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Nuclear News - 01/19/00
RANSAC Nuclear News, 19 January 2000


A.  Russian Nuclear Forces

    1. Typhoons To Remain In Service, Igor Kudrik, Bellona(01/11/00)
    2. Russia's Reliance On Nuclear Arms Logical – Expert, Interfax(01/14/00)
    3. Russian Soldier Kills Three Comrades, Reuters (01/18/00)
    4. Ukraine Transfers Bombers to Russia as Pay for Gas, ItarTass (01/19/00)
B.  START
    1. Speaker: New Russian Duma Plans to Ratify Start II but NotSoon, Associated Press (01/18/00)
C.  Plutonium Disposition
    1. Mixed Oxide Fuel Shipped to Canada, DOE (01/14/00)
    2. Officials, Environmental Groups Protest Plutonium Flight,Associated Press (01/18/99)
D.  Russia - Iran
    1. Russia, Iran Reaffirm Military, Energy Ties, Reuters(01/15/00)
    2. US Keeping Eye on Iran Nuke Program, Tom Raum, AssociatedPress (01/18/00)
    3. The CIA's Nightmare Is A Bomb That May Not Exist, JamesRisen and Judith Miller, New York Times (01/18/00)
E.  Nuclear Power Industry
    1. Strike at Leningrad NPP Postponed, Bellona (01/18/00)
F.  Nuclear Waste
    1. Spent Fuel Import Project To Be Put On White Paper, IgorKudrik, Bellona, (01/12/00)
    2. Submarine Spent Fuel Shipment Underway, Igor Kudrik,Bellona (01/17/00)

A. Russian Nuclear Forces

1.
Typhoons To Remain In Service
        Igor Kudrik
        Bellona
        January 11, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Three of six Typhoons are likely to remain in service to function astest platforms, Severodvinsk proceeds with decommissioning.

Three of six Russian Typhoon-class submarines will apparently remainin active operation to test the new Bark-class strategic missiles. Thiscontradicts both the plans announced by the American Co-operative ThreatReduction, or CTR, program and reports that Bark-class missiles will bediscarded due to design failures.

Typhoons to serve as test platforms
Rear-Admiral Vladimir Makeev, the head of the Northern Fleet's rockettest site at Nenoksa, Arkhangelsk County, said to Interfax that the mediareports on Typhoons being taken out of operation ahead of schedule aregroundless. According to Makeev, the submarines of this class will be usedto test the new Bark-class strategic missiles. These missiles are saidto be a maritime alternative to Topol-M land-based missiles successfullytested by the Russian military in the end of 1999. Makeev also said thatBark-class missiles are to be installed at the forth generation strategicsubmarines of the Borey-class. The first submarine of this class is currentlyunder construction at Severodvinsk Sevmash shipyard scheduled for launchin 2005. Other sources state the commissioning year to be 2007-2010, dependingon availability of funds.

Makeev's statement contradicts reports by the Russian media back in1998. The reports suggested that the first Borey-class submarine, YuryDolgoruky, then 10 per cent complete, was to be redesigned due to the factthat Bark-class missiles failed to pass tests and their development wasabandoned. The new design draft was to arrive in the first part of 1999.The report suggested further that a new missile would be designed underauspices of the same bureau that created Topol-M.

One Typhoon still awaits decommissioning
The CTR officials said earlier that their objective was to decommissionfive out of six available Russian Typhoon-class submarines. Following thisstatement, the second submarine within the Typhoon class - TK-202 - arrivedin Severodvinsk the first week of July 1999 to get scrapped at Sevmashyard. Reports from Severodvinsk suggest that the decommissioning work isproceeding as planned so far.

In the meantime, the oldest Typhoon-class submarine - TK-208 - put inoperation in 1981 is likely to be brought back into active service in early2001. The submarine has been under repair at Sevmash shipyard for nineyears and it seems it has a chance to leave the dock now.

The Russian officials have been reluctant to confirm publicly the factthat Typhoons will be scrapped. In 1996, the Russian navy's official magazineMorskoy Sbornik reported, however, that two Typhoons were put into reserve.With the third submarine of this class currently undergoing decommissioning,it can be assumed that the Bark-class - or whatever new class missilesdesigned for the forth generation submarines - will be tested on the threeremaining Typhoons, whose service life will be extended until 2007-2010.

