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Nuclear News - 06/21/99
RANSAC Nuclear News, 21 June, 1999

A. U.S. - Russia General
1. Joint Statement Between the United States and the Russian FederationConcerning Strategic Offensive And Defensive Arms and FurtherStrengthening of Stability, The White House Office of the PressSecretary (06/20/99)

1. Transcript of June 19 Press Briefing by Deputy National SecurityAdvisor Jim Steinberg, U.S. Newswire (06/20/99)
2. U.S. Lab Scrutiny Gives Foreign Scientists Anxiety, Reuters(06/18/99)

1. Duma to Consider Start-2 Ratification next Autumn, Itar-Tass(06/21/99)
2. U.S., Russia to Resume Start III Talks, Xinhua (06/20/99)

D. Loose Nukes
1. Loose nukes? Monitor know-how and materials, not just weapons,Dallas Morning News (06/20/99)

E. Nuclear Waste
1. Japan to Fund Anto-Nuclear Program, Xinhua (06/18/99)
2. Entombment for Industrial Radioactive Waste to Be Built,Itar-Tass (06/21/99)
A. U.S. - Russia General
Joint Statement Between the United States and the Russian FederationConcerning Strategic Offensive And Defensive Arms and FurtherStrengthening of Stability
The White House Office of the Press Secretary
June 20, 1999
(for personal use only)

Confirming their dedication to the cause of strengthening strategicstability and international security, stressing the importance offurther reduction of strategic offensive arms, and recognizing thefundamentalimportance of the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic MissileSystems (ABM Treaty) for the attainment of these goals, the UnitedStates of America and the Russian Federation declare theirdetermination to continue efforts directed at achieving meaningfulresults in these areas.

The two governments believe that strategic stability can be strengthenedonly if there is compliance with existing agreements between theParties on limitation and reduction of arms. The two governments willdo everything in their power to facilitate the successful completion ofthe START II ratification processes in both countries.

The two governments reaffirm their readiness, expressed in Helsinki inMarch 1997, to conduct new negotiations on strategic offensive armsaimed at further reducing for each side the level of strategic nuclearwarheads, elaborating measures of transparency concerning existingstrategic nuclear warheads and their elimination, as well as otheragreed technical and organizational measures in order to contribute tothe irreversibility of deep reductions including prevention of a rapidbuild-up in the numbers of warheads and to contribute through all thisto the strengthening of strategic stability in the world. The twogovernments will strive to accomplish the important task of achievingresults in these negotiations as early as possible.

Proceeding from the fundamental significance of the ABM Treaty forfurther reductions in strategic offensive arms, and from the need tomaintain the strategic balance between the United States of America andthe Russian Federation, the Parties reaffirm their commitment to thatTreaty, which is a cornerstone of strategic stability, and to continuingefforts to strengthen the Treaty, to enhance its viability andeffectiveness in the future.

The United States of America and the Russian Federation, recalling theirconcern about the proliferation in the world of weapons of massdestruction and their means of delivery, including missiles and missiletechnologies, expressed by them in the Joint Statement on CommonSecurity Challenges at the Threshold of the Twenty First Century,adopted on September 2, 1998 in Moscow, stress their common desire toreverse that process using to this end the existing and possible newinternational legal mechanisms.

In this regard, both Parties affirm their existing obligations underArticle XIII of the ABM Treaty to consider possible changes in thestrategic situation that have a bearing on the ABM Treaty and, asappropriate, possible proposals for further increasing the viability ofthis Treaty.

The Parties emphasize that the package of agreements signed on September26, 1997 in New York is important under present conditions for theeffectiveness of the ABM Treaty, and they will facilitate theearliest possible ratification and entry into force of those agreements.

The implementation of measures to exchange data on missile launches andon early warning and to set up an appropriate joint center, recorded inthe Joint Statement by the Presidents of the United States of Americaand the Russian Federation signed on September 2, 1998 in Moscow, willalso promote the strengthening of strategic stability.

Discussions on START III and the ABM Treaty will begin later thissummer. The two governments express their confidence thatimplementation of this Joint Statement will be a new significant stepto enhance strategic stability and the security of both nations.
Transcript of June 19 Press Briefing by Deputy National SecurityAdvisor
Jim Steinberg
[excerpts below]
U.S. Newswire
June 20, 1999
(for personal use only)

Q Jim, has the Gore Commission been fundamentally dormant since the airstrikes began?

