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Nuclear News - 10/26/00
RANSAC Nuclear News, 26 October 2000
Compiled by Ethan Penfield and Christopher Ficek



A.  Nuclear Cities Initiative
    1. Retooling Russia’s Nuclear Cities, Matthew Bunn, RussiaWatch Bulletin - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs atHarvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government (10/2000)
B. Plutonium Disposition
    1. G-8 To Tackle Disposal Of Russian Plutonium, Hisane Masaki,Japan Times (10/25/00)
    2. News Update [Russian MOX Leasing], Uranium Institute (10/24/00)
    3. USA Buys Russian Plutonium-Processing Device, BBC MonitoringService  (10/20/00)
C.  START
    1. Press Release [START Discussions], Russian FederationMinistry of Foreign Affairs (10/19/00)
D.  Submarine Dismantlement
    1. U.S. Cash Helps Russian Nuclear Shipyard Limp On¸Reuters (10/22/00)
E. Russian Nuclear Forces
    1. New Akula Class Sub To Enter Service After 4-Year Delay,Bellona (10/23/00)
    2. Omon Ensures Energy Supplies To Tambov Debtors, RFE/RL(10/20/00)
F. Russia - Iran
    1. Ex-Top Officials Concerned Over Gore's Secret Russian Deal,Bill Gertz, Washington Times (10/25/00)
    2. Russia Speeds Up Nuclear Power Plant Construction In Iran,Bellona (10/25/00)
G. CTBT
    1. A Foreign Policy For The Global Age [excerpt], NationalSecurity Advisor Samuel R. Berger, The White House (10/23/00)
H.  Russian Military
    1. Military-Industrial Complexity, The Russia Journal (10/26/00)
I. Nuclear Waste
    1. Nuclear Power Ministry Denies Waste Import Report, RFE/RL(10/25/00)
    2. Nuclear Waste Referendum Progresses, Galina Stolyarova,St. Petersburg Times (10/24/00)
    3. Plea Over Russian Nuclear Plans, Andrew Jack, FinancialTimes (10/24/00)
    4. Russia to Dispose of Waste from Bulgarian Nuclear Plant,Reuters (10/24/00)



A. Nuclear Cities Initiative

1.
Retooling Russia’s Nuclear Cities
        Matthew Bunn
        Russia Watch Bulletin -Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard's John F.Kennedy School of Government
        October 2000
        (for personal use only)

In Russia today, there remain ten entire cities, home to three quartersof a million people, built only for the purpose of designing and producingnuclear weapons and the nuclear material for them.  These cities,once secret, still closed off from the outside world by barbed wire andarmed troops, now receive only one-seventh the funding for weapons workthey received a decade ago.  In the post-Cold War world, Russia doesnot need and cannot afford such a vast nuclear complex — and the effortto sustain it without the budget to do so creates serious perils, not onlyfor Russia but also for the entire international community.  At thesame time, these cities, with tens of thousands of highly skilled scientistsand engineers willing to work for wages far below what their counterpartsin the West receive, represent an important opportunity for Russian andWestern business.

The dangers are dramatically highlighted by the 1998 arrest of an armsexpert at Sarov (formerly Arzamas-16), Russia’s premier nuclear weaponsdesign laboratory, for spying on behalf of Iraq — a development investigatorsblamed on the “very difficult financial position” facing Russia’s nuclearexperts. In November 1998, at Snezhinsk (formerly Chelyabinsk-70), Russia’sother major nuclear weapons design lab, 3,000 workers went on strike, protesting“constant undernourishment, insufficient medical service, and inabilityto buy clothing and footwear for children or to pay for their education.”In the same year, a group of conspirators at another of Russia’s largestnuclear weapons facilities attempted to steal 18.5 kilograms of highly-enricheduranium (HEU), an essential ingredient of nuclear weapons.

It is in the interest of both Russia and the rest of the world to cooperateto shrink Russia’s nuclear weapons complex to an affordable size suitablefor its post-Cold War missions — and the United States and Russia are attemptingto do just that through a new program known as the Nuclear Cities Initiative(NCI).   This effort complements direct efforts to improve securityand accounting for nuclear material, or control of nuclear secrets, inRussia’s vast nuclear complex. For unless the root causes of the desperationthat can create incentives to steal nuclear material or sell nuclear secretscan be addressed, no amount of treating the symptoms is likely to be fullyeffective.

A small non-government group of Russian and American experts, the Russian-AmericanNuclear Security Advisory Council (RANSAC) has been working with both governmentsto address this challenge for several years.  RANSAC provided manyof the ideas that convinced the two governments to establish NCI, convincedthe US Congress to provide NCI its first funding, and has been advocatingnew approaches to strengthen the effort since then, while continuing toresearch the issue.

The scale of the problem is daunting, however.  The nuclear facilitiesin these 10 cities still employ more than 120,000 people — about 60 percentof whom work on “defense orders.”  The Ministry of Atomic Energy (MINATOM)plans to reduce the number of defense workers in these cities by 45,000over the next five to seven years.  To prevent mass unemployment amongthe custodians of nuclear materials and secrets, tens of thousands of tenuouscurrent civilian jobs have to be preserved, tens of thousands of new jobscreated, and tens of thousands more people will have to be encouraged toretire (through provision of a livable pension).

MINATOM estimates the cost of creating one new sustainable job at roughly$10,000, making the total cost of re-employment roughly $500 million —with a comparable amount needed to close and clean up the facilities tomake way for new businesses (and another $300 million needed to replacethe heat and power provided by the reactors still producing weapons-gradeplutonium in two of the nuclear cities).

