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Nuclear News - 07/13/00
RANSAC Nuclear News, 13 July 2000



A. Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU)

    1. Antidumping Suspension Agreements, Ux Weekly (7/10/00)
B. Nuclear Waste
    1. Taiwan Confirm Nuclear Waste Deal, Nils Bohmer, Bellona(7/13/00)
C. Russian Nuclear Forces
    1. Russian Air Force may Take Over Nuclear Arms Say Agencies,Reuters (7/12/00)
    2. Split Atop Russian Military Reflects Contest For Power,David Hoffman, Washington Post (7/13/00)
D. ABM, Missile Defense
    1. INTERVIEW-Putin Sees U.S. Missile Concerns But No Threat Now,Oleg Shchedrov, Reuters (7/12/00)
    2. US ABM System: Pros And Cons, Vladimir Lapsky, RossiiskayaGazeta (7/12/00)
    3. U.S. Missile Plan Could Boost Beijing-Moscow Axis, Reuters(7/13/00)
E. U.S. – Russia General
    1. Russia Sets Guidelines Governing Diplomacy: Document FocusesOn Solid Economy, David Hoffman, Washington Post (7/11/00)

A. Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU)

1.
Antidumping Suspension Agreements
        Ux Weekly
        July 10, 2000
        (for personal use only)

US: Revocation of the Russian and Uzbek antidumping suspension agreementswould be likely to result in dumping at a weighted-average margin of 115.82%,the US Department of Commerce has concluded in its final rulings, affirmingthe preliminary results of the ongoing 'sunset reviews'. The review processnow rests with the International Trade Commission, expected to make itsfinal decision on whether or not 'material injury' would result to theUS markets if the agreements are lifted, and thus whether the restrictionswill remain in force, later this month.
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B. Nuclear Waste

1.
Taiwan Confirm Nuclear Waste Deal
        Nils Bohmer
        Bellona
        July 13, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) has confirmed that they have made anagreement with Russian Kurchatov Institute to export its nuclear wasteto Russia

According to Taipei Times Taipower has confirmed that a memorandum hadbeen signed with the Russian Kurchatov Institute to transfer nuclear wasteto Russia. As earlier reported on Bellona Web Russian leading nuclear researchcentre, the Kurchatov Institute, is pushing a project to build a radwastestorage site at Simushir Island, one of the Kuril Islands in the RussianFar East. In an attempt to obtain the Russian government's endorsementof the project, the institute says it will only store its own waste there,but the documents obtained by the Russian envirogroup Ecodefence! revealthat negotiations have been conducted behind the scenes with potentialclients from Taiwan.

Division head of Taipower’s public affairs department, Mr. Huang Huei-yu,said, “It’s just a preliminary plan involving 5,000 barrels of nuclearwaste”. Taipower said also it was working with other countries, includingNorth Korea and China, to find sites for final disposal of its waste.

So far there are 97,000 barrels in a temporary storage at Orchid Island,which according to Taiwan’s Atomic Energy Council has to be removed. Thetime schedule for the removal is not decided.

Taiwan’s nuclear waste may be deposited in Russia if a change in theRussian legislation, banning import of nuclear waste, is changed. The Russianlegislation might be amended in September to allow imports of both spentnuclear fuel and radioactive waste into the country. The bill amendingthe Russian Law on Environmental Protection is due to be considered inthe Russian Duma in September or October this year.
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C. Russian Nuclear Forces

1.
Russian Air Force may Take Over Nuclear Arms Say Agencies
        Reuters
        July 12, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Russia's General Staff will urge President Vladimir Putin and the DefenseMinistry to put the country's nuclear weapons under the command of theair force, Russian news agencies reported on Tuesday.

If approved, it would mean the disbanding of one of the key symbolsof Russia's superpower status over the past four decades - a separate body,the Strategic Missile Forces, overseeing the world's second biggest nucleararsenal.

Quoting informed military sources, Interfax news agency said the proposalwould be considered at talks by the military leadership at the DefenseMinistry on Wednesday.

"The time frame for a reorganization of Russia's strategic forces maybe decided as early as Wednesday's meeting," Interfax quoted the sourcesas saying.

Itar-Tass news agency said Anatoly Kvashnin, head of the General Staff,sometimes mentioned as a possible successor to Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev,would deliver the proposal.