MR. STEINBERG: Well, as you know, there's been a change of government.And so, as has happened in the past when there was a new prime minister,it has taken some time to get that up and started. But I know that LeonFuerth, who is the Vice President's National Security Advisor and sortof the person who organizes the commission on behalf of the Vic ePresident, has been in touch with his counterpart on Prime MinisterStepashin's staff, and I don't want to preempt announcements that theymay or may not have made, that I may have missed.

But they are moving forward on that, and so there has certainly beencontact between -- since Stepashin became Prime Minister, there havebeen contacts between the Vice President's office and Prime MinisterStepashin's office, and they very much intend to continue that channelof communication.

Q But after the air strikes began, since then there's been no --

MR. STEINBERG: That's not entirely true. I mean, I think that -- as Isay, there were activities that were going on while Mr. Primakov wasPrime Minister and since Mr. Stepashin has become Prime Minister --which has not been all that long, as you know -- they very quicklyreengaged. and so I would say that therehas actually been a fair amount of continuity.

Q Jim, can you expand on Nunn/Lugar -- can you tell us, have there beenspecific offers of hiring Russian scientists by specific countries, andthe plutonium disposition -- how does this work, specifically?

MR. STEINBERG: Let me start on the plutonium disposition. There are, asI mentioned, many of these -- almost all the G-7 countries in one way oranother have an engagement on plutonium disposition. The President --

Q You mean, you buy it up and you dispose of it --

MR. STEINBERG: There are different elements -- I'll say a little bit,and then probably this will be more than anybody ever wanted to know .But most of the focus has been on converting plutonium into a fuel called MOX, which can be burned in power reactors. And both the French andthe Germans have a jointproject with the Russians to use MOX in their power reactors, and theCanadians also have a project with their candu (phonetic) reactors,which actually takes it a next step and renders it to even a lessdangerous state.

So what we're talking about here is to try to create a broaderarchitecture so that we integrate the efforts of all of these countriesthat -- sort of from soup to nuts, we can deal with the plutoniumproblem. Some of this can be done through the private sector efforts,the Fr ench and the German is largely a private sectoreffort. The British have also been involved in looking for privatesector ways to be involved.

But it's our view that this will also take public sector monies, thatthe market is not such that we can sustain a full strategy of plutoniumdisposition. That's why the President and President Yeltsin last yearagreed on this program for disposing of 50 tons of plutonium. We havehad appropriation from Congress in this past Congress, and we have arequest this time around.

But what we need is an integrated architecture where the countries worktogether to make sure that we fully address the problem as we go fromthe nuclear quality plutonium all the way down to low-level materials.And I think the Japanese have indicated that they're going to increase their funding. The French, Germans and the British are now going to workwith us to make sure that -- look at both what the private sector can doand try to identify gaps in funding so that there is a coordinatedeffort rather than these parallel efforts that have gone on up untilnow.

Q On scientists?

MR. STEINBERG: On scientists, again the Japanese have some activities inthat respect. There has been some interest among our European partners.I think that that's something that -- following the initiative thatwe're launching today that there may be -- the United Stats has beenvery actively involved with this. Wehave this thing called the ISTC, which stands for the InternationalScience and Technology Center, I believe, which for several years, insort of the broader Nunn/Lugar framework, we have been providing fundingfor scientists who have been involved in weapons activities in the pastto do research. It's been anongoing thing. I don't have it off the top of my head how much we'vedone, but there was a significant increase in this year's budget forISTC- type activities.
U.S. Lab Scrutiny Gives Foreign Scientists Anxiety
June 18, 1999

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., June 18 (Reuters) - Foreign scientists have played akey role at Los Alamos National Laboratory since its inception as thecreator of the atomic bomb, but now find themselves under a microscopeas potential threats after allegations of Chinese espionage.

Many of them are watching anxiously developments in Washington thatcould have impact on their lives at the lab.

Congress has been in an uproar over allegations that China stole U.S.secrets on seven nuclear warheads and the neutron bomb through espionageover the past 20 years. China has repeatedly denied it stole U.S.secrets.

Some members of Congress have focused on clamping down on foreignnationals visiting or working at the labs as a way of blocking potentialspies. An action that lab officials say could destroy the very fabric ofthe laboratory as a place for the meeting of some of the best minds inthe world.

"A lot of our very best people are from sensitive countries," said HansRuppel, associate lab director.

Of the 7,000 lab employees about half are scientists and engineers. Thelatest figures for 1999 show 182 foreign employees at the lab are fromcountries designated as sensitive by the Energy Department -- China,India, Iran, Israel, Russia, and Taiwan. An additional 274 foreignemployees are from nonsensitive countries.

