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Nuclear News - 12/28/01
RANSAC Nuclear News, December 28, 2001
Compiled by Michael Roston

A. U.S. Nonproliferation Budget
    1. Bush Pledges More Aid For Russian Arms Cuts, Mike Allen, Washington Post (12/28/01)
    2. U.S. Drops Threat to Cut Aid to Russia for Disarming, Elisabeth Bumiller, New York Times (12/28/01)
    3. US to Help Russia on Nuclear Control, Barry Schweid, Associated Press (12/28/01)
    4. U.S. to Speed Disposal of Russian Arms, James Gerstenzang, Los Angeles Times (12/28/01)
    5. Good News on Nukes, David S. Broder, Washington Post (12/23/01)
B. Cooperative Threat Reduction
    1. Trade, Aid, Oil, and Nonproliferation The Keystones to 'New Kazakhstan-American Relationship.' (excerpted), RFE/RL Central Asia Report (12/27/01)
    2. Uzbekistan to Step Up Nuclear-Material Monitoring at Customs Posts, BBC Monitoring Service (12/26/01)
C. Nuclear Terrorism
    1. Uranium and Cyanide Found in Drums at Bin Laden Base, Barbie Dutter in Kandahar and Ben Fenton, Daily Telegraph (12/24/01)
    2. Georgia Arrests Smuggler with Radioactive Materiel, Reuters (12/22/01)
    3. FBI Focusing On Portable Nuke Threat, Nicholas Horrock, United Press International (12/20/01)
D. Russian Nuclear Cities
    1. Russia to Allow US Experts to its Secret Nuclear Centres, BBC Monitoring Service (12/27/01)
E. Russia-Iran Cooperation
    1. Belarusian Company to Participate in Iranian Nuclear Power Project, BBC Monitoring Service (12/22/01)
    2. Duma Ratifies Russian-Iranian Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation, RFE/RL Newsline (12/20/01)
F. U.S.-Russia HEU Purchase Agreement
    1. Security Workers Renew Plea for Revised Rules at USEC Upgrade of Security, Joe Walker, The Paducah Sun (12/22/01)
G. Russian Spent Fuel Imports
    1. Russia's Siberia May Stop Nuclear Waste Import Next Year, BBC Monitoring Service (12/28/01)
    2. Russia to Supply Uranium for Dutch Nuclear Research Centre, Agence France Presse (12/25/01)
    3. Russian Parliament Passes Law Ruling on Imports of Spent Nuclear Fuel, BBC Monitoring Service (12/20/01)
    4. Russian Nuclear Waste Referendum Bid Wins Overseas Support, Environmental News Service (12/19/01)
H. Nuclear Submarine Dismantlement
    1. Scrapping of Russian Nuclear Subs Held Up By Kursk Salvage Operation, BBC Monitoring Service (12/27/01)
    2. Nuclear Subs Dumping to Last Through '07, Russia Journal (12/26/01)
I. Nuclear Safety
    1. Nuclear Waste Vessel, Sub Collide, Associated Press (12/21/01)
J. Announcements
    1. Fact Sheet: Administration Review of Nonproliferation and Threat Reduction Assistance to the Russian Federation, The White House, Office of the Press Secretary (12/27/01)
K. Links of Interest

A. U.S. Nonproliferation Budget

Bush Pledges More Aid For Russian Arms Cuts
Mike Allen
Washington Post
December 28, 2001
(for personal use only)

President Bush pledged more money today to help Russia round up anddestroy nuclear and chemical weapons, abandoning the skepticism he hadexpressed when he ordered a review of the U.S. assistance nine monthsago.

In a statement issued while vacationing at his ranch here, Bush saidmost of the $750 million the United States spent on 30 such programsthis year appears to be worthwhile. He called for cutbacks in a fewprograms, such as a costly effort to dispose of excess plutonium. But heurged additional spending and accelerated efforts on others, includingconstruction of an incinerator to destroy Russian nerve agents.

White House officials said the administration would propose an overallincrease in the aid when Bush submits his budget next year, and theydepicted the decision as a milestone in the increasing cooperationbetween the United States and Russia. "Most U.S. programs to assistRussia in threat reduction and nonproliferation work well, are focusedon priority tasks and are well managed," a White House statement said.

Foreign policy specialists said the announcement reflected the warmingof relations with Russia and the administration's heightened concernabout the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weaponsafter the Sept. 11 attacks.

Lawrence J. Korb, a former assistant secretary of defense in the Reaganadministration who is director of national security studies at theCouncil on Foreign Relations, said the Bush administration had been"saying one thing and doing another" -- declaring support forcooperation with Russia while proposing cuts in nonproliferationassistance.

"Now, they realize these are important programs that could keep nuclearmaterial out of the hands of terrorists," Korb said. "If theseterrorists get hold of nuclear weapons, it will make September 11th looklike a day at the beach."

Democrats on Capitol Hill said programs that had appeared likely to becut under the administration's budget now appear likely to be given moremoney. They said the announcement was another example of Bushcriticizing the policies of President Bill Clinton and then lateradopting them.

"When all was said and done, they realized there were good reasons forthe past policies," said a Democratic Senate aide who specializes inarms control.

Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.), a leader in the 10-year-old cooperativethreat reduction program, also described Bush's action as "good news."

The National Security Council began reviewing the programs in March.Bush said at a news conference at the time that it was in the nation'sinterest to "work with Russia to dismantle its nuclear arsenal." But healso said he had an obligation to the taxpayers "to make sure that anymoney that is being spent is being spent in an effective way."

Some administration officials had wanted, for example, to eliminate theEnergy Department's Nuclear Cities Initiative, which aims to fosterpartnerships with U.S. companies and to spur investment in Russiancommunities long dependent on weapons factories. Sen. Joseph R. BidenJr. (D-Del.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, had calledsuch a cutback "absolutely foolhardy."

In today's statement, the White House said the Nuclear Cities Initiativewould be consolidated into a related program and "restructured to focusmore effectively on projects to help Russia reduce its nuclear warheadcomplex." But it stopped short of canceling the program.

Bush also said the Pentagon would accelerate a project to build afacility at Shchuchye, in Russia's Kurgan region, to incinerate tons ofdeadly nerve agents. The high-tech incinerator is the first major effortby the Russians to destroy chemical stockpiles, an effort they concedeis decades behind schedule.

The House Armed Services Committee had for several years held up moneyfor the facility, arguing that Russia had not fully disclosed itschemical weapons stocks or shouldered its share of financing. Butearlier this year, the House withdrew its objection. With the Senate, itapproved the project under certain conditions, including contributionsfrom other countries and certification that Russia has revealed itschemical stockpiles.

With those provisions, Congress approved $35 million this month to getthe project started. Russia has allocated $50 million for infrastructurework, such as building access roads and clearing land, according tocongressional sources.

The administration also said today that it wants to acceleratecooperation with Russia to install equipment at border posts to detectnuclear materials. And the White House statement called in generalterms, without citing budgetary figures, for expanding Energy Departmentprograms to improve the security of Russia's warheads and nuclearmaterials.

