WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration will try to work out a new strategic framework with Russia that could include joint military exercises and sharing of missile technology -- provided Russia stops assisting Iran and North Korea, White House National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said Thursday.
With Russian military experts due in Washington for talks next Tuesday and Wednesday, Rice said Moscow has not yet accepted the concept. But she said in an interview with The Associated Press: "I am hopeful there can be a new day with Russia."
The talks -- Rice prefers to call them consultations rather than traditional negotiations -- are the first in a series of three rounds designed to implement the agreement President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin reached July 22 in Genoa, Italy, to link U.S. planning for a missile defense with the large cuts the Kremlin wants to make in nuclear weapons arsenals.
The Russian delegation will be headed by Col. Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky, first deputy chief of the general staff, and the U.S. delegation by Douglas Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy.
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and Assistant Secretary of State John Bolton then would go to Moscow for a second round, and Secretary of State Colin Powell would meet in New York in mid-September with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov.
"We've set up intensive consultations," said Rice, who held her own talks in Moscow after the Bush-Putin meeting. "We believe there is a new strategic framework out there that permits missile defenses and involves offensive reductions."
The administration's view is that the United States and Russia both have security reasons to begin a new relationship, she said. "It is not built on implacable hostility as it was with the Soviet Union," Rice said.
Putin has resisted U.S. overtures to accept a U.S. missile defense system that bumps up against the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, but his willingness in Genoa to have talks simultaneously on defense systems and missile cuts was welcomed by Bush.
Still, Rice said "the Russians have not accepted the concept" of a new framework. "But we have made a lot of progress in the last six or seven months."
A new relationship, she said, could include the United States and Russia sharing defense plans "so they see what the other side is doing," joint warning exercises and sharing missile data," including permission for Russia to purchase American equipment.
But, she said, Russia would have to do more to control the sale of technology to Iran and North Korea.
"We still have a proliferation problem of serious proportions," Rice said.
Formal, protracted negotiations that marked the Cold War, producing a slew of arms control treaties, some of which have not been implemented, are not part of the administration's plan, according to Rice and another senior U.S. official.
"What we don't want to have is a 12-year negotiation," Rice said. return to menu
B. U.S. Nuclear Forces
1. Bush Receives Pentagon Briefing
August 2, 2001
(for personal use only)
WASHINGTON -- President Bush met with senior defense aides and top military leaders at the Pentagon for a briefing on U.S. nuclear forces in preparation for decisions on reducing the number of nuclear weapons, officials said.
The officials, who discussed Wednesday's meeting on condition of anonymity, said it was held to inform the president of nuclear strategy details rather than to seek approval for near-term weapons cuts.
The meeting in Rumsfeld's office lasted about 90 minutes, according to Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman. He would not provide other details beyond saying that Bush was briefed on Rumsfeld's reviews of U.S. defense strategy and force restructuring. He refused to say whether it involved nuclear forces.
Other officials, however, said Bush received a detailed briefing from Adm. Richard Mies, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, which is responsible for all strategic nuclear forces. The briefing was designed to explain the many complexities of the nuclear forces, including the relationship between the force makeup and targeting requirements, the officials said.
Vice President Dick Cheney and the president's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, also attended the briefing, as well as Andrew Card, the White House chief of staff.
Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed at their summit meeting last month in Italy to move forward with talks on nuclear force reductions while also discussing U.S. plans to build missile defenses.
The United States and Russia agreed to reduce strategic nuclear weapons to between 3,000 and 3,500 each -- about half current stockpiles -- under a START II treaty that took years to negotiate but has not been fully ratified. Putin says he wants to cut back to 1,500 each, or even lower, and Bush, without committing to a specific number, has said he sees room for cuts below 2,500.
The Pentagon is in the midst of a congressionally required review of its nuclear forces to be finished late this year.
An important question in considering whether and how to cut and reconfigure the forces is whether to retain all three legs of the force -- air-, land- and sea-based missiles. These form the nuclear "triad" that has been the basis of U.S. strategic nuclear planning for decades. return to menu
C. Russian Nuclear Power
1. Greens Attack Funding of St. Pete Nuke Plant
August 3, 2001
(for personal use only)
ST. PETERSBURG - Environmentalists sent an open letter this week to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Baltic-region governments appealing to them not to support additional projects at the Leningrad Nuclear Power Station, LAES, in Sosnovy Bor.