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2.
Russia's Reliance On Nuclear Arms Logical - Expert
        Interfax
        January 14, 2000
        (for personal use only)

MOSCOW.  Jan  14  (Interfax)  -  Deputy Director  of  the  Russian Strategic  Analysis Center  Konstantin  Makiyenko  considers  it quite logical that  Russia allow  itself  to  use nuclear  weapons,  even  in response to a non-nuclear attack."Today, probably  for the first time since the 18th century, Russiais surrounded along the entire perimeter of its border by countries thatare developing  ever more  dynamically, in the military sphereas well," Makiyenko said in a Friday interview with Interfax on the newversion of the national security concept.

"For the  first time  since the  18th century, China has  military superiority over Russia, to say nothing of theWest," Makiyenko said.

"Very few people in Russia have realized that even Turkey today hasin fact  a military  potential comparable  and probablyeven superior to Russia's," he said.

"So, nuclear  arms are  really our  last resort on the  whole," he said, and  the "general  purpose troops in Russia  are in a rather poor state."

"Evidently, out of the 1.2 million people that are nominally in thearmed forces  only 70-80  thousand are  combat-ready. Sucha grouping is insufficient even  to effectively  oppose the separatist  rebellion  in Chechnya," Makiyenko said.

Russia's reliance  on nuclear  arms in  guaranteeingits defense is therefore quite natural and logical.

He said  he disagrees  with Western  media reports claimingthe new concept's provisions are a sign of a return to Cold War times.

"The Russian  people, and  I think  the Russian political elite as well, are  simply psychologically  unpreparedfor confrontation with the West," he  said, adding that Russia hadcompletely depleted its reserves of confrontation in the 20th century.

In reality,  "Western countries  do not  regard Russia as an equal partner," Makiyenko said.

"This became  especially evident  during the  eventsin Kosovo," he said.

After the  NATO air  attacks on  Yugoslavia, "it is notpossible to speak of any partnership" between Russia and the West, he opined.

"Who can now guarantee that in 20 years Russia will not find itselfin the same position as Yugoslavia [was]?" he said.

"Twenty years  ago, in 1979, nobody would have probably believedit if told  that NATO air forces would be bombing Yugoslavia. Whyshouldn't we be  thinking now of what will happen to us in 20 years? So it is not Russia that is refusing partnership with the West, but theWest itself," Makiyenko concluded.

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3.
Russian Soldier Kills Three Comrades
        Reuters
        January 18, 2000
        (for personal use only)

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Jan 18, 2000 -- (Reuters) A soldier guarding arocket-launching site in Russia's Far East gunned down three of his comradesas they came to relieve him, a military source said Monday.

The source said the soldier, Vadim Alexeyenko, opened fire on his comradesovernight Sunday, killing one immediately and leaving two to bleed to deathin the snow at the Kura site in Kamchatka.

He also fired on the next watch which arrived three hours later, butthe soldiers returned fire, first injuring then disarming him.

The killer's motives were not immediately known. An investigation hasbegun.

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4.
Ukraine Transfers Bombers to Russia as Pay for Gas
        Itar Tass
        January 19, 2000
        (for personal use only)

KIEV, January 19 (Itar-Tass) - Another air squadron will be transferredfrom Ukraine to Russia on Wednesday. Kiev turns over Tu-160 and Tu-95MSstrategic bombers to Russia toward repaying its debt for gas, Tass learntfrom the Ukrainian Defence Ministry's press service.

The aircraft are flown from the Ukrainian military airfield at Prilukito Engels Russian military base.

The procedure is smoothly arranged, the spokesman said. Bombers areflown by two Russian crews. Two Russian Il-78 refueller aircraft and Il-76military transport aircraft with crews and maintenance staff usually arriveat Priluki before bombers being flown to the Russian base.

Six Tu-160 bombers are now prepared for the flight. Under Moscow-Kievarrangements, eleven Tu-160 and Tu-95MS bombers, ground equipment for aircraftand some 600 cruise missiles will altogether be turned over by Kiev, and285 million dollars of Ukraine's debt for gas will be written off.

Two Tu-160 and three Tu-95MS bombers have already arrived in Engels.Ukraine inherited 19 Tu-160 heavy strategic bombers after the USSR's breakup.These aircraft are regarded as the most uptodate nuclear delivery vehicles.