Lab officials point out that the case ruffling all the politicalfeathers involves a U.S. citizen with clearance for classified work.Only U.S. citizens, born or naturalised, can obtain a security clearancethat allows them to work on classified nuclear weapons projects.

Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee was fired in March under suspicion ofpassing classified information to China. He has not been charged withany crime and some U.S. officials have expressed doubts he ever will bedue to lack of evidence.

A congressional report last month said China gathered U.S. nuclearweapons secrets in small pieces of information collected by manyindividuals and pieced together in China.

At Los Alamos, as of April 1, there were 97 employees who were Chinesenationals.

Foreign scientists have been a staple of research at the lab since itbegan experiments in 1943 which yielded the world's first atomic bombtwo years later. That first group included Italian Nobel laureate EnricoFermi, but also Klaus Fuchs, a physicist with the British delegation wholater confessed to passingatomic secrets to the Soviet Union.

Lab officials point out that now about half of all Ph.D. graduates inthe United States are foreign nationals and it would be a mistake toreject talent based on nationality.

"My colleague is from India, suddenly his access to the supercomputer istaken away because the lab is trying to respond to Congress," said BetteKorber, who works on an unclassified database. "To be right at the edgeof discovery and suddenly have your research denied to you for sixweeks."

Lab scientists said attempts to limit contact with foreign counterpartscould hurt exchanges that are crucial to the nonproliferation of weaponsof mass destruction.

Los Alamos has a programme with Russia aimed at helping that countrysecure its nuclear weapons and materials to ensure they do not land inthe hands of terrorists. The United States spends $100 million to thatend.

A fledgling version of that programme was started with China, but hashalted since the spying scandal erupted.

The main reason for the programme with Russia is to "make sure that(nuclear) material stays where it's supposed to be," said RichardWallace, materials protection control and accountability projectmanager.

The foreign exchanges are a two-way street, scientists said. If foreignscientists are not allowed to visit Los Alamos, those countries will banU.S. scientists from setting foot on their territory, scientists said.
Duma to Consider Start-2 Ratification next Autumn.
June 21, 1999
(for personal use only)

MOSCOW, June 21 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian parliament's lower house StateDuma will consider ratification of the START-2 (Strategic Arms Treaty)no earlier than next autumn, Duma speaker Gennady Seleznyov toldreporters on Monday.

The treaty is out of the question now, Seleznyov said. The house willdebate the issue only next autumn, and in the edition worked out by theDuma, he noted.

At the same time, the chairman of the Duma committee for foreignaffairs, Vladimir Lukin, said prospects for ratifying the treaty are inline with the context of Russia's relations with the West.

It is very good that the parameters of agreements on anti-ballisticmissiles and the START-2 were agreed upon in Cologne, he told reporterson Monday.

It is necessary to link the START-2 with settlement of air-defenceissues, and the statement made in Cologne on the anti-ballistic missilesand strategic arms agreements instills certain optimism, Lukin said. Healso supposes the Duma will return to the question in the autumn.
U.S., Russia to Resume Start III Talks
June 20, 1999
(for personal use only)

COLOGNE (June 20) XINHUA - U.S. President Bill Clinton and his Russiancounterpart Boris Yeltsin agreed here Sunday to start bilateral talks onthe START III treaty on reducing nuclear arsenals this autumn.

The two also vowed to negotiate further changes in the Anti- BallisticMissile (ABM) treaty and held consultations on the limitation of nuclearmissile defense system, said U.S. National Security Adviser SandyBerger.

Berger also said the the Russian government had promised to " try thebest to secure the Duma approval to the START II treaty on reducingnuclear arsenals".

Berger portrayed the two's bilateral talks as a "innovatory meeting"after the Kosovo war, which had led the U.S.- Russian ties to the lowestebb till the ending of the Cold War.

According to Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, the U.S. and RussianPresidents signed a document on resuming talks on nuclear disarmamentduring their Sunday talks, which served as "a start" for the bilateralrelations to "enter a new and important stage".

Before his meeting with Clinton, Yeltsin stressed here in the last dayof the G8 summit the international cooperation on strengthening globalsecurity in the next century.

Yeltsin proposed to formulate a relevant act on international relationsbefore the next G8 summit, said Ivanov, adding that the presidentmeanwhile called for a law document governing the use of military forcesin the third country before this year's U.N. Assembly.

Yeltsin also expressed his support for a global surveillance system tolimit the ballistic missiles.
D. Loose Nukes
Loose nukes? Monitor know-how and materials, not just weapons
Dallas Morning News
June 20, 1999
(for personal use only)

Suddenly, United States and Russian diplomats appear to have lost thatloving feeling. But the flare-up over Kosovo aside, neither theAmericans nor the Russians seem to be losing sleep over one of the majorissues of the post-Cold War era: the security of Russia's nucleararsenal.

