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Nuclear News - 06/18/99
RANSAC Nuclear News, 18 June, 1999

1. U.S. and Russia Extend Deal Reducing Threat From Arms, New YorkTimes (06/17/99)
2. CTR Agreement Renewed, Bellona (06/18/99)
3. US, Russia To Continue Arms Control Cooperation, RFE/RLNewsline (06/18/99)

B. Nuclear Waste
1. Japan to Allocate 200 Million Dollars for Nuke Liquidation,Itar-Tass (06/17/99)

C. ABM, Missile Defense
1. DOD's First National Missile Defense Intercept Attempt DelayedAgain, Inside the Pentagon (06/17/99)
U.S. and Russia Extend Deal Reducing Threat From Arms
Judith Miller
New York Times
June 17, 1999
(for personal use only)

Setting aside policy differences over Kosovo, Iraq and other contentiousissues, the United States and Russia concluded an agreement inWashington on Wednesday extending for seven years programs to reduce thethreat posed by nuclear, biological, chemical and other weapons of massdestruction.

In a ceremony at the Russian Embassy on Wednesday morning, AmbassadorYuri Ushakov signed the agreement and shook hands with senior DefenseDepartment officials to celebrate the extension of the umbrellaagreement that authorizes the Cooperative Threat Reduction program.

Started in 1991 by former Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., and Sen. Richard Lugar,R-Ind., the Cooperative Threat Reduction program has spent $2.7 billionfrom 1992 to this year helping Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus,Uzbekistan and other former Soviet republics reduce, control andeliminate unconventional weapons in their military inventories. The bulkof these funds, about $1.7 billion, has been spent on projects inRussia.

"We expect to spend at least that much, and perhaps a little more, overthe next seven years," said a senior Pentagon official.

According to Pentagon data, the program has already helped Russiadeactivate 1,538 nuclear warheads; destroy 254 intercontinentalballistic missiles, 30 submarine-launched ballistic missiles and 40heavy bombers, and eliminate 50 silos for long-range missiles and 148launchers for submarine-launchedmissiles -- all in keeping with Moscow's commitments under treaties toreduce strategic nuclear and other unconventional weapons systems.

The program has also helped Russia finance the construction of storagefacilities for fissile material and chemical weapons and theinstallation of equipment for safer storage of tactical and strategicwarheads scheduled for destruction. And the program helped pay toeliminate weapons-grade plutonium by converting the cores of Russia'sremaining plutonium production reactors and to dismantle and convert forpeaceful use facilities that once made material for chemical orbiological weapons.

Pentagon officials vigorously argue that the program is neither charitynor foreign aid, but a cost-effective investment in U.S. nationalsecurity, a view supported by many independent defense analysts.

"The collapse of the Soviet Union left tens of thousands of nuclear,chemical and biological munitions and agents unsecured," said AmySmithson, a senior associate of the Henry L. Stimson Center, anonprofit, nonpartisan research institute based in Washington. "Thesefunds have helped secure and dismantlea lot of that arsenal," she said. Ms. Smithson called the program "oneof the wisest investments of American taxpayer dollars in terms ofsecurity that has ever come along."

While the program is very popular in the Senate, it usually encountersgreater skepticism in the House. Earlier this year, the Senate approvedthe Defense Department's request for $475.5 million, some $35 millionmore than last year, for the 2000 fiscal year, which begins in October.

But the House, displeased with Pentagon plans to build an expensivechemical weapons storage facility at Shchuchye, cut some $35 millionfrom the department's request and eliminated all funding for theShchuchye facility.

Rep. Floyd Spence, R-S.C., the chairman of the House Armed ServicesCommittee, accused Russia of being increasingly reluctant to pay itsfair share of the burden for disarmament and better security. "Fundingfor these Cooperative Threat Reduction programs seems to be becomingless 'cooperative'and more one-sided," Spence complained recently.

Even the Senate has expressed concern this year about Russia'sincreasing inability to meet its financial contributions to the programand the mounting cost to America. A Senate Armed Services Committeereport warned that the committee would not continue to support fullfunding if Russia, now deeply indebt, pursues a resolution passed by the lowe house of the RussianParliament in April calling for an increased defense budget, or aRussian plan reported to develop new tactical nuclear forces.

