MCLEAN, Va. -- After a recent meeting with Russia's foreign minister,Igor Ivanov, Secretary of State Colin Powell proclaimed a new era: "Notonly is the cold war over, the post-cold war period is also over." WhenPresident Vladimir Putin visits President Bush at his ranch in Crawford,Tex., next week, they will have an extraordinary opportunity to turnSecretary Powell's encouraging words into reality. Unfortunately, theywill have their work cut out for them the nuclear arsenals of the twonations are still stuck in the cold war.
The United States and Russia continue to maintain a combined total ofover 13,000 long-range, or strategic, nuclear weapons, with the onlyplausible targets of such destructive power being each other. The twonations also have an estimated 6,000 tactical nuclear weapons currently operational warheads intended for use on short-rangebattlefield sytems most of them on the Russian side. Former SovietPresident Mikhail Gorbachev, among others, has pointed out howpreposterous this is. Nonetheless the United States and Russia stillhave prompt retaliatory war plans, with over 4,000 warheads ready to belaunched in a matter of minutes. These missiles cannot be stopped oncefired. Russia's deteriorating command and control system furtherincreases the risk of an inadvertent or mistaken launch.
There is also the serious matter of reducing the threat of Russiannuclear weapons, materials and expertise ending up in hostile hands. Inthe past decade, cooperative efforts have produced impressive results,including the neutralization of more than 200 tons of nuclear material.But it is estimated that Russia still has a stockpile of enoughplutonium and uranium, much of it inadequately secured, to produce theequivalent of tens of thousands of nuclear bombs. If even a minusculefraction of Russia's nuclear weaponry, material or expertise leaked outof the country, it would be a bonanza for states or terroristorganizations that might do us harm. Clearly the safety of Russia'snuclear arsenal and America's own security are inextricably linked.
As President Bush and President Putin discuss these matters, they shouldknow that Congress, during its latest session, has taken a number ofsteps to reduce the nuclear threat and is likely to offer bipartisansupport for further initiatives that result from the two presidents'efforts in Crawford. Both houses have added funds to Bush administrationrequests for American-Russian nonproliferation programs. The Senate hasrepealed the law preventing reductions in American nuclear forces belowthe floor 6,000 strategic nuclear weapons set by strategic armsreduction treaties, allowing Mr. Bush to make the deep cuts he has saidhe wants.
President Putin has already proposed that the United States and Russiaeach go down to 1,500 strategic warheads. President Bush's responseshould be commensurate and include provisions to ensure that mutualreductions are verifiable.
In June, Representatives John Spratt and Ellen Tauscher and Senator MaryLandrieu introduced the Nuclear Threat Reduction Act of 2001. Itincludes a call for cuts in nuclear arms across the board which wouldencompass tactical weapons not covered by current treaties and shouldbecome a Congressional priority after the Crawford meeting.
A decade ago, President George H. W. Bush said that we had an"unparalleled opportunity" to "dramatically shrink the arsenal of theworld's nuclear weapons." Rarely does history present second chances.President Putin and President Bush have been given one. If they seizeit, we will indeed have entered the new era Secretary Powell proclaimed,in which not only the cold war but the post-cold war era will finally beover.
Karl F. Inderfurth was assistant secretary of state for South Asianaffairs from 1997 to 2001. He is senior adviser to the Nuclear ThreatReduction Campaign. return to menu
2. The World May Be Living on Borrowed Time
St. Petersburg Times
November 6, 2001
(for personal use only)
THE catastrophic terrorist attacks in the United States on Sept. 11 sentan urgent and long overdue wake-up call to America and the rest of theworld to take seriously the continuing efforts by terrorist groups toacquire nuclear weapons. Had any of the attacks involved a nucleardevice, we might now be discussing tens of thousands of fatalities,millions of casualties and potential radiation victims and trillions ofdollars in collateral damage.
We would also be discussing America's failure to take seriously Russia'slong-standing offer to sell its enormous under-secured nuclearstockpiles the most likely source of terrorist nuclear capability tothe United States for use as fuel in nuclear-power plants and for otherpeaceful purposes. Fortunately, a deal seems to be in the works tosecure Russia's "loose nukes," before they start slipping intoterrorists' hands.
When the Soviet Union was breaking apart a decade ago, many Americansexcitedly toasted the "end of the Cold War" and even started imaginghow we should spend the "peace dividend." Most Americans failed to ask acrucial question: Wasn't the impending collapse of a nuclearsuperpower's entire social, political and economic system really a causefor concern?
A decade later, the discussion has definitively shifted from how muchsafer the world is now to how much more dangerous it has become. Thecollapse of the Soviet system has revealed a nuclear-weaponsinfrastructure without reliable controls, protections or accountability.Some 700 to 800 tons of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and 150 to 200tons of weapons-grade plutonium (WGP) are stored in makeshift warehousesprotected at best by $5 combination locks. The government has noaccounting system capable of keeping track of it all.
It would only take 25 to 30 kilograms of HEU - or an even smaller amountof WGP - to arm a device capable of leveling downtown Washington orlower Manhattan. The blueprints and non-nuclear components necessary tobuild crude but highly effective nuclear weapons are readily available.Small amounts of stolen or diverted Russian HEU and WGP already havebeen confiscated by European law enforcement from sellers looking forbuyers.
The United States currently lists more than a dozen rogue states andterrorist organizations - including Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda - thatare looking for sellers. If any of them get their hands on enoughmaterial to arm a device, we won't be talking about a 30-minute warning- we may not get any warning at all. One could say that we are alreadyliving on borrowed time.
Against this backdrop of loose nukes, rogue states, arms traffickers,and terrorist groups flush with cash has emerged one of the greatestopportunities of the post-Cold War era: buying up Russia's excess nukes.
For several years, Russia has been hinting that it would be interestedin selling its enormous stockpiles of excess weapons-grade uranium andplutonium to the United States for use as fuel in nuclear-power plants.A deal was even struck in 1993 by then-President Bill Clinton and formerRussian President Boris Yeltsin for the United States to purchase allthe uranium from the warheads that Russia is dismantling in compliancewith the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties.
Extending this agreement to include the rest of Russia's excessfissionable materials, including both HEU and WGP, would seem to be thenext logical step in this process. Unfortunately, the idea has nevercaught fire on Capitol Hill, despite a relatively low $10-billion pricetag a price that seems even lower in the wake of Sept. 11.
A group of international financiers has now come forward offering tounderwrite the entire amount necessary to secure all of Russia's excessfissionable materials. The money would be raised in the form ofindependently issued, government-backed bonds. Just before Congressadjourned for its August recess, Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexicointroduced a bill that establishes a framework for how such atransaction might take place. Now Representative Lois Capps ofCalifornia is introducing a bill on the House side.
Under the Domenici bill's provisions, the U.S. government wouldguarantee loans to Russia in increments of $20 million, up to $1 billionat any one time, accepting Moscow's nuclear materials as security. Foreach $20 million loan, Russia would place one metric ton of HEU and onemetric ton of WGP under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)safeguards at a facility in Russia that is mutually acceptable to bothRussia and the IAEA. As part of the deal, Russia would guarantee thatthe materials placed under IAEA safeguards would remain thereindefinitely, meaning until they are transformed into nuclear fuel orotherwise permanently disposed of. Barring unforeseen delays, thisentire process could likely be completed within a decade.
