1. US, Kazakhstan To Launch Nuclear Nonproliferation Deal
January 29, 2002
(for personal use only)
The United States and Kazakhstan will unveil a joint venture onWednesday aimed at processing uranium concentrates for use as fuel incommercial nuclear reactors and keeping former Soviet atomic scientistsfrom taking their expertise elsewhere, officials said.
The project, part of a U.S. nonproliferation initiative, calls for aU.S.-based company to ship uranium concentrates to a former Sovietnuclear weapons plant in Kazakhstan, which will use a unique process toextract low-enriched uranium that can be used to make nuclear fuel rodsfor power generators.
Global Nuclear Fuel, LLC (GNF), a joint venture of General Electric Co.(NYSE:GE - news), Hitachi Ltd and Toshiba Corp , plans to invest $3million in the project over the next three years, with an additional$1.2 million in funding coming from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE),according to the Embassy of Kazakhstan.
The initiative, which DOE billed as "historic," calls for GNF to shipuranium concentrates -- byproducts of its nuclear fuel manufacturingprocess -- to the Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Oskemen, Kazakhstan.
The plant, which served as a major hub of the Soviet nuclear weaponsprogram during the Cold War, will then use a patented solvent extractionprocess to recover low-enriched uranium from the concentrates, which inturn will be shipped back to the Wilmington, North Carolina-basedcompany, which will use it to manufacture nuclear reactor fuel rods.
"For the first time in history, Kazakhstan is being offered the job ofrefining something which will produce a product of higher value than rawmaterials," said Roman Vassilenko, first secretary at the KazakhEmbassy in Washington.
Vassilenko noted that the Ulba plant was the only one in the world witha process to extract low enriched uranium from the byproducts of nuclearfuel production.
KEEPING NUCLEAR SCIENTISTS WORKING
The joint project would boost trade between the two countries, whilemaintaining jobs for 50 former Soviet nuclear scientists, he said.
"This is a major contribution to the nonproliferation of brains," hesaid. "These people might have gone somewhere else, but now they willstay and they will work and they will produce goods which areprofitable."
No details were immediately available about the commercial value of thelow-enriched uranium that would be extracted, or of the volume ofuranium involved in the project.
Sources close to the project said its scope was large, potentiallyinvolving "dozens of tons of uranium concentrates."
In 1998, the Ulba plant cooperated with the U.S. government to removelarge quantities of weapons-grade materials from former Soviet ballisticmissiles and put them under U.S. control.
Technical support for the project is being provided by BrookhavenNational Laboratory, a DOE laboratory in Long Island, New York. RWENukem Inc., a uranium trading company, has been managing the project.
Kazakhstan is a vast oil-rich territory the size of Western Europe witha population of just 15 million. The most economically developed of theformer Soviet Central Asian republics, Kazakhstan became independent in1991.
Kazakhstan's ambassador, Kanat Saudabayev, Energy Secretary SpencerAbraham and industry officials are due to present the initiative at anews conference at 2 p.m. in Washington on Wednesday. return to menu
2. NATO'S Role In The War On Terrorism (excerpted)
Senator Richard G. Lugar
January 18, 2002
(for personal use only)
There are moments in history when world events suddenly allow us to seethe challenges facing our societies with a degree of clarity previouslyunimaginable. The events of September 11th have created one of thoserare moments. We can see clearly the challenges we face -- and nowconfront what needs to be done.
September 11th forced Americans to recognize that the United States isexposed to an existential threat from terrorism and the possible use ofweapons of mass destruction by terrorists. Meeting that threat is thepremier security challenge of our time. There is a clear and presentdanger that terrorists will gain the capability to carry outcatastrophic attacks on Europe and the United States using nuclear,biological or chemical weapons.
We know now that we are all vulnerable -- Americans and Europeans. Theterrorists seek massive impact through indiscriminate killing of peopleand destruction of institutions, historical symbols and the basic fabricof our societies. The next attack could just as easily be in London,Paris or Berlin as in Washington, Los Angeles or New York. And it couldor is even likely to involve weapons of mass destruction.
The sober reality is that the danger of Americans and Europeans beingkilled today at work or at home is perhaps greater than at any time inrecent history. Indeed, the threat we face today may be just asexistential as the one we faced during the Cold War, since it isincreasingly likely to involve the use of weapons of mass destructionagainst our societies.
We are again at one of those moments when we must look in the mirror andask ourselves whether we as leaders are prepared to draw the rightconclusions and do what we can now to reduce that threat - or whether itwill take another even deadlier attack to force us into action.
What Needs to be Done: The Lugar Doctrine Each of us recognizes that the war against terrorism and weapons of massdestruction must be fought on many fronts - at home and abroad. And itmust be fought with many tools - political, economic and military.President Bush is seeking to lead a global coalition in a global war toroot out terrorist cells and stop nation states from harboringterrorists.
The flip side of his policy is one that I have spent a lot of timethinking about: namely, the urgent need to extend the war on terrorismto nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. Al-Queda-like terroristswill use NBC weapons if they can obtain them. Our task can be succinctlystated: together, we must keep the world's most dangerous technologiesout of the hands of the world's most dangerous people.
The events of September 11 and the subsequent public discovery ofal-Qaeda's methods, capabilities and intentions have finally brought thevulnerability of our countries to the forefront. The terrorists havedemonstrated suicidal tendencies and are beyond deterrence. We mustanticipate that they will use weapons of mass destruction in NATOcountries if allowed the opportunity.
Over 3,000 people from a host of countries perished. Recent economicestimates indicate $60 billion of loss to the United States economy andthe loss of over 1.6 million jobs. Horrible as these results have been,military experts have written about the exponential expansion of thoselosses had the al-Queda terrorists used weapons of mass destruction.
The minimum standard for victory in this kind of war is the preventionof any of the individual terrorists or terrorist cells from obtainingweapons or materials of mass destruction.
The current war effort in Afghanistan is destroying the Afghan-basedal-Qaeda network and the Taliban regime. The campaign is also designedto demonstrate that governments that are hosts to terrorists faceretribution. But as individual NATO countries prosecute this war, NATOmust pay much more attention to the other side of the equation - thatis, making certain that all weapons and materials of mass destructionare identified, continuously guarded, and systematically destroyed.
Unfortunately, beyond Russia and other states of the former SovietUnion, Nunn-Lugar-style cooperative threat reduction programs aimed atnon-proliferation do not exist. They must now be created on a globalscale, with counter-terrorism joining counter-proliferation as ourprimary objectives.