Congress had already guaranteed an increase in that funding by providingan extra $286 million for nonproliferation programs in a supplementalappropriations bill this month. Of that amount, $120 million is forprograms to upgrade protection and accounting for nuclear materialsacross the former Soviet Union.

Bush's announcement called for the expansion of the InternationalScience and Technology Center, a joint U.S.-Japanese-European effort tohelp Russian weapons scientists switch to civilian work.

But the president also called for the restructuring of some programs.The White House statement said, for example, that the State and Energydepartments will "examine alternative approaches" to a joint project todispose of 34 metric tons of excess Russian weapons-grade plutonium,"with the aim of making the program less costly and more effective."

Some administration officials had urged cancellation of the plutoniumdisposition project, which has faced sharply increased costs --estimated at more than $2 billion -- and disagreements over how torender the material harmless. But today's announcement said "theadministration remains committed to the agreement with Russia to disposeof excess plutonium," although it is searching for an effective way tocarry it out.

Bush had hinted at the outcome of the review during a speech this monthon defense policy. In that Dec. 11 address at the Citadel in SouthCarolina, he called Russia "a crucial partner" in the effort to keepdangerous technologies out of the hands of terrorists and said the twonations "will expand efforts to provide peaceful employment forscientists who formerly worked in Soviet weapons facilities."
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U.S. Drops Threat to Cut Aid to Russia for Disarming
Elisabeth Bumiller
New York Times
December 28, 2001
(for personal use only)

After nearly a year of threatening to end programs aimed at helpingRussia stop the spread of nuclear weapons, the White House announcedtoday that it remained committed to an effort to help Russia dispose ofhundreds of tons of military plutonium.

The Bush administration, its concerns about the availability of nuclearweapons heightened since Sept. 11, said it would also continue a programto reduce the dependence of some Russian cities on nuclear weaponsdevelopment and to provide alternative jobs for nuclear scientists.

In addition, the White House said that the Pentagon would seek to speedup the Cooperative Threat Reduction project to construct a chemicalweapons destruction facility at Shchuchye, 1,000 miles southeast ofMoscow, allowing for its earlier completion.

The announcement marked the culmination of the Bush administration'syearlong review of Clinton-era programs, designed to work with Russia toprevent the spread of nuclear weapons, and essentially left all of themintact. Early in the administration, Bush administration officialscriticized many of the programs as expensive and ill conceived, and hadthreatened to eliminate them or greatly reduce their funding.

"I think it shows a fairly profound evolution of Bush administrationviews over the past year," said Rose Gottemoeller, a senior associate atthe Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a senior EnergyDepartment official during the Clinton administration. "They raised hugeexpectations early in the administration that they were going to slashand burn. I think they began to see the national security implications,and then after Sept. 11 it became untenable to cut the programsradically."

The administration released the announcement in a brief e-mail toreporters from the White House office in Crawford, Texas, wherePresident Bush is vacationing on his ranch. Officials on the NationalSecurity Council oversaw the yearlong review of the programs.

The e-mail included only a short statement from Mr. Bush, taken from aspeech he gave on Dec. 11 at The Citadel, the military college inCharleston, S.C. In that speech, Mr. Bush said that "together, we mustkeep the world's most dangerous technologies out of the hands of theworld's most dangerous people. A crucial partner in this effort isRussia - a nation we are helping to dismantle strategic weapons, reducenuclear material, and increase security at nuclear sites."

The White House review covered 30 programs with a combined annual budgetof $750 million. Arms control advocates consider them a cornerstone ofAmerica's scientific and military relationship with Russia. The programsinvolve mostly the Pentagon, the Energy Department and the StateDepartment, and pay for the dismantling of weapons facilities and thestrengthening of security at sites where nuclear, chemical andbiological weapons are stored.

Bush administration officials have said that their review, parts ofwhich were made public by senior officials over the summer, does notendorse the Clinton approach. Rather, they say, the administration istrying to make the programs more cost-efficient and better-managed.

To that end, the administration has said it will pursue a less expensiveapproach in its effort to help Russia dispose of plutonium. Theadministration favors using plutonium in reactors as "mixed oxide fuel,"as opposed to a more expensive method that mixes plutonium with glassand nuclear waste materials.

In addition, the White House has sought more financing from Russia andEuropean nations to help build the chemical weapons destruction facilityat Shchuchye. Critics said the original program was too costly and wasnot moving forward, and that Russia had not put up enough of its ownmoney for the project.

Under the Bush review, the program to provide alternative jobs fornuclear scientists, called the Nuclear Cities Initiative, will beconsolidated with another program, called Initiatives for ProliferationPrevention. The combined program will be restructured, the announcementfrom the White House said, "to focus more effectively on projects tohelp Russia reduce its nuclear warhead complex."

The Nuclear Cities Initiative was started in 1998 to help createnonmilitary work for Russia's 122,000 nuclear scientists and to helpRussia downsize geographically and economically isolated nuclear cities,where 760,000 people live.

The aim of the program was to prevent nuclear scientists from leavingfor Iraq, Iran and other would-be nuclear powers.
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US to Help Russia on Nuclear Control
Barry Schweid
Associated Press
December 28, 2001
(for personal use only)

The White House said Thursday it would expand programs to help Russiakeep nuclear weapons material under control and to speed up installationof detection devices at U.S. and Russian border posts.

The results of a Bush administration review reflect rising concern thatterrorists might acquire nuclear material from loosely managed Russianstockpiles, then smuggle it out of Russia and into the United States forterror attacks.

Some analysts have questioned whether Russian officials know exactly howmany nuclear weapons and how much weapons-grade material are stored inRussia.

More than 30 U.S. programs, with a combined budget of about $750million, were reviewed, and a summary of the conclusions was released bythe White House. Most of the programs were found to work well, thestatement said.

However, the review proposed that the State Department and EnergyDepartment find a less costly and more efficient way to help Russiadispose of excess plutonium, a key element of nuclear weapons.

The current program was expected to cost about $2 billion by the time itis completed several years from now.

The project to end Russian production of weapons-grade plutonium will betransferred to the Energy Department from the Defense Department andseveral programs to help Russia shutter nuclear weapons factories andinstall nuclear detection devices at border posts will be merged.

At the same time, programs to find jobs for Russian nuclear weaponsscientists are to be expanded. The aim is to limit any incentive to selldangerous material to suspect groups or nations.

And the United States will work with Russia to destroy tons of nerve gasat Shchuch'ye.

The decisions from the administration's review will be implementedvigorously, the statement said.

In a separate development, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld saidthe results of a review of U.S. nuclear weapons programs would beannounced next week.

