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Nuclear News - 04/09/02
RANSAC Nuclear News, April 9, 2002
Compiled by David Smigielski


A. Cooperative Threat Reduction
    1. U.S. Questions Russian Compliance, Barry Schweid, Associated Press, April 8, 2002
    2. U.S. Warns Russia Of Need To Verify Treaty Compliance, Judith Miller, April 8, 2002
    3. US Inspectors Find No Loss Of Plutonium At Russian Nuclear Facility, RIA, April 8, 2002
B. U.S. Russia HEU Purchase Agreement
    1. Minister Confirms Russia To Supply Nuclear Fuel To USA, Interfax, April 8, 2002
    2. Russia To Resume Nuclear Shipments, Associated Press, April 8, 2002
C. Debt For Nonproliferation
    1. Putin To Discuss Russian Debt, Markus Wehner, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, April 8, 2002
D. Russia-U.S.
    1. Russia Says Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Must Become More Effective, RIA, April 8, 2002
    2. Putin Alarmed By U.S. Nuke Proposals, Associated Press, April 7, 2002
E. Russia-Iran
    1. Russia Demands US Prove Iran Deal Poses Threat, Reuters, April 8, 2002
    2. Russia Continues To Construct The Iranian Nuclear Reactor At Bushehr, Middle East Newsline, April 8, 2002
    3. Putin, Kharrazi Discuss Cooperation, Associated Press, April 5, 2002
F. Russia-China
    1. Russia, China To Work Together To Secure Nonproliferation Consensus, ITAR TASS, April 9, 2002
G. Russian Nuclear Forces
    1. Russia Modernizes Missile Defense System, RBC.ru, April 8, 2002
H. Nuclear Terrorism
    1. Nuclear Terrorism: Facts And Fantasies, S. Fred Singer, Washington Times, April 5, 2002
    2. Nuclear Terror Is A Possibility, Reuven Pedatzur, Ha'aretz, April 5, 2002
I. Nuclear Waste
    1. Radioactive Sources In Grozny To Be Buried, Interfax, April 5, 2002
J. Russian Nuclear Industry
    1. Russian Power Utility Loses R8bn In Fruitless Competition With Nuclear Plants, RIA, April 5, 2002
K. Announcements
    1. Alexander Yakovenko, The Official Spokesman Of Russia's Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Answers A Question From Russian Media About Work On Preventing Missile Proliferation, Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Of The Russian Federation, April 9, 2002
    2. Transcript Of Remarks By Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov At The JointPress Conference Following Talks With Kamal Kharrazi, Minister Of Foreign Affairs Of The Islamic Republic Of Iran, Moscow, April 4, 2002 (Excerpted), MFA Daily News Bulletin, April 8, 2002
    3. Transcript Of Russian President Vladimir Putin Meeting With German And Russian Media, Moscow, April 4, 2002 (Excerpted), MFA Daily News bulletin, April 4, 2002
L. Links of Interest
    1. Radiation Sources Secured In Afghanistan, Expert Mission From The IAEA Assists National And UN Authorities To Safely Store Radioactive Materials, L. Wedekind, IAEA Division of Public Information, April 4, 2002
    2. DTRA Threat Reduction Literature Quarterly Bibliographic Review, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Spring 2002
    3. Japan, Nuclear Weapons, And Reactor-Grade Plutonium, Marvin Miller, Nuclear Control Institute, March 27, 2002
    4. Russia And The United States In Search For A New Strategic Framework, Alexander Pikayev, Carnegie Moscow Center, February 2002

A. Cooperative Threat Reduction

1.
U.S. Questions Russian Compliance
Barry Schweid
Associated Press
April 8, 2002
(for personal use only)


The Bush administration plans to hold back on some disarmament projectswith Russia because of concerns over Moscow's compliance with chemicaland biological weapons treaties, a senior U.S. official says.

U.S. law requires the government to certify that Russia is committed tofull compliance with existing treaties before new initiatives can bestarted or additional money provided for existing programs to reduce thethreat of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, the official noted.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, commented shortlybefore Secretary of State Colin Powell left Washington on Sunday nightfor a round of meetings with Russian and other foreign leaders, mostlyfocused on the Middle East.

Powell plans to dine with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov in Madridon Wednesday to lay the groundwork for an upcoming arms-control summit.

A State Department cable sent to Russia last week laying out the U.S.position on treaty compliance came a month before President Bush is tomeet Russian President Vladimir V. Putin in Moscow.

The United States is not accusing Russia of violating biological andchemical weapons treaties and is not ruling out certification ofcompliance in the future, the U.S. official said.

Moreover, the administration is seeking a congressional waiver for thecertification requirement so that new and expanded programs can bepursued even in the absence of formal certification

Among the programs potentially affected are several intended to helpstop the theft of Russian nuclear warheads. That effort began in 1991and has enjoyed strong support from Congress as well as the Clinton andBush administrations.