Today we lack even minimal international confidence about many weaponsprograms, including the number of weapons or amounts of materialsproduced, the storage procedures employed, and production or destructionprograms. NATO allies must join with the United States to change thissituation. We need to join together to restate the terms of minimalvictory in the war against terrorism we are currently fighting - to wit,that every nation that has weapons and materials of mass destructionmust account for what it has, spend its own money or obtaininternational technical and financial resources to safely secure what ithas, and pledge that no other nation, cell or cause will be allowedaccess to or use of these weapons or materials.
Some nations, after witnessing the bombing of Afghanistan and thedestruction of the Taliban government, may decide to proceed along acooperative path of accountability regarding their weapons and materialsof mass destruction. But other states may decide to test the U.S. willand staying power. Such testing will be less likely if the NATO alliesstand shoulder to shoulder with the U.S. in pursuing such acounter-terrorism policy.
The precise replication of the Nunn-Lugar program will not be possibleeverywhere, but a satisfactory level of accountability, transparency andsafety can and must be established in every nation with a WMD program.When such nations resist such accountability, or their governments maketheir territory available to terrorists who are seeking weapons of massdestruction, then NATO nations should be prepared to join with the U.S.to use force as well as all diplomatic and economic tools at theircollective disposal.
Perhaps more importantly, we will draw up a second list that willcontain all of the states that have materials, programs, and/or weaponsof mass destruction. We will demand that each of these nation statesaccount for all of the materials, programs, and weapons in a mannerwhich is internationally verifiable. We will demand that all suchweapons and materials be made secure from theft or threat ofproliferation using the funds of that nation state and supplemented byinternational funds if required. We will work with each nation state toformulate programs of continuing accountability and destruction whichmaybe of mutual benefit to the safety of citizens in the host state andthe international community. This will be a finite list, and success inthe war against terrorism will not be achieved until all nations on thatlist have complied with these standards.
The Nunn-Lugar program has demonstrated that extraordinary internationalrelationships are possible to improve controls over weapons of massdestruction. Programs similar to the Nunn-Lugar program should beestablished in each of the countries in the coalition against terrorismthat wishes to work with the United States and hopefully its NATO allieson safe storage, accountability and planned destruction of thesedangerous weapons and materials of mass destruction. return to menu
1. Russia Calls For Binding Pact To Reduce Nuclear Arsenals
Todd S. Purdum
New York Times
January 31, 2002
(for personal use only)
Russia told the United States in arms talks here this week that itwanted a binding agreement that both sides would make real andirreversible cuts in their nuclear arsenals, and that Washington wouldnot simply store excess warheads, as it proposed, but destroy them.
The Russians hope to have a treaty ready for signing when President Bushmeets with President Vladimir V. Putin in Russia later this year thatwould reduce arsenals to about 2,000 warheads each during the nextdecade.
But the Bush administration has preferred to talk of a "codification"agreement, and some American officials have said each side should justdecide how many warheads to eliminate and inform the other.
The State Department spokesman, Richard A. Boucher, said today that theadministration was prepared to reach an agreement on reductions, butthat "the form of the agreement would be subject to discussion." Headded, "Our position is that we'll talk about it."
Russia's deputy foreign minister, Georgi Mamedov, who held talks onTuesday with John R. Bolton, the under secretary of state for armscontrol, issued a statement saying he was pleased with the negotiations.But he also said that "more certainty is needed," and that Russia'sdraft "includes a provision calling for the elimination of both thedelivery systems and warheads."
The official Russian statement said, "It was stressed that it will be alegally binding document that provides for radical, real and verifiablecuts in strategic offensive weapons, with ceilings at 1,700 to 2,200warheads in the course of 10 years."
Mr. Bush and Mr. Putin pledged deep reductions in nuclear arsenals intheir talks in Washington and Crawford, Tex., in November, but theydisagreed on Washington's aspirations for a missile defense system.
A senior administration official said the talks this week had beenproductive, especially given Russia's anger over the United Statesdecision to withdraw from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty of 1972,which bans national missile defenses. "It could have been contentious,"the official said.
Instead, "they came with drafts, and we will give them counterdrafts,and they may well be very different," the official said. "We told themwe will agree to a legally binding document regarding the reductions.Exactly what form that takes remains to be decided. Exactly what itcontains remains to be decided."
Mr. Mamedov also met briefly with Secretary of State Colin L. Powell,and Mr. Boucher said the overall focus of the talks was "the elaborationof a new U.S.-Russia strategic framework."
The next round of talks is set for Feb. 19 in Moscow.
Also this week, State Department officials had talks with a Russiandelegation led by Sergei V. Kiriyenko, chairman of the State Commissionfor Chemical Disarmament, on American financing for a plant to destroychemical weapons.
Mr. Boucher said the two sides had agreed to resume consultations on thetopic "on an expedited basis." return to menu
2. Russia, U.S. Keen On Arms Treaty Ahead Of Talks
January 26, 2002
(for personal use only)
Russia and the United States aim to lay down cuts in their nucleararsenals in a formal pact, Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Saturdayahead of a fresh round of arms talks. It said Foreign Minister IgorIvanov had agreed in a telephone conversation on Friday with Secretaryof State Colin Powell that next week's consultations in Washington wouldfocus on forging out such a treaty.
"Both sides have reconfirmed their intention to produce a legallybinding agreement on radical and verifiable cuts and a new strategicrelations framework to be approved during President Bush's officialvisit to Russia in the first half of 2002," the Foreign Ministry said ina statement.
Moscow and Washington have agreed to slash their nuclear arsenals fromcurrent levels of 6,000 warheads each to between 1,500 and 2,200.
The United States had given a cold shoulder to calls by Russia to fixthe cuts in a formal pact but last week, top Moscow arms negotiator YuriBaluyevsky said Washington was turning in favor of a fully-fledgedtreaty.
Ties between Moscow and Washington have improved significantly in recentmonths against the background of a common cause in fightinginternational terrorism.
Moscow has criticized Washington's planned withdrawal from the landmark1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and a decision to mothball ratherthan destroy nuclear warheads falling under mutual cuts. But both sidessaid relations remained on track.
Russia, opposing U.S. plans to build a missile umbrella, has said itwants the prospective arms cuts deal to link new strategic missilelevels with specific limits on the anti-missile defense system.
Moscow is also pushing for the agreement to include nuclear arsenals ofthird countries, a stance it says Washington is not happy with.