He said it would lay the groundwork for a new approach to strategicdeterrence - one that will include ``truly deep reductions'' in U.S.arsenals combined with deployment of an anti-missile defense capable ofprotecting the United States, allies and friends from attack.
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U.S. to Speed Disposal of Russian Arms
James Gerstenzang
Los Angeles Times
December 28 2001
(for personal use only)

The Bush administration will speed up its work helping Russia dispose ofchemical weapons, one of the top recommendations of a nearly yearlongreview of U.S.-Russian weapons destruction programs, the White Housesaid Thursday.

The decision reflects an initiative that President Bush outlined twoweeks ago in a speech at the Citadel military college in South Carolina,in which he called for modernizing the U.S. military and giving Russia acentral role in keeping weapons of mass destruction out of terrorists'hands.

The increase in cooperation stems from an examination of theeffectiveness of U.S.-Russian nonproliferation projects at a time ofincreased fears that nuclear material and chemical weapons can besmuggled across borders. The study, launched by the Pentagon, StateDepartment and Energy Department shortly after Bush took office, wasdesigned to examine the cost of joint efforts and to determine whetherthey are working. In a statement, the White House said that most of theprograms are well-managed. Bush, who is on vacation at his ranch here incentral Texas, had no comment on the report.

In addition to the chemical weapons initiative, the report recommendedexpanding an Energy Department project to help Russia secure itsweapons-grade nuclear material, as well as a program to make the detailsof Russia's warhead stockpile more visible and one to provide peacefulscientific opportunities for scientists who have worked on biologicalweapons.

The chemical weapons destruction program is based in the Russian city ofShchuchye, the White House said.

Bush said at the Citadel that he would seek increased spending for theprograms in his next budget. White House officials were unable to sayhow much more will be sought when Bush presents his budget for fiscalyear 2003 in February. The programs operated with a budget of $750million in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.

Within the administration, the new efforts are seen as important stepstoward increasing cooperation between the United States and Russia,which recognize the need to maintain strict control of chemical andnuclear weapons during a period of heightened awareness of the riskposed by terrorism.

"We must keep the world's most dangerous technologies out of the handsof the world's most dangerous people," Bush said at the Citadel.

He also noted then that the two countries will try to create jobs forscientists who had worked on weapons projects in the former Soviet Unionand will work on building a facility to destroy tons of chemicalweapons--an effort he called a "vital mission."

The review looked at more than 30 programs, with the goal of making surethat the joint nonproliferation projects focus on reducing threats andweapons and of determining whether new initiatives are needed.

Suggesting a vote of confidence that wasn't as clear a year ago, theWhite House said in a statement that the examination "found that mostU.S. programs to assist Russia in threat reduction and nonproliferationwork well, are focused on priority tasks and are well-managed."

Among the shifts under consideration as a result of the study is whetherthe program helping Russia dispose of plutonium can be run at less costwhile adhering to the administration's commitment to helping Russia getrid of excess amounts of the radioactive substance.

The Bush administration is the third U.S. administration faced with thenuclear weapons legacy of the Soviet Union, which had 30,000 nuclearwarheads when it dissolved a decade ago.

Hundreds of warhead delivery systems--land-based missiles, missilelaunchers and bombers, and submarine-launched missiles--have beendestroyed, and the United States and Russia are now talking aboutreducing their warhead stockpile to no more than 2,200 from the currentarsenal of about 6,000 each.

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Good News on Nukes
David S. Broder
Washington Post
December 23, 2001
(for personal use only)

Put whiskers and a red suit on him, and Secretary of Energy SpencerAbraham would make a passable Santa Claus. What Abraham brought homefrom his recent trip to Moscow and his negotiations with the Office ofManagement and Budget (OMB), plus what others have accomplished onCapitol Hill, are some of the best Christmas presents anyone could havehoped to find under the tree.

In sum, the path has been opened to greater progress in the new year onsecuring Russian nuclear materials and decreasing the chances thatterrorists will be able to obtain the ingredients for suitcase nuclearbombs or other weapons of mass destruction.

Here is the story, as gleaned from interviews with Abraham, members ofCongress and others in the Bush administration.

First, the final appropriations bill of 2001 contained virtually all themoney that proponents had been seeking in vain all year to safeguard theatomic materials loosely stored and casually guarded at Russian sites.As readers of previous columns on this subject know, the green-eyeshadepeople in President Bush's OMB had inexplicably decided earlier thisyear that this was a place to save money, despite the fact that Bush hadheartily endorsed the program during the campaign and since takingoffice.

Bush's first budget cut the money for the Nunn-Lugar program, the10-year-old bipartisan effort sponsored by former senator Sam Nunn ofGeorgia and Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana -- two of the nation's mostfarsighted national security experts -- to lock up those loose nukes andprovide work for Russian nuclear scientists left unemployed by thebreakup of the Soviet Union.

But now Congress has boosted the appropriation by $120 million, just $11million less than the sum that a strong backer of the program, TexasDemocratic Rep. Chet Edwards, had been seeking. Wisconsin Rep. DavidObey, the senior Democrat on Appropriations, led the fight to restorethe money.

Lugar told me the outcome was "very good news" and said he appreciated"the very strong bipartisan support" for the program.

But more good news is in store. Abraham has become a real advocate ofthe Nunn-Lugar program and said in an interview he is committed to"expanding and accelerating" it in coming months and years.

The former Michigan senator spent two days in Moscow last month with hiscounterpart, Minister of Atomic Energy Alexander Rumyantsev, and withofficials of the Russian navy, another partner in the project. Theyagreed to "establish a formal process to monitor progress" in "improvingmeasures on nuclear materials physical protection, control andaccounting, as well as preventing illegal trafficking and handling ofnuclear and radioactive materials."

Beyond those formal words, Abraham said, there was a clear recognitionon both sides of the central importance of such controls in the wake ofthe Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He and Rumyantsev agreed to set up theirown direct communications link, so if any bureaucratic barriers appear,they can deal with them directly and quickly. "This has become one of mytop priorities," Abraham said.

At the same time Abraham was holding these meetings in Moscow, theNational Security Council was removing its hold on plans for disposingof Russian and American plutonium -- a principal ingredient of nuclearweapons -- through a process that converts it into a form safe to use ingenerating electricity. Some Bush aides had questioned the cost andcomplexity of the process, but they have now agreed that the disposalprocess can proceed, with adequate funding next year.

Finally, Bush has signaled that money for safeguarding nuclear materialsand blocking proliferation of nuclear weapons will be increased infuture years. In a Dec. 11 speech at The Citadel, Bush called this "avital mission." And, congressional sources tell me, his budgetersactually have increased fiscal 2003 money for this program beyond theEnergy Department's request -- a real rarity these days.

The effort to safeguard nuclear material likely will expand beyondRussia. Abraham visited the International Atomic Energy Agency in Viennato promise joint U.S.-Russian initiatives to strengthen controls oncross-border movements of this lethal stuff. Lugar has talked with VicePresident Dick Cheney and national security adviser Condoleezza Riceabout his vision of developing similar programs for India and Pakistan,and eventually even for Iran and Iraq.

