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KNOXVILLE – Nuclear scientists from Russia got a lesson in American-style entrepreneurship Thursday at the University of Tennessee.

A workshop titled “Business Partnerships: Critical Issues” was held at UT’s College of Engineering for the benefit of four nuclear scientists from Russia. The Department of Energy’s Nuclear Cities Initiative (NCI) presented the workshop.

NCI Project Manager John Randolph, an engineer with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, said the workshop seeks to retrain some of the Russian nuclear weapons program’s brightest stars and make the world safer in the process.

“We hope to help Russian scientists and engineers who have a high degree of knowledge about nuclear weapons identify and locate new types of peaceful civilian-based employment,” Randolph said, “so they will not be attracted by rogue nations that are trying to formulate nuclear-weapons capabilities.”

Randolph said the goal of the workshop is to teach the Russians how to use ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 standards, which are a multi-national set of guidelines for quality management in manufacturing and service industries.

“If you have a company in Japan that wants to do business in America, the American businesses may not recognize internal Japanese manufacturing standards, but it would recognize ISO standards,” Randolph said. “It’s a method by which you can do your business on an international level.”

Other discussion topics Thursday included a look at joint U.S.-Russian ventures, promotion of entrepreneurship, and cultural aspects of international business.

The workshop continues Friday and Saturday.