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Nuclear News - 11/19/01
RANSAC Nuclear News, November 19, 2001
Compiled by Michael Roston

A. Cooperative Threat Reduction
    1. The Specter of Nuclear Terror, New York Times (11/19/01)
    2. Driving Past The Point, Mary McGrory, Washington Post (11/18/01)
    3. We Must Act As If He Has The Bomb, Graham Allison, Washington Post (11/18/01)
    4. It's the Plutonium, Stupid, Graham Allison, Los Angeles Times
B. U.S.-Russian Relations
    1. Let's move beyond Cold War thinking, Lisbeth Gronlund and David Wright, Boston Globe (11/18/01)
    2. Arms and the Men, The Economist (11/17/01)
    3. Shrinking the Nuclear Stockpile, The Age (11/16/01)
C. Russian Nuclear Cities
    1. Russia's closed cities are open and shut case, Gabor Szabo and Vladimir Kitov, The Russia Journal (11/16/01)
D. Tactical Nuclear Weapons
    1. What about those 5,000 tactical nuclear weapons? Brian Alexander And Alistair Millar, Houston Chronicle (11/17/01)
E. Russia-Iran Cooperation
    1. Russia Ships Nuclear Reactor Shell to Iran, Reuters (11/16/01)
F. Russia-India Cooperation
    1. Russian Firm Begins Work on Nuclear Reactor for India, BBC Monitoring Service (11/16/01)
G. Nuclear Power Industry
    1. Russia's Nuclear Plant Builders Power Into Action, Nick Allen, Deutsche Presse Agentur (11/17/01)
    2. Russia Hopes to Build a Nuclear Power Station in Finland, BBC Monitoring Service (11/17/01)
    3. Russia to Invest 1.9bn Dollars in Nuclear Power Plants, BBC Monitoring Service (11/16/01)
    4. Bulgaria: Russian Firm Wins Tender for Nuclear Fuel Supplier, BBC Monitoring Service (11/16/01)
H. Links of Interest

A. Cooperative Threat Reduction

The Specter of Nuclear Terror
New York Times
November 19, 2001
(for personal use only)

For most Americans there is no more frightening threat than terroristswith nuclear weapons. Assuming Osama bin Laden does not already havethem — the assumption most experts make — everything possible must bedone to prevent him or other terrorists from obtaining them.

The starting point is Russia, where poorly protected nuclear bombs andmaterials remain vulnerable to theft. It is not enough that PresidentBush and Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, have agreed to greatlyreduce the number of nuclear missiles in each country's arsenal. The twoleaders must also do more to safeguard the remaining weapons and anyvulnerable nuclear materials in Russia that could be used to make bombsif stolen.

Russia insists that it is guarding its weapons carefully. But a Russiangeneral raised concern recently when he revealed that terrorists havetwice this year conducted surveillance at a Russian nuclear arms storagefacility, presumably with an eye to storming it. Another Russian generalcreated alarm four years ago by asserting that many of Russia's small,portable nuclear bombs could not be accounted for. That was emphaticallydenied at the time, and was denied again just recently.

An alternative path to nuclear capability is for terrorists to make aweapon themselves. That would be extremely difficult for most terroristgroups — far harder than making a chemical or biological weapon — but itcan't be ruled out entirely. The primary barrier has always been thedifficulty of obtaining or producing the highly enriched uranium or theplutonium that would be needed to make a bomb. Unfortunately, theopportunities for theft have multiplied in recent years as the politicaland economic disintegration of the former Soviet Union has left manysites only loosely guarded, and their nuclear experts impoverished andvulnerable to bribes.

With enough plutonium or highly enriched uranium in hand, a terroristgroup with three or four specialists in its ranks, a machine shop andsufficient time could probably make a crude nuclear weapon, weighingmore than a ton. That, at least, was the alarming verdict of fiveAmerican nuclear weapons experts who examined the question a few yearsago. Even terrorist groups that were short on expertise and had onlylow-grade radioactive materials from medicine or industry could make a"dirty bomb" in which radioactive materials are placed aroundconventional explosives, with the goal of contaminating a large area.

With so much nuclear material in the former Soviet Union potentiallyvulnerable, it would seem imperative to swiftly safeguard the warheadsand fissile materials not yet adequately protected. Farsightedcooperative programs begun a decade ago have done much to upgradesecurity at Russian nuclear facilities and to retain Russian scientistswho might be tempted to sell their expertise. But the effort isproceeding at too lackadaisical a pace, and the Bush administrationseems inclined to let it creep along.

A task force led by former Senator Howard Baker and Lloyd Cutler, aformer White House counsel, called early this year for a huge increasein financing. Yet Congress has approved less than $200 million for suchprograms in the 2002 fiscal year, a small fraction of what the panelrecommended, and the Bush administration has rebuffed attempts to boostthe supplemental terrorism package to provide more. One way or anothermore money should be found. Even more important, Presidents Bush andPutin need to summon the political will to brush aside all obstaclesthat have slowed the program. Otherwise, the growing sophistication ofterrorist groups will eventually overtake the lagging efforts to keepnuclear weapons out of their reach.
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Driving Past The Point
Mary McGrory
Washington Post
November 18, 2001
(for personal use only)

President George W. Bush told President Vladimir Putin that he is "thekind of guy I'd like to have in a foxhole with me." Apparently thefeeling is mutual. As the two tootled around Texas, they seemed almostgiddy with the promise of relief that each offered to the other.

Bush's dearest dream, of course, is to build a national missile defensesystem. Putin got the red carpet at Crawford because he hints at givingBush the glad news that he can have his cake and eat it, too. Putinindicates that the ABM Treaty, the cornerstone of arms control, can bebent without being broken, so that certain presently outlawed missiledefense tests can go forward.

Nothing definite was said by either side. Bush urged generalities at aremarkable joint news conference at the local high school, but we canassume that a quid pro quo came up before or after the barbecue thatPutin pronounced "a masterpiece of cooking." Putin surely found a momentto mention his obsession, Chechnya.The Russian president wants Bush, andthe rest of the world, to see the separatist province as another hotbedof terrorism and that the rebels whom Moscow has so savagely fought are"Islamic bandits." To line up the leader of the global crusade againstterrorism would be worth the trip for Putin. Bush had already vouchedfor the "heart and soul" of the former KGB agent.

What we should all hope is that the two new best friends discussedsomething else as they drove around Crawford -- Bush had to break itgently to Putin that real Texans ride their ranches in trucks, not onhorses. The Cooperative Threat Reduction program, launched 10 years agoby senators Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar, may not have been on theiragenda, but threat reduction could have more to do with survivingterrorism -- particularly nuclear terrorism -- than missile defense orChechnya.

