A. U.S. – Russia General
- Richardson Advances U.S. - Russia Partnership, DOE(10/02/99)
- Russia And U.S. Launch Joint Nuclear Crisis Center,Reuters(10/02/99)
C. Russian Nuclear Forces
- Russia, U.S. Sign Nuclear Accord, Associated Press(10/02/99)
- Russia Launches Third Ballistic Missile in Two Days,Reuters(10/02/99)
- Russia To Patch Up Nuclear Cruisers, Bellona(10/04/99)
- CIA says Russian Nuclear Test Ban Compliance Unverifiable,Agence France Presse (10/02/99)
- U.S. and Russia to Seek New Ways to Monitor Nuclear Test BanPact, New York Times (10/04/99)
- Prepared Statement Of Senator Richard G. Lugar Before TheSenate Special Committee On The Year 2000 Technology Problem; Subject-- Y2k And Russia: What Are The Potential Impacts And Future Consequences,USIA (09/28/99)
A. U.S. – Russia General
Richardson Advances U.S. - Russia Partnership
Department of Energy
October 2, 1999
(for personal use only)
But Says More Can Be Done To Ensure Peace and Safety
As he concluded his trip to Russia, U.S. Secretary of Energy Bill Richardsontoday stressed the importance of the relationship between the United Statesand Russia and said he wants to expand joint efforts to prevent the theftof nuclear weapons materials. Richardson's Russian counterpart YevgeniyAdamov, Minister of Atomic Energy joined him at some of the stops of thefour cities he visited.
"American policies toward Russia have been focused on building grassroots links to aid in the transition toward democracy and a market-basedeconomy, and that is exactly the strategy we have used in Russia's nuclearcities and the weapons complex," Secretary Richardson said. "While thereis a great deal of work ahead, now is not the time to discard the progressthat has been made in the last few years."
Richardson pointed to concrete examples of what has been done and whatcan be done with continued efforts on the part of both countries in fivekey areas.
Stopping the Spread of Nuclear Weapons and Materials
Richardson toured a storage site in Murmansk which houses Russian nuclearNaval vessels' fuel that had been vulnerable to attack. He saw first-handan upgraded security system to protect nuclear fuel developed under theMaterial Protection Control and Accounting Program. Fresh nuclear fuelused by the Russian Northern Fleet will be consolidated at the site soit can be secured against insider and outsider theft.
Reducing the Nuclear Arsenal
Reviewing novel techniques for disposal of excess weapons-grade plutoniumhighlighted Richardson's trip to the Research Institute for Atomic Reactors(RIAR) in Dmitrovgrad. The Department of Energy (DOE) provided supportfor the work, which accelerates the disposal of plutonium. RIAR has recentlyupgraded security at its storage vaults and computer tracking capabilityof nuclear materials on-site.
Employment Transition for Nuclear Scientists
Visiting the closed and formerly secret "nuclear city" of Sarov, Richardsonturned his attention to the need to help former highly-skilled nuclearscientists transfer their skills to non-nuclear weapons enterprises. TheSarov Open Computing Center will help match the superb technical skillsof the scientists with the worldwide demand for computer software programmingand modeling and computer-assisted engineering and design.
Also in Sarov, Richardson announced that the closed nuclear cities ofSarov, Snezhinsk and Zheleznogorsk will benefit from a partnership withthe European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The partnership willhelp create commercial jobs and non-weapons industries within the nuclearcities through the bank's highly successful Small Business Loan Program.
Promoting Nuclear Safety and Security
Through a live interactive link with the DOE headquarters' EmergencyOperations Center, Richardson opened the MinAtom Situation and Crisis Centerin Moscow. The real-time MinAtom Center will allow experts from both countriesto have direct communication in times of nuclear or environmental emergencysuch as nuclear accidents, the accidental release of radioactive materialsor the theft or diversion of nuclear materials.
Drawing on extensive experience and expertise and signaling a growingtrust, cooperation and respect between their countries, Richardson joinedAdomov in immediately extending an offer of assistance for the Tokaimura,Japan nuclear accident.
Russia's oldest and largest hospital, the Moscow Medical Academy, willsoon have lower energy bills and more efficient energy practices followingRichardson's announcement of a joint project between DOE and the UnitedNations Foundation. Energy audits have shown that the energy costs incurredby some Russian hospitals amount to 40 percent of their operating expenses.
