In an interview with journalist Vladimir Orlov, Minister of Atomic Energy Viktor Mikhaylov stated that there has not been a single theft or loss of nuclear weapon-grade material from Russia. According to Mikhaylov, all Russian airports have had equipment to detect plutonium and high-enriched uranium since the Moscow Olympics in 1980. He acknowledged that there have been seven thefts of non-weapon-grade nuclear material, including of uranium tailings, but emphasized that such materials can not be used to manufacture bombs. Regarding the Pu-239 that was found in Munich in 1994, Mikhaylov said that both the buyer and seller were double agents. He noted that the Institute of Physics and Power Engineering in Obninsk (IPPE) was currently being named as the source of that material, a possibility which 'can't be ruled out.' Minatom is reviewing security at that facility.
Abstract Number: 19961090
Headline: Intervyu Mesyatsa: Demontazh Odnovo Yadernogo Boyezaryada Obkhoditsya Rossii V 10-15 Tysyach Dollarov
Date: May 1996
Bibliography: Yaderniy Kontrol, pp. 2-5
Author: Vladimir Orlov