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Nuclear News - 05/11/01
RANSAC Nuclear News, May 11, 2001
Compiled by Kelly Turner


A. Loose Nukes
    1. Nuclear Boom: Attempts To Smuggle Radioactive Materials Have Doubled Over The Past Five Years, Boosting Fears Of Nuclear Terrorism, Rob Edwards, New Scientist Magazine (online) (05/09/01)
    2. Radioactive Materials 'Stolen By Terrorists,' Charles Arthur, The Independent (05/10/01)
B. Brain Drain
    1. Russia Faces New Nuclear Disaster As Experts Quit, Patrick Cockburn, The Independent (05/09/01)
C. Russian - Iranian Relations
    1. Bush Administration Must Ease Up On Russia, Clifford Gaddy and Michael O'Hanlon, Baltimore Sun (05/08/01)
D. Nonproliferation Policy
    1. "e;Loose Nukes"e; Get Shortchanged? Some Russia Experts Say Money For A Missile Shield Should Be Spent On Nonproliferation Programs, Scott Peterson , The Christian Science Monitor (05/09/01)
E. U.S. - Russian Relations
    1. U.S. Congressman Wants To Suspend Russia From G-8, Reuters (05/08/01)
    2. U.S. Mulls Shift of Nuke Research, John Heilprin, Associated Press (05/11/01)
F. Nuclear Waste
    1. Russia Not To Receive EU's Nuclear Waste, The Russia Journal (05/11/01)
G. Nuclear Cities Initiative
    1. Joins Russian Institute to Form Technology Park in Russia, Business Wire (05/11/01)
H. Announcements
    1. Workshop on Russian Nuclear Security - Priorities and Alternatives, Hosted by: The Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM), Nonproliferation and Arms Control (NAC) Division on May 16, 2001. For more information go to: http://www.inmm.org/meetings/russeminar2001.html

A. Loose Nukes

1.
Nuclear Boom: Attempts To Smuggle Radioactive Materials Have Doubled Over The Past Five Years, Boosting Fears Of Nuclear Terrorism
Rob Edwards, Stockholm
New Scientist Magazine (online)
May 9, 2001
(for personal use only)


Attempts to smuggle radioactive materials have doubled over the past five years, according to figures released this week by the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency. The revelations bolster fears that the threat of nuclear terrorism is increasing.

The IAEA's database on trafficking in nuclear materials has logged more than 550 incidents since 1993, it revealed at a conference in Stockholm. The rate of incidents in 1999 and 2000 was twice that in 1996. In the first three months of 2001, there were 20 confirmed cases, including thefts in Germany, Romania, South Africa and Mexico.

The majority of cases involved the movement of materials which could not be made into bombs, such as contaminated scrap metal or radioactive sources. But 15 instances since 1993 involved plutonium or enriched uranium, which could be used in bombs.

No single consignment has so far contained enough for a bomb, but the most worrying to the IAEA was the seizure of nearly a kilogram of enriched uranium in April last year in the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

Staggering legacy

The risk of nuclear terrorism is "the worst of all nightmares", says Morten Bremer Maerli of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs in Oslo. The cold war has left the world with "a staggering legacy" of 3 million kilograms of fissile material, he says - enough for a quarter of a million bombs.

Maerli says two of the most notorious terrorist groups - Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaida in Afghanistan and the Aum Shrinrikyo cult in Japan - -have been trying to acquire a nuclear capability.

Alex Schmid of the UN's Terrorism Prevention Branch suggests that there could be as many as 130 terrorist groups that pose a nuclear threat. "Vigorous efforts need to be made to keep the nuclear genie in the bottle and out of the hands of terrorists," he says.
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2.
Radioactive Materials 'Stolen By Terrorists'
Charles Arthur
The Independent
May 10, 2001
(for personal use only)


International terrorist groups are making renewed efforts to smuggle radioactive materials to make nuclear bombs, new figures released this week indicate.

