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Nuclear News - 07/15/99
RANSAC Nuclear News, 15 July, 1999

1. Popkovich Supports START II Ratification, Informatsionnoye AgentstvoEkho Moskvy (07/09/99)

B. Loose Nukes
1. Two Russians Arrested with Radioactive Material, Reuters (07/14/99)
2. Nuclear Icebreakers Base Robbed, Bellona (07/14/99)

C. Nuclear Waste
1. Scientist Searched In Nuclear Espionage Case, Agence France Presse(07/14/99)
2. FSB targets Academician, Bellona (07/14/99)

D. U.S. - Russia General 1. White House Fact Sheet on Clinton Administration Record onNonproliferation, U.S. Newswire (07/14/99)
Popkovich Supports START II Ratification
Informatsionnoye Agentstvo Ekho Moskvy
July 9, 1999
( for personal use only)

The Russian State Duma should examine the matter of the ratification ofthe START-2 Treaty "in September or even earlier before breaking up forits recess," State Duma Defence Committee Chairman Roman Popkovich saidlive on the Ekho Moskvy radio station.

He also said he backed the idea of applying as soon as possible the lawon financing Russia's defence complex in the interests of the strategicnuclear forces - a law which contains a programme for the creation ofnuclear forces up to the year 2010 and which is currently waiting to besigned by the president [Boris Yeltsin].

Popkovich is of the opinion that the adoption of these documents willmake it possible to resolve the task of developing Russia's anti-missiledefence, the necessity of which has increased because of the conflict intheBalkans.

The deputy said that "if we ratify START-2, the this will be a verygreat blow to those in the USA who see us unwilling to disarm" and bydoing so "we shall knock out of their hands the trump card of creatingananti-missile defence system and we shall be able to pull the USA'snuclear potential up to the nuclear potential which we shall have in theyear 2010".

He also noted that in the event "that we are unable to bring the USAback to respecting the obligations they have undertaken in varioustreaties, then a decision will be taken and we shall have to follow adifferent path to develop our own strategic missiles" by developing newprojects, including missiles with nuclear warheads.

He said he supported the development of a "completely new and uniqueTopol-M [missile] system and said that the idea of using missiles "notonly as carriers of nuclear weapons" but also "for air and spaceoperations and as multi-target missiles" held out much promise.

"It is now necessary to examine the possibility of the presence ofnuclear and conventional warheads for all airborne, sea and terrestrialmissiles," he said.

Popkovich was of the opinion that "if 5-6 districts with 100anti-missile complexes are created then no defence will be able toadequately affect such an offensive system." [as received]
B. Loose Nukes
Two Russians Arrested with Radioactive Material
July 14, 1999
(for personal use only)

ST PETERSBURG, Russia, July 14 (Reuters) - Two employees from one ofRussia''s nuclear-powered ships in the port of Murmansk were arrestedwhile trying to sell radioactive material in St Petersburg, police saidon Wednesday.

A spokesman for the anti-organised crime unit in St Petersburg, Russia'ssecond city, said the highly toxic material, known as Californium 252,was used in Russia's nuclear-powered ice-breaker fleet which clearsarctic waterways for shipping.

Officials realised the californium had gone missing only recently, butit could have been stolen several months ago and held while the suspectssearched for a buyer, he said.

He said the two were offering the material for $50,000, but the amountthey were selling was not clear.
Nuclear Icebreakers Base Robbed
Igor Kudrik
July 14, 1999
(for personal use only)

A group of five apprehended in St. Petersburg while attempting to sellstrong radiation emitter stolen from nuclear icebreaker base.

The Russian Security Police apprehended a group of five men in St.Petersburg on Tuesday, July 13, who tried to sell a radioactive source(Californium-252) and more than 17 kilograms of mercury for $50,000.The radiation source originates from the nuclear icebreaker fleet basein Murmansk, Interfax reported. Police say the radiation source couldbe used for a perfect murder.

One of the persons detained, Nikolay Yefimovich, was a radiation controltechnician on board the service ship Imandra. The other two were a crewmember of the nuclear-powered icebreaker Rossiya and his son. Theidentities of the two other arrested persons were not revealed. Mediareports mention only that one was a resident of St. Petersburg and theother of Murmansk.

