Find a Security Clearance Job!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Krasnoyarsk-45 / Zelenogorsk
Electrochemical Plant
N 5607' E 9429'

The closed city of Krasnoyarsk-45, currently Zelenogorsk, was established in the late 1950s - early 1960s to produce enriched uranium for the Soviet nuclear weapons program.

The construction of a gaseous diffusion plant probably began in the early 1960s and the plant started to produce enriched uranium in 1964. (In 1964, the U.S. intelligence community predicted that the plant would reach its design capacity in 1967.) In parallel, the construction of a large fossil fuel and hydro-electric plant (GRES-2) began to provide the enrichment complex and the town with heat and electricity.

In the 1960s, the Soviet Union began to replace the gaseous diffusion machines with centrifuges. The last gaseous diffusion cascade in Krasnoyarsk-45 was shut down in 1990.

Currently, the Electrochemical Plant in Krasnoyarsk-45 accounts for 29 percent of Russia's enrichment capacity. In addition to uranium, the complex also separates isotopes of tungsten, molybdenum, krypton, xenon, germanium, iron, sulfur, oxygen, and carbon. Since 1997, the facility has been involved in down-blending HEU from dismantled weapons under the U.S.-Russian HEU agreement.

Krasnoyarsk-45 is located on the River Kan, approximately 70 km east of Krasnoyarsk. Krasnoyarsk-45 has a population of 67,000. Of them, an estimated 10,000 work at the enrichment complex.

The ECP produces enriched uranium for domestic Russian power reactors and for export. Using the same basic technology, but optimized for lighter elements, ECP produces a wide range of stable isotopes for sale worldwide. Additionally as part of the Russian demilitarization program, ECP manufactures audio and video tapes for the Russian and CIS markets.

Depleted Zinc (DZ) production capacity at the Russian facility is more than adequate to meet current and projected customer demands worldwide. The active DZ production can be ramped up to meet orders from utilities desiring to enter into long-term supply agreements based to ensure timely deliveries and attractive prices. DZ is used as an additive in nuclear power plants to reduce corrosion and cracking of key components and to reduce radiation exposure to plant workers. Pursuant to an agreement which runs through 2002 between Isonics Corporation of San Jose CA, ECP, and Techsnabexport (Tenex, the trading arm of the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy), Isonics has exclusive rights to market and sell DZ processed by ECP to nuclear power plants and other North American-based companies.

In 1994 the US and Russia signed a 20-year $12-billion covering the purchase of 500 metric tons of highly enriched uranium (HEU) recovered from Russian weapons. The uranium will be blended down to low-enriched uranium (LEU) and shipped to the US for use in commercial power reactor fuel. The transparency protocols for the HEU purchase are intended to confirm for the US that the shipped material is derived from Russian weapons material, and to confirm for Russia that the LEU is not used the US weapons program. This requires access to the uranium processing facilities of both sides. US monitors are allowed access to the three principal Russian plants involved in the conversion of HEU to LEU. At the plant in Seversk, HEU metal is processed into an HEU oxide before being shipped to the electrochemical plants in Novouralsk or Zelenogorsk. In these facilities, the oxide is fluorinated and combined with a slightly enriched blending material to turn it into LEU suitable for civilian power reactor fuel. Monitoring at Seversk and Zelenogorsk is confined to periodic visits, but monitors have continuous access to the Novouralsk plant through the US Permanent Presence Office there, which Lawrence Livermore manages for DOE. At all three plants, US monitors have access to relevant documentation and accountability records.

Imagery Evaluation Report

As of 07 October 2000 the Space Imaging Carterra Archive had one image of this area.

Sources and Methods

  • Thomas Cochrane, William Arkin, Robert Norris and Jeffrey Sands, Soviet Nuclear Weapons Nuclear Weapons Databook Volume IV, Natural Resources Defense Council [New York, Harper & Row, 1989].
  • Thomas Cochrane, Robert Norris and Oleg Bukharin, Making the Bomb - From Stalin to Yeltsin [Boulder, Westview Press, 1995]

  • Sharing the Challenges of Non-Proliferation William Dunlop Lawrence Livermore Science and Technology Review September 1997

    Krasnoyarsk-45 / Zelenogorsk 2000/01/15 2000011504112840000011610518

Join the mailing list