The number of attempts to steal potentially fissile materials has doubled in the past five years, said the International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear industry watchdog. In the first three months of 2001 there were 20 confirmed cases of illegal trafficking of radioactive materials, with thefts in Germany, Romania, South Africa and Mexico, it said.

Morten Bremer Maerli, of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs in Oslo, told New Scientist magazine that the risk of nuclear terrorism was "the worst of all nightmares". He also noted that two of the most notorious terrorist groups — Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaida in Afghanistan, and the Aum Shrinrikyo cult in Japan — had for some years been trying to obtain nuclear materials.

The United Nations' Terrorism Prevention Branch suggests that up to 130 terrorist groups worldwide could pose a nuclear threat. Mr Maerli noted that the end of the Cold War had left the world with three million kilograms of fissile material, which would be enough to make 250,000 bombs.
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B. Brain Drain

1.
Russia Faces New Nuclear Disaster As Experts Quit
Patrick Cockburn
Independent
May 9, 2001
(for personal use only)


The World faces the threat of a major nuclear weapons disaster because Russia's impoverished atomic scientists are abandoning their posts in droves, a new report warned yesterday.

The safety of the country's nuclear arsenal, the pride of the military built up by the Soviet Union, is increasingly in doubt amid the collapse of the scientific élite.

The report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace warns that Russia is failing "to train, recruit and maintain the type of experts it needs to ensure a safe, secure and reliable strategic nuclear deterrent". There is a growing risk that the Russian nuclear arsenal will suffer a devastating accident similar to the one at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986.

The scientists, in charge of producing nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them, once enjoyed a higher standard of living than other Russians. Now many of them earn only £40 a month and are forced to rely on second jobs for most of their income.

"I would go abroad with great pleasure, but sometimes I don't have enough money to buy cigarettes," a specialist told the social scientist Valentin Tikhonov, the report's author.

The survey of nuclear specialists living in 10 cities where nuclear weapons and missiles are made shows they are in despair at their prospects.

Mr Tikhonov gained access to 10 cities whose very existence was often a secret under the Soviet Union. They frequently did not appear on maps and had no names. Instead they were called after the nearest administrative centre, though it might be hundreds of miles away, and by its postal code, such as Chelyabinsk-45 or Krasnoyarsk-26.

The report says the reason for the fall in the quality of the 120,000 nuclear technicians working in the 10 cities is the collapse in their living standards. "About 60 per cent of surveyed specialists received monthly pay equivalent to less than $50," it says.

Mr Tikhonov writes: "Regular pay has ceased to be the main source of livelihood, giving way to money made by moonlighting." One unnamed scientist says: "Even people in Zambia do not live in this way."

But the fear of the early Nineties, that Russian nuclear specialists would take their expertise to other countries, has not been realised. Despite President George Bush's claim that a missile defence system is necessary to protect America against "rogue states", there is little demand for the services of Russian nuclear scientists abroad.

But the report suggests that many would go, if asked. "The main thing is that I should be paid," says one specialist. "After all, I will be working, not killing or robbing." Another scientist complained: "The most terrible thing is that no one is waiting for us anywhere, either abroad or in this godforsaken country."

Russia is losing capacity to replace existing nuclear weapons as well as to maintain those it has already. A missile specialist says: "Production of submarine missiles is dying with a corresponding dearth of designers and technology experts." Another complains that the government in Moscow has no policy for dealing with the nuclear and missile cities.

The report warns that "maintaining systems as complex as nuclear weapons and long-range missiles requires a skilled, experienced, and motivated cadre of experts".
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C. Russian-Iranian Relations

1.
Bush Administration Must Ease Up On Russia
Clifford Gaddy and Michael O'Hanlon
Baltimore Sun
May 8, 2001
(for personal use only)


WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration is off to a rough start in its relations with Russia, and much of the reason is its insistence that Russia cease selling military technology to Iran.

The Bush team is right to worry about Russian arms sales to Iran, a country that still supports terrorism, refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist, and sits astride the critical Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz.