Existence of the State Department cable was first reported by The NewYork Times.

The U.S. decision was prompted by a range of actions by Russia,including its recent refusal to share a bioengineered strain of anthraxdeveloped by its scientists and failure to provide a complete history ofdecades of secret work on biological and chemical weapons, the Timessaid.

While Western scientists have been able to visit several former Sovietfacilities where such weapons were made, Russia has denied foreignersaccess to the four biological laboratories that have been controlled bythe military, the newspaper added.

Russia maintains it is not violating the biological or chemical warfareconventions and argues that American military labs are not open either.
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2.
U.S. Warns Russia Of Need To Verify Treaty Compliance
Judith Miller
April 8, 2002
(for personal use only)


The Bush administration has informed Moscow that Washington iscurtailing many new disarmament projects because of concern aboutRussia's compliance with treaties banning chemical and biologicalweapons, according to senior administration officials.

Some existing projects will also lose additional money, they said.

American law requires that the government decide each year whetherRussia is "committed" to complying with its treaty undertakings. In acable sent last week, the State Department said the United States hadnot been able to certify that commitment and, therefore, theadministration would be unable to start new initiatives or provide newfinancing for programs to reduce the threat posed by each side'snuclear, biological and chemical arms.

The decision to send the cable is seen as a victory for skeptics ofRussia within the White House. Critics had been pushing for months for atougher stand toward Russia on weapons of destruction and its compliancewith arms control treaties, even though the administration has concludedthat the programs benefit American national security.

The cable, coming a month before President Bush is to meet the Russianpresident, Vladimir V. Putin, in Moscow, does not accuse Russia ofviolating the germ and chemical weapons treaties. Nor has theadministration absolutely ruled out a certification in the future.

But the decision puts Moscow on notice that Washington insists on morecooperation and candor with respect to weapons of mass destruction."This is a signal of our seriousness about compliance on arms controland the need to meet all obligations under the chemical and biologicalweapons conventions," a senior administration official said.

But several arms control advocates called the action disturbing. "It'sin our country's interest to stop the spread of weapons of massdestruction from leaking out of Russia in any way we can," said RoseGottemoeller, a former assistant secretary of energy fornonproliferation under President Bill Clinton and now a senior associateat the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "So undercuttingthese programs is tantamount to shooting yourself in the foot."

The decision to send the cable was prompted by American concern over arange of actions by Moscow, including its recent refusal to share abio-engineered strain of anthrax developed by Russia's scientists,despite repeated promises to do so. Officials said Russia had alsodeclined to provide a complete history of the decades of secret work onbiological and chemical weapons.

The lack of certification affects a range of disarmament activities -from military exchanges to American help in stopping the theft ofRussian nuclear warheads. Such projects account for about $370 millionin programs carried out under the Cooperative Threat Reduction Act, aneffort started in 1991 on Capitol Hill that has enjoyed strong supportfrom Congress and the Clinton administration, and record budget requestsfrom Mr. Bush.

Officials said the bulk of the $1.3 billion in projects intended toreduce the threat of unconventional weapons would not be affected by thelack of certification. For example, the $500 million in disarmamentprojects supervised by the Department of Energy do not require thecertification.

But the approximately $450 million in programs managed by the DefenseDepartment and the $70 million run by the State Department will probablybe affected, officials said.

Several scheduled visits to discuss new projects have been canceled,officials said. In addition, several State Department projects wouldsoon run short of cash, they said.

The threat reduction program has helped countries in the former Sovietbloc destroy nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and associatedinfrastructure, and stop the theft or spread of such weapons.

In exchange for American aid and scientific cooperation, the lawrequires that the administration certify that Russia is "committed" tocomplying with the treaties it has signed banning and restricting suchweapons. While several similar programs permit the president to waivethe certification requirement if the program is deemed vital to nationalsecurity, the law authorizing Cooperative Threat Reduction projectscontain no such waiver.

The Clinton administration issued the certification each year and mostrecently in January 2001. But the Bush administration did not issue thecertification when it was due this January. "There was an election," oneofficial said, noting that this administration took a different approachtoward treaty commitments.

In March, Mr. Bush's top aides and cabinet members decided to askCongress to give the administration the authority to waive thecertification requirement. The administration has included the requestfor such authority in the emergency supplemental spending bills for theState Department it sent to Capitol Hill.

Those officials also recommended that the administration inform Russiathat it had not issued the certification and, therefore, that therewould be no new Cooperation Threat Reduction projects. Nor wouldexisting programs be extended beyond their current level of financing.

House and Senate aides said in interviews last week that while it waslikely that Congress would grant the waiver authority, it was unlikelyto do so before Mr. Bush travels to Russia to meet with Mr. Putin.