The ecologists from the Greenworld environmental group based in Sosnovy Bor, 80 kilometers west of St. Petersburg, accused the plant's authorities of financial mismanagement and routine safety violations. Greenworld's letter claimed, among other things, that the "wet" storage facility for spent nuclear fuel at the plant is currently 40 percent over its design capacity. It also claimed that there have been numerous incidents of theft of non-ferrous metals from the plant, including "important functional components for 40 operating safety control devices." Greenworld further alleges that the telephone hotline to Moscow at the plant has been disabled and that drunkenness among workers is widespread. The report quotes the head of the Sosnovy Bor fire brigade as saying that "there have not yet been serious fires at LAES, which is just sheer luck." He said that about 140 fire-safety violations are registered at the plant each year.
Because of these problems and a generally lax safety culture at LAES, the West should cease providing financial support for LAES projects, especially a plan to prolong the life span of LAES's four RBMK-1000 Chernobyl-type reactors. Greenworld's report was primarily written by Sergei Kharitonov, who worked at the plant from 1973 until March 2000 and who is now a Greenworld council member. LAES officials, while confirming some of the information in the Greenworld letter, insist that the plant is safe and that none of the violations are significant. They point out that LAES is inspected annually by the Russian State Nuclear Inspectorate, or Gosatomnadzor, and by official delegations from neighboring countries such as Finland and Norway.
"There have never been grounds for a scandal," LAES official Nikolai Yesaulov said. "Yes, every time we receive a list of recommendations, but these are nothing more than minor reprimands. Generally, the high level of the plant's safety culture has never been questioned."
The power of Gosatomnadzor to issue reprimands and follow through on their enforcement has been significantly reduced in recent months as a result of lobbying by the Nuclear Power Ministry, which is seeking to reduce Gosatomnadzor's authority. According to LAES spokeswoman Valeriya Nikitina, the plant is scheduled to be inspected by the International Atomic Energy Commission in 2002. The IAEC's last inspection of the plant was in 1996.
Kim Soderling, project manager of the Finnish Center for Nuclear Safety, or STUK, which monitors LAES, said that his organization would not comment on Greenworld's letter. "STUK doesn't take part in conversations of Russian Federation's energy policy," he said. Erlend Larsen, senior executive officer of the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, wrote in a statement to The Moscow Times that her organization "does not have a complete picture of the safety" at LAES and that "there are several areas where the safety is not internationally acceptable." "The general Norwegian attitude is that all plants, including RBMK reactors, that do not meet an internationally acceptable safety level should be shut down," Larsen wrote.
Yesaulov confirmed Greenworld's information that the LAES "wet" storage facility is over capacity, but he insisted it was not a problem. "The measures we have taken to compress spent nuclear fuel are sufficient. All our steps have been approved by Gosatomnadzor," he said.
Sergei Bavykin, deputy head of the Environmental Safety Department of the Sosnovy Bor municipal administration, agrees that LAES is safe. "I do not have any reasons to doubt the plant's policy or its safety enforcement or to suspect the plant's management of any wrongdoing," he said. "It is not that the ecologists provide falsified information, but their view of the situation is obviously one-sided," Bavykin said.
The EBRD is not currently involved in or considering any projects with LAES, said Joachim Jahnke, EBRD vice president for nuclear-safety programs. In 1995, LAES received a grant of 30 million euros ($26.4 million) to support several projects intended to improve plant safety. The money was allocated at a 1995 meeting of the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations, with several other countries later contributing, and the fund was administered by the EBRD. "The 1995 donation was a short-term project, which has already been accomplished," Jahnke said in telephone interview Wednesday. "We realize the sum was very small in comparison to the amount of work that has to be done, and it was never meant to solve all problems facing the station."
Jahnke said, however, that the EBRD shares Greenworld's concern about Russia's continued use of Chernobyl-type reactors that will reach the end of their recommended life span in the next several years, the more so since the in-depth safety assessments are continually delayed. According to Jahnke, the risks associated with continued operation of these reactors, which do not and cannot meet international safety standards and have therefore been decommissioned in Ukraine and Lithuania, are a profound concern for the Nuclear Safety Account. "Russia is presently not in line with its obligations under the nuclear-safety agreement with the bank," he said. The EBRD, however, remains committed to a dialogue with Russia to resolve this problem, officials said.