But several Senate Republicans said that overall support for the programwas "stronger than ever" and predicted that a House-Senate conference onspending for the program would support the administration's request forincreased funds.

In May, the General Accounting Office, Congress' independent auditingagency, criticized Russia for its reluctance to share "criticalinformation" with Washington, which the agency said may have"substantially increased" the costs of certain projects to the UnitedStates and caused delays in their completion. The report also questionedwhether Russia would use some of the U.S.-financed facilities in amanner consistent with U.S. "national security objectives."

The umbrella agreement authorizing the program was set to expire atmidnight Wednesday. Sources on Capitol Hill and at the DefenseDepartment said that the administration, unsure about whether Russiawould approve the extension on time, quietly warned relevant House andSenate committees more than amonth ago that all spending on joint threat reduction programs wouldhave to be stopped instantly if the umbrella agreement were not signedby the deadline.

One Defense Department official attributed the delay to Russianbureaucratic resistance and distraction in Moscow due to the Kosovoconflict and pressing economic crises, rather than to Russianunhappiness with the programs or any desire to backtrack on itsdisarmament commitments.

Indeed, when Moscow suspended participation in some joint militaryprograms and delayed several meetings earlier this year to protestNATO's air strikes against Yugoslavia, joint projects financed under theCooperative Threat Reduction program were conspicuously absent from thelist. "Not a single CTR program has been jeopardized because of Kosovo,"one Senate staff member said.

"The last thing Moscow wants is a loose nuke or a stolen chemicalwarhead," said one Pentagon official. "Russia knows that these programsenhance their security as well as ours."

Mikhail Shurgalin, a spokesman for the Russian Embassy, called theagreement "very important," and said Moscow was pleased that it had beensigned on time.
CTR Agreement Renewed
Igor Kudrik
June 18, 1999
(for personal use only)

Co-operative Threat Reduction agreement extended seven-years.

The Co-operative Threat Reduction (CTR) umbrella agreement governinglegal issues between the United States and Russia was renewed on 16June. The old agreement expired at midnight the same day.

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.

With the Kosovo conflict, which put on hold all the official militarycontacts between Russia and the U.S., the Pentagon was anxious for aprogram shutdown. But despite heavy rhetoric between the two countries,CTR received seven-year extension.

CTR's budget request for fiscal year 2000, starting October 1, 1999, is$460 million, up $20 million from fiscal year 1999.
US, Russia To Continue Arms Control Cooperation
RFE/Rl Newsline
June 18, 1999
(for personal use only)

.Despite a continuing series of disagreements over policy in theBalkans, U.S. and Russian officials signed on 17 June an agreementextending the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program foranother seven years, RFE/RL's Washington bureau reported. Under theprogram, the U.S. has provided about $400 million annually to dismantlenuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union. The same day, U.S. andRussian officials signed an agreement on the provision of U.S. legalassistance in the areas of criminal, civic andfamily legislation, ITAR-TASS reported. Justice Minister PavelKrasheninnikov described the agreement as a foundation for cooperationbetween U.S. and Russian law enforcement agencies.
B. Nuclear Waste
Japan to Allocate 200 Million Dollars for Nuke Liquidation
June 17, 1999
(for personal use only)

TOKYO, June 17 (Itar-Tass) - The Japanese government has decided to makea 200 million dollar disbursement to Russia to liquidate former Sovietold nuclear weapons subject to utilization. According to Japanese massmedia reports on Thursday, Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi intendsto make an official announcement about the disbursement at the G8 summitopening in Cologne on June 18.

The newspaper "Yomiuri" said that the disbursement is intended for theutilization of weapons-grade plutonium released in the liquidationprocess of nuclear warheads and the dismantling of decommissionednuclear submarines of the Pacific Fleet, decayed in the Maritime regionas a result of corrosion.