Sustaining and creating jobs on a large scale is difficult anywherein Russia, but in the nuclear cities — intentionally designed to be remoteand difficult to access, still requiring a six-week background check bythe Federal Security Service before any visit, even more unaccustomed tofree markets and business development than most of the rest of Russia —it is a particularly formidable challenge.

Russia is making substantial investments of its own resources in thisdaunting task, and having some considerable success.  And althoughprogress in creating jobs through the joint NCI effort has been slow, someopportunities now appear to be opening up.

First, the stabilization of the Russian economy and national budgetduring 1999 and 2000 has already dramatically improved the situation inthe nuclear cities.  Months-long wage arrears have largely vanished,guards are no longer leaving their posts to forage for food, and new businessesare slowly being established.

Second, President Putin seems to understand the issue: he devoted afew lines of his five-minute speech at the United Nations Millennium Summitto the control of plutonium and highly-enriched uranium, the essentialingredients of nuclear weapons. He traveled to Snezhinsk soon after takingover as Acting President and spoke of a vision for eventually opening thecities, after the most modern security systems had been installed for thenuclear facilities themselves. After the Kursk tragedy, he signed a decreeincreasing pay for nuclear workers; and he has made tough decisions tounilaterally reduce Russia’s active strategic nuclear forces.

Third, after years of largely failed conversion efforts, MINATOM hasput together a coherent conversion program that includes competition amongprojects for funding, based on specified business criteria, with some independentreview of proposals.

Some substantial successes have already been achieved — often independentof U.S. help. In one of Russia’s uranium cities, a kilometer-long buildingthat once housed a massive gaseous diffusion uranium enrichment facilitywas shut down, cleaned out, and modified to produce audio and videotapesunder license to the German firm BASF; it profitably produced some 10 milliontapes last year.

Fourth, within the context of the NCI effort, new “Open Computing Centers”have already been established at Sarov and Snezhinsk, allowing former weaponsscientists to use their formidable computing skills on software developmenton contract to Western firms.  Intel has been employing a group offormer weaponeers at Sarov for some time, and Motorola is now writing substantialcontracts there.  International development centers — which providefacilities and computing capacity to visiting businessmen, and a full rangeof business consulting services, from help with business plans and proposaldevelopment to assistance in making contacts with potential investors andstrategic partners — have been established in Zheleznogorsk (formerly Krasnoyarsk-26)and Snezhinsk.  On a trip to Russia this summer, Secretary of EnergyBill Richardson christened the opening of the Sarov “Techno-Park,” 10 buildingsthat once were part of the Avangard nuclear weapons assembly and disassemblyfacility, which will now be opened for commercial development. The firstcontracts are with the German firm Fresenius, to produce components forkidney dialysis equipment.

Despite this good news, NCI is struggling.  Although RANSAC hadoriginally recommended a four-fold focus on business development, energyR&D, environmental and cleanup R&D, and nonproliferation analysisand R&D, NCI has focused almost exclusively on the extraordinarilydifficult task of creating commercial jobs in these closed cities, whosepersonnel have precious little market experience.  Both the Russiansand the U.S. Congress are growing impatient that so few new jobs have beencreated so far.

Congress, meanwhile, has seen NCI as a nebulous and open-ended jobsprogram for Russians, of which the nonproliferation benefits were impossibleto quantify, and has thus been quite skeptical about its budget. Seeing that this growing skepticism on both sides could destroy the programif left unchecked, Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) sponsored legislation thisyear that sought to tie substantially increased funding for NCI — crucialif the job is to get done — to Russian agreement to a set of measurablemilestones for the shut-down of weapons production facilities.  Ineffect, Domenici’s message was: “more money for jobs in return for moreshut down of facilities that threaten the United States.”  This approach— modified by hard-liners to include less money and more stringent conditionsthan Domenici had originally proposed — passed the Senate, and is now inconference with the House.

The ultimate question–whether it will be possible to shrink Russia’snuclear weapons complex to a sustainable size and re-employ its peoplein civilian jobs before disaster strikes — remains unanswered.  Thereis an enormous amount of work to do, and Domenici’s initiative, crucialthough it is, is only a first step.

But there is also a wide range of remarkable opportunities created bythe vast underused talent pool in Russia’s nuclear cities.  Approachessuch as the Open Computing Centers — where Western firms can contract forwork by Russian experts that can be done over the internet, without havingto tie up fixed capital investments in the uncertain Russian environment— are particularly promising.  With expertise across a broad rangeof science and technology, if Russia’s nuclear experts become better ableto market themselves, they may have a bright future in the huge globalmarket for contract R&D.  As the Russian economy stabilizes, Westernfirms may become more willing to make the capital investments that willbe needed to take advantage of some of the other skills in the nuclearcities, from precision welding to high-tech assembly.
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B. Plutonium Disposition

1.
G-8 To Tackle Disposal Of Russian Plutonium
        Hisane Masaki
        Japan Times
        October 25, 2000
        (for personal use only)

The Group of Eight countries will begin full-scale talks on an internationalfinancing scheme for Russia's disposal of weapons-grade plutonium as partof an effort to curb the global proliferation of nuclear weapons, governmentsources said Tuesday.

The sources said that the G-8 nonproliferation experts' group, or NPEG,will meet in Tokyo in the middle of next month to discuss the issue forthe first time since the G-8 summit in Okinawa Prefecture in July.

NPEG consists of senior G-8 government officials in charge of arms controland nonproliferation. Japan holds the rotating one-year G-8 presidencyuntil the end of this year.