Hard-liners in the administration have grown increasingly disturbed byRussian actions with respect to its chemical and biological weaponstreaty commitments. Though the United States has approved plans to helpRussia destroy vast stocks of chemical weapons, officials noted, Moscowhas yet to acknowledge that it made in Soviet times "fourth generation"chemical weapons agents, which are many times more lethal than the mostadvanced nerve agents the United States produced.

Concerns about the Soviet offensive biological weapons activities andRussia's ostensibly defensive program are also increasing, severalofficials agreed. In light of recent accounts from Soviet defectors fromthe germ weapons program, one official said, it was absurd that Russiacontinued denying that the Soviet Union had developed and turnedpathogens, some of them genetically manipulated to resist antibioticsand vaccines, into terrifying weapons.

Moreover, while Western scientists have been able to visit severalformer Soviet facilities where such weapons were made, Russia has notgiven any foreigners access to the four biological laboratories thathave been controlled by the military. Russia maintains that it is notviolating the biological or chemical warfare conventions, and arguesthat American military labs are not open either.

Administration officials had hoped that the situation would improveafter Mr. Bush and Mr. Putin announced at a summit in October that theywould expand cooperation against bioterrorism.

But two days before Mr. Putin's arrival for the summit, officials said,Washington was notified that Russia's Export Control Commission hadrefused to let Russian scientists share with the United States agenetically modified strain of anthrax that its scientists said seemedto defeat Russia's anthrax vaccine - at least in hamsters.

Under a scientific strain exchange agreement concluded during theClinton administration, Russia was supposed to provide a sample of thestrain. Since then, Russia's deputy prime minister has reaffirmed thecommission's decision not to share the strain, American officials said.

"Russia's actions, like its declarations about what was done in Soviettimes, the lack of transparency in its ostensibly defensive programs,and its refusal to share the strain, among other things, raise seriousquestions about Russia's willingness to abide by its treatyobligations," one official said.

"What we're trying to do," one senior official said, "is send a signalthat we require full compliance with the chemical and biological weaponsconventions."

"But we've also made clear in the review of our assistance programs toRussia and the record size of our budget requests that these programsare very much in our own national security interests," the officialsaid. "We're trying to find a way to bring these two goals together."
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3.
US Inspectors Find No Loss Of Plutonium At Russian Nuclear Facility
RIA
April 8, 2002
(for personal use only)


American specialists have accounted for all the weapon-grade plutoniumat a nuclear combine near Krasnoyarsk.

The press department of the Mining and Chemical Integrated Works in theclosed town of Zheleznogorsk near Krasnoyarsk city said that ninespecialists from the US Departments of Energy and Defense spent nearlyten days thoroughly checking the entire production chain wherebyweapons-grade plutonium is made at the works. It was announced that "theAmerican side have made no complaints to the Russian side."

Similar inspections happen once a year based on a intergovernmentalagreement between Russia and the USA.
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B. U.S.-Russia HEU Purchase Agreement

1.
Minister Confirms Russia To Supply Nuclear Fuel To USA
Interfax
April 8, 2002
(for personal use only)


The Russian Atomic Energy Ministry plans to begin supplying low-enrichednuclear fuel made from war-grade uranium to the United States in April,Atomic Energy Minister Aleksandr Rumyantsev has told Interfax.

He said the sides had begun drafting the agreement and a schedule forsupplies during the administration of former US President Bill Clinton.It took the administration of George W. Bush a certain amount of time tostudy the matter and, therefore, deliveries were delayed.
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2.
Russia To Resume Nuclear Shipments
Associated Press
April 8, 2002
(for personal use only)


Russia will resume shipments of nuclear fuel from Soviet-era weapons tothe United States this month for use in U.S. power plants, after monthsof debate over prices, Russia's nuclear energy minister said Monday.

The shipments are part of a U.S.-funded program aimed at keeping nuclearmaterials out of terrorists' hands. The Russian fuel accounts for abouthalf the low-enriched uranium used in U.S. nuclear plants.

The program appeared to be in jeopardy after the previous contract forthe fuel expired at the end of last year. USEC Inc., the U.S.government-appointed middleman that buys the fuel and resells it toAmerican utility companies, and its Russian counterpart, Tenex, were atloggerheads over prices in the new contract. After protractednegotiations, officials from both countries reached a deal in February.

"We reached a compromise, and as a result, the real supplies will startin April," Russian Nuclear Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev wasquoted by the Interfax-Military News Agency as saying Monday. He did notgive a specific date.

He said Russia would receive about $500 million annually under the newdeal. The program has already funded the destruction of 5,600 Soviet-eranuclear warheads.