Also in Moscow, Richardson signed a joint statement calling for increasedcooperation between coal technology experts in the two countries to introducethe benefits of energy-efficient, clean coal technology to the Russiancoal industry.
"I will go back to the United States with a strong message about theimportance of the relationship between our two countries," Richardson said."It is in the interest of both of our nations to continue to build on thegrowing foundation of trust and cooperation for a more peaceful and secureworld."
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Russia And U.S. Launch Joint Nuclear Crisis Center
October 2, 1999
(for personal use only)
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia and the United States launched a joint crisiscenter Saturday to deal with nuclear accidents, and also pledged to worktogether to prevent illegal traffic in nuclear materials.
``We can guarantee through this center that, should a nuclear accidenttake place, we are prepared to step into the crisis and provide the actionand leadership that our citizens demand,'' U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardsonsaid at the inauguration.
Thursday's accident at the Tokaimura uranium processing plant in Japan,during Richardson's tour of Russia's main nuclear centers, supplied thetwo ministers with a fitting example of the importance of their cooperation.
``We agreed with Richardson...that we would offer our joint assistance(to Tokyo),'' Adamov said, adding that experts in Russia and the UnitedStates had worked together all day Friday assessing the situation at Tokaimura.
The new center, essentially a televised link-up between two nationalcenters monitoring nuclear sites in Russia and the United States, wasinauguratedby Richardson and Russian Atomic Energy Minister Yevgeny Adamov.
Adamov's ministry has taken over responsibility for decommissioningnuclear-powered ships and submarines from the military, so that the centerwill have access to the latest information from most of Russia's potentiallydangerous sites.
The link-up, for which Washington donated a wall-size television screen,allows real-time two-way conferencing.
Adamov and Richardson signed a wide-ranging agreement on cooperationin the protection, control and accounting of nuclear materials.
Richardson, who arrived Tuesday to tour U.S.-Russian nuclearnon-proliferationprograms set up to deal with vast stockpiles of nuclear material builtup during the Cold War, focused on control of nuclear material.
``Our cooperative work in the material protection, control and accountingprogram is a major component in our plan to secure nuclear materials andfoil terrorist attempts to hijack them,'' he said.
Richardson mentioned an unresolved incident in Georgia, where smugglershad been found with low-enriched uranium, as a demonstration of thevulnerabilityof the existing controls.
The agreement made no mention of one bone of contention -- Moscow'sdesire to buy super-fast U.S. computers to simulate nuclear tests withoutreal blasts. Richardson said Washington was working with Moscow to resolvethat issue ``cooperatively and in partnership.''
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Russia, U.S. Sign Nuclear Accord
October 2, 1999
(for personal use only)
MOSCOW (AP) - The United States and Russia on Saturday signed an agreementon cooperation in the monitoring and safeguarding of nuclear materials.
The agreement was signed by visiting Energy Secretary Bill Richardsonand his Russian counterpart, Yevgeny Adamov, after the unveiling of a crisissituation center at the Russian Nuclear Power Ministry, the ITAR-Tass newsagency said.
The agreement envisages a Russian national program of registration,monitoring and protection of nuclear materials, including their transportation,ITAR-Tass said.
It also calls for the equipping of Russian factories working with nuclearmaterials with updated systems and special devices for the registrationand control of nuclear materials, the report said.
On Friday, Richardson inaugurated a civilian computer center that woulduse high-performance IBM computers, ending a long-standing conflict overtheir sale to Russia.
Russia bought the 16 computers in 1996 for nuclear weapons research,bypassing U.S. export regulations. Under U.S. policy, the computers requiredlicenses for export to military and nuclear installations.
In the following years, the United States tried to persuade the Russiangovernment either to return the computers or have them officially dedicatedto civilian research.
Moscow eventually agreed to incorporate the computers into the civiliancomputer center located in Sarov, a city that is home to a major nuclearresearch laboratory and nuclear weapons production center.
The computer center is intended to help Russian researchers find civilianjobs as Sarov converts from weapons research to peaceful work.
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C. Russian Nuclear Forces
Russia Launches Third Ballistic Missile in Two Days
October 2, 1999
(for personal use only)
MOSCOW, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Russia test fired a submarine- launched ballisticmissile on Saturday, the third missile test in two days, the Navy said.