At the Okinawa summit, top leaders from the G-8 countries -- the UnitedStates, Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Russia -- agreedto work out the international financing scheme for the disposal of Russianweapons-grade plutonium before they meet again in Genoa, Italy next summer.

The Okinawa summit followed U.S. President Bill Clinton's visit to Moscowin early June -- his first since Vladimir Putin formally took office asthe new Russian president in May to succeed Boris Yeltsin. In their meeting,Clinton and Putin agreed to dispose of 34 tons of weapons-grade plutoniumeach.

Although the U.S. can dispose of that amount of weapons-grade plutoniumon its own, cashapped Russia cannot. The cost of disposing 34 tonsof Russian-held plutonium under the U.S.-Russia agreement is estimatedto be between $1.7 billion and $1.9 billion.

In a communique issued at the end of the Okinawa summit, the G-8 leaderssaid: "The transparent, safe, secure, environmentally sound and irreversibledisposition and management of weapons-grade plutonium no longer requiredfor defense purposes remains vital."

The communique then described the early June agreement between the U.S.and Russia as a "critical milestone."

"Our goal for the next summit (in Genoa) is to develop an internationalfinancing plan for plutonium management and disposition based on a detailedproject plan, and a multilateral framework to coordinate this cooperation,"the communiqué says.

According to the government sources, Russia plans to pay about $1 billion-- nearly half of the plutonium-disposal cost -- in kind by providing landand facilities for the project. The U.S. has already declared it will pay$400 million, and Britain has committed $100 million. France is reportedlyconsidering contributing $60 million.

Although Japan has informally told its G-8 counterparts that it is readyto pay between $30 million and $40 million, government sources said thatJapan may face political pressure, especially from the U.S., to contributemore. One government source said that Japan's financial burden may eventuallyrise to nearly $100 million.

The sources said that the G-8 countries will consider establishing aninternational framework to encourage countries other than the G-8 membersto participate in the Russian plutonium-disposal project, possibly openinga special account in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

In fact, the G-8 communique issued in Okinawa says that the G-8 countries"will expand our cooperation to other interested countries in order togain the widest possible international support, and will explore the potentialfor both public and private funding."

According to the government sources, the forthcoming NPEG meeting inTokyo will also follow up on agreements reached on other issues at theOkinawa summit, including an agreement to consider the proposed GlobalMonitoring System as a supplementary scheme for the Missile TechnologyControl Regime.
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2.
News Update [Russian MOX Leasing]
        Uranium Institute
        October 24, 2000
        (for personal use only)

[NB00.43-14] A plan to lease Russian-made MOX fuel for use in westernEuropean reactors appears to depend on obtaining consent from the Germangovernment, it is reported. Minatom says the MOX export is needed to financethe operation of a MOX fabrication plant to recycle surplus military plutoniumunder the US-Russian bilateral agreement signed in September. Accordingto Minatom, it would not be possible for it to burn the MOX quickly enoughin its own VVER reactors to meet the timescale the US would prefer, butleasing the fuel for use in western European reactors already licensedto burn MOX would enable it to do so as well as raising cash to help withthe disposition programme. (NuclearFuel, 16 October, p9; see also NewsBriefing 00.36-16)
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3.
USA Buys Russian Plutonium-Processing Device
        BBC Monitoring Service
        October 20, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Text of report in English by Russian AVN Military News Agency web site

Dimitrovgrad, Southern Russia, 20th October: The US Lawrence LivermoreNational Laboratory (LLNL) has purchased a device for extracting saltsfrom ceramic materials from the Russian Research Institute of Nuclear Reactors,a source in the institute's management told the Military News Agency.
 
The laboratory is the leading US organization within the Energy Departmentprogramme on reprocessing of plutonium by means of immobilization (burial).The purchase was made within the Russian-US programme on conversion ofmilitary plutonium. The value of the contract is not disclosed. Accordingto the chief of the fissionable materials programme, this is the firstcase when the Russian equipment for reprocessing US plutonium has beenbought.
 
Prior to that the US factories used a traditional way when washing,filtering and drying of plutonium were made with personnel presence andwere technologically separated. The Russian device will allow them to unifyand automate the process, and which is more important, to considerablyreduce possibility of radiation influence on operating personnel.
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C. START

1.
Press Release [START Discussions]
        Russian Federation Ministryof Foreign Affairs
        October 19, 2000
        (for personal use only)

On October 16-18 a regular round of Russian-American consultations onSTART/ABM problems took place in Moscow, with Yuri Kapralov, Director ofthe Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Security and Disarmament Department,leading the group of Russian experts and U.S. Under Secretary of StateJohn Holum heading the American group. The American diplomat was also receivedfor a conversation by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the RussianFederation Georgy Mamedov.  The consultations are being held in accordancewith the understandings of the Russian and U.S. presidents, embodied intheir joint statement adopted in Cologne on June 20, 1999, and have beensubordinated to a common task: not to allow a pause in the Russian-Americandialogue even in a year of "double presidential elections".

In the course of the discussions, the Russian side explained and fleshedout the proposals on major areas of START III talks, handed over by RussianPresident Vladimir Putin to U.S. President Bill Clinton during the OkinawaG8 Summit in July of 2000. In particular, the proposal was reconfirmedfor cutting down the arsenal of strategic offensive arms of each of thesides to 1,500 warheads, which would be a radical step for nuclear disarmamentcompared with the levels set by the START II Treaty (3,000-3,500 units)and by the presidential Helsinki understandings (2,000-2,500 units). TheAmerican side was called on to show reciprocal readiness for such a deepcut in strategic offensive arms. Explanations were given with regard tothe need to account in a START III Treaty for all the types and systemsof strategic arms, and envisage non-circumvention arrangements along withconcrete moves to reduce the nuclear danger and promote strategic stability.