The first round of talks, held last week in Washington, endedinconclusively. return to menu
1. Israel Turns Up The Heat On Iran (Excerpted)
January 28, 2002
(for personal use only)
Israeli military intelligence assessments say that the conservatives inIran have blocked pressures for reform so far, but predict a "potentialfor change" in Iran in five or six years. The positive signs, weak asthey may appear, come from the margins of the reformist group. Whilethere is no official contact between the two countries, Israelis andIranians have met several times in recent years at academic conferences,hosted by Western think tanks aiming for security and stability in theMiddle East.
In these meetings the Israeli participants, among them former governmentand military officials, heard from their Iranian counterparts that thereis no reason for fear. We are not really interested in Israel beyond theusual rhetoric about the Arab-Israeli conflict, said the Iranians, andour main focus today is our domestic problems and the neighboringcountries. Some Mossad officials, as well as American intelligenceofficials, agree that Iran's strategic focus is not on Israel, and itsquest for nuclear weapons has many other reasons, like Iraq, Pakistanand influence in the Gulf. Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak shared thisview, and once said that when the Iranians look eastward, they see astring of nuclear powers from their border to the Pacific.
Israeli intelligence warns of an Iranian "initial nuclear capability"between 2005 and 2007. A CIA report, published earlier this month,predicts an Iranian bomb by the end of the decade. Israel and the UnitedStates agree about the danger of Iran's nuclear ambitions, and bothgovernments are coordinating their efforts to push Russia, Tehran's mainnuclear supplier, to curb the "leakage" of dangerous technology. Recentintelligence reports have indicated that the Russian government hasstarted to limit the flow of nuclear technology to Iran.
On Jan. 17, Undersecretary of State John Bolton, one of the toughestadministration hawks, visited Israel to discuss these matters. Bolton'svisit encouraged his Israeli hosts. The American official told them thatPresident Bush is deeply concerned about Iran's support for terrorismand its drive to acquire weapons of mass destruction return to menu
2. Russia Defended Exports Of Technology To Iran
Iran Weekly Press Digest
January 25, 2002
(for personal use only)
Russia defended its exports of technology to Iran on Monday in talkswith U.S. officials on efforts to halt the spread of weapons of massdestruction. Moscow also complained about Washington's decision towithdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty and failure toratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban, Russia's Foreign Ministrysaid in a statement.
But it called the Moscow meeting between Deputy Foreign Minister GeorgyMamedov and Deputy Secretary of State John Wolf "substantive and aimedtoward the soonest possible practical achievements" in tighteningcontrol over nuclear material. "The sides declared their future supportfor cooperation and sharing national experience in the sphere of exportcontrols as an important element in overall efforts to strengthen thenon-proliferation regime," it said.
But Moscow called on Washington to lift sanctions against Russiancompanies and researchinstitutes, imposed because the United States believed they have sentbanned technology to Iran. "Wolf again raised the American concern withRussian-Iranian cooperation in the fields of nuclear energy andmilitary-technical cooperation," the Russian statement said.
"The Russian side stated its principled position, that Russia's exportof equipment, technology and the development of military-technicalcooperation, with Iran as with all other countries, is firmly withininternational obligations and non-proliferation and export controlagreements."
It said the U.S. positions on ABM and the test ban treaty "interferewith the maintenance and strengthening of the international nuclearweapons...non-proliferation regime."
Washington said late last year it would pull out of the ABM treaty sothat it can deploy a missile defense system forbidden by the 1972 pact.
In 1999, the then Republican-dominated U.S. Senate decided not to ratifythe proposed international Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty aimed at aglobal ban on nuclear tests. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has saidWashington will for now continue to abide by a self-imposed moratoriumon nuclear tests, adopted in 1992. return to menu
1. India Hopes To Purchase Russian Subs (excerpted)
United Press International
January 28, 2002
(for personal use only)
Although formal approval has yet to come from the Indian government,Indian naval sources= claim to be confident that they will get thego-ahead for an agreement to take over two of Russia's state-of-the-artnuclear-powered hunter-killer submarines. Construction of the two Type971 subs, known as Akula (Shark), began in the 1990s but was then frozenfor budgetary reasons. Once New Delhi makes the first $100 millionpayment, says Russia's Rosoboronexport arms sales agency, thefitting-out resumes and India will be able to deploy the subs in 2004and then lease them for the rest of the decade. The original Akulacarried SS-16 missiles with a range of up to 100 miles, but the Indianversion is to be fitted with the Brahmos cruise missile, a jointRussian-Indian development with a range of 150 miles and carryingconventional warhead of up to 400 pounds. return to menu
Army Gen Andrey Nikolayev, the chairman of the Duma Defence Committee,does not agree with Col-Gen Baluyevskiy, deputy chief of the Russianarmed forces' General Staff, that the naval component should be thefoundation of Russia's strategic nuclear forces.
The construction of strategic missile submarine cruisers will costsignificantly more than the deployment and operation of ground-basedICBM's [inter-continental ballistic missiles], includingmultiple-warhead ones, Gen Nikolayev told your Strana.Ru correspondent.Furthermore, the Duma Defence Committee chairman stressed, strategicmissile submarine cruisers both at their bases and on combat patrol arein effect in a state of fire contact with possible enemies' strategicaviation and naval forces which are in the vicinity of Russia'sterritorial waters and air borders or tracking the strategic missilesubmarine cruisers on patrol.
At bases, Nikolayev believes, a strategic missile submarine cruiser, oreven more than one, could potentially be destroyed by the conventionalweapons of one or two planes or ships. It would be virtually impossibleto conduct such a strike with such small forces against a ground-basedstrategic nuclear forces grouping dispersed throughout Russia, GenNikolayev stressed. return to menu
2. Russian Armed Forces To Adopt 6 Topol-M Missile Systems In 2002
January 29, 2002
(for personal use only)
The Russian Armed Forces in 2002 will acquire and adopt for service sixTopol-M strategic missile systems, Alexander Moskovsky, deputy defenseminister in charge of armaments, told the Moscow press on Tuesday.
He said six such systems were adopted by the Strategic Rocket Force in2001.
In 1998, when 10 systems were adopted, 40% of government spending onarms purchases was channeled to the development of strategic forces,while in 2001 and 2002 only 18% was assigned to the strategic rocketforce, Moskovsky said.