"The Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, a Pacific Fleet atomic submarine (Delta-3by NATO classification)...successfully launched a ballistic missile froman underwater position in the Okhotsk Sea," a navy press statement said.
"The missile head hit the testing ground in the region of the Barentsand the White Sea dead on time," it said.
The press-release did not say what kind of missile was tested. Officialswere not available for comment.
The Navy press release said Russia launched another submarine-launchedballistic missile (SLBM) of the same type on Friday, the first time ithad tested an SLBM since the beginning of the year.
It also carried out a test launch of a land-based Topol ballistic missilefrom the Arctic testing ground of Plesetsk on the same day. The missilehad been on duty for more than 14 years, much longer than originally planned.
Cashapped Russia has the world's second largest nuclear arsenalafter the United States but can rarely afford expensive test launches.
The test series coincides with a visit to Russia of U.S. Energy SecretaryBill Richardson, whose remit covers in part nuclear arms control.
The money-conscious military said its successful launch of the Topoland its accurate performance meant it would be safe for Russia to extendthe life of similar weapons beyond their original limits rather than spendmoney on replacements.
Defence analysts say Russia is working on a new SLBM to match its newgeneration, land-based Topol-M missile. So far, just a handful of the Topol-Mmissiles have been deployed in silos.
Colonel-General Anatoly Sitnov, the Defence Ministry's procurement chief,said on Tuesday Russia had until 2007 to replace its ageing nuclear arsenalbefore it becomes obsolete.
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Russia To Patch Up Nuclear Cruisers
October 4, 1999
(for personal use only)
Two Russian nuclear powered cruisers, both in a bad state of repair,arrived at Severodvinsk. The future of the Admiral Ushakov remains fuzzy.
Two of the four Russia's nuclear powered cruisers are now moored atthe peer plants of Sevmash and Zvezdochka shipyards in Severodvinsk. TheAdmiral Nakhimov that arrived at Severodvonsk on 14 August will undergorepairs, while the future of the Admiral Ushakov that came on 19 Septemberstill remains unclear.
The Admiral Nakhimov, put into service in 1988, was towed to Severodvinskfrom Murmansk being unable to move on its own. The last time cruiser wasat sea in July 1997. The cruiser was not on a military mission, however.It was just a celebration in honour of some kind of anniversary. The cruiseris manned with 230 sailors while the normal crew should number 610 members.While in Severodvinsk, the vessel will get its two reactors refuelled.Generally the refuelling of Russia's four nuclear cruisers is an issuesince no infrastructure has been built in the Navy to effect proper refuelling.
The Admiral Ushakov, commissioned in 1980, was deemed for scrapping,but the decision was later reversed after the State Duma, lower chamberof the Russian Parliament, put forward a resolution against decommissioning.On June 8 this year, the State Duma set up a charity fund to collect donationsfor Ushakov's come back. Reports suggest that around $160 million be requiredto repair the vessel. Given the money is available, it will take 1,5-2years to shape up the ship. The charity fund has managed to collect around$400.000 so far. Interfax reported early September that Zvezdochka shipyardin Severodvinsk, where the cruiser is currently stationed, is unofficiallygetting ready to start dismantling the ship. The Russian Navy HQ in Moscowvigorously denied the reports.
The third nuclear powered cruiser, the Admiral Lazarev, stationed inAbrek Bay at the Pacific Fleet, was also scheduled for decommissioningas reports suggested in early June. But some months later a Duma membersaid it would not happen referring to some funding promised by the Russiangovernment to effect the repairs. The Pacific Fleet HQ also denied thedecommissioning plans. A Russian Daily Novye Izvestiya reported later thatthe denial came due to the fact that the fleet had found no buyers to sellthe scrap metal from Lazarev. The Admiral Lazarev was put into active servicein 1984.
Russian Navy has four Kirov class nuclear powered cruisers; three ofthem are stationed at the Northern Fleet – Admiral Ushakov, Admiral Nakhimov,Peter the Great - and one has its home base at the Pacific Fleet - AdmiralLazarev.