The Russian side recalled that the September 2, 1998, joint presidentialstatement had specified the time within which negotiations on START IIIcould and should begin: "immediately after the ratification of the STARTII Treaty by Russia". This spring our country did ratify the Treaty. (TheUnited States has not yet done so.)

The main obstacle to launching such negotiations is still the UnitedStates' line unjustifiably tying their start to the conduct of talks onthe "adaptation" of the 1972 ABM Treaty to the deployment in the U.S. ofa national ABM system. In this connection John Holum was told that thestand of Russia remains unchanged; we did not conduct and will not conducttalks on "adaptation," and in practice a destruction of the ABM Treaty.Such "adaptation" is altogether impossible, for the substance of the Treatyis a ban on the deployment of a territorial ABM system and provision ofa base for such a defense. Without strict observance of the 1972 Treaty,further reductions of strategic offensive arms are impossible.

Views were also exchanged at the consultations on the issues of implementingthe sides' agreed plans for cooperation in the promotion of strategic stability,approved by the presidents of Russia and the United States at their meetingin New York.  The Under Secretary of State's attention was drawn tothe potential for interaction in connection with Russia's initiatives fora Global System of Control over the Nonproliferation of Missiles and MissileTechnologies, for the convocation of an international conference on preventingthe militarization of outer space in Moscow next year, and for the exclusionof weapons-grade materials from nuclear power production.

Some other disarmament questions were also discussed, including divisiveissues.
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D. Submarine Dismantlement

1.
U.S. Cash Helps Russian Nuclear Shipyard Limp On
        Reuters
        October 22, 2000
        (for personal use only)

SEVERODVINSK, Oct 22, 2000 -- (Reuters) If there is one-thing residentsof this closed, once top secret, northern Russian town are really not accustomedto it is hearing English voices.

And yet last week, officials who for decades had been obsessed withsecrecy in Russia's biggest nuclear submarine shipyard were all smilesas they rolled out the red carpet for a man who made no attempt to hidethat he was a U.S. general.

Thomas Kuenning, director of the U.S. Department of Defense’s CommonThreat Reduction Directorate, seemed no less happy as he opened a U.S.-fundednuclear waste processing plant, near the shipyard which coincidentallybuilt the Kursk, the Russian nuclear-powered submarine which sank in Augustafter an explosion killing all 118 crew.

The plant is designed to help Moscow scrap its aging submarines, andto help the people of Severodvinsk make a living.

"The United States really believes that the USD 17 million that it hasinvested in this project is money well spent," Kuenning said to warm applausebefore cutting the ribbon at the entrance to the multi-store, hangar-likefacility.

The plant, fully paid for by Washington and built by an internationalconsortium which also included Russian companies, is scheduled to startwhat are called "hot" tests this week.

It will then be able to process large amounts of low-level radioactivewaste, such as reactor cooling liquids, laundry wastewater and radioactivesolids, generated in the dismantling of nuclear-powered submarines.

WASTE USED TO BE DUMPED INTO THE SEA

Russia, which is scrapping hundreds of such vessels under the STARTarms reduction agreements with the United States, has had trouble recyclingthe low-level waste accounting for about 15 percent of total radioactivityinside a submarine.

In the old days Moscow would simply dump the waste into the sea. Itdid so until 1992 when environmental groups and Nordic countries whoseeconomies depend heavily on fishing forced it to abandon the practice.

With no money to develop and build processing facilities, Russia startedto stockpile the waste in unsafe locations, such as barges along the coastline.Ecologists have said it was only a matter of time before disaster struck.

"This project will help make the area safer, the Arctic region safer,in fact, the whole world safer for the work that will be done at this plant,"Kuenning said.

Russian Deputy Atomic Energy Minister Valery Lebedev said 185 nuclearsubmarines across Russia were now waiting to be dismantled, 55 of themalready cut up.

The plant in Severodvinsk, along with two more similar facilities dueto be commissioned later, will help eliminate the problem of low-levelwaste altogether, he added.

U.S. CASH KEEPS RUSSIAN COMPANIES AFLOAT

But for many Russians involved in the project, the celebration was tingedwith sadness as they observed that the shipyard, which in Soviet days filledthem with pride, was saved from ruin by American money.

"We built submarines here that could annihilate all of the United States- and today it is thanks to their cash that we still exist," said a Russianengineer who asked not to be named.

"And we really had a hard time getting them to accept that Russian companiesactually take part in the project. And for many of these companies it wasthe last chance of survival."

The atmosphere of days gone by was also distinctly present at a banquetto which all the guests were treated after the opening ceremony.

As organizers toasted the new U.S.-Russian friendship and cooperation,folk singers sang Soviet-era tunes about the joys of serving in the navyand how "a weary sub is heading home", apparently after lurking for monthsnear American shores.

Tears glistened in some eyes when a film projector beamed images ofrows of huge dark vessels moored for maintenance at the piers, long beforethe end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union dried up financing.

Through the window one could see the same docks and piers, but not asingle submarine in sight. The Kursk was one of the last submarines builtin Severodvinsk.

The only vessel to grace the steely waters seemed to be the half-finishedaircraft carrier Admiral Ushakov, which Moscow has virtually given up hopeof completing because of lack of funds.

"We can only build big nuclear submarines here and nobody needs themanymore," said another local official who also asked not to be identified."We tried to convert, but what can you convert to when you only know howto build these?"

The Americans, who had been dealing with Severodvinsk for more thantwo years, seemed to notice none of this sadness and sounded relieved asthey left.

