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Russian atomic experts to be included on international weapons inspectors' commission on Iraq

15.11.2002 | Source:



Russian atomic experts will be included in the international commission for finding out atomic technologies in Iraq, said the head of the Russian Gosatomnadzor, Yury Vishnevsky. But he did not specify the number of these experts to be sent to Iraq.

Speaking of the materials to which attention should be paid, Vishnevsky pointed out that "the experts know from what materials a bomb can be made and from what cannot." "Some incompetent journalists raise a ballyhoo in the press from time to time with regard to some or other materials from which, however, no bomb can be made," said he. "For example in the 1990s, there was a popular ballyhoo about 'red mercury'; at the present time osmium-187 'is in fashion.' However, this chemical element does not belong at all to the group of fissile materials, and no bomb can be made from it," underscored Yury Vishnevsky.

He also said that some attempts were made at the enterprises of the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy to steal nuclear materials, but they were unsuccessful. In order to strengthen even more the safe work of atomic facilities in Russia it is necessary to allocate additionally at least about six billion roubles (about 200 million Euro) for the enterprises of the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry.

Yury Vishnevsky pointed out that a big work has been done of late for improving the guard of the atomic facilities: additional guarded zones have been created; they are fitted out with electronic observation systems and other instruments. Nevertheless, the head of the Gosatomnadzor admitted that "nobody would guarantee their absolute protection." "In order to fully solve this problem it is necessary to do away with terrorism once and for all," said he. Explaining his thought, Yury Vishnevsky adduced the following example: when you go out into street you subject yourself to dangers - the attack on the part of people or the danger of being knocked down by a car. The probability of such dangers, according to scientists, equals 0.001 percent. The probability of seizing an atomic power station by terrorists is a hundred times smaller - 0.00001 percent. "But if it exists theoretically, a merciless fight should be waged against terrorism," he said.


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