Most of the air complexes in Ukraine should be destroyed by the endof 2001 under START-1 treaty on U.S. funds meant for nuclear disarmamentof ex-USSR republics.

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B. START

1.
Speaker: New Russian Duma Plans to Ratify Start II but Not Soon
        Associated Press
        January 19, 2000
        (for personal use only)

MOSCOW (AP) -- The new Russian parliament plans to ratify the long-stalledSTART II nuclear arms reduction treaty with the United States, but themove is unlikely to come any time soon, its speaker said Wednesday.

Communist lawmaker Gennady Seleznyov, who also served as speaker inthe previous lower house, the State Duma, told Echo of Moscow radio thatthe treaty remained on the agenda. However, he would not commit himselfto any timetable.

"No one initiates this move today, and we haven't discussed it yet,"said Seleznyov, who was re-elected speaker at the new Duma's opening sessionTuesday.

The Kremlin has long urged the Duma to ratify START II, which wouldhalve U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals to between 3,000 and 3,500 warheadseach. But Communists and other hard-liners have balked at ratifying thetreaty, which was signed in 1993 and ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1996.

The strong electoral showing by pro-Kremlin moderates has shaken theCommunists' grip on the Duma, and they may prove more willing to compromisein the new legislature.

Seleznyov said Wednesday that most legislators were prepared to ratifySTART II on condition that the government provides a firm plan for deployingthe new Topol-M missiles, which are to replace some of the older weaponsto be dismantled under the treaty.

"If this is done, we can easily take up ratification and then move onto START III," Seleznyov said.

Russian and U.S. officials have already discussed the possibility ofsigning START III, which envisages even deeper cuts, once START II is ratified.

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C. Plutonium Disposition

1.
Mixed Oxide Fuel Shipped to Canada
        Department of Energy
        January 14, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Project Parallex Material Safely Delivered to Canadian Test Reactor

The Department of Energy has completed its one-time shipment of a smallquantity of mixed oxide nuclear fuel to Canada for the Parallex Project.The shipment was a small part of a United States non-proliferation effortto ensure that former Russian surplus weapons plutonium is put in a formthat would make it very difficult to use in a weapon again. The Parallexexperiment will provide technical information on the performance of CanadianDeuterium Uranium (CANDU) reactors to burn mixed oxide fuel.

"Close cooperation between the United States and Canada was a majorfactor to ensuring this shipment was planned and carried out in a safeand secure manner," said Deputy Secretary of Energy T.J. Glauthier. "Weappreciate the time and devotion that was invested by the government ofCanada to achieve our shared non-proliferation goals. This project hasimportant international benefits that could only be achieved through thistype of professional cooperation between our countries."

Earlier this week, nine fuel rods containing a total of less than 120grams of plutonium were shipped without incident from the Department ofEnergy's Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico to the Atomic Energyof Canada, Limited, test reactor in Chalk River, Ontario. The materialcrossed into Canada at Sault Saint Marie, Mich.

The test fuel rods were shipped in a specially designed transportationcontainer which conforms to strict safety standards set by the U.S. NuclearRegulatory Commission and the Canadian Atomic Energy Control Board. Forsecurity reasons, the details on the timing and route of the shipment werenot disclosed.

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2.
Officials, Environmental Groups Protest Plutonium Flight
        Associated Press
        January 18, 2000
        (for personal use only)

TORONTO (AP) -- Local officials and environmental groups are protestinga Canadian government agency's decision to fly weapons-grade plutoniumacross 300 miles of southern Canada.

In a surprise move Friday, 4.2 ounces of plutonium was transported byhelicopter from Sault Ste. Marie on the U.S. border to Atomic Energy ofCanada Ltd.'s plant in Chalk River, Ontario.

The agency originally had planned to ship the plutonium by truck. Butunable to reach a compromise with groups who were planning protests alongthe shipping route, it instead flew the shipment without making any publicannouncement.

The plutonium arrived safely on Friday morning, but that didn't makecritics of the shipment any happier.

"The plutonium overflight was a completely unnecessary risk," ElizabethMay of the Sierra Club of Canada said Monday. Sault Ste. Marie Mayor SteveButland said he was never informed about the helicopter transport, andNew Democrat Party environment critic Peter Mancini called the move "ablatant disregard for the concerns and safety of Canadians."

Federal officials said the shipment broke no Canadian regulations.

