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Office of Weapons Material Protection

The Office of Weapons Material Protection (OWMP) enhances the security of Russia's nuclear material at 37 sites, including 11 Russian Navy fuel storage sites, 7 Rosatom weapons sites and 19 Rosatom civilian sites.

These sites include weapons design laboratories, uranium enrichment facilities, and material processing/storage sites located in closed cities. In some cases, these industrial sites are the size of small cities and contain hundreds of metric tons of highly attractive weapons-usable nuclear materials.  Other buildings at sites containing nuclear material, such as central alarm stations, laboratories and guard stations, also receive upgrades.

The goal of this joint cooperative program is to identify areas that store or handle highly attractive nuclear material and provide protection against both internal and external threat scenarios.

OWMP is also oversees sustainability efforts at a number of nuclear sites in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Belarus, where security upgrades were originally completed in the mid-1990s.  Additional security upgrade work is currently underway at one site in Belarus.

OWMP employs a three-phased implementation strategy:

Initial rapid upgrades:  This phase is to be completed within a six-month time frame, without going through an extensive design process. Examples of rapid upgrades include a new passive fence, armored guard towers, hardened doors and windows for buildings, and protective force equipment.  If the site is deemed to have sufficient vulnerabilities to warrant further upgrades, comprehensive upgrades will be installed.

Comprehensive upgrades:  The next phase targets all areas of a site that need improvements based on site vulnerability assessments and specific upgrade designs. Because the scope of these upgrades is more extensive and involved, comprehensive upgrades usually require 18-to-24 months or more to complete.  Comprehensive upgrade examples include perimeter intrusion detection and assessment systems, guard and access control buildings, central alarm stations, and vehicle inspection areas.

Sustainability:  The final phase begins upon completion of upgrades. Sustainability work is geared to ensure performance testing and preventive maintenance of the installed systems, in addition to providing for major repairs if needed. The ultimate objective of the sustainability phase is to provide a mechanism that gradually transfers responsibility for maintaining the security systems to Russia.