The crucial topic was discussed at a news conference held by thePhysicians for Social Responsibility at the National Press Club the dayafter Putin arrived in Washington. (PSR is an affiliate of theInternational Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.) It is not agroup that Bush heeds closely since it advocates the elimination of allnuclear weapons and the placing of all fissionable materials underinternational control.

Putin and Bush were supposed to be at the point of announcing reductionsof approximately two-thirds of their nuclear stockpiles, but nothingdefinite was said. The scientists and doctors think that's all very well-- although John Pastore says both sides will still have "unconscionableand totally unnecessary nuclear arsenals" — but they want the presidentto increase funding for the Nunn-Lugar program. It monitors thenotoriously sloppy and casual Russian handling of its nuclear stockpilesand fissionable materials and keeps watch over plutonium and highlyenriched uranium stocks. The Bush administration cut $1 million from thefunding for this excellent program -- one that could save us from theunspeakable consequences of having these materials fall into the handsof terrorists.

Bush has not had anything to say since the presidential campaign aboutthese efforts, and if he is not thinking about them during his week ofglory, it is understandable. Not since George Washington has anAmerican president had a more glorious string of successes.

A sudden, complete reversal of fortune set in in Afghanistan. A weekago, there was hand-wringing over the Northern Alliance, which suddenlycame to life, knocked over Mazar-e Sharif, surged into Kabul and endedall whining about the slow pace of the war. Pictures of terrifiedrefugees and wretched little child victims of our bombs were replacedwith cascades of happy, grateful Afghans -- women daring to show theirfaces, men gleefully cutting their beards. Eight jubilant Western aidworkers were freed from Taliban prisons. The Taliban evaporated.

The commander in chief, reveling in his vindication, simultaneously madehis debut as a peacenik willing to slash nuclear stockpiles. OsamabinLaden is still at large, an Airbus with 260 aboard fell out of the skyin New York and the economy is tanking, but everything is coming uproses in Afghanistan at the moment.

The president has every reason to be thankful, but the doctors andproliferation experts are warning us that we have to persuade him totake other steps to make a safer world. What will protect us from"collateral damage" -- military-speak for 100,000 dead -- is not amissile defense shield but a serious program of straightening outRussia's nuclear mess. Nunn-Lugar makes it possible to offer Russia'snuclear scientists some other kind of future than slipping secrets orplutonium to aspiring terrorists, who will not be deterred by missiledefense. When Bush and Putin meet again, let's hope that they get downto cases.
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We Must Act As If He Has The Bomb
Graham Allison
Washington Post
November 18, 2001
(for personal use only)

The question is suddenly urgent: Could the inconceivable happen?President Bush has previously warned the world that Osama bin Laden isseeking to develop weapons of mass destruction. Now, bin Laden himselfclaims to have chemical and nuclear weapons -- and "the right to usethem." We cannot know for certain whether he is bluffing, but HomelandSecurity Director Tom Ridge has confirmed that documents detailing howto make nuclear weapons have been found in an al Qaeda safe house inKabul. And we can certainly expect that as the noose tightens around theterrorist's neck, he and his associates will become increasinglydesperate.

All of this means that, incredible as the possibility remains even inthe aftermath of Sept. 11, we must now seriously contemplate that binLaden's final act could be a nuclear attack on America.

The consequences of such an attack would far outstrip the horror we havealready witnessed. Imagine that al Qaeda had struck the World TradeCenter not with a van filled with explosives, as in 1993, nor withplanes fully loaded with jet fuel, but with an SUV containing a nucleardevice. Even a crudedevice could create an explosive force of 10,000 to20,000 tons of TNT, demolishing an area of about three square miles. Notonly the World Trade Center, but all of Wall Street and the financialdistrict and the lower tip of Manhattan up to Gramercy Park would havedisappeared. Hundreds of thousands of people would have died suddenly.In Washington, if such a vehicle exploded near the White House, an areareaching as far as the Jefferson Memorial would be immediately andcompletely destroyed, and a larger area, extending from the Pentagon tobeyond the Capitol, would suffer damage equal to that caused to theAlfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995.

That same year, in a Post op-ed, I warned: "In the absence of adetermined program of action, we have every reason to anticipate acts ofnuclear terrorism against American targets before this decade is out." Iwas fortunately wrong about the timing, but I believe the same estimatecan be made with even greater justification today. The question iswhether the outrage of Sept. 11 will now motivate the United States andother governments to act urgently to minimize the risk of nuclearmega-terrorism.

Unhappily, the evidence to date is not encouraging.

As the Bush administration took office in January, a bipartisan taskforce, chaired by former Senate majority leader Howard Baker (nowambassador to Japan) and former White House counsel Lloyd Cutler,presented a report card on non-proliferation programs with Russia. Thetask force's principal finding was that "the most urgent unmet nationalsecurity threat [my emphasis] to the United States today is the dangerthat weapons of mass destruction or weapons-usable material in Russiacould be stolen, sold to terrorists or hostile nation states, and usedagainst American troops abroad or citizens at home."

The danger can be summarized in three propositions. First, attempts tosteal nuclear weapons or weapons-usable material are not hypothetical,but a recurring fact. The past decade has seen scores of incidents inwhich individuals and groups have successfully stolen weapons materialfrom sites in Russia and sought to export it — but have been caught.Just in the past month, the chief of the Russian defense ministrydirectorate responsible for nuclear weapons reported two recentincidents in which terrorist groups unsuccessfully attempted to breakinto Russian nuclear storage sites. In the mid-1990s, more than 1,000pounds of highly enriched uranium — enough material to allow terroriststo build more than 20 nuclear weapons -- sat unprotected in Kazakhstan.Recognizing the danger, the American government purchased the materialand removed it to a Department of Energy facility in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Second, if al Qaeda or some similar group obtained 40 pounds of highlyenriched uranium, or less than half that weight in plutonium, it could,with materials otherwise available off the shelf, produce a nucleardevice in less than a year. Obtaining such fissionable material -- aningredient that is fortunately difficult and expensive to manufacture --is in fact the only high hurdle to creating a nuclear device. But as adirector of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories wrote a quarter of acentury ago, "If the essential nuclear materials like these are in hand,it is possible to make an atomic bomb using the information that isavailable in the open literature." An even easier alternative is aradioactivity dispersal device, a conventional bomb wrapped inradioactive materials that disperse as fallout when the bomb explodes.

