Partnership for Global Security: Leading the World to a Safer Future
Home Projects Publications Issues Official Documents About RANSAC Nuclear News 4/15/13
Location: Home / Projects & Publications / News
Sitemap Contact
Google www PGS
Nuclear News - 06/16/99
RANSAC Nuclear News, 16 June, 1999

1. CTR Stays on Track, Bellona (06/16/99)

B. Nuclear Power Industry
1. Shut-down looms for Tomsk reactors, Bellona (06/16/99)

C. U.S./Russia General
1. Press Briefing By Secretary of State Madeleine Albright,National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, and National Economic AdvisorGene Sperling [excerpts of Mr. Berger's Briefing], The White House,Office of the Press Secretary (06/14/99)
2. Russia, U.S. Security Chiefs Speak by Telephone, Reuters(06/15/99)

D. Nuclear Waste
1. Japan To Unveil Aid For Russia's Nuclear Disposal, AgenceFrance Presse (06/16/99)

E. Russian Military
1. Russian defence needs cuts - think tank, Reuters (06/16/99)

CTR Stays on Track
Thomas Jandl
June 15, 1999
(for personal use only)

Co-operative Threat Reduction agreement likely to be renewed June 14.

Washington D.C. (Bellona Web): The Co-operative Threat Reduction (CTR)umbrella agreement governing legal issues between the United States andRussia is due to expire June 16 at midnight. With the Kosovo conflict,which put all official military contacts for a while on ice, a renewalof the agreement was in doubt for a time. The Pentagon even prepared fora program shutdown.

CTR was launched in 1991, when the U.S. Congress directed the Departmentof Defence to help secure former Soviet weapons of mass destruction.Since 1991, Congress has provided $2.3 billion to support CTR efforts.The program is also known as the Nunn-Lugar program. Since 1992, CTRdeveloped a specific program for dismantling ballistic missilesubmarines (SSBN) required under START- 1 arms reduction treaty.

Where there is a will there is a way, even in U.S.-Russian relations.While officially defence department contacts between the two nationswere on hold until further notice, the roughly $440 million theCo-operative Threat Reduction (CTR) program has to spend each year wereincentive enough to keep the Russian side flexible.

The Pentagon was not always sure about the prospects to renew theumbrella agreement that governs the all-important legal questions thatcome with a co-operative agreement between two nations. For a longwhile, contractors were preparing for a shutdown.

But now the Russian negotiators have initiated a draft agreementrenewing the umbrella agreement, and the text is being readied for finalsignature in Moscow.

At the Pentagon, expectations are that the text will be signed June 14,with ample two days overlap before the expiration date of the presentagreement. Nevertheless, contractors will receive a stop-work noticeJune 10, in order top allow for a seven-day notice. But the Pentagonsays this is just routine.

"It looks like everything is on track, although it comes down to thewire," said Capt. Dieter Rudolph, project manager for the ArcticMilitary Environmental Co-operation (AMEC) program, aU.S.-Norwegian-Russian military co-operation initiative. "Everything ispointing to that it will be signed on stay track."
B. Nuclear Power Industry

Shut-down looms for Tomsk reactors
Igor Kudrik
June 16, 1999

Tomsk reactor suffers incident. Russian Nuclear Regulatory insists onshut down.

Two workers were exposed to high doses of radiation at Siberian ChemicalCombine reactor no. 4 (AD-4), Tomsk County, on 14 June. The buildingwhere the reactor is located was contaminated. The incident ranked 2 atthe INES (International Nuclear Events Scale), where 7 is a severaccident.

The workers were tasked to load a fuel element inside the reactor, butmiscalculated and opened the lid of a channel with fuel inside.Radioactive gases gushed out, contaminating the reactor construction.One of the workers received 150-160 mSv, while another one was exposedto 70-80 mSv (the maximum permitted annual dose is 50 mSv). They wererushed to the hospital, but were sent home later as their condition wassaid to be normal. Officials say no radiation escaped into theenvironment. The two reactors were reportedly being shut down at thetime of the incident for routine maintenance and fuel change. TheRussian Ministry for Atomic Energy (Minatom) sent a commission to Tomskto investigate the incident on site. The Russian State NuclearRegulatory Authority (GAN) will join the commission.

The two reactors, which remain in operation at Siberian Chemical Combine(AD-4 and AD-5), started in 1965 and 1967, respectively. The reactorsare located at "Object-45", not far from the radiochemical plant. Thesegraphite-moderated reactors were designed to produce weapons gradeplutonium. In compliance with the agreement singed by then RussianPrime-Minister Victor Chernomyrdin and U.S. Vice President Al Gore inJune 1994, the reactors were to be shut down by 2000. However, theproject seems to be shelved, as Russia says the reactors are the majorsource of heat and electricity for the neighbouring cities andsubstitutes have to be built first. Another option, worked out inco-operation with the U.S., was to convert the reactor cores in order toprevent plutonium production, but so far this project received no go aswell. Recent reports suggest the reactors will operate beyond the year2000.

Operate without certification "We are worried about the condition ofthese two reactors," Nikolay Filonov, spokesman for GAN in Moscow, toldBellona Web. "They failed to obtain our licence, but still remain inoperation," he added.

The Siberian Chemical Combine applied for a GAN licence last year, butthey were turned down. GAN was not convinced the reactors would operatesafely based on the application submitted. Nevertheless the reactorsremained in service.