But the administration is wrong to pick up where the Clinton administration left off and treat all such sales equally.

And it is also wrong to think that Russian President Vladimir Putin would consider ending all of his country's arms sales to Tehran. If the Bush administration is to avoid a worsening relationship with Russia and make progress in constraining Russia's dangerous arms trade with Iran, it needs a more nuanced policy. Zero tolerance will not work.

Weapons technologies represent nearly half of Russia's exports of machinery. There is no way that economically beleaguered Russia will give up a large chunk of such a valued source of hard currency, which presently accounts for about $3 billion a year. Indeed, Mr. Putin recently declared a policy of strengthening and centralizing Russia's arms industry.

The United States can live with perhaps 90 percent of Russian arms sales. Therefore, it should focus dialogue on those 10 percent of greatest concern.

Like any other country, especially one adjacent to Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Iran has every right to a viable self-defense force, including tanks, other armored vehicles, artillery, fighters, helicopters, surface-to-air missiles and surface ships. Such Iranian military assets should not unduly concern the United States because U.S. forces could counter them in the event of war.

Instead, Washington should save its breath for those weapons that Iran could use in small numbers to cause severe loss of life or political and economic disruption in the region. These include ballistic missiles, anti-ship and land-attack cruise missiles, advanced sea mines and submarines.

Such weapons could sink oil tankers or even U.S. Navy ships and could terrorize populations in places like Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Washington also has reasonable grounds for worrying about Moscow's nuclear trade with Iran. Russia is unlikely to suspend all such trade -- most of which is permitted under international law, since Iran's nuclear reactors are under international safeguards and monitoring.

But the right U.S.-Russian dialogue may convince Moscow to forgo sales of technologies like uranium enrichment devices that could help Iran build a "basement bomb."

The bad news in Mr. Putin's recent decision to reinvigorate Russia's arms industry is that Washington has even less hope of stopping exports to Iran.

But the good news is that Mr. Putin's centralization of defense industrial policy should permit him to rein in individual firms whose exports would harm the Russian national interest.

Rather than asking for the moon, the Bush administration should work to convince Moscow that certain arms sales to Iran are not to Russia's long-term advantage, either.
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D. Nonproliferation Policy

1.
"Loose Nukes" Get Shortchanged? Some Russia Experts Say Money For A Missile Shield Should Be Spent On Nonproliferation Programs.
Scott Peterson
The Christian Science Monitor
May 9, 2001
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW - It is the biggest nonreligious holiday on the calendar, when Russians relive past military glory to celebrate the World War II defeat of Nazi Germany.

But today's traditional Victory Day military parade in Red Square is but a shadow of its former Soviet-era self. No strategic missiles will lumber ominously past the Kremlin gates; no tank battalions will rumble over the worn cobblestones.

While the show may signify that Russia is no longer a superpower - a point often made by President Bush's policy team - analysts warn that administration plans to trim US funding for nonproliferation programs dangerously neglect the threat that Russia's vast remaining nuclear arsenal still poses.

Mr. Bush pledges to spend tens of billions of dollars to build a new missile defense shield. But proliferation experts argue that a fraction of that spent to control Russia's "loose nukes" - and to prevent the spread of bomb-grade enriched uranium, plutonium, and scientific expertise - may be a better bargain.

"When you consider the contributions these programs are making to US security, they cost far less than one-half of 1 percent of the defense budget - it's small change," says James Clay Moltz, a director of the Monterey Institute's Center for Nonproliferation Studies in California.

"We're seeing the [US] defense budget increasing for new weapons," Mr. Moltz says, "but decreasing for the kind of cooperative security approaches that really will reduce the long-term threat."

A bipartisan task force commissioned by the Energy Department noted in January that Russian weapons or nuclear material could be sold to "terrorists or hostile nations" - and that "dozens" of attempts to do so have been thwarted in recent years. This is the "most urgent unmet national security threat to the United States today," it found. "It really boggles my mind that there could be 40,000 nuclear weapons ... in the former Soviet Union, poorly controlled and poorly stored, and that the world isn't in a near-state of hysteria about the danger," Howard Baker, the former Senate majority leader and task force co-chair, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee a month ago.

