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Nuclear News - 07/07/00
RANSAC Nuclear News, 07 July 2000


A. Nuclear Cities Initiative (NCI)

    1. Grand Opening of International Development Center in RussianNuclear City Snezhinsk, Department of Energy (7/7/00)
B. Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU)
    1. Russia Resumes Low-Enriched Uranium Deliveries to US,Itar-Tass (7/7/00)
C. ABM, Missile Defense
    1. Putin, Jiang Discuss Missile Defense, RFE/RL (7/7/00)
    2. As Putin Urges Neighbors To Ratify 1997 ABM Accords, RFE/RL(7/7/00)
    3. Pentagon Set for Potentially Decisive Missile Defense Test,Associated Press (7/7/00)
    4. The End Of A Defense Doctrine, Peter Grier, ChristianScience Monitor (7/7/00)
D. START
    1. Russia Ready To Reduce Nuclear Warheads, Putin Tells Hiroshima,Agence France Presse (7/7/00)



A. Nuclear Cities Initiative (NCI)

1.
Grand Opening of International Development Center in Russian NuclearCity Snezhinsk
        Department of Energy
        July 7, 2000
        (for personal use only)
 
A symbolic ribbon was recently cut by Russian officials and the Departmentof Energy to celebrate the official opening of the International DevelopmentCenter (IDC) in Snezhinsk. Approximately 50 banking, business and communityleaders from the region attended the opening in a downtown building ownedby the City of Snezhinsk, formerly a closed nuclear city. The IDC willprovide business development resources, training, internet, telecommunicationsaccess and business consulting. While the IDC will depend on Nuclear CitiesInitiative (NCI) financial support for the first few years, eventuallyplans call for the center to become self-supporting through fee-for-serviceactivities. This is the second International Development Center openedunder NCI; the first was in Zheleznogorsk in November 1999. NCI is a Departmentof Energy cooperative nonproliferation program designed to employ workersfacing unemployment as facilities in the Russia nuclear weapons complexare closed.
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B. Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU)

1.
Russia Resumes Low-Enriched Uranium Deliveries to US
        Itar-Tass
        July 7, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Russia has resumed deliveries of low-enriched uranium to the U.S., thevice-president of United States Enrichment Corporation, Charles Yulish,said.

He said in an interview with Itar-Tass on Thursday that one uraniumbatch had been delivered and another is expected to come by the start ofthe next week.

U.S. Enrichment Corp. is the U.S. government's agent for implementingan agreement with Russia on utilisation of high-enriched uranium from nuclearweapons.

Russia's exports of recycled fuel under the contract were suspendeda month ago because several bank accounts faced blocking in the U.S. afterSwitzerland's company Noga, which is seeking Russia's repaying to it allegeddebts, filed a lawsuit in Kentucky, where the U.S. Enrichment Corp.'s factoriesare located.

However, U.S. President Bill Clinton in late June issued a decree protectingaccounts to which payments come under the uranium contract.
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C. ABM, Missile Defense

1.
Putin, Jiang Discuss Missile Defense
        RFE/RL
        July 7, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Five summit in Dushanbe on5 July (see below), Russian President Putin and Chinese leader Jiang Zeminstressed their opposition to U.S. plans to deploy a limited national missiledefense system. Russian presidential spokesman Sergei Prikhodko told journalistsafter the meeting that the two leaders discussed the "fundamental importance"of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and expressed their concern thata U.S. missile system would lead to "distortions of the balance of power",a concern that was underlined by the Russian president in his address tothe summit the same day. Putin and Jiang also discussed the former's visitto Beijing scheduled for 18-19 July. Speaking in Dushanbe on 4 July, ForeignMinister Igor Ivanov had told a press conference that Russia and Chinaare boosting efforts to develop their strategic partnership.
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2.
As Putin Urges Neighbors To Ratify 1997 ABM Accords
        RFE/RL
        July 7, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Citing the Russian presidential press service, Interfax reported on5 July that Putin has sent a message to his Ukrainian, Belarusian, andKazakh counterparts informing them of Russia's completion of the processof ratifying the 1997 New York agreements on ABM. The Russian presidentsaid in his message that Moscow views those accords as an "important instrumentdesigned to strengthen" the 1972 ABM Treaty. In September 1997, Russiaand the U.S. signed accords establishing the distinction between strategicand nonategic missile defense systems. The U.S. also signed an accordto extend the 1972 ABM treaty to four successor states of the former SovietUnionóRussia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstanóbut agreedto send the amended treaty to the Senate only after the State Duma hadratified START-II. The Russian lower house approved START-II earlier thisyear.
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3.
Pentagon Set for Potentially Decisive Missile Defense Test
        Associated Press
        July 7, 2000
        (for personal use only)

