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Nuclear News - 12/13/00
RANSAC Nuclear News, December 13, 2000
Compiled by Christopher Ficek



A.  New Nonproliferation Initiatives
    1. Text of S.3275 - Russian Fissile Materials Disposition LoanGuarantee Act of 2000, Introduced by Senators Pete Domenici and RichardLugar, United States Senate (12/07/00)
B. U.S. - Russian Relations
    1. Former US Military Commanders Oppose US-Russian Launch NotificationAgreement¸ Agence France Presse (12/11/00)
    2. Deal With USA Help Russian Conversion Programmes, ItarTass (12/08/00)
    3. A Foreign Policy for the Global Age - Fact Sheet, TheWhite House (12/08/00)
C.  Russian Nuclear Power Industry
    1. News Update [Russian Reactor Completed]¸ UraniumInstitute (12/12/00)
D. Russian - Iranian Relations
    1. Washington, Moscow At The Crossroads, Alexander Golts,The Russia Journal (12/15/00)
    2. Selling Power, Simon Saradzhyan, Moscow Times (12/13/00)
E. New Publications
    1. Challenges in Plutonium Science, Los Alamos Science, Number26, 2000



A. New Nonproliferation Initiatives

1.
Text of S.3275 - Russian Fissile Materials Disposition Loan GuaranteeAct of 2000
        Introduced by Senators PeteDomenici and Richard Lugar
        United States Senate
        December 7, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Russian Fissile Materials Disposition Loan Guarantee Act of 2000
(Introduced in the Senate)

S 3275 IS
106th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 3275

To authorize the Secretary of Energy to guarantee loans to facilitatenuclear nonproliferation programs and activities of the Government of theRussian Federation, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

December 7 (legislative day, SEPTEMBER 22), 2000

Mr. DOMENICI (for himself and Mr. LUGAR) introduced the following bill;which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

A BILL
To authorize the Secretary of Energy to guarantee loans to facilitate nuclearnonproliferation programs and activities of the Government of the RussianFederation, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives ofthe United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Russian Fissile Materials DispositionLoan Guarantee Act of 2000'.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress makes the following findings:
(1) The proliferation of nuclear weapons represents a riskto the national security of the United States.

(2) Countries seeking new nuclear weapons capabilities require bothtechnical expertise and nuclear weapons materials.

(3) The nuclear weapons complex of the former Soviet Union containslarge amounts of such technical expertise and materials and could presentrisks for nuclear proliferation.

(4) Several current programs address the potential for loss of suchtechnical expertise and materials.

(5) Progress on the Highly Enriched Uranium Agreement and on the PlutoniumDisposition Agreement will enhance United States security against nuclearproliferation, but United States security would be further enhanced wereadditional progress achieved in securing and disposing of the nuclear weaponsmaterials of the former Soviet Union.

(6) In addition to the programs referred to in paragraphs (4) and (5),a program providing for the placement of nuclear weapons materials of theRussian Federation under permanent safeguards in exchange for the guaranteeof loans for nonproliferation programs and activities of the Russian Federationcould enhance the economy of the Russian Federation and achieve the interestof nations worldwide in providing for the security of nuclear weapons materialsthat are not currently under international safeguards.

SEC. 3. LOAN GUARANTEES.
(a) AUTHORITY TO GUARANTEE LOAN- Subject to the provisionsof this section, the Secretary of Energy may, with the approval of thePresident, guarantee loans made to the Government of the Russian Federationfor purposes of nuclear nonproliferation programs and activities of theGovernment of the Russian Federation.

(b) LIMITATIONS ON GUARANTEES- (1) The aggregate amount of loan principalcovered by guarantees under this section at any one time may not exceed$1,000,000,000.

(2) The guarantee of a loan under this section applies to principaland to interest on principal only up to 3 percent of principal.

(c) LOANS ELIGIBLE FOR GUARANTEE- (1) A loan eligible for guaranteeunder this section is any loan made by a private lender to the Governmentof the Russian Federation the proceeds of which are to be utilized by theGovernment of the Russian Federation for one or both of the following purposes:

(A) Support of nuclear nonproliferation programs and activitiesof the Government of the Russian Federation.
(B) Development of the energy infrastructure of the Russian Federation,including peaceful uses of nuclear energy in a manner that complies withthe Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
(2) A loan is not eligible for guarantee under this section if the proceedsof the loan are to be used for any purpose or activity under the PlutoniumDisposition Agreement, including to cover the costs of the manufactureand use of mixed oxide (MOX) fuel in Russia under the Plutonium DispositionAgreement.

(d) LOAN TERMS- A loan guaranteed under this section shall have thefollowing terms:

(1) The loan principal shall be in increments of $20,000,000.
(2) The term of the loan with respect to any principal increment ofthe loan shall be not less than 15 years.
(3) Payments of principal and interest on the loan shall be based onan amortization schedule providing that--
(A) interest on a principal increment of the loan will commenceon the date of the dispersal of the principal increment of the loan;
(B) no payment of principal or interest on a principal increment ofthe loan will be required for at least 5 years after the date of the dispersalof the principal increment of the loan;
(C) once payments of principal and interest commence pursuant to subparagraph(B), such payments will be made on a semi-annual basis; and
(D) all interest and principal on each principal increment of the loanwill be paid not later than the completion of the term of the loan withrespect to such principal increment of the loan.
(4) The proceeds of the loan shall be dispersed only to the Ministry ofAtomic Energy of the Russian Federation.
(5) The lender may, upon default of the Government of the Russian Federationon the loan, exercise the option described in subsection (e)(3).
(e) LOAN SECURITY- (1) As security for a loan guaranteed under this section,the Government of the Russian Federation shall, for each loan principalincrement of $20,000,000, place 1.00 metric tons of weapons-usable plutoniumand 1.00 metric tons of weapons-usable highly enriched uranium under InternationalAtomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards at a facility in Russia. The placementof materials under such safeguards as security for a principal incrementof a loan shall be completed before the dispersal of the principal incrementof the loan.