Giving the cold and featureless town a last glance, one of them said:"The worst is over".
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E. Russian Nuclear Forces

1.
New Akula Class Sub To Enter Service After 4-Year Delay
        Bellona
        October 23, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Sevmash shipyard in Severodvisnk is to commission new Akula class attacksubmarine, Gepard, in late 2000, given full funding is provided in time,Russian military daily Red Star reported. The submarine’s reactor installationis currently undergoing testing. Gepard is expected to go on sea testingshortly. Gepard was laid down in 1991 and was scheduled for commissioningin 1996. Funding shortfalls, however, led to an almost 4-year delay. TheRussian Navy operates 12 Akula class submarines.
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2.
Omon Ensures Energy Supplies To Tambov Debtors
         RFE/RL Newsline
         October 20, 2000
         (for personal useonly)

OMON troops stormed the premises of the energy distribution companyTambovenergo on 19 October, after the company's employees reduced suppliesto consumers with outstanding bills, ITAR-TASS reported, citing the UnifiedEnergy Systems' press service. According to the news agency, the city administrationhad issued the instruction to send in the OMON troops. In September, troopsof the Strategic Rocket Forces seized the offices of the Ivanovo energydistribution company when the latter cut electricity supplies to the forces'base in the oblast. Several months earlier, Strategic Rocket Forces troopsin the Republic of Altai occupied four power stations that had threatenedto halt their supplies (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13 September and 22 June2000).
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F. Russia - Iran

1.
Ex-Top Officials Concerned Over Gore's Secret Russian Deal
         Bill Gertz
        Washington Times
        October 25, 2000
        (for personal use only)

A bipartisan group of 11 former secretaries of state and defense andtop national security officials yesterday expressed concern over Vice PresidentAl Gore's secret dealings with Russia.

"The military balance in regions of vital interest to America and herallies — including the Persian Gulf, which is a critical source of theworld's energy supplies — is the essential underpinning for a strong foreignpolicy," the group said in a statement issued through the office of formerSecretary of State George P. Shultz.

"That is why we are deeply disturbed by the agreement made between VicePresident Gore and then Russian Premier Chernomyrdin in which America acquiescedin the sale by Russia to Iran of highly threatening military equipmentsuch as modern submarines, fighter planes and wake- homing torpedoes.
 
They added: "We also find incomprehensible that this agreement wasnot fully disclosed even to those committees of Congress charged with receivinghighly classified briefings — apparently at the request of the Russianpremier.

"But agreement to his request is even more disturbing since the Russiansales could have brought sanctions against Russia in accordance with a1992 U.S. law sponsored by Senator John McCain and then Senator Al Gore,"the former officials said.

In addition to Mr. Shultz, the signers included former secretaries ofstate Henry Kissinger, James A. Baker III and Lawrence S. Eagleburger;former Clinton administration CIA Director R. James Woolsey; Zbigniew Bzezinski,national security adviser in the Carter administration; and former defensesecretaries Caspar Weinberger, James R. Schlesinger, Donald Rumsfeld andFrank C. Carlucci. Former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft alsosigned.

The former officials were commenting on recent newspaper reports, includingthose in The Washington Times, revealing the back-channel dealing by Mr.Gore.

The statement was issued on the eve of a Senate hearing on the issue.The Senate will conduct hearings today on Mr. Gore's agreements with Mr.Chernomyrdin that allowed Russian conventional arms and nuclear weaponstechnology to be sold to Iran without U.S. sanctions.

State Department officials will testify on the dealings before SenateForeign Relations subcommittees on Near East affairs and European affairs,a spokesman said.

The administration tried to have the hearing closed, but it will beopen to the public.

The Times reported last week that a secret 1995 agreement between Mr.Gore and Mr. Chernomyrdin, which was called an "aide memoire," stated thatthe United States would not impose sanctions on Russia for its conventionalarms sales as required under U.S. law.

The 1992 law and a 1996 amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act requiressanctions to be imposed on nations that sell advanced conventional armsor lethal aid to terrorist nations. Iran is designated a state sponsorof terrorism by the State Department.
 
The Times also reported a secret 1995 letter from Mr. Chernomyrdinto Mr. Gore detailing Moscow's nuclear cooperation with Iran. The letterstated that Mr. Gore should not disclose the information to "third parties,including the U.S. Congress," and noted that Mr. Chernomyrdin was "counting"on Mr. Gore's cooperation in keeping Congress in the dark.

The Times also disclosed a Jan. 13 letter from Secretary of State MadeleineK. Albright to Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov. In that letter, stamped"secret," Mrs. Albright stated that the United States would have imposedsanctions on Russia for its conventional arms sales to Iran if there wereno Gore-Chernomyrdin pact.

The document contradicted public statements by the Clinton administrationthat Russia's arms sales to Iran did not trigger U.S. laws aimed at stemmingthe sale of weapons to Iran.
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2.
Russia Speeds Up Nuclear Power Plant Construction In Iran
        Bellona
        October 24, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Russian will start construction of Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iranin 12 months, said Victor Kozlov, manager of nuclear construction companyAtomStroyExport, to NucNet. Earlier plans suggested that the constructioncould start in 17 months. Russian Nuclear Ministry, Minatom, claimed earlierthat the plant could be put into operation in May 2003, given the constructionwork started in 1999. The delay was explained by the strong criticism ofthe project from Washington that prompted some of the Minatom’s subcontractorsto abandon it. Both the U.S. and Israel have voiced their concern overthe project, fearing it will help Iran to develop nuclear weapons. Russiaand Iran dismissed the allegations.
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G. CTBT

1. A Foreign Policy For The GlobalAge [excerpt]
        National Security AdvisorSamuel R. Berger
        The White House
        October 23, 2000
        (for personal use only)

“. . . A fourth principle is that, while old threats have not all disappeared,new dangers, accentuated by technological advances and the permeabilityof borders, require new national security priorities. Indeed, one of thebiggest changes we have brought about in the way America relates to theworld has been the change in what we consider important.

