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Nuclear News - 07/19/00
RANSAC Nuclear News, 19 July 2000


A. U.S. – Russia General

    1. Turner, Nunn Seek Private Means To Limit Nuclear Threats,Don Melvin and Maria Saporta, Atlanta Journal-Constitution (7/13/00)
B. Nuclear Waste
    1. Duma Environmentalists About Radwaste Storage On Simushir,Bellona (7/18/00)
C. ABM, Missile Defense
    1. Senator Biden July 14 On National Missile Defense, China,USIA (7/17/00)
    2. China, Russia Attack U.S. Missile Shield Plan, Paul Eckert,Reuters (7/18/00)
D. Russia – Iran
    1. Pentagon Fears Russia, China Helping Iran Build BallisticMissile, Chris Plante CNN (7/19/00)

A. U.S. – Russia General

1.
Turner, Nunn Seek Private Means To Limit Nuclear Threats
        Don Melvin and Maria Saporta
        Atlanta Journal-Constitution
        July 13, 2000
        (for personal use only)
 
Two of Georgia's most prominent citizens --- Atlanta billionaire TedTurner and former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn --- are teaming up in a major effortto create a foundation dedicated to reducing the threat of nuclear weaponsand materials around the world.

The two men will announce today they are launching a study "to determinethe impact that a private organization with significant resources couldhave on reducing the nuclear threat."

The study, which will last through December, will be supervised by Nunnand will cost Turner between $400,000 and $1 million.

But the goal is much larger than a study. If Nunn's inquiries show thata private organization could play a useful role, the most likely outcomewould be the creation of a well-funded foundation paid for by Turner andrun by Nunn.

"That's certainly a possibility that Ted and I have discussed," Nunnsaid Wednesday in a telephone interview from Monterey, Calif., where hewas attending an international conference on nonproliferation.

Turner has long been known for the bold philanthropic stroke. In 1991,he created the Turner Foundation, which grants tens of millions of dollarsa year to organizations concerned with protecting the environment and reducingpopulation growth.

In 1997, Turner announced he would give $1 billion over 10 years toUnited Nations-related projects. So far, that effort has awarded more than$275 million to projects around the world dealing with children's health,population and women's issues, peace and security, and the environment.

Nunn would not say how much money Turner is willing to devote to thenew effort to curb nuclear weapons, saying the amount will depend on theresults of the study. But it will be a significant amount.

"Ted has made clear to me that he is talking about a very substantialcommitment and very substantial resources," Nunn said. "He has talked interms of an effort of what I would call unprecedented magnitude."

Nunn termed Turner's dedication to the project as equal to his commitmentto the U.N. Foundation, though the financial contribution may not be asgreat.

Turner was not available Wednesday for an interview, his office said.But a statement issued by Turner said recent discussions with experts havetaught him two important things:

"First, in the post-Cold War era, the nuclear threat has become, inmany ways, more complex and dangerous. Second, if we are to reduce thenuclear threat, we need to raise public awareness and inspire leadershipand cooperation around the world. It is my hope that this scoping studywill determine whether --- and if so, how --- we can play a role in meetingthat challenge."

The effort brings together two men of huge accomplishments and vastlydifferent styles.

Turner, 61, the founder of CNN and a vice chairman of Time Warner, hasa reputation as a brash, sometimes impulsive achiever who tends to wantthings done yesterday.

Nunn, also 61 and former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee,is known as a methodical and deliberate statesman more inclined to cautionthan impulse.

The ex-senator from Perry acknowledged those differences.

"We have different styles not just on the surface, but probably whenyou scratch down a ways," Nunn said with a soft laugh. "But that's oneof the questions --- can we basically complement each other and use thestrengths each of us has to tackle what I think is the most important securityquestion facing mankind? And I believe we can, and Ted believes we can.But we want to make sure we have a meeting of the minds, and where we differwe want to make sure that those differences are things that are not goingto block a successful effort."

Nunn said he and Turner have traits in common, as well.

"Ted is known as someone who is bold and gets things done," he said."I hope I'm seen as someone who gets things done. This combination is what'sexciting to me."

The announcement expected today will say the study will examine theeffect a private organization could have on four areas:

Stemming the proliferation of nuclear weapons, materials and know-how.

Enhancing the security and safety of nuclear weapons and materials.

Reducing the chances of intentional or accidental use of nuclear weapons.

Building the trust, accountability and confidence essential to progressin arms reductions and in furthering the goals of the Nuclear NonproliferationTreaty.