Topol-M is an intercontinental ballistic missile that can be launchedfrom either a silo or carrier. return to menu
F. Nuclear Terrorism
1. Trafficking In Stolen Nuclear Material On The Rise
January 31, 2002
(for personal use only)
As fears rise over terrorists trying to possess nuclear bombs, adisturbing trend is emerging in the shadowy world of weapons smuggling:More thieves are trafficking in plutonium and highly enriched uranium,the essential materials for a nuclear device.
The number of confirmed incidents remains small--eight in the last threeyears. But that has risen since the mid-1990s, when some analyststhought the nuclear smuggling threat might be easing.
Experts point to the recent cases as evidence that too little is beingdone to safeguard nuclear facilities, particularly in Russia.
"It's a very good reason to accelerate programs to enhance the physicalsecurity of these sites," said Rose Gottemoeller, who served in theClinton administration as assistant energy secretary fornon-proliferation and national security.
All the trafficking cases since 1999 have occurred in Europe or thecountries of the former Soviet Union. In Paris, police arrested threemen and seized 5 grams of highly enriched uranium inside a leadcylinder.
In Germany, a worker stole a vial containing a small amount ofplutonium. And at the Bulgarian-Romanian border, customs officersdiscovered uranium hidden in the trunk of a car.
Experts said they were unsure why they were seeing more such traffickingcases. Improved police work might be leading to more arrests. But onetheory is that trafficking is on the rise because terrorists and hostilenations are more interested in nuclear materials.
Since 1993, the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, a UnitedNations watchdog, has documented 411 incidents of trafficking in nuclearmaterial and industrial and medical radioactive sources.
But not one of these incidents has been linked to terrorists, and only18 involve even small amounts of plutonium or highly enricheduranium--the fissionable material needed for a nuclear weapon.
Most smuggling cases involve what is essentially nuclear junk, includinglow-enriched uranium, natural uranium and radioactive isotopes--materialof little use to terrorists.
Most of it, experts said, could not even make a significant "dirtybomb," radioactive material packaged with conventional explosives tocontaminate a large area.
But experts said it is likely that many traffickers escape attention,especially those moving through Central Asia, where centuries-old traderoutes are poorly policed.
"We have very little idea what fraction of the total traffic is beingintercepted," said John Holdren, a Harvard professor who in 1995 led aclassified study for President Bill Clinton on the security of nuclearmaterials in the former Soviet Union.
Those caught smuggling appear to be amateurs. Many are low-paid nuclearworkers in the former Soviet states who steal small amounts of materialhoping to make some quick money. Instead, they search in vain for buyersand eventually stumble into the police.
The first documented theft of highly enriched uranium from a nuclearfacility in the former Soviet Union occurred in Russia in 1992. LeonidSmirnov, an engineer at a nuclear research facility outside Moscow,stole about 3 pounds of highly enriched uranium powder.
"He built up his stock for a long time, and nobody had any idea thatanything was amiss," said Matthew Bunn, an expert on nuclear theft and aWhite House adviser in the mid-1990s.
But Smirnov became nervous, Bunn said. So he put the uranium in asuitcase and went to the train station in search of a buyer.
There, he bumped into several neighbors who were being followed bypolice for stealing batteries from their factory. The neighbors werearrested, and Smirnov was taken in for questioning.
"So he gets swept up," Bunn said, "and he's in jail, and police arequestioning him, and they said, `What's in the suitcase?' And he said:`Uranium.'"
Difficult and expensive
So far, there is no conclusive evidence that terrorists have acquired anuclear weapon or the materials to build one. While opinions vary,experts generally say that building a nuclear weapon from scratch isdifficult and expensive. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein tried for years,they note, apparently without success.
Even if terrorists had the proper materials--not an easy undertakinggiven the quantity and quality required--they would need a team ofhighly technical specialists to design, construct and detonate the bomb,experts say.
Osama bin Laden has repeatedly stated his desire to obtain nuclearweapons, and President Bush has said that bin Laden's terrorist group,Al Qaeda, is seeking such devices.
A likely place for terrorists to obtain nuclear material is Russia,where there is enough highly enriched uranium and plutonium to makeabout 40,000 nuclear weapons, according to U.S. government studies.
Some of this material, the studies state, is inadequately protected.
Over the last decade, the United States has created numerous programsand spent hundreds of millions of dollars to help secure the Russianmaterial.
Significant improvements have been made, but experts said security gaps,poor inventory records and excess plutonium production still are notbeing fully addressed. return to menu
G. Nuclear Waste
1. Russian Customs Intercepts Illegal Nuclear Waste From Japan
January 31, 2002
(for personal use only)
The Customs Service intercepted an illegal shipment of nuclear waste ata Primorskii Krai port on 30 January, RIA-Novosti reported. The 346-tonshipment originated from Japan and had been declared as aviation motorsand spare parts to be sent to a local import-export company. However,during a routine inspection the customs officers detected that the cargohad a radioactivity level that was 150 times higher that normal. Afteropening the cargo and discovering nuclear waste, they sent the shipmentback at the expense of the addressee. return to menu
H. Russian Nuclear Industry
1. Russia To Double Its Nuclear Power Output By 2015
January 30, 2002
(for personal use only)
Russia's nuclear power plants will double their output by 2015 and willaccount for 30-35 percent of the country's energy, a nuclear energyofficial said Tuesday.
Deputy Nuclear Energy Minister Bulat Nigmatulin said much of theincrease would come thanks to expansion of the Balakovo power plant inCentral Russia, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency.
A fifth unit is to be commissioned in 2006 and a sixth in 2010. The twonew units will have a capacity of 2 million kilowatts, the agency said.It quoted Dmitry Ayatskov, governor of the Saratov region, where theplant is located, as saying the completion of the new units wouldrequire about 25 billion rubles (dlrs 833 million).
Russia's nuclear industry has been in a slump since the 1986 disaster atthe Soviet plant in Chernobyl, the world's worst nuclear accident. Manyof the reactors in use today are in need of repair and experiencefrequent minor malfunctions. return to menu
2. Need For Floating Nuclear Power Stations Queried In Russian Newspaper
Izvestiya via BBC Monitoring Service
January 30, 2002
(for personal use only)
It became known yesterday that the world's first floating nuclear heatand power station will be laid down at the Sevmashpredpriyatiye dock inSeverodvinsk this year.
The minister of atomic energy order for its construction at Sevmash wassigned the year before last but the project's implementation wasinitiated only after President Vladimir Putin visited the defencedockyard on 4 December 2001. Two weeks later the government earmarkedR130m for its design...