Having previously criticized the Bush administration and some inCongress for shortsighted economies in this area, it is a pleasure nowto commend them for this Christmas gift to the nation -- and to theworld.
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B. Cooperative Threat Reduction

Trade, Aid, Oil, and Nonproliferation The Keystones to 'NewKazakhstan-American Relationship.' (excerpted)
RFE/RL Central Asia Report
December 27, 2001
(for personal use only)


To enhance Central Asian security and stability, the joint statementfocused not only on the threat of terrorism and efforts to reconstructAfghanistan, but on the need for regional cooperation in developingcross-border water resources and transport infrastructure. That said,Washington promised to "consider enhancing assistance programs toKazakhstan to strengthen border security and to increase the defensivecapabilities of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan."

Tightening border controls has also long been a priority concern forWashington because of the risk of illegal export of nuclear materialsfrom the region. Praising independent Kazakhstan's renunciation of itsnuclear weapons in the early 1990s, the joint declaration noted thedanger posed by trafficking of nuclear, chemical, and biologicalweapons, and proposed closer efforts to prevent smuggling of suchmaterials under the United States-Kazakhstan Cooperative ThreatReduction Agreement. A separate document signed by U.S. Secretary ofState Colin Powell and his Kazakh counterpart, Yerlan Idrisov, aimed toupgrade information exchanges about nuclear-arms control by establishinga hotline between the U.S. Nuclear Risk Reduction Center and theequivalent center in Kazakhstan, as part of the Secure Link Agreementoriginally completed by the two sides in December 2000. The agreementmandates intergovernmental communications on the status andimplementation of existing or future arms-control treaties.

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Uzbekistan to Step Up Nuclear-Material Monitoring at Customs Posts
BBC Monitoring Service
December 26, 2001
(for personal use only)

The Uzbek Institute of Nuclear Physics is working on a US-funded projectto prevent the smuggling of nuclear materials via Uzbekistan as part ofthe global anti-terrorism fight, Uzbek TV reported on 24 December. Itsaid the institute's work to create locally produced nuclearradiation-detection monitors would allow all customs points in thecountry to be equipped with them "as early as next year". It also saidthat the institute's nuclear reactor was guarded effectivelyround-the-clock. The following is the text of the TV report. Subheadshave been inserted editorially:

[Announcer] At a time when the world community is uniting efforts in thefight against terrorism, a number of international projects are beingimplemented at the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Academy ofScience of Uzbekistan. European Union grants are being implemented atthis major scientific and research centre of the region. Projects toprevent the smuggling of nuclear materials are among them.

[Correspondent over video of people working at the reactor hall of theinstitute, equipment to detect radiation] Mankind has accumulatedconsiderable experience of using the atom for peaceful purposes. Itfaces dilemmas: radiation safety, nuclear ecology, the storage ofnuclear waste and the most dangerous is the possibility of nuclearterrorism by extremist organizations.

Uzbekistan, which has its own nuclear reactor and which is an officialmember of the IAEA, strictly abides by its obligations on the peacefuluse of the atom. The Institute of Nuclear Physics is an executor ofinternational programmes which are being implemented both on the basisof its nuclear facility and with the use of the accelerators of theEuropean Organization for Nuclear Research [CERN] in Geneva, WashingtonUniversity, the TRIUMF [Tri-University Meson Facility, on the campus ofthe University of British Columbia, Vancouver)], scientific centres inFrance, Italy, Belgium and other countries. Uzbek nuclear scientists'close contacts with these centres are directed at supporting the treatyon the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, [the prevention of their]transit via territories signatory to the treaty and the consolidation ofefforts in the fight against nuclear terrorism. Grants for developingmajor projects of scientific and technical significance and equipmentreceived by Uzbek scientists bear witness to their high reputation. Theproject for the prevention of smuggling nuclear materials, which isbeing implemented jointly with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratoryoperated by the University of California, is a substantial one amongseven prestigious grants operating this year.

Locally-produced nuclear detection monitors for all customs posts

[V. Petrenko, candidate of technical sciences, captioned] The danger ofinternational terrorism, especially nuclear terrorism, is a globalthreat. We have received a US grant and are working on the project onpreventing smuggling nuclear materials via Uzbekistan. To do this, wehave set up radiation monitors which detect the trafficking of nuclearfission materials.

[Correspondent] The Institute of Nuclear Physics' work to create locallyproduced radiation-detection monitors will allow all customs point to beequipped with these monitors as early as next year. This will also allowall possible ways of transit by any sort of transport to be cut off. Thesystem for the physical protection of the nuclear reactor is operatingefficiently in the institute. The reactor is monitored continuouslyaround-the-clock. International experts, in particular, from the SandiaNational Laboratories [in the USA] say that this work is exemplary on aninternational scale. The institute's modern technologies, both infundamental and applied research, in particular its basic output -isotopes and preparations on the basis of this research which are usedin many sectors of the national economy - will allow it [the institute]to reach international standards.

Source: Uzbek Television first channel, Tashkent, in Russian 1430 gmt 24Dec 01
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C. Nuclear Terrorism

Uranium and Cyanide Found in Drums at Bin Laden Base
Barbie Dutter in Kandahar and Ben Fenton
Daily Telegraph
December 24, 2001
(for personal use only)

URANIUM has been found in an al-Qa'eda base outside Kandahar - the firstevidence that Osama bin Laden had obtained materials for a nucleararsenal, it was revealed yesterday.

The discovery gives some credibility to the fear that he could unleash aweapon of mass destruction as his dying act.

Anti-Taliban leaders in Kandahar revealed that the uranium and othermaterials, including cyanide, had been discovered in a tunnel complexbeneath the former base near the city's airport. The find was confirmedby American officials.

It was also revealed that when tribal forces took the al-Qa'eda complexearlier this month they found hundreds of jars, drums and metal cases inan underground labyrinth at the desert compound where Arab fightersstaged a bloody last stand before Kandahar was surrendered by theTaliban.

The cache included low-grade uranium 238, which could be used to make aso-called "dirty bomb" if wrapped around a conventional explosive. Itwould spread radiation over a large area.

Specialised equipment and facilities would be needed to turn uranium 238into a fissile device like the Hiroshima bomb, and so it would not besuitable for building such a weapon.

American intelligence officials told Newsweek magazine that al-Qa'edahad enough of the material to make a "dirty bomb" and it seems certainthat their knowledge is based on the discovery at Kandahar airport.

Haji Gullalai, now the interim intelligence chief for Kandahar province,told The Telegraph that immediately after capturing the airport area,his men had entered one tunnel and discovered the materials in a vastunderground workshop.

The find was reported the same day to "international militarypersonnel", thought to be American special forces, who sent expertswearing masks and protective clothing to examine the substances, MrGullalai said.

He added: "We knew we were not well equipped to deal with these thingsso we called in foreign experts who told us it was uranium.

"For our own safety we did not touch the bottles but from a distance wesaw there were hundreds of different kinds of containers - small jarsand big jars, sealed with metal lids and containing powders and liquids,white and yellowish in colour.