The shipment was part of the Parallex Project, a joint American-Russianexperiment to determine whether commercial nuclear reactors in Canada canuse material from decommissioned Russian nuclear weapons as fuel.

U.S. officials said the experiment was crucial to U.S. efforts to helpRussia dismantle nuclear weapons. They insisted it would be a one-timeevent, but critics said they believed it would be the first of many shipmentsof nuclear material through the United States and Ontario.

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D. Russia – Iran

1.
Russia, Iran Reaffirm Military, Energy Ties
        Reuters
        January 15, 2000
        (for personal use only)

MOSCOW, Jan 15, 2000 -- (Reuters) Russia's defense minister held talkson Friday with a top Iranian security official and pledged to maintainMoscow's military ties with Tehran, Interfax news agency said.

Russia is engaged in several ventures with Iran, including the constructionof a nuclear power station. The United States, which classes Iran a "roguestate", has criticized the project and fears Tehran may be trying to acquirenuclear weapons.

"Russia intends to maintain the dynamics of its bilateral ties withIran in the military, military-technical, scientific-technical and energyfields," Interfax quoted Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev as saying.

Sergeyev held talks with Hassan Rowhani, secretary of Iran's SupremeNational Security Council, Iran's top security body. Interfax quoted Sergeyevas saying Moscow "intends to fulfill its obligations under agreements made(between Iran and Russia) in 1989-1990."

A ministry spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

On Thursday Rowhani met Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and bothmen affirmed their support for a 'multipolar' world - diplomatic code forresisting what they see as U.S. domination of the post-Cold War world order.

Russia is helping to build the Bushehr power plant in southwest Iranin a deal worth $800 million and has given approval for talks with Tehranon building three other nuclear power plants. Russian nuclear cooperationwith Iran unsettles the United States, which cites Iran as one of the countriesthat has led it to seek amendment of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty(ABM) - a move fiercely opposed by Moscow.

Washington wants to amend the ABM so that it can build a nuclear umbrellain the form of missiles able to knock enemy warheads out of the sky beforethey hit their targets.

Russia has said any change to the ABM treaty would endanger all nucleardisarmament agreements.

Iran says it has the right to acquire nuclear technology for peacefulpurposes.

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2.
US Keeping Eye on Iran Nuke Program
        Tom Raum
        Associated Press
        January 18, 2000
        (for personal use only)

WASHINGTON –– National security officials are increasingly worried thatIran, with help from Russia, may be closer than previously believed toproducing nuclear weapons.

Among the chief concerns, said administration officials, is the continuedflow of technology to Tehran, primarily from Russia.

U.S. officials reacted with alarm to reports over the weekend that Iranmay order an additional three nuclear reactors from Russia. Russian engineersare already building one reactor at a site in southern Iran under an existingcontract.

Both Moscow and Tehran insist that the reactors are only intended forpower generation and there has been no diversion to weapons programs.

But U.S. intelligence analysts have become more skeptical as Iran acquiresmore nuclear materials and technology.

"We've said all along that we are concerned about Iran's efforts todevelop ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction," White Housenational security spokesman David Leavy said on Monday. "We will continueto work hard to block those efforts."

The New York Times, in Monday's editions, reported that the CentralIntelligence Agency could no longer rule out that Iran may already be ableto make a nuclear bomb.

CIA Director George Tenet has been briefing U.S. policy makers on thenew, more worrisome CIA assessment, the newspaper said.

CIA and other national security officials declined on Monday to commentdirectly on the report. But they agreed that the possibility of a nuclear-armedIran is a growing worry.

A senior intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity,said the United States was closely watching "the issue of the availabilityof fissile material to Iran. It has always been a concern to us."

That concern has grown in the face of unsuccessful White House effortsto persuade Russia not to provide missile and nuclear-power technologyto Iran.

Western military commanders regard Russia's still-huge nuclear arsenalwith trepidation and worry about declining military controls over the forces.

The new concerns come amid increased tensions between the United Statesand Russia in the aftermath of the NATO bombing campaign in Yugoslaviaand the expansion of NATO into former Warsaw Pact nations.

Moscow last week issued a new national-security doctrine that placesmore emphasis on nuclear forces and takes a harder line toward the UnitedStates and its allies.

Iran, meanwhile, has become a top customer of Russia's ailing defenseindustry, purchasing fighter jets, missiles, tanks and submarines.