The sources stressed that the aim was to increase efficiency and streamlinecoordination between Russian military structures. They played down anysuggestion that the changes marked a departure from Russia's defense priorities.

"The nuclear balance with the United States remains one of the key indicatorsin the area of state security," Interfax quoted them as saying.

But they also made clear that the changes would help boost Russia'sneglected conventional forces.

"Today, when nuclear weapons are a factor for political deterrence,it is essential to reduce them to a minimum which allows us to keep thebalance with the United States and to reallocate resources to conventionalforces," they told Tass.

Interfax quoted the sources as saying the proposal would have no effecton the total number of people serving in the Russian armed forces, whichat present stands at 1.2 million.

Over the past few years Sergeyev, a former head of the Strategic MissileForces, has tended to favor the nuclear deterrent as an umbrella underwhich conventional forces could be cut.

But the 10-month war in Chechnya has exposed the weaknesses of Russia'sconventional forces and Putin, elected in March, has indicated he wantsto redress some of the balance.
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2.
Split Atop Russian Military Reflects Contest For Power
        David Hoffman
        Washington Post
        July 13, 2000
        (for personal use only)
 
A festering split in the highest levels of the Russian military brokeinto the open again today in a dispute over strategic missile troops. Thefight reflects a contest for power and influence over the Russian armedforces.

The schism pits Gen. Anatoly Kvashnin, chief of the general staff, aleader of the Chechen military offensive and champion of the conventionalforces, against Marshal Igor Sergeyev, the defense minister and a formerhead of the missile troops who has long been associated with strategicnuclear forces.

Its outcome could determine who is going to control Russia's nuclearmissiles in the era of President Vladimir Putin.

The latest sign of the rift came in reports from a high-level meetingtoday of the Defense Ministry board, attended by an array of commandersas well as civilian policymakers and lawmakers. Kvashnin outlined a planto reduce the rocket forces and put them under the command of the generalstaff, the Interfax news service reported.

The strategic rocket forces are now a separate branch headed by Gen.Vladimir Yakovlev, a protege of Sergeyev. The navy and air force handlenuclear forces in submarines and on airplanes.

Although Yakovlev's reaction to Kvashnin's proposal was not known, hehas hinted in recent interviews that downsizing the rocket forces wouldbe a mistake. He told the newspaper Izvestia last week that "only ignorantpeople  can think like this" and that "changes in the strength" ofthe missile forces could "trigger another round of the nuclear arms race."

Last year, Yakovlev and Sergeyev floated a different plan that wouldhave given them more control over all nuclear forces. They proposed creatinga new unified command structure for all land, sea and air strategic nuclearforces.

The new command structure would have reduced the role of the generalstaff in nuclear deterrence, taking away the air and navy nuclear components.However, the plan was shelved, in part because of the onset of the secondChechen war, and also because it appeared to be costly and difficult toimplement.

Now, Kvashnin has come back with a plan that would go in the other direction,effectively putting the missile troops completely under the control ofthe general staff within three years, and reducing the number of land-basedtroops as missiles are dismantled under arms control treaties. While fulldetails were not clear, Interfax said Kvashnin presented the plan today.

Col. Gen. Valery Manilov, deputy chief of the general staff, said laterthat the plans were sent back for more work. He said the ultimate decisionwould be made by Putin.

Analysts said the jockeying was not likely to have an immediate impacton the structure of the armed forces, but it grows from a contest for powerand influence over the military. Sergeyev was chosen by former presidentBoris Yeltsin and military analysts have speculated that he will retireonce Putin chooses his own defense minister.

Kvashnin is clearly a leading candidate for the post. His emphasis hasbeen on building up the conventional forces, while Sergeyev and the missiletroops want to lobby for strengthening the strategic forces.
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D. ABM, Missile Defense

1.
INTERVIEW-Putin Sees U.S. Missile Concerns But No Threat Now
        Oleg Shchedrov
        Reuters
        July 12, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview he saw some meritin Washington's concerns about rogue states'  possible nuclear missileplans, but no threat from any country at the moment.

Putin -- a staunch critic of U.S. plans to build a National MissileDefence against such missiles -- told Reuters, Russia's ORT televisionand Japan's NHK television that efforts to ward off new threats shouldnot damage the existing nuclear balance.

