A number of Russia's atomic and scientific sites last month welcomed a team of U.S. officials under an initiative aimed at facilitating nonmilitary nuclear cooperation between the former Cold War rivals, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow announced (see GSN, July 14, 2011).
Assistant Energy Secretary Peter Lyons oversaw the trip by personnel from his department and U.S. national laboratories to the Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant, the location for the unfinished BN-800 fast reactor linked to a bilateral agreement on eliminating weapon-grade plutonium.
Sites visited by the team also included the area of an incomplete facility expected to produce mixed-oxide fuel for use in the BN-800 reactor.
Russian officials last August traveled to U.S. scientific and academic sites in a prior collaboration between the Energy Department and the Russian state-run atomic energy firm Rosatom. The two events -- organized through the Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Security Working Group of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission -- yielded insights on numerous means of expanding and intensifying current joint efforts, according to a press release (U.S. Embassy in Moscow release, April 24).