Third, terrorists would not find it difficult to sneak such a nucleardevice into the United States. The nuclear material required is actuallysmaller than a football. Even a fully assembled device,such as asuitcase nuclear weapon, could be shipped in a container, in the hull ofa ship or in a trunk carried by an aircraft. Since Sept. 11, the numberof containers arriving at U.S. points of entry that are being X-rayedhas increased to approximately 10 percent: 500 of the 5,000 containerscurrently arriving daily at the port of New York/New Jersey, forinstance. But as the chief executive of CSX Lines, one of the foremostcontainer-shipping companies, put it: "If you can smuggle heroin incontainers, you may be able to smuggle in a nuclear bomb."

If bin Laden and other terrorists have not so far succeeded in acquiringnuclear weapons, or materials from which to assemble them, we shouldgive thanks for our great good fortune. If they have acquired them -- asbin Laden now claims -- most people will quickly conclude that, underexisting conditions, this was bound to happen.

There can be little doubt that bin Laden and his associates would carryout a nuclear assault were they capable of doing so. Last year, the CIAintercepted a message in which a member of al Qaeda boasted of plans fora "Hiroshima" against America. According to the Justice Departmentindictment for the 1998 bombings of American embassies in Kenya andTanzania, "At various times from at least as early as 1993, Osama binLaden and others, known and unknown, made efforts to obtain thecomponents of nuclear weapons." Additional evidence supplied by a formermember of al Qaeda describes the group's attempts to buy uranium ofSouth African origin, repeated travels to three Central Asian states totry to buy a complete warhead or weapons-usable material, anddiscussions with Chechens in which money and drugs were offered fornuclear weapons. Bin Laden himself has declared that acquiring nuclearweapons is a "religious duty."

Preventing nuclear terrorist attacks on the American homeland willrequire a serious, comprehensive defense -- not for months or years, butfar into the future. The response must stretch from aggressiveprevention and preemption to deterrence and active defenses. Strictborder controls will be as important to America as ballistic-missiledefenses.

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, and in theinternational intelligence and law-enforcement effort to discover anddisrupt al Qaeda sleeper cells and interrupt attempted shipments ofweapons.

Second, the United States must seize the opportunity of a morecooperative Russia to "go to the source" of the greatest danger today:the 99 percent or more of the world's nuclear, biological and chemicalweapons that are stored in Russia and the United States. The surest wayto prevent nuclear assaultsis to prevent terrorists from gaining controlof these weapons or materials from which to make them. President Bushacknowledged this in his joint news conference with Russian PresidentVladimir Putin last Thursday, declaring that "Our highest priority is tokeep terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction."

What the two presidents failed to announce, however, are concreteactions to achieve this objective. While their success in agreeing tocut the number of operational strategic nuclear weapons cannot begainsaid, the stark reality is that this reduction has no effect on ourmost urgent unmet national security threat.

Bush and Putin should have announced that the United States and Russiawould lead a new joint international undertaking to minimize the risksof nuclear terrorism, as well as terrorism by means of other weapons ofmass destruction. They should have pledged to ensure that theirrespective governments will do everything physically and technicallypossible to prevent terrorists or criminals from stealing weapons orweapons-usable material from their stockpiles. They should haveinstructed their governments to develop a joint plan of action toconcentrate weapons and materials in the fewest possible sites, securethem by the most technically advanced means, and neutralize highlyenriched uranium by blending it down for subsequent use in civiliannuclear power plants. Within Russia,such a program should be jointlyfinanced by the United States, its allies in the war against terrorismand Moscow.

Despite the successes of the past week, the long-term goals of our waron terrorism remain elusive, and the future no doubt holds frustrationsas well as celebrations. In that light, calling upon leaders to act toprevent attacks of a kind that have not yet occurred may seem overlydemanding. But if we fail to act on this agenda now, how shall weexplain ourselves on the morning after a nuclear Sept. 11?
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It's the Plutonium, Stupid
Graham Allison
Los Angeles Times
November 18 2001
(for personal use only)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Osama bin Laden gave them the perfect opening. Justbefore President Bush welcomed Russian President Vladimir V. Putin tothe White House for last week's summit, a Pakistani newspaper quoted theAl Qaeda leader claiming to have "chemical and nuclear weapons" and "theright to use them."

The specter of a nuclear-armed Al Qaeda should have caused the Russianand American presidents to focus intensely on the single most urgentunmet threat to the civilized community of nations. But As we applaudthe success of Putin and Bush in cutting strategic nuclear forces, wemust express bewilderment at their failure to take comparable steps toreduce the threat of nuclear terrorism. No one can seriously doubt thatBin Laden wants to acquire nuclear weapons, has been seeking nuclearweapons and would not hesitate to carry out a nuclear assault were hecapable of doing so. On Thursday, Homeland Security chief Tom Ridgeconfirmed that nuclear weapons-related documents were found in an AlQaeda safe house in Afghanistan. Last year, the CIA intercepted amessage in which a member of the Al Qaeda group boasted of plans for a"Hiroshima" against America. According to the Justice Departmentindictment for the 1998 bombings of American embassies in Kenya andTanzania, "At various times from at least as early as 1992, Osama binLaden and others, known and unknown, made efforts to obtain thecomponents of nuclear weapons." Additional evidence from a former memberof Al Qaeda describes attempts to buy uranium of South African origin,repeated travels to three Central Asian states to try to buy a completewarhead or weapons-useable material and discussions with Chechens inwhich money and drugs were offered for nuclear weapons.

While it is by no means certain that Bin Laden has acquired nuclearmaterial, he has declared that acquiring nuclear weapons is a "religiousduty." "If I have indeed acquired [nuclear] weapons," he once said,"then I thank God for enabling me to do so."

But the danger of nuclear terror is by no means limited to Bin Laden orAl Qaeda. As Bush took office in January, a bipartisan task force,chaired by former Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker Jr. (nowambassador to Japan) and Lloyd N. Cutler, former counsel to presidentsCarter and Clinton, presented a report card on nonproliferation programswith Russia. The principal finding of the task force is that "the mosturgent unmet national security threat to the United States today is thedanger that weapons of mass destruction or weapons-usable material inRussia could be stolen, sold to terrorists or hostile nation states andused against American troops abroad or citizens at home."

Without immediate action, the threat of nuclear terrorism is high. Thequestion is whether the horror of Sept. 11 can now motivate the UnitedStates, Russia and other governments to act urgently--not only againstAl Qaeda, but also in taking meaningful, fast action to minimize therisk of nuclear terrorism.

So far, the answer must be no. Of the six joint statements issued byPresidents Bush and Putin on Nov. 13, none focused on cooperation toreduce the threat of nuclear terrorism. A single sentence in one jointstatement mentioned the need to secure nuclear weapons and prevent theirtheft.

Post-Cold War relations should begin with shared vital nationalinterests that require cooperation for their fulfillment. The urgencyand importance of one such interest was made vivid on Sept. 11: tominimize dangers of nuclear and other weapons of mass destructionterrorism. As the inventors and builders of 99% of the world'sweapons-of-mass-destruction, Russia and the U.S. have a specialresponsibility to exercise leadership in this arena.