(2) As security for a loan guaranteed under this section, the Governmentof the Russian Federation shall certify to the Secretary that any materialsplaced under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards pursuant toparagraph (1) shall remain under such safeguards indefinitely, includingafter the loan is paid off by the Government of the Russian Federation.

(3)(A) In the event of a default on a loan guaranteed under this sectionby the Government of the Russian Federation, the lender may, with the approvalof the Secretary, provide for the disposition or utilization of materialsplaced under safeguards pursuant to paragraph (1) as security for the loanto repay all or part of the loan.

(B) The disposition or utilization of materials under this paragraphshall be in accordance with applicable International Atomic Energy Agencysafeguards regarding such materials, and such materials may not, duringthe course of such disposition or utilization, be removed from such safeguards.

(4) Materials placed under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguardspursuant to paragraph (1) shall not be treated as part of the 34.00 metrictons of weapons-grade plutonium to be used by the Government of the RussianFederation largely as mixed oxide (MOX) fuel under the Plutonium DispositionAgreement.

(f) TREATMENT OF GUARANTEES UNDER PLUTONIUM DISPOSITION AGREEMENT- Theguarantee of any loan under this section shall not be treated as a contributionto the Government of the Russian Federation under the Plutonium DispositionAgreement.

(g) PROHIBITION ON COLLECTION OF FEES- The Secretary may not imposeor collect any fee in connection with the guarantee of a loan under thissection.

SEC. 4. SUPPORT OF INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY MATERIALS SAFEGUARDS.
Of the amounts authorized to be appropriated or otherwise madeavailable to the Secretary of Energy each fiscal year for Materials ProtectionControl and Accounting, not more than $15,000,000 shall be available tothe Secretary for purposes of covering the expenses of the InternationalAtomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in implementing and maintaining safeguardsunder section 3(e) on materials providing security for loans guaranteedunder section 3.
SEC. 5. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
(a) COST OF LOAN GUARANTEES- For the cost of the loans guaranteedunder this Act as defined in section 502 of the Congressional Budget Actof 1974 (2 U.S.C. 661(a)), there is authorized to be appropriated for fiscalyears 2001 through 2004, such amounts as may be necessary.

(b) COST OF ADMINISTRATION- There is hereby authorized to be appropriatedto the Secretary of Energy for fiscal year 2001, $10,000,000 for purposesof activities under this Act, other than to cover costs under subsection(a) and to cover expenses under section 4.

(c) AVAILABILITY- Amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorizationsof appropriations in subsections (a) and (b) shall remain available untilexpended.

SEC. 6. DEFINITIONS
In this Act:
(1) HIGHLY ENRICHED URANIUM AGREEMENT- The term `Highly EnrichedUranium Agreement' means the Agreement Between the United States of Americaand the Government of the Russian Federation Concerning the Dispositionof Highly Enriched Uranium Extracted from Nuclear Weapons, dated February18, 1993.

(2) NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION TREATY- The term `Nuclear NonproliferationTreaty' means the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, asopened for signature July 1, 1968.

(3) PLUTONIUM DISPOSITION AGREEMENT- The term `Plutonium DispositionAgreement' means the Agreement Between the Government of the United Statesof America and the Government of the Russian Federation Concerning theManagement and Disposition of Plutonium Designated As No Longer Requiredfor Defense Purposes and Related Cooperation, signed by the United Stateson September 1, 2000.

SEC. 7. TERMINATION OF AUTHORITY.
The authority of the Secretary of Energy to guarantee loansunder this Act shall terminate on December 31, 2003. The termination ofauthority to guarantee loans under this section shall not affect the validityof any guarantee made under this Act before that date.
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B. U.S. - Russian Relations

1.
Former US Military Commanders Oppose US-Russian Launch NotificationAgreement
        Agence France Presse
        December 11, 2000
        (for personal use only)

WASHINGTON, Dec 11 (AFP) -
The United States and Russia will sign an agreement this week thatgreatly expands advance notice of ballistic missile launches in an effortto reduce the risk of an accidental nuclear launch, a senior US defenseofficial said Monday.

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Russian Foreign Minister IgorIvanov are to sign the memorandum of agreement Friday in Brussels as onestep in an initiative to share missile early warning data with Moscow,the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Nineteen retired admirals and generals protested the proposed agreementin an open letter to President Bill Clinton, saying it could impede developmentof US "space power."

But in an interview, the Pentagon official said Washington was drivenby an interest in reducing the risk of an accidental nuclear launch.

"The nub of this issue has to do with our concerns about the stabilityand effectiveness of the Russian early warning system," he said. "Theirearly warning systems you might argue is on life support."

"We believe that in the post Cold War era it is in both sides interestto have an effective and capable early warning system because we don'twant either side to be able to misinterpret an event and have that eventlead to confusion and possible launch of nuclear missiles."

The danger of a miscalculation was highlighted most chillingly by anincident in January 1995 when the launch of a Norwegian experimental rocketappeared to the Russians as an incoming missile.

