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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 49, August 2000

Non-Military Projects for Former Soviet BW Scientists

On July 24, the US Energy Department announced four new projects designed to provide non-military work for former Soviet biological weapons (BW) scientists. The announcement was made at a former BW facility in Stepnogorsk, Kazakhstan, now the National Center on Biotechnology. In the words of a Department press release, the four projects are:

"Prevention of food contamination. With an investment of $1.4 million from a US industry partner, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Department of Agriculture's Advanced Research Service, and several laboratories of the Ministry of Science and education in Kazakhstan…will pursue the development of novel antibiotic-like natural products for the prevention of food contamination.

Improved shelf-life and effectiveness of bioactive materials. With an investment of $1.25 million from a cooperative industry group, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Russia will jointly study the use of polymeric molecules technology to improve the shelf-life and effectiveness of bioactive materials.

Alternative to chemical pesticides. With an investment of $560,000 from US industry partners, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the State Research Center for Virology and Biotechnology in Russia will develop a biological control agent for the protection of agricultural crops as an alternative to chemical pesticides.

Ecological Center for Russia. With an investment of up to $2.7 million expected from US industry, the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental laboratory, along with several Russian institutes, …will establish a sustainable ecological center for Russia. This center will allow scientists to pursue the development of novel bioactive compounds from selected pristine and contaminated environments in Russia. …"

Report: Department of Energy announces consumer and environmental projects with former Soviet biological weapons scientists and US industry partners, US Energy Department Press Release R-00-191, July 24.

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.

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