Imandra's Californium is intact Californium-252 is a strong emitter ofneutron radiation used to start up nuclear reactors. This radioactivesource is usually stored on board of the Imandra service ship incontainers of 200 kg. To transfer the source onto an icebreaker, abucket-size container is used which can be carried by one person. Afterthe source is used up, it is transferred to a storage facility on thearea of the nuclear icebreaker base Atomflot, situated on the outskirtsof Murmansk. The responsibility of the arrested suspects from Imandrawas to safeguard the source.

According to Bellona's source at Murmansk Shipping Company, a privateoperator of nuclear icebreakers, the active source on board Imandra waslast used to start up reactors of the icebreaker Yamal and wastransferred back in early July. It is now intact in its container. Sothe theft most probably occurred from the Atomflot storage facility.

Radiation security systems failed?No information is available on how the theft could happen. During thepast years, the U.S. Department of Energy through its program calledMaterial Protection and Accountability, supplied both Imandra andAtomflot base with physical protection equipment. At the entrance ofAtomflot base, radiation detectors were installed. The Interfax reportsays that the source emitted radiation 350 times higher than backgroundlevels, thus it was hard to take through the controls. The reports donot indicate whether the equipment was not functioning, whether therewere holes in the fence around, or whether security guards had beenbribed.

FSB's set up?The ease with which the Russian Security Police, or FSB, performed thearrests arouses a part of scepticism on whether the entire operation wasnot a set-up. Nikolay Yefimovich, the crew member of the Imandra serviceship who was arrested, is, according to his colleagues, a very decentperson. He has been working at Imandra for 20 years and had noreprimands at his job. The news reports do not say who were the buyers,nor do they identify all the persons detained during the operation inSt. Petersburg. All the details are yet to be clarified, but one canstrongly suspect that the operation was a set-up from the FSB in anattempt to show off their great working capabilities in combating theftof radioactive materials.
C. Nuclear Waste
Scientist Searched In Nuclear Espionage Case
Agence France Presse
July 14, 1999
(for personal use only)

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Jul 14, 1999 -- (Agence France Presse) A leadingRussian scientist's officeshere have been searched by police amid an investigation into espionagefor exposing nuclear pollution, officials said Tuesday.

Vladimir Soyfer, 69, who works in affiliation with Moscow's Kurchatovnuclear institute, was searched by the Federal Security Service on July3.

He was researching pollution in Russia's PacificOcean coastline, a sceneof nuclear waste dumping by the locally-based Pacific Fleet.

Soyfer is the third Russian under accusation of espionage by thegovernment for revealing nuclear safety secrets. He has not yet beencharged with any crime.

Alexander Nikitin, a former submarine officer, could be charged withespionage and leaking state secrets in the context of a probe into theenvironmental hazards posed by Russia's northern-based submarine fleet.

He is awaiting trial in Saint Petersburg.

In Vladivostok, Grigory Pasko, a Russian naval captain and journalist,is also accused of high treason for revealing state secrets to Japan.

Pasko's trial is due to end later this month.
FSB targets Academician
Thomas Nilsen
July 14, 1999

The Russian Security Police have launched a criminal investigationagainst a marine radiology Professor inVladivostok.

The Russian Security Police (FSB) may accuse Vladimir Soyfer, a69-year-old professor in Vladivostok, of high treason. FSB officerssearched his apartment and laboratory and seized various "secret"documents and photographic negatives on July 3 in Vladivostok. TheRussian daily Izvestiya writes today that FSB staffers say thesedocuments should unquestionably not be stored at Soyfer's home orlaboratory. His laboratory has been sealed. All the documentsconfiscated from Soyfer have been passed via the Navy to the 8thDirectorate of the Russian Armed Forces HQ (militarycounterintelligence), whose experts arecurrently carrying out an evaluation of the confiscated files.

Professor Soyfer is currently in Moscow being treated for diabetes. Noofficial charges have been levelled against him so far.