Under the February deal, the price USEC would pay for the nuclear fuelwould fluctuate with the markets annually and would be based on athree-year average. USEC had argued that the old, fixed price was toohigh and too inflexible.

The Bethesda, Md.-based company is a former government entity that wasprivatized in 1998.
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C. Debt for Nonproliferation

1.
Putin To Discuss Russian Debt
Markus Wehner
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
April 8, 2002
(for personal use only)


Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to arrive in the eastern Germancity of Weimar on Tuesday afternoon to hold discussions with governmentofficials. Mr. Putin said he hoped to achieve a breakthrough there onold Soviet debt, a matter that German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder hadnot wished to deal with at all -- at least not officially.

Germany is demanding that Moscow repay the former Soviet Union's debt toformer East Germany, a sum amounting to 6.4 billion transfer rubles.Transfer rubles were the internal clearing unit of the Council forMutual Economic Assistance, the former trade organization of communistcountries. Germany has set an exchange rate of one transfer ruble to theU.S. dollar, which Moscow considers too high. Berlin recently loweredits demands to $1.2 billion, but Russia is reportedly only willing torepay $800 million.

Mr. Putin has also said that some of the transfer ruble debt could beused to pay eastern German companies that accept Russian orders. But amember of the board of the German Business Association in the RussianFederation told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Monday that"agreement on this issue is a matter solely for the German government."Should Berlin and Moscow indeed reach agreement on repayment of a sum ofnearly $1 billion, critics will likely rebuke Mr. Schröder for settlingfor too little at a time of economic recession in Germany.

At the same time, however, he will have swept aside a disagreeable issuethat has clouded relations between Berlin and Moscow and is repeatedlyseized upon by Washington, which is particularly generous when it comesto spending German money. For example, the former U.S. senator anddisarmament envoy, Sam Nunn, proposed in Moscow recently that Russiandebt to European countries be forgiven if the money were used toeliminate weapons of mass destruction.

One of the German government's aims in the Weimar talks will be to offersupport for Russia's foreign policy as it seeks to establish itself as acounterweight to the United States. Although Moscow views itself as apartner in the U.S.-led fight against international terrorism and viewsWashington as a government it can really look in the eye, the Russiansare forced to recognize, again and again, that Washington's eye level ishigher.

To that end, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's "20 formula" --the 19 NATO members plus Russia -- will reportedly also play a role inthe Weimar talks. The Russians would like a mechanism that is completelyseparate from previous NATO structures, a kind of substituteOrganization for Security and Cooperation in Europe that decides certainmatters independently of NATO. The West, on the other hand, regards the20 formula more as a way of drawing Russia closer to NATO.

But the proposal has been met with resistance in the Russian DefenseMinistry, which has declined numerous invitations to hold joint militaryexercises with NATO, preferring instead to criticize NATO maneuversconducted close to its borders -- such as those recently completed inPoland and Norway that included the participation of Uzbek soldiers. Itremains unclear how a solution can be found, but the Russians have astrong tradition of settling difficult international problemsbilaterally. In that respect, the Weimar talks could help.
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D. Russia-U.S.

1.
Russia Says Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Must Become More Effective
RIA
April 8, 2002
(for personal use only)


Moscow considers it necessary to ensure that the Comprehensive NuclearTest-Ban Treaty comes into force as soon as possible and that it isuniversal in nature, says a Russian Foreign Ministry statement thatRIA-Novosti received today ahead of the forthcoming session of thePreparatory Committee of the 2005 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty ReviewConference.

The document notes that "it is also important to take multilateral stepsto increase the effectiveness of the 1967 Treaty, which bans the sendingof nuclear weapons into space." The Russian Foreign Ministry hopes tomake its contribution to the constructive dialogue between theparticipants of the first session of the Preparatory Committee "with theaim of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of this mostimportant international treaty".

As a state party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and as one ofits depositories, Russia considers that it is "a document tested by timethat has become one of the main pillars of the system of internationalsecurity", the document says.

The document says that "time continues to test the durability of thenonproliferation regime in general and that of its foundation, theNuclear Nonproliferation Treaty." The statement notes that "the treatyhas passed this difficult test, and has confirmed its role as a mostimportant international instrument, ensuring global and regionalstability and security." The world community has virtually come to aconsensus regarding the list of new threats and challenges. "Alongsidethe problem of international terrorism, the possibility of theproliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction is in oneof the first places in this list," the statement says. Moreover thesetwo problems in combination - terrorism and proliferation - present anentirely real danger.

The first session of the Preparatory Committee of the 2005 NuclearNonproliferation Treaty Review Conference will be held in New York on 8April.
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2.
Putin Alarmed By U.S. Nuke Proposals
Associated Press
April 7, 2002
(for personal use only)


Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed alarm at suggested changes inU.S. nuclear policy, saying in an interview released Sunday that theycould lower standards for use of nuclear weapons to "a dangerous level."