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CIA says Russian Nuclear Test Ban Compliance Unverifiable
Agence France Presse
October 3, 1999
(for personal use only)
WASHINGTON, Oct 3 (AFP) - A new CIA report warns the agency cannot monitor
low-level nuclear tests by Russia precisely enough to ensure compliancewith the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) on which the US Senate opensdebate this week, the Washington Post said Sunday.The report could furtherundermine the CTBT's already poor chances of winning the two-thirds majorityit needs to be ratified by the Senate, where its Republican opponents holda 55-45 seat advantage over Democrats.
In September, the Russians twice conducted what might have been nuclearexplosions at their Novaya Zemlya testing site in the Arctic, the Postreported, citing senior US officials.
But the CIA found that data from seismic sensors and other monitoringequipment were insufficient to allow analysts to reach a firm conclusionabout the nature of the events, the Post cited officials as saying.
Moscow assured US President Bill Clinton's administration that onlyconventional explosives were tested and that it has not broken promisesto abide by the unratified treaty, which prohibits nuclear tests, accordingto the daily.
The tests -- and others earlier in the year -- led the Central IntelligenceAgency to reevaluate its capabilities, from which it drew the conclusionthat these events fall into a gray area where it cannot reliably distinguishbetween a conventional explosion and a low-level nuclear test or even naturalseismic activity, officials told the Post.
Senior congressional staffers were briefed on the new CIA assessmentbefore Senate Republican Majority Leader Trent Lott last week suddenlyoffered to hold a vote on the test ban treaty after having refused to bringit to the floor since Clinton sent it to the Senate for ratification twoyears ago, the newspaper reported.
Lott and Republican Senator Jesse Helms, the chairman of the SenateForeign Relations Committee, have pledged to defeat the treaty. Clintonand his top aides have strongly advocated its ratification.
Republicans and Democrats predicted yesterday that the CIA's abilityto monitor low-level tests will be a major issue in the debate leadingup to a vote that could take place as early as mid-October, the Post reported.
Senior intelligence officials, including possibly Director of CentralIntelligence George Tenet, will begin briefing senators on the monitoringissue Monday, the daily cited sources as saying.
A total of 154 countries have signed the treaty since the UN GeneralAssembly opened it for signing in September 1996.
Forty-seven countries have ratified it, including 17 of the 44nuclear-capablestates, whose parliaments need to sign on before the accord can go intoeffect.
The five major nuclear powers -- Britain, China, France, Russia, andthe United States -- have all signed the treaty, but China and Russia andthe United States, have not yet ratified it.
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U.S. and Russia to Seek New Ways to Monitor Nuclear Test Ban Pact
Michael R. Gordon and JudithMiller
New York Times
October 4, 1999
(for personal use only)
MOSCOW -- As the White House and Senate Republicans prepare for a bruisingbattle over a landmark treaty banning nuclear weapons tests, top Russianand American nuclear officials said Sunday that they had agreed to considernew ways to prevent cheating on the pact.
At the talks this weekend in Moscow, the United States Energy Secretary,Bill Richardson, said in an interview that he had proposed several measuresto strengthen monitoring under the pact, including visits by American expertsto the closed Russian nuclear test site at Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic.
Yevgeny O. Adamov, the Minister of Atomic Energy, said in a separateinterview that he was willing to open talks on the proposals. But he alsoinsisted that such measures should be part of a package deal that wouldalso include such cooperation as access to American supercomputers in orderto help Russia maintain a safe, reliable nuclear arsenal.
"We are ready to discuss the whole range of these activities," Adamovsaid. "We are opposed to accepting just one measure in isolation."
The Clinton Administration's decision to press Russia to strengthenverification is an urgent attempt to rebut Republican critics who say theyhave the votes to block Senate approval of the beleaguered treaty. It alsotouches on one of the most highly charged aspects of the treaty debate:whether it can be strictly monitored and verified.
President Clinton declared on Saturday that he would conduct an all-outeffort to win the two-thirds majority required for Senate approval of thepact, which the Administration views as an important part of its politicallegacy. The Senate majority leader, Trent Lott, has abruptly scheduleda Senate debate this week on the pact, having previously refused to doso.
The treaty has been signed by 154 nations, including the United Statesand Russia. It has been ratified by 47. Under the treaty's terms, 44 countriesthat can make nuclear weapons must approve before the pact can take effect,but only 23 have done so. American ratification is widely seen as a majorstep that would persuade other nations to follow suit.
