New Opportunities for Russia's Closed Cities

NTI supported model projects in Russia’s closed nuclear cities to help prevent the spread of nuclear knowledge

Challenge

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 presented numerous security challenges for Russia, including the dangerous job of safeguarding thousands of nuclear weapons and potentially unsecured materials.

Action

NTI decided to concentrate its efforts on the closed nuclear city of Sarov, one of 10 once-secret, highly restricted Soviet “closed cities” in the country’s nuclear-industrial complex where scientists, engineers, and technicians worked on building nuclear weapons.

Results

NTI was able to support Sarov with over $2 million to help create civilian businesses, develop infrastructure, and provide financial support to SaravLabs.

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 presented numerous security challenges for Russia, including the dangerous job of safeguarding thousands of nuclear weapons and potentially unsecured materials.

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 presented numerous security challenges for Russia, including the dangerous job of safeguarding thousands of nuclear weapons and potentially unsecured materials.

NTI explored a host of ways to leverage resources to help reduce the threat. After consulting with the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy and U.S. government agencies, NTI decided to concentrate its efforts on the closed nuclear city of Sarov, one of 10 once-secret, highly restricted Soviet “closed cities” in the country’s nuclear-industrial complex where scientists, engineers, and technicians worked on building nuclear weapons.

Sarov posed an especially serious problem because its weapons manufacturing plant was closing, leaving unemployed thousands of workers who could potentially provide terrorists with access to or information about nuclear weapons and materials.

NTI’s support of Sarov included: a $1 million contribution to a revolving Russian loan fund set up to create permanent, viable civilian businesses that could employ former weapons workers; financial support for SaravLabs, a contract research organization which provides engineering, computational physics and other services; $1 million in infrastructure support for Saraov’s Open Technopark located outside the closed city but close to the concentrated center of highly skilled scientists, engineers and technicians.

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