A new alliance against nuclear terrorism would have multiple dimensions,including defenses against ballistic missile threats from rogue states.But to focus on that more distant threat to the neglect of the largerand more urgent danger would be a grave strategic blunder.

The surest way to prevent nuclear assaults on Russia, America and theworld is to prevent terrorists from gaining control of these weapons andthe materials to make them. The readiest source of such weapons andmaterials is the vast arsenals and stockpiles Russia and Americaaccumulated over four decades of Cold War competition. America andRussia should act now to assure each other that their own houses are inorder by securing or neutralizing all nuclear weapons and weapons-usablematerial to agreed international security standards on the fastesttimetable technically feasible. An ambitious program of action toachieve this objective should be jointly funded by the U.S., Russia andother members of the international coalition against terrorism.

The starting points for a high-priority program of specific actions tothis end have already been stated by the two presidents. In his majorforeign policy campaign address at the Ronald Reagan PresidentialLibrary, presidential candidate George W. Bush called for "Congress toincrease substantially our assistance to dismantle as many of Russia'sweapons as possible, as quickly as possible." In his September 2000address to the U.N.'s Millennium Summit, President Putin proposed that"the world must find ways to block the spread of nuclear weapons byexcluding use of enriched uranium and plutonium in global atomic energyproduction."

The Baker-Cutler task force report outlines a specific program forminimizing the danger of nuclear terrorism. Initiatives shouldconcentrate weapons and materials at the fewest possible sites, securethem by the most technically advanced means and neutralize highlyenriched uranium by blending it down for subsequent use in civiliannuclear power plants. This program could essentially eliminate the riskthat nuclear weapons could be stolen, sold to terrorists and used toattack America or other countries.

Further elements of this campaign must include a U.S.-Russian-ledinternational coalition to cause all other nuclear-weaponsstates--including Pakistan--to secure weapons and weapons materialwithin their borders. A complementary international effort to preventproliferation of nuclear weapons to additional states should focus onNorth Korea, Iran and Iraq through joint political efforts to reinventmore robust nonproliferation controls on sale and export of weapons ofmass destruction and missile technologies.

After Sept. 11, a nuclear terrorist attack can no longer be dismissed asan analyst's fantasy. No one can doubt Bin Laden's aspirations toacquire nuclear weapons, which he has called a "religious duty."Skeptics' claims that he would not be willing to use a nuclear weaponhave also been discredited. As the international noose tightens aroundAl Qaeda's neck, the group will become more desperate and audacious.Let's move quickly to put the ultimate threat out of his reach.
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B. US-Russian Relations

Let's move beyond Cold War thinking
Lisbeth Gronlund and David Wright
Boston Globe
November, 18 2001
(for personal use only)

PRESIDENT BUSH is right - it is time for the United States and Russia tomove beyond Cold War thinking and restructure their nuclearrelationship. But as he himself said in June, it is important that wenot only talk differently but act differently.

Despite the rhetoric surrounding this week's summit, there is littleevidence that Bush is prepared to match his words with deeds. In fact,there is a fundamental inconsistency in the administration's thinkingabout nuclear weapons and missile defense.

Bush is eager to convince Russian President Putin that the end of theCold War means that US missile defenses should not worry Russia. ButRussia cares about US missile defenses because the United States targetsthousands of nuclear weapons on Russia. Why? Because the United Statesis stuck in old ways of thinking and continues to rely on its Cold Warstrategy.

Bush argues that US-Russian arms-control agreements on missiles andmissile defenses are no longer needed because the United States does notnegotiate arms-control agreements with friends, and Russia is now afriend. Yet he neglects the more fundamental issue: The United Statesdoes not target its friends with nuclear weapons.

On Tuesday Bush announced that the United States will reduce itsdeployed nuclear weapons to around 2,000 over the next 10 years. Whilethat is a substantial step in the right direction, it represents only aquantitative change, not the fundamental rethinking that Bush is quickto tell Putin is required on missile defenses. Only a few hundrednuclear weapons are needed to destroy a country the size of Russia. Nocurrent or conceivable future threat requires the United States tomaintain more than a few hundred survivable warheads. Large nucleararsenals are not relevant to current security threats such asproliferation and terrorism.

During the presidential campaign, Bush said that the premise of Cold Warnuclear targeting should no longer dictate the size of our arsenal. Yetthe only reason the United States would retain 2,000 warheads is totarget Russian nuclear weapons. Cold War thinking remainsinstitutionalized in US nuclear targeting plans, which require theUnited States to have enough highly accurate weapons to target anddestroy Russian missiles in their silos.

Actions speak louder than words. Bush should demonstrate that the UnitedStates no longer considers Russia an enemy by cutting US arsenals to thelowest possible number of nuclear weapons consistent with our nationalsecurity needs, as he has promised. The administration should announcethat the United States will cut to 1,000 warheads immediately and thento a few hundred in concert with Russia. The administration should makethese cuts irreversible by committing to dismantle the remaining 10,000US strategic and tactical nuclear weapons - including those in storage -in a manner transparent to Russia and the international community and toplace the resulting nuclear material under international safeguards.

These steps would also provide an opportunity to seek better controls onRussian nuclear materials, which present a real danger of proliferation.

Bush should announce that the United States will no longer maintain itsdangerous ability to launch nuclear weapons in a matter of minutes. Hecan thereby induce Russia to de-alert its nuclear weapons, too. Takingnuclear weapons off alert is the best way to reduce the very real riskof accidental or mistaken launch.

Bush cannot fundamentally change the US-Russian nuclear relationship bybuilding missile defenses and abandoning arms control agreements whilekeeping thousands of nuclear weapons targeted at Russia. He can do soonly by getting rid of Cold War targeting plans, making much deeper cutsin US nuclear arsenals, and removing nuclear weapons from high alertlevels. And he should - and could - start doing that today.
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Arms and the Men
The Economist
November 17, 2001
(for personal use only)

Despite the lack of agreement between Presidents George Bush andVladimir Putin in Crawford, Texas, over missile defence, their meetingdemonstrated a new warmth, and highlighted the spectacular progress theyhave already made over the policy issue that used to dominate"super-power" relations: strategic arms control

EARLIER this year the idea of a summit disagreement between the American

and Russian presidents about America's missile-defence plans was seen asa looming diplomatic disaster. But given the new warmth between the twocountries since the September 11th terrorist attacks, and the almostembarrassingly chummy relationship between President George Bush andPresident Vladimir Putin on display this week, the disagreement overmissile defence hardly seemed to matter.