The current proposal is not without flaws. Among them, the billcurrently sets an expiration date of Dec. 31, 2004, for extending newloans, failing to take into account the time frame necessary to completethe process even under optimal circumstances. And it puts a $1 billioncap on loans at any one time - an obvious potential roadblock that couldbring the entire process to a halt should the Russians deliver thematerial to the IAEA-approved sites faster than it can be reprocessedand sold.
Still, Domenici's bill is a giant step forward, and it provides avaluable foundation for what should become the first major nuclear-armsreduction agreement of the 21st century. Moreover, it represents atremendous potential bargain for the American people, considering thatinternational investors would be financing virtually the entire deal.The only significant cost to the U.S. taxpayer would be $10 million ayear for the cost of administration in the United States and up to $15million a year to help cover the expenses of the IAEA. This shouldappeal even to those members of Congress who are most reluctant to lendthe Russians money for anything - even when their nuclear stockpiles arein jeopardy.
If we let this opportunity slip away through inaction or partisanship,we will have no one to blame but ourselves when we run out of borrowedtime. return to menu
B. Nuclear Terrorism
1. U.S., IAEA See Risks From Disused Russian Subs
November 08, 2001
(for personal use only)
STOCKHOLM The United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) said Wednesday that a floating cemetery of nuclear submarines offRussia could be a target for terrorists seeking parts for nuclear bombs.
Moscow played down the risks, saying it had stepped up security aroundthe submarines off the northwestern Kola peninsula. And it said thenuclear waste could be cleaned up within a decade with about $200million.
"Of course it's possible that a terrorist could make a 'dirty nuclearbomb' from the nuclear fuel on board the submarines," said Michael Bell,head of the IAEA's waste technology section, at a conference in thesouthwestern Swedish city of Oskarshamn.
Dieter Rudolph from the U.S. Defense Department, who was also attendingthe conference, agreed there were risks but said they were small. "Intheory it is possible, but it would be a tough and heavy task to handlethe radioactive fuel," he said.
The three-day conference, ending Thursday, is about Russia's problemswith treating nuclear fuel waste and missiles aboard a fleet of some 150disused submarines around the Kola peninsula.
Rudolph said that there were easier ways to find nuclear material tobuild a 'dirty bomb' from radioactive material. Such a crude bomb couldcause serious damage although not as extensive as a properly builtatomic bomb.
Last week, the IAEA warned the world that the threat of attacks onnuclear power plants had increased and urged countries with suchstations to boost security. It said the risk of airplane attacks andtheft of nuclear material had increased in the aftermath of the Sept. 11suicide hijacker attacks on the United States.
RUSSIA CRACKS DOWN
"Russia has taken emergency security measures because we know there is areal threat from international terrorism," Russia's deputy AtomicEnergy Minister Valery Lebedev said.
He also played down fears of leaks from the aging submarines. "At themoment there's not much leakage going on. What we are looking for ishelp to handle and reprocess the solid radioactive waste and spent fuelfrom the atomic submarines," he said. "It will take about 10 years andcost about $200 million to remove and secure the waste," he said.
Rudolph said that Washington was most concerned about the nuclearmissiles aboard the submarines. "The U.S. focus is to pay the Russiansto dismantle weapons of mass destruction but also to help remove, store,and reprocess the radioactive nuclear fuel on the peninsula," he said.
The United States is planning to assist Russia in improving the capacityat a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in the city of Mayak and to cleanup buildings around the plant which are believed to be radioactive. Itwill also assist in removing weapons and fuel from several submarines ata former military base in Andrejeva Bay.
But Rudolph and Bell agreed that, although the submarines posed a threatto the environment, should they sink and leak, the worst case scenariocould never compare with that of the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986. return to menu
2. Do the Terrorists Have Nukes?
Wall Street Journal
November 8, 2001
(for personal use only)
MOSCOW -- The threat of nuclear terrorism suddenly seems more real.People who slam passenger jets into the World Trade Center and thePentagon would surely not hesitate to use nuclear weapons against bigcities if they had them. But do they? And if not, can terrorists soonget hold of usable nuclear devices?
During a joint news conference with French President Jacques Chirac onTuesday, President Bush said that Osama bin Laden has threatened in thepast to use chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons, adding, "heis an evil man and I wouldn't put it past him to develop evil weapons totry to harm civilization as we know it."
President Bush also said that there is no evidence that bin Laden or hisal Qaeda organization possess such weaponry. But just last month athree-star Russian general told reporters that terrorists had attemptedto penetrate Russia's nuclear weapons facilities.
Gen. Igor Volynkin -- chief the 12th Main Department of the RussianDefense Ministry, which is in charge of the delivery, security,maintenance and testing of all Russian nuclear weapons -- told reportersthere were recently two "attempts" by some unnamed "terrorists" topenetrate Russian nuclear storage facilities, known as "S-shelters." Theattempts, according to Gen. Volynkin, were repelled.
The S-shelters are strongly fortified concrete bunkers in which nuclearwarheads are stored and maintained when they are not attached todelivery systems. These bunkers were built in Soviet times. They arespread across Russia in the vicinity of large airfields and missilebases. The location of S-shelters is top secret and was not disclosed inarms-reduction talks with the U.S. The fact that some hostile outsidershad discovered these facilities and stalked them is highly discomfiting.
It has also been reported that bin Laden may have already obtainedRussian nuclear weapons. In 1997 retired Gen. Alexander Lebed (today thegovernor of one of Russia's largest provinces) surprised and alarmed theworld when he announced that at the time of the demise of the SovietUnion Moscow lost track of more than 100 suitcase-sized nuclear weapons.Mr. Lebed said that he learned about the "loose nukes" when he servedfor several months in 1996 as head of national security. Mr. Lebed saidthey were RA-115 and RA-115-01 nuclear weapons, which have one kilotonof explosive power and weigh up to 50 kilograms. It was alleged thatthese portable weapons were developed for the KGB to be used for attacksbehind enemy lines in time of war.
The Russian military denied the charge that any nuclear weapons wereunaccounted for, and declared that all Soviet nukes were moved safelyback to Russia as the Soviet bloc and the Soviet Union collapsed. TheRussian authorities also denied having ever mass-produced or deployedsuitcase-sized nuclear bombs.
At the time, the U.S. officially supported the Russian denials. TheState Department announced in 1997 that the U.S. did not place muchcredence in Mr. Lebed's remarks: "there is no evidence other thanhearsay to support claims of portable Russian nuclear weapons gonemissing."
If bin Laden or his supporters indeed obtained a genuine suitcase-sizedRussian nuclear weapon (and not some fake traded on the black market),it is virtually impossible that they would be able to make it explode.Outsiders cannot directly use modern Russian and American nuclearweapons because they have security codes that fully deactivate them whenthere is an attempt at unauthorized penetration or activation. It isalso not easy to use the core nuclear materials of a sophisticated nuketo make a clandestine bomb.
