A multi-million pound DTI programme to help former nuclear weapons workers in Russia find new jobs is receiving a boost today with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the DTI and the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency (RosAtom).
The UK-Russia Closed Nuclear Cities Partnership programme (CNCP) is working with six of Russia's Closed Nuclear Cities – cities created in the Cold War to develop the Russian nuclear weapons programme.
Due to restructuring and downsizing, they are facing many thousands of job losses. CNCP has already approved grant projects that will create around 350 new jobs in four of the cities, and there is the potential to create thousands more jobs, directly and indirectly.
The CNCP programme, with a spend of around £3m per year, is part of the UK's contribution to a $20bn pledge by G8 countries designed to counter proliferation of nuclear material, nuclear safety and ecological concerns in the former Soviet Union.
It aims to limit the spread of weapons of mass destruction by supporting the long-term economic viability of the cities, and promoting alternative employment opportunities.
Trade and industry minister Nigel Griffiths said: "The signing of this document… demonstrates our mutual interest in making the Closed Cities programme a success, provides a new mechanism for co-operation, and reinforces our commitment to implement innovative projects and activities that support job creation and sustainable economic development."