Mr Bush welcomed Mr Putin to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, like an oldfriend. In Texas "you only invite a good friend to your home," he noted.Along with hours of private discussion, there was plenty of public andemphatic informality, and a barbecue dinner with a country-western danceband. The two men visited a local high school, where they gushed overeach other. But they did not hide their disagreement over themissile-defence issue. "We have a difference of opinion," admitted MrBush. But he added that "our differences will not divide us." Mr Putinchimed in that an agreement might eventually be reached that would "notthreaten the interests of both our countries and of the world."

The reason for the optimism, despite the disagreement, is that the twocountries do seem to have turned a corner. The pragmatic, modernising MrPutin has backed Russia away from global competition with America, andseized the opportunity presented by the September 11th attacks to forgean odd new alliance with its former foe. Mr Putin's support forAmerica's campaign in Afghanistan has persuaded Mr Bush that "we'retransforming our relationship from one of hostility and suspicion to onebased on co-operation and trust."

In keeping with this new mood, America has given Russia something itbadly wanted—an agreement by both sides to slash the size of theirstrategic arsenals from the current total of about 7,000 warheads to afraction of that number. Mr Bush has said America will cut the number ofdeployed nuclear warheads to between 1,700 and 2,200 over the next tenyears. Mr Putin has similarly said that Russia will reduce the number ofits long-range weapons to about one-third of the present level. Thisagreement will come just in time to relieve Russia of a financial burdenwhich, in its shrunken post-Soviet form, it could not sustain. Russiawould ideally like the number of warheads reduced to 1,500 each.

Bye bye to the ABM

And yet Russia, for its part, seems not quite ready yet to give theAmericans a long-awaited present: agreement to modify the 1972Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty, under which both sides pledged toremain vulnerable to each other's rockets, and hence eschewed thetemptation of a firstike capability. For the Russians, this treatyhas been a guarantee against America's building a shield that wouldrender worthless its nuclear arsenal—one of the last remaining tokens ofits superpower status—by creating the possibility, however hypothetical,of an American first strike.

Nevertheless, Mr Putin seemed to leave open the door to the possibilitythat Russia may agree to "overlook" American plans for the constructionof silos for five interceptor missiles at Fort Greely, in Alaska, tobegin next spring. But Russia has still talked only about allowing thetesting of anti-missile systems; it has not yet said it would toleratethe deployment of any new interceptors, over and above the very limiteddefences which are permitted under the ABM treaty.

For American officials, this change of stance by the Kremlin would be awelcome, if long-overdue, re-interpretation by Russia of its owninterests. The anti-missile defences which America wants to deploy—on ascale which has yet to be determined—are not directed at Russia's largerocket forces, but at the much smaller arsenals which rogue states suchas Iran, Iraq or North Korea may one day direct at the United States.Whatever the scope of the American system, it is unlikely to beextensive enough to stop a full-scale attack by hundreds of Russianrockets. From this point of view, Russia has every interest in givingAmerica the leeway it wants, as long as it can extract a high enoughdiplomatic price.

For American hawks, it is galling even to be discussing these matterswith Russians in terms that seem to imply that the Kremlin has a vetoover American defences. They have urged that America unilaterallyrenounce the ABM treaty—something either side is entitled to do aftergiving six months' notice—and construct whatever defences it deemsappropriate.

The Bush administration has said it is prepared to do exactly that ifnecessary, and this threat has certainly concentrated Russian minds. Butunless it is clear that there is no other choice, such a unilateral movewould be seen as highly provocative by Russia—and by some of America'sEuropean allies—and would darken the climate of international relations.

Why does all this still matter? To an extent that would surprise mostnon-specialists, who assumed the cold war ended when communism collapseda decade ago, America and Russia have kept alive the set-piece, almostritualised stand-off between their huge nuclear arsenals; each countrymaintains hundreds of missiles on hair-trigger alert to attack theother. While Mr Bush has acknowledged that this alert status creates adanger of an accidental nuclear exchange, it is still not clear how fareither side is prepared to go in "confidence-building measures" toreduce the risk of an apocalyptic accident.

The Union of Concerned Scientists, a lobby group that favours armscontrol, has suggested that warheads due for decommissioning under thedeep cuts soon to be announced should be taken off their alert positionas quickly as possible; and there should be some reduction in the alertstatus of those warheads which remain in service.

American officials explain that, although they have no reason to doubtthe benign intentions of Russia's current government, they cannot ignorethe old "strategic calculus"—which country could wipe the other outfirst—except by carefully calculated agreement. And until recently theAmerican-Russian climate has been too tetchy to allow for such anagreement.

Like almost everything else in the world, that changed after September11th. The terrorist onslaught on New York and Washington drove home thepoint that whatever threatens America in the near future, it is notlikely to be a concerted attack by a huge nuclear arsenal. In order tosave energy for the real threats—such as that of an attack by terroristswho possessed a tiny quantity of nuclear material, but were desperateenough to use it—American policymakers feel a renewed impetus to tidy upunfinished business from the cold war. And happily enough, Russia seemsto feel the same way too.
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Shrinking the Nuclear Stockpile
The Age
November 16, 2001
(for personal use only)

Earlier this month in Turkey, an ambulance driver from Istanbul tried tosell a kilogram of uranium that he claimed had been smuggled out of oneof the former Soviet republics. He was caught because the would-bebuyers were undercover police officers. The black market in nuclearmaterial is the shadow lying behind the announcement in Washington thisweek that the United States and Russia have agreed to slash theirarsenal of nuclear warheads. On Tuesday, US President George W.Bush saidthat during the next 10 years America would unilaterally cut its nuclearweapons stockpile by two-thirds, to between 1700 and 2200 warheads.Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to try to achieve a similarreduction in the Russian stockpile. The Americans have about 7000long-range weapons and the Russians about 6000. A smaller arsenal wouldbe safer and less expensive to maintain; it would also lessen the riskof warheads being stolen or missiles launched by accident. But the twohave not yet agreed on a formula that would allow the US to create itsambitious missile defence shield while also safeguarding the 1972Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which forbids such defences. Both sidessay talks will continue on the ABM treaty, but Mr Putin insists thetreaty be maintained.

Mr Bush's pledge to reduce the US nuclear stockpile is an encouragingsign, however, that a new era of cooperation between the former Cold Warenemies is under way. After the September 11 terrorist attacks, Mr Putinused his influence to gain access for American forces to military basesin the former Soviet republics of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, whichborder Afghanistan. Russia also helped to arm anti-Taliban militias inAfghanistan. This willingness to help the US in its campaign againstinternational terrorism, and Mr Putin's visit to Washington, indicatethat Russia also feels vulnerable to terrorism. They are also apragmatic recognition that weapons amassed in the Cold War could now beused against the powers that developed them. The two sides have agreedon the urgency of accounting for nuclear materials and preventingillicit nuclear trafficking. They will also share information andresources to combat bio-terrorism, as well as organized crime and drugtrafficking - a leading source of finance for terrorists.