"There were big drums the size of petrol drums and metal boxes withsides seven or eight inches thick. The bottles were labelled in fourdifferent languages - Chinese, Russian, Arabic and English."

American officials said that Russia, the states of the former SovietUnion, China and Pakistan were all possible sources for the uranium.

It has been estimated that several hundred Arab al-Qa'eda fighters werekilled in the battle for the airport, led by Gul Agha - now Kandahar'snew governor - with Mr Gullalai playing a senior commanding role.

The area where the tunnels were found is known locally as Turnak Farms.It is thought to have been the al-Qa'eda network's principal trainingand military base in southern Afghanistan and and held up to 1,800people.

Kandahar airport has now been taken over by around 1,500 US marines andcoalition forces.
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Georgia Arrests Smuggler with Radioactive Materiel
December 22, 2001
(for personal use only)

Georgian police have arrested an Armenian smuggler with 10.5 ounces ofradioactive uranium that he planned to sell in Turkey, a senior securityofficial said on Saturday.

The official, who asked not to be identified, said Georgian police andsecurity services had arrested Armenian national Eduard Kazaryan onWednesday in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region in southern Georgia wheremany ethnic Armenians live.

``We have serious suspicions that the uranium had been stolen from theArmenian nuclear power station,'' he said.

Kazaryan had with him one plate of low-grade uranium-235 which he hadsmuggled from Armenia and intended to sell in Turkey for $7,000, theofficial said.

Safety worries had forced Armenia to shut down its only nuclear powerplant in the aftermath of a disastrous earthquake in 1988, but itrelaunched the station in 1995 because of acute power shortages.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, there have been a numberof cases of nuclear materials being stolen from poorly guardedfacilities, sparking grave concern in the West.
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FBI Focusing On Portable Nuke Threat
Nicholas Horrock
United Press International
December 20, 2001
(for personal use only)

The leading congressional expert on Russia's small portable nuclearweapons told United Press International that the FBI has stepped up itsinvestigation of whether al Qaida or other terrorist groups haveacquired these deadly devices from Russian stockpiles.

Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., chairman of the Research and DevelopmentSubcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, said Tuesday that hewas briefed by the FBI late last week and that the investigation ofwhether terrorist groups have weapons of mass destruction, particularlynuclear devices, is now a top priority at the bureau after years ofindifference.

"Now they're looking at everything and following up on every lead,"Weldon said. It was Weldon, through his R&D subcommittee, who producedover past three years some of the most exhaustive and startlinginformation about the Russian stockpile of weapons that could be anadvantage to Osama bin Laden, his al Qaida network or other terroristgroups.

"The question is whether or not bin Laden has had access to nuclearmaterial," Weldon said. "I think it is better than a 50-50 chance thathe does."

"Do I think he has a small atomic demolition munitions, which were builtby the Soviets in the Cold War? Probably doubtful," Weldon said. But headded that after Sept. 11 the FBI could not avoid running every lead toground.

In 1997, Weldon brought former Russian security chief Gen. AlexanderLebed before his committee. Lebed testified that perhaps 100 smallnuclear devices were missing from inventories under his control. Lebedsaid the devices were a "perfect terrorist weapon," made to look likesuitcases, "and could be detonated by one person with less than 30minutes of preparation," according to committee documents.

The Russian government immediately tried to discredit Lebed's testimony,but Weldon's committee brought a prominent Russian weapons scientist,Aleksey Yablokov, before the committee in 1998 who reported that he knewthe Russians produced small nuclear weapons for combat use.

Yablokov was vilified when he returned to Moscow as a "traitor" for histestimony. Yablokov sued one major Russian magazine over thisvilification, Weldon said, and won a 30,000-ruble judgment against thepublication.

Perhaps the most startling testimony came from a defector from theRussian military intelligence service, the GRU, who testified in 1998that the Russians secretly pre-positioned weapons, including smallnuclear devices, in the U.S. and other countries around the world to beused for sabotage by its agents in time of war.

This witness said it was his job while working undercover in Washingtonfrom 1988 to 1992 as a correspondent for the Russian news agency Tass tolocate places where these weapons could be hidden both around Washingtonand in other parts of the country.

Weldon has described the weapons in this testimony as "small nuclearweapons that can fit into a knapsack or a briefcase or suitcase and aredesigned to be delivered and detonated by one or two people."

He created a mock-up of one in a suitcase form that he uses in speechesand Congressional hearings based on descriptions from Russian sources.He keeps the mock-up in his office.

A Federation of American Scientists compilation, titled Soviet Weapons,notes that there is very little information in the public venue aboutthe size and destructive power of the small weapons. The U.S. backpacknuke weighs 163 pounds and can be carried by one or two men. One Russiannaval arms compilation talks about small portable nuclear weaponsweighing from 59 pounds to 154 pounds.

The yield, too, is hard to pin down. One former American scientist whoworked at the Department of Energy labs said that the "Davy Crocket,"which was the small bomb later converted to special operations, had aone-kiloton explosive power and would level the Capitol Building andeverything in a half mile radius. It also would spread radioactive wasteacross a wide area of Washington. The bomb the U.S. dropped on Hiroshimawas 15 kilotons. (Each kiloton has an explosive power equal to 1,000tons of TNT.)

The GRU witness, who testified using a pseudonym, Col. Stanislaw Lunez,said that even after the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Russianscontinued to frame war plans against a range of Western nationsincluding the U.S.

"According to Soviet military plans, very well advanced, maybe a fewmonths, maybe a few weeks, of course, a few hours before real war wouldbe placed against his country (the U.S.), Russian Special OperationsForces need to come here and pick up weapons systems, because they willfly here as tourists, businessmen.

"According to their tasking, in a few hours they need to physicallydestroy, eliminate American military chains of command, President,Supreme Commander in Chief, Vice President, Speaker of the House,military commanders, especially to cut the head from the Americanmilitary chain of command," Lunev said.

He said that the Russians had a plan to sabotage industrial,communications and power targets as well.

Weldon said later the FBI discredited Lunev, saying that he exaggeratedthings, but another federal agency that Weldon declined to identifyprotects Lunev in an undisclosed location in the U.S. He said Lunev'scredentials as a ranking GRU spy assigned to the U.S. have never beenquestioned.

Later Vasily Mitrokhin, a KGB official, disclosed in his best-sellingbook "The Sword and the Shield" that the Soviets had secreted weaponsand explosives near NATO facilities throughout Europe for use in a war.Weldon said that Belgian officials located and dug up some caches nearNATO's headquarters

The backpack nukes are part of some 12,000 tactical nuclear weapons thatthe Russians possessed in 1991 when they agreed to a unilateral armsreduction with the first Bush Administration. The Russians were todestroy 2,000 warheads a year from 1991, which would suggest there isonly a handful left.

The U.S. destroyed the bulk of its weapons, but Weldon said that thereis no evidence that the Russians have conducted such a program.

"That's part of the problem. I've continually called for a treaty withRussian and really a worldwide effort to ban or to limit tacticalnukes," Weldon said.