If there is any serious threat that bin Laden may get a usable nuke, itsorigin would likely be Pakistan, not Russia. Pakistan's nuclear weaponsare armed with only weapons-grade uranium and are, apparently, not muchmore sophisticated than the bomb the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.Such weapons tend to be bulky and their explosive yield is relativelylow, but they are easy to reassemble. Bin Laden supporters in thePakistani nuclear program (and such people, apparently, do exist) can,possibly, pass on the material and the knowledge to make a crude nuclearexplosive.
Bin Laden and al Qaeda may have no usable nuclear weapons yet, as U.S.authorities assume. But experts from the International Atomic EnergyAgency warn that there is a weapons category that is in many respectsworse than nukes and much easier to make -- radioactive bombs.
Such a weapon is a device to spread deadly radioactive contaminationover a large area without a nuclear explosion. It may rely on a mix ofconventional explosives with some highly radioactive substance likespent nuclear fuel, cesium that is used in medicine or in industry,plutonium from a nuclear weapon, or plutonium from a conventionalnuclear power station that is not suitable for weapons production.
The explosion of such a bomb would create a radioactive cloud and causesevere and long-lasting contamination. If such a thing happened in NewYork, humans might have to abandon parts of Manhattan for hundreds, ifnot thousands of years, as they have the town of Pripyat in Ukraine,near the Chernobyl disaster area. The Soviets tried to clean up Pripyat,but it is practically impossible to clean a modern city of radioactivedust.
In the 1950s, when Russia and the U.S. did not have many nukes,radioactive weapons were developed and tested. Later they were withdrawnand replaced by tens of thousands of regular nuclear bombs. But now therelative ease of making radioactive weapons and their terrifying powermay attract terrorists.
It's much easier to obtain radioactive materials in the republics of theformer Soviet Union than true nuclear bombs. Radioactive materials areplentiful and they are poorly guarded. As a scientist in Soviet times, Ieasily obtained relatively large amounts of radioactive isotopes forresearch and no one ever seriously inquired what I did with them.
Almost all recorded cases of nuclear smuggling from the former SovietUnion have involved radioactive substances, not weapons-grade nuclearmaterials. The use of radioactive weapons by terrorists would probablynot cause mass deaths of civilians, but the ensuing panic and economiclosses make radioactivity an effective terrorist weapon -- asdevastating, if not more so, than anthrax, smallpox or other bioweapons. return to menu
3. A Closer Look: Nuclear Terrorism
Orange County Register
November 7, 2001
(for personal use only)
The possibility that a terrorist group could obtain a nuclear weapon anddetonate it in the United States has drawn increasing focus in recentweeks. The Register's Chris Reed talked about the prospect with MichaelLevi, deputy director of the Strategic Security Project of theFederation of Atomic Scientists. The text has been edited for length.
Q. How likely is it that a terrorist group has or could soon have acrude nuclear weapon?
A. It's a real threat. In the short term, it's not nearly as a big asthreat as it will be in long term if we don't deal with it now.
Q. What steps should we take?
A. We should enhance the security of weapons and nuclear materials inthe former Soviet Union. We have cooperative security programs that theadministration's been trying to cut, which they shouldn't be doing. Weshould help Pakistan try to secure its nuclear weapons - it's a veryvolatile area.
Q. There have been reports that fissionable materials in Russia and someformer Soviet republics are protected by little more than padlocks. Howbad is security?
A. Security is better now than it was. I don't think we have a padlocksituation anymore. The U.S. has put a lot of money into security there.The human aspect is the problem. Your security is only as good as thepeople you trust. The conditions for people in Russia get worse andworse. The army people controlling the materials are unpaid; the nuclearscientists are unemployed.
Q. Does what happened Sept. 11 make the "suitcase nuke" scenario seemmore likely?
A. Nothing's changed from the perspective of whether terrorists may haveor may be building nuclear weapons. What's changed is the analysis ofwhether they would use them if they had them. September 11 was sort ofthe first act of megaterrorism. That's what's scared the hell out of thenuclear-weapons and arms-control community.
Q. What kind of damage would a primitive atomic bomb do in an urbanarea?
A. It would do massive damage. Even with a basic device, there would behundreds of thousands of deaths. return to menu
4. Bin Laden is Looking For a Nuclear Weapon. How Close Has He Come?
Julian Borger and Ewen MacAskill
November 7, 2001
(for personal use only)
The seller was an ambulance driver, who had turned up to the meeting inIstanbul with a friend and over a kilogram of uranium wrapped innewspaper. The merchandise was from one of the old Soviet republics, theman said, and he wanted $750,000 for it. Instead, he ended up in jail.The buyers were undercover policemen.
The uranium seizure, confirmed yesterday by the Turkish interiorministry, was a police sting operation, but it is hardly reassuring. Itraises the question of how many similar deals are being made by morecompetent salesmen of what is potentially the world's most deadlycommodity.
The chilling uncertainty loomed over President Bush's blunt statementsyesterday. His remarks have added the White House's authority to aconclusion reached years ago by most proliferation experts. The threatof a terrorist nuclear weapon is real. The only significant uncertaintyis the timing of the first attempt at a nuclear attack, and what kind ofbomb would be used.
As the president pointed out, in raising the spectre of an al-Qaidanuclear attack he was simply quoting Osama bin Laden himself, who hastold journalists that it would be a "sin" not to develop an Islamicbomb. "He announced that this was his intention and I believe we need totake him seriously," Mr Bush said at a joint appearance with PresidentJacques Chirac of France at the White House.
There is also no doubt that Bin Laden is in the nuclear market. InFebruary this year, one of the Saudi fugitive's aides, Jamal al-Fadl,told a US court of his role in an attempt to buy $1.5m (£1.03m) worth ofuranium in Sudan. Mr al-Fadl, who was giving evidence in the embassybombings trial, testified that in 1993 he was sent to meet a man nearKhartoum who was selling uranium apparently from South Africa. He didnot know if the deal went through, but he said that al-Qaida was "veryserious" about making the purchase.
Awash with uranium
Once Bin Laden arrived in Afghanistan, getting hold of uranium and othernuclear material did not present a serious problem. The black market inAfghanistan is awash with it. Robert Puffer, an American antiquitiesdealer in Afghanistan in the late 1990s, said he was frequently offeredenriched uranium.
"It was in lead containers with cyrillic writing on it," Mr Puffer toldthe Guardian. "They would carry yellow cake [Uranium] in matchboxes intheir breast pockets. They would have rashes and they would ask me why.And I said: "You're stupid that stuff is dangerous."
Mr Puffer said he was once taken to a warehouse in Peshawar wherecanisters of nuclear material from the former Soviet Union, wrapped insacking, were stored under the floor. The radioactivity sent a geigercounter buzzing from outside the building.
