For Immediate Release
Washington, DC - A delegation of Russian nuclear energy researchers, practitioners and experts will visit Washington, DC from October 22 - 26 on the Congressionally sponsored Open World Program to learn about American nonproliferation activities and meet with U.S. Government specialists who work on nuclear weapons proliferation issues. Their arrival follows visits to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington state and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, where the delegates - split into two groups - met with their counterparts in the American nuclear science community from October 14 - 22.
The delegates range from state inspectors of nuclear facilities to civil engineers and researchers at security-focused think-tanks. They come from a variety of locations within the Russian Federation and an array of professional institutions that includes government and private research organizations, non-governmental organizations and the media. Their visit is focused on issues such as nuclear materials monitoring techniques, international materials protection, control and accounting, environmental protection and clean-up, and economic diversification in communities once reliant on the government defense sector for their prosperity.
"Since the program's inception in 1999, Open World's primary goal has been to build mutual understanding between young political, civic and economic leaders in Russia and other participating countries and their American counterparts," said Aletta Waterhouse, Interim Executive Director of Open World. "By now helping to build bridges between the non-proliferation communities of Russia and the United States, our program adds a crucial new element toward forging a stronger understanding between our two countries on the whole."
While in Washington, D.C., the Russians will meet with staff of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Monterey Institute of International Studies and Russian American Nuclear Security Advisory Council to discuss the formulation and funding of government nonproliferation policy.
Battelle, which operates the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for the Department of Energy, is coordinating the visit for Open World and leading an international partnership of organizations and individuals to create a high-impact program demonstrating and sharing the extensive U.S. experience of work in the field of nonproliferation with Russian counterparts. Each partner brings a particular expertise to the program, providing a diverse and interconnected view of this complex field of work. For more information about PNNL, please visithttp://www.pnl.gov; for more information about ORNL, please visithttp://www.ornl.gov.
Open World is a unique, nonpartisan initiative of the U.S. Congress that builds mutual understanding between the emerging leaders of participating countries and their U.S. counterparts while exposing delegates to ideas and practices they can adapt for use in their own work. Founded in 1999 with a focus on Russia, the program expanded in 2003 to include pilot exchanges with Lithuania, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Delegates range from members of parliament to mayors, from innovative nonprofit directors to independent journalists, and from political party activists to regional administrators. The program's administering agency, the Open World Leadership Center, is a legislative branch entity with offices at the Library of Congress.
For more information on the Washington, D.C. visit, please contact George Felcyn of The PBN Company at 202-466-6210. For more information on the Open World Program, please visithttp://www.openworld.gov.