The panel called for a four-fold funding increase to $3 billion per year for the next decade. Bush's proposed 2002 budget chops some 10 percent off nonproliferation funding for Russia, which now stands at $874 million.

The debate is emerging as the administration is conducting a comprehensive review of all such programs for Russia. The political atmosphere, too, is acrimonious. US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has taken a tough stance, accusing Russia of being an "active proliferator." Moscow complains that Washington is gripped by the "spirit" of the cold war.

Russia has been a chief opponent of Bush's missile defense plans, and President Vladimir Putin has made a point of improving relations with US arch-foes from Cuba to Iran. Tension grew further in February over the tit-for-tat expulsion - begun by Washington - of 50 diplomats from each side for spying.

One result, analysts say, is that politics is mixing with security concerns. Under the microscope is Russian transparency - especially in nuclear dealings with Iran and India - and access by American officials to sensitive sites.

"The danger is still there, it's a serious problem, and US assistance has been important in dealing with it," says Oleg Bukharin, a proliferation expert and researcher at Princeton University in New Jersey. "The problem is that if you stop this train, it might be very difficult to get it moving again."

Russian political support for US nuclear-control programs could fall away too, he says, and while "Russia does not behave politically correctly all the time," the US should not forget that Russia holds a unique strategic card. "If you look objectively at threats, the only possible scenario in which the US could be destroyed is if Russia launched its nuclear weapons," Mr. Bukharin says. "All other threats, like terrorism or rogue missiles, are nothing [in comparison]."

Just days before the Bush inauguration, that point was made by the Russia task force. While citing "impressive results thus far," it said that if funding wasn't boosted, there would be an "unacceptable risk of failure" that could lead to "catastrophic consequences."

Hardest hit are those programs that focus on finding alternative work and payment subsidies for scientists, to minimize the risk that they apply their knowledge elsewhere.

Such programs include the Nuclear Cities Initiative, which seeks to convert military facilities and jobs in 10 "closed" cities. While it is a regular target of critics, supporters say it provides a key blueprint. This is the best strategy to guarantee that Russia's nuclear reductions are irreversible," says Alexander Pikayev, head of nonproliferation at the Carnegie Moscow Center. "Cutting this program undermines the solution itself."

The "human factor" is the reason, he says, citing cases in which guards - meant to be monitoring US-funded video surveillance systems - might not show up for work in winter.

"The long-term solution is not just to deliver these technical systems, but to do something about the human factor." Failure to do so, he warns, will cause "significant leakage of [Russian] materials and expertise that could trigger nuclear missile development" in rogue states, which in turn could undermine Washington's missile defense plans.

"This acceleration would be very high," Mr. Pikayev says. "This is why, by the time the US would be ready to deploy an efficient missile shield, those [hostile] countries might already have strong nuclear and missile capabilities."

A study by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace illumines the risk. Surveying scientists in five Russian nuclear cities, it found that 62 percent earn less than $50 per month. Also polled were experts in missile enterprises, 21 percent of whom said they would want to work in a foreign military complex.

Changing such attitudes has been the aim of US nonproliferation policy. And while Russian analysts say Moscow is more aware of the problem and is increasing its own funding, it is the tip of the iceberg. "There is not enough money for anything in Russia, even for nuclear arsenals, which deserve much more attention," says Vyacheslav Nikonov, head of the independent Politika Foundation think tank in Moscow.

"The idea of punishing Russia by not cutting its nuclear arsenal is a strange idea, with a strange logic," he adds. "If you spent half of that sum [proposed for the US missile defense shield] on Russian disarmament, you probably wouldn't even need the shield."
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E. U.S. - Russian Relations

1.
U.S. Congressman Wants To Suspend Russia From G-8
Reuters
May 8, 2001
(for personal use only)


WASHINGTON - A leading Democratic congressman launched an effort Tuesday to suspend Russia's participation in the organization of leading industrial nations known as the Group of Eight.