Nunn said he has been involved in nuclear issues since 1974, when hevisited a NATO tactical nuclear weapons base and concluded that one ofour greatest challenges was preventing the accidental or unauthorized useof the weapons. His involvement as a senator increased further after thebreakup of the Soviet Union, he said.

He and Turner have been discussing this initiative for several months,he said.

Nunn said that the threat of an all-out nuclear war has diminished significantlyin the past 10 or 12 years. But the danger is not over, he said.

"I think the threat of the use of a nuclear weapon by some group atsome point in time in the next few years has gone up," he said. "Now that'sa big distinction but it's an important one, because proliferation is occurring,nuclear knowledge is spreading, the ability to make nuclear weapons thatwas formerly mainly governments' is now spread through the Internet. .. . One of the key things is preventing the nuclear materials from joiningup with the know-how in terrorist groups or in irresponsible nations."

Nunn said whether a private foundation can play a significant role willbe determined, in important respects, by the answers to two questions.One is whether a distinction between what governments ought to do and whatprivate organizations ought to do can be successfully made. The other iswhether Turner's money can induce other organizations and governments toincrease their own contributions.

Nunn, who is a partner in the Atlanta law firm King & Spalding,will carry out the study with Charles Curtis, a former deputy secretaryof energy.

Nunn said the study will determine which, among what he said were hundredsof needs, might be best filled by a foundation. He cited these possibilitiesas examples:

Helping, through high-risk investments, commercial businesses disposeof nuclear material.

Helping scientists in Russia's "nuclear cities" --- about 10 isolatedcities that have both the experts and the materials necessary to make nuclear,chemical and biological weapons, but to which funding has been cut ---obtain "gainful, meaningful, constructive employment" so they are not temptedor forced to sell their expertise elsewhere.

Helping dismantle missile-carrying submarines. "There are all thesenuclear reactors on 100 Russian submarines, and nobody is addressing theproblem and they are just deteriorating in the oceans of the world," Nunnsaid. The foundation might use its money to convince governments as thosein the Scandinavian countries and Japan to spend some of their money todismantle the submarines and protect their own environments, he said.

Being available to engage in private diplomacy in areas such as Indiaand Pakistan, if the U.S. government cannot. Such efforts, Nunn said, wouldbe undertaken only in close coordination with the government.

The U.S. government is spending $600,000 to $700,000 a year on nucleararms control. The foundation wants to work with the government, supplementing--- but certainly not replacing --- its efforts, Nunn said.

Without getting others to ante up, he said, the initiative will be doomedto fail.

"If you can't leverage this money," Nunn said, "even Ted's fortunesare not enough to penetrate the problem."
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B. Nuclear Waste

1.
Duma Environmentalists About Radwaste Storage On Simushir
        Bellona
        July 18, 2000
        (for personal use only)

The Duma Environmental Committee is against import of nuclear waste,but in favour of construction of radwaste storage in the earthquake zone.

July 1, 2000, Russian daily Segodnya reported about the project of importingspent nuclear fuel and radioactive materials from Taiwan to Russia, andits further storage at Simushir Island, one of the Kuril Islands in theRussian Far East. In early June this year, the leaders of the major StateDuma factions, the lower house of the Russian parliament, the head of theRussian Cabinet and the Minister for Natural Resources received a letterfrom Sergey Shashurin, Deputy Chairman of the Duma Environmental Committee.They were all asked to support construction of a storage site for KurchatovInstitute radioactive waste at the Kuril Islands. And so they did, exceptfor the Union of Rightist Forces headed by Boris Nemtsov.

Already one week after the article was published the Environmental Committeeof the Russian State Duma stepped up its rhetoric against plans to buildradioactive waste storage. "The Committee examined the documents presentedto the Government and the article in Segodnya.  The Committee didnot support initiative of deputy Sergey Shashurin and drew attention ofthe Government that these actions were unacceptable," Vladimir Mandrygin,chief of the Committee administration, said to Segodnya.

Segodnya also wrote that it seemed like Vladimir Mandrygin found outabout the initiative of the member of his Committee only from the newspaper,while nearly the whole State Duma was aware of the project and supportedit. The head of the committee could not explain to Segodnya which of theShashurin's initiatives was not supported by the committee - radwaste storagesite construction or import of nuclear waste from Taiwan.