Then president Boris Yeltsin was notified by Russian commanders beforethey determined the rocket was on a non-threatening trajectory.

The Norwegians had notified the Russian foreign ministry beforehandof the launch, but the warning was not passed to the military.

In response, the United States and Russia plan to open a joint earlywarning center in Moscow next year that will share missile launch dataderived from US and Russian radars and satellites.

The agreement on pre-launch notification was intended as a complementto the early warning center, the official said.

The United States and Russia currently notify each other of launchesof intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine launched missiles.

Under the new agreement, advance launch notification will be expandedto include space launches and launches of missiles with ranges as shortas 500 kilometers (300 miles), the official said.

Missiles launched in combat will not be covered by the agreement, theofficial said, and either government may withhold advance notificationof certain space flights for national security reasons.

Once the notification regime is in place, the two countries will inviteany other country who wishes to join, the official said.

The official denied that the agreement will create bureaucratic impedimentsto rapid and unconstrained access to space by the US military, a chargeraised by the retired military commanders.

In their letter to Clinton, they said, "Operational security and counter-intelligenceconsiderations, as well as 21st century military doctrines calling forroutine and expeditious space launch capabilities, strongly argue againstour assuming such obligations."

Urging the administration to give force to a "space power policy," theformer officers said the United States needed "the legal latitude to doso."

"Insofar as the new MOU (memorandum of understanding) would deny theUnited States such latitude, it is incompatible with our long-term nationalsecurity and economic interests and should be treated accordingly," theletter said.

It also urged development of cheaper launch capabilities, arguing thatUS ability to exploit space has been constrained by "our reliance uponenormously expensive, time-consuming and labor intensive launch systemsand facilities."
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2.
Deal With USA Help Russian Conversion Programmes
        Itar Tass
        December 8, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Moscow, 8th December, ITAR-TASS correspondent Anna Bazhenova: The RussianMinistry for Atomic Energy channelled R1.5bn into conversion programmesthis year. This was said today by Atomic Energy Minister Yevgeniy Adamovat a presentation of new medical equipment created by the ministry's plantsfor the needs of health care of the Russian Federation. The funds havebeen received through the implementation of the Russian-US contract forprocessing highly-enriched uranium into low-enriched uranium.

The minister stressed that 18 salvaged nuclear submarines had been "unloaded"at the expense of funds received through the contract. The same work isscheduled to be carried out with 20 nuclear submarines in 2001.

The minister said that the ministry's plants were most successful incarrying out conversion programmes in the sphere of medical equipment.
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3.
A Foreign Policy for the Global Age - Fact Sheet
        The White House
        December 8, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Today, at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, President Clinton spokeabout the role America has played in the world during the last severalyears, the principles that have guided the Administration's foreign policyand the path we should take in the future.

The broad outlines of a foreign policy for the global age are reflectedin the principles that have guided the Clinton Administration's foreignpolicy over the past eight years.

1. OUR ALLIANCES WITH EUROPE AND ASIA ARE THE CORNERSTONE OF OUR NATIONALSECURITY, BUT THEY MUST BE CONSTANTLY ADAPTED TO MEET EMERGING CHALLENGES.These core alliances are today stronger and arguably more durable becausethey are organized to advance a permanent set of shared interests, ratherthan to defeat a single threat. President Clinton broke new ground in 1993by welcoming our European and Asian allies' desire to play a more responsiblerole while maintaining our troops and adapting our alliances in both regions.

Working for a Peaceful, Democratic, Undivided Europe

-- Revitalized, adapted and expanded NATO from a static Cold War allianceto a magnet for new democracies, with new partners, members and missions;adapted its command structure; admitted Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic;created Partnership for Peace.

-- Led NATO in its first military engagement and stopped the killingin Bosnia. The peace we brokered in Dayton has been sustained, a civilsociety complete with active opposition parties and non-governmental organizationsis taking root, and national and local elections have taken place throughoutthe country.

-- Took military action in Kosovo to stop ethnic cleansing and regionalinstability. Forced withdrawal of Serb forces and deployed an internationalpresence in Kosovo -- with a 47,000 strong NATO-led force providing securityfor the province. Achieved the safe and unconditional return of over 900,000refugees, disbanded the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Adapting and Upholding our Alliance with Asia

-- Updated our strategic alliance with Japan through adoption of theDefense Guidelines and Joint Security Declaration to define how to respondtogether to post-Cold War threats.

-- Reduced the North Korean threat through deterrence, diplomacy. Negotiatedthe October 1994 Framework Agreement to freeze and dismantle North Korea'sdangerous nuclear weapons fuel production and a moratorium on long-rangemissile testing in 1999.

-- Strengthened cooperation with South Korea to move forward to engageNorth Korea. Jointly engaged in Four Party Talks and established TrilateralGroup (the United States, Japan and South Korea) to coordinate North Koreapolicy which helped create the conditions for an eventual North-South dialogue.

2. PEACE AND SECURITY FOR THE UNITED STATES DEPENDS ON BUILDING PRINCIPLED,CONSTRUCTIVE, CLEAR-EYED RELATIONS WITH OUR FORMER ADVERSARIES. We mustcontinue to be mindful of threats to the peace while maximizing the chancesthat both nations evolve internally toward greater democracy, stabilityand prosperity. To achieve both goals, we must continue to seize on thedesire of both Russia and China to participate in the global economy andglobal institutions, insisting they accept the obligations as well as thebenefits of integration.

