FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 1997
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:
Patrick Dorinson, 202/586-4940
PEÑA AND MIKHAILOV SIGN JOINT STATEMENT TO STRENGTHEN NONPROLIFERATION COOPERATION ACCORD
At a news conference in Moscow, U.S. Secretary of Energy Federico Peña today announced that he and Russian Minister of Atomic Energy Viktor Mikhailov have signed a joint statement to add the Lytkarino Scientific Research Institute for Equipment to a joint U.S.-Russian nuclear weapons and materials protection and security program.
Lytkarino will now join over 40 facilities in Russia and the Newly Independent States that are covered under the Material, Protection, Control and Accounting program (MPC&A). Established in 1994, MPC&A is an effort to prevent the theft of nuclear weapons and weapons usable material by improving security with sensors, portal monitors, fences, radiation detectors and accounting procedures to keep track of nuclear materials that would otherwise be at risk.
"This is an important addition to our cooperative efforts to prevent nuclear weapons or materials from getting into the wrong hands," Peña said. "I had a very good meeting with Minister Mikhailov, and I hope that we can continue to make progress to secure sensitive nuclear materials."
Secretary Peña also signed a joint statement with Academician Velikov from the Kurchatov Institute to expand its cooperation with Department of Energy labs on nuclear safety, environmental protection, nuclear technology research and development, cessation of production of weapons usable material, plutonium disposition, and nuclear materials, protection and accounting.
In Russia since Sunday, Secretary Peña also met with Prime Minister Chernomyrdin, First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, Minister of Natural Resources Victor Orlov, representatives of the Defense Council, and several members of the Duma.
In those meetings, Peña discussed further cooperation on nonproliferation efforts, and he started to lay the groundwork for the 1998 Energy Ministerial Meeting that was agreed to at the Summit of the Eight in Denver, Colorado. He also encouraged energy development and expanding opportunities for foreign investment in the Russian energy market.
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