Having access to such radioactive material, however, is a long way frommaking a real nuclear bomb. That would require plutonium and highlyenriched uranium and a lot of technical knowhow. However, the mishmashof nuclear fuel and radioactive junk being touted in Istanbul over theweekend and which Mr Puffer saw in Peshawar would suffice to make a"dirty bomb".
Such a weapon would consist of a rough assembly of radioactive materialclumped around conventional explosives. When detonated, the blast wouldsend up a plume of radioactive particles into the atmosphere killing andcontaminating hundreds of thousands of people for miles around.
The International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) was initially scepticalabout the "dirty bomb" threat but has changed its mind since September11.
"We think this is entirely a live possibility," said David Kyd, aspokesman for the IAEA, which is based in Vienna.
Mr Kyd said it could be delivered in the same way that the IRA tookexplosives into the City of London: inside a medium-sized van or lorry.Immediate fatalities would be confined to those caught up in anexplosion but over the longer term there could be deaths fromcontamination. The main problem would be the sense of panic it wouldcreate.
Before September 11, the IAEA had assumed that terrorists were unlikelyto take their own lives in detonating the bomb: "Our attitude haschanged because 20 terrorists were prepared to sacrifice their own livesand because of the level of sophistication on September 11."
A real nuclear bomb is far more difficult to make. It is conceivablethat a terrorist organisation might be able to put together a crude atombomb, of the sort that was dropped on Hiroshima. It would require eightkilos of plutonium or 25 kilos of highly enriched uranium. There isclearly a lot of bogus material on sale in Afghanistan, but it is alsopossible that some of it really is enriched uranium, or even plutonium.
The Pakistan nuclear programme produces about 100 kilos of enricheduranium a year, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, anuclear watchdog publication. Furthermore, the pioneer of the Pakistaniprogramme, Bahiruddin Mahmood, is a fervent Islamist with close tieswith the Taliban. He has been detained by the Islamabad government andis reported to have suffered a heart attack in detention. It remainsunclear if he shared any of his knowledge or smuggled any nuclearmaterials in his frequent trips to Afghanistan in recent years to meetTaliban leaders.
Russian stockpiles of weapons-grade plutonium and uranium are also acause for concern. Security is reported to be lax and a US programme toprovide alternative employment for unemployed Russian nuclear scientistsand employees at defunct nuclear plants had ironically been scaled backby the Bush administration a few months before the terrorists struck. Itis expected that the aid programme will be on the agenda at next week'ssummit between Mr Bush and President Putin.
There is no evidence as yet that Bin Laden is close to building his ownatomic device and his chances of constructing one have lessenedconsiderably since the bombs began to fall on his bases.
Another way to acquire a nuclear weapon is to steal or buy one. Therehave been numerous unconfirmed reports of ex-Soviet warheads goingmissing and ending up in the volatile central Asian republics. Therehave also been rumours of KGB suitcase bombs (whose existence has neverbeen definitively confirmed) being put on the market by Chechenwarlords.
However, most experts look sceptically on these stories. Israeliintelligence, which monitors such proliferation closely, has rejectedspeculation that nuclear weapons have gone missing from the SovietUnion. Brigadier General Yossi Cooperwasser, chief of research forIsrael's military intelligence, said:"We've checked out the reports anddon't have any evidence to support concerns over lost, stolen ormisappropriated nuclear devices."
However, the threat of a "dirty bomb" is serious enough. There is nodoubt that this eminently feasible weapon is the most serious terroristthreat facing the US and the rest of the world. return to menu
5. Turkish Police Seize Enriched Uranium
November 7, 2001
(for personal use only)
Police in Turkey have detained two men who attempted to sell enricheduranium suitable for use in nuclear weapons.
A police official in Istanbul said the two men offered over a kilogramof uranium, wrapped in a newspaper, to undercover agents.
The detentions came just a day after the US President George Bush saidOsama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization was seeking to acquire nuclear,chemical and biological weapons "to destabilise entire nations andregions".
A Turkish police official said the arrested men - an ambulance driverand his friend - were not aware of the uranium's real value and agreedto sell it for $750,000.
"They were barely aware of what they were selling. They only knew it wasa very expensive substance and wanted to make money," he told theAssociated Press news agency.
The men said they bought the substance from a Russian man several monthsago.
It is believed that the uranium comes from one of the former Sovietrepublics.
The seizure in Istanbul took place as undercover agents arranged a finalmeeting with the two men, with whom they had been in contact for amonth.
Turkish police said that examination of the substance established it wasenriched uranium that could be used to make nuclear weapons.
Trafficking in illegal substances has increased since the collapse ofSoviet Union, andIstanbul has become the hub of the so-called 'suitcase' trade. InAugust, Turkish police arrested six people for selling nuclear material. return to menu
6. Could Worse Be Yet to Come?
November 1st 2001
(for personal use only)
Whether or not Osama bin Laden has acquired nuclear weapons, GrahamAllison* argues that the world must respond as though he hasand withoutdelay
AL-QAEDA'S terrorist assault on September 11th awakened Americans to thestark reality of mega-terrorism: terrorist acts that kill thousands ofpeople at a single stroke. In the twinkling of an eye, possibilitiesearlier dismissed as analysts' (or Hollywood's) fantasies became brutefact. President George Bush rightly and resolutely declared war on Osamabin Laden, al-Qaeda, and their Taliban hosts.
Yet as the American government scrambles to pursue a war for which ithad not prepared, it must, in the idiom, "go with what we've got".Assembling an international coalition of very strange bedfellows,acquiring intelligence from sources and by methods it had mostlyneglected, and jerry-rigging defences against the most obviousvulnerabilities, it gallops off in all directions. It does so without acomprehensive assessment of the threats it now faces, and lacking acoherent strategy for combating mega-terrorism.
In contrast, Mr bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network have been thinking,planning and training for this war for most of a decade. September 11thdemonstrated a level of imagination, sophistication and audacitypreviously thought impossible by the American, or any other, government.As the press has reported, just a year ago the FBI had assured theadministration that it had a "handle" on all al-Qaeda operatives withinthe United States.
Even in the midst of the exhausting exigencies of the current crisis,responsible leaders must acknowledge the possibility that much morecatastrophic terrorist acts may be yet to come. Along the spectrum ofmega-terrorism, the worst case would be a nuclear explosion in a largecity. Had al-Qaeda attacked the World Trade Centre not with a minivanfilled with explosives, as in 1993, nor with jumbo jets, but with avehicle containing a nuclear device, what would the consequences havebeen? Even a crude nuclear device could create an explosive force of10,000 to 20,000 tons of TNT, demolishing an area of about three squaremiles. Not only the World Trade Centre, but all of Wall Street and thefinancial district, and the lower tip of Manhattan up to Gramercy Parkwould have disappeared. Hundreds of thousands of people would have diedsuddenly.
In a 1995 Washington Post op-ed, I warned: "In the absence of adetermined programme of action, we have every reason to anticipate actsof nuclear terrorism before this decade is out." I find no reason torevise this estimate today. The question is whether the horror ofSeptember 11th can now motivate the United States and other governmentsto act urgently not only against al-Qaeda, but also on thewell-identified agenda for action to minimise the risk of nuclearmega-terrorism.