Many Russian and international environmental groups have called for Russia to follow the example of Western countries, which have been dismantling their nuclear reactors in recent years. Vladimir Slivyak of the Russian environmental group Ecodefense said Germany is committed to decommissioning all of its nuclear reactors by 2020. Sweden's nuclear industry will be shut down by 2010.
"The absurdity is that while the West gives up nuclear energy because it is expensive and dangerous, Russia, which finds itself in a dire financial plight, is planning to construct new reactors," Slivyak said. LAES supplies approximately 40 percent of St. Petersburg's electricity. It employs over 10,000 people in a town of 60,000 and provides up to 80 percent of Sosnovy Bor's revenues. return to menu
D. Nuclear Waste
1. U.S.-Built Nuclear Waste Site Opens in Russia
August 3, 2001
(for personal use only)
BOLSHOI KAMEN, Russia - Russia opened a nuclear waste treatment and storage site yesterday, built with U.S. funding to ensure the safety of spent fuel from Russian submarines in the Pacific Ocean.
The site was built by an international consortium led by Lockheed Martin at the Zvezda shipbuilding factory in the Russian far eastern town of Bolshoi Kamen.
"This complex, built in less than three years, will help minimise the quantity of secondary waste and also organise the process of its temporary storage in compact and safe form in modern reservoirs maintaining all systems of control and monitoring," the Zvezda factory said in a press release.
The safe decommissioning of submarines from Russia's nuclear-powered fleets in the Pacific, the Arctic and the North Sea is an important issue for environmental groups and nuclear non-proliferation specialists.
The Zvezda factory has dismantled 15 submarines since the 1980s, the factory said.
A similar waste reprocessing and storage site has been built in the Arctic port of Severodvinsk, base of the Russian Northern Fleet. return to menu
2. Nuclear Waste Disposal Facility Completed in Russia Far East
August 3, 2001
(for personal use only)
VLADIVOSTOK -- A Russian nuclear waste disposal plant built mainly to process and store waste from dismantled nuclear-powered submarines opened Thursday outside Vladivostok, headquarters of the Russian Navy's Pacific fleet.
An inauguration ceremony was held at the facility, which was built in cooperation with the U.S. Defense Department and with the participation of U.S. firms.
Located in Bolshoy Kamen, the disposal facility was built in response to an international outcry in 1993 after the cashapped Russian government was found dumping nuclear waste into the Sea of Japan that had been removed from retired Pacific fleet submarines.
In order to limit environmental damage, Washington and Moscow concluded a deal in 1999 to build the Bolshoy Kamen plant as part of U.S. economic assistance to Russia. return to menu
3. Mayak to Put into Operation Facility for Liquid Radioactive Waste Vitrification
(for personal use only)
The Mayak reprocessing plant rescheduled putting in operation of the third facility for liquid radioactive waste vitrification to October. The facility can vitrify 500 litres of the ingoing solution per hour, the Ural Information Bureau reported. The facility was originally planned to be put in operation in the first half of the year 2000, but beta test using simulation solutions revealed some equipment defects. Now all the shortcomings are reported to be eliminated. The new facility costs $17m and it would enable decommissioning of the most of the liquid radioactive waste, stored in the Mayak, officials say. The facility will process only high radioactive waste. The medium and low active waste will be still dumped in the Karachay Lake. return to menu
E. Highly Enriched Uranium
1. Disinformation about the Uranium Deal
August 2, 2001
(for personal use only)
ST. PETERSBURG -- Last week, Russian weekly Vedomosti announced that Russian Ministry for Finance (Minfin) ascertained that the US side did not fulfill its financial obligations in the HEU-LEU contract and broke down negotiations on prices and timetable of the low enriched uranium shipments from Russia to the US.
The Vedomosti claimed, the Minfin report for the first half of the year 2001 shows a lack of 1,8bn rubles (an equivalent to $60m) in the Target Budget Funds account. The returns are less than 1bn rubles ($33m) and constitute only 36.7% of the plan. The Vedomosti points out, the law for the budget 2001 provides only one Target Budget Fund - that of Ministry for Nuclear Energy (Minatom), made by sale proceeds from the HEU-LEU contract.
In February 1993, Moscow and Washington reached an agreement On the Use of Highly Enriched Uranium Extracted from Nuclear Weapons. As a follow-up of the agreement, the two countries signed the HEU-LEU (highly enriched uranium - low enriched uranium) contract in 1994, under which 500 tons of HEU were to be purchased by the US Enrichment Corp. (USEC) until 2013.
