the creation of the international emergency system intended to take response measures in case the threat of nuclear terrorism materializes, at the provision of assistance to the countries in need at the bilateral, regional or multilateral level, particularly in carrying out the tasks of countering nuclear terrorism at major international enterprises.

The Russian Federation is committed to the objectives of supporting and strengthening nuclear security. We reaffirm our readiness to actively participate in the international efforts aimed at their implementation and carry out intensive and substantive work together with all the interested States sharing this commitment.

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D. Medvedev

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