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CIS to create fast assistance group for nuclear emergencies

Following the November 2 meeting of the CIS Prime Ministers’ Council, a total of 18 documents were signed

ASTANA, November 2. /TASS/. The CIS countries’ agreement on mutual assistance in case of nuclear or radiation emergencies will make it possible to promptly form a fast assistance group capable of arriving at the scene of a hypothetical incident within 24 hours, the deputy CEO or Russia’s state corporation Rosatom, Nikolai Spassky, said on the sidelines of a meeting of the CIS Prime Ministers’ Council on Friday.

Following the Council meeting, the CIS prime ministers have signed 18 documents on cooperation in various areas. Among them there is an agreement on cooperation in case of a nuclear accident or a radiological emergency. Other agreements concern cooperation in the power engineering industry, information exchange, waste management, humanitarian issues and the protection of intellectual property and the environment.

"The CIS countries operate and build nuclear power reactors and research reactors, produce uranium, manufacture fuel for nuclear power plants and widely use radioactive sources," he said. "Nuclear materials and radioactive sources are regularly moved across the CIS borders. Meanwhile, the CIS still has no unified system of response to emergencies," Spassky said.

About the just-concluded agreement he said that "all CIS countries will identify the special authorized agencies and draft unified notification procedures on the basis of IAEA recommendations." The agreement describes in detail a mechanism to be employed should one of the member-countries require assistance to deal with a nuclear or radiation incident.

"First, a request is dispatched, then a cooperation pattern is identified online, and an assistance group with all the necessary equipment is formed. By Russian standards, if all these procedures are fine-tuned in advance, such a group may arrive on site within a 24-hour deadline," Spassky said.