Although it is not known if Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terroristnetwork have succeeded in procuring nuclear material, their attempts todo so have been documented. Proliferation experts have warned that thethreat of terrorists obtaining such weapons is real. Russia and theUnited States have much to gain by cooperating on this issue. Havingdevised weapons of mass destruction, they have a heavy responsibility totry to keep the genie in the bottle.
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C. Russian Nuclear Cities

Russia's closed cities are open and shut case
Gabor Szabo and Vladimir Kitov
The Russia Journal
November 16, 2001
(for personal use only)

Russia's closed cities — nobody knows exactly how many there are, buteveryone knows that the list just got longer.

On Oct. 30, when Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov signed Decree No. 755,essentially closing Norilsk and a handful of its northern Siberianneighbors off to foreigners, the number of people living in Russia'srestricted zones may have grown to as many as 2 million.

"Nobody knows how many of these cities there are, and the people who doknow won't tell you," said an expert on the Russian military who askednot to be named. "I don't even think there's anyone in the governmentwho is in charge of all of this. It's all a remnant of the Soviet Unionthat was supposed to disappear but didn't."

During Soviet times, scores of cities and towns — including some of thecountry's largest, such as Kaliningrad, Krasnoyarsk, Murmansk, NizhnyNovgorod, Perm and Vladivostok — were off limits to anyone with aforeign passport, and many were forbidden even to the country's owncitizens. Norilsk was among them.

But with Glasnost and the eventual fall of the Soviet Union, all of themajor cities were opened, and Russia's new constitution, in Article 27,guaranteed complete freedom of movement to "everyone legally present inthe Russian Federation," regardless of citizenship. At least in theory,that right could only be abridged in extraordinary circumstances ofnational security concern.

In 1992, then-Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar signed Decree No. 450,limiting foreigners' access to territory in 15 Russian subjects,including the Arkhangelskaya, Chelyabinskaya, Kaliningradskaya,Kamchatskaya, Leningradskaya, Moskovskaya, Murmanskaya, Nizhegorodskaya,Orenburgskaya, Sverdlovskaya and Volgogradskaya Oblasts; Khabarovsky,Krasnoyarsky and Primorsky Krais; and the Republic of Mordova. Thedecree was later amended in 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997 and 2000.

Most of the territory covered in Decree No. 450 is either located alongborders or around sensitive military or nuclear objects.

Meanwhile, the Atomic Energy Ministry and the Defense Ministry retainedthe right to declare certain cities — usually relatively small towns —off-limits to foreigners, although those rights are apparently not basedon any specific laws, the military expert said.

The Atomic Energy Ministry has published a list of the 10 cities it hascordoned off, including Lesnoi and Novouralsk in the Sverdlovsk Oblast,Ozersk in the Chelyabinskaya Oblast, Sarov in the NizhegorodskayaOblast, Seversk in the Tomskaya Oblast, Snezhinsk and Trekhgorny in theChelyabinskaya Oblast, Zarechny in the Penzenskaya Oblast, andZelenogorsk and Zheleznogorsk in the Krasnoyarsk Oblast.

The Defense Ministry, on the other hand, guards the list of its closedcities as a state secret and failed to return calls seeking information.But press reports claim that the Ministry has barred access to between30 and 90 cities and towns. And a partial 1997 list obtained by TheRussia Journal from reliable sources lists 27 cities, including oneapiece in the Amurskaya, Arkhangelskaya, Astrakhanskaya, Chelyabinskaya,Chitinskaya, Kirovskaya, Orenburgskaya, Permskaya and SaratovskayaOblasts and the Primorsky Krai, two each in the Kamchatskaya,Sverdlovskaya and Tverskaya Oblasts, and the Krasnoyarsky Krai, four inthe Moskovskaya Oblast and five in the Murmanskaya Oblast.

In all, according to the 1997 list, 1.7 million people live in those 27cities plus the 10 listed by the Atomic Energy Ministry. By far thebiggest closed city among those listed above is Zheleznogorsk, with morethan 260,000 inhabitants.

Decree No. 755, meanwhile, adds Norilsk, Talnakh, Kaierkan, Dudinka,Snezhnogorsk and Igarka to that list, with a total population ofapproximately 295,000.

But whereas military bases, border zones and nuclear cities were closedfor security and secrecy reasons — warranted or otherwise — Norilsk andits neighbors were not.

Local and regional officials, together with executives of the area'slargest company, Norilsk Nickel, asked Kasyanov to ban foreigners fromthe region in an effort to stem migration to the city of citizens offormer Soviet republics, primarily from Central Asia, according toNorilsk Nickel spokeswoman Yelena Kovaleva.

And although Decree No. 755 limits access for all foreigners bar none,Kovaleva said the rules will be waived for visitors "from furtherabroad," especially Norilsk Nickel's foreign investors.

"In other words, this has nothing to do with secrecy or security," saidVladimir Oivin, deputy director of the Glasnost Foundation. "It issupported by neither strategic nor tactical needs. It is simply anill-though-out policy, just like the way [Mayor Yury] Luzhkov tries tolimit foreigners in Moscow."

Such a drastic policy, however, has tended to backfire. According to areport from the Russian-American Nuclear Security Advisory Council,economic conditions in closed cities are dire, as potential investmentis blocked and markets — especially real- estate markets — stagnate.Indeed, in almost every closed city there are massive housing problems,the report said.

And what's more, according to human rights activist AlexanderPodrabinek, the continued existence of closed cities, and the naming ofnew ones, violates Article 27 of the Russian constitution.

"But that doesn't seem to concern anyone," he said.
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D. Tactical Nuclear Weapons

What about those 5,000 tactical nuclear weapons?
Brian Alexander And Alistair Millar
Houston Chronicle
November 17, 2001
(for personal use only)

The summit meetings this week between President George W. Bush and hisRussian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, yielded the highly anticipatedannouncement on reductions in operationally deployed strategic nuclearwarheads to a level between 1,700 and 2,200 each over the next decade.

Reductions in strategic nuclear weapons are a welcome, much needed stepin what President Bush has called "moving beyond the Cold War."Regrettably, these reductions are unlikely to include more than 5,000tactical nuclear weapons, mainly in the Russian arsenal, which areeasier to transport and often more vulnerable to theft than othernuclear weapons.

