Press Release (97)26

14 March 1997

NATO Advanced Research Workshop on nuclear materials safety management, 17-21 March, Amarillo, Texas

Some 60 nuclear scientists and engineers from Belgium, France, Germany, Russia and the U.S. will meet in Amarillo, Texas, 17-21 March to discuss nuclear materials handling, safety and disposition. The NATO Advanced Research Workshop, "Nuclear Materials Safety Management", is cosponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium, a joint effort of the U.S. Department of Energy and the State of Texas, will host the workshop.

Both Russia and the United States have identified areas for collaboration to address issues relating to the defense nuclear fuel cycle. Areas currently being addressed by joint programmes include disposition of weapons grade highly enriched uranium and plutonium from dismantled warheads, and improvements to systems for material protection, control and accountability of special nuclear materials. The aim of this Advanced Research Workshop is to address the safe management of materials, especially in those parts of the fuel cycle which are not yet addressed by coordinated joint projects.

The workshop will advance discussion between technical communities which, until recent years, did not interact. Participants meeting in small breakout groups are expected to identify projects for collaborative research in the fields of nuclear materials safety management.

Representatives of the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy, the U.S. Department of Energy, and of other national laboratories, and research institutes are expected to participate. Technical briefings will focus on plutonium storage and transportation safety, mixed oxide fuel fabrication and transportation safety, and spent fuel storage, transportation and safety issues. Other nuclear materials safety issues to be discussed include geologic disposal, waste and environmental safety concerns, and safety issues concerning storage of highly-enriched uranium.

Co-directors of the workshop are K.L. Peddicord, Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium (Fax: +1 409845 6443) and Leonard Lazarev, V.G. Khlopin Radium Institute, St. Petersburg (Fax: +7 812.247.5897). Information can be found on the Internet at http://trinity.tamu.edu/~igor/NATO/ARW.html, or by calling the Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium (+1 806 376 5533).

For further information please contact Nancy Schulte, Programme Director, Disarmament Technologies, NATO, B-1110 Brussels, Belgium (Fax: 32.2 707.4232).

NATO Science Programme information is available on the World Wide Web http://www.nato.int/science

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