Soyfer has spent 40 years of his carrier studying the extent ofradioactive contamination of Russia's oceans. He was investigating thePacific Fleet's practice of several years ago of dumping radioactivewaste into the Sea of Japan. A spokesman for the Pacific OceanologyInstitute, where Soyfer works, told Reuters today that the professorcurrently was studying the radiological effects of a 1985 submarineaccident on ocean life.

The submarine accident happened on August 10, 1985. The K-314, aVictor-I-class submarine, was at the Chazhma Bay naval yard outsideVladivostok. The reactor went critical during refuelling operationbecause the control rods had been incorrectly removed when the reactorlid was raised. The ensuing explosion led to the release of largeamounts of radioactivity, whose fall-out contaminated a stretch of land6 km long on the Shotovo Peninsula and the sea outside the naval yard.

During this study, Soyfer had trouble with the local Navy officials andthe FSB getting access to the site of the accident. In spring of thisyear, he went to Moscow and together with his friend AcademicianYevgeniy Velikhov, Chairman of the Russian Academy of Science, met theRussian Navy commander, Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov. The meeting resultedin a letter that Kuroyedov sent to Vladivostok, asking the Pacific FleetCommander to remove all the roadblocks and let the scientists do theirwork.

But the local FSB did not favour such development and shortly thereafterdeprived Soyfer of his security clearance ^Ö a permission to work withsecret documents.

A Moscow source, requesting anonymity, told Bellona Web that Soyfer wasa thorn in the side of the local KGB, and the whole case is about givinga lesson to the others who try to strip control from the secret police.

The case is complicated even further by the fact that Vladimir Soyfer'sbrother, who emigrated from the Soviet Union to the USA many years ago,is a professor at a university in Washington and an advisor to the SorosFoundation. The Soros Foundation gives grants to both scientists andenvironmental organisations in Russia. The FSB has earlier claimed thatSoros "is trying to Americanise the Russian society" and is acting underpatronage of the Western security services.

A statement by the Social Ecological Union, released a few days afterthe FSB's action against Soyfer, says "Instead of protecting Russia fromthe import of radioactive and toxic waste, the special services (FSB)are persecuting those who care about Russia's ecological safety."

Soyfer will become the third Russian charged with high treason by theFSB for revealing information about radiological safety. Bellona'sco-worker Aleksandr Nikitin, who was charged with espionage for theeighth times this month, is accused of revealing "state secrets" in theBellona report on the Russian Northern Fleet. Navy journalist GrigoryPasko is still in custody in Vladivostok and charged with high treasonfor documenting the Pacific Fleet's criminal practice in handlingradioactive waste. The Pasko verdict is expected to be pronounced onJuly 16.
D. U.S. - Russia General
White House Fact Sheet on Clinton Administration Record on
U.S. Newswire
July 14, 1999
(for personal use only)

WASHINGTON, July 14 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is a fact sheetreleasedtoday by the White House:

Nonproliferation: The Clinton Administration Record

President Clinton has led the effort to reduce the threat to Americansfrom weapons of mass destruction. Over the past six years, theAdministration has made unprecedented progress in curbing theproliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and themissiles that deliver them, in reducing the dangerous legacy of Cold Warweapons' stockpiles and in promoting responsible conventional armstransfer policies.

Nuclear Weapons

Preventing Nuclear Proliferation in the Former Soviet Union: The U.S.worked with Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan to remove all nuclearweapons from their soil and to secure their agreement to forswear suchweapons forever.

Ending Nuclear Testing: The U.S. led the international effort toconclude the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and was the firstworld leader to sign this historic agreement banning all nuclearexplosions.

Freezing North Korea's Nuclear Program: Under the 1994 U.S.-DPRK AgreedFramework, North Korea's plutonium production has been frozen underinternational monitoring and its production facilities are to bedismantled.

Extending the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty: U.S. diplomacy played acritical role in 1995 in securing the unconditional and indefiniteextension by consensus of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty -- thecornerstone of our efforts to control nuclear proliferation. Under U.S.leadership, 29 new countries,including Algeria, Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, Chile, Kazakhstan, andUkraine, have joined the NPT.

