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Nuclear News - 03/22/00
RANSAC Nuclear News, 22 March 2000

A. Nuclear Cities Initiative (NCI)

    1. U.S. Department of Energy Announces Russian Contracts,Department of Energy (03/21/00)
B. Russian Nuclear Forces
    1. Russia's Putin Inherits An Impoverished Nuclear Power,Agence France Presse (03/21/00)
C. Loose Nukes
    1. Five Russian Sailors Die In Old Nuclear Submarine, Reuters(03/22/00)
    2. 5 Sailors Suffocate, Associated Press (03/22/00)
D.  Department of Energy (DOE)
    1. Task Force Created on Nonproliferation Programs in Russia,Department of Energy (03/21/00)
    1. Kremlin Faces Uphill Task In Persuading Duma To Ratify STARTII, Agence France Presse (03/21/00)
    2. Russia Mulls Nuclear Treaty, Associated Press (03/22/00)
F.  Nuclear Waste
    1. Mayak Spent Fuel Storage Moves To Kola, Thomas Nilsen,Bellona (03/20/00)
G.  U.S. – Russia General
    1. The Worldwide Threat in 2000: Global Realities of Our NationalSecurity [excerpt on Russia], George J. Tenet, Statement Before theSenate Foreign Relations Committee (03/21/00)

A. Nuclear Cities Initiative (NCI)

U.S. Department of Energy Announces Russian Contracts
        Department of Energy
        March 21, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Technology Projects include Oil, Fiber Optics, Computers

On March 17, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore NationalLaboratory (LLNL) signed two contracts in Moscow that will assist Russianweapons experts from the closed city of Snezhinsk to transition to civilianemployment. The projects include developing oil production technology andimproving Russia’s fiber optic cables for the commercial market.

"The Energy Department together with its laboratories is working tohelp Russia transition from manufacturing weapons of mass destruction toapplying scientific knowledge to new profitable and peaceful areas of work,such as energy and communications," said Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson."The Russians have great technical capabilities and it is in everyone'sinterests to help apply those skills to a civilian economy."

The contracts were developed as part of the U.S.-Russian strategic planningprocess for the city of Snezhinsk under the Nuclear Cities Initiative (NCI),a Department of Energy effort to help the Russian government provide civilianemployment opportunities to weapons scientists in closed Russian nuclearcities. The goal of the NCI is to make it possible for the Russian scientiststo remain in their homeland and work on sustainable civilian and commercialprojects as facilities in Russia's weapons complex are downsized or closed.The contracts follow U.S. export control rules and all applicable lawsof both countries.

The contracts, signed by representatives of LLNL and SPEKTR, a StateUnitary Enterprise, are summarized below:

-- Oil well casing perforators. Oil wells, when drilled, are lined withmetal casings that support the surrounding geology and prevent gas, oiland water from mixing in the well. The Russians at SPEKTR already provide,for their domestic market, explosive charges for perforating the casings,allowing the oil to flow effectively at selected depths. With approximately$220,000 in U.S. support over the next year, the Russians will developperforation technologies that apply to more diverse geologic conditionsand casings. DOE explosive technology will not be transferred; the departmentis only providing resources to assist the Russians to develop their owntechnology for their domestic economy.

-- Fiber optic development. Fiber optics are the method of choice forfaster digital information transfer in local and long-distance telecommunicationlinks. SPEKTR technologists will make a type of optical fiber called multi-modefiber that is used in local area networks. This is a niche market, worthapproximately $300 million world-wide annually, that the SPEKTR fiberoptics can fill. Under a two-year contract they will raise the quality of theirmulti-mode fiber to world standards, demonstrate production capabilityto satisfy commercial demands and develop business relationships with cablesuppliers that will commercialize their product.

LLNL and the All-Russian Research Institute of Technical Physics (VNIITF),also agreed in principle, as part of the strategic planning process, toform an open computer center at Snezhinsk and will work toward signinga future contract to begin the commercial software and scientific computationseffort. Skilled Russian software engineers working at the center will beable to relieve some of the worldwide shortage of programming talent. Highquality internet lines will link the center with customers inside and outsideRussia, just as with other commercial software development centers aroundthe world. This will be the second open computing center created in Russiaunder the Nuclear Cities Initiative; the first, in Sarov, was created byLos Alamos National Laboratory and dedicated on Oct. 1, 1999, by Secretaryof Energy Bill Richardson and Russia's Minister of Atomic Energy YevgeniyAdamov.

SPEKTR was founded by the Russian weapons lab VNIITF as a separateorganizationto perform commercial work to provide employment to former weapons scientists.In English the full name of VNIITF is the All-Russian Research Instituteof Technical Physics. This Institute is one of two in Russia that designedand tested nuclear weapons and which now maintains their nuclear stockpile.VNIITF is located east of the Ural mountains, within the closed city ofSnezhinsk, which used to be known as Chelyabinsk-70.
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B. Russian Nuclear Forces

Russia's Putin Inherits An Impoverished Nuclear Power
        Agence France Presse
        March 21, 2000
        (for personal use only)

MOSCOW, March 21 (AFP) -  Russia remains a leading nuclear powerbut acting President Vladimir Putin, the frontrunner in Sunday's election,faces material shortages which threaten to further degrade the army'sefficiency.

The Russian war machine, despite years of economic decline, has retainedits impressive fire power and a military industry still able to competewith the west.