Republican critics insist that under the treaty it is not always possibleto tell if a country is cheating. Specifically, they argue, it is oftendifficult to determine if Russia is conducting experiments to insure thesafety and reliability of nuclear warheads that are permitted by the treatyor conducting banned, low-level nuclear blasts.
Administration officials say that despite those verification uncertainties,the treaty would preserve American nuclear superiority and slow the spreadof nuclear weapons. The Administration says that America has no pressingneed to test, but that without the treaty, other nations could.
In a Saturday meeting at Adamov's headquarters, Richardson, at WhiteHouse instruction, suggested that the two sides open new talks to bolster"transparency" about Russian activities at Novaya Zemlya.
He proposed, for instance, that the Russians alert the United States24 hours in advance when they carry out a "sub-critical" test to determinethe reliability of their nuclear warheads.
Such sub-critical tests are permitted by the treaty since they involveno nuclear blasts. They are conducted underground to prevent radioactivematerial from being released into the atmosphere.
The United States conducts similar experiments at its underground testingsite in Nevada and provides advance notice. As a gesture of good will,Richardson alerted Adamov to an coming American sub-critical test.
Richardson also proposed that United States experts visit Novaya Zemlyato conduct seismic experiments that would enhance the American abilityto distinguish between a nuclear test and, say, an earthquake.
The need for such measures was evident in August 1997, when the CentralIntelligence Agency informed the White House that the Russians might haveconducted an underground test at Novaya Zemlya.
After seismic experts challenged that assessment, the C.I.A. said thatit was wrong and that the tremor was an undersea earthquake. The episodeinitially caused a political furor in the United States and Russia, asWashington accused Moscow of possible cheating.
At the Saturday meeting, Adamov said he was prepared to discuss themeasures proposed by Richardson. But both in the talks and a subsequentinterview, he indicated that Russia wanted something in return: assistance,including simulations using high-tech supercomputers, to insure that Russia'snuclear weapons are safe and will work.
"We confirmed our readiness with Secretary Richardson to work alongthese lines," Adamov said. "We reminded Richardson that there are a numberof activities to maintain the safety of nuclear weapons. They do not merelyinvolve sub-critical experiments."
Russia has long sought to acquire powerful American computers, evengoing so far as to obtain them on the black market a few years ago.
But selling supercomputers to Russia -- or even giving Russia's nuclearweapon scientists access to them -- is still highly unlikely, Administrationofficials said.
Apart from national security concerns, the Administration does not wantto be criticized by Republicans for giving the Russians technology thatmight be used not only to improve safety, but also to design new nuclearweapons.
Adamov, however, insisted that the American attitude was shortsighted.He said the United States had not only conducted more nuclear tests than Russia, but that it also had an enormous advantage in supercomputers, whichare used to simulate nuclear blasts.
He said the United States should share some of its computer techniquesso that other nations can better assess the reliability of their nucleararsenal without testing.
"Conditions should be established so that all nations possessing nuclearweapons will have the same opportunity to engage in computer simulations,"Adamov said.
The Russians have long asserted that the Clinton Administration promisedto provide such advanced abilities to Russia if the Kremlin agreed to atest ban. The Administration says that it made no specific commitments.
It is not clear what assistance Washington might be able to give toRussia if supercomputers are excluded. But American officials said theywould try to think of alternatives.
The meeting between Richardson and his Russian counterpart took placeon the last day of a weeklong tour of closed civilian and military nuclearinstallations that the Energy Secretary said demonstrated that the Russianswere willing to provide greater access to their nuclear weapons complexdespite tensions over NATO, Kosovo and reported Russian corruption.
Both Richardson and Adamov agreed that test ban treaty was in the interestsof world security and should be ratified by both sides.
"We have submitted it for ratification, which means we attach greatimportance to it," Adamov said. "And even though it has not yet been ratified,we are fully adhering to its terms. The ball is in your court."
Recent activity at the Novaya Zemlya test site, which American conservativessuspect includes clandestine nuclear blasts, involve permitted safetyexperiments,he said.
"It is well known that the United States and Russia both conduct sub-criticalexperiments each year to maintain the safety of existing armaments," Adamovsaid. "So when I hear there are apprehensions about such things, I am surprisedby the passive approach of the
American Administration. It should remind people that we are strictlycomplying with the terms of the treaty."