``I believed and still believe that the position of U.S. President (BillClinton) has some basis to it,'' Putin said late on Tuesday. ``And thebasis is that we should assume that such threats can theoretically, inprinciple, emerge one day.

``But we do not believe that there are such threats now nor that theyare coming from any specific states,'' he said.

``In every concrete case we should of course clearly assess and makeit clear to everyone what we are talking about, what threats, what thescale of threat is and where it comes from.''

The United States, worried by potential threats from so-called roguestates like Iraq, Iran or North Korea, is considering setting up a systemwhich would allow it to detect and destroy any incoming ballistic missileattack.

Washington is pressing Moscow to allow changes in the 1972 Anti-BallisticMissile (ABM) pact, under which each state can protect only a limited partof its territory against such attacks.

Clinton is under domestic pressure to quit the ABM pact, which Russiasees as a backbone of all subsequent arms deals, if Moscow refuses to amendit to allow the new U.S. anti-missile shield.

MOSCOW FEARS UNPREDICTABLE CONSEQUENCES

Russia says altering the ABM could bring about unpredictable consequencesfor international stability and has offered the West the idea of settingup a multinational nonategic system which would not violate the pact.The idea is to shoot down rogue rockets as they are launched rather thanin mid-flight.

``The difference in our approaches is that we offer to move further,preserving the level of mutual trust and the balance of strategic armscreated as a result of the ABM pact, to work together on limiting potentialthreats which in theory may emerge,'' Putin said.

The Russian military has pointed to a second failed U.S. anti-missiletest as evidence that the national missile defence will not work. The systemmay cost up to $60 billion, and Russia has said its project could be realisedfor much less.

Putin reiterated Moscow's position that a further cut in atomic weaponsby the leading nuclear states could also contribute to a reduction of potentialthreats.

He repeated Moscow's call to the United States to limit the number ofeach side's nuclear warheads to 1,500 in the next arms reduction pact,rather than 2,500 as Washington would prefer.

``What can be better for mankind than reducing the threshold of thenuclear threat?'' Putin said.

``We are proposing that we should follow that road. It is clear to everyone,even if the person is not an expert.''
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2.
US ABM System: Pros And Cons
        Vladimir Lapsky
        Rossiiskaya Gazeta
        July 12, 2000
        (for personal use only)

The United States has tested its third anti-ballistic missile the otherday, albeit unsuccessfully. A Minuteman ICBM was launched from the VandenbergAir Force Base in California, what with yet another revamped ICBM streakinginto the "wild blue yonder" from Kwajalein atoll (the Marshall IslandsRepublic) some 20 minutes later. However, the United States has failedto knock down one bullet with another in the course of this widely advertisedglobal space show. Indeed, such uncontrollable technology would spell defeatfor America, if North Korea, due to be deterred by the projected nationalABM system, decides to launch its ICBMs in the direction of the UnitedStates.

Jokes aside, who stands to gain from the NMD system's deployment? Besides,I'd like to know whether such a system would enable the United States tofeel safe and tranquil. The answer to the first question seems fairly simple.Billions of federal budget appropriations would be transferred to the accountsof leading US defense industry concerns.

And now a few words about various security guarantees.  The so-calledrogue states are in no position to attack the United States from outerspace at this stage. Consequently, this threat apparently doesn't exist.Still let's assess the following scenario. Some unspecified country hasdecided to launch its nuclear-tipped ICBMs against the United States. Oneshould keep in mind that any theoretical aggressor would also boast therequired potential for outsmarting US ABM defenses and eventually breachingthem. Judging by the results of the latest ABM tests, the projected nationalABM system won't be completely missile proof.

However, all these issues are less important than the rest. It has alreadybeen noted more than once that the world would enter a dramatic periodof its history, in case the United States decides to build an upgradedABM system. The projected national ABM system would destabilize the entireglobal security system, which had evolved so painfully over the last fewyears. Besides, they have said repeatedly that America's intentions tobeef up its military potential in the Asia-Pacific region would inevitablyentail a "retaliatory" response on the part of Russia and China, in thefirst place.Russia now finds it economically inexpedient to squander billionsof roubles on specific rearmament programs. However, the self-preservationinstinct is stronger than the rest.Therefore one can safely say that Russiaand China alike would react adequately to such US actions.