How real is the threat?
As the Bush administration took office in January, a bipartisantask-force, chaired by the former Senate majority leader, Howard Baker(now ambassador to Japan), and Lloyd Cutler, a former counsel to thepresident, presented a report card on non-proliferation programmes withRussia. The principal finding of the task-force is that "the most urgentunmet national security threat to the United States today is the dangerthat weapons of mass destruction or weapons-useable material in Russiacould be stolen, sold to terrorists or hostile nation states, and usedagainst American troops abroad or citizens at home." (Emphasis added).
Think about it. Is this proposition correct, or incorrect? No seriousanalyst has spent more than a day examining the evidence withoutconcluding that "loose nukes" are a first-order threat. Although somewould argue that bioterrorism is an equal or greater danger, both countas threats of the highest order. As Mr Baker testified to the SenateForeign Relations Committee in March, "It really boggles my mind thatthere could be 40,000 nuclear weapons, or maybe 80,000, in the formerSoviet Union, poorly controlled and poorly stored, and that the worldisn't in a near state of hysteria about the danger."
The danger can be summarised in three propositions. First, attempts tosteal nuclear weapons or weapons-usable material are not hypothetical,but a recurring fact. Just last week, the chief of the directorate ofthe Russian Defence Ministry responsible for nuclear weapons reportedtwo recent incidents in which terrorist groups attempted to break intoRussian nuclear-storage sites, but were repulsed. The past decade hasseen scores of incidents in which individuals and groups havesuccessfully stolen weapons material from sites in Russia and sought toexport itbut have been caught.
A few years ago Boris Yeltsin's assistant for national security affairs,Alexander Lebed, reported that 40 out of 100 special KGB suitcasenuclear weapons were not accounted for in Russia. Under pressure fromcolleagues, he later retreated to the official Russian line that allnuclear weapons are secure and accounted for, but his twists and turnsleft more questions than answers. In the mid-1990s, more than 1,000pounds of highly enriched uraniummaterial sufficient to allowterrorists to build more than 20 nuclear weaponssat unprotected inKazakhstan. Recognising the danger, the American government purchasedthe material and removed it to Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Second, if al-Qaeda or some similar group obtained 40 pounds of highlyenriched uranium, or less than half that weight in plutonium, withmaterial otherwise available off-the-shelf, it could produce a nucleardevice in less than a year. The only high hurdle to creating a nucleardevice is fissionable materialan ingredient that is fortunatelydifficult and expensive to manufacture. But as a former director of theLivermore Laboratories wrote a quarter of a century ago, "If theessential nuclear materials like these are in hand, it is possible tomake an atomic bomb using the information that is available in the openliterature." An even easier alternative is a radioactivity-dispersaldevice which wraps a conventional bomb with radioactive materials thatdisperse as fallout when the bomb explodes.
Third, terrorists would not find it difficult to sneak such a nucleardevice into the United States. Recall that the nuclear material requiredis smaller than a football. Even an assembled device, like a suitcasenuclear weapon, could be shipped in a container, in the hull of a ship,or in a trunk carried by an aircraft. After September 11th, the numberof containers that are X-rayed has increased to approximately 10%: 500of the 5,000 containers currently arriving daily at the port of NewYork/New Jersey. But as the chief executive of CSX Lines, one of theforemost container-shipping companies, put it: "If you can smuggleheroin in containers, you may be able to smuggle in a nuclear bomb."
This threat has emerged because, after the cold war, the Soviet Union'snuclear arsenal and stockpile were no longer held behind prison walls.Post-Soviet societies have experienced a remarkable transformation overthe past decade, becoming simultaneously more free, more chaotic andfrequently more criminalised. The same dynamic that liberatedindividuals also undermined systems that previously controlled some30,000 nuclear weapons and 70,000 nuclear-weapon equivalents inhighly-enriched uranium and plutonium at more than 100 sites acrossRussia.
Thanks to extraordinary professionalism on the part of Russian militaryand security guards, many attempts to steal weapons have been thwarted.The security forces have been greatly helped by far-sighted co-operativethreat-reduction programmes, set up at the initiative of Senators SamNunn and Richard Lugar, which have contributed almost $1 billion a year.The American government knows of no case at present in which those whowish to make nuclear weapons have acquired either the weapon, orsufficient nuclear materials to make one. What must worry us, however,is what we don't know.
If Mr bin Laden and other terrorist groups have not so far succeeded inacquiring nuclear weapons, or materials from which to assemble them, weshould give thanks for our great good fortune. If they have acquiredthem, most people will quickly conclude that, under existing conditions,this was bound to happen.
How serious is the enemy?
Andrew Marshall, one of the few long-term strategists at the Departmentof Defence, has often warned that "If the United States ever faces aserious enemy, we will be in deep trouble." Al-Qaeda could be thatserious enemy.
There can be little doubt that Mr bin Laden and his associates want toacquire nuclear weapons, have been seeking nuclear weapons, and wouldcarry out a nuclear assault were they capable of doing so. Last year theCIA intercepted a message in which a member of the al-Qaeda groupboasted of plans for a "Hiroshima" against America. According to theJustice Department indictment for the 1998 bombings of Americanembassies in Kenya and Tanzania, "At various times from at least asearly as 1992, Osama bin Laden and others, known and unknown, madeefforts to obtain the components of nuclear weapons." Additionalevidence from a former member of al-Qaeda describes attempts to buyuranium of South African origin, repeated travels to three Central Asianstates to try to buy a complete warhead or weapons-useable material, anddiscussions with Chechens in which money and drugs were offered fornuclear weapons.
Mr bin Laden himself has declared that acquiring nuclear weapons is a"religious duty". "If I have indeed acquired [nuclear] weapons," he oncesaid, "then I thank God for enabling me to do so." When forging analliance of terrorist organisations in 1998, he issued a statemententitled "The Nuclear Bomb of Islam". Characterised by a distinguishedIslamic scholar, Bernard Lewis of Princeton, as "a magnificent piece ofeloquent, at times even poetic Arabic prose," it states that "it is theduty of Muslims to prepare as much force as possible to terrorise theenemies of God."
His fatwa, videotapes and interviews offer chilling clues to Mr binLaden's thinking. In a 1997 CNN interview he observed that "the myth ofthe superpower was destroyed not only in my mind, but also in the mindsof all Muslims," when the mujahideen defeated the Russians inAfghanistan. In his view, "the Russian soldier is more courageous andpatient than the US soldier," and the United Statesas seen in itswithdrawal from Lebanon in 1983 after the deaths of 241 marines, and itsprecipitous retreat from Somalia in 1993 after 18 special-forcessoldiers diedis cowardly about suffering casualties. The attack on theUSS Cole in October 2000 is a powerful symbol for him: "The destroyerentertained the illusion she could destroy anything," but found herselfimmobilized by a tiny boat. In his world, "The destroyer represented thecapital of the West, and the small boat represented Mohammed."