Building on Our Relationship with Russia

-- Negotiated the exit of Russian troops from the Baltics, brought Russiantroops into NATO missions in the Balkans and won Russia's active supportfor a just end to the Kosovo war.

-- Brought Russia into the G-8, APEC, into a relationships with NATOand international financial institutions.

-- Reduced the nuclear danger. Deactivated/dismantled over 1,700 nuclearwarheads, 300 missile launchers, 425 ICBM and SLBMs; strengthened securityand accounting of nuclear materials; purchased 500 metric tons of weapons-gradeuranium; reached agreement for the safe, transparent and irreversible destructionof 68 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium.

-- Supported economic reform and the creation of a market economy. Over250,000 Russian entrepreneurs have received U.S. training, consulting servicesor loans. Today 70% of the Russian economy is in private hands.

Building on Our Relationship with China

-- Helped maintain peace in the Taiwan Straits and worked with Chinato maintain stability on Korean Peninsula.

-- Brought China into global non-proliferation regimes - Chemical WeaponsConvention, CTBT and Biological Weapons Convention.

-- Negotiated terms for China's entry into the World Trade Organization,with Permanent Normal Trade Relations. Most constructive breakthrough inU.S.-China relations since normalization in 1979 - will entangle Chinamore deeply in a rules-based international system and change China internally.

3. LOCAL CONFLICTS CAN HAVE GLOBAL CONSEQUENCES. THE PURPOSE OF PEACEMAKING,WHETHER BY DIPLOMACY OR FORCE, MUST BE TO RESOLVE CONFLICTS BEFORE THEYESCALATE AND HARM OUR VITAL INTERESTS. In a global age, arguments for peacemakingare even stronger: to defuse conflicts before they escalate and harm ourinterests. America's dominant power is more likely to be accepted if itis harnessed to the cause of peace.

Middle East: Brought parties together at Camp David for first high leveldiscussions of all permanent status issues. Helped forge agreements thatled to the Declaration of Principles in September 1993 and the InterimAgreement on Palestinian self-rule in September 1995. Brokered the Wyeagreement in October 1998, revitalizing the peace process after years ofstagnation. Helped broker the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum in September 1999,and the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel in October 1994.

-- Balkans: Stabilizing Southeast Europe by ending a decade of repressionand ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. Led NATO alliance to victory in air campaignand ushering in international peacekeepers. Launched the Stability Pactto strengthen democracy, economic development and security throughout theregion, and accelerating its integration with the rest of Europe and freeingEurope from a permanent refugee crisis and source of conflict.

-- Greece and Turkey: Encouraged Greek-Turkish rapprochement. Stronglysupported Turkey's EU candidacy. Restarted talks toward a comprehensivesettlement on Cyprus.

-- India and Pakistan: Helped them move from the brink of what mighthave been a catastrophic war in July 1999.

-- Northern Ireland: Helped broker the Good Friday Peace Accord, endingdecades of bloodshed and empowering the people of Northern Ireland to determinetheir future.

-- Peru and Ecuador: Worked with other regional governments to haltthe 1995 border war between Peru and Ecuador.

-- Eritrea and Ethiopia: Worked with Organization of African Unity tobroker a cease fire and negotiate a comprehensive peace agreement.

4. NOT ALL OLD THREATS HAVE DISAPPEARED, BUT NEW DANGERS, ACCENTUATEDBY TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES AND THE PERMEABILITY FO BORDERS, REQUIRE NEWNATIONAL SECURITY PRIORITIES. One of the biggest changes we have broughtabout in the way America relates to the world has been the change in whatwe consider important. The Clinton Administration has defined a new securityagenda that addresses contemporary threats -- nonproliferation, terrorism,international crime, infectious disease, environmental damage.

-- Nonproliferation: Permanently eliminated nuclear weapons and theirdelivery vehicles from Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Signed the ComprehensiveNuclear Test Ban Treaty and achieved the indefinite extension of the Non-ProliferationTreaty and ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

-- Terrorism: Developed a national counter-terrorism strategy, led bya national coordinator. Brought perpetrators of World Trade Center bombingand CIA killings to justice. Prevented planned attacks against Millenniumcelebrations.

-- Cyber Security: Developed first national strategy to protect criticalinfrastructure, bringing together private sector and government. Increasedfunding on critical infrastructure protection by over 40% since 1998.

-- Chemical and Biological Weapons: Strengthened international supportfor and adherence to CWC/BWC. Equipped and trained first responders in120 largest metro areas.

-- Environment: Brought climate change issues into the mainstream ofour foreign policy. Negotiated Kyoto protocol in 1997 to establish a strong,realistic framework to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in environmentallystrong and economically sound way.

-- Infectious Disease: Made the international fight against deadly infectiousdiseases a national security priority. Introduced issue to the U.S.-EUSummit, the U.N. Millennium Assembly, and the G-8 Summit in Okinawa andmobilized billions from our international partners. More than doubled foreignassistance for HIV/AIDS. Working to accelerate the development of vaccinesfor AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and other major disease threats throughthe President's Millennium Vaccine Initiative.

-- International Crime: Intensified interdiction efforts, cracking downon drug lords and providing $1.6 billion in assistance for Colombia. Combatingtrafficking in persons, especially women and children, with an integratedstrategy that focuses on prevention, prosecution of traffickers and protectionof and assistance to victims.