Rep. Tom Lantos of California, ranking Democrat on the House of Representatives International Relations Committee, introduced a resolution in Congress calling for Russia's suspension until the government in Moscow "restores press freedoms and respect for human rights."

The resolution, if passed by Congress, would not have the force of law. But depending on how it fares, it could influence administration thinking and make a political point.

"Russia no longer deserves a seat at the table of major industrialized democracies," Lantos said in a statement.

"By cracking down on the free press in Russia, President (Vladimir) Putin has forfeited his nation's voice and vote in the G-8," he added.

Lantos said that when the then-G-7 nations invited Russia to join their ranks in 1991, they conditioned Russia's participation on continued progress towards economic and political liberalization.

"The Russian government has failed to meet these conditions, flouting democratic norms and violating its citizens' human rights. Russia's membership on the G-8 should therefore be suspended," he said.

Lantos' initiative follows a period in which Putin has cracked down on Russia' independent media, including the April 14th takeover by Gazprom, a partially state-owned gas monopoly, of NTV, Russia's only independently operated television station.

Since his election last year, "Putin has manipulated the levers of state power and orchestrated a concerted campaign to suppress voices of criticism in Russia, betraying his own KGB training and authoritarian tendencies," Lantos said.

"Membership in the G-8 confers international legitimacy and prestige. Those nations that participate in this forum are viewed as the leaders of the democratic world. To include Russia despite its crack down on the free press is to undermine the legitimacy of the G-8," the congressman added.

Vladimir Gusinsky, the embattled media magnate who owned NTV, urged Western leaders last week during a speech in Washington to set "red lines" for Russian behavior beyond which "one cannot go if one wants to live in a civilized world."

"This is the free press, this is human rights, and it is many, many other things that have to happen in Russia for it to be able to call itself a civilized country," Gusinsky said.

But he stopped short of advocating the ouster of Russia from the G-8. "It's not my decision, it's the decision of the G7 countries, or G7-and-a-half…But I would like to repeat ... that a country that does not honor the basic principles of existence in the civilized world has major problems," he said.

Gusinsky was publicly praised by Americans as Putin, his nemesis, was named one of the 10 worst enemies of the press by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.
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2.
U.S. Mulls Shift of Nuke Research
John Heilprin
Associated Press
May 11, 2001
(for personal use only)


WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is considering shifting some critical nuclear research to Russia as part of budget cuts that may shut down small research reactors at three U.S. colleges.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has asked the Energy Department to move work from Michigan to a facility that might take years to equip, a department official said.

"It is troubling to us, obviously," said John C. Lee, chairman of the University of Michigan's Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences.

Lee said proposed research cuts would require his school to decommission its research reactor and test laboratories within three years. The reactor is the only one in the nation capable of testing 10-inch-thick pressured steel vessels that act as a last resort against leakage of radiation from nuclear power plant reactor cores, he said.

William Magwood IV, director of the Energy Department's Office of Nuclear Energy, testified Thursday before Congress on President Bush's proposed 42.5 percent budget cut for nuclear research, from $47 million this year to $27 million in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

Meantime, the administration was putting the final touches on an energy package that will emphasize reviving nuclear power to address future electricity needs.

"They think they might have to go to Russia if the University of Michigan closes the reactor," Magwood said after testifying. "I'd hate to see that happen."

He agreed that the Michigan reactor has a unique task, but he said the NRC does not view moving its work to Russia as a national security issue.

Two of the nation's other premier university-run nuclear research laboratories - Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Cornell University - also have told the Energy Department they plan to decommission their reactors unless the government contributes more.

In Bush's budget, all of the research, education and nuclear facilities and materials programs that Magwood oversees would be cut 20 percent, from $277.5 million to $223 million.