Controlling Nuclear Materials: The U.S. has promoted broaderinternational participation in both the Zangger Committee and theNuclear Suppliers Group, the two informal groups which control equipmentand materials that can be used to make nuclear weapons. Since 1993,Argentina, Bulgaria, China, the CzechRepublic, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, the Slovak Republic, SouthAfrica and Spain have joined the Zangger Committee. During the sameperiod, the membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group has expanded toinclude Argentina, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Latvia, New Zealand, theRepublic of Korea, the Slovak Republic and Ukraine.

Strengthening Security of Nuclear Materials: The U.S. is engaged inunprecedented programs at 100 sites in Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus,Ukraine and other countries to strengthen the security and accounting ofnuclear materials and protect them from theft or diversion.

Safeguarding Weapon-Grade Uranium: The U.S. purchased 500 metric tons ofweapon-grade, highly-enriched uranium from Russia for dilution to safer,low-enriched uranium to be used in commercial power reactors. InOperation Sapphire, the U.S. airlifted nearly 600 kilograms of highlyenriched uranium fromKazakhstan for safe disposition in the United States.

Securing Weapon-Free Zones: The U.S. signed the relevant Protocols toboth the South Pacific and African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaties inthe spring of 1996.

Engaging China: Through U.S. efforts, China joined the Zangger Committeeof nuclear suppliers, pledged to cease all assistance to unsafeguardednuclear facilities and cut off nuclear cooperation with Iran.

Chemical and Biological Weapons

Banning Chemical Weapons: The U.S. was an original party to the ChemicalWeapons Convention when it entered into force in 1997 and has ledinternational efforts to secure universal adherence to and compliancewith this ban on poison gas. Today, 126 countries are members of theCWC.

Strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention: The U.S. has been atthe forefront of international efforts to conclude a legally bindingprotocol to strengthen compliance with the 1972 treaty outlawingbiological weapons.

Eliminating Former CBW Facilities: Under the Cooperative ThreatReduction Program, the U.S. is dismantling former Soviet chemicalweapons production facilities in Russia and Uzbekistan and a formerSoviet biological weapons production facility in Kazakhstan.

Controlling Chemical and Biological Weapon-Related Material: The U.S.successfully promoted the membership of Argentina, Hungary, the CzechRepublic, Iceland, Slovakia, Romania, Poland and South Korea in theAustralia Group, which controls chemical and biological weapon-relatedmaterial.

Assisting Chemical Weapons Destruction in Russia: Under the CooperativeThreat Reduction Program, the U.S. is designing and constructingRussia's first chemical weapons destruction facility.

Conventional Weapons and Missiles

Controlling Munitions and Dual-Use Technologies: The U.S. ledinternational efforts to create the 33 member Wassenar Agreement, whichseeks to promote the responsible transfers of arms and relatedtechnology and to increase transparency of such exports. Through U.S.leadership in Wassenaar, we havebeen able to stop the flow of arms and sensitive technologies to Iran,Iraq, North Korea, Libya and other countries.

Promoting Strong National Export Controls: The U.S. has provided legaland technical advice and support to countries in the former Soviet Unionon the development and maintenance of effective dual-use and munitionsexport controls.

Stemming Missile Proliferation: The U.S. has strengthened the guidelinesand expanded the membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime(MTCR), adding Argentina, Brazil, Hungary, Poland, Iceland, Turkey, theCzech Republic, South Africa, Russia and Ukraine to its rolls. We havealso securedChina's commitment not to transfer ground-to-ground MTCR-class missilesand to abide by the original MTCR guidelines.

Regional Security

Containing Iran and Iraq: The U.S. has pressed Russian and otherpotential suppliers not to assist Iranian and Iraqi efforts to developweapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.

Redirecting FSU Weapon Scientists: The U.S. has employed over 30,000former Soviet weapons scientists on over 1,000 peaceful researchprojects under the multinational Science Centers and othernonproliferation assistance programs.

Promoting Stability in South Asia: The U.S. is pressing both India andPakistan to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and to foregodestabilizing nuclear and missile activities.

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