As NEI goes to press, the resignation of the government in Moscow has put into doubt the previously announced changes at the top of MINATOM. At the beginning of March Yevgeni Adamov took over as the Minister for Atomic Energy from Viktor Mikhailov who, six days after resigning, was appointed first deputy minister for atomic energy and confirmed as chairman of MINATOM’s newly established Scientific Council. The Council will be responsible for “drawing up and implementing policy on research and technical issues and for “putting into practice the newest advances of domestic and foreign science and technology”. The resolution also set up scientific and research councils to be responsible for various areas of the ministry’s work “in order to draw up and implement state scientific and technical policy in the field of atomic energy”.
Mikhailov, aged 64, resigned on 2 March requesting a transfer to academic work. Sources close to the Ministry denied that he had been dismissed, explaining that he had insisted on resigning despite government pressure to stay. He had led the Ministry since March 1992 and was “tired” of the constant battle for funds, the source said. In the Ministry he is regarded as a rare professional and his leadership is credited for the industry’s steady growth since 1994.
Yevgeni Olegovich Adamov, who industry sources said was recommended by Mikhailov, was duly appointed on 4 March. Adamov, aged 58, has been director of the Research and Development Institute of Power Engineering (ENTEK) since 1986. He was appointed head of the institute shortly after the Chernobyl disaster.Adamov has said Yeltsin had instructed him to exert efforts to ensure international parity in the nuclear sphere. He was also told to work to enhance safety so that the nuclear energy could play a bigger role in transforming the Russian economy.