The weapon-grade uranium contains more than 90% of the U-235 isotope (U-235 concentration in natural uranium is 0.7%). The weapon-grade uranium is blended down to meet the standards of American nuclear power plants (LEU - 4,4% for U-235) at the facilities of Tomsk-7 (Seversk) in Siberia.
The total deal amounts to $12bn (including the natural component of the uranium cost - about $4bn). Since the beginning of the contract implementation, Russia's shipments of LEU to the US, have amounted to $2bn.
Before 1998 USEC was a part of the Department of Energy (DOE). After privatisation in 1998, USEC has been working as a private company.
On the Russian side, Minatom is responsible to implement the agreement. The joint stock company Tekhsnabexport (TENEX) is the Russian executive agent of the deal. TENEX was founded in 1963 as a trade office within the USSR Ministry of External Trade. The main task of Tekhsnabexport was to export radioactive isotopes and rare metals to East European and other countries. In 1968, Tekhsnabexport also began enriching uranium for export. In 1988, the organisation was transferred from the trade office to the Ministry of Atomic Energy. In 1989-90, Tekhsnabexport started to export natural uranium mined in Russia, as well as enriched uranium. In 1990, it shipped the first 12,000 tons of natural uranium abroad.
In the same article, Vedomosti wrote that Minatom will not suffer of the HEU-LEU funds shortage and that according to USEC, the situation will be cleared up only by the end of the year, when the contract runs out.
USEC representative Charles Yulish said to the reporter of Bellona Web, that every LEU shipment is paid in 60 days, and not in the end of the year. Charles Yulish claims, while we have up to 60 days to pay Russia for shipments, from the beginning of this contract, we have often advanced payments to our Russian partners to accommodate Russian fiscal needs. The advances are deducted against future delivery payments.
Also, it is incorrect to speak about the contract expiration. In May 2000, USEC and TENEX reached agreement on new market-based commercial terms that would begin on January 1st 2002, when the current terms expire. The new terms are under review by the respective governments. The contract goes on in any event, so there is no reason to fear that the contract will terminate, Mr. Yulish said.
Enriched uranium is measured by Separative Work Units (SWU) which reflect the amount of work needed to increase the amount of U235 to any required level. The USEC representative said that when the market prices continued to fall, the company was paying Russia in the $80-90 range for SWU while the market price was in the low $80. The pending new amendment would establish market-based pricing for payment.
Charles Yulish said to the Bellona Web that at the present time, USEC has paid $215m this year to Russia for shipments of LEU fuel derived from 13 metric tons of weapons grade HEU. USEC has not received any official complaint on the payments.
Charles Yulish also said that the statements on scrapping the plan have no relation to the operations, carried out by USEC, but may concern Russia's sale of the natural uranium component. About a third of the LEU shipment payment Russia receives from USEC is in the form of natural uranium. TENEX sells this uranium further, according to the contract with three Western companies, Cameco (Canadian) Cogema (French) and Nukem (German).
The USEC representative believes that they have not purchased uranium and that could mean that the Russian government would not have been paid. But Charles Yulish stresses, these two business deals must be kept separate: the LEU fuel deal between USEC-Tenex/Minatom and the natural uranium contract between Tenex/Minatom, Cameco, Cogema, and Nukem.
From the beginning of the HEU-LEU deal, both parties agreed that the US would pay for the enrichment component promptly when shipments were received, but the natural uranium would only be paid for by USEC (a) when it was sold, (b) if USEC used it in its own facilities, (c) or it would be returned to Russia at the end of the contract. The 1993 US Russian governments agreement and the 1994 implementing contract both state that clearly and both parties signed it.
As the shipments began, then ministry for nuclear energy, Victor Mikhailov, began to demand immediate payment no matter what the contracts stated. USEC had no basis to take on this $4bn obligation. The Russian demands were escalated and according to industry press reports became very controversial when Minatom brought in an unknown company, Pleiades, to manage the natural uranium transactions.
Eventually, the newly appointed minister for nuclear energy, Yevgeny Adamov, and the US government assisted Russia in solving this problem completing the contract between Russia and the three uranium companies. In spring of 1999, when Cameco, Cogema, and Nukem took part in the deal, being not bound by any restrictions on the radioactive materials trade either from the American, or from the Russian side.
The proceeds from the HEU-LEU supplies last year made 29% of all Minatom's currency earnings and 10% of all the non-tax budget proceeds. Minatom's report 2000 points out, that the funds received were spent on weapon reduction, nuclear submarine decommissioning and nuclear safety programs.