Mr bin Laden cannot doubt that he is now at war. After the 1998 bombingsof America's embassies in Africa, according to press reports, a secretpresidential finding authorised the CIA to seek him out and kill himunder the doctrine of self-defence. The United States launched surprisecruise-missile attacks on an al-Qaeda training camp in August 1998, butMr bin Laden had left several hours earlier.
What will al-Qaeda do now?
Mr Bush has declared that the United States wants Mr bin Laden "dead oralive". As the noose tightens around his neck, al-Qaeda's efforts toterrorise America are likely to intensify. Al-Qaeda can be expected todo everything it can to acquire and use every mega-terrorist meanswithin its reach.
When asked by an interviewer why his earlier claims that the battle"will inevitably move to American soil" had produced so little action,Mr bin Laden replied: "The nature of the battle requires goodpreparation." September 11th signals not only preparation but also acampaign that puts a premium on surprise and seeks maximum terrorthrough dramatic effect. As al-Qaeda concludes that the American-ledinternational coalition may succeed in destroying it, it will becomemore desperate in seeking to acquire and use all possible weapons ofmass-destruction against its adversaries.
What must America do?
Preventing nuclear terrorist attacks on the American homeland willrequire a serious, comprehensive defencenot for months or years, butfar into the future. The response must stretch from aggressiveprevention and pre-emption to deterrence and active defences. Strictborder controls to keep out smuggled containers will be as important toAmerica as ballistic-missile defences.
To fight the immediate threat, the United States must move smartly ontwo fronts. First, no effort can be spared in the military, economic anddiplomatic campaign to defeat and destroy al-Qaeda. Simultaneously, theunprecedented international effort of intelligence and law-enforcementagencies must seek to discover and disrupt al-Qaeda sleeper cells andinterrupt attempted shipments of weapons.
Second, the United States must seize the opportunity of a moreco-operative Russia to "go to the source" of the greatest danger today:the 99% or more of the world's nuclear, biological and chemical weaponsof mass destruction that are stored in Russia and the United States. Thesurest way to prevent nuclear assaults on Russia, America and the worldis to prevent terrorists from gaining control of these weapons ormaterials to make them.
The readiest sources of such weapons and materials are the vast arsenalsaccumulated over four decades of cold-war competition. At the Novembersummit at Crawford, as a central pillar of what Colin Powell, thesecretary of state, has called the new "post-post-cold war" partnership,Mr Bush and Vladimir Putin should pledge to make all nuclear weapons andmaterial as secure as technically possible as fast as possible. Theirbest course would be to follow the recommendations of the Baker-Cutlertask-force (see above). Within Russia, the programme should be jointlyfinanced by the United States, its allies in the war against terrorism,and Russia.
In the fog and heat of a frustrating war against an elusive terroristenemy, to call upon leaders to act to prevent attacks of a kind thathave not yet occurred may seem over-demanding. But if we fail to act onthis agenda now, how shall we explain ourselves on the morning after anuclear September 11th? return to menu
C. U.S. Non-proliferation Budget
1. GOP Leaders Back Off On Emergency Funds
November 8, 2001
(for personal use only)
Top Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee dropped theirsupport yesterday for additional spending in connection with the Sept.11 terrorist attacks, setting the stage for a partisan battle next weekwhen the House GOP tries to force through the Bush administration's $20billion emergency spending package.
The turnabout came less than a day after a chilly White House meeting atwhich President Bush threatened congressional leaders of both partieswith a veto of a pending $319 billion defense bill if appropriatorstacked on more than the emergency funds he had requested.
Several senior Republicans indicated that they were setting aside theirconcerns about the shortcomings of the administration's proposal tosupport the commander in chief in wartime.
"Our biggest role at this moment is to hold the House together. To gothrough a divisive battle [with the White House] would not be aconstructive end of this piece of the legislative process," said Rep.Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.).
Lewis, who had been pushing for additional military spending in theemergency package, said he is now convinced the administration requestmeets most of the special Pentagon needs arising from the war inAfghanistan. He announced his change of heart at a packed meeting ofHouse Republicans yesterday morning.
"We think the $20 billion is right on track," said House AppropriationsCommittee Chairman C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.), who on Tuesday had warnedBush that he might not get enough votes to move the defense bill out ofhis committee unless additional funds for homeland defense, the militaryand New York City were attached.
"The president believes there's enough money . . . to get us through theend of the year," Young said. After that, he said, the president hadpromised to ask for additional funds "when it became necessary."
But the chairman acknowledged that he was "disappointed" with Bush's useof the veto threat. "It creates an impression we aren't as united as wethought we were," he said.
Privately, GOP officials said they were concerned about the hard-lineposition of the White House on the spending at a time of spreading fearsabout the country's safety. Under a $40 billion spending deal worked outafter Sept. 11, the administration has already detailed how it willspend the first $20 billion and is negotiating with Congress over how tospend the second half.
Democrats, joined by some Republicans in both houses, have been warningthat the administration proposal shortchanges New York and underfundsagencies that have been stretched to the breaking point by the crisis.
"How long do you want to wait?" asked Rep. David R. Obey (Wis.), theranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee. "If we are in awar, yesterday is when we should begin funding these things."
GOP sources said it was unclear if they could stop a move to add moremoney for New York, and Young himself has backed more money for the FBIand nonproliferation programs.
In the Senate, substantial spending increases have been backed byAppropriations Committee Chairman Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) and Sen. TedStevens (Alaska), the ranking Republican.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer defended Bush's position. "There'splenty of time next year in a more orderly, thoughtful fashion to take alook at exactly where the needs lie," he said.
House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and Senate Minority LeaderTrent Lott (R-Miss.) back the president. "He's concerned about spendingjust spiraling completely out of control," Lott told reporters. "And Ishare that concern." return to menu
2. Funds to Curb Nuclear Arms Spread Being Cut
Cox News Service
November 7, 2001
(for personal use only)
Washington --- Congress is on the verge of approving part of PresidentBush's request to cut Department of Energy nuclear nonproliferationfunding, even as Bush warned Tuesday that Osama bin Laden's terroristorganization is trying to acquire nuclear weapons.
A bill for spending on energy and water development that the Housepassed last week would cut about $20 million from DOE programs that helpRussia and other former Soviet republics keep nuclear weapons materialfrom terrorist groups and "rogue states."
Bush had asked Congress in March to cut the Energy Department's DefenseNuclear Nonproliferation Programs, which received $872 million duringthe last year of the Clinton administration, to $773 million. Butcongressional negotiators approved $853 million.
The Senate is expected to give final approval to the spending bill asearly as this week.
Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Texas), who served on a joint House-Senateconference committee that approved final wording of the bill, assailedthe cuts.
"I find it unbelievable that one week ago this House said we couldafford to give $7.4 billion in unearned corporate rebate checks to just16 Fortune 500 corporations, yet today this Congress will have cutfunding for programs designed to keep nuclear weapons and materials outof the hands of terrorists," Edwards said.
When Bush submitted a budget proposal to Congress in March, herecommended reducing the nonproliferation program because it was being"reviewed" by the National Security Council, said the White House Officeof Management and Budget.