Back in 1993, the Japanese government made a decision to establish afund of 100 million dollars for the liquidation of former Soviet nuclearweapons. Almost two-thirds of these funds have been spent on creatingfacilities in the Russian Far East for the utilization of liquid nuclearwaste from submarines, with the aim ofpreventing its being discharged into the sea. Around 35 million dollarsfrom this fund has been left unused and will be part of the 200 milliondollar disbursement.

During a visit paid by Keizo Obuchi to the US in May Washington andTokyo announced their intention "to closely cooperate" with Russia indismantling Russian decommissioned nuclear submarines in the Far East. Abilateral document to this effect declares that the safe dismantling ofthe submarines and their utilization "are of tremendous importance notonly from the point of view of disarmament, but for purposes ofprevention of environmental pollution as well."
C. ABM, Missile Defense
DOD's First National Missile Defense Intercept Attempt DelayedAgain
Daniel G. Dupont
Inside The Pentagon
June 17, 1999
(for personal use only)

'Hardware concerns' slip test to 'at least' late September

The first intercept test flight of the National Missile Defense systemhas been delayed again, further stressing an already aggressive testschedule designed to prepare the system for a deployment decision nextyear.

Citing technical problems, the NMD joint program office announced inlate April that the first test, then set for June, would slip to August,and program officials began planning the critical test for Aug. 12.

However, according to government sources, the test has again beendelayed, this time until late September, because of further technicalchallenges.

Lt. Col. Rick Lehner, spokesman for the NMD joint program office, toldInside the Pentagon the JPO, led by Army Brig. Gen. Willie Nance, hasdetermined the test will "probably" slip "at least [until] mid- tolate-September." Army officials believe late September is the earliestthe test could be conducted.

Lehner added that the reason for the delay has to do with "some hardwareconcerns that Gen. Nance has," but he declined to elucidate what thoseare.

An Army source said NMD program officials "have a series of pre-testproblems, nothing major."

Testing problems with the Theater High Altitude Area Defense system,however, have led to a new philosophy of rigorous pre-flight checks formissile defense testing, and no potential defects are tolerated. Thus,said the Army source, "they need to get them fixed. They need to beabsolutely sure."

The joint program office and the Ballistic Missile Defense Organizationplan to conduct four tests of the nascent NMD system before theadministration is set to decide next summer if the technology is readyfordeployment, and if the worldwide missile threat warrants moving aheadwith fielding. If so, a limited national defense system could bedeployed by 2003, but the administration says 2005 is a more realisticdeployment date given current funding and schedule issues.

However, then BMDO Director Lt. Gen. Lester Lyles told reporters lastmonth that technical difficulties or other factors that lead to delayscould keep the Pentagon from completing the four planned flights in timefor the readiness review (Inside the Pentagon, May 27, p7).

"We are watching that closely," said Lyles, who is now the Air Force'svice chief of staff. "We think we have margin [in the schedule] and wewill be able to get the tests done before the review. We still plan tohave the DRR in the time we planned."

Pentagon testing officials have also expressed serious concerns aboutthe Pentagon's NMD testing schedule, and the General Accounting Officehas concluded the Defense Department's plans for the system'sdevelopment are optimistic given the track record of past major defensedevelopment efforts. Nonetheless, a movement is afoot in Congress tomake NMD testing requirements less stringent. The House includedlanguage in the final version of the fiscal year 2000 defenseauthorization bill that would allow the Defense Department to begin NMDproduction even if initial operational testing and evaluation hasn'tbeen completed.

Such a move, Inside Missile Defense reported this week, would runcounter to Title 10 of the U.S. code, which states that a major defenseacquisition program like NMD must pass IOT&E before it moves beyondlow-rate initial production.

But the House language, sponsored by Rep. John Hostettler (R-IN), woulddo away with that restriction for NMD. Hostettler told IMD that Title 10is a potential obstacle to speedy NMD deployment, something he sayscan't wait because the United States could have little or no warning ofsome missile threats.

In a statement released to IMD, Philip Coyle, the Pentagon's director ofoperational test and evaluation, said he is concerned the Hostettlerlanguage "could, in effect, authorize production of a system that wasnot effective."

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