Co-chairman for ECODEFENSE! Vladimir Slivyak, who obtained the projectdocuments, referring to a source in the State Duma said that "Duma environmentalists"were only against import of nuclear waste. It means that the idea of constructingradwaste storage site at the island is still in force. The Sakhalin departmentof the Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoringasked the Moscow head office about possible construction of radwaste storageat Simushir island. "The issue about construction of radioactive wastestorage at Simushir was really raised in the State Duma. No decision hasbeen made. A representative of the Ministry of Atomic Energy said thatconstruction of radwaste storage at this island was unacceptable as itwas situated in the earthquake zone," said Valery Chelyukanov, Chief ofEnvironmental Programs and Pollution Monitoring Department of the RussianFederal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring.
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C. ABM, Missile Defense

1.
Senator Biden July 14 On National Missile Defense, China
        USIA
        July 17, 2000
        (for personal use only)
 
Just as the United States has concerns over what China is doing inthe field of weapons proliferation, so too does China have worries aboutthe implications of a U.S. National Missile Defense (NMD) system, accordingto Senator Joseph Biden (Democrat of Delaware).

China fears the United States could exploit its status as "the world'sonly superpower," while U.S. officials concern themselves with China'sproliferation of weapons of mass destruction and "its intimidation tacticsagainst Taiwan," Biden said in a July 14 Senate speech.

"Let me put it bluntly," Biden told his Senate colleagues, "China doesnot believe that National Missile Defense is oriented against North Korea."

The Delaware Democrat questioned the idea that North Korea's leadershipwould seriously consider risking their survival by threatening the UnitedStates with nuclear weapons.

"Who can blame China for questioning this rationale for a national missiledefense? I question it myself," he added.

The Chinese know that if North Korea presses ahead with its missileprogram, the United States is "almost certain to deploy a national missiledefense against that threat," Biden said.

Even a limited U.S. anti-missile system would "seriously undermine China'stiny nuclear deterrent," he said.

The Beijing regime, Biden said, "calculates that any U.S. system sufficientto deal with 10-12 North Korean missiles could also handle 10-20 ChineseICBMs. And guess what? Notwithstanding our repeated protests to the contrary,they are probably right."

Biden said the Senate had not yet "taken the time to consider the implicationsof deploying a limited national missile defense for our broader strategicinterests in East Asia."
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2.
China, Russia Attack U.S. Missile Shield Plan
        Paul Eckert
        Reuters
        July 18, 2000
        (for personal use only)
 
Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Russian leader  Vladimir Putinwarned the United States of ``grave'' security consequences if  itgoes ahead with plans to build missile shields.

``The plan by the United States to develop a National Missile DefenceSystem (NMD) seeks unilateral military and security advantages,'' theysaid in a joint statement, referring to a shield for the United States.

``Implementing this plan will have the most grave adverse consequencesnot only to the national security of Russia, China and other countries,but also to the security and international strategic stability of the UnitedStates itself.''

China and Russia said missile shields for the United States and Asiathreatened a new arms race, according to the statement, which capped asummit between two formerly hostile neighbours brought closer by commonsuspicion of U.S. intentions.

But diplomats said the statement revealed they were not united on theissue.

``When you get down to the nitty gritty, they are still two countrieswith distinct strategic interests,'' a diplomat said.

Nothing in the joint statement indicated that Russia was abandoningits position that it may be prepared to allow the 1972 Anti-Ballistic MissileTreaty to be changed to let the United States to build an NMD, he said.

``This still is a step short of ruling out that Russia might at somestage accept amendments to ABM,'' he said. ``Russia doesn't want to foreclosethat option.''

In a move that would be bitterly opposed by China, Russia is thoughtto be open to minor ABM revisions in an effort to negotiate nuclear weaponscuts with the United States to reduce Moscow's burden of keeping an expensiveand unsafe arsenal.

A RUSE?

Washington has proposed building a NMD system against missile attacksfrom ``states of concern'' such as North Korea, Iran and Iraq and a TheatreMissile Defence (TMD) system to shield its troops and allies in Asia.

Such reasoning was ``actually a ruse to cover its attempt to violatethe ABM,'' the Sino-Russian statement said.

China, widely thought to have provided missile technology to some ofthe states Washington is most worried about, has suggested ominously itwould rethink previous non-proliferation pledges if the United States goesahead with the NMD.

China is even more vehemently opposed to a TMD system. Beijing fearsit would cover Taiwan, which China regards as a rebel province and hasthreatened to invade if the island declares independence or drags its feeton reunification talks.

The statement made plain Russian support for that opposition.

``The incorporation of Taiwan into any foreign missile defence systemis unacceptable and will seriously undermine regional stability,'' it said.

Putin's second meeting with Jiang this month followed a visit to Chinalast week by U.S. Defence Secretary William Cohen.