"Vice President Cheney is going to come out and say that this is the way we should proceed, but at the same time say, 'Give us less money to make sure we do it right,"' complained Rep. Sonny Callahan, R-Ala., chairman of the House Appropriations energy and water subcommittee.

But Magwood said in an interview that it was appropriate for the Bush administration "to take a pause and have a careful examination of everything we're doing and then move forward."

The University of Michigan already has begun planning for decommissioning its 2 megawatt Ford Reactor and accompanying nuclear labs it operates at an annual cost of $1.5 million. The Energy Department now contributes about $100,000 a year although the NRC has invested close to $2 million in the testing program at Michigan, Lee said.

"The integrity of the pressure vessels is very important for the safe operation of nuclear power plants in this country," Lee said. "This is essentially the last line of defense ... that would protect and contain radiation produced in the operation of a reactor."
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F. Nuclear Waste

1.
Russia Not To Receive EU's Nuclear Waste
The Russia Journal
May 11, 2001
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW - European countries won't export expended nuclear fuel to Russia, the member of the European Commission responsible for environmental problems declared at a press conference devoted to the results of her visit to Russia in Moscow today.

"None of the European countries have plans for exporting their expended nuclear fuel to Russia," she stressed. She mentioned in this respect that there is a special directive of the European Union, which bans the exports of expended nuclear fuel to those companies which have not gone through special licensing in accordance with the Unity's safety rules.
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G. Nuclear Cities

1.
Joins Russian Institute to Form Technology Park in Russia
Business Wire
May 11, 2001
(for personal use only)


BERLIN - Advanced Technology Industries Inc. (OTCBB:AVDI) has entered into an agreement for incorporated companies under the law of the Russian Federation to form an Incubator/Technology Park in Zhelesnogorsk (formerly known as Krasnoyarsk-26), one of the "closed cities" of the Former Soviet Union.

This business venture is known as the "International Centre of Advanced Technologies." The founding members are NIFTI and ATI. The legal address of the International Centre of Advanced Technologies is Akademgorodok, P.B. 8678, 66036 Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation.

Zhelesnogorsk is the largest underground nuclear complex in the world. The nuclear mega-labyrinth is located 250-300 meters deep under the surface. It consists of 3,500 rooms and halls and operates under the name, "Mining and Chemical Combinate" (MCC). The complex has three nuclear reactors for plutonium production, one reprocessing facility for the production of plutonium-dioxide and uranium-nitrate.

Two of the nuclear reactors have been decommissioned and the third reactor is still under operation to supply the 120,000 inhabitants of the above ground city of Zheleznogorsk with electricity and heat. The facility houses extensive underground storage capacity for both liquid and solid nuclear wastes. There are current plans to establish Zhelesnogorsk internationally as a center which is offering its services for nuclear waste management for interim storage and reprocessing or final storage of nuclear waste.

Discussions between MCC, the administration of Zhelesnogorsk, NIFTI and ATI are being conducted to define the exact boundaries of the real property within the "closed city." Approximately 13 hectares have been identified as suitable for the facility. This area consists of production facilities previously used for assembling micro-electronics. It also includes a former laboratory used for nuclear technologies and an uncompleted production hall.

The proposed plan is to complete the hall for development and production of proposed conversion technologies and to reestablish the structure and operations of the laboratory to develop applications for nuclear waste remediation technologies. Operating budgets are currently being prepared and various submissions for multilateral agency funding are in process.

This plan has been developed utilizing the existing structure of the Zhelesnogorsk Development Center, which was founded in 1999 with a U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) grant. This grant was issued pursuant to the Nuclear Cities Initiative Program of the DOE. The Nuclear Cities Initiative (NCI) is a cooperative program between the United States and the Russian Federation established to promote business development and job creation in Russia's closed nuclear cities.

ATI believes this business model qualifies for existing international funding agency programs, including U.S. DOE/NCI and the Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention (IPP) programs.