At the same time he was optimistic that President Bush's visit to Russiaat the end of May would bring a "historical" agreement on nuclearweapons cuts.

Putin's remarks came about a month after the Pentagon's leaked "nuclearposture review" sparked indignant reactions in Russia. The documentoutlined the possible use of nuclear weapons against countries thatpossess or are developing weapons of mass destruction. It specificallynamed Russia as a potential target, along with six other countries.

"Here is why (this issue) cannot but worry us," Putin said in aninterview with German and Russian media on the eve of his visit toGermany. "We are hearing some statements about the possibility of theuse of nuclear weapons by the United States against non-nuclear states,among others. That's first.

"Second, we are hearing declarations and suggestions to developlow-capacity nuclear warheads and possibly use them in regionalconflicts. This lowers the threshold for the possible use of nuclearweapons to a very low plank, to a dangerous level."

But Putin said it was too early to speak of a new nuclear strategy inWashington.

"These are only the individual statements of people who are not thehighest officials of the United States," he said in the interview, whichwas conducted Thursday and posted on the Kremlin Web site on Sunday.

Putin said that Bush's visit to Moscow and St. Petersburg on May 23-26would bring "historical" results in the form of a new agreement onweapons cuts.

Bush has promised to cut the U.S. arsenal to 1,700 to 2,200 strategicnuclear warheads, while President Vladimir Putin has said Russia couldgo as low as 1,500. Both countries are allowed 6,000 under the existingSTART I treaty.

Bush favored a verbal agreement over a formal treaty, but Washingtonlater consented to Moscow's demands to put the cuts in writing.

"I see this as a very important document that could become the basis forthe future strategic stability of the world," Putin said.

Another point of contention in the talks has been Washington's plans tostore decommissioned nuclear warheads rather than destroying them.Moscow recently softened its stance on this issue, saying it might alsostore some warheads.

Relations between Russia and the United States warmed significantlyafter Sept. 11, and Moscow has become a committed partner in theanti-terrorism campaign.

But Putin warned Washington against acting alone against Iraq or othercountries it deems terrorist threats, saying unilateral actions would be"counterproductive." He called for a joint effort "to convince Iraq toaccept the return" of United Nations weapons inspectors.

Russia is Iraq's biggest trade partner and ally on the U.N. SecurityCouncil. Washington's desire to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein hasbeen put on hold because of the war between Israel and the Palestinians.
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E. Russia-Iran

1.
Russia Demands US Prove Iran Deal Poses Threat
Reuters
April 8, 2002
(for personal use only)


Russia challenged the United States last week to produce proof it wastransferring sensitive technology to Iran or let the two countries geton with their relations.

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, at a news conference with hisIranian counterpart Kamal Kharrazi, called on Washington to show hardevidence for its claims that Moscow's growing nuclear cooperation withTehran posed a threat to the United States.

"If there are any concerns, we are ready to look into them. But for thatwe need facts, not words. And no facts have been presented," Ivanovsaid. "And after all, (nuclear deals) are a matter of our bilateralrelations."

The two ministers were talking at the end of Kharrazi's two-day Russianvisit, which focused on fighting terrorism, completing Iran's Bushehrnuclear power station and finding common ground on carving up theoil-rich Caspian Sea.

The United States, which has branded Iran part of an "axis of evil", iswatching with growing dismay as Russian engineers proceed with work onthe $800 million Bushehr project, due to become operational in 2005.

Russia was the only country to agree to finish work on Iran's solenuclear power station in Bushehr. Tehran now wants Moscow to build asecond reactor in addition to the one initially planned, causing furtheralarm in Washington.

Moscow, trying to tread a thin line between pursuing closer ties withWashington following the September 11 suicide attacks and reapinglucrative deals in Iran, says it has yet to decide whether to go aheadwith the expanded project.

Ivanov tried to soothe U.S. fears about suspected transfer of dualtechnologies to Iran, saying this was made impossible by internationalmonitoring of the project.

"We strictly abide by all international obligations and all nuclearprogrammes are under international control," he said.

DIVIDING THE RICHES

Dividing Caspian Sea riches was another matter high on Kharrazi'sagenda.

The issue became a problem after the breakup of the Soviet Union leftTehran dealing with four nations - Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Russia andKazakhstan - bordering the Caspian, rather than only with Moscow, withwhich it had a special accord.

Redistributing the Caspian's huge mineral resources has proved astumbling block to large investment projects.

The two ministers did not say whether they had forged a compromise, butthey expressed hope that progress could be made at a summit of the fiveCaspian Sea states planned for late April.

Ivanov and Kharrazi said the two sides had also discussed terrorism andescalating violence in the Middle East.