"There has been no effort and we have had no success in getting Russiato decrease their tactical nukes. They feel they act as a buffer forEurope; the proximity of European countries. We just don't know whetherthey have total control of their atomic munitions."
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D. Russian Nuclear Cities

Russia to Allow US Experts to its Secret Nuclear Centres
BBC Monitoring Service
December 27, 2001
(for personal use only)

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

Washington, 28 December: The Russian Atomic Energy Ministry and the USDepartment of Energy have designed the rules for the visits of USexperts to the so-called Russian "nuclear cities".

A corresponding agreement was initialled in Moscow and is now subjectfor the final approval by the Russian government, according to SteveBlack, a high-ranking official of the Energy Department who is in chargeof nuclear non-proliferation programmes.

He told ITAR-TASS on Thursday [27 December] that the final approval isexpected from Moscow already in January and that the access agreementwas an important step in the implementation of the "Nuclear cities"programme.

The "Nuclear cities" programme was launched by former US President BillClinton to promote Russian military conversion in nuclear researchcentres and the employment of experts from converted nuclearenterprises.

The programme covers three nuclear cities - Sarov (former Arzamas-16),Snezhinsk (Chelyabinsk-70) and Zheleznogorsk (Krasnoyarsk-26). Howeveranother seven cities are expected to join it.

The US draft 2002 budget envisaged 42 million dollars fornon-proliferation purposes.

Source: ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in English 2310 gmt 27 Dec 01
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E. Russia-Iran Cooperation

Belarusian Company to Participate in Iranian Nuclear Power Project
BBC Monitoring Service
December 22, 2001
(for personal use only)

Text of report by Belarusian radio on 22 December

The Minsk-based Tsenrtenerhamantazh [central energy installation] openjoint-stock company will participate in the construction of a nuclearpower plant in Iran, the company's director, Ihar Dysman, has said.

Tsenrtenerhamantazh has won an international tender for the constructionof the plant's turbine shop. Tsenrtenerhamantazh also received theBelarusian government's award for high quality in November this year.

Source: Belarusian Radio, Minsk, in Belarusian 1700 gmt 22 Dec 01
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Duma Ratifies Russian-Iranian Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation
RFE/RL Newsline
December 20, 2001
(for personal use only)

At its plenary session on 19 December, the Duma ratified the"friendship" treaty between Moscow and Tehran signed by the heads ofboth states in Moscow in March 2002, Russian news agencies reported.Presenting the treaty to the Duma, Deputy Foreign Minister AleksandrLosyukov said the document provides a broad basis for expandingRussian-Iranian military-technical and economic cooperation. He alsomentioned that in addition to the nuclear power plant in Bushehr, Russiawill to supply additional reactors to Iran for other nuclear plantscurrently in the planning stages. VY
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F. U.S.-Russia HEU Purchase Agreement

Security Workers Renew Plea for Revised Rules at USEC Upgrade ofSecurity
Joe Walker
The Paducah Sun
December 22, 2001
(for personal use only)

Security officer union leaders at the Paducah uranium enrichment planthave again asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to upgrade securityrules to better protect the plant, this time in the aftermath of theSept. 11 terrorism.

John Driskill, governmental and public affairs officer for Local 111 ofSecurity Police and Fire Professionals of America, wrote NRC ChairmanRichard Meserve last week seeking the upgrade.

The commission is doing a "top to bottom" review of all plants under NRCregulation, said spokesman Jan Strasma. The commission will look forpotential vulnerability and determine changes needed, Strasma said.

He said commission officials have Driskill's letter and have spoken withhim twice by phone. "Certainly, we will be considering his view as partof our thorough review of security requirements of the (Paducah plant)as well as other nuclear facilities, but we have not yet formallyresponded to him."

Driskill and Jay Stoll, the new union president, want the NRC toreconsider its rejection of a March 2000 union request to upgradesecurity requirements.

"... what it would've meant would be to increase our capabilities todetect, respond to, prevent and mitigate circumstances of sabotage orterrorist attack or other violence," Driskill said. "... We think it wasa mistake and we need the capability to do that."

The plant enriches uranium for use in nuclear fuel. Because itslow-level radiation poses a lesser risk than nuclear power plants, NRCand Department of Energy regulations require only unarmed personnelwatching the Paducah facility.

The union sought help from the Kentucky congressional delegation, whichsecured legislation in fall 1998 mandating arming and arrest authorityat the plant. But it took until last spring for parts of the legislationto be clarified by DOE and ultimately by USEC Inc., the plant operator.

"If it hadn't been for the political intervention of Sen. (Mitch)McConnell and Congressman (Ed) Whitfield through legislation, I feelvery strongly that we'd have been sitting out there on Sept. 11 withoutany weapons whatsoever," Driskill said.

Last month, Stoll replaced Driskill, who resigned as president to take aless demanding role with the 35-member union. Stoll said security issuesand upcoming contract negotiations are chief concerns of the membership.The union's five-year contract expires March 1.
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G. Russian Spent Fuel Imports

Russia's Siberia May Stop Nuclear Waste Import Next Year
BBC Monitoring Service
December 28, 2001
(for personal use only)

Text of report in English by Russian news agency Interfax

Novosibirsk, 28 December: The import of nuclear waste to Siberia maystop in 2002, Valeriy Denisov, head of the state nuclear safetysupervision inspectorate's Siberian District, told Interfax on Friday[28 December].

The inspectorate is checking compliance with safety procedures in movingnuclear waste from Bulgaria's Kozloduy station to the mining andchemical plant in Krasnoyarsk Territory, he said.

Rods with burning absorbers that are part of fuel elements, but are notfuel and pose radiation threats, are reported by the Krasnoyarsk mediato have been found in nuclear waste containers.

"Until the check is over there is no question of moving new lots ofnuclear waste to Siberia," Denisov said.

Source: Interfax news agency, Moscow, in English 0659 gmt 28 Dec 01
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Russia to Supply Uranium for Dutch Nuclear Research Centre
Agence France Presse
December 25, 2001
(for personal use only)

Russia will supply up to 600 kg of enriched uranium for a nuclearresearch centre in Petten, western Netherlands, the Interfax news agencyreported late Monday.

The uranium, enriched to 93 per cent in the U-235 isotope, would be usedto produce fuel for the Petten reactor, according to a draft accordsigned by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov.

Spent fuel could then be processed in Russia, the European Union, orother countries by mutual consent, according to the accord which wouldthen be up for approval by the European Atomic Energy Community group.
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Russian Parliament Passes Law Ruling on Imports of Spent Nuclear Fuel
BBC Monitoring Service
December 20, 2001
(for personal use only)

Text of report in English by Russian news agency Interfax

Moscow, 20 December: The Russian State Duma has approved rules underwhich spent nuclear fuel may be brought into Russia only afterundergoing an environmental analysis.

The deputies on Thursday [20 December] approved in its third and finalreading the draft federal law on environmental protection, which bansthe bringing of radioactive waste and nuclear materials from foreignstates into Russia for storage or burial, with the exception ofindividual instances.