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Prepared Statement Of Senator Richard G. Lugar Before The SenateSpecial Committee On The Year 2000 Technology Problem; Subject --Y2k And Russia: What Are The Potential Impacts And Future Consequences
September 28, 1999
(for personal use only)
Mr. Chairman, Senator Dodd, members of the Committee, it is a pleasureto be here today. I appreciate the opportunity to testify on U.S.- Russiancooperative activities in response to the Y2K computer problem.
Since the end of the Cold War, I have taken a great deal of interestin U.S. policy toward the former Soviet Union. As the Soviet Union beganto break apart in 1991, Russian leaders came to former Senator Nunn ofGeorgia and me and pointed out the dangers of the dissolution of a nuclearsuperpower. The viability of the entire Soviet weapons custodial systemwas in doubt. There were tons of weapons and materials of mass destructionspread across hundreds of sites in Russia and other former Soviet states.Russia requested our cooperation in securing and dismantling its nucleararsenal and weapons-usable materials. This was the genesis of the Nunn-LugarCooperative Threat Reduction Program.
This was not a problem that Congress wanted to deal with in 1991. Theatmosphere was decidedly against any initiative that focused on a foreignproblem. Americans were tired from the Cold War and the Gulf War. Yet webrought together a nucleus of Senators who saw the problem as we did.Remarkably,the Nunn-Lugar program was passed in the Senate by a vote of 86 to 8. Itwent on to gain approval in the House and was signed into law by PresidentBush.
While much more remains to be done, the Nunn-Lugar Scorecard is impressive.Nunn- Lugar has facilitated the destruction of 365 ballistic missiles,343 ballistic missile launchers, 49 bombers, 136 submarine missile launchers,and 30 submarine launched ballistic missiles. It also has sealed 191 nucleartest tunnels. Most notably, 4,838 warheads that were on strategic systemsaimed at the United States have been deactivated. All at a cost of lessthan one-third of one percent of the Department of Defense's annual budget.Without Nunn-Lugar, Ukraine, Kazakstan, and Belarus would still have thousandsof nuclear weapons. Instead, all three countries are nuclear weapons- flee.
I offer this as a useful example to cope with another problem that hasarisen in our post-Cold War relationship -- namely, the impact of Y2K.The atmosphere surrounding the current Russian-American relationship andits implications for our national security are not unlike those that existedin 1991. I believe it is in U.S. national security interests to, again,cooperate with the former Soviet Union to reduce the threats our countrymay face.
Mr. Chairman, we do not know what is going to happen to Russian computersystems when we pass into the millennium and neither do they; but, initialestimates do not appear promising. In March, the American Chamber of Commercein Russia pointed to a study that paints a disturbing picture of the impactof Y2K in Russia. "Utilities will operate at 40% of capacity for the firsttwo months of 2000; transportation will be disrupted 80% of the time, andtelecommunications 50% of the time for a three-month period; hospitalswill be forced to treat only emergencies for at least two months; financialmarkets will be disrupted for 30 trading days; and banks will be disruptedfor 20 business days." Obviously these estimates are disturbing and begthe question of whether similar problems will affect the Russian militaryand strategic forces.
I am not here to push the panic button. In my visits to Russia and inbriefings and conversations with experts on these subjects, I have beenconvinced that the chances of an accidental missile launch as a resultof a Y2K problem are almost non-existent. But Y2K may cause other problemsin Russian strategic systems.
It is in our interests to take out a kind of "insurance policy" to ensurethat the transition to the new millennium does not exacerbate this situation.Cooperative activities and programs that reduce these threats are in thenational security interests of the United States and Russia -- providedthey are implemented in a responsible manner.
Experts agree that cooperation over the transition period needs to centeron three specific areas: early warning systems, nuclear weapon security,and nuclear power plants.
EARLY WARNING: Our Department of Defense began discussing the potentialimpact of Y2K with Russian counterparts in June 1998. These efforts culminatedin an agreement to establish a Center for Y2K Strategic Stability in ColoradoSprings, Colorado. The center will ensure that, for the last few weeksin December 1999 and the first weeks of January 2000, U.S. and Russianmilitary officers will sit side by side and monitor early- warning datagenerated by satellites observing missile activity around the world inorder to ensure that potential mishaps caused by Y2K do not lead to strategicmiscalculations and mistakes.