The first floating nuclear heat and power plant should be generatingenergy for the Sevmash shops in 2006 which, in the opinion of theenterprise's leadership, will ensure its stable operation - 70 per centof equipment at the heat and electric power stations owned by theArkhenergo company, which supplies the dockyard with energy, iscurrently worn out. In addition, the cost of "nuclear" electricity is nomore than 36 kopecks per kilowatt hour.
"Floating nuclear power stations are economically ineffective,"Izvestiya was told by Ivan Blokov, Greenpeace Russia director forcompanies. "The Ministry of Atomic Energy has set the cost of onekilowatt-hour at 10-12 cents but the real prime cost will be two orthree times higher. And they have failed to calculate the cost ofsecurity guards, insurance risks, and so forth."
According to [project leader] Grigoriy Vengerovich, the floating nuclearpower station is a barge with a displacement of 20,000 tonnes, on whichare installed two turbogenerators and two KLT-40S nuclear reactors. Thebuilding of the first station will cost R3bn. The designers believe thatwithin the next 10 years, 20 of these stations will be required for theregions of the Arctic and the Far East. The floating nuclear powerstation will be equipped with systems ensuring its safety, survivabilityand unsinkability, Vengerovich says. At the same time specialists at theSt Petersburg "North-West" strategic studies centre are convinced thatSeverodvinsk does not need its own electric power station. In theopinion of centre expert Aleksandr Nyago "the Northwest's energyresources are already working at only 60 per cent of capacity and, giventhe orientation towards an innovatory economy and energy-savingtechnologies, the region's energy requirements could decline stillfurther."
"The Ministry of Atomic Energy project has not undergone a stateenvironmental study," Professor Aleksey Yablokov, president of theEnvironmental Policy Centre, told Izvestiya. "If something happens inSeverodvinsk then Moscow will definitely feel the effect. Moreover, thecreation of such stations is also dangerous from the viewpoint of thenonproliferation of nuclear weapons. Their reactors use highly enricheduranium-235, which can be used to produce an atom bomb."
In the view of environmentalists, the floating station is a wonderfultarget for terrorists. return to menu
3. Nuclear Power Unit Repaired At Russia's Balakovo Station
January 28, 2002
(for personal use only)
The capacity of the third power unit at the Balakovo nuclear powerstation [in Russia's Saratov Region on the central Volga] was lowered to670 megawatt at 1410 [presumably local time] on Monday [28 January] as aresult of the circulator shutdown, the press centre of the Rosenergoatomconcern has announced.
The capacity was increased to the normal level at 1707 [presumably localtime], after the malfunction was fixed. No departures from safetystandards were registered.
The second, third and fourth power generating units of the nuclear powerplant are currently in operation. The first energy unit is underscheduled repairs.
The radiation levels inside and outside the Balakovo nuclear powerstation are normal and do not exceed natural background levels. return to menu
1. Interview: Key Official Says U.S. Is Committed To Nonproliferation
January 30, 2002
(for personal use only)
The new U.S. assistant secretary of state for nonproliferation says theSeptember 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and thePentagon should be a reminder to the civilized world that it needs tocombat "with every ounce of strength" terrorist efforts to acquireweapons of mass destruction (WMD), because if terrorists possess them"they will use them."
John Wolf told Washington File writer Jacquelyn Porth during a recentinterview that the attacks struck a blow against the world economymeasurable in the thousands of millions of dollars. He noted that theresulting economic challenges for the United States turned "into a tidalwave in the developing world," where nations are least capable of copingwith an economic downturn spawned by terrorism.
The extent of physical and economic chaos caused by only fourterrorist-commandeered commercial aircraft makes it chilling to consider"what would happen if a rogue state or a terrorist group were to attackwith a weapon of mass destruction," Wolf said.
Wolf, who was sworn in to his new post on October 2, said the UnitedStates will strengthen its focus on international nonproliferationregimes, such as the Missile Technology Control Regime, while newelements of the Bush administration's nonproliferation strategy arefinalized. But he said that other nations must also help carry theburden of responsibility by trying to prevent the proliferation ofdangerous weapons and technology.
He also made clear that the United States remains steadfast in itscommitment to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). When nationsask if the United States is upholding its part of the nuclearnonproliferation bargain, he said, his answer is: "We sure as heck are.We are dismantling warheads and we are cutting up delivery vehicles andwe are now going to dramatically slash the numbers of deployed strategicwarheads."
America's commitment to the NPT "is a bedrock, fundamental part of U.S.national security policy. We are absolutely committed to it and to itsfull implementation," he said.
Discussing tensions in South Asia, Wolf said India and Pakistan mustunderstand that "a race forward toward more missiles and better nuclearweapons is not the real answer to a stable equilibrium" in the region."They are going to have to deal with their problems on a politicallevel. That's what we hope will happen," he added.
Wolf, who is a career foreign service officer and former U.S. ambassadorto Malaysia and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, also notedthat the U.S. hopes to work with Russia to speed up efforts to protectnuclear materials.
Turning to the Middle East, he said UN weapons inspectors should beallowed to return to Iraq "today."
Following is a transcript of the Wolf interview:
QUESTION: How have the events of September 11 and their aftermathcreated a new sense of urgency with respect to nonproliferation forthose who deal with it in the State Department on a daily basis?
ANSWER: I think that is an important way to characterize it. It createsa new sense of urgency and a new sense of visibility for an issue thatwas very important before September 11. It reminds a wider audience ofthe continuum between terrorism and efforts to acquire weapons of massdestruction (WMD) and their delivery mechanisms. The civilized worldneeds to combat, with every ounce of strength available to it, anyefforts by terrorists to acquire such weapons -- because they haveshown, time and again, that they will use them.
The old model of balance of power that existed during the Cold War doesnot apply for people who are prepared to be suicide bombers and to causemassive destruction; they are wanton killers. The seriousness of thiseffort certainly resonates with every person in the Bureau ofNonproliferation, and it registered with me even before I took thisjob. I went to a service for the military in September at CatholicUniversity , which was attended by people from all over Washington,including some who were survivors or who had lost people during thePentagon attack. So the events of September 11 underscored for me, andI think they underscored for all of us, our responsibility to that broadcommunity, and you can even take it right down to our own community oreven to a family level. The service I attended certainly did that forme.
Q: Recently President Bush requested a new comprehensive strategy toprevent proliferation. How are you involved in that, what are theelements of that strategy, and when might it be unveiled?