Intelligence analysts disagree on the pace of Iran's nuclear programand the degree to which Tehran may be attempting to divert nuclear materials.

One reason for differing estimates, officials said, is difficulty inmonitoring the flow of these materials and technology into Iran.

As recently as last year, intelligence-community officials told congressionalintelligence panels that Iran might be able to test a missile that couldreach targets in the United States by 2010.

Officials now suggest the timetable might have to be shortened in lightof recent developments.

Israel, meanwhile, has accused China and North Korea of also sellingIran the technology and know-how to build nuclear weapons and missilesto carry them.

Pentagon officials as well as military-minded members of Congress haveused the possibility of nuclear attacks from "rogue" nations like Iranor North Korea as a major rationale for developing a national missile defense.

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3.
The CIA's Nightmare Is A Bomb That May Not Exist
        James Risen and Judith Miller
        New York Times
        January 18, 2000
        (for personal use only)

The CIA has departed from its previous assessment of Iran's nuclearcapacity and told the Clinton Administration that Iran might now be ableto make a nuclear weapon, United States officials say.

The CIA director, Mr George Tenet, began briefings last month aboutthe agency's new assessment, shortly after the document was completed,the officials said.

The new evaluation has touched off a sharp debate about Iran's nuclearcapacity and the CIA's ability to monitor it.

CIA officials refused to comment on the new assessment, but the moreominous evaluation of Iran's nuclear capacity, which US officials havedescribed to The New York Times, is apparently not based on evidence thatIran's indigenous efforts to build a bomb have achieved a breakthrough.

Rather, it seems to be based on the US's inability to track with greatcertainty increased efforts by Iran to acquire nuclear materials and technologyon the international black market, mainly from the former Soviet Union,the officials said.

The CIA has found it difficult to track such transactions, and thusthe assessment has been carefully hedged by its analysts. Washington hasalso made little headway with efforts to weaken the longstanding strategicrelationship between Iran and Russia, which is brimming with nuclear weaponsand stockpiles of the fissile material Tehran needs to make a nuclear bomb.

The agency has told policymakers that it is not certain that Iran hasatomic weapons. Instead, the new assessment says that the CIA can no longerrule out the possibility, as previous assessments have done.

Even with those caveats, the CIA's new assessment has prompted strongdebate within the Government.

The new analysis is being disputed by policymakers and some analystsat other US intelligence agencies who believe that Iran's efforts to buildits own bomb are still moving slowly.

They say there is no evidence that Iran has succeeded in building itsown weapon, or that it has stolen or acquired enough fissile material tomake one.

The CIA began to warn policymakers nearly a decade ago that Iran waslikely to have nuclear weapons around the turn of the century.

Now the agency is offering a cautious warning that it can no longerbe sure whether Iran has made more progress on its atomic program thanwas previously believed.

US officials have tried to play down the significance of the CIA's newassessment, apparently eager to avoid damaging efforts towards rapprochementwith Iran's new reformist leader, President Mohammad Khatami.

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E. Nuclear Power Industry

1.
Strike at Leningrad NPP Postponed
        Bellona
        January 18, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Strike at Leningrad nuclear power plant has been postponed until Saturday,January 22. The employees of the plant insist on 40 percent salary raisewhile the administration says that it can manage only 10 percent increase.A new meeting between the conflicting parties is scheduled to take placeon Tuesday and, given no compromise is reached, the strike is imminent:The strikers will act by reducing the plant's energy output down to 50percent. Leningrad NPP operates on four RBMK-1000 reactors.

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F. Nuclear Waste

1.
Spent Fuel Import Project To Be Put On White Paper
        Igor Kudrik
        Bellona
        January 12, 2000
        (for personal use only)

DOE and Minatom will issue white paper regarding spent fuel importsto Russia, Minatom gave no indication to abandon reprocessing of the importedfuel.

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy(Minatom) are working on a white paper that would examine the proposalfiled by Minatom to store foreign spent nuclear fuel in Russia againstpayment. The white paper is scheduled to be completed by March 2000 orby the date of the next meeting of the U.S.-Russia Joint Commission onTechnical and Environmental Co-operation, Nuclear Weapons and MaterialsMonitor reported.