In 2000, uranium prices in the world market went down due to oversupply. As a result, USEC suffered losses. Having regarded the state of the market, Minatom offered USEC to buy additional uranium volumes for lower prices. At the same time, Russia said the prices for the raw materials, being exported to the USA under the HEU-LEU contract, could be reduced.
According to the TENEX information, in 2000, five return shipments of the natural component from the US to Russia were carried out, totaling in 4.6 thousand tons.
Russian official daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta, reported on Tuesday that the perspective of the HEU-LEU agreement development were discussed among other issues at the working meetings of the G7 and Russian presidents in Genoa.
The sides expressed their satisfaction at the agreement implementation, and discussed the possibility of additional Russian LEU shipments to the US market.
Thus, Russia, according to the newspaper, would extend its activities at the American NPP fuel market, and the US would continue supporting USEC. The newspaper also said functions of the executive agent of the Russian side may be transferred to the state owned Rosoboronexport company, which has a serious reputation in the weapon market. return to menu
2. Ky. Uranium Workers Reject Contract
August 2, 2001
(for personal use only)
PADUCAH, Ky. -- Hourly workers at Paducah's U.S. Enrichment Corp. plant rejected a five-year contract proposal from the company Thursday but will not go on strike immediately, a union official said.
David Fuller, president of Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy (PACE) Workers Union Local 5-550, said the workers "overwhelmingly" rejected the offer. Fuller would not give the final tally but said 657 of about 700 union workers cast ballots.
"We have notified the company of the rejection of the offer and expressed to them the overwhelming margin by which it was rejected," Fuller said.
The main sticking point with the workers was wording in the proposal that said the company would only renew the contract after the first year if it was successful in meeting certain terms to buy uranium from Russia.
Fuller said that part of the deal was "a little bit of a slap in the face" for workers and was "an issue that should be decided between governments."
The workers were also disappointed in the contract's terms for overtime compensation and medical benefits, Fuller said.
"This was a substandard contract proposal regardless of the Russian aspect," Fuller said.
Negotiations between company and union officials will begin Wednesday in Paducah, he said. The workers will show up for work on Friday and continue working "as long as there is hope," Fuller said.
"We've decided to work day-to-day for some length of time," Fuller said. "But we made it clear we may strike ay any time with one day's notice. The union is angry, somewhat insulted and very unified."
USEC spokeswoman Elizabeth Stuckle said the company wants to quickly find a contract proposal "that is satisfactory to all."
"We will work with the union very hard," Stuckle said after the vote.
She said if the company fails to land the contract with Russia, it would be forced to make concessions "out of economic necessity."
The union represents nearly half of the plant's 1,500 workers.
Production was stopped at USEC's uranium enrichment plant in Piketon, Ohio, early this summer because of a market glut for nuclear plant fuel.
USEC, created in the early 1990s as a government corporation with the mission of restructuring the government's uranium enrichment operation, went private in 1998. return to menu
F. Russia - North Korea Cooperation
1. Excerpt: Interview with Kim Jong-Il in Moscow
August 3, 2001
(for personal use only)
"As is common knowledge, the U.S.A., referring to some 'missile threat' allegedly posed by our and some other countries, is attempting to create ABM systems and with this aim intends to dissolve the ABM Treaty it signed with Russia.
"The U.S. attempt to create ABM systems is becoming today a topic of worldwide discussion, for it may cause a new round of the arms race.
"We support Russia's position consisting in the preservation of strategic stability through the medium of the ABM Treaty.
"The American ballyhoo about 'the missile threat' on the part of our country is absolutely groundless, it is nothing more than sophistry aimed at covering the ambitions of those who seek to establish their global domination. Advertise as you may that 'North Korea threatens the U.S.A. with missiles,' for which reason 'America is in a grip of anxiety and fear,' no one will believe it. The more so that the new U.S. administration, which raised a great hue and cry about 'North Korea's missile threat,' is now finding fault with our conventional armed forces, pinning on them the label of 'a threat.' It is totally absurd and a new, insolent challenge to us.
"Our missile program is of a purely peacekeeping nature and threatens no one. Implementing a peaceful missile program is our deserved sovereign right. The whole world knows that it is not we who threaten the U.S.A. but the U.S.A. that faces us with a constant threat, occupying as it does a half of our country by its armed forces.
