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Patrick Gray:

About CNCP

The CNCP Programme was started with the realization of the Closed Nuclear Cities Partnership between the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation aims to limit the spread of weapons of mass destruction by contributing to international efforts to address threats arising from the nuclear legacy of the former Soviet Union. It reflects the shared concern of all responsible members of the international community to support co-operation projects to address non-proliferation, disarmament, counter-terrorism and nuclear safety issues, which was embodied in the new Global Partnership launched by the G-8 countries at their summit in June 2002.

An important element of the Soviet nuclear legacy are the 10 Closed Nuclear Cities of the Russian Federation, which were created to carry out various stages of the design, manufacture and maintenance of nuclear weapons. Together, the 10 towns are home to a total of 770,000 inhabitants, of whom some 130,000 are employed in nuclear weapons related activities. Many of these are highly skilled scientists and technicians whose expertise could be extremely useful to states seeking to acquire the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction. In addition, these people are responsible for managing the production, storage and disposal of a massive inventory of sensitive nuclear materials, which could pose a threat to humanity if they fell into the wrong hands.

Thousands of jobs are expected to be lost through restructuring and rationalisation resulting from changes in the defence policy of the Government of the Russian Federation, with many more likely to go in the following decade. It is of the highest importance that these far-reaching changes are carried out in a manner, which presents new opportunities for displaced personnel to use their skills to benefit the Russian economy, whilst minimising the risk of nuclear proliferation. Preventing a deterioration in economic and employment conditions and maintaining morale and loyalty among key scientists and technicians as weapons related activities within the closed nuclear cities are scaled down, are crucial to the future of international security and world peace.

In 2004, the CNCP Programme was extended to Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, where it currently works with the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the National Nuclear Centre (Almaty), the Kazakhstan National Nuclear Centre (Kurchatov), the Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology, and the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences (Tashkent). These institutes were established to carry out various stages of the development, production, and service of nuclear weapons.

In 2007 CNCP Programme activity has spread to Armenia, Belarus and Georgia. The Programme works with the Armenian Scientific Research Institute on nuclear power plants operation ARMATOM Ltd. and A.Alikhanyan National Science Laboratory (Yerevan Institute of Physics) (Yerevan), Joint Institute of Power and Nuclear Research - Sosny (Minsk), Institute of Physics named after E. Andronikashvili and Vekua Sokhumi Institute of Physics and Technology (Tbilisi).

Also, starting 2007 CNCP Programme has expanded geography of its activities in Ukraine. At present the Programme collaborates with a new partners - the Sevastopol National University of Nuclear Energy and Industry (Sevastopol) and Institute of Nuclear Research (Kiev).

The CNCP focuses in particular on funding civil sector activities, development, manufacturing or the provision of services, which employ the skills and resources available in the towns and which can provide the basis for sustainable employment and the promotion of viable enterprises. A major effort is being made to develop opportunities to commercialise such products and services in conjunction with UK and other international partners.

The CNCP aim to promote sustained social and economic development in the closed nuclear cities to provide an environment where the individuals concerned can see a secure future for themselves and their families.

The Programme focuses in particular on funding civil sector activities, development, manufacturing or the provision of services, which employ the skills and resources available in the towns and which can provide the basis for sustainable employment and the promotion of viable enterprises. A major effort is being made to develop opportunities to commercialise such products and services in conjunction with UK and other international partners.

The CNCP is funded by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (Canada).

CNCP employs four instruments to achieve its goals:

  • finance for commercial civil sector projects,
  • training for personnel;
  • assistance in the establishment of commercial links;
  • support for sustainable economic development in the cities and nuclear centers.

  • DECC has entrusted management of the programme to a consortium led by HTSPE Ltd., a UK based consultancy company with extensive experience of programme management and of successfully promoting economic restructuring and transformation in the Russian Federation. HTSPE Ltd. is working in conjunction with AEA Technology and a number of British and Russian consultants to implement the programme. HTSPE Ltd. has established an office in Moscow to assist in the development, implementation and monitoring of CNCP.

    CNCP's objectives:

  • Generate alternative lasting non-weapons related employment for scientists and technicians with proliferation sensitive skills, access and knowledge;
  • Promote sustainable social and economic development in the Closed Nuclear Cities to provide an environment where the individuals concerned can see a secure future for themselves and their families;
  • Assist scientists and technicians in their development of market oriented business skills;
  • Identify and develop opportunities to commercialise Nuclear Cities and Centers products and services in conjunction with UK and other international partners.

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