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Nonproliferation and Threat Reduction Cooperation

#A-1633


NATO-MATRIX (Nonproliferation and Threat Reduction Cooperation)

Tech Area / Field

  • FIR-NSS/Nuclear Safety and Safeguarding/Fission Reactors
  • BIO-SFS/Biosafety and BioSecurity/Biotechnology
  • CHE-SAS/Safety and Security/Chemistry
  • ENV-MIN/Monitoring and Instrumentation/Environment
  • FIR-CAA/Control and Accounting/Fission Reactors

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
13.05.2008

Leading Institute
Advanced Science & Technology Center, Armenia, Yerevan

Supporting institutes

  • A.I. Alikhanyan National Science Laboratory, Armenia, Yerevan\nCenter for Ecological Noosphere Studies, Armenia, Yerevan\nInstitute of Biochemistry, Armenia, Yerevan\nArmenian NPP, Armenia, Metsamor\nArmenian Scientific-Research Institute of Nuclear Power Plants Exploitation, Armenia, Yerevan\nScientific and Production Center "Armbiotechnology" NAS RA, Armenia, Yerevan\nInstitute of Molecular Biology, Armenia, Yerevan

Collaborators

  • Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA, NY, Upton\nForschungszentrum Karlsruhe/Institut fuer Kern und Energietechnik, Germany, Karlsruhe\nUniversidad Politecnica de Madrid / Instituto de Fusion Nuclear, Spain, Madrid\nPennsylvania State University / Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, USA, PA, University Park\nLos Alamos National Laboratory, USA, NM, Los-Alamos\nUniversitat Sälzburg, Austria, Salzburg\nEuropean Commission / Joint Research Center / Institute for the Protection and Security of Citizen, Italy, Ispra\nArgonne National Laboratory (ANL), USA, IL, Argonne

Project summary

The weapons of mass destruction (WMD) threats facing the world are constantly evolving and have grown more complex since the end of the Cold War. After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia and other former soviet republics inherited the world’s largest arsenal of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) materials. The republics also inherited the technologies needed to create weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The absence of security systems, accounting systems and controls for export of technology, materials and missile programs poses one of the most serious threats to international security because the possibility of persion of CBRN materials and technologies to rogue nations and terrorist organizations has increased.

The collapse of the USSR initiated in Armenia (like to other former republics) a dissolution of the infrastructure, which was the underlying cause for the further chaos and collapse of the economy. Many civilian and military oriented organizations lost strong government control, and the level of the supervision, and management were broken. In the Soviet period, Armenia had a strong scientific and technology infrastructure. Today the Armenian nation still has several localized research centers and laboratories for chemistry, biology, physics and electronics, which have been involved in the civilian and military oriented research and development. An essential part of the research and development of these centers and laboratories was used to address various Russian projects.

In recent years, Armenia like other civilized nations of the world community, has given important attention to CBRN materials nonproliferation by safeguarding sensitive materials, equipment and technology. We have worked to improve our system of inspections and safety standards in order to prevent terrorists from acquiring or using dangerous WMD materials. However, much work remains to be done to meet international standards.

The aim of the NATO-MATRIX is cooperation between scientists and experts from Armenia and NATO countries within the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme in order to contribute to security, stability and solidarity among regional nations. The NATO-MATRIX activities provide collaboration with NATO countries in the NATO security-related priority areas.

This NATO-MATRIX project demonstrates the cooperation between NATO and Armenia and underlines the Alliance’s commitment to helping its Partner countries achieve their security objectives, leading to enhanced safety and stability in the southern Caucasus region.

In order to assist the Armenian authorities, the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme has approved the technical support of the NATO-MATRIX project in order to create a networking infrastructure among Armenian laboratories previously engaged in military projects, and international organisations.

The successful completion of these projects within the framework of the NATO-MATRIX in Armenia will enable the authorities to monitor, account for and control CBRN materials. The new IRIS infrastructure will enhance the exchange of information and in follow-up phases it will better define the needs and requirements to manage these materials and to the disposal of materials containing CBRN components in Armenia.

This NATO-MATRIX will consist of 3 key projects:

Objective: Formation of Research Environment and Infrastructure (REI) in Armenia.

Progress toward countering WMD threats in Armenia will require the formation of international science and technology teams that combine multiple scientific disciplines and span from basic research to systems engineering and manufacturing. Given this need for broad research and technology teams, it is important to explore opportunities to improve the coupling between international academic, industrial research and development communities. The highly collaborative research facilities could provide a fertile environment for nucleating these new research teams and associated collaborative science and technology projects.

The goal of the project is to break across institutional barriers and based on MATRIX create REI in order to facilitate communication and collaboration for users.

Objective: International and Regional Information Sharing System (IRIS) in Armenia.

The activity on development of information systems for nonproliferation purposes in Armenia is focusing on projects related to the development of centralized information databases and information management tools for use by government agencies.

The IRIS must provide capabilities that allow research information to be integrated to the MATRIX, so users across all the communities can better detect threats relevant to their missions. Information Sharing provides multiple institution capabilities working together across all levels of security. At the same time, the MATRIX policies, procedures and technologies must fully support the specific functions that each community uses to achieve its mission.

Objective: Monitoring, accounting and control (MC&A) systems for CBRN materials in Armenia

Computerized system for the monitoring, accounting and control of CBRN materials (MC&A) should be installed at many Armenian laboratories and institutes. The first applications of this system will be, to acquire large amounts of data on CBRN materials and related entities (personnel, documents, equipment etc.) in a form suitable for computer-aided electronic processing.

The NATO-MATRIX project members are the following national and international organizations:

  1. Armenian Organizations:
  2. Advanced Science & Technology Center “ASTEC”,
  3. Armenian Nuclear Power Plant (ANPP)
  4. Institute for Nuclear Power Plant Operation -“ARMATOM”
  5. Yerevan Physics Institute (YerPhI),
  6. Research Institute of Biotechnology (RIBT),
  7. Center for Ecological-Noosphere Studies (CENS)
  8. Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB),
  9. Research Institute of Biochemistry (IBC),

International Organizations:
  1. Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA.
  2. Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA.
  3. Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Italy.
  4. Nuclear Research Center Negev (NRCN), Israel.
  5. Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, SCK*CEN, Belgium.
  6. Institute of Nuclear Fusion, Polytechnic University, Spain.
  7. French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA).
  8. V.G. Khlopin Radium Institute, St.-Petersburg, Russia
  9. Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH, Institut fur Kern-und Energietechnik, Germany
  10. Argonne National Laboratory, USA
  11. Pennsylvania State University, USA
  12. University of Salzburg, Austria
  13. European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for The Protection and the Security of the Citizen (IPSC, Ispra, Italy)

In the next step, in the NATO-MATRIX project will be involved the following industrial organizations; Close Joint Stock Chemical Companies “Nairit-1”, “Nairit-2”, Chem-Reactive Factory, Poleviniatsetat Chemical Factory, Armenian Center of Oncology and etc.


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