About the ASC/Russian Science & Technology Cooperative Program

Program Overview

Since 1996, the United States and Russia have conducted collaborative science and technology activities. The 2002 Gordon-Ryabev agreement (see presentation link below) established some areas of mutual scientific interest related to stockpile stewardship that are compatible with NNSA’s Defense Program’s campaign structure. Since then, the three U.S. weapons research laboratories (Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) have conducted a number of collaborations with their Russian counterparts. The Gordon-Ryabev agreement called for one million dollars per laboratory to be available each year to support these collaborations. 

The principal objective of this cooperative program among the U.S. laboratories and Russian federal laboratories, institutions, and research institutes is to develop a technically strong program of collaborations that is beneficial to the U.S. Department of Energy under the current aegis of the S&T Cooperative Program.

A key objective is the continued integration of Russian collaborative projects into mainline projects at the U.S. laboratories so as to better align them with intermediate and long-term DOE/NNSA and individual laboratory programmatic objectives. This will result in a higher level of programmatic visibility of the Russian collaborations at the laboratories. Thus, an important task in this Program is to identify projects that are both complementary and supplementary to existing projects at the U.S. and Russian laboratories.

Another objective is to maintain and continue building strong representation of U.S. and Russian programs at international conferences. These conferences are venues for face-to-face contact and help to identify new areas for collaboration. The desired outcome is to draw new scientists into the collaborative efforts.

The attached presentation describes the salient points of the original agreement.

Sandia National Laboratories’ Gordon/Ryabev Agreement Presentation (17 October 2002) [PDF]

Nuclear Arms Issues

Participating U.S./Russian Science and Technology Institutions

U.S. Laboratories—The three weapons research laboratories are described below.

Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). Sandia National Laboratories, with sites in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Livermore, California, develops technologies to sustain, modernize, and protect the U.S. nuclear arsenal, prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction, defend against terrorism, protect the national infrastructures, ensure stable energy and water supplies, and provide new capabilities to U.S. armed forces.

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Los Alamos National Laboratory, in northern New Mexico, is a national security research institution, delivering scientific and engineering solutions for the Nation’s most crucial and complex problems. Its primary responsibility is ensuring the safety, security, and reliability of the Nation’s nuclear deterrent.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, is an applied science laboratory. As a national security laboratory, LLNL is responsible for ensuring that the Nation’s nuclear weapons remain safe, secure, and reliable through application of advances in science and engineering. With its special capabilities, the laboratory also meets other pressing national security needs, which include countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and strengthening homeland security against the terrorist use of such weapons.

Russian Federal Laboratories, Institutions, and Research Institutes — The three Russian federal laboratories are VNIIEF, VNIITF, and VNIIA. Other institutions and research institutes include Sarov Labs, ISTC, IPME, JIHT, and IHCE.

All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Experimental Physics (VNIIEF). Located in Sarov, VNIIEF was founded in Arzamas-16 (now called Sarov) in 1946 as the main nuclear weapons research and development facility for the Soviet Union. It now performs work on warhead and weapons automation and non-nuclear ammunition, materials science, nuclear and laser physics and engineering, and supercomputers. It also performs work in power engineering, mechanical engineering, instrumentation, the environment, and medicine.

Russian Federal Nuclear Center — All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Technical Physics (FRNC-VNIITF). Located in Snezhinsk, the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Technical Physics (VNIITF) was established in 1955 in Chelyabinsk-70 (now called Snezhinsk) for the development of nuclear weapons. As a Russian federal nuclear center, VNIITF was involved in designing nuclear weapons and providing scientific support for nuclear weapons throughout their life cycle. The Institute is responsible for all gravity bombs and Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBM warheads), as well as other strategic and tactical weapons. It has extensive theoretical and experimental capabilities for designing and nonnuclear testing of nuclear weapons as well as extensive facilities for conducting high-explosives experiments. In 1995, VNIITF joined the Russian-American Laboratory-to-Laboratory program, which designs and implements nuclear materials protection, control, and accounting (MPC&A).

All-Russia Research Institute of Automatics (VNIIA). Located in Moscow, the Federal State Unitary Enterprise All-Russia Research Institute of Automatics (FSUE VNIIA) was founded in 1954 for research, development, testing and supervision of warhead production and non-nuclear warhead components. It also worked with measurement instruments and equipment for monitoring the nuclear arsenal. Presently, FSUE VNIIA is a large research and production center.

Sarov Labs. Sarov Labs is an engineering and consulting center located in Sarov. It provides expertise in engineering analysis, computational physics and chemistry, and environmental assessment. The company considers applied and fundamental research as its two major specialty areas.

Russian Research Institutes

Institute for Problems in Mechanical Engineering (IPME), Russian Academy of Sciences. Located in St. Petersburg, the Institute for Problems in Mechanical Engineering is part of the Russian Academy of Sciences. It operates laboratories in hydro-elasticity, mathematical modeling of wave phenomena, vibration of structures, and 18 other specialties.

Joint Institute for High Temperatures (JIHT), Russian Academy of SciencesLocated in Moscow, JIHT is also part of the Russian Academy of Sciences. JIHT is the leading research institute in the fields of high energy densities physics, shock wave physics, thermodynamics databases, numerical simulations and cluster computing, dusty plasma, applied electrodynamics, combustion, green power and many others.

Institute of High Current Electronics (IHCE). Located in Tomsk, The Institute of High Current Electronics (IHCE) is a world-recognized leader in the field of development of high-power microwave generators, high-current electron and ion accelerators, and high-power X-ray sources. It specializes in high-current electronics, which comprises development of different methods of powerful electric pulse generation, emission of intensive electromagnetic radiation and pulsed power particle beams, and research in the field of interaction of powerful energy flow with matter

Other NNSA Programs with Russia

The following links to U.S. government websites describe other NNSA programs involved with Russia.