Sergei Kiriyenko was relieved of his post as head of Russia's atomic energy agency Rosatom on Monday, but officials were quick to say that it was a cosmetic change prior to Kiriyenko taking the reigns of Atomenergoprom, Russia’s new all encompassing nuclear industry monopoly.
"Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov relieved Sergei Kirienko from his functions as head of Rosatom (and) moved him to another post," a statement on the government’s Web site, Kremlin.ru, said.
According to Kirienko’s spokesman, Sergei Novikov, his dismissal was only a technicality due to the reorganization of Rosatom from a federal agency into a state corporation, Agency France Presse reported.
He will now head a new larger structure – the state corporation Atomenergoprom – said Novikov.
"Sergei Kiriyenko was appointed chief executive of the state corporation Rosatom by presidential decree in December and carried out his role alongside that of head of the federal agency," Novikov told AFP.
"His deputy, Ivan Kamenskikh, will step in as interim head of the federal agency Rosatom until the liquidation of the latter," he said.
The new Atomenergoprom will oversee every aspect of the Russian nuclear fuel and nuclear military complex, from fuel production, nuclear safety oversight as well as nuclear weapons research and development and nuclear security.
Bellona and other environmental organisations take a dim view of the new state corporation super structure, which will be even less transparent in its dealings than Rosatom.
Bellona has asserted that it is ludicrous to expect the new state corporation to both head nuclear expansion and act as an oversight organisation for the very expansion it wishes to promote.