The Pentagon is counting down to a rocket launch Friday night that couldchange the course of U.S. defense policy and present the next presidentwith one of the most contentious international arms control debates indecades.

Although much is riding on the outcome the test of a national missiledefense, Defense Secretary William Cohen is trying to tamp down expectationsby saying it is not a make-or-break event.

In a sense, some missile defense critics agree. Regardless of the outcome,they believe President Clinton will move forward with building a nationwideshield against missiles.

Cohen stressed that the test, the last before Clinton makes his decision,is only one in a series of more than a dozen that will ultimately determinethe feasibility of defending all 50 states against a limited attack ofballistic missiles.

"We are trying to take it step by step because it's very, very difficulttechnology we are trying," Cohen told reporters Thursday in Tampa, Fla.,where he presided over a change of command ceremony at U.S. Central Command.

The goal of the missile defense system is to destroy a hostile warheadin space by ramming it head-on with an interceptor missile.

"We are trying to hit a bullet with a bullet," Cohen said.

Many critics believe the technology is not feasible and that the Pentagon'stesting methods are fatally flawed. Other critics say that even if it workedthe weapon would not be worth the international outcry against it -- mostnotably Russia's threat to unravel other arms control treaties.

"Recent statements by Defense Secretary William Cohen indicate thatthe Clinton administration is on a path toward approval regardless of alliedskepticism," the British American Security Information Council said Thursday.

Meanwhile, anti-nuclear activists were hoping to halt the test by positioninga ship in an area of the Pacific where a rocket stage is expected to splashdown. Greenpeace planned to station a vessel about 110 miles offshore fromVandenberg Air Force Base, said Steve Shallhorn, the group's campaign director.

The Air Force has asked pilots and mariners to avoid the area duringthe test or risk damage or injury but said the test could continue evenwith a ship in the zone.

Greenpeace also set up camp outside Vandenberg's main gate, about 180miles northwest of Los Angeles. And a group of protesters not affiliatedwith Greenpeace threatened to delay the launch by breaking into the base

The scenario for Friday's test is similar to that of the last, unsuccessfultest in January: a target missile -- a Minuteman intercontinental ballisticmissile with a dummy warhead -- launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base,Calif. Twenty minutes later, the interceptor rocket takes off from KwajaleinAtoll in the remote Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. If it worksas designed, a "kill vehicle" will detach from the interceptor rocket andguide itself into the path of the dummy warhead, destroying it by forceof impact 144 miles above the earth.

The test, scheduled for as early as 10 p.m. EDT, depending on weather,has drawn unusually close attention around the world because it could setthe stage for Clinton to give the go-ahead for building a full-scale missiledefense. The one being tested uses prototype interceptors and radars.

Clinton has said he will await Cohen's recommendation, several weeksafter the test, based on the Pentagon's assessment of the technical feasibilityand cost of the project. The Pentagon has said a system using 100 interceptormissiles would cost about $36 billion, but a more robust system with multipleintercept bases and additional missile detection capabilities would runtens of billions more.

