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Nuclear News - 09/22/99
RANSAC Nuclear News, 22 September 1999


A.  MPC&A

  1. United States and the Russian Federation Secure Nuclear Materialson Russian Navy Ship, Department of Energy  (09/16/99)
  2. Spent Fuel Storage Ship Secured, Bellona (09/22/99)
B.  Nuclear Waste
  1. Norway Funds, Russia Digs, Bellona (09/17/99)
C.  Nuclear Power Industry
  1. Separate Law Needed For Each Case Of Radioactive Exports,Interfax (09/22/99)
D. U.S. – Russia General
  1. Energy Secretary to Visit Russia Next Week, Itar Tass(09/21/99)
  2. Ivanov: Russia Consistent in Nuclear Non-Proliferation,Itar Tass (09/22/99)

A. MPC&A

1.
United States and the Russian Federation Secure Nuclear Materialson Russian Navy Ship
        Department of Energy
        September 16, 1999
        (for personal use only)

Department of Energy Participates in Commissioning Ceremonies in Severodvinsk

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the Russian Federationannounced today that nuclear materials on a Russian navy submarine serviceship, Russian Navy Ship P.M.-63, have been secured against insider andoutsider theft. A security system has been installed to protect new (fresh)nuclear fuel destined for the refueling of nuclear powered submarines.This project is a part of the Department of Energy's nuclear materialprotection,control and accounting (MPC&A) cooperative program with Russia to preventthe proliferation of materials that can be used in weapons of mass destruction.

This is the first of three Russian Federation navy submarine serviceships scheduled to receive MPC&A upgrades with technical assistancefrom the Energy Department. Representatives of the two governments areholding Commissioning Ceremonies for the new security system today inSeverodvinsk,Russia.

"Just ten years ago it would have been unthinkable to have the U. S.Department of Energy and the Russia Federation cooperating to safeguardnuclear materials on a Russian Navy ship," said Secretary of Energy BillRichardson. "This historic milestone in the cooperation between our nationswill help better safeguard nuclear materials and keep them from fallinginto the wrong hands."

Admiral Nikolai Nikitovich Yurasov, Russian Navy, Russian FederationMinistry of Defense, and Kenneth E. Baker, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretaryfor  Nonproliferation and National Security, U.S. Department of Energyare representing the Russian Federation and the United States at thecommissioningceremonies for the security system on board the ship.

Russian Navy Ship P.M.-63 is located in the Northern Region of Russiaand is based in Severodvinsk, Russia. In addition to ship-based systems,upgrades were installed at specific shore locations where the ship maybe docked. Work began on Russian Navy Ship P.M.-63 in late 1997 and hasbeen completed on schedule.

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2.
Spent Fuel Storage Ship Secured
        Thomas Nilsen
        Bellona
        September 22, 1999
        (for personal use only)

A new physical protection system has been installed onboard a RussianNavy's Malina class service vessel in Severodvinsk.

The new system onboard the Malina class service vessel, PM-63, was installedas a part of the U.S.-Russian co-operation for nuclear material protection,control and accounting (MPC&A). The program was designed to preventthe proliferation of materials that can be used to create weapons of massdestruction. PM-63 has a capacity to store 1400 spent fuel assemblies,derived from submarine reactors. It has also room to accommodate two setsof fresh nuclear fuel (around 480 fuel assemblies).

PM-63 is the first of the three Malina class service vessels in theRussian Navy to receive MPC&A upgrades with technical assistance fromthe U.S. Department of Energy. The two others are PM-74, based in the Pacificfleet, and PM-12, stationed at Nerpa shipyard at the Kola Peninsula.

In the civilian sector, MPC&A have already installed the same physicalprotection equipment onboard the service vessel Imandra. The vessel holdsfresh fuel for nuclear powered icebreakers that have their home base atAtomflot, outskirts of Murmansk.

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B. Nuclear Waste

1.
Norway Funds, Russia Digs
        Igor Kudrik
        Bellona
        September 17, 1999
        (for personal use only)

Two Norway-sponsored radwaste management projects completed in north-westRussia.

Russia has completed two projects funded by Norway to upgrade radiationsafety at naval sites in north-west Russia. Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister,Jarle Skjørestad, toured Murmansk and Severodvinsk last week toinspect the progress.

Trench in Andreeva Bay
The first project was designed to stop a brook from streaming throughan old storage building (Building no. 5) for spent nuclear fuel locatedin Andreeva Bay, Kola Peninsula. The brook was carrying radioactivity outinto the Litsa Fjord.

In Andreeva Bay there is the largest and the only operational storagefacility for spent nuclear fuel in the Northern Fleet. The first storagefacility for spent nuclear fuel, Building 5, was taken into use in 1962.In February 1982, the storage building
suffered an accident. Around 3.000 cubic meters of water containingactivity of around 3.000 Ci leaked out into the Litsa Fjord as a resultof the accident. The accident was fully recovered only by the end of 80-s.Spent nuclear fuel was removed and transferred to hurriedly reconstructedthree large underground concrete tanks located nearby Building no. 5. Thetanks were originally designed to be a part of a liquid waste processingfacility that was never put into use. These tanks are the only operationalspent fuel storage in the Northern Fleet today.