Laura Holgate, a vice president of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, saidthat in January, when managers of nonproliferation programs in theEnergy Department submitted their budget requests for fiscal 2002, theyasked for $1.3 billion.
"So, while the president's budget in March looks like a cut of $100million from the previous year," she said, "it was actually a $600million cut from needs." return to menu
D. Russia-Iran Cooperation
1. Interview With Vladimir Putin (excerpted)
November 7, 2001
(for personal use only)
Iran and Nuclear Technology
Iran. Russia shared the nuclear technology, with Iran, ostensibly forcivilian use. But the CIA says that Iran could use this to build nuclearweapons. If President Bush asked you to stop supplying Iran, would you?
Well, it is a legend which has nothing to do with reality. What we seehere is the substitution of two notions: military, and technicalcooperation with Iran. We are selling weapons, conventional weapons, toIran. We have not ever, ever sold anything to Iran out of the range oftechnology or information that would help Iran develop missiles orweapons of mass destruction. We have some projects in atomic energy. TheU.S. has the same projects in its relations with North Korea. It hasnothing to do with developing nuclear weapons. We are categoricallyopposed to transferring any technologies to Iran that would help itdevelop nuclear weapons. There has been some information that allegedlyIran is drying to develop weapons of mass destruction. There's got to bea confirmation of that.
2. Israel Accuses Russia of Providing Nuclear Weapons Technology to Iran (excerpted)
The Canadian Press
November 07, 2001
(for personal use only)
Iran is the biggest terrorist threat in the Middle East and receivescritical support from Russia for its nuclear weapons program, an Israelicabinet minister said Wednesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted in an American televisioninterview taped Monday in the Kremlin that Russia was not providingdangerous weapons technology to Iran. He called such suspicions a"legend," or fable.
But Ephraim Sneh, a former Israeli general and now transportationminister, said he was certain "the central support for the Iraniannuclear project is provided by Russia."
Sneh told reporters that Israel was on friendly terms with Russia. But,he said: "We don't sweep things under the rug."
Informed that Putin was denying the link in an interview on ABC-TV's20/20, Sneh said "it doesn't change the situation." He said Israel hadadvised Russia that its support for Iran was damaging Israel's security.
Sneh, in Washington for a meeting with Condoleezza Rice, PresidentGeorge W. Bush's national security adviser, said he did not want to tellthe United States how to organize its campaign against terrorism inAfghanistan.
"We understand there is an American need and we feel our obligation tohelp" by not interfering, Sneh said.
But he said Iran and Syria, which the Bush administration has solicitedfor its anti-Taliban coalition, are countries that support terrorism.
"We believe they cannot be considered as countries that fightterrorism," Sneh said. "If someone forgets that we are willing to remindthem."
The ex-general said Iran has deployed thousands of missiles in southernLebanon, across Israel's northern border. The missiles have a range of65 to 75 kilometres, he said.
1. India, Russia Stand United in Defense (Excerpted)
Asia Times Online/Inter Press Service
November 7, 2001
(for personal use only)
Putin said that Russia and India should prioritize cooperation in theenergy sector, notably atomic and hydropower as well as oil and gas, andthe modernization of industrial projects built in India by the formerSoviet Union.
India is one of Russia's biggest debtors, owing some $10 billion, mostlyfor earlier warplanes and other arms supplies. In 1992, an agreement wassigned requiring India to repay the loans in rupees over 12 years, $1billion of which would be used each year to buy Indian goods.
But the arrangement has not worked according to plan as Russia has nevermanaged to purchase $1 billion worth of goods each year. Now movestoward switching from rupees to hard currency are seen as instrumentalin encouraging trade between the two nations. This is why on TuesdayPutin also urged "more flexibility" in bilateral financial transactions.
During the visit, Russian and Indian officials also signed a memorandumon the Kudamkulan nuclear power project at an estimated cost of $2.6billion. According to Russia's Atomic Energy Minister AlexanderRumyantsev, the agreement amounted to little more than a tentative dealbecause both sides have yet to sign a formal contract. The Kudamkulancontract is due to be signed by the end of this year, according toKlebanov. The project involves Russia building the plant in India'ssouthern Tamil Nadu state, with two 1,000-megawatt reactors. return to menu
2. Russia, India urge nuclear states to join universal disarmament process
BBC Monitoring Service
November 6, 2001
(for personal use only)
Russia and India have signed a joint statement on strategic issues. Theyexpressed support for the 1972 ABM treaty, reiterated adherence to thenuclear disarmament process and urged all nuclear states to join it.Russia and India also spoke against the militarization of outer space.The following is the text of report by Russian news agency ITAR-TASS.
Moscow, 6 November: Russia and India support the preservation of theexisting agreements in the field of arms control and disarmament,including the 1972 ABM treaty, says a joint statement on strategicissues which the Russian Federation and India adopted today.
The document says that Russia and India "attach priority significance tothe issue of strengthening regional and international security". Theyalso support the movement towards universal and complete disarmament, inparticular disarmament "through systematic and consistent efforts toreduce nuclear weapons throughout the world with a view to achieving thefinal goal, that is liquidating such weapons".
Having welcomed the readiness of the Russian Federation and the USA "tocontinue reducing their strategic offensive weapons", India urged othernuclear states "to join the process of nuclear weapons reduction at acertain stage".
"Russia and India are determined to continue consolidating their systemsof national control over the export of dual-purpose materials andtechnologies in line with the set objectives of nonproliferation in allits aspects, without affecting their use for peaceful purposes," thestatement points out.
"To prevent space militarization and, at the same time, ensure thatouter space is used for the implementation of most different kinds ofactivity aimed at strengthening cooperation, peace and development,Russia and India urged the international community to apply efforts in abid to ensure that relevant legally-binding treaties were concluded forthat purpose. In particular, Russia and India urged the internationalcommunity to reach a comprehensive agreement on the nondeployment ofweapons in outer space and nonuse of force or threat of force inrelations to space objects," the document points out.
1. Russia Receives First Nuclear Waste Imports From Bulgaria - Russian TV (Excerpted)
BBC Monitoring Service
November 8, 2001
(for personal use only)
Text of report by Russian TV6 on 8 November
Meanwhile it became known today that nuclear waste from Bulgaria hasbeen delivered for the first time to the second largest Russian plantthat recycles [spent nuclear] fuel in the famous closed city ofKrasnoyarsk-26. According to unofficial information, 41 tonnes ofradioactive waste was brought to the Krasnoyarsk Mining and ChemicalPlant on a train form the nuclear power plant in Bulgaria's Kozloduy.Now in Krasnoyarsk-26, which was recently renamed Zheleznogorsk, thewaste will be buried and later recycled.
All of this is raising concerns among environmentalists, who arespeaking out publicly against the import of spent nuclear fuel to Russiafrom abroad. But the government hopes that after Bulgaria, othercountries will start sending waste to Russia, and that this will bringin a few billion dollars of revenue. It is said that the profits will gopartially towards funding the construction of new [nuclear waste]storage facilities in Krasnoyarsk.