Cohen's trip was aimed at putting back on track military ties frozenafter NATO's bombing of the Beijing embassy in Belgrade last year.

He also tried to assure the Communist leadership the TMD plan was notaimed at China. But Beijing had said in advance nothing Cohen could saywould ease the vehemence of its opposition to TMD.

It says the U.S. belief that North Korea could build a missile capableof hitting the United States by 2005 exaggerates the threat from Pyongyang.

Washington urged Putin, who flies on Wednesday to North Korea on thefirst visit by any Russian or Soviet leader to the Stalinist state, topress Pyongyang about its missile programme.

NEW KIND OF RELATIONSHIP

Despite the statement's focus on the United States, Jiang said the evolvingBeijing-Moscow axis was ``a new type of cooperative relationship whichis not an alliance, not confrontational and not aimed at any third country.''

Jiang, a Soviet-trained engineer, called it an ``important success''and said China and Russia would ``completely cooperate in the areas ofpolitics, economics, science and technology, military affairs and internationalaffairs.''

The cosiness of ties between Jiang and Putin was underscored by closed-doortalks which ran nearly double the allotted one hour and opened with banterin Russian.

Beijing and Moscow have found further common ground in opposition tointernational intervention in domestic conflicts on humanitarian grounds,for example over Kosovo last year.

Both countries are targets of Western criticism over their human rightsrecords, especially in Chechnya and Tibet. They say their domestic policiesare their own affairs.

China is a key customer for Russian oil, natural gas and arms whileRussia wants better access to China's huge market.

Xinhua news agency reported on Monday that two-way trade between thetwo giant neighbours rose 31.56 percent year-on-year to $3.56 billion inthe first half of this year.

Bilateral trade is on pace to eclipse last year's $5 billion, but itis far below recent pledges to hit $20 billion by 2000.

After visiting North Korea, Putin heads for the southern Japanese islandof Okinawa on Friday evening for the annual gathering of the Group of Eightnations, which also includes the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain,France, Italy and Canada.
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D. Russia - Iran

1.
Pentagon Fears Russia, China Helping Iran Build Ballistic Missile
        Chris Plante
        CNN
        July 19, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Pentagon officials have expressed serious concern that Russia and perhapsChina are helping Iran in its development of longer-range, ballistic missiles.

Their reaction follows a successful test launch Saturday by Iran ofthe Shahab-3 missile.

The Shahab-3 has a range of up to 900 miles, said Department of Defensespokesman Kenneth Bacon. Other versions thought to be in development wouldhave an even greater range.

"We're very concerned about help they've (Iran) been getting on a varietyof programs, some from Russia, and some, we believe, from China as well,"Bacon said. "And we've voiced our concern both to the governments of Russiaand China about this. And we will continue to voice our concern about effortsthat aid the proliferation of missiles."

The missile "puts Iran in a position to strike concentrations of ourtroops in the Middle East and also to strike other countries in the MiddleEast," he said.

"It could also put Iran in a position to strike parts of Russia, dependingon where the missile would be based," Bacon warned.

Iran cites defensive needs

Iran said Tuesday the latest missile test was only for defensive purposes.

The Shahab-3 is modeled mainly on North Korea's Nodong-1 and has beenimproved with Russian technology.

Stymied by a Western embargo since its 1980-1988 war with Iraq, Iranhas embarked on a strategy of copying and developing military hardware.

"As it was announced before, the test was done to boost the country'sdefensive capability and as a deterring force," said Iranian foreign ministerKamal Kharrazi.

Test could raise stakes for U.S. defense system

Saturday's test likely will aggravate debate over U.S. interest in buildinga national missile defense system.

Secretary of Defense William Cohen said the test demonstrates why theUnited States should create its own defense network.

But the proposed system has been widely criticized by leaders in Europeas well as Russia and China. Some fear that if the United States goes aheadwith such a system, it will alter the delicate nuclear balance of powernow in place in the world.

U.S. also worries about intercontinental missile

U.S. officials have cited what they call an emerging ballistic missilethreat from "states of concern" such as North Korea, Iran and Iraq as justificationfor such a system.

Bacon said U.S. officials are not just worried about the Shahab-3. TheIranians are contemplating building longer-range missiles such as the Shahab-5that could have an intercontinental range, he said.

"There isn't any conceivable reason why Iran needs a missile of intercontinentalrange if it's worried about regional security issues," Bacon said. "Italready has, in the Shahab-3, a missile that should allow it to deter orintimidate, if that's its goal, its neighbors. So it's a little puzzlingwhy they would want missiles of longer range, but apparently they are workingon those."
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