The US Administration will decide to deploy a national ABM system, asplanned, before the year is out, thus abrogating the 1972-vintage ABM Treaty.It ought to be mentioned in this connection that the START-2 Treaty wasratified by the Russian State Duma several months ago, thereby paving theroad for even more drastic Russian-US strategic offensive arms cuts. Incidentally,our two countries are now consulting each other on the future START-IIItreaty's parameters. By all looks, this issue will also be discussed byVladimir Putin and Bill Clinton during the G-8's Okinawa summit. One getsthe impression that bilateral disarmament, which is now proceeding withouta hitch, might eventually be jeopardized, what with yet another arms racealso looming on the horizon. Strange, as it may seem, but the United Stateshas swelled its defense budget a great deal, spending much more money onnational military programs than it used to in the Cold War's heyday.

As is known, Russia advocates the joint development of a tactical EuropeanABM system. On July 9 the Russian Federation's Foreign Minister, Igor Ivanov,voiced a number of proposals dealing with that issue. So, here's what Russiasuggests:

-- to jointly assess the nature and scale of missile proliferationand possible missile threats;
-- to draft the relevant concept of a tactical European ABM system,as well as the required procedure for deploying such a system;
-- to establish a multilateral European early-warning center;
-- to conduct joint command-and-headquarters exercises and to implementjoint R&D projects and experiments;
-- to develop a tactical ABM system's elements.
The West used to reproach us only a short while ago that Vladimir Putin'sproposal to deploy a European ABM system was rather vague. However, everythinghas become clear today. Should the afore-said tactical ABM concept be implemented,then it would benefit all parties to that project. However, nearly everyonewould lose, if the United States moves to deploy its ABM system on Alaskacontrary to all those reasonable appeals and recommendations.
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3.
U.S. Missile Plan Could Boost Beijing-Moscow Axis
        Reuters
        July 13, 2000
        (for personal use only)

U.S. deployment of a national missile defence (NMD) system could pushChina and Russia closer together in a strategic alliance to protect commonsecurity interests, Beijing's top disarmament diplomat said on Thursday.

The warning from Sha Zukang, head of the Foreign Ministry’s Departmentof Arms Control and Disarmament, turned up the heat on Washington on thelast day of a visit by U.S. Defence Secretary William Cohen to Beijing.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to visit Beijing next week andMoscow said earlier this month it was boosting efforts to carve out a strategicpartnership with China to counteract the impact of NMD on the global balanceof power.

China and Russia have both strongly opposed NMD despite U.S. assurancesthat the system is not directed against them but at states with missileprogrammes like Iraq, North Korea, and Iran.

Sha said China did not want to start an arms race with the United Statesbut would have to take action if Washington deployed a system designedto protect vulnerable parts of the United States from long-range missiles.

"China will not sit on its hands doing nothing while seeing its securityseriously damaged," he told a news conference.

 STRATEGIC ALLIANCE WITH RUSSIA

Sha said the relationship between China and giant neighbour Russia was"not targeted at any third party".

"It's of a non-aligned nature," he said. "It's my belief this policyshould not be changed."

"Of course since this NMD will affect both international security, thesecurity of Russia and China, I can tell you I expect that we will haveto have more consultations and discussions to find out ways and means toeliminate or at least reduce this kind of security threat."

Sha declined to elaborate on how the Moscow-Beijing alliance might changeor to detail other possible retaliatory measures.

"I wish I could tell you what options we have and what options we willdo, but it's too early," he said.

"NMD has not been deployed, the decision has not even been taken andthere will be a lot of changes and uncertainties in the time to come,"he said.

A crucial test for NMD failed on Saturday, just four weeks before Cohenmust make a recommendation to U.S. President Bill Clinton on the technicalfeasibility and cost of the system. Clinton will decide the next step laterthis year.

 ABM A STRATEGIC CORNERSTONE

Sha said the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty, which the United Stateswants to alter to allow NMD, was the cornerstone of global strategic stability.

"It is only with the strategic stability as provided by the ABM treatywe will have the mutual trust, the mutual confidence knowing that you arenot going to attack me, I am not going to attack you," he said.

"Against that background we can proceed with arms control, disarmamentand non-proliferation."

Sha also suggested China was scornful of U.S. suspicions that Beijingwas supplying newly nuclear Pakistan with missile technology -- an issueCohen said on Thursday still remained to be resolved.