2. Ukraine's Green Party Protests Against Spent Nuclear Fuel Transportation
November 07, 2001
(for personal use only)
KIEV, Ukraine Ukraine's Green party started to collect people'ssignatures across the country against spent nuclear fuel transportationfrom Bulgaria to Russia through Ukraine, the party's leader said.
A train carrying 41 metric tons (45.1 short tons) of spent nuclear fuelfrom an atomic power plant in the Bulgarian town of Kozlodui is due topass through Ukraine on its way to a Russian chemical plant. The Greenparty is especially alarmed by the lack of information about thetransportation route and the nuclear fuel containers' quality, saidparty leader Vitaliy Kononov, according to the Interfax news agency.
Ukraine was the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster in 1986, whena reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded and caught fire,sending a radioactive cloud over much of Europe. Nuclear safety issuesremain sensitive in the country.
"Does a country, which went through the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe,need alien nuclear waste to be taken across its territory?" Kononovsaid. He said parliament should cancel Ukraine's participation in the1997 accord signed with Bulgaria, Russia, and Moldova that authorizessuch shipments.
Kononov spoke a week after a group of Russian and Ukrainianenvironmental organizations appealed to Ukraine's parliament andPresident Leonid Kuchma to stop the shipment.
Russia has long imported spent nuclear fuel rods from Ukraine, Bulgaria,Slovakia, and Hungary for reprocessing under a Soviet-era system, but a1992 law prohibits the practice from being expanded. Earlier thissummer, a new law overturned that ban, raising fears among environmentprotection activists that Russia could be turned into a nuclear dump.
Proponents of the plan maintain it is safe and say it could earn thecountry US$20 billion over the next decade that could be spent onenvironment clean-up efforts. return to menu
G. Nuclear Power Industry
1. Russia's Nuclear Power Plants to Generate 144 Billion Kilowatt/Hours Of Electricity in 2002
November 5, 2001
(for personal use only)
In 2002, the Russian nuclear power facilities are expected to produce144 billion kilowatt/hours of electricity, or 7 billion more than wasthe target for this year, RIA Novosti was told at the press center ofRosenergoatom nuclear power concern.
This year, electricity generation at nuclear facilities will alsoincrease by 7 billion kilowatt/hours year-on-year.
The Russian nuclear power sector has a great potential for furtherboosting the efficiency of nuclear power reactors. There is also areserve in the utilisation rate of installed capacity of power units.The world's average indicator is 79 percent, Russia's approximately 70percent. return to menu
H. Russian Nuclear Forces
1. Russian Study says Reduced Combat Readiness of Nuclear Force Makes it Safer
BBC Monitoring Service
November 7, 2001
(for personal use only)
The country's political leadership has 3-4 minutes to make the decisionto deliver a retaliatory nuclear strike. One minute afterward silo-basedballistic missiles are launched, in 5 minutes strategic bombers takeoff, and in 15 minutes nuclear-powered submarines begin launching... TheApocalypse begins in 36 minutes. In the opinion of the authorscollective of the centre for political and military estimates of IMEMORAN [the institute of world economics and international relations of theRussian Academy of Sciences], this is a scenario for an accidentalnuclear war between Russia and the United States. In any case, this isthe conclusion one would come to after reading the report prepared bythem entitled reducing the combat readiness of Russian and US nuclearforces - a path to decrease the nuclear threat...
According to the project's leader, Aleksandr Pikayev, a "theoretician",the two states urgently need to discuss the problems of reducing thedegree of readiness of their strategic nuclear forces. The scholarssuggest that the concept "retaliatory counter strike", which foreseesthe permanent combat readiness of the most vulnerable stationary launchinstallations, in combination with an imperfect missile-attack warningsystem increases the risk of an accidental nuclear war. Therefore, it isnecessary to reduce the number of nuclear warheads which are in a highstate of combat readiness. Experts estimate that today both countrieshave 3,500 to 4,000.
A representative of the practitioners, a science manager in thestrategic nuclear forces centre of the Academy of Military Sciences,Vladimir Dvorkin, believes that such measures will not accomplishanything. In light of the absence of overt political discord between theUnited States and Russia, the level of combat readiness falls in thecategory of a technical problem. It is more a symbol, the expertbelieves, like a "zero" flight assignment for strategic missiles.Professionals know that only several seconds are needed to enter targetcoordinates into a strategic missile. Thus, reducing the number ofnuclear warheads deployed on the missiles does not look persuasive -those left are fully sufficient...
1. Remarks by the President to the Warsaw Conference on Combatting Terrorism
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
November 6, 2001
Al Qaeda operates in more than 60 nations, including some in Central andEastern Europe. These terrorist groups seek to destabilize entirenations and regions. They are seeking chemical, biological and nuclearweapons. Given the means, our enemies would be a threat to every nationand, eventually, to civilization itself.
So we're determined to fight this evil, and fight until we're rid of it.We will not wait for the authors of mass murder to gain the weapons ofmass destruction. We act now, because we must lift this dark threatfrom our age and save generations to come.
1. Leading Nuclear Scientists Map the Transformed Nuclear Weapons Landscape: Fewer, but Loose, Low-Yield and More Likely to Be Used?
November 8, 2001
To: Assignment Desk, Daybook Editor
Contact: Stephen Kent of Kent Communications, 845-424-8382, or 914-589-5988 (cell)
Leading nuclear weapons policy experts will give a media briefing onpractical dimensions of the new nuclear landscape, including likelyreal-world security outcomes of next week's Bush-Putin summit Nov.13-15, negotiations with Russia on deep cuts linked to Anti-BallisticMissile treaty modification to permit missile defense, on fissile cutoffand on urgent non-proliferation efforts amid heightened fears of loosenuclear material falling into terrorist hands. While Presidents Bush andPutin meet in Washington and Crawford, Texas, delegates at the UnitedNations inNew York will review the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, Nov. 11-13, at atime when the United States is considering its options for developingand testing a new generation of low-yield nuclear weapons such asground-penetrating weapons to use against suspected terrorist bunkers.Sponsored by the Federation of American Scientists.
WHO: A panel of nationally recognized security experts including:
Moderator: -- Federation of American Scientists President Henry Kelly, formerassistant director for technology of the White House Office of Scienceand Technology.
Presenters: -- Richard Garwin, senior fellow for science and technology at theCouncil on Foreign Relations, New York and IBM fellow emeritus at theThomas J. Watson Research Center on prospects for and securityimplications of cutting U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals
-- Robert Nelson, Princeton University physicist and FAS consultant, anauthority on low-yield nuclear weapons
-- Frank von Hippel, former assistant director for national security inthe White House Office of Science and Technology on security of Russianand U.S. fissile material and prospective agreements on a fissile cutoff
On hand to answer questions: -- Robert Sherman, director of FAS's Strategic Security Project andnuclear strategy expert.
-- Barbara Rosenberg of SUNY Purchase, an authority on the BiologicalWeapons Convention, and
-- Lynn Sykes of Columbia University, an authority on verification ofnuclear tests.