The Building no. 5 was emptied of spent fuel, but radioactivity is stillcaptured inside. A part of spent fuel assemblies were destroyed and felldown. It made it almost an impossible task to lift them up after the 1982accident.

The situation was worsened by the fact that a small brook, streamingthrough the infamous Building no. 5, was carrying out radioactivity furtherinto the Litsa Fjord.

Using a project drafted by the St. Petersburg-based Vedeneev ScientificResearch Institute for Hydrotechnics, Norwegian Foreign Minister decidedto support it and earmarked NKr 6,429,600 (around US$817,000) in 1998.The idea was simple - to dig a trench around Building no. 5, thus preventingthe brook streaming through it. The peculiar side with the project wasthat representatives from Norway were not allowed to inspect the work onsite. All what was required from Norway was to cash out money and receivea report supplied with pictures when the work is done.

The work is reportedly done, indeed. The trench is there. The EngineeringCentre for Environmental Safety in Zaozersk, a closed military city 10kilometres from Andreeva Bay, that was responsible for construction works,even managed to save a part of funding and built a roof over the threespent fuel storage tanks described above. This part was not stipulatedby the trench-digging-project and was an initiative from the Russia sidethat Norway was not aware of.

Both western and Russian experts involved into the project admittedunofficially that the project would do no good or bad, and it is far fromthe final solution to this problem. The full evaluation of the situationin Adreeva Bay and western funding of the solutions there is only possiblewhen western experts are allowed to inspect the site. It is, however,complicatedas long as Andreeva Bay is a subject to the Russian Defence Ministry.

At the reception in Norwegian Consulate in Murmansk, organised tocelebrate completion of the project, Murmansk County Governor, Yuriy Yevdokomov,said the paperwork was underway to transfer the Navy's radwaste site underthe supervision
of the Russian Minister for Atomic Energy by the end of 1999, early2000. This timeframe is, however, highly questioned by both Russians andWesterners involved into nuclear clean-up projects in Russia.

Liquid waste tanks commissioned in Severodvinsk The second project wasin Severodvinsk where Norwegian company Kværner was managing a projectto upgrade the so-called 'object 159' at Zvezdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk.The object consists of two type A-02 tanks for low-active liquid waste,each with a capacity of 500 cubic  meters. The tanks are located nearthe planned liquid waste processing facility and will serve as a buffer.The upgrade began in May 1998 and was completed as planned in  Augustthis year. Norway used $4,3 million on the project.

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C. Nuclear Power Industry

1.
Separate Law Needed For Each Case Of Radioactive Exports
        Interfax
        September 22, 1999
        (for personal use only)

MOSCOW. Sept  22 (Interfax)  - Russia's State Duma Wednesdayapproved an   amendment to  a law on nuclear energy thatrequires the passing of a federal law for each instance in which nuclearfuel and radioactive materials, except those for medicine, are exported.

Under the amendment, the procedures for the export and import of nuclearequipment,   technology, materials, and radioactive substanceswill be set by Russian law.

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D. U.S. – Russia General

1.
Energy Secretary to Visit Russia Next Week
        Itar Tass
        September 21, 1999
        (for personal use only)

WASHINGTON, September 21 (Itar-Tass) - Energy Secretary Bill Richardsonwill visit Russia early next week, a source in his department told Tass.

Richardson will go to Moscow and a town of Sarov (former Arzamas-16)hosting the Federal Nuclear Center.

It is expected that during a meeting with Russian Atomic Minister YevgenyAdamov, Richardson will discuss the whole range of issues associated withcooperation of the two countries in nuclear energy.

Special attention will be paid to the problem of nuclear non-proliferationand the implementation of the plan of actions in this field worked outby the USA and Russia, the source said.

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2.
Ivanov: Russia Consistent in Nuclear Non-Proliferation
        Itar Tass
        September 22, 1999
        (for personal use only)

UNITED NATIONS, September 22 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Foreign MinisterIgor Ivanov on Tuesday said Moscow consistently calls for reducing andlimiting nuclear arsenals, as well as for strict adherence to thenon-proliferationregime.

Speaking at the 54th session of the UN General Assembly, he expressedconcern over "the risk to lose positive dynamics in disarmament becauseof attempts to stake on unilateral methods of force."

"We are aware of the importance of the soonest ratification of the StrategicArms Limitation Treaty (START-II), and the beginning of negotiations onthe START-III treaty" which could pave way for further considerable reductionof Russian strategic armaments on a mutual basis, Ivanov noted.

Of course, this process is only possible under strict adherence to theexisting agreements in this field, and foremost to the ABM treaty, accordingto the minister.

Ivanov urged the General Assembly to call for preservation of and commitmentto the ABM treaty, a cornerstone of strategic stability.

"Unilateral steps on undermining the regime which had withstood thetest of time, are fraught with the most serious consequence," he emphasized.

In his view, an alternative to "military answers to proliferation wouldbe a collective search for political and diplomatic solutions.

It is at this that the Russia-proposed idea of global control overproliferationof missiles and missile technologies is aimed, Ivanov pointed out.

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