The new Russian surface-to-air missiles, the S-300 and S-400, promiseto "create major problems for (air strike) planners for years to come",the Jane's Information Group warned earlier this month.

They are capable of intercepting "stealth" targets, cruise missilesand short-to-medium-range ballistic missiles at distances up to 400 kilometers(250 miles), the group said.

In November, the Russian navy successfully test-fired two Topol-Mintercontinentalballistic missile from a submerged submarine, one of them in the presenceof Putin. With a range of around 11,000 kilometres (6,900 miles) they willform the backbone of Russia's future defence strategy.

But "as traditional armed forces are declining and funding for the militaryis increasingly limited, there remains nothing else but to rely on nuclearweaponary," said Russian military expert Alexandre Goltz.

The missile developments stand in stark contrast to the daily livesof those in barracks. A combination of misery and shortages has sometimesappeared to leave the 1.3-millionong army on the point of collapse.

Soldiers are undernourished and their salaries are often paid monthslate. Thousands of officers live in temporary shelters as they wait foraccomodation and the state still owes millions of dollars to the arms industry.

During operations in Chechnya, officers complained about a lack of effectivetelecommunications equipment and high-precision weapons which would allowthem to face Chechen snipers.

Officials from the air force admitted in January that pilots were reducingtheir normal flying time by about a quarter because of a lack of fuel.

These shortages have left the army with recruitment difficulties andproblems in retaining existing personnel. Every year, about a third ofofficers under the age of 30 leave the navy.

A poll carried out by the Krasnaia Zvezda military newspaper said that48 percent of the 1,000 officers it questioned said they wanted to leavethe armed forces.

New hope has come with Putin, who in January said he wanted a strongstate backed by a strong military and vowed to continue developing thearmed forces.

The difficulty now is where the funding for this will come from.Internationalorganisations who keep Russia afloat with huge loans are opposed to anyincrease in defence spending.

But depite these difficulties Putin has already tried to leave his mark-- a 50 percent increase this year in state orders from the arms industryand a move to return the navy to the Mediterranean for the first time infour years.
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C. Loose Nukes

Five Russian Sailors Die In Old Nuclear Submarine
        March 22, 2000
        (for personal use only)

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Mar 22, 2000 -- (Reuters) Five Russian sailorsserving in the Pacific Fleet suffocated to death in a decommissioned anddismantled nuclear submarine, the fleet's press service said on Tuesday.

A spokesman said the sailors died on Monday after entering the submarinedocked some 140 km (90 miles) northeast of Vladivostok. He did not givea reason for their exploration of the old vessel.

NTV commercial television said the sailors had been searching for valuableparts which could be sold and added they had were trapped accidentally.
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5 Sailors Suffocate
        Associated Press
        March 22, 2000
        (for personal use only)

MOSCOW -- Five sailors from the Pacific Fleet suffocated while scavengingan old submarine for scraps of nonferrous metal, a news report said Tuesday.

The sailors died Monday night while rummaging through an unventilatedchamber of the decommissioned submarine, docked at a bay in the Far East,the Pacific Fleet command told Itar-Tass.

Their bodies were later discovered by guards, the report said. It didnot specify how the five sailors managed to get aboard, or why they couldn'tget out of the submarine before suffocating.
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D. Department of Energy (DOE)

Task Force Created on Nonproliferation Programs in Russia
        Department of Energy
        March 21, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson has appointed a blue-ribbon panelto review and assess the Energy Department’s nonproliferation programsin Russia and recommend how its nonproliferation efforts can be enhanced.Former White House Counsel Lloyd Cutler and former Senate Majority LeaderHoward Baker will serve as co-chairmen of the panel. The list of appointeesis attached.

The task force will assess the Energy Department’s ongoing nonproliferationactivities with Russia, and will provide policy recommendations on howto support effectively U.S. national security interests. The assessmentwill include, but not be limited to the following topics: Initiatives forthe Proliferation Prevention Program; the Nuclear Cities Initiative; theMaterial Protection Control and Accounting Program; the Second Line ofDefense Program; the HEU Purchase Agreement; the International NuclearSafety Program; and the Plutonium Disposition Program.

The task force held its first meeting on March 13. During that meeting,Under Secretary of Energy Ernest J. Moniz presented an overview of thedepartment’s nonproliferation efforts in Russia. Rose Gottemoeller, ActingDeputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, provided a briefingon reducing vulnerability; Laura Holgate, Assistant Deputy Administratorfor Fissile Material Disposition, talked about the plutonium dispositionagreement; Terry Lash, Assistant Deputy Administrator for InternationalNuclear Safety and Cooperation, discussed nuclear safety and cooperation;Leonard Spector, Assistant Deputy Administrator for Arms Control andNonproliferation,spoke about Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention and Nuclear CitiesInitiative; and Maureen McCarthy, science advisor to the Under Secretary,addressed the proposed proliferation-resistant reactor technology jointresearch and development.

"I look forward to a hard and fair examination of DOE’s nonproliferationprograms. The distinguished group of members selected to serve on thistask force are experts in the field of Russian nonproliferation and nationalsecurity," said Secretary Richardson. "Their unique leadership skills willprovide balanced and timely advice in helping to fulfill the department’smission."