This provision also applies to the dumping and sending to outer space ofsuch waste and materials.

Regarding instances when such imports are permitted, spent nuclear fuelassemblies may be imported to Russia for their temporary storage orrecycling.

This can be done, however, only if appropriate state environmentalexaminations have been carried out, if other "state analyses of acorresponding project are made in line with the law, and if proof isprovided that the radiation risks will be lowered and the level ofenvironmental security enhanced as a result of the implementation ofsuch a project".

In accordance with the law, spent nuclear fuel assemblies should beimported to Russia in line with the regulations stipulated ininternational agreements. The rules of such imports will be establishedby the Russian government.

Source: Interfax news agency, Moscow, in English 1030 gmt 20 Dec 01
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Russian Nuclear Waste Referendum Bid Wins Overseas Support
Environmental News Service
December 19, 2001
(for personal use only)

Environmental groups from seven countries today urged the governor andmembers of the local parliament in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia to supportpolling the voters in a local referendum on nuclear waste. Public groupsin the region are now attempting to collect enough signatures for areferendum on the import of foreign nuclear waste for storage andreprocessing in Krasnoyarsk.

Environmental activists Australia, Germany, Great Britain, Japan,Russia, South Korea, and the United States urged the Krasnoyarskauthorities to support a regional referendum on the issue.

Russia's largest spent nuclear fuel reprocessing center is planned forthe Krasnoyarsk Mining and Chemical Combine at Zheleznogorsk on theYenisei River in central Siberia. Deep underground, Krasnoyarsk-26, oncea secret Soviet nuclear city, was established in 1950 to produceplutonium for nuclear weapons. Construction of a nuclear fuelreprocessing plant began in 1983, to include a spent fuel wet storagefacility, waste disposal facilities and a plant to produce mixeduranium-plutonium oxide (MOX) fuel.

The reprocessing plant was due for completion in 1998, but funding wascut drastically in 1985 and stopped completely in 1989. In January 1995,a presidential decree authorized Krasnoyarsk to seek foreign investors.An expert commission in October 1996 decided that nothing more could bedone until a full environmental impact study was completed. The plant is30 percent complete and is being prepared for further construction.

"Unfortunately, no country has found a solution to the spent nuclearfuel problem that would be safe for the environment and technicallyperfect," the environmental organizations said in their joint letter."We believe the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel is unacceptable fromboth non-proliferation and environmental points of view."

Before the referendum can be approved, 35,000 signatures must becollected, and the deadline for submitting the signatures is January 7,2002. According to the local center organizing the referendum, about38,000 signatures had been collected as of December 18, 2001.

But even if all the required signatures are collected, Russianenvironmental activists are not sure the Krasnoyarsk referendum will beheld. Earlier this year, Russian authorities did not allow public groupsto organize a national referendum on the import of spent nuclear fueleven though millions of people signed the petition forms.

Over 2.5 million signatures for the referendum were collected nationallyby environmental groups, but then half a million were disqualified byofficials for unclear reasons. The remaining signatures did not come upto the necessary number.

Soon after, Russian legislators approved a new law allowing the nuclearindustry to import nuclear waste.

Russia's Ministry for Atomic Energy (MINATOM) has stated that over thenext decade it could import up to 20,000 metric tons of spent nuclearfuel from countries including Japan,Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Taiwan, South Korea and China in contractsworth up to $21 billion.

MINATOM maintains that by accepting the rest of the world's unwantedradioactive waste it will be able to upgrade its own nuclear wastestorage, clean up heavily contaminated land, and expand its nuclearreprocessing operations at the Mayak nuclear complex in the Uralmountains.

In their appeal to the Krasnoyarsk governor and parliament theenvironmentalists said, "Building democracy is not an easy task. In thislight, we were very glad to hear that in your region you are makinganother very important step to democracy by allowing the public toexpress its point of view on nuclear waste policy."

The appeal was signed by: the Nuclear Information and Resource Serviceof the United States, Citizens Nuclear Information Center and GreenAction Kyoto of Japan, EU Enlargement Watch and CORE of the UnitedKingdom, the Korean Federation of Environmental Movements, Friends ofthe Earth Australia, Urgewald of Germany, Ecodefense! of Germany andEcodefense! of Russia which launched the appeal internationally.

The environmental groups appealing to Krasnoyarsk authorities are fromcountries that have accumulated stockpiles of spent nuclear fuel thatamount to over 95 percent of the world's stocks of spent nuclear fuel.These countries are viewed by the Russian nuclear industry as potentialexporters of nuclear waste to Russia - customers for Russia's wastedisposal services.

"We have a common position on the issue of moving radioactive waste,including spent nuclear fuel, across the national borders - it mustnever be allowed," the environmental groups said in their appeal.

"Each country that produces waste must take responsibility for it. Withthis letter we are informing you that the environmental groupsrepresented here will work to prevent non-Russian nuclear industriesfrom exporting waste to Russia." the groups said.

About 200,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel has been produced by theworld's nuclear reactors, a figure that increases by about 12,000 metrictons a year. Currently, almost half of this is reprocessed, 38 percentis disposed of and 15 percent is in long term storage.
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H. Nuclear Submarine Dismantlement

Scrapping of Russian Nuclear Subs Held Up By Kursk Salvage Operation
BBC Monitoring Service
December 27, 2001
(for personal use only)

Text of report in English by Russian AVN Military News Agency web site

Moscow, 27 December: Russian defence industry increased production by115 per cent, while production of materiel went up 118 per cent in 2001,Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov said at the government session onThursday [27 December].

Eight nuclear-powered submarines were disposed of and 18 nuclear reactorfuel cores were unloaded this year, Klebanov said. "That was less thanplanned," he remarked. The reason is that efforts were concentrated onlifting the submarine Kursk from the Barents Sea, he noted.

This year, Russia has been considerably increasing financing forchemical arms disposal, the deputy prime minister said. Financing wasincreased six times in 2000 and doubled in 2001, he said. Russia is nowkeeping up with the schedule for chemical arms disposal set by itsinternational commitments.

One of the gravest problems of Russian industries is wear on capitalassets, Klebanov said. Only 3.5 per cent of equipment has been used forless than five years. The share of equipment that has been used for morethan 30 years exceeds 30 per cent. The profitability of Russia'sindustries reached 10.7 per cent in 2001, Klebanov said.

Source: AVN Military News Agency web site, Moscow, in English 1201 gmt27 Dec 01
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Nuclear Subs Dumping to Last Through '07
Russia Journal
December 26, 2001
(for personal use only)

Russia will take at least six years to finish dismantling itsdecommissioned nuclear submarines, some of which have languisheddockside for as much as 15 years, a nuclear official said Tuesday.

The Russian Navy has decomissioned a total 189 nuclear submarines, but126 are still waiting to be scrapped, said Viktor Akhunov, an AtomicEnergy official in charge of the submarine dumping, according to theInterfax news agency.