5. ECONOMIC INTEGRATION ADVANCES BOTH OUR INTERESTS AND OUR VALUES,BUT ALSO ACCENTUATES THE NEED TO ALLEVIATE ECONOMIC DISPARITY. As the firstpresident who has understood the connections of the global economy andits connection to our prosperity, President Clinton has led the UnitedStates toward its greatest expansion in world trade in history -- from$4 to $6.6 trillion a year, opened markets for U.S. exports abroad andcreated American jobs through nearly 300 other free and fair trade agreements,contributing to the longest economic expansion in our history.

-- Completed the Uruguay Round of the GATT negotiations and createdthe WTO to reduce tariffs, settle trade disputes and enforce rules.

-- Ratified the North America Free Trade Association, cementing strategictrade relationships with our immediate neighbors. U.S. exports to Mexicogrew 109% from 1993 to 1999, compared with growth to the rest of the worldof 49%.

-- Strong U.S. growth and maintenance of open markets was in no smallmeasure responsible for the recovery of the Asian economy which again isfueling global growth.

-- Helped rescue Mexico's economy with $20 billion in emergency supportloans that were repaid in full with interest.

-- Supported the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative at the G-7Summit in Cologne in June 1999, to provide deeper multilateral debt reductionfor poor countries with unsustainable debt burdens.

-- Won approval of PNTR with China, integrate China into the world economythrough entry into the WTO, open Chinese market to U.S. exports, slashChinese tariffs and protect American workers and companies against dumping.

-- Won approval of the Caribbean Basin Initiative enhancement legislationto promote economic prosperity in Central America and the Caribbean.

-- Won approval for African Growth and Opportunity Act to support increasedtrade and investment between the United States and Africa, strengthen Africaneconomies and democratic governments, increase partnerships to counterterrorism, crime, environmental degradation
and disease.
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C. Russian Nuclear Power Industry

1.
News Update [Russian Reactor Completed]
        Uranium Institute
        December 12, 2000
        (for personal use only)

[NB00.50-7] Russia: Construction of the Rostov Nuclear Power Plant hasbeen completed, according to Rosenergoatom. Once approval has been receivedfrom the state nuclear regulatory body (Gosatomnadzor), fuel will be loadedinto Rostov-1. The reactor is expected to begin operations in July 2001at a rated capacity of 1000 MWe. (Ux Weekly, 11 December, p4; see alsoNews Briefing 00.47-6) Meanwhile, a regional commission has approved plansfor a new nuclear power plant in the western Russian province of Smolensk.The new plant would be located 6km from an existing plant, according tothe ITAR-Tass news agency. (Associated Press/NewsEdge Corp, 11 December;see also News Briefing 98.18-11)
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D. Russian - Iranian Relations

1.
Washington, Moscow At The Crossroads
        Alexander Golts
        The Russia Journal
        December 15, 2000
        (for personal use only)

CARLYSLE, Pennsylvania – A sign hung on the door saying "Conference:War 2000," and next to it was a map of the Russian Far East. The U.S. Armymilitary college was holding a training maneuver that had American forcescoming to Russia’s aid after an attack from a "third power." And by sheercoincidence, on the next floor up, there was yet another conference onRussia.

The topic of the conference was Moscow and security policy. Russia specialistsfrom American universities and nongovernmental research centers, as wellas well-known analysts from the Pentagon, State Department and other departmentsall converged in the tiny Pennsylvania town of Carlysle for the convention.These were bureaucrats rather than politicians, people with careers relativelyindependent of Washington power games.

In the end, it is these very bureaucrats who turn hazy ideas into aconcrete stance on international policy, and every U.S. administration(whether Democratic or Republican) turns to these people for advice.

The conference coincided with a fairly touchy period in Russian-Americanrelations; in Moscow, it was decided to take advantage of the instabilitysurrounding the transfer of power to show the Americans that Russia reallyis a great power. On Nov. 1, the eve of the election, Foreign MinisterIgor Ivanov sent Madeleine Albright a telegram informing her that Moscowno longer considers itself bound by the secret Gore-Chernomyrdin agreementof 1995.

According to the agreement, Russia was to end all arms shipments toIran by 1999. Ivanov began backtracking because the agreement became publicknowledge during the U.S. election campaign, and even though the Americanpolitical elite is wrapped up in domestic problems, Moscow’s move was noticed.Many in Washington read Ivanov’s telegram not as a misunderstanding butas a bet on resistance from the United States.

Participants in the conference (whose organizers asked that they remainunidentified) did not seem to be particularly afraid of such a turn ofevents. Security specialists are more than aware that the Kremlin has severelylimited options. "Russia is a problem, not a threat," one of them said.Nonetheless, they spoke with distress of the rebirth in Russian politicsof imperial and great-power ambitions.

They noted how Russia wastes its scant resources on achieving irrationalgeopolitical goals, such as keeping C.I.S. countries inside the nonexistentsphere of its nonexistent influence. Attempts to create a multipolar world(as opposed to the single pole now represented by the United States) alsoseem less than reasonable.

"As its authors say, Russian policy really is focused on another century.But it’s the 19th, not the 21st," one of the speakers joked sadly.

American analysts also paid attention to Russia’s attempts to make theUnited States look like a weak government. Both diplomats and militaryrepresentatives took a very serious view of attempts to sell arms to Iran,since these arms will be sold to a government that has been suspected (withsome foundation) of aiding Islamic extremists.

"On one hand, you are trying to play a positive role in regulating theMiddle East, yet you continue selling arms to a state that openly advocatesthe destruction of Israel," a high-ranking Washington bureaucrat remarked.

