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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia 'lacks personnel to dismantle nuclear sites'

RIA Novosti

13:28 27/05/2011 TOMSK, May 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is experiencing an acute shortage of personnel to ensure the decommissioning and dismantling of nuclear facilities, state-run nuclear corporation Rosatom officials and experts warned on Friday.

Russia is to decommission and dismantle 42 nuclear facilities by 2015 and 188 by 2020, Rosatom department head Yevgeny Komarov said, adding that 10 facilities were decommissioned last year.

No college or university in Russia currently trains such specialists, he said, proposing that special training programs be set up under Rosatom's umbrella.

These should include not only technical personnel, but also project managers and IT specialists, he said, adding that it took five to six years to fully train such personnel.

His view was echoed by Sergei Liventsov, deputy director of the Institute of Physical Technology at Tomsk Polytechnic, who said there was a need to intensify specialist training for the entire nuclear power industry.

These remarks come just after Russia's Emergencies Ministry warned on Wednesday that global warming could uncover and expose anthrax cattle burial sites in the Arctic and cause the spread of dangerous infections.

Analysts have pointed out however that Russian ministries and other government agencies are known for their tendency to issue dire warnings to ensure more federal funding, especially ahead of each new fiscal year.

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