GAN says it will wait for the findings of the Minatom commission, whichhas been dispatched to the location of the incident. If the commissionitself fails to shut the reactors down, GAN will submit the case to theGeneral Prosecutor Office to force the Siberian Chemical Combine tocomply with the law.

Minatom officials would not elaborate on the possible shutdown whenreached by Bellona Web for comment today.

Definition of INES 2:

Incidents with significant failure in safety provisions but withsufficient defence in depth remaining to cope with additional failures.An event resulting in a dose to a worker exceeding a statutory annualdose limit and/or an event which leads to the presence of significantquantities of radioactivity in the installation in areas not expected bydesign and which require corrective action.
C. U.S./Russia General

Press Briefing By Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, NationalSecurity Advisor Sandy Berger, and National Economic Advisor GeneSperling
[excerpts of Mr. Berger's Briefing]
The White House, Office of the Press Secretary
June 14, 1999
(for personal use only)

". . . We'll be looking for stronger support from our allies for ourcooperative threat reduction program. This is the follow-on, in asense, to the Nunn-Lugar program to help secure nuclear weapons andmaterial in Russia, providing constructive employment for Russianscientists, and assisting in the halting of missile proliferation. ThePresident set this forth in the State of the Union as one of his goalsfor the year and it'ssomething that we hope to get allied support for it during the meeting."
Russia, U.S. Security Chiefs Speak by Telephone
June 15, 1999
(for personal use only)

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The secretary of Russia's advisory Security Council,Vladimir Putin, spoke by telephone to U.S. President Bill Clinton'snational security adviser, Samuel Berger, Tuesday, Russia's RIA newsagency said.

RIA, citing the press office of the Security Council, said Kosovo wasone of the topics discussed. Talks between Russian and U.S. officialsseeking a role for Russian troops in Kosovo peacekeeping were due toresume Wednesday in Helsinki.

Interfax news agency quoted Putin as telling Berger that Russia wasconcerned by the "activization" of the pro-independence KosovoLiberation Army (KLA) in the province as Serb forces withdrew.

"They create a threat to the security of the local population andrepresentatives of the peacekeeping contingents, blocking the pullout ofSerb forces and police formations. This situation demands the swiftdisarming of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army," Interfax quotedPutin as saying.

He said the issue of how to incorporate Russian peacekeepers into theKosovo international security force could be resolved by putting them in"structures controlled by multinational forces."

Interfax said Putin and Berger also discussed joint efforts to halt theinternational proliferation of nuclear technology and know-how.

"We are satisfied with how export controls are working out," Putin wasquoted as saying.
D. Nuclear Waste

Japan To Unveil Aid For Russia's Nuclear Disposal
Agence France Presse
June 16, 1999
(for personal use only)

TOKYO, Jun 16, 1999 -- (Agence France Presse) Japan plans to offer some$200 million in fresh aidto Russia to help it dispose of nuclear weapons, a newspaper report saidWednesday.

Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi will announce the aid during summit talks ofthe world's major powersstarting Friday in Cologne, Germany, the Yomiuri Shimbun said in itsevening edition.

The fund will be used in a Russian project to dispose of plutonium fromdismantled nuclear missiles and nuclear-powered submarines, thenewspaper said.

No immediate confirmation was available from Japan's Foreign Ministry.

During a trip to Russia last month, Japan's Foreign Minister MasahikoKomura promised anunspecified sum of aid to dismantle nuclear submarines, dispose ofplutonium and convert military facilities to the production of consumergoods.
E. Russian Military

Russian defense needs cuts - think tank
Abigail Schmelz
June 16, 1999
(for personal use only)

STOCKHOLM, June 16 (Reuters) - Russia's military should sacrificequantity for quality and orient itself towards short regional conflictsinstead of large-scale war, a defense research group said on Wednesday.

In its 1999 yearbook, the Stockholm International Peace Researchinstitute (SIPRI) said these measures were part of a much neededoverhaul of Russia's defense made more pressing by the country'sfinancial problems.

Better equipment, improved standards of living and training as well asmore efficient maintenance, command and information gathering should beprocured at the expense of slashing numbers, a report on Russianmilitary reform in the yearbook said.

It also said strategic planning should be redirected to theTranscaucasus and Central Asian regions and the Far East, away fromtraditional global or Western European theatres. The highest priorityshould be given to the country's nuclear arms.

Reform was needed for national security, but also to avoid a dangerousdomestic situation and to establish civilian control over the armedforces and the country's defense policy.

Russian armed forces would probably not need to fight a major war in thenear future but the principal threats in the next 5-10 years were localconflicts, the report said.

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey and to a lesser extent Iran could presenta security problem either separately or in some combination during thenext 10-20 years, although any confrontation was unlikely to be inunited or direct.

A threat might materialise through their support of regimes, movementsor policies in the Transcaucasus and Central Asia directed againstRussia or by encouraging ethnic and religious separatism in the Russiannorthern Caucasus.

"Here, too, Russia feels much less certain than it did. Iran and Turkeycombined have armed forces numerically equal to Russia's and togetherwith Pakistan 50 percent more," it said.

Money allocated for national defense, planned at $5 billion for 1999,was probably not enough.

"Maintaining the existing armed forces of 1.2 million men with hugestockpiles of arms and equipment while radically reforming, reducing andreorganising them -- all for $5 billion per year -- is an unprecedentedchallenge," it said.

Section Menu:

© 2007 Partnership for Global Security. All rights reserved. Privacy Statement.