A brief biographical sketch of each task force member follows:

Lloyd Cutler is one of the founding partners of Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering,and maintains an active practice in several fields that include internationalarbitration and dispute resolution, constitutional law, appellate advocacyand public policy advice. Cutler has served as Counsel to Presidents Clintonand Carter. Mr. Cutler served as senior consultant on the President’s Commissionon Strategic Forces (the Scowcroft Commission) from 1983 to 1984. From1979 to 1980, he served as Special Counsel to the President on Ratificationof the Salt II Treaty and from 1977 to 1979, served as the President’sSpecial Representative for Maritime Resource and Boundary Negotiationswith Canada. Mr. Cutler received his bachelor of arts and bachelor of lawdegrees from Yale University and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Lawsdegree in 1983.

Senator Howard Baker, Jr. has returned to private life and the practiceof law after serving in the United States Senate from 1967 to 1985, andas President Reagan’s chief of staff from February 1987 until July 1988.Senator Baker’s career as a lawyer began in 1949, when he joined his father,the late Congressman Howard Baker, in a law practice founded by his grandfather.He returned to that practice after leaving the Senate in 1985 and thenagain after leaving the White House in 1988. Baker was a candidate forthe Republican nomination for President in 1980. Senator Baker was a UnitedNations delegate in 1976 and served on the President’s Foreign IntelligenceBoard from 1985 to 1987 and from 1988 to 1990. He is a member of the Councilon Foreign Relations serves on the board of the Forum for InternationalPolicy; and is an International Councilor for the Center for Strategicand International Studies. Baker resides in his birthplace, Huntsville,Tennessee.

Andrew Athy, Jr. is a partner in the Washington, D.C., law firm of O’Neill,Athy and Casey. In January 1999, Secretary Richardson named Athy the chairmanof the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board. Athy recently served on thefour-person search committee for the new Under Secretary of the NationalNuclear Security Administration. From 1978 to 1981, he served as counselto the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Subcommitteeon Energy and Power; from 1976 to 1978, he was an attorney in the Officeof General  Counsel of the Federal Election Commission; and from 1973to 1975, Athy was Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division ofthe Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Mr. Athy received an undergraduate degreefrom the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from the GeorgetownUniversity Law Center.

Graham Allison is the Douglas Dillon Professor of Government and Directorof the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the KennedySchool. From January 1993 until March 1994, he served as assistant secretaryof defense for policy and plans, formulating Department of Defense strategyand policy toward Russia, Ukraine and the other states of the former SovietUnion. As dean of the Kennedy School from 1977 to 1989, he led the effortto create a major professional school of government. His teaching and researchfocuses on American foreign policy, defense, U.S.-Soviet relations, andthe political economy of transitions to economic and political democracy.Allison has served as special advisor to Secretaries of Defense Weinberger,Carlucci, Cheney, Aspin and Perry; director of the Council of Foreign Relations;and consultant to various departments of government.

Brian Atwood is the Executive Vice President of Citizens Energy Corporationand Director of Citizens International. From 1993 to 1999, Mr. Atwood servedas Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, wherehe served as chairman of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation andwas Undersecretary of State for Management in 1993. Before that, Atwoodserved as a Foreign Service Officer, staff member for Senator Thomas Eagleton,Executive Director of the Democratic Senatorial Congressional Committee,and President of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairsfrom 1986 to 1993. Mr. Atwood received a B.A. from Boston University andhas completed graduate work at American University, where he later receivedan honorary doctorate.

Bruce Blair is an expert on the security policies of the United Statesand the former Soviet Union, specializing in nuclear forces and command-controlsystems, and was recently named President of the Center for DefenseIntelligence.Prior to that, Blair spent 13 years at the Brookings Institution, wherehe was a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program. In 1970,he received a B.S. in communications from the University of Illinois. Heserved in the U.S. Air Force from 1970 to 1974, as a Minuteman ICBM launchcontrol officer and support officer for the Strategic Air Command’s AirborneCommand Post. Blair earned a master’s degree in management sciences in1977, and a doctorate in operations research in 1984, both from Yale University.He has studied extensively the Russian military-industrial economy, andearly in his career was a project director at the Congressional Officeof Technology Assessment.

David Boren is the President of the University of Oklahoma. From 1974to 1978, he was Governor of Oklahoma and from 1979 to1994, he served inthe U.S. Senate from Oklahoma. Before he became Governor, Senator Borenserved in the Oklahoma Legislature. During his time in the U.S. Senate,Boren served on the Senate Finance and Agriculture Committees and was thelongest-serving chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.Senator Boren also chaired the special 1992 to 1993 Joint Committee onthe Organization of Congress, which produced proposals to make Congressmore efficient and responsive by streamlining bureaucracy, reducing staffsizes, and reforming procedures to end legislative gridlock. In 1993, Borenreceived the Henry Yost Award as Education Advocate of the Year. SenatorBoren holds degrees from Yale University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Lynn Davis is currently a Senior Fellow at the Rand Corporation. Sheserved on the review boards that investigated the embassy bombings in EastAfrica and is on the Study Group of the Commission on National Security/21stCentury. From 1993 to 1997, Davis was Under Secretary of State for ArmsControl and International Security Affairs. She played a central role inthe negotiations that produced NATO’s expansion, the guidelines for theSTART III Treaty, the nonproliferation agreement with the Russians andChinese on missile transfers and conventional arms, and the establishmentof the Wassenaar Arrangement, a multilateral regime that coordinatesconventionalarms sales policies. Prior to joining the State Department, Dr. Davis wasVice President and Director of the Arroyo Center at RAND. She also servedon the staffs of the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council,and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. She was Director of Studiesat the National War College and Columbia University. She has a doctoratein Political Science from Columbia University.