Mr. Chairman, it is in the interests of the U.S. to ensure that Russiaunderstands the kinds of problems they may encounter with its strategicsystems so that there are no surprises or confusion on January 1. We wantthem to understand that their problems are Y2K- related and not a resultof U.S. hostile action for which they need to respond. This requiresconsultation,awareness of potential Y2K failures, and training of key personnel. Thiskind of cooperation is clearly of as much value to the U.S. as it is tothe Russians.
Russian early warning operators may not be able to tell the differencebetween a peaceful rocket and a military rocket from their computer screens.Russian early-warning capabilities continue to deteriorate, and thisdeteriorationwill be compounded by the transition to the year 2000. Russian Major GeneralDvorkin recently suggested that Y2K problems could lead to incorrect informationbeing transmitted, received, displayed, or complete early-warning systemfailures. We should heed these concerns. I am sure we remember the convulsionsthe Russian command and control system endured several years ago when apeaceful Norwegian rocket launch activated President Yeltsin's nuclearbriefcase. Fortunately, the Russians realized their mistake. The Centerin Colorado is meant to create an atmosphere for both sides to work togetherto resolve any missile launch detection, false alarms, or other ambiguitiesthat may arise. I am hopeful that the Russian military officers servingon the second floor of building 1840 at Peterson Air Force Base will, inthe event of a Russian malfunction, be able to provide Moscow with theaccurate information and data necessary to eliminate misperceptions.
NUCLEAR STOCKPILE SECURITY: The continuous safe and secure storage ofthe Russian nuclear stockpile is the second area that will be complicatedby Y2K. Over the last six or seven months, the Department of Defense hassought to engage its Russian counterparts on the nuclear warhead protection,control and accounting systems. Early in
the discussions, the Russian Ministry of Defense admitted that it hadnot considered the impact Y2K could have on their systems. The need forU.S. assistance in this area is clear. As members of the Senate, we allhave had countless briefings on the groups and individuals attempting toillicitly acquire these weapons.
More recently the Russians have made substantial progress in acknowledgingand responding to these potential problems.
The Russian Ministry of Defense has committed to establishing and maintainingspecial Y2K monitoring stations at their largest nuclear warhead storagefacilities. Stations will be manned 24 hours a day by officers speciallytrained to monitor physical security, environmental controls within thefacility, telecommunications, and power levels. These efforts andaccomplishmentsmark a tremendous improvement.
At Pentagon urging, the Russians have conducted capability assessmentsto gauge their ability to respond to an emergency. Unfortunately, the resultsof the assessments were not encouraging. Due to the lack of appropriateresponse equipment, it is clear that there are significant deficienciesin their capabilities to respond to intrusions and other potential threats.Our Defense Department is seeking to assist Russia in these efforts throughthe Nunn-Lugar program.
The Russian Ministry of Defense has requested approximately $15 millionin equipment to upgrade their ability to respond to an emergency. I understandthat Assistant Secretary of Defense Warner will testify later, so I willnot attempt to describe the details of the assistance. But I have beentold that the Pentagon has reviewed the request and has determined it tobe reasonable and consistent with Nunn-Lugar conditions and restrictions.
Mr. Chairman, the Pentagon reports that a portion of the request canbe fulfilled immediately, using prior year Nunn-Lugar monies. However,the remainder of the Y2K assistance must await a recertification requirementin the FY 2000 Defense Authorization Conference Report. The Executive Branchis hopeful that the process will be completed on or around October 1. ButMr. Chairman, this committee must watch this situation closely. I believethe delivery of this assistance to be in U.S. interests. Delays in there-certification process might possibly slow Y2K assistance to the pointwhere the equipment arrives after the first of the new year. The Senatemust view this additional and redundant re-certification as a self-inflictedwound that must not be permitted to interfere with important national securitygoals. This committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee, and the Committeeon Appropriations must be prepared to expunge such a duplicative requirementshould American interests dictate.
NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS: The potential threats emanating from Y2K problemsin Soviet-designed nuclear reactors is a third area of concern. Historically,safety mechanisms and procedures at these reactors are poor. The reactorssuffer from deficiencies in design, operator training, and safety procedures.Reactor operators and support staff face low and erratic pay, trainingshortfalls, and deficiencies in safety procedures. Unfortunately, theseproblems are compounded by a very late start in preparing for the transitionto the new millennium by the states of the former Soviet Union and Centraland Eastern Europe. Although neither a melt-down or a failure of primarysafety systems is likely, it is in our interests to continue to work toprevent these potential threats.