A: The elements are still being worked on but the strategy will dealwith nonproliferation, counter-proliferation and consequence managementand will look at a broad variety of tools that can be applied. In thisadministration, nonproliferation policy and coordination is beingchaired at the White House. The National Security Council is taking thelead, but formulation is part of an interagency process.
A lot of elements will be wrapped up in a new broad strategy, but we arenot waiting. We don't need the program to know who the players are. Wedon't need the cookbook to know what the recipes of success are, and wehave been very active in international regimes like the MTCR (MissileTechnology Control Regime), the Australia Group, the Nuclear SuppliersGroup (NSG) and the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls forConventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technology in terms ofaccelerating their work.
We're working on strengthening the IAEA's (International Atomic EnergyAgency) capabilities on safeguards to prevent nuclear terrorism. Wehave a whole set of policies vis-à-vis the nuclear Materials,Protection, Control and Accounting (MPC & A) program in Russia, and weare working to compress the time needed to accomplish the program'sobjectives. We are going to do it faster, we hope, by a significantmargin, depending on the Russians.
We have a series of things we are doing on plutonium disposition withRussian plutonium production reactors. We have a new fix to safeguard300 tons of spent fuel including three tons of pure plutonium inKazakhstan.
We have an aggressive set of initiatives under way on export controls,including in Central Asia where we are using supplemental funds forindividual country plans. We have a bio-warfare initiative that willcomplement those that we previewed at the fifth Biological WeaponsReview Conference (in November). We shortly will preview with allies aseries of BW countermeasures dealing with some of the domestic andinternational trade issues both in terms of practices and equipment.These are things that are moving forward. And there will be more tocome.
Then we will have to court Congress to provide the increased funds thatthe United States needs, and we will also expect our allies and friendsto pony up more than they have heretofore. The countries wherenonproliferation is a problem will also have to take on some of theburden-sharing responsibility.
Q: What are your top policy and program priorities as the newlyinstalled assistant secretary of state for nonproliferation?
A: Getting a handle on plutonium -- what exists out there. We want toprotect what exists and stop the production of weapons-grade materialthat is still being produced. We want to safeguard plutonium and highlyenriched uranium. We want to move down the food chain.
We need to initiate and implement a rigorous set of measures aimed atbiological and chemical weapons trafficking and capabilities. We needto pay close attention to issues in South Asia. We need to augmentexport controls. We need to strengthen some of the internationalregimes as well as measures that we do bilaterally.
Q: The U.S. and Russia passed a key milestone in December 2001 when thelevel of strategic nuclear weapons on both sides dropped to 6,000,fulfilling obligations imposed by the 1991 Strategic Arms ReductionTalks. What does this say about America's commitment to nuclearnonproliferation and do you think enough attention has been given tothis milestone?
A: I think it is more important that Presidents Bush and Putin havesignaled their intention to further cut the number of deployed strategicwarheads and to do it in a concerted and quick fashion.
When countries look and ask whether the United States is upholding itspart of the nuclear nonproliferation bargain, the answer is: we sure asheck are. We are dismantling warheads and we are cutting up deliveryvehicles and we are now going to dramatically slash the number ofstrategic warheads.
It's good to achieve the December milestone, but the big news is theBush-Putin announcements made in Crawford, Texas about what we intend todo. [The U.S. is planning to draw down its deployed weapons to a levelof 1,700 to 2,200 warheads, and Russia to around 1,500 to 2,200.]
So if you are asking how does that reflect on our nonproliferationpriorities - we are upholding our commitment under the NPT (NuclearNon-Proliferation Treaty).
Q: Does the U.S. plan to reaffirm the importance of the NPT in anyfundamental way in the coming year?
A: We have done it and we will continue to do so. It is a bedrock,fundamental part of U.S. national security policy. We are absolutelycommitted to it and to its full implementation.
Q: The U.S. has publicly identified Iraq and North Korea asproliferators. What are your particular concerns with each of them andwhat has the United States asked our allies and friends to do withrespect to these two countries?
A: Well, they're not the only ones. While we often talk about Iraq andNorth Korea, the Central Intelligence Agency does a semi-annual reportand you can look at that and see the concerns we have about Libya,Syria, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, China, Russia, and probably some othersas well, in different categories -- whether missiles or chemical orbiological capabilities or in their nuclear weapons aspirations. Thereare clear worries out there about members of this subset, and we havemade known to Russia and China our concerns about their contributions tothe capabilities of various countries. In North Korea, we are worriedabout its WMD program as well as its exports to other countries that aredeveloping WMD programs and their delivery capability.
Q: Do you think there will be any solution to Iraq's continued failureto adhere to United Nations resolutions allowing UN weapons inspectorsunfettered access to suspect sites?
A: Our policy is very clear; it's not just our policy, it's the world'spolicy that dates back to 1991. UN Resolution 687 was unequivocal. Iwas there; I helped formulate it. Those obligations are not voluntary;they are mandatory. And the world is insistent. I think Resolution1382 on the Iraqi Oil-For-Food program is a reaffirmation of a solidconsensus of the UN Security Council that we want those monitors back;they should be back today.
Q: Is the absence of such inspections any indication of failednon-proliferation efforts?
A: No, it is a clear reflection of Iraq's flouting of internationallaw. It reflects Iraqi efforts to reconstitute part or all of itsweapons of mass destruction program. It is a challenge to theinternational community. It is a risk not only to the region but alsoto the broader international community.
Having said that, we think it is important for the UN Security Councilto put into place the Goods Review List [indicating which goods importedby Iraq will still require UN review] because our concern is preciselyabout Iraq's violation of the military aspects of Resolution 687. Weare determined to remove, for humanitarian reasons, the encumbrancesthat some believe affect the supply of goods to the Iraqi civileconomy. They shouldn't be there. [Once the Goods Review List is inplace, regular civilian commercial goods not on the list may be importedfreely, without review.]
The onus is really on Saddam Hussein now. But there is a perceptionthat somehow there is a blockage in the passage of the Goods ReviewList. It has to be made clear that any failure to get goods into thecivil economy is the responsibility of the government of Iraq. That'sthe circumstance now, and the passage of the Goods Review List will makeclear that that's the case.
Q: With President Bush's announced intention to withdraw from the 1972ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty) by summer, some critics are accusingthe U.S. of paving the way for the proliferation of weapons in space.How can the U.S. act to defend itself, on the one hand, without raisingthe prospect of a race to weaponize space on the other?