The task force, chaired by DOE Under Secretary Ernest J. Moniz and MinatomFirst Deputy Minister Valentin Ivanov, was formed at the request of MinatomMinister Yevgeny Adamov in March 1999. The first proposal regarding thisproject was filed by Adamov to DOE Secretary Bill Richardson in December1998.

The project to ship 10,000 metric tons of foreign spent fuel to Russiaand to lease storage space there for up to 40 years was initiated by AmericanNon-Proliferation Trust, or NPT. The Trust was formed by a group of Germanand U.S. industry, an NGO and several well-connected former Americangovernmentaland Navy officials and assumed shipping the fuel from various countries(excluding the United States).

The proceeds of the lease, according to NPT, would pay for design andconstruction of the central Russian radwaste and spent fuel repository,for remediation of radioactively contaminated areas in Russia and for socialprojects. NPT plans to raise between $6 billion and $15 billion from wealthyindustrialised nations trying to get themselves rid of their spent fuel.NPT guaranteed that the fuel would not be reprocessed to avoid conflictwith U.S. non-proliferation policy. Washington has to give its consentto the deal.

Minatom later expanded the proposal suggesting to ship in an unlimitedamount of fuel and argued in favour of reprocessing. This version of theproject was submitted to the Russian Cabinet in August 1999 but was turneddown and forwarded for additional study.

Parallel to that Minatom has been lobbying hard to amend the Law onEnvironmental Protection in favour of spent fuel imports. The current versionof the law says that any import of radioactive materials is prohibited.Once 'spent fuel' and 'radioactive waste' are separate issue, fuel willbe considered a resource eligible for import. But all attempts to get theamendments through the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament,have failed so far.

The issue will be apparently handled by the newly elected Duma. Thedue white paper by DOE and Minatom will either undermine or promote thisproject. For the Russian part the support to the project has been grantedso far even by the Federal Environmental Committee. On the other side,the project has been heavily criticised by the Russian NGOs and democraticYabloko party.

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2.
Submarine Spent Fuel Shipment Underway
        Igor Kudrik
        Bellona
        January 17, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Submarine spent fuel is being shipped from Murmansk; another Delta-IIis being prepared for decommissioning.

The spent nuclear fuel transport train arrived to Murmansk on January4 and is shortly to departure for the Mayak reprocessing plant. Meanwhile,at Severodvinsk - the train's apparent next destination - a Delta-classsubmarine is being prepared for defuelling.

This year's first train consisting of four railway cars is being ladenwith spent nuclear fuel that mainly derived from the defuelling of a Victor-IIclass submarine. Spent fuel from this submarine was taken out by a civilianship Imandra, operated by Murmansk Shipping Company, at Nerpa shipyardat the Kola Peninsula in November-December 1999. This defuelling was calledan 'experiment' by officials and was designed to obtain a practical experiencefor a civilian ship to unload fuel from general-purpose submarines. Altogether,around 500 fuel assemblies were removed from the two reactors of Victor-II(K-476). The train is capable to take 588 naval fuel assemblies, or 2-2,5submarine reactor cores.

Last year, the train made at least five trips to the Mayak
plant taking spent fuel from Murmansk, Severodvinsk and from the PacificFleet in the Russian Far East. Transportation of at least 12 reactor cores(around six submarines) was covered by the Co-operative Threat Reductionprogram (CTR) - an American initiative tasked to secure former Soviet Union'sweapons of mass destruction. The funding of the shipments required a waiverfrom U.S. policy which prohibits that American funds be spent on supportof reprocessing. The permission was limited to spent fuel from 15 strategicsubmarines. Their dismantlement was also funded by CTR.

Delta-II to be defuelled
A Delta-II class submarine (K-421) is prepared for defuelling and earmarkedfor decommissioning at Zvezdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk, ArkhangelskCounty. Delta-II is a strategic submarine commissioned in 1975. Thedismantlementof the submarine will be funded by CTR. All in all, CTR has plans to fundscrapping of 26 Russian strategic submarines of Delta-class in the NorthernFleet and the Pacific Fleet.

So far, 14 strategic nuclear powered submarines have been dismantledat Zvezdochka shipyard. Another four will be dismantled in the course ofthis year. In addition, negotiations are complete for CTR funding to constructa land based spent fuel transfer facility and storage pad for transportcasks at Zvezdochka. When this pad is completed in June 2001, the rateof the submarine being defuelled is expected to increase.

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