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8 November 2006

See also:

Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant
Kursk Nuclear Power Plant
Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant
Smolensk Nuclear Power Plant
St Petersburg Nuclear Power Plant (formerly Leningrad)


Russia: Lesnoy (Sverdlovsk-45) Overview

The closed city of Lesnoy (formerly Sverdlovsk-45) is the location of the Elektrokhimpribor Combine.[1] In 1947, Plant 418 was established to produce highly enriched uranium (HEU). In the late 1950s, a portion of Plant 418 was used to house a warhead assembly/disassembly facility and was called the Elektrokhimpribor Combine.[2] The nearby city of Nizhnyaya Tura, site of the Nizhnyaya Tura Mechanical Plant, is sometimes included in references to Sverdlovsk-45.[3] Cochran et al. state that Lesnoy is the site of the Ural Electromechanical Plant, but the Nuclear Business Directory states that the UEP is in Yekaterinburg.[4,5] The population of Lesnoy is 58,000, with approximately 10,000 employed at the warhead production complex.[2]


[1] A. Bolsunovskiy and V. Menshchikov, "List of Facilities Subject To Urgent Installation of Modern MC&A and Physical Protection Systems," Yadernyy Kontrol, September 1995, p. 18.

[2] "Sverdlovsk-45/Lesnoy Plant 418/Combine 'Elecrochimpribor'," Federation of the American Scientists (FAS) Web Site,

[3] Richard H. Rowland, "Russia’s Secret Cities," Post-Soviet Geography and Economics, 1996, Vol. 37, No. 7, pp. 426-462.

[4] Thomas Cochran, Robert S. Norris, Oleg Bukharin, Making the Russian Bomb: From Stalin to Yeltsin (Boulder: Westview Press, 1995), pp. 49-50.

[5] Nuclear Business Directory (Moscow: IBR Corporation, 1995), p. 56. {Updated 10/31/2000 GD}



Lesnoy, formerly Sverdlovsk-45, 200km north of Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk Oblast
Address: Lesnoy, Sverdlovsk Oblast, 620045
Telephone: (34342) 24373
[Russian Nuclear Site Web Site,] {Entered 10/26/2000 GD}


Ministry of Atomic Energy (Minatom) Nuclear Munitions Production Department.[1] Formerly under the Sixth Main Directorate of Minatom.[2]


[1] Nuclear Business Directory (Moscow: IBR Corporation, 1995), p. 21.

[2] Pavel Podvig, Strategicheskoye yadernoye vooruzheniye Rossii (Moscow, 1998), pp. 90-91.{Entered 7/28/00 ES}


Director: Leonid Alekseyevich Polyakov

[Russian Nuclear Site Web Site,] {Entered 10/26/2000 GD}


The Elektrokhimpribor Combine was opened in the late 1950s and is responsible for assembling, dismantling, and storing nuclear warheads.[1,2] Construction of Elektrokhimpribor began in 1947 with Plant 418, which initially produced highly enriched uranium (HEU) using an electromagnetic separation technique. In the late 1950s, the separation facility was redirected to produce stable isotopes of elements such as thallium, rubidium, zinc, and other non-uranium isotopes, while a portion of Plant 418 was used to house a warhead assembly/disassembly facility.[2,3] Warhead assembly/disassembly lines were established at Elektrokhimpribor to parallel the work done at the Avangard Electromechanical Plant in Sarov (Arzamas-16). Elektrokhimpribor eventually became Russia's largest warhead assembly facility and is supported by two large national warhead stockpile storage sites, one of which is located approximately 10km west of Elektrokhimpribor's main production area.[2] As of 2001, the Combine serves as a temporary storage site for fissile material components before they are sent on to the Mayak Production Association or the Siberian Chemical Combine for disassembly.[4] Elektrokhimpribor's other activities focus upon using modern chemical technologies and advanced materials processing methods in areas of nuclear power, chemistry, radiochemistry, welding, and milk processing.[5]

This facility may be compared to those in the US:

And those in the United Kingdom:

Russian Lesnoy Nuclear Complex

Looking North

Looking Southwest

Looking Southeast