A: The President has made clear that we need a defensive capabilitythat is able to deal with the risk that comes from rogue states orterrorist groups possessing weapons of mass destruction and deliveryvehicles. And frankly, after September 11 it should be clear that ifthey've got them, then they will use them. U.S. deployment of a missiledefense system is like buying an insurance policy.
September 11 struck a blow against the world economy that can bemeasured in terms of hundreds of billions of dollars - maybe more. Andactually the damage is most severe against those that are least capableof enduring it: the developing nations. Our economic problems turn intoa tidal wave in the developing world -- not our doing, but as aconsequence of the lack of demand within the developing economies.
So if you realize that four aircraft crashing into three buildings inNew York and Virginia and the Pennsylvania woods can cause that - justthink what would happen if a rogue state or a terrorist group were toattack with a weapon of mass destruction. That's why a defensivecapability against such a circumstance is a pretty reasonable idea.
Q: The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has suggestedthat the administration's announced intention to withdraw from the ABMTreaty may put pressure on China to produce additional nuclear weapons,and that in turn may place pressure on India and Pakistan to developfurther weapons. What do you think will be the short and long-termeffects?
A: In the absence of facts one can say a number of things. In point offact, China is already building more missiles, but our defensive missilecapability is not aimed at China and it's not aimed at Russia, it isaimed at rogue states.
And India and Pakistan have to understand that a race forward towardmore missiles and better nuclear weapons is not the real answer to astable equilibrium in South Asia. They are going to have to deal withtheir problems on a political level. That's what we hope will happen.
Q: One aspect of U.S. non-proliferation policy, as you mentionedearlier, has been to help Russia ensure physical security for its NBC(Nuclear, Chemical and Biological) systems and to assist in dismantlingefforts. What is the status of that politically and fiscally, and whereis it going?
A: We are accelerating our efforts. We are working on a variety thingsregarding plutonium disposition.
Q: Disposition in a new way?
A: We are working on plutonium disposition, with more news on thatsubject coming in the near future. We're working on closing downplutonium production reactors. We're increasing our efforts on materialprotection, control and accounting (the MPC & A program). We areincreasing our efforts under the International Science and TechnologyCenters as well as bio-redirection programs. The Defense Departmentdoes a variety of things that are continuing to break up missiles forRussian weapons disposal.
Q: Is the subject of curbing nuclear smuggling on your agenda withMoscow?
A: Our hope with the MPC & A program is to consolidate things that gobang -- fissile material-- into safer storage areas. It's not the wholeanswer, but it's part of the answer, along with better export controlsand better monitoring of borders, and better training of borderofficials. All those are part of an ongoing agenda.
As best we can tell, and you don't know what you don't know, a lot ofthe stories about nuclear smuggling really involve scams. People areselling depleted uranium cases or low enriched uranium and passing itoff as weapons-grade uranium or plutonium. That's not to say that thereis any room for complacency, quite the contrary. We need to do more andwe need to do it better and faster with cooperation from the Russians aswell as other neighboring countries.
Q: Are you seeing receptivity to the U.S. desire for better exportcontrols?
A: Yes, especially in the area of export controls we've had goodsuccess with Russia and with the NIS (Newly Independent States)countries, and we are expanding this.
Q: With negotiations to strengthen the 1972 Biological WeaponsConvention (BWC) suspended for a year, how do you expect the U.S. willwork with friends and allies to attempt to bridge the gap between theU.S. position on how to improve it and that of other delegations?
A: We are going to work with them. And we have a number of ideas thatwe expect to discuss with our friends and others on things relating totrafficking -- bilaterally and multilaterally. Some of those ideas willbe a complement to the measures described at the BWC Review Conferencein Geneva. So there is a whole package of ideas, and you may find thatin all of that it creates a common international sense of purpose.
Meanwhile, you've got to get the substance right. So we're working onsubstance. Form ought to derive from the substance and not thesubstance from the form. We have to organize to accomplish real thingsas opposed to meeting to meet. In this administration, we like to knowwe are doing something real that can be accomplished rather than justmeeting to talk.
Q: Does the U.S. harbor concerns about further Indian and Pakistaninuclear ambitions, or are they seen as responsible powers?
A: They have these weapons and we have to deal with it, but we stillhave a series of concerns about nuclear weapons, their deliverycapabilities and the risks of proliferation in South Asia.
Q: What will be on your agenda with the Israelis?
A: We'll probably talk about proliferation issues in the region aroundIsrael. There is a lot that is going on.
Q: How would you gauge U.S. concerns about Iranian proliferationactivities?
A: They are a threat to our friends in the region and they are a realthreat to U.S. armed forces that are located adjacent to the region --and not just to our military forces, but to those of other NATOcountries.
Q: How would you like to see the IAEA's (International Atomic EnergyAgency) nuclear inspection system strengthened and how likely is it tooccur any time soon?
A: IAEA safeguard responsibilities are a fundamentally important partof the NPT and of the world's efforts to protect fissile material and todevelop civil nuclear power programs in a responsible way. A country'sobligations under the NPT, and in some ways the IAEA's responsibilities,can be described therefore as statutory - they are not voluntary. So Iguess we worry that IAEA's budget has not enabled it to continue to growat the same rate as nuclear development.
We think that the IAEA is doing a good job, and we think the situationis still in hand, but the agency is going to have to grow as the nuclearbusiness expands and as more countries adopt additional protocols. IAEAresponsibilities are going to grow even more than they have in the last8 to 10 years. So we want to be sure that the IAEA continues to haverigorous and comprehensive safeguards and continues to reassure theworld community that programs are safe and that apparently peacefulprograms are not somehow concealing covert moves toward nuclear weaponscapabilities.
The lesson of Iraq and North Korea should be sobering to all of us.North Korea was a party to the NPT and it had IAEA safeguards andnonetheless was developing a nuclear weapons capability prior to the1994 Agreed Framework pact between the United States and the DemocraticPeoples Republic of Korea; ditto for Iraq prior to the Gulf War.
Q: Is there a segment of thought within the administration that formal,international treaties to thwart the proliferation of weapons of massdestruction are somewhat passe?
A: No. We are going to be vigorous. We put aside ones that we didn'tthink could be successful or which put at risk U.S. vital nationalinterests. We are members in good standing of the NPT, BWC and CWC(Chemical Weapons Convention) as well as international arms controlregimes like the MTCR, the Australia Group, the NSG, and Wassenaar thatadvance nonproliferation objectives and help ensure a safer world withless risk from weapons of mass destruction and their deliverycapabilities.