Butler Derrick is a partner in the law firm of Powell, Goldstein, Frazerand Murphy. From 1974 to 1994, Congressman Derrick represented the ThirdDistrict of South Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives. Duringthat time, Mr. Derrick served as Vice Chairman of the House Rules Committeeand Chief Deputy Majority Whip. He was a member of the South Carolina Houseof Representatives from 1969 to 1974. He was a principal organizer of theSouth Carolina Water Resources Commission and was Vice Chairman of theSouth Carolina Nuclear Energy Committee. Derrick received his law degreefrom the University of Georgia.

Susan Eisenhower is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Nixon Centerand is also chairman of the Center for Political and Strategic Studiesbased at the University of Maryland. She has concentrated almost 14 yearsof her career on U.S.-Soviet and then U.S.-Russian relations, while placingspecial emphasis on the changing political, economic and social developmentin the former Soviet Union. In the mid-1980s, Eisenhower started travelingto the Soviet Union, initially as co-chairman of the first open and televisedbilateral policy debate in Soviet history. In 1998, she was elected tothe National Academy of Sciences Standing Committee on International Securityand Arms Control. During the fall of 1998, Eisenhower spent the fall semesterat Harvard as a visiting fellow at the Kennedy School of Government’s Instituteof Politics. In 1998, she was also appointed to the National Advisory Councilof the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Lee Hamilton is the director of the Woodrow Wilson International Centerfor Scholars. Prior to joining the Wilson Center, Congressman Hamiltonrepresented southern Indiana in the U.S. House of Representatives from1965 to 1999. He served as Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committeeon International Relations, the Joint Economic Committee, the PermanentSelect Committee on Intelligence, the Joint Committee on the Organizationof Congress, as well as serving as Chairman of the October Surprise TaskForce and the Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactionswith Iran. In addition to his duties with the Wilson Center, Mr. Hamiltonserves on numerous panels and commissions including the Secretary of Defense’sNational Security Study Group and the Director of the Central IntelligenceAgency Economic Intelligence Advisory Panel. Hamilton attended Goethe University(Frankfurt, Germany) and holds degrees from Depauw University and IndianaUniversity School of Law.

Robert Hanfling is president of Robert I. Hanfling Associates and asenior advisor at Putnam, Hayes & Bartlett Inc., an international managementand economic consulting firm. He served as chairman of the Secretary ofEnergy Advisory Board from 1995 to1997. He served as Deputy Under Secretaryof Energy from 1979 to 1980. He received a bachelor’s degree from RensselaerPolytechnic Institute and a MBA with a specialization in internationaltrade from the City University of New York.

Gary Hart serves of counsel in the Denver office of Coudert Brothers,a multinational law firm. Senator Hart represented the state of Coloradoin the United States Senate from 1975 to 1987 and was a candidate for theDemocratic nomination for President in 1984. During his 12 years in theSenate, he served on the Armed Services, Budget and Environmental Committees.He was also a congressional advisor to the SALT II talks in Geneva andheld lengthy discussions in Moscow with General Secretary Gorbachev andForeign Minister Shevardnadze on arms control, human rights and otherinternationalissues. Hart is a member of the Board of Directors of the Russian-AmericanEnterprise Fund, which was created by Congress in 1993. In 1996, SenatorHart was McCallum Memorial Lecturer at Oxford and in 1998 was Regents Lecturerat the University of California. He is currently a member of the DefensePolicy Board and a member of the Commission on U.S. National Security inthe 21st Century. Senator Hart is a graduate of the Yale Law School, theYale Divinity School and Southern Nazarene University.

Jim McClure. is co-founder of the law firm McClure, Gerard &NeuenschwanderInc. (MGN). Prior to that, he served for 24 years as a member of Congressfrom Idaho, of which the last 18 years was a member of the United StatesSenate. Senator McClure was chairman of the Energy and Natural ResourcesCommittee, the Senate Steering Committee and the Senate Republican Conference.Mr. McClure is widely recognized for his expertise on environmental, energyand natural resource matters including transportation, nuclear energy,natural gas, oil and electricity issues. McClure played a major role innegotiating an agreement between the state of Idaho, the Department ofEnergy and the U.S. Navy regarding shipment and storage of nuclear wastematerial to the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. He also serves ona number of corporate boards, as well as several volunteer boards. SenatorMcClure is a graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law

Sam Nunn is a senior partner in the Atlanta law firm of King & Spalding,where he focuses his practice on international and corporate matters. From1972 to 1996, he served as a U.S. Senator from Georgia.. During his tenurein the Senate, Senator Nunn served as chairman of the Senate Armed ServicesCommittee and the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He also servedon the Intelligence and Small Business Committees. His legislative achievementsinclude the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, also known as the Nunn-Lugarprogram, which provides incentives for the former Soviet Republics to dismantleand safely handle their nuclear arsenals. Senator Nunn also drafted thelandmark Department of Defense Reorganization Act with the late SenatorBarry Goldwater. He has continued his service in the public policy arenaas a distinguished professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairsat Georgia Institute of Technology, and as chairman of the board of theCenter for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. He alsoserves as co-chairman of The Concord Coalition, a grassroots organizationformed to educate the public on our nation’s fiscal challenges.