Hoping for the best is understandable. Yet both countries must remainvigilant. They can't allow the reduced fear of a nuclear attack to keepthem from systematically going down a detailed security checklist ofRussian nuclear weapons issues.

Are the 15,000 (or so) strategic and tactical nuclear warheads in Russiasecure?

The consensus opinion among U.S. and Russian experts is reassuring:yes. The view emerged during a series of interviews conducted recentlyby a group of U.S. journalists visiting American diplomats and Russianofficials at virtually all levels of government in Moscow, St.Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod.

Still, security could fall apart again. That's what happened immediatelyafter the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Officials at the Ministry ofForeign Affairs in Moscow say more funds are urgently needed todismantle Russian nukes. That's understandable. The longer the wait todeactivate or destroy such weapons, the greater the danger of thefts oraccidents.

But here too the news is favorable. Recent congressional reauthorizationof the Nunn-Lugar program to assist Russian nuclear weapons deactivationand destruction ensures that at least $400 million will be earmarked forthat purpose again this year. The legislation currently is in aconference committee. A U.S.-Russian umbrella agreement to ensurecontinued cooperation in the program was passed this week

If a deliberate missile attack by Russia is unlikely, what are thechances of an accidental launch? Missile systems always need to bemonitored to prevent mistakes. But U.S. diplomatic and military expertsinsist that accidental launches are highly improbable, even when the Y2Kproblem is taken into account. Americans who have been invited to tourRussian missile facilities report that their system depends much less oncomputers than does the American system, thus reducing possibility of amillennium surprise.

What about stories on the leak of materials and technology to terroristcountries?

There is cause for concern. It's imperative to keep tabs on low-gradenuclear materials and unemployed Russian nuclear scientists who carrynuclear know-how around in their heads. Russia's economic difficultiesare a natural inducement to sell specialized knowledge or nuclearweapons ingredients. Both countries are cooperating on these issues.

The best thing the United States can do at this point is to resistmisguided arguments. A popular one in the House is that the Nunn-Lugarprogram is "foreign aid." That's bogus. Not only is continued annualreauthorization of Nunn-Lugar imperative for nuclear safety, 85 percentof the program goes to U.S. contractors on the scene.

The Russian Duma can do its part by swiftly ratifying the secondStrategic Arms Limitation Treaty. If the Communists who dominate theDuma are truly concerned about the Russian people, they will acknowledgethe obvious: No one is more likely to be victimized by a nuclear mishapon Russian soil than the Russian people themselves.
E. Nuclear Waste
Japan to Fund Anto-Nuclear Program
June 18, 1999
(for personal use only)

COLOGNE (June 18) XINHUA - Japan has promised a contribution of 200million US dollars to an international program to reduce the nuclearthreat in Russia, US National Security Adviser Sandy Berger said hereFriday.

Berger told reporters the pledge was made during a talk between JapanesePrime Minister Keizo Obuchi and US President Bill Clinton at the summitof the world's seven industrialized countries.

The United States is expected to pay most of the bill for the plan, thecost of which Washington estimates at 4.2 billion US dollars over thenext five years.

The program calls for assistance to Russia to help it destroy part ofits vast nuclear arsenal. The funds will also be used to create jobs forRussian nuclear experts to prevent them being recruited by countriessuch as Iran and Iraq.
Entombment for Industrial Radioactive Waste to Be Built
June 21, 1999

IRKUTSK, June 21 (Itar-Tass) - A new large entombment for industrialradioactive waste will be built in the Irkutsk region, Tass learnt fromthe directorate of the Angarsk electrolysis- chemical complex of theRussian Ministry of Nuclear Energy. Natural uranium from deposits inRussia has been processed there since the late fifties, and burialgrounds designed at the time are filled.

As distinct from the previous concrete entombments with water proofing,the new entombment with a volume of 400 thousand cubic metres in thecomplex's territory will consist of metallic containers buried deep issoil and surrounded with a dense layer of specially elected clays. Theentombment will make itpossible to preclude the leakage of radiation into the environment,experts believe.

After the Cold War end, the Angarsk electrolysis-chemical complex cutthe volume of uranium processing several times, and considerable part ofits equipment became redundant. Products of its deactivation should beburied.

The outlays of building the entombment are estimated at 7.5 billionroubles. The complex will bear the biggest part of the expenditures,while the Angarsk municipal ecological foundation and the Irkustkregional environmental protection foundation will chip in.

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