Site: Committee for Underwater Operations of Special Purpose (KOPRON)
Meeting held at:
P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology
3 Krasikova St.
Moscow 117851

Date Visited: May 17, 1993

Report Author: L. Gentry



L. Gentry
R. Seymour


Dr. Tengiz N. Borisov; Chairman, KOPRON, at the Russian Federation Government
Igor K. Abramov; Expert of the Committee on Defense and Security of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation


The panel met at the Shirshov Institute for a presentation regarding a new committee being formed by the Yeltsin government to deal with the remediation and cleanup of undersea environmental hazards. The meeting was requested by Dr. Tengiz Borisov to appraise the WTEC panel of the plans and present status of this new committee of which he is chairman. The meeting was held at Shirshov only because it was convenient for Dr. Borisov, since his offices are in the Kremlin, which was not a possible meeting site at short notice. Members of the professional staff of the Shirshov Institute were also present, including the director of the institute.

Dr. Borisov was accompanied by Mr. Igor Abramov, who represented the Russian Defense and Security Directorate and who spoke briefly after Dr. Borisov to present a united front for the new committee's message. The team was impressed by the emphasis of the two speakers that a joint concern of both President Yeltsin and Parliament exists, and that both are agreed about the urgency of doing something soon.

The meeting, which was interpreted, lasted about 40 minutes. No technological information was conveyed. However, the message was clear that the Russian government is serious about the issue of ecological contamination, and also that it sees the problem as an international concern requiring cooperative funding. A brief discussion between the panel and the two committee representatives to clarify issues and identify future activities followed Dr. Borisov's presentation.


No details on the committee's plans for research and development were presented, although Dr. Borisov implied that they have opportunities to transfer highly developed military technologies and systems to support KOPRON's work. He specifically mentioned capabilities to locate and encapsulate radioactive debris on the ocean floor. He said he would provide further information on what technologies are available to KOPRON later in the week before the panel left Moscow. Although he attempted to contact the panel later in the week, no additional information was received. He also indicated that he planned to deliver a paper at a conference to be held on 6 June at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. A close working relationship has developed between Dr. Borisov and WHOI. He indicated that representatives of KOPRON were expected in Russia the week of May 24, 1993.


Dr. Borisov described his Committee for Underwater Operations of Special Purpose by making the following points:

Mr. Abramov then was introduced to speak for the Committee on Defense and Security. He made the following points:

In the general discussions that followed, Dr. Borisov asked for assurances that his remarks would be in the WTEC panel's report. Dr. Seymour, the panel chairman, then explained that the WTEC charter is to evaluate undersea technologies, and not to report on programs or ecological issues. However, he was told that his remarks might be included as a general site report in the appendices to the report.

Dr. Borisov mentioned that numerous technologies were available for the planned work, but when pressed would not be specific. He did allude to technologies for location and encapsulation of radiation sources, and for cutting apart structures using explosives.

Published: June 1994; WTEC Hyper-Librarian