Alan Simpson is the Director of the Institute of Politics at HarvardUniversity’s Kennedy School of Government. From 1979 to 1997, Senator Simpsonserved as United States Senator from Wyoming. While in the Senate, he wasAssistant Majority Leader for 10 years. Prior to his time in the Senate,Simpson served for 13 years in Wyoming’s legislature. Mr. Simpson serveson numerous boards and commissions.

David Skaggs is the Executive Director of the Democracy & CitizenshipProgram at the Aspen Institute, and is of counsel to the Washington, D.C.-basedlaw firm of Hogan & Hartson. Congressman Skaggs also serves as an AdjunctProfessor at the University of Colorado. Skaggs represented the SecondDistrict of Colorado in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1987 to1999. During Mr. Skaggs’ last six years in Congress, he was a member ofthe Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where he devoted particularattention to classification and information security issues. He was a foundingco-chairman of the House Bipartisan Retreat and the Constitutional Forum.Prior to serving in elected office, Mr. Skaggs practiced law in Boulder,Colorado. He was chief of staff to then Congressman Timothy Wirth from1974 to 1977. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1963 to 1965; andwas a major in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves from 1965 to 1968. In additionto current duties, Mr. Skaggs serves on a number of boards and committees.He recently completed work as a member of the Department of State’s OverseasPresence Advisory Panel.

John Tuck is a Senior Policy Advisor at Baker, Donelson, Bearman &Caldwell. From February 1989 to 1992, Tuck served as the former Under Secretaryof Energy. Prior to working at the Energy Department, he served in severalpositions at the White House including Assistant to the President. From1981 to1986, Tuck worked in the U.S. Senate as Assistant Secretary forthe Majority, and also held a number of other positions on Capitol Hillincluding Chief of the Minority Floor Information Services from 1977 to1980. Mr. Tuck was commissioned in the U.S. Navy from 1967 to 1973 andserved as a Captain in the Naval Reserve until he retired  in 1994.He holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.
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Kremlin Faces Uphill Task In Persuading Duma To Ratify START II
        Agence France Presse
        March 21, 2000
        (for personal use only)

MOSCOW, March 21 (AFP) - Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov urged Russianlawmakers Tuesday to ratify before June the START II arms reduction treatysigned with the United States, but faced an uphill task in reversing opinion.

Deputies in the State Duma lower house have put ratification of themuch-delayed accord on their spring agenda, but are linking it to a disputebetween with Washington over missile defence.

Ivanov made his plea at a closed door meeting with key members of theDuma's foreign affairs, defence and security committees, Alexei Arbatov,number two at the defence committee, told AFP.

However, many of the lawmakers present appeared unswayed, said Arbatov.

Ivanov, flanked by a bevy of senior military officials, argued thatratification of the accord -- signed in 1993 and approved by the US Congressin 1996 -- would put pressure on Washington to compromise on other armscontrol issues.

Russia is fiercely opposed to any modification of the 1972 Anti-BallisticMissile Treaty which the United States is seeking to amend so as to allowit to build a nuclear defence shield covering the entire United States.

But Russia's acting President Vladimir Putin has nonetheless urged deputiesto approve START II to allow progress on a START III accord which wouldmake further deep cuts in nuclear arsenals.

His hopes were boosted in December by the election of a new Duma inwhich pro-Kremlin forces emerged as a powerful force in contrast to theold Communist- and nationalist-dominated parliament.
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Russia Mulls Nuclear Treaty
        Associated Press
        March 22, 2000
        (for personal use only)
MOSCOW (AP) - Top security officials and members of parliament discussedthe START II nuclear arms reduction treaty at a closed-door meeting Tuesday,and issued a statement encouraging the full parliament to ratify the document.

START II, signed in 1993, limits the United States and Russia to about3,000 nuclear warheads each but has been stalled in Russia's lower houseof parliament, or Duma, waiting ratification.

Hard-line deputies argue the country needs a stiff nuclear shield tocompensate for shabby conventional forces.

But military and foreign policy leaders have said they support the treaty,in part because Russia cannot afford to maintain a large nuclear arsenal,and regularly prod the Duma toward ratification.

Representatives of the Ministry of Defense, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanovand members of three Duma committees attended the meeting, according toa statement from the Foreign Ministry.

Ratification of START II is ``in the interest of guaranteeing the nationalsecurity of the Russian Federation and strengthening strategic stabilityin the world,'' the statements says.

Participants at the meeting also recommended the Duma ratify amendmentsto START II concerning enforcement, and amendments to the Anti-BallisticMissile Treaty, the statement said.

Russia and the United States are currently at odds over a U.S. proposalto scale-back the ABM treaty to allow the United States to built a limitedmissile defense system.
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F. Nuclear Waste

Mayak Spent Fuel Storage Moves To Kola
        Thomas Nilsen
        March 20, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Minatom and the Industrial Group cancel the planed naval spent fuelstorage at Mayak - regional storage sites at the Kola Peninsula are tobe built instead.

The long-planned new storage for naval spent nuclear fuel at the Mayakplant in the southern Ural will not be built. That was the result of thelatest meeting in Moscow between Russian Ministry of Nuclear Energy (Minatom)officials and leaders from the international Industrial Group set up tobuild the storage. The storage was thought to receive spent fuel fromdecommissionedsubmarines in Murmansk and Arkhangelsk counties. Minatom has asked theIndustrial Group to help with the construction of a similar storage atthe Kola Peninsula instead.