For 50 years, we faced vertical proliferation: two nations piling theirnuclear arsenals higher and higher. Today, we face horizontal proliferation-- with arsenals at a lower level, but spread more pervasively around theworld. For some nations, weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missileshave become as much a source of legitimacy as having a national airline.

The sustained attention we have brought to this problem is a break fromthe past. Information about North Korea's nuclear weapons program, forexample, had been available since the late 80's. But it was not until 1994that we negotiated the Agreed Framework, which has frozen the productionof plutonium for nuclear weapons in North Korea. America also took littlenotice of Iraq's development of nuclear, chemical and biological weaponsuntil after the Gulf War. How many weapons would Saddam have been allowedto build had he not invaded Kuwait?

Unrelenting American engagement has also persuaded China to join theChemical Weapons Convention, the Biological Weapons Convention, and theComprehensive Test Ban Treaty and to comply with each. Our work with Russiaand its neighbors led to the complete denuclearization of Ukraine, Belarusand Kazakhstan; the elimination hundreds of tons of nuclear materials;and tighter controls to prevent smuggling. We also have worked to strengthenglobal rules that limit the spread of nuclear weapons, with Senate ratificationof the Chemical Weapons Convention and renewing the Non-Proliferation Treaty.The next President must work with the Senate to find a way to do the samewith the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. . .”
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H. Russian Military

1.
Military-Industrial Complexity
        The Russia Journal
        October 26, 2000
        (for personal use only)

MOSCOW, Oct 26, 2000 -- (The Russia Journal) Looking for a flourishingmilitary enterprise in Russia today is like looking for a yeti.

But I found one in a far-flung corner of the country – in the Far-Easterncity of Komsomolsk-on-Amur. The aviation plant there feeds almost the entireKhabarovsk Krai, producing 70 percent of the region’s industrial output.

This factory pays its workers between RUR 6,000-12,000 a month and continuesto run a health-care center, kindergartens, a cheap canteen and a factoryfarm. Many residents of Komsomolsk-on-Amur dream of getting a job here.

The aviation plant is a happy exception of success in a city where almostall the large enterprises belong to the military-industrial complex. TheAmur shipyard, for example, which has been trying to complete the multi-purposeBars submarine for more than five years now, has been pumping its lastmoney into just staying alive and is now on the brink of bankruptcy.

Though construction of the submarine is 85 percent complete, Russiadoesn’t have the money to see the job through. The shipyard plant receiveda miserable RUR 5 million (USD 182,000) from the Defense Ministry thisyear. But just to keep the hangar at the right temperature, the shipyardspends RUR 70 million a year. Maintaining the hangar temperature is essential– three years ago, the submarine’s reactor was started up, and a stabletemperature is now required in the hangar to avoid accidents. The reactoris also the reason why the company can’t just get rid of the submarine.

"It would cost more to dismantle and treat it than to complete construction,"said General Director Nikolai Povzyk. "To remove the reactor, we’d haveto take the submarine by sea to the factory at Bolshoi Kamen, which doesthis work for the Pacific Fleet submarines. That’s over a 100 kilometers.But that factory wasn’t built to dismantle such large submarines. Thismeans that after having the reactor removed, we’d have to bring the submarineback here."

Meanwhile, another submarine remains only half built at the shipyard.

At the aviation plant, the clean, bustling and well-lit workshops area stark contrast to the shipyard’s cold and dim docks, where half the employeesspend their time simply maintaining machinery. But the aviation plant,though it is a state-owned enterprise, operates in the same conditionsas the shipyard. State orders placed with the plant total a mere RUR 17million, and the plant’s top managers admit that they won’t get any ordersfrom the state in the coming five years.

Orders would start coming in only if there were money to buy new technologyfor the armed forces, but there is no such money in sight. Just like theshipyard, the aviation plant has to pay the crippling high rates for electricitythat make it almost impossible to run any industrial enterprise in theFar East.

Nor is the aviation plant any more successful than the shipbuildingcompany at producing civilian output. The director of the shipyard admittedthat his company can’t build ships wider than 22 meters, though demandthese days is precisely for this kind of wide-hulled container ship. Theaviation plant manufactures furniture and baby carriages, but the sightof it brings tears to the eyes.

The aviation plant wanted to manufacture Be-103 amphibious planes, butit has been trying to get them certified the past two years. The aircraftcan only carry three people, and two pilots have already been killed duringtest flights. And this is all much simpler technology than that requiredfor a fighter plane.

This all goes to show that with modern military production so narrowlyspecialized, it’s almost impossible to manufacture a range of quality,competitive products. As for the explanation as to why the aviation plantis doing well while the shipyard sinks, the answer’s simple: Aviation peoplesell their fighter planes to China, while – though there is a demand forthe atomic submarines the shipyard builds – Moscow hasn’t started sellingthem abroad. The Khabarovsk Krai is surviving thanks to neighboring China,which just ordered several dozen more planes.

But the aviation plant knows that once it has completed the Chineseorder in three years, it will end up in the same penniless position asthe shipyard. This is why it hopes to get the Chinese interested in developinga new plane. Perhaps this will work. But in this case, the plant wouldbe supplying China with planes the Russians themselves don’t possess.