An often overlooked fact is that tactical nuclear weapons have neverbeen the subject of a formal arms control effort, even though theseuncovered nukes pose dangers equal to or above those of strategic nukes.Unless Presidents Bush and Putin make a commitment to address tacticalnuclear weapons, Cold War-era nuclear dangers will remain a present andgrowing threat to international peace and security. Terror attacksagainst the United States and the war on terrorism are the latest, andperhaps strongest signal ever, of the dangers posed by these weapons.

Existing tactical nuclear arsenals, in addition to dangers of leakageinto the wrong hands, also undermine nonproliferation efforts supportedby the United States, Russia and the other more than 180 signers of thenonproliferation treaty. Discussions in the United States and Russiaabout developing new classes of these weapons smack up against theintentions of this treaty and give strong incentive for other nations todevelop their own arsenals.

Calls in the United States -- including from some members of Congress —for the use of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in the campaign inAfghanistan are irresponsible and incredibly dangerous. Use of tacticalnuclear weapons would unravel the international coalition vital toAmericas war on terrorism, while setting a dangerous precedent fornuclear weapons usage. Osama bin Laden has threatened a nuclearretaliation against the United States if this country uses theseweapons. While bin Laden may not currently possess this capability, werehe to acquire it, well...

The Russian stockpile of these weapons numbers in the thousands, but anexact count is unknown by the United States and others -- and, worse, isperhaps unknown even by the Russians. But concerns about the securityand storage of these weapons is well known, and uncertainties abouttheir exact numbers compound the risks that these weapons could fallinto the hands of international terrorist groups, not to mentionso-called rogue states.

As Bush and Putin appear on the threshold of unprecedented progress innuclear reductions, to truly achieve nuclear security in the post-ColdWar era, they must address tactical nuclear weapons. This includes notonly remnant arsenals from the former Soviet Union, but also calls inthe United States and Russia for the possible development of new classesof these weapons.

Government and other expert analyses repeatedly have cited the dangersof tactical nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists. Though ofteneuphemistically thought of as battlefield nukes, these weapons oftenpossess destructive power greater than the bombs dropped on Hiroshimaand Nagasaki at the close of World War II. The February 2001 Hart-Rudmancongressional study stated that nonproliferation is the first line ofdefense against international terrorist threat.

In the hands of nuclear terrorists, tactical nuclear weapons could wreakhavoc and destruction far surpassing anything witnessed in New York Cityon Sept. 11. The initial damage could claim tens of thousands of livesand destroy many square miles of property. The area and its surroundingswould be rendered uninhabitable by nuclear contamination lasting fordecades. After-effects of radiation exposure would manifest themselvesin victims across a broad geographic area for years to come. At thisnuclear ground zero, there would be no bucket brigades, no reasonabletalk of rebuilding.

Paradoxically, the war on terrorism provides an opportunity to greatlyimprove long-term prospects for international peace. The United Statesand Russia have begun a new level of cooperation and dialogue. Europeand the United States have never been closer. U.S. sanctions againstPakistan have been dropped. Even China has expressed greater supportthan in the past.

As Sept. 11 has demonstrated, it's a new world. Responding to this newworld requires attending to not only the threats that linger from thepast, but addressing those that face us now and in the immediate future.Tactical nuclear weapons reductions and controls are an essentialelement of meeting this challenge.

Alexander and Millar are with the Fourth Freedom Forum in Washington,D.C., and co-authors of the new report, "Uncovered Nukes: TacticalNuclear Weapons and the Challenge of Arms Control" available online
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E. Russia-Iran Cooperation

Russia Ships Nuclear Reactor Shell to Iran
November 16, 2001
(for personal use only)

Russia began shipping the shell of a nuclear reactor to Iran on Fridayunder a deal that has enraged Washington.

Moscow signed a $1 billion contract with Tehran to build a nuclear powerstation at Bushehr in 1995, but the project was slow to get off theground, in part because of intense U.S. pressure on Russia to renege onthe deal.

Iran features on Washington's list of ``rogue states'' that sponsorterrorism, and it has urged Moscow not to transfer nuclear technology toTehran.

Russia has repeatedly said the contract was for civilian use andcomplied with its international obligations.

But State Department spokesman Philip Reeker on Friday repeatedallegations that the plant has military applications.

``We believe that Iran uses Bushehr as a cover for obtaining sensitivetechnologies to advance its nuclear weapons program. We think Iran'sclandestine effort to acquire weapons-grade material and relatedproduction capabilities poses a threat,'' he told reporters inWashington.

A train carrying the body of the reactor shell rolled out of theIzhorskiye Zavody plant in St. Petersburg and was loaded onto a shipbound for Iran, the office of St. Petersburg governor Vladimir Yakovlevsaid.

Russian television showed a crowd of workers burst into cheering andapplause as the train left the factory. It said the Bushehr order wasthe company's biggest in 10 years.

Experts from the plant will travel to Iran to help install the reactorshell, which is due to arrive in Bushehr in a month.

Itar-Tass news agency quoted an Atomic Energy Ministry official assaying the reactor was due for completion by the end of 2003.

Russia has blamed ``technical difficulties'' for delays to the contract.Iran's President Mohammad Khatami visited Izhorskiye Zavody in March tomonitor progress.

Moscow has received a tentative order from Tehran for another reactor,also to be built at Bushehr, and detailed negotiations are due to startin December.

Officials have said Moscow is considering a separate order for atwin-reactor power station in another part of Iran.

Washington has warned Russia it could be hit by sanctions over itsnuclear cooperation with Iran. That threat could pour cold water onRussia-U.S. ties that have warmed considerably since Moscow backedPresident Bush's ``war on terrorism'' after the Sept. 11 hijack attackson U.S. landmarks.
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F. Russia-India Cooperation

Russian Firm Begins Work on Nuclear Reactor for India
BBC Monitoring Service
November 16, 2001
(for personal use only)

Text of report in English by Russian news agency Interfax

St Petersburg, 15 November: The Izhorskiye Zavody joint-stock company(St Petersburg), which belongs to the holding Unified Machine-BuildingPlants, has begun to construct the body of a reactor and other equipmentfor the Kudankulam nuclear power station in India.

Mikhail Kosolapov, financial director of the holding, told journalistsin St Petersburg on Thursday that Izhorskiye Zavody would take threeyears to construct the nuclear power equipment for India.

In addition, Kosolapov said the plant would start building equipment forKudankulam's second power unit.

The first block of the Indian nuclear power station is to becommissioned in 2005, and the second in 2006.

Kosolapov recalled that Atomstroyeksport - Russia's nuclear powerconstruction exporter - concluded the contract for the Kudankulamstation's construction when Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayeerecently visited Russia. At present, Kosolapov stressed, the UnifiedMachine-Building Plants are regulating their relations withAtomstroyeksport on the implementation of the contract.

