As part of the reorganization of its nuclear complex, Russia has created a new corporation, Atomenergoprom, which will be responsible for the civilian part of the nuclear industry. The new structure was approved by a presidential decree No 556 of 27 April 2007 and was formally established by a government decision of July 7, 2007. According to some reports, the changes in the industry will continue – it is expected that later this year Atomenergoprom and the military part of the nuclear complex will be combined to form a “federal government unitary company”.
According to the presidential decree No. 556, in addition to the business of building and operating nuclear power reactors, Atomenergoprom will be responsible for the front end of the fuel cycle – uranium mining, enrichment, and fuel fabrication – as well as for handling of spent fuel (although it is mentioned only indirectly).
The presidential decree contains an interesting list of facilities and companies (in Appendix 2), privatization of which is prohibited and which are not affected by the reorganization. Apparently these are facilities of the military part of the nuclear complex. Here is the list (in the order the are listed in the decree) with web site addresses and some comments:
- N. L. Dukhov All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Automatics (N. L. Dukhov VNII Avtomatiki, VNIIA), Moscow - http://www.vniia.ru/. This is one of the nuclear weapon laboratories that is involved in nuclear warhead design, and development of non-nuclear components and nuclear weapons maintenance instrumentation.
- Institute of Impulse Technologies (VNII Impulsnoi Tekhniki, VNII IT), Moscow - http://www.niiit.ru/. The institute is responsible for development of nuclear test diagnostic equipment.
- Institute of Strategic Stability, Moscow - http://www.iss.niiit.ru/. This is a Rosatom “think tank”, chaired by Victor Mikhailov, former head of Minatom.
- Design Bureau of Road Equipment (KB Avtotransportnogo oborudivaniya, KB ATO), Mytyshchi, Moscow region - The design bureau is responsible for nuclear warhead transportation and handling equipment.
- Urals Electromechanical Plant (Uralsky electromekhanicheskiy zavod), Yekaterinburg - http://www.uemz.ru/. Production of non-nuclear weapon components.
- “Elektrokhimpribor” Combine (Kombinat Elektrokhimpribor), Lesnoy, Sverdlovsk region - http://www.ehp-atom.lesnoy.ru/. Also known as Sverdlovsk-45, the combine carries out weapon assembly and disassembly.
- “Sever” Production Association (PO Sever), Novosibirsk - http://www.posever.ru/. Production of non-nuclear weapon components.
- Federal Scientific Production Center “Yu. E. Sedakov Scientific Research Institute of Measurement Systems” (FNPTs “NII IS im. Yu. E. Sedakova”, NII IS), Nizhni Novgorod - http://www.niiis.nnov.ru/. Design of non-nuclear components.
- Russian Federal Nuclear Center – All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Experimental Physics (RFYaTs – VNIIEF), Sarov, Nizhni Novgorod region - http://www.vniief.ru/. Also known as Arzamas-16, this is the first Soviet nuclear weapon laboratory.
- “Start” Production Association (PO “Start”), Zarechny, Penza region - http://www.startatom.ru/. A nuclear weapon disassembly facility, also known as Penza-19.
- Bazalt, Raskovo settlement, Saratov region - This is a beryllium production facility.
- “Mayak” Production Association (PO “Mayak”), Ozersk, Chelyabinsk region - Also known as Chelyabinsk-65. It’s a major fissile materials production and handling facility.
- Russian Federal Nuclear Center – Academician E. I. Zababakhin All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Technical Physics (RFYaTs – VNIITF), Snezhinsk, Chelyabinsk region - http://www.ch70.chel.su/. This is another major nuclear weapon laboratory, also known as Chelyabinsk-70.
- Device-Building Plant (Proborostroitelny zavod), Trekhgorny, Chelyabinsk region - http://www.imf.ru/. Also known as Zlatoust-36. Nuclear warhead assembly and disassembly facility.
- Expedition No. 2 (Ekspeditsiya No. 2), Novaya Zemlya Island, Arkhangelsk region - A nuclear test site
Comments are based on the list in “Transparency in Nuclear Warheads and Materials” (p. 182-183). It is equally interesting to note which facilities from that list did not make it to the presidential decree:
- Siberian Chemical Combine (Sibirsky Khimichesky Kombinat), Seversk, Tomsk region - http://www.atomsib.ru/. Known as Tomsk-7. SKhK was involved in production of plutonium (two reactors are still operational) and fabrication of HEU weapon components.
- Mining and Chemical Combine (Gorno-Khimichesky Kombinat), Zheleznogorsk, Krasnoyarsk region – http://www.krasminatom.ru/enterprises/ghk/. As Krasnoyarsk-26, GKhK was a major plutonium production facility. One reactor is still operational.
- Electromechanical Plant “Avangard” (Electromekhanichesky zavod “Avangard”), Sarov, Nizhni Novgorod region - Former nuclear weapon assembly facility.
- Production Association “Molniya” (PO Molniya), Moscow - Production of non-nuclear components.
- Nizhnyaya Tura Machine-building Plant (Nizhneturinsky mashinostroitelnyi zavod), Nizhnyaya Tura, Sverdlovsk region - The plant produces various support equipment and was not directly involved in weapons production.
In addition to these, there is a number of facilities that were transferred to the civilian side of the nuclear program some time ago – there are mainly uranium production and enrichment facilities, fuel fabrication plants and so on.