Akhunov said 18 nuclear submarines have been dismantled this year - thesame number as in 2000. Next year, the navy will unload spent nuclearfuel from 20 nuclear submarines and completely dismantle 17. Akhunovsaid it takes two years to completely dispose of a nuclear submarine,cutting its hull and removing its nuclear reactor.

"At this speed the Atomic Energy Ministry will complete the entire jobof disposing of Russian nuclear submarines whose service life hasexpired in 2007," Akhunov said.

The wreck of the Kursk nuclear submarine will be among those to bedismantled next year, Akhunov said. The Kursk sank during navalmaneuvers in August 2000, killing its entire 118-man crew, and washoisted from the Barents Sea bottom last October.

Environmental groups have criticized the deteriorating condition of themothballed nuclear submarines, most of which have stayed afloat withnuclear fuel aboard, raising the risk of a nuclear accident. Officialssaid they lacked funds to build dismantling and storage facilities.

In an incident highlighting possible dangers, a Russian vesselcollecting spent nuclear fuel bumped into a mothballed Northern Fleetnuclear submarine in the Arctic Kola Bay. The collision earlier thismonth didn't cause any radiation leak or serious damage, according toofficials.

Some European Union nations have offered to provide funds fordismantling the submarines, but the talks have stalled over Russia'srefusal to accept full legal responsibility for all nuclear risks, offertax breaks and give Western inspectors unlimited access to alldismantling sites.
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I. Nuclear Safety

Nuclear Waste Vessel, Sub Collide
Associated Press
December 21, 2001
(for personal use only)

A Russian vessel that collects spent nuclear fuel collided with adecommissioned nuclear submarine from which it was supposed to beunloading, but there was no radiation leak, a marine spokesman saidFriday.

The Imandra waste carrier bumped into a mothballed Northern Fleetsubmarine in the Arctic Kola Bay, said Vladimir Blinov, spokesman forthe Merchant Marine service in the port of Murmansk.

Blinov would not say what type of submarine it was or when the accidenthappened. Russia's state-controlled ORT television said the collisionoccurred on Dec. 13.

Radiation experts were rushed to the scene, but an inspection showedthat neither vessel had leaked radiation or suffered any damage, Blinovsaid in a telephone interview.

Russia has more than 180 decommissioned nuclear submarines, according toofficial data, and most of them have stayed afloat with nuclear fuelonboard, raising the risk of a nuclear accident. Some have languisheddockside for 10-15 years, their hulls rusting through. Officials saidthey lacked funds to build dismantling and storage facilities.

Some European Union nations have offered to provide funds fordismantling the submarines, but the talks have stalled over Russia'srefusal to accept full legal responsibility for all nuclear risks, offertax breaks or give Western inspectors unlimited access to alldismantling sites.
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J. Announcements

Fact Sheet: Administration Review of Nonproliferation and ThreatReduction Assistance to the Russian Federation
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
December 27, 2001

The President has made clear repeatedly that his Administration iscommitted to strong, effective cooperation with Russia and the otherstates of the Former Soviet Union to reduce weapons of mass destructionand prevent their proliferation. To ensure that the promise of thoseprograms is fully realized, the Administration has undertaken, inconsultation with the Congress, a detailed review of U.S.nonproliferation and threat reduction assistance to the RussianFederation.

The review examined over 30 different programs, with a combined budgetin Fiscal Year 2001 of approximately $750 million. The aims of thereview were threefold:

  • To ensure that existing U.S. cooperative nonproliferation programswith Russia are focused on priority threat reduction andnonproliferation goals, and are conducted as efficiently and effectivelyas possible.
  • To examine what new initiatives might be undertaken to further ourthreat reduction and nonproliferation goals.
  • To consider organizational and procedural changes designed to ensurea consistent, coordinated U.S. government approach to cooperativeprograms with the Former Soviet Union on the reduction of weapons ofmass destruction and prevention of their proliferation. The review isnow complete. It found that most U.S. programs to assist Russia inthreat reduction and nonproliferation work well, are focused on prioritytasks, and are well managed.
The review further identified four programs for expansion:

  • The Department of Energy Material Protection, Control and Accounting(MPC&A) program to help Russia secure and consolidate weapons-gradenuclear material;
  • The Department of Energy Warhead and Fissile Material Transparencyprogram;
  • The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC); and
  • The Redirection of Biotechnical Scientists program.
The Department of Defense will seek to accelerate the Cooperative ThreatReduction project to construct a chemical weapons destruction facilityat Shchuch'ye (Russia), to enable its earlier completion at no increasedexpense. We welcome the contributions that friends and allies have madeto this project thus far, and will work for their enhancement.

As a result of the review, other programs are being adjusted, refocusedor reexamined:

  • The Department of State and Department of Energy are examiningalternative approaches to the current Plutonium Disposition program inRussia, with the aim of making the program less costly and moreeffective. The Administration remains committed to the agreement withRussia to dispose of excess plutonium.
  • The project to end Russian production of weapons-grade plutonium willbe transferred from the Department of Defense to the Department ofEnergy. The Department of Energy Nuclear Cities Initiative (NCI) willbe consolidated with the Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention (IPP)and restructured to focus more effectively on projects to help Russiareduce its nuclear warhead complex.
The Department of Energy's Second Line of Defense Program has beenmerged with the MPC&A program, to help accelerate cooperation withRussia to install nuclear detection equipment at border posts. OnDecember 11, 2001, at the Citadel, the President said:

"Together, we must keep the world's most dangerous technologies out ofthe hands of the world's most dangerous people. A crucial partner inthis effort is Russia -- a nation we are helping to dismantle strategicweapons, reduce nuclear material, and increase security at nuclearsites. Our two countries will expand efforts to provide peacefulemployment for scientists who formerly worked in Soviet weaponsfacilities. The United States will also work with Russia to build afacility to destroy tons of nerve agent. I'll request an over-allincrease in funding to support this vital mission."

The decisions from the Administration review will be implementedvigorously, in accordance with the President's clear direction.
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K. Links of Interest

U.S. Withdrawal from the ABM Treaty: Post-Mortem and PossibleConsequences
Nikolai Sokov
Center for Nonproliferation Studies
December 14, 2001

James Fuller
Carnegie Moscow Center
December 10, 2001
(please note that this file is very long and can only be viewed withMicrosoft PowerPoint)

Moving from MAD to Cooperative Threat Reduction
Michael Krepon
Stimson Center
December 2001

Twenty-First Century Threat Reduction: Nuclear Study Results FromDTRA/ASCO
Defense Threat Reduction Agency
November 2001

Summits that Cheat Security
Rebecca Johnson
Disarmament Diplomacy
October/November 2001

How Durable is the New U.S. - Russian Partnership: A Perspective fromMoscow
Dmitry Trenin
December 12, 2001

Report to Congress on the Defeat of Hard and Deeply Buried TargetsSubmitted by the Secretary of Defense in Conjunction with the Secretaryof Energy
July 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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