"As for the prospect for normalizing interstate relations between our country and the U.S.A. and Japan, which you asked about, it fully and entirely depends of the position of the U.S.A. and Japan.
"The new U.S. Administration, in the new century again, resorts to the policy of isolation and strangulation of the DPRK, a policy that already suffered a fiasco in the 20th century, and imposes a barrier in the way of improvement of Korean-American relations by fanning tensions. With the help of its tough policy, the U.S.A. intends to bring some pressure to bear on us. But its attempt is to no avail, it will never have its way with us - it never did in the past, nor will today. If it is good to us, so will we be, but if it is tough, we will be super-tough - that is our invariable position," said Kim Jong-il. return to menu
2. Russia, N. Korea "Set for New Nuclear Power Tie-Up"
August 1, 2001
(for personal use only)
MOSCOW -- Sources at the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry said on Wednesday that cooperation between Russia and North Korea in the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes would possibly be resumed following a visit to Russia by North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.
The sources did not rule out that the sides would discuss the issue during bilateral talks. The former USSR and North Korea used to maintain contacts in the field of atomic energy. A research nuclear reactor was built outside Pyongyang early in the 1980s with the help of Soviet specialists.
However, contacts in the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes have been frozen and there are no Russian-North Korean agreements in that field. Ministry specialists believe the opportunity "to overcome that treaty-legal vacuum" could appear during Kim's visit to Moscow.
Specialists believe Russia and North Korea could cooperate quite successfully in the field of atomic energy, in particular as concerns the construction of a nuclear power plant in North Korea.
All the more as the project to build a nuclear power plant in North Korea by an international consortium bringing together the USA, Japan, North Korea and South Korea, has been stalled. return to menu
G. Russia - China Cooperation
1. Chinese Customers Satisfied with Tests of a Russian Turbine for Emerging Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant
August 3, 2001
(for personal use only)
Chinese customers are satisfied with the results of tests of a 1,000-megawatt turbine for the Tianwan nuclear power station, being built in the Chinese city of Lianyungan. The tests passed at the Leningradski Steel Plant. This was said to journalists by Valeri Kondratiev, acting director of the Leningradski works, reports the RIA Novosti correspondent.
The 130 million-dollar contract for the supply of equipment for the first two units was concluded in 1997. In March 2003 Leningradski plans to end contract shipments. Negotiations are under way on equipment supplies for the third and fourth power units of the emerging electricity station.
After the success of the July 30-31 tests of the millioner turbine for the Chinese facility, the Leningradski works stands a good chance of winning a contract for the manufacture of another two turbines, said Valeri Kondratiev. return to menu
H. Russia - India Cooperation
1. India and Russia Settled Koodankulam NPP Building Cost
July 27, 2001
(for personal use only)
India and Russia settled the cost of Koodankulam NPP building in the State of Tamil Nadu, claimed Indian Nuclear Energy Corporation president, V.K. Chaturvedi, and Russian deputy-minister for Nuclear Energy, Evgeny Reshetnikov, in Bangalore, ITAR-Tass reported.
Russia expressed its willingness to give India a privileged long-term credit for the building. In November 1988, then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and then India Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi signed the Koodankulam NPP deal in Delhi. The agreement came within just two years of the Chernobyl accident. The Koodankulam project was shelved during 1989-1991 due to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the death of Rajiv Gandhi.
In March 1997, Indian Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda and Russian President Boris Eltsin signed an agreement, a supplement to the 1988 agreement, to commission a detailed project report on Koodankulam project. According to the deal, Russia would deliver two standard high-pressure VVER-1000 type reactors that would produce 1,000 MW per unit. Since November 1998, Russian and Indian nuclear engineers have started working on a $57m Detailed Project Report. The first reactor is expected to be put into operation in 2007 and the cost of the both reactors would be roughly $3.1bn.
Opponents of the Koodankulam project, such as Asian Center for the Progress of People, mention unresolved safety questions, temperature rise of the sea and under-ground water contaminating in Hyderabad. They suggest constructing small and medium size hydro-power plants. VVER-1000/392 design will be the first of its type and Koodankulam will be the testing ground for it. Several technical problems are set out by the International Atomic Energy Agency in a publication named Issues Book. return to menu
DISCLAIMER: Nuclear News is presented for informational purposes only. Views presented in any given article are those of the individual author or source and not of RANSAC. RANSAC takes no responsibility for the technical accuracy of information contained in any article presented in Nuclear News.