An independent panel of retired military officers and weapons expertstold the Pentagon in a report last month that it believes missile defenseis technologically feasible, but that the Pentagon may not be able to havea reliable system in place by 2005, the target date. The date is significantbecause the CIA has said it believes North Korea could have a long-rangemissile capable of reaching U.S. soil within five years.

Vice President Al Gore, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee,favors Clinton's go-slow approach to missile defense, whereas his Republicanchallenger, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, says he would push for the earliestpossible deployment of an even broader missile defense system, even ifit meant abandoning the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, which prohibitsnational missile defense.

In Tampa, Cohen said he plans to discuss the U.S. plan with China'sleaders when he travels to Beijing next week. China and Russia are outspokenopponents of the project. Both argue that deploying a U.S. missile defensewould trigger a renewed arms race and undermine global stability.

Vladimir Yakovlev, the head of Russia's Strategic Rocket Forces, wasquoted by the Interfax news agency Friday as saying the tests "are thefirst step toward global nuclear instability."

A U.S. missile defense system, he said, would "lead directly to nuclearanarchy."

Cohen said Clinton will take China's views into account when he makeshis decision this summer or fall.

"Ultimately I think any president has to look at this situation andsay, 'Can I afford to let the American people go undefended?"' Cohen said.The United States now has no way of stopping a long-range missile in flight.

Throughout the Cold War, the United States assumed that the Soviet Unionwould not launch a missile attack because it knew the United States wouldretaliate.

Now, the concern is that a smaller state like communist North Koreamight launch a small number of missiles at the United States. The administrationfears that North Korea -- and possibly Iraq and Iran at some point -- wouldbe less rational than Soviet leaders were in considering the likelihoodof U.S. retaliation.
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4.
The End Of A Defense Doctrine
        Peter Grier
        Christian Science Monitor
        July 7, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Tonight's missile-shield test is an indication that the idea of deterrenceno longer guides America's nuclear policy.

If the United States proceeds with construction of a national missiledefense, it could mean the end of an era - the age of mutually assureddestruction.

For 40 years, MAD has been the foundation of US security strategy. ThePentagon has structured its nuclear arsenal around the belief that thebest way to deter an atomic attack is to ensure that any such blow wouldbe followed by a blistering response in kind.

That cold-war approach won't work as well against the threats of the21st century, according to defense proponents. They believe that NorthKorea and other so-called states of concern aren't as predictable, or logical,as the old Soviet leadership.

Critics say that such thinking simply demonizes states that Americansdon't understand. If North Korea is irrational, why has the US been negotiatingwith it for six years to ensure its nuclear program is peaceful?

"Nobody has said that these people don't understand survival," saysJack Mendelsohn, executive director of the Lawyers Alliance for NationalSecurity.

The US missile defense effort as a whole faces a crucial test this week.Tonight the Pentagon will launch a mock warhead from Vandenberg Air ForceBase in California. Minutes later, it will fire a 130 pound "exoatmospherickill vehicle" from an atoll in the Pacific about 4,300 miles away. Thekill vehicle is supposed to pick out the warhead from a decoy and steertowards a collision. If everything works, a flash in the sky will markthe warhead's destruction and a successful experiment.

If the test goes as planned, President Clinton may order constructionto begin on the first phase of a planned $60 billion National Missile Defense(NMD) system. If it fails, NMD critics will surely heighten their criticism- in particular, the charge that with current technology it's almost impossiblefor the kill vehicle to discriminate a warhead from a decoy.

"The system would offer little protection and would do grave harm tothis nation's core security interests," wrote a group of Nobel laureatesin a letter to Mr. Clinton this week.

But whether NMD is feasible is only part of the debate about the systemthat is now roiling the national-security establishment.

In an age when the threat from nuclear-armed superpowers has greatlydiminished, and the capabilities of a rocket science have greatly advanced,the deliberate vulnerability that underlies nuclear deterrence has becomeboth avoidable and immoral, say some.