Ivanov said Moscow supported U.S. President George W. Bush's decision tosend Secretary of State Colin Powell to the region, while Kharrazi saidhe hoped Muslim nations would heed a call by Iran's supreme leaderAyatollah Ali Khamenei for a symbolic one-month oil embargo on the West.
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2.
Russia Continues To Construct The Iranian Nuclear Reactor At Bushehr.
Middle East Newsline
April 8, 2002
(for personal use only)


Russian officials said Moscow has decided to continue the $800 millionBushehr project despite what they described as serious differences withTeheran over a payment schedule and technical specifications. Theofficials acknowledged that the differences have slowed downconstruction of Bushehr.

Russian Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Kudryavtsev said that so farabout 5,000 tons of equipment have been shipped to the Bushehr nuclearpower plant. Kudryavtsev said the Russian government has approvedIranian plans for Bushehr. He would not elaborate.

The Russian minister told a news conference last week that the twocountries have agreed that Bushehr will remain a civilian power reactor.He said Bushehr is one of several Russian nuclear projects in suchcountries as Bulgaria, China and India.
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3.
Putin, Kharrazi Discuss Cooperation
Associated Press
April 5, 2002
(for personal use only)


President Vladimir Putin and visiting Iranian Foreign Minister KamalKharrazi on Friday underlined their commitment to cooperation, in arelationship that has vexed Washington and tarnished the recentU.S.-Russian honeymoon.

At their Kremlin meeting, Putin pointed to the "very important role"that Iran plays in the region of Central Asia and the Middle East.Kharrazi responded that Iran "gives special importance to closercooperation with Russia "both in bilateral and international issues."

The U.S. administration has warned that a dlrs 800 million deal to builda Russian nuclear reactor at the Iranian city of Bushehr could help Iranbuild nuclear weapons. However, Moscow has refused to drop the deal,saying the light-water reactor couldn't be used for developing a nuclearbomb and would remain under international control.

U.S. officials have also accused Russian entities of leaking missiletechnologies to Tehran - a charge Moscow has rejected. Foreign MinisterIgor Ivanov told reporters Friday that the U.S. criticism of allegedtrade in dual-use technologies had never addressed specifics.

"If someone is concerned, we're ready to consider this - not if it'swords, but specific facts," Igor Ivanov said. "And we haven't gottenthese facts."

Ivanov reiterated Moscow's disapproval of U.S. President George W.Bush's dubbing of Iran, Iraq and North Korea as "axis of evil," callingsuch labels a leftover of the Cold War era. However, he did not join inKharrazi's repeated criticism of U.S. "unilateralism" - reflectingMoscow's distancing from its one-time attachment to a "multipolar world"as its relations with Washington have warmed up.

Ivanov and Kharrazi exchanged the ratification documents on the treatyPutin and Iranian President Mohammad Khatami signed in March 2001, whichcalled in particular for joint work on the peaceful uses of atomicenergy. Ivanov said Khatami and his Russian interlocutors had discussedthe importance of giving a "political impetus" to joint projects in theenergy, aircraft construction, transport and communications sectors.

Kharrazi's visit was originally set for February but was abruptlypostponed because of what the Iranian side called scheduling problems.Some Russian media at the time said that Moscow urged Tehran to put offthe trip because it would have coincided with a visit by U.S.Undersecretary of State John Bolton.

Speaking to university students Thursday, Kharrazi lamented thatRussian-Iranian relations hadn't yet achieved a "strategic" quality -apparently reflecting Tehran's perception that Moscow is dragging itsfeet on building closer bilateral ties.
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F. Russia-China

1.
Russia, China To Work Together To Secure Nonproliferation Consensus
ITAR-TASS
April 9, 2002
(for personal use only)


Russia and China have noted the "importance of coordinating theirforeign policies to bolster strategic stability and internationalsecurity". This was the position arrived at during today's meetingbetween the deputy foreign ministers of the two countries, GeorgiyMamedov and Wang Guangya.

The Chinese delegation received a report on the progress of theRussian-US strategic offensive arms reduction talks and the relatedproblem of strategic defensive arms. It was stressed that Russia adoptedthe position that "the documents being worked on by Russia and the USAshould take full account of the clear legal commitments on a real andverified strategic arms reduction from 2,200 to 1,700 nuclear warheadswithin ten years, in keeping with the agreements reached earlier betweenthe presidents of the two countries".

The deputy ministers, Russian Foreign Ministry sources noted, "confirmedthe understanding, reached by the Russian and Chinese leadership, on thenecessity for taking active measures to prevent the proliferation ofarms in space". It was announced that the two countries "will worktogether to bring into existence a multilateral agreement against thedeployment of arms in space".