Analysts are worried that a Russia without allies would be willing toform alliances with international outlaws such as Iran, Iraq, Libya andNorth Korea (in the wake of the Iran decision, the United States is waitingto see the results of President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Cuba).

Washington was not only shocked by Moscow’s decision to renew arms shipmentsto Iran, but by the fact that it actually did so. For the first time, Russiaunilaterally refused to go along with a previous agreement. Furthermore,it did not even consult with the Americans before doing so. Now, Washingtonis in doubt as to whether Moscow will carry out other agreements it hassigned with the United States, and nobody minces words: Moscow will haveto pay for going back on its agreement.

Soon, the next administration will look at airing out its Anti-BallisticMissile system. According to the letter of the ABM agreement, the UnitedStates can simply announce that it is no longer bound by the agreement,and can then exit within six months.

For now, the State Department is trying to bring discussion of thisproblem back into a more normal tone. At the last meeting between the twocountry’s top diplomats, it was decided that a special work group willbe formed where Russia will explain exactly what arms it intends to sellIran, and in what volumes.

If Moscow wants trouble, it will have its hands full. No credence shouldbe given to the words of the lobbyists from the military-industrial complexwho claim that the cost of U.S. sanctions could easily be covered by themillions of dollars Iran is ready to pay for Russian submarines, tanksand fighter planes.

It is interesting that two weeks ago these contracts were estimatedto be worth $4 billion, but now that sum has doubled. Sources close toRussian weapons manufacturers now speak of $8 billion as a reasonable sum.This difference in figures alone casts doubt on the seriousness with whichRussia’s trade perspectives with Iran have been estimated.

Washington is talking about something else. Although Moscow swears thatTehran pays punctually, American experts say that work done at the firstblock of the atomic station in Bushere has yet to be paid for. Furthermore,Russia could lose tens of millions of dollars by going against the wishesof the United States, since Washington determines how many satellites belongingto other countries can be launched by Russia (according to U.S. law, ifa satellite contains American parts, then Washington must give permissionfor its launch).

At the conference, it was suggested that the Russian Defense Ministryitself could suffer sanctions. After all, as a result of a presidentialdecree, the ministry is responsible for all arms sales. This would alsocost Russia tens of millions of dollars, since the United States financesprograms for destroying nuclear weapons and ensuring the safety of existingnuclear arsenals.

In Carslyle, I was repeatedly assured that no one is going to threatenRussia. But people in Washington are beginning to say that it is time todraw a line in the sand beyond which Moscow must not venture. No one willsay what is waiting behind this line. But maps of Russia can be used toplan more than just training maneuvers.
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2.
Selling Power
        Simon Saradzhyan
        Moscow Times
        December 13, 2000
        (for personal use only)

The United States threatens to retaliate against Russia for arms salesto what it perceives to be hostile nuclear threshold states. But it couldstill pay off to ignore looming U.S. sanctions and engage in a brisk tradein conventional weapons.

The country’s recent decision to resume sales of weaponry to Tehranwill inevitably prompt the United States to slap sanctions on domesticdefense companies, but trading arms with Iran and other so-called "statesof concern" will eventually compensate for any losses from such sanctions,experts here say. Washington has repeatedly threatened to impose sanctionson Moscow if the latter sells arms to Iran. At the same time, if the weaponstrade resumes, Washington may push the International Monetary Fund to furtherdelay issues of new credits to the country and block Russia’s admissionto the World Trade Organization, experts say.

But the most concrete, probable and immediate blow that Washington coulddeal Moscow over Iran would be for U.S. legislators to limit the launchesof U.S.-made satellites by Russian rockets, experts said. The U.S. administrationhas already indicated that it will not seek an extention to the launchquota agreement, which permits limited launches of U.S. satellites by Russianrockets and is to expire Dec. 31. However, the U.S. Congress is likelyto demand that the next presidential administration continue to make launchesconditional upon Russia showing some restraint in its arms deals.

Launches of Western-made satellites, mostly U.S.-made craft, by Russian-maderockets have earned the nation an annual average of more than $370 millionin gross profits in the past few years, and if Washington bans such launches,it would be "quite a tangible blow," according to Vladimir Kirilov, ofthe Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.

However, this blow could be offset financially by sales of Russian-madeconventional arms to both Iran and other countries that Washington haslabeled as states of concern and consequently slapped sanctions on, suchas Libya, Syria and North Korea, say both Ruslan Pukhov, head of CAST,and Ivan Safranchuk, of the Center for Policy Studies, or PIR.

They estimate arms exports to these four countries could gross an annualaverage of more than $450 million.

Also, a hike in arms sales to these countries would lessen the nationaldefense industry’s dependence on China and India, which account for 80percent of the nation’s total $3 billion in arms exports this year, Pukhovsaid.

There are no internationally recognized embargoes on arms exports tothese four countries, which all need to overhaul their arsenals by procuringnew weaponry, such as air-defense systems and multipurpose warplanes, accordingto Konstantin Makienko, deputy head of CAST.

The armed forces of Libya, Syria and North Korea would also be willingto turn to Russia for repairs, if not for upgrades of their armaments,as more than half of their weaponry systems were made in the former SovietUnion, Makienko says.

These three countries relied heavily on imports of Soviet-made arms,which they often acquired at large discounts, if not for free, for projectingthemselves as political allies of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Now that Russia has largely abandoned the practice of free militaryaid, Iran, Syria, Libya and North Korea would have to pay mostly in cashfor Russian-made arms, Pukhov says.