"As far as China is concerned we believe this matter is over," he said."I don't think the U.S. should impose sanctions on one issue three times,four times or up to 10 times. Of course if they like to do that, we don'tcare."

The United States imposed mild sanctions on China in 1991 and 1993 fortransferring M-11 short range missile components to Pakistan, but theywere lifted when Beijing agreed to abide by the guidelines of the MissileTechnology Control Regime.

Islamabad and Beijing both deny missile technology is changing hands.

"You all know how accurate their information had been on the geographicallocation of the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia," said Sha, referring tothe bombing of Beijing’s mission in Belgrade last year.

Sha said attempts to contain China -- which Cohen said on Thursday wasnot possible and not U.S. policy – were doomed to failure.

"I can assure you they will never succeed -- nobody, no one on the earthno matter superpower or not, alone, singlehandedly or with others," Shasaid.

"China will stand firm as a big power in the world."
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E. U.S. – Russia General

1.
Russia Sets Guidelines Governing Diplomacy: Document Focuses OnSolid Economy
        David Hoffman
        Washington Post
        July 11, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Russia published a new foreign policy doctrine today that looks inward,giving weight to measures intended to support the Russian economy and preserveties with the West while stopping short of global superpower ambitions.

The 22-page doctrine, signed by President Vladimir Putin, is the firstrevision since 1993. The new blueprint is also the third major securitydocument approved in recent months, following new doctrines on the militaryand a national security.

Such documents, containing carefully couched language crafted by dozensof bureaucrats, are not ironclad policies. Rather, they offer clues aboutthe current thinking of political leadership in the Kremlin. The foreignpolicy statement seems to suggest a pragmatic, pro-Western approach byPutin, but Russian policy is ever-changing, reacting to events.

Nonetheless, the new foreign policy blueprint clearly takes a more sober,downsized global outlook. Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, releasing the documenttoday, described the approach as "pragmatism" and said one of the key conceptsis that Russian foreign policy "should effectively help solve domestictasks."

"Today our foreign policy resources are limited . . . and we will concentratethem first and foremost in areas of vital importance to us," Ivanov said.In addition to security, he listed "favorable conditions for Russia's economicgrowth" and protection of Russians abroad as areas of vital importance.

Denying that Russia intends "to narrow the sphere of our foreign policyas such," he said, "what we are aiming to do is to make it more rational,more sustainable politically and economically."

He did not describe a global agenda with interests in every hot spotand every corner. Rather, Ivanov said, the document "puts at the centerof our entire foreign policy activities the pursuance of national interests."

Ivanov did not use "great power" once in his opening remarks about Russia'srole in the world.

The emphasis on economics is in part a response to criticism that theForeign Ministry has been slow to defend such national interests as thecompetition for Caspian Sea oil in recent years. Ivanov said that whenthe doctrine speaks about defending economic interests, it means "firstof all, the fuel and energy area." Though production has dropped drasticallyin the past decade, Russia remains a major oil exporter and has vast petroleumreserves. It also is a leading exporter of natural gas and the world'sleading combined exporter of energy.

The national security doctrine published in January reflected a growingapprehension about the West in the aftermath of the NATO air campaign againstYugoslavia last year and amid continuing disagreements over Chechnya andarms control.

However, the new foreign policy blueprint takes a more restrained view.It says that Russia "attaches great importance" to its work in the Groupof Eight--made up of Russia and the seven major industrial democracies—andcalls for closer cooperation with the European Union. The blueprint saysMoscow intends to seek "broad integration of Russia in the system of worldeconomic ties."

The new doctrine also incorporates familiar Russian positions, suchas strengthening the United Nations and criticism of NATO's new strategicconcept. The doctrine advocates the creation of a "multi-polar" world incontrast to the "unipolar structure of the world with the economic andpower domination of the United States."

But it also takes a moderate tone on relations with the United States,saying Moscow is prepared to overcome recent difficulties in order to avoidinterruption of negotiations, as occurred during the Kosovo crisis lastyear.

The doctrine reiterates Russia's opposition to a limited national missiledefense plan being considered by the United States. But while some Russianmilitary leaders have threatened that missile defense deployment wouldimperil previously signed treaties, the new doctrine pledges that Russiawill "unswervingly fulfill" earlier arms control commitments. If the UnitedStates goes ahead with deployment, the doctrine says, Russia will respondwith "adequate measures" that it did not specify.
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