Russian Foreign Ministry sources also said that the meeting had led to"a deepening in the exchange of views on a wide range of crucialnonproliferation issues, a joint resolution of which had been adverselyinfluenced by the US decision to unilaterally withdraw from the ABMTreaty".
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G. Russian Nuclear Forces

1.
Russia Modernizes Missile Defense System
RBC.ru
April 8, 2002
(for personal use only)


Russia modernizes its missile defense Without waiting for the formal endof the Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense of 1972 on June 13, Russia hasstarted upgrading its own missile defense system, the Russian dailyIzvestia reports. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, System-135,the Moscow missile defense, will have been modernized by autumn of thisyear, and installation work completed at the Volga radar station nearRussia's border with Belarus. This is a result of the program for themodernization of the Russian Armed Forces until 2010, which has beenapproved by Russian President Vladimir Putin. This program takes accountof Washington's new nuclear missile plans.

According to Vladimir Simonov, Director General of the Russian Agencyfor Management Systems, the question about the new and efficient Russianmissile defense system was raised at one of the recent meetings withVladimir Putin. Mr. Simonov said the discussion of potential threats anda necessity for defense was purely theoretical. The officials alsodiscussed why it was crucial to defend Moscow and not another importantstrategic targets.

At the same time, he said that the Russian authorities had notconsidered any large-scale modernization of the Russian missile defensesystem. However, Mr. Simonov said the Russian government was concernedthat Russia's more than 40-year old scientific and technical experiencein the sphere of nuclear missile defense was not being used. The Russianauthorities decided to resume the minimum level of scientific researchand development in the field of missile defense, the newspaperconcludes.
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H. Nuclear Terrorism

1.
Nuclear Terrorism: Facts And Fantasies
S. Fred Singer
Washington Times
April 5, 2002
(for personal use only)


Following the attacks of September 11, there has been much concern aboutfurther acts of terrorism, with nuclear terrorism heading the list. Forsome reason, the public seems to be more afraid of radioactivity thanpoison gas or even biological agents. This even though radioactivity iseasy to detect, rarely lethal and cannot cause epidemics as can virusesor bacteria. This fear is being exploited by opponents of nuclear powerwho keep coming up with a multitude of scary scenarios.

Three general types of nuclear terrorism are much in the news: One isthe so-called "dirty" bomb, which does not create but simply dispersesradioactive material, packed around conventional explosives. Anotherconcern is release of radioactivity from an aircraft impact or theinternal sabotage of an operating nuclear reactor or of storage ofhighly radioactive spent nuclear fuel. Green activists, who would loveto shut down reactors, assiduously promote this particular fear.Finally, we have the possible explosion of a nuclear bomb.

Of the three, the dirty bomb makes no sense at all; impact or sabotageis extremely unlikely to succeed. Only a real nuclear bomb usingfissionable uranium or plutonium poses a serious threat, but even therecountermeasures can be taken. The dirty bomb is mostly hype. A reportbased on a three-year study by the National Council on RadiationProtection and Measurements claimed that contamination from such anattack would likely extend to several city blocks and that radiationwould be "catastrophic but manageable." However, quite simpleconsiderations show that such a bomb is merely a terror weapon withoutteeth; it would cause panic but it does not kill. And media storiesactively promote such panic since the public fears anything that's evenremotely connected with radioactivity.

A dirty bomb makes no practical sense. To produce significantradioactivity over an area of, say, 1 square mile, the initialconcentration within a small bomb would have to be roughly 10 milliontimes greater and would quickly kill the terrorists trying to assemblethe material. The radioactivity also creates large amounts of heatenergy, sufficient to melt most containers. What's more, any such bombwould be easy to detect at long distance if it emits gamma rays. Wetherefore conclude that a dirty bomb is mostly hype.

Similarly, damaging a nuclear reactor by impact or by sabotage isunrealistic. As compared to the World Trade Center towers, a reactorpresents a very small target that is difficult to hit. Furthermore, itis protected by at least 3 feet of reinforced concrete, which even alarge plane is unlikely to penetrate. On top of all that, it is easy toguard against impact with strategically placed steel towers or steelcables that would break up any aircraft. While they may not stop theplane's engines, the fuel will be spilled before the reactor is hit. Thesame kind of protection can be provided for the nearby storage of spentfuel, which is also enclosed with thick concrete.

A ground attack is also unlikely to succeed. Even if terrorists couldpenetrate the normal security barriers, they would find that the controlpersonnel had shut down the reactor. Turning it off can be done quickly.And even if a meltdown could be produced, the thick concrete containmentstructure prevents the escape of radioactivity into the environment.Chernobyl had no such containment.

