Nuclear and information terrorism concerns Russia

06 June 2007

Russia is planning a central authority to control the movement of radioactive materials. Officials said that over ten different agencies currently oversee radioactive materials used in industry and medicine as well as nuclear science and power.

A spokesman for the Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) told the Novosti news service about the plans, which would see a single authority created under the auspices of the National Anti-Terrorism Committee, which considers the measure essential to reduce risks from radiological terrorism.

The head of Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko, reportedly said after a committee session: "The most important factor in countering the nuclear terrorism threat is having the strictest possible controls over the movements of all fissile materials."

Kiriyenko added that 'information terrorism' was also a threat, using the example of rumours of a nuclear accident causing fear and disruption. He said that there had been unfounded rumours of a serious accident at the southern Volgodonsk plant in May and that he had "a clear understanding that this was not by chance or mistake but it was a well planned action."

In an interview with Regnum magazine, Valentin Mezhevich, vice chair of the Federation Council Committe on Natural Monopolies, said he thought the rumours about Volgodonsk came from "some foreign structures" and suggested the incident could have been an attempt to undermine Russia's bid to host the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi, near the Black Sea.

Further information

Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom)

WNA's Safeguards to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism information paper
WNA's Transport of Radioactive Materials information paper

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