Secret Memorandum

Iran alone would be willing to spend anywhere from $250 million to $500million a year on Russian-made arms, according to both Makienko and Safranchukof PIR.

Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has already officially notified U.S. Secretaryof State Madeleine Albright that the Kremlin intends to back out of a self-imposedban on sales of arms to Tehran.

U.S. Vice President Al Gore and then-Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdininked a secret memorandum in 1995 that obliged Russia to complete by Dec.31, 1999, deliveries of the weaponry systems that Russia and Iran had alreadyagreed on and to refrain from signing new arms deals with the Moslem countryafter that.

In exchange, the U.S. authorities allowed launches of U.S.-made satellitesby Russian rockets to continue. Russia has grossed some $1.7 billion fromlaunches of Western-made satellites since 1993, according to CAST’s estimates.But since 1995, Moscow has also lost several billion dollars in missedopportunities to sign new arms deals with Iran, according to Interfax.

If Russia resumes arms sales to Iran, that nation could be willing toupdate its arsenals by acquiring Su-27 fighters, Su-25 attack planes, Mi-17helicopters, as well as air-defense systems ranging from the shoulder-firedIgla to the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system, among other hardware, Pukhovsaid.

The most advanced version of S-300 is dubbed S-300 PMU-2, has a rangeof some 200 kilometers and can intercept ballistic missiles and aircraftmaking this system an effective tool for warding off Israeli or Iraqi warplanes,Pukhov said. Russia had delivered three Project 877EKM diesel submarinesand eight MiG-29 fighters to Iran, and sold Tehran a T-72 tank productionlicense in a series of deals signed before the 1995 Gore-Chernomyrdin memorandum.

It was also to sell the production license for the BMP-2 infantry fightingvehicle and deliver Su-24MK warplanes in accordance with these pre-memorandumdeals, according to Pukhov. These deliveries could have been followed bythe sale of warships armed with anti-ship supersonic Moskit missiles thateven the U.S. military couldn’t intercept, Pukhov added.

Having sold all these systems, the Kremlin would have then earned millionsof dollars annually just from selling spare parts to Tehran, Pukhov said.But Iran has no great demand for Russian-made spare parts because the SovietUnion refrained from large-scale weapons sales Tehran, choosing to armits arch-foe, Iraq, instead.

Interest in Libya

Like Iran, Libya is also casting about for air-defense systems, nowthat the United Nations has decided to suspend sanctions against Tripoliafter it finally agreed to hand over two suspects in the Dec. 21, 1988,explosion of a Pan Am Boeing 747 over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed270 people.

Pukhov estimated Libya would be would be willing to spend some $90 milliona year to first repair and upgrade its Soviet-made arsenal and to thenpurchase new weaponry systems from Russia.

Tripoli would be particularly interested in purchasing Tor-M1 and S-300air-defense systems to prevent the U.S. military from launching more airraids against it, Makienko said. U.S. jets bombed Tripoli in 1986 to punishthe country’s government for alleged involvement in an explosion in a Germandisco frequented by U.S. soldiers.

Back in the ’80s, Libya reportedly acquired Soviet-made arms worth some$500 million each year. Tripoli owes $2.4 billion to Moscow for Soviet-eraarms supplies. Until it is restructured, this debt could hinder sales ofRussian-made arms to the oil-rich country, according to Safranchuk. DeputyPrime Minister Ilya Klebanov and Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoiguhave visited Tripoli this year to discuss the debt issue and negotiatenew deals with the country.

Syria’s Wish List

As for Syria, Damascus would buy some $60 million worth of Russian-madearms if Moscow decided to ignore Washington’s and Tel Aviv’s oppositionto such sales, says CAST’s Pukhov.

Russia has already sold some arms, including 1,000 anti-tank Kornetmissiles, to Syria, which Washington accuses of sponsoring internationalterrorism. In response, Washington imposed sanctions last year on severalRussian defense companies involved in manufacturing hardware for the Syrianarmed forces, which already owes 90 percent of its weaponry to the formerSoviet Union.

Sanctions failed to impress the Russian leadership, however, which remainscommitted to honoring a 1998 agreement signed by Russian Defense MinisterIgor Sergeyev and his Syrian counterpart that reportedly provides for upto $3 billion in arms to be delivered to Damascus.

In line with this agreement, a delegation of Syrian air force and airdefense specialists visited Moscow in February to negotiate the possiblepurchase of Russian-made arms, including S-300 air-defense systems, Su-27fighters and T-80 tanks, according to officials at the Defense Ministry.

This hardware would better enable Syria to ward off Israel’s much moreadvanced war machine if the already tense relations between the two Mideastneighbors devolved into war, Makienko says.

However, like in Libya’s case, sales of Russian-made arms to Syria couldbe hindered by the fact that Damascus has yet to restructure its $12 billionSoviet-made debt to Moscow, Safranchuk says.

Setting Limits

Another state of concern that would be willing to procure Russian-madearms en masse is Iraq. But United Nations sanctions remain in place againstBagdad, which needs to procure new air-defense systems and warplanes aswell as other hardware to overhaul arsenals crippled during the Gulf War.

While announcing the resumption of exports of conventional arms to Iran,the government continues to block sales of ballistic missile componentsand technologies to that country and other countries, although some domesticdefense companies may try to dodge this ban as they have in the past, Pukhovand Safranchuk said.

Both Iran and North Korea have been actively pursuing ballistic missilesprograms and can proceed with or without Russian help, according to Makienko.

"With the development of information highways, any nation can acquiresuch [ballistic-missile] technologies if it really sets its sight on itand is willing to pay," Makienko said.