The IPP program cooperatively engages Russian weapons scientists, engineers and technicians currently or formerly engaged with weapons of mass destruction (or related technologies) on non-weapons related projects. This program identifies and creates non-military, commercial opportunities for Russian defense technologies.

The process of commercial evaluation, partnership formation and assistance in commercialization is provided by the U.S. Industry Coalition (USIC), a Delaware 501c3 corporation. This is a U.S. government supported coalition of private companies. ATI became a member of the USIC in 2000. USIC acts as the commercialization agent for the U.S. Department of Energy's IPP program.

USIC supports IPP by providing U.S. Industry partners to work in tandem on cost-shared projects with the U.S. National Laboratories and Russian weapons institutes. Both the NCI and IPP programs work with the direct participation of one, or more, of 11 U.S. National Laboratories.

Currently more than 3,300 Russian scientists are working with more than 220 U.S. National Laboratory scientists. U.S. Industry partners include General Electric, Exxon, DuPont, Boeing, Aquila Technologies, Phygen, Raton Technology Research Inc., Lasen Inc. and others.

Discussions are ongoing with agencies of the Federal Republic of Germany and other European multilateral agencies for additional financial support.

NIFTI, cooperating partner of ATI in the management of the Centre, was formed by Decree No. 69 of June 19, 1991, through the transformation of three departments of Krasnoyarsk State University into The Research Institute of Physics and Engineering (NIFTI) for the purpose of development of defense-related technologies.

In 1993, the NIFTI board adapted a program of full-scale conversion, from defense related to research intensive technologies and products, aimed to solve the problems of Siberian industries. Today the mission of NIFTI is directed to fundamental research and engineering in utilization of nuclear wastes, industrial waste recovery, explosion physics, composites, ultra-dispersed and ceramic materials and aluminum production related technologies.

They develop and commercialize new innovations from start-up stage to prototyping, marketing and business planning. ATI and NIFTI have identified technology projects over the last 12 months that are suitable for development in the period 2001-2002. The International Centre is being organized into specific Focus Groups: -- Nuclear Waste Management --Superconductivity -- Environmental Pollution -- Life Sciences -- Fire protection materials -- Aluminum production and environmental by-product technologies Functioning through the above Focus Groups the International Centre for Advanced Technologies is intended to provide cooperative research and development agreements (CRADA) with nuclear and military scientists, engineers and technicians in order to promote non-military employment opportunities and to convert military production facilities to non-military technologies.

This plan is intended to provide strategic partners access to an extensive portfolio of technologies developed within the armament laboratories of the Former Soviet Union. The initial and primary focus of this commercialization of former armament technologies will be those from the "closed cities" of Zhelesnogorsk (Karsnoyarsk-26), Zheleznogorsk (Krasnoyarsk-45), Seversk (Tomsk-7) and Snezhinsk (Chelyabinsk-70).

Additionally, it will provide access to research and engineering resources, scientists, engineers and personnel. These services are being provided from the existing infrastructure of these four "closed cities." ATI is currently developing a plan to recruit additional strategic partners to provide additional services, e.g. research and development, financing, and global marketing.

Advanced Technology Industries is a technology enabling holding company that transforms old world markets into new world networks by amassing, enhancing and distributing intellectual capital from incubation to global alliances.

ATI works in cooperation with the agencies of the United States, Russian Federation, Federal Republic of Germany, the State of Israel and multilateral agencies, such as the European Union and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, to promote the transfer of new technology from the military industrial industries and research institutes of the former Soviet Union, including the "closed cities" of the Russian Federation, to the private sector and industry.

These objectives are designed to promote nuclear non-proliferation and provide opportunities to institutes, military industrial organizations, weapons scientists and engineers to create new businesses, improve industrial efficiency, increase employment, enhance trade, preserve the environment and improve the quality of life. Certain information and statements included in this news release constitute "forward looking statements" within the meaning of the Federal Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results, performance, or achievement of the company to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. --30--NK/np* FLB/np CONTACT: Advanced Technology Industries Inc.
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