Many believe that Soviet-designed reactors are immune to Y2K-generatedproblems because they utilize older analog systems. This is incorrect.Digital overlays were installed to improve performance, monitoring, andsafety response and are susceptible to Y2K problems. If these systems wereto malfunction, operators could be blind to some reactor functions or receiveerroneous data that could lead to improper actions. In U.S. reactors, thiswould not pose a problem because of built-in redundancy of our systems.Unfortunately, redundancy is not present in most Soviet-designed plants.
Reviews of Soviet-designed reactor susceptibility to Y2K-induced problemsrevealed that host countries lacked the resources to conduct threat evaluationsand significant safety issues were at stake. Officials of the Departmentof Energy worked closely with their counterparts to develop assessmentguidelines in order to determine potential problems that might arise duringthe millennium transition.
U.S. expert assistance was crucial in overturning initial complacencyexpressed by these nations. The Department of Energy played an importantrole in completing the detailed risk assessments of the various Soviet-designedreactors and providing assistance to begin remediation of hardware andsoftware problems. It is clear that without the Department of Energy'sefforts, the risks of an accident would have been much higher.
Given the existing time frame, it is too late to fix every Russian system.Our efforts must continue to concentrate on reactor safety systems, contingencyplanning, and engagement with the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy onthese subjects. Transparency and
consultation in these areas are in U.S. interests. Furthermore, I believeour country must make every effort to warn Americans abroad, living orworking near these reactors, of the problems they may face as a resultof Y2K.
One of my personal concerns is the impact of local and federal governmentpressure to keep Soviet-designed reactors on line in the face of strainand uncertainty. It will be the dead of winter with temperatures droppingfar below freezing. Local and state governors and mayors, as well as officialsin national capitals, will be loathe to permit nuclear reactors to shutdown. Political pressure, in addition to monitoring failures and a lossof off-site power, may contribute to failures in judgment, which couldlead to accidents.
Recently, Russian Atomic Energy Minister Adamov reported to a conferencein London that he believed that Russia had achieved "the same level ofsafety as Western units". He went on to explain that the rate of unplannedshutdowns at Russian reactors was equal to that of Germany and lower thanFrance and the United States. I am hopeful that his confidence is borneout, but it is in our interest to continue to cooperate in alleviatingthe problems inherent in the 65 nuclear reactors at 20 sites in 9 countriesof the former Warsaw Pact and former Soviet Union. If not handled properly,these reactors could prove threatening to American interests. We must notforget that one of these sites is less than 130 miles from Alaska.
CONCLUSION: Mr. Chairman, I began my testimony with the recommendationthat we view efforts to eliminate potential threats to U.S. security fromY2K generated problems in Russia as an "insurance policy". In my opinion,an insurance policy in this area is a good investment. The cost of effortsto address potential threats today will be minuscule
in comparison to the costs of responding to a tragedy should an accidentoccur.
Mr. Chairman, I understand that the atmosphere today may not be allthat conducive to engagement and cooperation with Russia. Congressionalcommittees are investigating allegations of corruption by Russian governmentofficials. As I indicated in my introduction, the Senate has faced similarcircumstances before. There are many parallels between the mood today andthat which Senator Nunn and I faced in 1991. I would urge my colleaguesto once again look to the future and to examine the benefits of cooperatingwith Russia on Y2K versus the potential costs of inaction.
In 1991, the Senate courageously supported the Nunn-Lugar program inthe face of widespread discontent with foreign affairs. That investmenthas paid tremendous dividends to our national security. I would urge thisCommittee and this Congress to once again provide our country with theleadership necessary to protect our national security. I am not suggestingthat we send Moscow a blank check. But our government must again engagethe Russian people through the auspices of the Departments of Defense andEnergy and our private sector. Strict management and accountability ofcooperative efforts with Russia will protect our investments as it hasthrough the Nunn-Lugar program. We have made important progress, but itis clear that there is still much work to be done.
Mr. Chairman, Senator Dodd, members of the committee, I praise yourforesight in examining these issues, and I look forward to working withyou to address the threats facing our country.
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