Dry storage unacceptable for Minatom
In 1997, an international Industrial Group was created with the aimto work on nuclear waste projects in Russia, among them the spent fuelstorage at Mayak. The group was composed of SKB (Sweden), BNFL (UnitedKingdom), Kvaerner Maritime (Norway) and SGN (France). The Industrial Groupcompleted a study, which concluded that it would be most viable to builda new dry storage facility for naval spent fuel at Mayak. Such facilitycould be built at a cost of 50 million Euro and was supposed to be financedby the Nordic countries and the EU. But Minatom, which operates Mayak,stated clearly that a dry storage was not on its agenda and that it wouldrather complete a partially built wet storage instead. Disagreement betweenMinatom and the Industrial Group on technology led to a halt of the spentfuel storage project in 1998.

Wet storage unacceptable for Industrial Group "We concluded that a newdry storage would be the only safe way to keep the spent naval fuel atMayak. The completion of the water-pool storage, proposed by Minatom, wouldnever meet the international safety standards, and it would be even moreexpensive than our proposal," Bo Gustafsson said in a telephone interviewfrom Stockholm. Gustafsson represents SKB and is a chairman of the IndustrialGroup.

At the February meeting in Moscow, Minatom seemed to realise that therewould be no western funding for the wet storage, but at the same time itunderlined that a new dry storage at Mayak could not be built, mainly dueto the local resistance in the Chelyabinsk County. The partially builtwet storage was granted a licence many years ago. To get a licence fora dry storage would, if at all possible, take several years.

Interviewed by Bellona Web last autumn, Vice-Governor Gennady Podtyosovof Chelyabinsk said: "This plan has never been presented for the Governorbefore. We are strongly against the construction of such new interim storagefor spent naval fuel at Mayak." The environmental groups from all overRussia also argued that Mayak had no need for extra nuclear waste. Thewaste accumulated at Mayak during 40 years of plutonium production fornuclear weapons is more than enough, the groups say.

100,000 spent fuel elements by 2010
The first train with spent nuclear fuel from the Northern Fleet leftMurmansk for Mayak in 1973. Since then, around 20,000 spent fuel elementshave been transported to the Mayak reprocessing plant. Spent nuclear fuelfrom nuclear icebreakers based in Murmansk is also sent to Mayak. The lasttrain left Atomflot on March 7 this year. The price for transportation,storage and reprocessing per trainload is estimated to be at least $500,000.Today, more than 32,000 naval spent fuel elements are stored at the KolaPeninsula, in land-based storage sites and onboard storage vessels. Additional32,000 fuel elements are still onboard inactive submarines. The total amountof the fuel elements will increase to as much as 100,000 over the courseof the next decade. That will include spent fuel from submarines stillin operation, submarines earmarked for retirement and the civilian nuclearpowered icebreakers in Murmansk.

One of the main arguments for Minatom to build an interim storage atKola is the absence of spare buffer storage capacity and insufficientreprocessingcapacity at the Mayak reprocessing plant.

Bellona welcomes the breakthrough
The Industry Group have argued with Minatom for the last three yearsover the fact that it would be much better to build a new intermediatestorage at the Kola Peninsula, where the most part the maritime spent fuelis located today. Bellona considers the decision to build a large regionalstorage at Kola as a breakthrough after years of arguing in Russia andamong western countries, who provide financial aid to nuclear safety. Bellonawas the first to propose this solution in 1994. The most prominent environmentalgroups in Russia supported the plan in a recent letter to the NorwegianMinister of Foreign Affairs in February this year. Finally, Minatom hasagreed to take this option as viable as well.

"This decision is very positive, it is the solution we have wanted allthe time. Both from an environmental and economical point of view, it isthe only logical step," says Nils Bohmer, a nuclear physicist at the BellonaFoundation. Several reports and nuclear waste management studies from Bellonahave highlighted the need for creation of a new environmentally safe interim spent fuel storage at Kola.

Federal Environmental Spent Fuel Store
The concept is named Federal Environmental Spent Fuel Store in NorthwestRussia. According to the information Bellona Web has, most of the blueprintsfrom the now cancelled dry storage at Mayak can be used for constructionof the new storage at Kola. It is still unclear where on the Kola Peninsulasuch new module-based storage will be placed. The nuclear engineering companiesin the Industrial Group are now to sit down and prepare both the technicalassignment and the project implementation plan for the storage. This firststep towards a regional storage at Kola is to be financed by the Scandinaviancountries, the United Kingdom and the EU. A question mark remains in termsof Norway's position. Even if it has never been said officially, it isclear that Norwegian officials are not very happy with the change of Minatom'sposition. Under the lines, Norway's agenda has been to get the nuclearwaste as far away from the Norwegian boarder as possible. In addition,Norway may be embarrassed by the fact that the cancellation of the Mayakstorage option comes at the same time as the Norway-sponsored railway carsfor transportation of spent fuel from Kola to Mayak are constructed, thoughtheir delivering has been postponed. The price tag for the constructionof the railway cars was more than $2 million.

"It is not clear yet if Norway is going to be one of the sponsors forthe new storage at Kola. This is a political question, but we will of courselook into the plan," says Thorbjorn Norendal in the Norwegian Ministryof Foreign Affairs.

