UK energy minister Brian Wilson has awarded contracts to three UK-based companies as part of a drive to clean up Russian nuclear sites.
The projects will include:
• Providing technical support to the Department of Industry's (DTI's) Nuclear Safety Programme. This three-year contract has been won by BNFL.
• Developing non-weapons-related employment in closed nuclear cities, and other social impact projects. This contract has gone to PE International Consulting.
• Management of spent nuclear fuel in northwest Russia, and dismantling of an early-generation nuclear submarine. This work will be undertaken by RWE Nukem.
Wilson said that the nuclear legacy of the former Soviet Union was a pressing concern for the international community because "the considerable environmental, security and proliferation threats it presents do not respect international boundaries and pose a direct threat to us all." The UK is contributing £84 million ($125 million) over the period 2001-2004, and funding is expected to remain at this level for the next ten years.