Deterrence worked in the past because we understood much about thosewe were deterring, retired Air Force General Larry Welch told a Senatehearing last week. The US knew what the Soviet leadership valued. US commandershad high confidence that they could hold those assets at risk - and theSoviets knew it.

Such mutual understanding doesn't exist between the US and North Korea,or the US and Iraq, or the US and Iran. If these states of concern (formerlycalled "rogue states" by the State  Department) develop nuclear missilescapable of reaching the US, traditional deterrence may not stop them frompushing the button. "I simply do not know what deters those particularkinds of threats," said Welch.

Even lawmakers critical of the rush toward NMD agreed with Welch thatthere is an unknowable factor regarding US relations with North Korea orIran. US intelligence understands little about what motivates their leadersor about their geopolitical goals.

But that doesn't mean deterrence will not keep them in check, said thesesenators. To call them "undeterrable" is to label them suicidal, madmen,unpeople. "I have no confidence in North Korea either ... all I'm sayingis you can't throw out deterrence as a factor even though you don't haveas much certainty that it would work with a North Korea...," said Sen.Carl Levin (D) of Michigan.

Pentagon officials deny that NMD, as planned, is aimed at shieldingthe US entirely from Russia's nuclear arsenal, or even the smaller stockpileof China. For these states, the MAD theory would still hold, they say.

But both Chinese and Russian leaders say they worry any US missile shieldwould eventually become robust enough to protect the US from their morenumerous warheads. From their viewpoint, that would mean the end of MAD- and perhaps a growing fear that the US could strike them with impunity.They warn they would stockpile additional nuclear warheads, perhaps restartingan arms race.
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D. START

1.
Russia Ready To Reduce Nuclear Warheads, Putin Tells Hiroshima
        Agence France Presse
        July 7, 2000
        (for personal use only)

President Vladimir Putin has promised the mayors of the Japanese citiesHiroshima and Nagasaki that Russia is committed to reducing the numberof its nuclear warheads, ITAR-TASS reported Thursday.

"We are firmly committed to gradual and comprehensive disarmament bythe five leading nuclear powers," the Russian leader wrote in a letteraddressed to mayors Tadoshi Akibe and Itte Ito, according to the Kremlinpress service.

"Russia is ready to consider reducing its nuclear arsenal to 1,500 warheads,"said Putin.

The five established nuclear powers are Britain, China, France, Russiaand the United States.

Putin expressed support for nuclear-free zones being set up around theworld, saying "Russia is a signatory to most international agreements onthe creation of such zones.

"We also support efforts towards new regions of nuclear non-proliferationbeing created on the Korean peninsula, in the Middle East, in Central andEastern Europe, and in Central Asia," he said.

The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- the two Japanese cities to berazed to the ground by U.S. atomic bombs in 1945 -- had written to Putinin May after Russia ratified the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, whichhad earlier been rejected by the U.S. Senate.

Putin referred to U.S. insistence on pursuing a plan to build a NationalMissile Defense (NMD) shield which would violate the key 1972 Anti-BallisticMissile Treaty.

Russia has repeatedly appealed for the preservation of this treaty,which is "a cornerstone of strategic stability and is an indispensableprecondition for the reduction of nuclear weapons," he said.

"Unfortunately, our efforts would be shattered if America decided todeploy the NMD," said Putin, who had earlier threatened to rip up all armscontrol agreements in the event.

The United States was due to carry out a third testing of the NMD shieldon Friday.

Russia and the U.S. agreed to conduct negotiations on the strategicarms reduction treaty, START III, on the basis of reducing their warheadsto 2,000-2,500 each.

However, Moscow has called for even deeper cuts, suggesting a ceilingof 1,000-1,500 warheads, which U.S. military leaders have rejected.

On August 6, 1945, the U.S. B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped the "LittleBoy" atomic bomb on Hiroshima, killing 140,000 people by the end of thatyear.

A plutonium-239 bomb, almost twice as powerful, was dropped on Nagasakithree days later. Japan surrendered six days after that, ending World WarII.
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