Back in 1996, Norway and Russia signed a protocol stipulating financialaid, among other projects, to building of a new storage for naval spentnuclear fuel at Mayak. The project's aim was to speed up the process ofsubmarine decommissioning and securing of nuclear waste. Due to the lackof sufficient spent fuel storage capacity in the north, much of it stillremains in the reactors onboard submarines taken out of operation longtime ago. Norway also pledged to help Russia build four new railway carsfor the transportation of the spent fuel from Murmansk to Mayak, a distanceof 3,500 kilometres. The railway cars, built at a factory in Tver, wereto be handed over to the respective Russian body on March 3 this year,but there are still some unanswered questions about who will get theresponsibilityfor the operation of the cars.

40 and 80 ton casks storage
In addition to the new module-designed dry storage, several local storagepads are to be created along the cost of the Kola Peninsula. As it lookstoday, at least three storage sites for spent fuel casks are to be builtat the Kola Peninsula, and one new onshore site might be built in Severodvinsk,Arkhangelsk County. The newly developed 40-ton metal-concrete cask fornaval spent fuel may be put into serial production for use in several ofthe on-going projects to secure spent nuclear fuel, both from submarinesand icebreakers. Already 12 of the 40-ton casks are to be manufacturedat the Izhora plant near St. Petersburg, ordered by Co-operative ThreatReduction (CTR) program. Minatom has also said it will pay for another88 of the 40-ton casks. The prototype cask was presented in late Octoberlast year. Each cask has a price tag of $150,000.

The second model is the 80-ton cask, aimed for onsite storage. The storagepads for these casks will serve as intermediate buffer storage for a periodof up till 25 years. The storage period may be extended to become as longas 40-50 years. The 80-ton casks will most likely be used for the firsttime at Atomflot base in Murmansk for storage of fuel derived from icebreakersoperation.

The 80-ton casks will be placed at a storage pad at the nuclear poweredicebreaker base Atomflot in Murmansk. The pad is to be built onshore inthe vicinity of the harbour facilities in the northern part of Atomflot.The pad would be able to hold a maximum of 50 casks. The casks will beprimarily used to secure the spent fuel stored today onboard the servicevessels, such as Lotta and Lepse, and can take non-standard size cylindersin order to store damaged fuel from service ship Lepse. The cost for an80-ton cask is estimated to be $320,000. The obstacle to this project isthe local resistance in Murmansk where the Mayor has expressed strong oppositionto any  long-term interim spent fuel storage within the city boarders.

Nuklid, a subject to Minatom established to co-ordinate the westernassistance to nuclear waste safety projects in Northwest Russia, has suggestedto build a storage pad for spent fuel casks at Shipyard no. 10 in Polyarny.The shipyard has equipment for unloading spent nuclear fuel from submarinereactors, and one of the Northern Fleet's rundown storage barges for spentnuclear fuel (326M type) is located there. Seven laid up submarines areanchored at the piers in Polyarny; all of them still are holding spentnuclear fuel in their reactors. Back in the glorious days of the NorthernFleet, plans existed to create spent fuel storage inside a tunnel at thePolyarny shipyard. The shipyard itself has stated that it wants to graba share of the decommissioning work on nuclear submarines, so far onlyone submarine has been dismantled at the yard.

The third location of spent fuel casks storage at Kola is the Gremikhanaval base, the eastern part of the Kola Peninsula. Gremikha has no operationalsubmarines, the fact that makes Minatom to assume it would be easier toget access to Gremikha than other submarine bases at the Kola Peninsula.Murmansk County Governor Yuri Yevdokimov also supports the creation ofa facility in Gremikha to handle the spent fuel already stored there. Today,17 laid up submarines are stationed in Gremikha, all of them are holdingspent nuclear fuel, in addition to the existing run-down onshore storage.Some 100 old casks with spent fuel from first generation submarines arestored outdoors without any kind of protection. Fearing that the submarinesmay sink, the Northern Fleet does not dare to tow them away for decommissioning.Gremikha is a likely location for construction of the 80-ton cask storagepad.

The naval shipyards in Severodvinsk are also in a desperate need forextra storage capacity for spent nuclear fuel to be removed from the submarinesundergoing decommissioning. The American CTR program has contracteddecommissioningof 31 strategic submarines until the year 2002. These are 25 Delta-class,one Yankee-class and five Typhoon-class submarines. Since the submarinedecommissioning has been delayed due to the limited storage room for spentnuclear fuel and transport means to ship it to Mayak, CTR program has openedup for financial aid to handle spent fuel as well. CTR has received permissionto fund transportation to Mayak and reprocessing of the spent fuel therefrom 15 strategic submarines, totally 30 reactor cores, while the spentfuel from the remaining 16 submarines are to be stored in the 40-ton casks.Some pads for the 40-ton casks will be built at the Zvezdochka yard inSeverodvinsk.

Minatom has set a specific target of defuelling 18 submarines in 2000.But few, if any, believe that this extremely tight plan can be fulfilledin the remaining 9 months of this year. Such plan requires constructionof pads, casks, and renovation of the existing equipment for refuellingat the various shipyards, both in Northwest Russia and in the Far East.

CTR also gives financial support for the decommissioning work underwayat the Nerpa shipyard at Kola. So far, it is not finally decided how manycasks are to be placed in Severodvinsk and how many are to be stored atthe Nerpa shipyard at Kola. Discussions have been underway regarding theneed for a storage pad at Nerpa, but it may be unlikely, given the Polyarnyshipyard gets one. Polyarny is in the neighbour bay to Nerpa.