It would be nice to say we were stopping the trafficking, but it goeson. But we are making a dent and clearly we are going to try and make amuch bigger dent through increased bilateral and multilateral efforts.
2. Abraham Announces Nuclear Nonproliferation Effort With Kazakhstan
January 30, 2002
(for personal use only)
At a ceremony in Washington January 30, Secretary of Energy SpencerAbraham launched a new nuclear nonproliferation effort with the Republicof Kazakhstan and U.S. private industry.
Two U.S. companies and Brookhaven National Laboratory will help a formernuclear weapons plant in Kazahkstan, the Ulba Metallurgical Plant,develop the capability to separate low-enriched uranium from uraniumconcentrates, with the processed uranium then made available as a powersource to civilian power reactors around the world, according to aDepartment of Energy press release.
The project is expected to immediately create 50 new civilian jobs forformer nuclear weapons scientists in Kazakhstan and will create hundredsof additional jobs for former nuclear weapons workers in the comingyears, according to the release:
U.S. Department of Energy Washington, D.C. www.energy.gov January 30, 2002
ENERGY SECRETARY ABRAHAM ANNOUNCES NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION EFFORT WITHKAZAKHSTAN FOR FORMER SOVIET NUCLEAR WEAPONS FACILITY
WASHINGTON, DC -- Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham today launched anambitious nuclear nonproliferation effort with the Republic ofKazakhstan and private U.S. industry. In support of President Bush'sNational Energy Policy, the initiative will improve the nation's energysecurity, bolster the global economy, and enhance internationalcooperation.
"The project at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Kazakhstan is a concreteexample of how our nuclear nonproliferation programs can facilitateimportant industry initiatives to improve both U.S. energy security andnational security," Secretary Abraham said. "Additionally, today'sinitiative will enhance our relationship with an important internationalpartner and improve global energy supplies as well."
Under the project, a former nuclear weapons plant in Kazahkstan willdevelop its capability to separate low-enriched uranium from uraniumconcentrates with assistance from two private U.S. companies andBrookhaven National Laboratory. The uranium will then be made availableas a power source to civilian power reactors throughout the world. TheDepartment of Energy's (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration(NNSA) brought the parties together and will continue to assist with theproject. The endeavor will immediately create 50 new civilian jobs forformer nuclear weapons scientists in Kazakhstan and will create hundredsof additional jobs for former nuclear weapons workers in the comingyears.
This new project signals an increase in security cooperation between theUnited States and the Republic of Kazakhstan and their joint efforts tofurther secure nuclear materials and nuclear weapons knowledge.Kazakhstan, which inherited the world's fourth-largest nuclear weaponsarsenal after the dissolution of the former Soviet Union, decided toterminate its nuclear program and joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty asa non-nuclear state. Kazakhstan has dismantled and removed all nuclearweapons from its territory and has destroyed the associatedinfrastructure.
Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas (GNF) of Wilmington, N.C., and RWE Nukem ofDanbury, Conn., will assist the Ulba plant in Oskemen, Kazakhstan, touse its advanced solvent extraction technology to recover low-enricheduranium from uranium concentrates. DOE/NNSA has committed $1.2 millionin Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention (IPP) funds over three yearsfor joint work between Ulba and Brookhaven National Laboratory to designand install this technology for commercial use.
The recovered uranium will be available to GNF and other commercialnuclear fuel manufacturers for use in Boiling Water Reactors. The U.S.industry partners have already matched the NNSA's contribution.
Secretary Abraham was joined by U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA), KazakhAmbassador Kanat B. Saudabayev, GNF President & CEO Jack Fuller, RWENukem President & CEO Jim Cornell, Brookhaven National Laboratory DeputyDirector Thomas Sheridan, KazAtomProm President Askar Kasabekov, andUlba Director Vitaly Khadeyev for the announcement.
The NNSA's IPP program helps engage former Soviet experts in the fieldof weapons of mass destruction in the development of commercialtechnologies for peaceful purposes. Both GNF and RWE Nukem are membersof the U.S. Industry Coalition (USIC), a non-profit association ofcompanies and universities that are active partners in the NNSA-IPPprogram. USIC works to facilitate technology commercialization for itsmembers. return to menu
3. Press Release In Connection With The Speech Of US Under Secretary OfState John R. Bolton
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
January 28, 2002
(for personal use only)
Moscow has taken note of the speech of US Under Secretary of State JohnR. Bolton, which he made at the Conference on Disarmament in Genevasetting forth the main elements of the policyof the administration of George W. Bush in the area of internationalsecurity and disarmament.
Russia shares the understanding of the need for the maximumconcentration of the international= community's efforts on the fightagainst international terrorism and on counteraction against new threatsand challenges. Likewise one cannot but agree with the US proposals forthe building-up of efforts to strengthen the internationally recognizednonproliferation standards and regimes, and to prevent the slightestpossibility of weapons of mass destruction being turned into aninstrument of blackmail and terror.
Yet Moscow is convinced that the most important aspect of theconsolidation of strategic stability and international security undertoday's conditions must be the preservation and strengthening of theexisting arms control and nonproliferation treaties and agreements.
At the same time a whole series of US approaches to disarmament problems- and they found again their reflection in the Bolton speech -objectively complicate the situation, and undermine the internationallegal system in the disarmament field. It is the United States' decisionto withdraw from the ABM Treaty of 1972, which Russia considerserroneous. It is the unwillingness of Washington to ratify the START-2Treaty, and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, its rejection ofthe continuation of work on the verification mechanism under theConvention on the Prohibition of Biological Weapons. In spite of thesupport by the overwhelming majority of countries for the start of thenegotiation process on averting an arms race in outer space at theConference on Disarmament, in fact the US alone does not see any needfor this.
Russia regards the Conference on Disarmament as a unique internationalnegotiation forum for the elaboration of universal disarmamentagreements. In the conditions of globalization we see no way of dealingwith international problems except on the basis of extensive cooperationamong states. We once again declare our readiness for the search ofmutually acceptable solutions as to the commencement of the substantivework of the Conference in the spirit of the compromise proposals alreadymade by the Russian side on the program of work. return to menu
J. Links Of Interest
1. US-Russia Arms Control Discussions, Washington, January 15-16, TheAcronym Institute
3.Unclassified Report To Congress On The Acquisition Of TechnologyRelating To Weapons Of Mass Destruction And Advanced ConventionalMunitions, 1 January Through 30 June 2001, Central Intelligence Agency
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.