Iran has already test fired its indigenous Shahab-3 medium-range ballisticmissiles and ran ground tests of space rocket engines.

As for North Korea, it test-launched what it said was a Taepo Dong-1space rocket in August 1998 to demonstrate its capability in building three-stagerockets. North Korean missile designers are working on a Taepo-Dong-2,which it is believed would be able to reach Alaska, Safranchuk said.

While taking pains to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles, NorthKorea has been and will be spending only $50 million a year on Russian-mademilitary hardware, mostly spare parts for its Soviet-made weaponry systems,according to Pukhov.

And the Russian government also hasn’t agreed to sell to either Iranor North Korea so-called subategic systems, such as long-range Tu-22bombers and atomic-powered vessels as well as high-precision missiles,such as the surface-to-surface Iskander missiles, Pukhov said.

Any attempt to sell these missiles, which have a range of 280 kilometers,to countries such as Syria or Iran would most definitely infuriate theUnited States and Israel, as these high-precision missiles could inflictserious damage in the event of a war with Israel, Pukhov said. Iskanderdesigners maintain that two such missiles could cause as much destructionas one nuclear warhead.

And Russia isn’t willing to sell Yakhont anti-ship missiles, which havea range that would allow countries like Iran to ward off U.S. aircraftin the Persian Gulf, Pukhov said. Yakhont has a range of 300 kilometerscompared with Moskit’s 120 kilometers.

The United States may refrain from wide-scale punitive actions oversales of defensive systems such as the S-300 and the Tor-M1, but salesof high-precision missiles would probably prompt Washington to slap aneconomically crippling trade embargo on Russia, Pukhov said.

Quick Response

But while refraining from sales of subategic systems, Pukhov saidRussia should not delay offering to upgrade the weapon systems of Syriaand Libya, as well as to deliver new arms to these two countries and Iran.

Otherwise, arms dealers from Ukraine and Belarus, as well as WesternEuropean countries such as France, could steal arms orders from under Russia’snose, as they have done in the past, Pukhov said.

Both Ukraine and Belarus have inherited sizable chunks of the Sovietdefense industry and these two countries’ arms exporters are generallyquicker than their Russian counterparts in responding to weaponry inquiriesfrom other countries.

As a result, Iran clinched a deal to procure 12 An-74 transport planesfrom Ukraine in 1997. Also, the Aircraft Manufacturing Co. of Isfahan,Iran, will begin assembling Ukrainian-designed An-140 transport planesnext year.

"Generally speaking, we need to draw a line to define what exactly wewant to export to these countries without a fear that this would provokeany large-scale actions on the part of the United States, and then pursuesales aggressively," Pukhov said.
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E. New Publication

1.
Challenges in Plutonium Science
        Los Alamos Science, Number26, 2000
        (for personal use only)

[the publication can be found free online at:  http://lib-www.lanl.gov/pubs/number26.htm]

Table of Contents [major article headings]

Volume 1:  Historical Introduction, Condensed-Matter Physics, andPlutonium Aging
 

An Update: Plutonium and Quantum Criticality

Historical Introduction

Plutonium—A Historical Overview
In the Beginning 3
A Factor of Millions - Why We Made Plutonium
Plutonium in Use - From Single Atoms to Multiton Amounts
Plutonium - An Element at Odds with Itself
The Plutonium Challenge - Stockpile Stewardship
The Plutonium Challenge - Avoiding Nuclear Weapons Proliferation
The Plutonium Challenge - Environmental Issues
The Taming of “49” - Big Science in Little Time
Reflections on the Legacy of a Legend - Glenn T. Seaborg (1912–1999)
From Alchemy to Atoms - The Making of Plutonium
Plutonium and Health - How Great Is the Risk?


Plutonium Condensed-Matter Physics

Plutonium Condensed-Matter Physics
Actinide Ground-State Properties - Theoretical Predictions
A Possible Model for d -Plutonium - Self-Induced Anderson Localization,d -Phase Stability, and the Melting Temperature of Plutonium
Photoelectron Spectroscopy of a - and d -Plutonium
Atomic Vibrations and Melting in Plutonium
Vibrational Softening in a -Uranium
Elasticity, Entropy, and the Phase Stability of Plutonium
Preparing Single Crystals of Gallium-Stabilized Plutonium
Plutonium Aging
Aging of Plutonium and Its Alloys
A Tale of Two Diagrams
Surface and Corrosion Chemistry of Plutonium
Radiation Effects in Plutonium—What Is Known? Where Should We Go fromHere? Transmission Electron Microscopy of Plutonium Alloys


Volume 2:  Plutonium Metallurgy, Actinide Chemistry and theEnvironment, and the Yucca Mountain Project

Plutonium Metallurgy
Plutonium and Its Alloys—From Atoms to Microstructure
Mechanical Behavior of Plutonium and Its Alloys
Where Is the Gallium?—Searching the Plutonium Lattice with XAFS
Actinide Chemistry and the Environment
The Chemical Complexities of Plutonium
Computational Studies of Actinide Chemistry
The Chemical Interactions of Actinides in the Environment
Characterizing the Plutonium Aquo Ions by XAFS Spectroscopy
XAFS—A Technique to Probe Local Structure
A Vision for Environmentally Conscious Plutonium Processing
Decontamination of Metallic Wastes
Molecularly Engineered Resins for Plutonium Recovery
The Yucca Mountain Project
Yucca Mountain - Looking Ten Thousand Years into the Future
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