At the same time, Nerpa is considered to be one of the most suitablelocations for the new modular dry storage, or the so-called FederalEnvironmentalSpent Fuel Store. Nerpa has much of the needed infrastructure, such asgood harbour and equipment for removal of spent fuel from submarine reactorsand service vessels. And, perhaps the most important, Nerpa has many employeeswith knowledge of nuclear safety and experience in handling spent nuclearfuel.
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G. U.S. – Russia General

The Worldwide Threat in 2000: Global Realities of Our National Security[excerpt on Russia]
        George J. Tenet
        Statement Before the SenateForeign Relations Committee
        March 21, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Now moving to Russia: as you know, we are now in the post-Yeltsin era, and difficult choices loom for the new president Russians will choose onSunday (26 March):

He will face three fundamental questions:

-- First, will he keep Russia moving toward further consolidation of its new democracy or will growing public sentiment in favor of a strong hand and a yearning for order tempt him to Slow down or even reversecourse?

-- Second, will he try to build a consensus on quickening the pace ofeconomic reform and expanding efforts to integrate into global markets-- some Russian officials favor this -- or will he rely on heavy stateintervention to advance economic goals?

-- Finally, will Moscow give priority to a cooperative relationshipwith the West or will anti-US sentiments take root, leading to a Russiathat is isolated, frustrated, and hostile? This would increase the riskof an unintended confrontation, which would be particularly dangerous asRussia increasingly relies on nuclear weapons for its defense -- an emphasisreflected most recently in its new national security concept.

-- As these questions indicate, a new Russian President will inherita country in which much has been accomplished -- but in which much stillneeds to be done to fully transform its economy, ensure that democracyis deeply rooted, and establish a clear future direction for it in theworld outside Russia.

Russian polls suggest that Acting President Putin will win the 26 Marchelection; the only possible wrinkle is voter turnout, since a 50 percentturnout is needed to validate the election. Putin appears tough and pragmatic,but it is far from clear what he would do as president. If he can continueto consolidate elite and popular support, as president he may gain politicalcapital that he could choose to spend on moving Russia further along thepath toward economic recovery and democratic stability.

At least two factors will be pivotal in determining Russia's near-termtrajectory:

-- The conflict in Chechnya: Even though public support for the warremains high, a protracted guerrilla war could diminish Putin's popularityover time, and further complicate relations with the US and Europe.

-- The economy: The devalued ruble, increased world oil prices, anda favorable trade balance fueled by steeply reduced import levels haveallowed Moscow to actually show some economic growth in the wake of theAugust 1998 financial crash. Nonetheless, Russia faces $8 billion in foreigndebt coming due this year. Absent a new IMF deal to reschedule, Moscowwould have to redirect recent gains from economic growth to pay it down,or run the risk of default.

Over the longer term, the new Russian president must be able to stabilizethe political situation sufficiently to address structural problems inthe Russian economy. He must also be willing to take on the crime and corruptionproblem-both of which impede foreign investment.

In the foreign policy arena, US-Russian relations will be tested ona number of fronts. Most immediately, Western criticism of the Chechenwar has heightened Russian suspicions about US and Western activity inneighboring areas, be it energy pipeline decisions involving the Caucasusand Central Asia, NATO's continuing role in the Balkans, or NATO's relationswith the Baltic states. Moscow's ties to Iran also will continue to complicateUS-Russian relations, as will Russian objections to US plans for a NationalMissile Defense. There are, nonetheless, some issues that could move thingsin a more positive direction.

-- For example, Putin and others have voiced support for finalizingthe START II agreement and moving toward further arms cuts in START III-- though the Russians will want US reaffirmation of the 1972 ABM treatyin return for start endorsements.

-- Similarly, many Russian officials express a desire to more deeplyintegrate Russia into the world economy. The recent deal with the LondonClub on Soviet-era debt suggests Putin wants to keep Russia engaged withkey international financial institutions.

One of my biggest concerns -- regardless of the path that Russia chooses-- remains the security of its nuclear weapons and materials. Moscow appearsto recognize some of its vulnerabilities; indeed, security seemed to havebeen tightened somewhat during the Chechen conflict. But economic difficultiesand pervasive criminality and corruption throughout Russia potentiallyweaken the reliability of nuclear personnel.

With regard to its nuclear weapons, Moscow appears to be maintainingadequate security and control, but we remain concerned by reports of laxdiscipline, labor strikes, poor morale, and criminal activities.

-- An unauthorized launch or accidental use of a Russian nuclear weaponis unlikely as long as current technical and procedural safeguards builtinto the command and control system remain in place.

With regard to its nuclear material: Russia's nuclear material is dispersedamong many facilities involved in the nuclear fuel cycle -- more than 700buildings at more than 100 known facilities. Its physical security andpersonnel reliability vary greatly Security at weapons production facilitiesis better than at most research laboratories and buildings at fuel fabricationfacilities that have not received physical security upgrades.

-- There are few known cases of seizures of weapons-usable nuclear materialsince 1994. This may be due to several factors: US assistance to improvesecurity at Russian facilities, a possible decrease in smuggling, or smugglersbecoming more knowledgeable about evading detection. Our analysts assessthat undetected smuggling has occurred, although we don't know the extentor magnitude of the undetected thefts.
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