Asked about the cost of the contract, Kosolapov said it would be "muchabove" the cost of the contract to produce equipment for two Chinesenuclear power units.

It was earlier reported that Izhorskiye Zavody would supply equipmentfor the first and second Chinese power units in December 2001, and inDecember 2002, respectively. This equipment cost 140m dollars.

Source: Interfax news agency, Moscow, in English 1902 gmt 15 Nov 01
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G. Nuclear Power Industry

Russia's Nuclear Plant Builders Power Into Action
Nick Allen
Deutsche Presse Agentur
November 17, 2001
(for personal use only)

MOSCOW - Russia may be moving to slash its huge Cold War stocks ofnuclear weapons, but in the civil sector, nuclear power plant buildersare working overtime to revive Soviet-era and other flagging projects athome and abroad.

In the next decade omission ten more nuclear reactors for itself. Tenexisting nuclear power plants now account for 15 percent of thecountry's electricity output.

In the latest boost to Russia's nuclear power industry, the governmentfinally overcame 13 years of holdups and signed this month an up totwo-billion dollar contract with New Delhi to build a plant atKoodankulam in southern India.

With this, the planners say the current list of foreign projects iscomplete except for one that was put on ice in Cuba.

But new orders can be taken only as tied-up construction resourcesbecome available, much to the frustration of some officials who fearcontracts will slip away.

"There is a danger that a long pause in the search for new clients maygive competitors an advantage," a high-ranking Nuclear Energy Ministrychief complained to the Itar-Tass news agency.

The peak of nuclear power plant construction was registered in Soviettimes when 26 reactors were built in 10 countries of the formersocialist alliance. However, the cooperation was more political thaneconomic.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Nuclear Energy Ministry hadto access foreign markets anew and faced bitter competition.

There are currently three active projects in China, Iran and India, allof which - Russia emphasizes - are supervised by the InternationalAtomic Energy Agency.

CHINA - The smoothest-running of the projects, at Tiawan in China, wasfirst agreed in 1992 and a contract to build two reactors was signedfour years later.

China is paying around 2.4 billion dollars for the reactors which aredue to come on line in 2004 and 2005.

Russia is currently also building a uranium enrichment factory and anexperimental fast breeding reactor in China.

IRAN - The contract to build one reactor in Bushehr was signed in 1995and is now close to completion. This is the cheapest of the projects,costing 780 million dollars, while average construction costs range fromone to two billion dollars.

In Bushehr, over 1,000 Russian specialists are finishing constructioninitiated in the 1970s by a subsidiary of the German Siemens company.

Eyeing potential Iranian orders for six more reactors if the Bushehrproject is successful, Russia firmly rebuffs U.S. fears that Teherancould acquire nuclear weapons technologies from the work.

Russia also resumed military cooperation with Iran late last year aftera five-year break agreed with the United States under former RussianPresident Boris Yeltsin.

INDIA - First approved in 1988, the project at Koodankulam in southernIndia to build two 1,000-megawatt reactors is the most protracted of thethree.

First New Delhi lacked the necessary funds and then with the collapse ofthe Soviet Union it became necessary to make a fresh deal with Russia.The new agreement was signed in 1998 but it took three more years tofinalize the
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Russia Hopes to Build a Nuclear Power Station in Finland
BBC Monitoring Service
November 17, 2001
(for personal use only)

Text of report in English by Russian news agency ITAR-TASS

Moscow, 17 November: Russia plans to participate in an internationalbidding in 2002 to build a nuclear power station in Finland. "We stand agood chance to win," Viktor Kozlov, general director of Atomstroyexport,a structure coming under the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry, toldITAR-TASS.

Other bidders will include Germany, France, Britain and Sweden. "We willface a tough competition from the world's leading atomic energy firms,"Kozlov went on to say. Nevertheless, he is optimistic and thinks thatRussia may well win the contest.

The thing is that Russia suggests building a station operating onlight-water reactors similar to those which it is already building inChina. "By the time of the bidding, the Chinese project will nearly becompleted, and Russia will take this opportunity to prove its ability tobuild highly technological nuclear power stations and supply competitiveproducts to the world atomic energy market," Kozlov explained.

Finland is still operating one Soviet-built nuclear power station buthas not commissioned any new orders to Russia.

Russia is building three nuclear power stations -in Iran, China andIndia - at the moment.

Source: ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in English 0959 gmt 17 Nov 01
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Russia to Invest 1.9bn Dollars in Nuclear Power Plants
BBC Monitoring Service
November 16, 2001
(for personal use only)

Text of report in English by Russian news agency Interfax

Moscow, 15 November: The Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy plans tospend 1.9bn dollars by 2010 building new nuclear power plants,completing those currently under construction, and putting them intooperation in the Central Federal District, the Ministry has toldInterfax.

In addition, the Ministry plans to allocate 1.5bn dollars to modernizethe operating capacities in the Central Federal District by 2010.

Nuclear energy specialists will modernize the 3rd, 4th, and 5th powerunits at the Novovoronezh nuclear plant; the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd units atthe Kursk plant; and the 1st unit at the Smolensk plant. New power unitswill also be put into operation at the Kalinin and Kursk plants. TheMinistry plans to commission 6 gigawatts in the Central Federal Districtannually.

Orders for power-generating facilities located in this region willaverage about R2bn a year.

According to the Atomic Ministry's estimates, the atomic industry willgenerate up to 37 per cent of the total energy by 2010. In 2000, thisfigure was 30 per cent.

At the moment, the nuclear capacity of the Central Federal Districtamounts to 52 gigawatts, which is 50 per cent of the aggregate capacityof all Russian nuclear power plants.

Source: Interfax news agency, Moscow, in English 0948 gmt 15 Nov 01
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Bulgaria: Russian Firm Wins Tender for Nuclear Fuel Supplier
BBC Monitoring Service
November 16, 2001
(for personal use only)

Kozloduy, 16 November: The Russian company TVEL won a tender forsupplier of fresh nuclear fuel for the 440-megawatt units of theKozloduy nuclear plant, said the plant's Executive Director YordanKostadinov.

During the tender's second round, the other bidder decided to withdraw.TVEL has the advantage of being a traditional supplier and its offer wasmore attractive. In early December, TVEL and the plant are expected tosign a contract regulating the amount and the prices of the freshfuel...

Source: BTA web site, Sofia, in English 16 Nov 01
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H. Links of Interest

No Breakthrough on Strategic Reductions at the Summit
Eugene Miasnikov
November 15, 2001

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DISCLAIMER: Nuclear News is presented for informational purposes only.Views presented in any given article are those of the individual authoror source and not of RANSAC. RANSAC takes no responsibility for thetechnical accuracy of information contained in any article presented inNuclear News.

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