RUSSIA Thefts of nuclear materials from Russian sites have ceased, according to deputy head of MINATOM’s security, Nikolai Redin. There have been no cases since 1995; between 1992 and 1995 up to 30 thefts were recorded. He stressed that no weapon-grade materials have ever been stolen. “A wave of activity” occurred from 1992 to 1994 with staff at nuclear facilities stealing natural and low-enriched uranium, encouraged by media reports about “the black market of nuclear materials with incredibly high prices”.

  “There is no such black market,” Redin said. He praised the new computerised system of control, registration and storage which is being introduced at the Ministry’s 23 plants. Improvements in control and safety have received financial support and expertise from the US and Europe.