In the end, the military-industrial complex has two ways to survive.First, don’t manufacture any civilian products at military factories. Anyincome, any loans obtained from the state should be put into building facilitiesspecifically designed for civilian production. After all, the military-industrialcomplex’s main value lies not in its workshops and its aging equipment,but in its highly qualified and versatile specialists. Lobbyists shouldturn their attention to getting money for this kind of program, becausethis is where future potential lies. Unfortunately, too few people todayrealize that the might of a state is measured by its export volume andtrade turnover rather than by the speed and power of its fighter planes.

The second means of survival is much simpler and requires little effortfrom the state. It consists in continuing to arm other countries. Thiscan bring in considerable income. Incidentally, it’s quite possible thatthe shipyard in Komsomolsk-on-Amur will soon be doing better. Rumor hasit that following President Vladimir Putin’s negotiations in India, oneof the unfinished Bars subs could be sold there.

This rumor looks more like the truth when we remember that during DefenseMinister Igor Sergeyev’s visit to Delhi in 1999, it was said the Indiansonly wanted to buy Russian tanks, planes and an aircraft carrier if theycould also buy atomic submarines.

The military-industrial complex is in such a state today that the Kremlincould well choose to ignore the immense political consequences signingsuch arms contracts would have. Building an industrial strategy based onforeign orders is a dead end road. It means, after all, that the Russianmilitary-industrial complex will develop in accordance with the demandsof the Indian or Chinese armed forces.
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I. Nuclear Waste

1.
Nuclear Power Ministry Denies Waste Import Report
        RFE/RL
        October 25, 2000
        (for personal use only)

The Nuclear Power Ministry's press service issued a statement on 24October denying earlier reports that it is prepared to start importingnuclear waste from Bulgaria's Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant (see "RFE/RLNewsline," 24 October 2000). According the statement, "Russia has acceptedand is currently accepting spent nuclear fuel from the Bulgarian station,but Russia does not plan to import and store nuclear waste."
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2.
Nuclear Waste Referendum Progresses
         Galina Stolyarova
         St. Petersburg Times
         October 24, 2000
         (for personal useonly)

In a significant step toward the goal of forcing a national referendumon nuclear waste, St. Petersburg environmentalists joined colleagues acrossthe country in handing over a petition on the subject Monday.

But even as they did so, a Bulgarian power plant was announcing a dealto store nuclear waste in Russia - even the the law would appear to preventthis.

"[Now we will see] whether the state is willing to add the environmentto its list of priorities, or leave it without attention, funding and care,"said Alexander Karpov, one of the referendum's organizers, as the signatureswere handed to the City Electoral Commission on Monday.

But Nuclear Ministry officials have poured cold water on the petition,saying that the public does not know enough of the technicalities of thenuclear industry to make an informed decision.

It took less than three months to get 95,000 St. Petersburg residentsto sign the petition - just some of the total 2.6 million signatures environmentalactivists say they have gathered in 62 regions. Two million signaturesare required by law before a popular vote can be initiated.

The organizers of the action are now waiting for local electoral commissionsto check the validity of the signatures, and - should they be given a cleanbill of health – are holding their breath as to the decision of the ConstitutionalCourt on the possibility of a referendum.

At the heart of the matter is a move by the Nuclear Power Ministry toallow Russia to import spent nuclear fuel from other countries. Proponentsof the idea, lead by the ministry's chief, Yevgeny Adamov, say that a commercialfuel dump would bring Russia billions of dollars that would work for thecause of nuclear security.

The project can only go ahead if the State Duma amends the law banningthe import of nuclear waste. A bill that would do so is tentatively scheduledto be heard Dec. 19.

But environmentalists have repeatedly pointed to Russia's inabilityto deal with its own nuclear industry, let alone everyone else's. Theyhighlight accidents at the Mayakstorage plant in the Chelyabinsk area,as well as various minor leaks at other plants, including the LeningradAtomic Energy Station (LAES).

The law as it stands allows Russia to accept spent fuel from other nationsfor reprocessing - which yields uranium, plutonium and huge quantitiesof radioactive waste water - if the resulting waste is sent back whereit came from.

But according to a statement by Bulgaria's Kozloduy plant reported byReuters, Adamov has said that in this case, the waste would not be returned.

Environmentalists were also incensed by a presidential decree signedin May that closed the State Committee for Environmental Protection, andtransferred its responsibilities to the Natural Resources Agency, whichlicenses the development of Russia's stores of petroleum and minerals.Putin has also abolished the State Forestry Committee.

OPINIONS, PLEASE

The three questions a referendum would pose, according to Karpov, are:

Do you oppose the import of radioactive materials for storage, processingor burial on the territory of Russia?

Do you support the idea of a federal agency for environmental protectionin Russia, independent of existing structures responsible for the use andmanagement of natural resources?

Do you support the idea of an independent forestry service in Russia?

Karpov said that over 30,000 signatures were gathered in each of the32 regions. "Ten, even 20,000 might be an exceptional figure, but 30,000shows that the public is really paying attention [to the issue], whichis encouraging," he said.

The Orenburg Oblast took the lead with 170,000 signatures.

It wasn't easy work, however. "[It was] depressing [to meet] so manypessimists," said Varvara Borisova, a local Greenpeace member who volunteeredto gather signatures for the petition. "It was frustrating to hear so manypeople say, 'Oh, you'll get nowhere.'"

Borisova said that the younger and older generations were most willingto sign, with generations in between less concerned. "I met people bornin 1910 who were willing to sign up, who knew enough to discuss the topic,"she said.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Dmitry Krasnyansky, deputy head of the City Electoral Commission, saidin an interview on Monday that 15 days was the limit to check the signatures,before they were passed on to the Central Electoral Committee.

"If the signatures get validated then [after another 15 days], theyget passed to the president, [who] in turn asks the Constitutional Courtto check that the referendum's questions don't contradict the Constitution,"Krasnyansky said. "If they do not, the president fixes the date for a popularvote 10 days after that."

According to Tamara Morshchakova, vice president of the ConstitutionalCourt, law on federal referendums determines which issues should be decidedby the Duma, and which by referendum.

"There are issues that cannot be solved via popular vote, such as grantingamnesties, changes to the federal budget, the status of a subject of the[Russian] Federation, and changes to federal taxes," Morshcha kova said.

She added that creating, abolishing and restructuring ministries andother state executive bodies were also outside the bounds of referendums.

"In this case, we will examine if the referendum would require makingchanges to the Constitution, which is not permissible."

NAYSAYERS

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and Nuclear Ministry officials haverejected the idea of a referendum. "[Such a] vote could only be an emotionaldecision," Kasyanov said earlier this year. "Only scientists and specialistscan find out the truth and [offer] the right solutions."

Yury Bespalko, a press spokesman for the Nuclear Ministry, also saidRussia was not yet ready for a popular vote on nuclear waste.

"Of course, the people's right to express their opinion is guaranteedby the Constitution," he said in a telephone interview on Monday. "Butsociety is far from informed about affairs in the [nuclear-energy] field,and so it is not prepared to judge such a technical issue."

"There are situations when in order to survive [financially], one mustsacrifice something," said Vyacheslav Kulikov, assistant to Deputy NuclearMinister Vladimir Vinogradov.

"But we are no less patriotic than the ecologists," he said. "We livehere, and we want our children to live in a safe environment."

But Natalya Mironova, an environmentalist with the Chelyabinsk-basedgroup "For Nuclear Safety," said the current practice of dealing with nuclearwaste is inexcusable.

"Karachai Lake [in the Chelyabinsk area], only 4 kilometers away fromthe nearest village, is full of nuclear waste," she said, "and the oncologyrate in the region is at least 2 1/2 times higher than [the national] average."
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3.
Plea Over Russian Nuclear Plans
        Andrew Jack
        Financial Times
        October 24, 2000
        (for personal use only)

A consortium of environmental organisations on Tuesday officially presented2.5m signatures to the Russian authorities in an effort to force a referendumon plans to import, process and store nuclear waste.

Greenpeace and seven Russian groups launched a petition in responseto planned efforts by Minatom, the Atomic Energy Ministry, to make thecountry one of the most important international centres for nuclear reprocessingand long-term storage. The nuclear industry submitted proposals to theRussian parliament last month calling for changes to the environmentallaws which would lift a ban on permanent storage of nuclear fuel in thecountry.

Yevgeny Adamov, the nuclear power minister, has lobbied for the changesahead of public hearings scheduled by parliament in December. Agenciessaid he had already agreed waste reprocessed in Russia from Bulgaria'sKozloduy nuclear power plant would not be returned to Bulgaria.

A document obtained by Greenpeace outlines Minatom proposals to processup to 20,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel from countries including Japanand Germany over the next decade, in contracts that could be worth $21bn(£14bn).

The plans would provide a substantial boost to the Russian economy andincrease the importance of the country to the international nuclear industry.It is already a leading processor of spent nuclear fuel.

Under the Russian constitution, 2m signatures should be sufficient totrigger a referendum or a review by the constitutional court.
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4.
Russia to Dispose of Waste from Bulgarian Nuclear Plant
         Reuters
         October 24, 2000
         (for personal useonly)

SOFIA, Oct 24, 2000 -- (Reuters) Russia will reprocess and dispose ofspent fuel from Bulgaria's Soviet-designed nuclear plant at Kozloduy andwill not send the waste back to Bulgaria, the Kozloduy plant said on Monday.

"Russia's Atomic Energy Minister (Evgeny) Adamov has told our delegationled by Bulgarian State Energy Agency president Ivan Shilyashki last weekthat radioactive waste obtained in reprocessing spent nuclear fuel willnot be returned to Bulgaria," the plant said in a press release.

A Russian law on environmental protection adopted in 1992 bans the disposalof nuclear waste from foreign countries on Russian territory.

The reprocessing yields uranium, plutonium and huge quantities of highlyradioactive liquid waste.

In the past, the Soviet Union reprocessed and disposed of spent fuelfrom Kozloduy without charge under a bilateral agreement which expiredin 1990.

Since then and until 1999 the spent fuel has been left unprocessed intemporary storage at Kozloduy. After the first shipment last year, anothershipment is planned at year-end, officials said.

The Kozloduy plant, which provides more than 40 percent of the country'spower, has four 440 MW reactors and two 1,000 MW reactors.

Russia's Rosseximbank has offered Bulgaria a loan of USD 80 millionfor the modernization of Kozloduy's two 1,000-megawatt reactors and anotherUSD 70 million for safety upgrading of two of the four 440-megawatt reactors,the press release said.

During the talks the two parties also discussed Russia's offer to sellthe Balkan country its new reactors with a projected lifespan of up to60 years, it added.

Bulgaria will launch a tender for the eventual building of a new reactorbut at this stage it is only studying the market, the press release said,quoting Kozloduy's executive director Yordan Yordanov.

Bulgaria has bowed to the European Union to close its two oldest 440-megawattreactors but has not taken a decision on building a new reactor.
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