In the extremely unlikely event of a total reactor accident, theconsequences are less severe than generally pictured. We have alreadyseen the worst scenario that one can imagine: Even so, Chernobyl killedonly some 30 people - those who were directly involved in putting outthe fire. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, thesubsequent health effects have been minor: no increases in leukemia orbirth defects; only cases of thyroid cancer that could have been avoidedby taking protective potassium-iodide pills. Certainly, more people diedfrom the panicky reaction to Chernobyl, including thousands ofunnecessary abortions by women in Western Europe who feared theconsequences from the release of radiation.

We are left then with the only serious threat: nuclear bombs deliveredby ships or even suitcases. But constructing and exploding a nuclearbomb is not a job for amateurs. It requires an infrastructure that canonly be provided by a government. Even if the bomb is stolen, it mustcome from the arsenal of a known national government. The outstandingtechnical problems are detection of fissile material by remote sensingand establishing the provenance of the bomb for purpose of retaliation.Both are feasible and - I hope - being worked on. By announcing that wehave, or are close to, solutions to these two problems we might achievedeterrence. In addition, we must have good intelligence and applyvigilance, diplomatic pressure, military threats of retaliation, andeven pre-emption. But that's why we elect national leaders and invest innational defense.

S. Fred Singer, a physicist, is emeritus professor of environmentalsciences at the University of Virginia and a visiting Wesson Fellow atthe Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
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2.
Nuclear Terror Is A Possibility
Reuven Pedatzur
Ha'aretz
April 5, 2002
(for personal use only)


"They didn't have any bars on the windows. Just a big wooden door with ahuge key. And when you walked in, basically down on the floor there werehundreds of buckets of plutonium." That's how Rose Gottemoeller, whospearheaded the Clinton administration's effort to block nuclearproliferation, described her impressions of a visit to a Russianfacility where nuclear weapons and fissionable material is stored.Speaking on a National Public Radio broadcast recently, she said,"Frankly, I think more likely is the possibility of radiological attack,somebody gets hold of either a warhead or some materials, and justbreaks it apart over a geographic area. That would cause a great deal ofcontamination. Not immediate death from a blast effect, but perhapslonger term contamination and death."

At least 1,500 tons of plutonium and uranium are stored in facilitiesacross the former Soviet Union, some practically without any security atall. The equipment used to secure the facilities does not meet minimalprofessional standards acceptable in the West in similar installations.

In a CIA report delivered last month to Congress, the intelligenceagency says that there is a real danger that terror groups could stealnuclear weapons or fissionable materials from the poorly protectedfacilities. The discovery of documents in Afghanistan showing Osama binLaden planned to equip his organization with nuclear materials and tobuild a radiological bomb, also known as a dirty bomb, heightened U.S.intelligence agency fears of a nuclear terror attack.

There were 175 attempts at illicit trade in nuclear materials in recentyears. The CIA does not know how many of those attempts ended insuccess. It is also not clear who acquired the fissionable materialsthat were stolen from the Russian facilities. In 1992, 1.5 kilograms ofenriched uranium were stolen from the Luch factory in Podolsk, nearMoscow. That weapons quality material has not been located to this day.Two years later, three kilograms of similar material were stolen from aMoscow facility. That material has also disappeared without a trace.Lately, says Victor Yertzov, of Minatom (the Ministry of Atomic Energyof the Russian Federation), enough material has been stolen from thefacilities for which he is responsible, to manufacture a bomb.

The CIA report reveals a frightening picture of negligence andmalfeasance in the safeguarding of weapons and nuclear materials inRussia. The report raises the fear of cooperation between workers at thefacilities and terrorist groups, enabling terrorists to get their handson the elements needed to build a nuclear device. The potential for suchcooperation is great, considering that the wages of a worker at theRussian facilities is in the $70 a month range.

The top echelon of the American defense establishment discussed theissue of a terror group gaining control over a nuclear weapon ormanaging to put together a dirty bomb, and reached the conclusion thatthe terrorist group would not hesitate to use such weapons. That fearstrengthened the U.S. government's resolve to proceed with its globalwar on terrorism. American policymakers have apparently conceded failureat preventing all the nuclear leakage from Russian storage facilities.They have reached the conclusion that while the Putin administrationshould be supported in its efforts to improve security at Russiannuclear sites, the anti-proliferation effort should also includeterrorist groups that could acquire such means. The Americans werefinally convinced of the urgency of the matter when it was discoveredthat Qaida was vigorously pursuing efforts to build a nuclear device.

The experts are divided on the question of how close terror groups areto owning nuclear weaponry. Most agree that the chances of them buildinga nuclear bomb or taking over a nuclear missile remain slim, among otherreasons, because of the difficulty of operating such devices. Butmanufacturing a radiological bomb is much simpler. Radiological bombs incities could kill thousands. To make such a bomb, all that's needed isradioactive material, which is why there is so much worry about thedisappearance of nuclear material from Russian storage facilities. Itwould not take very much material to make an extremely lethal "dirtybomb."

The lively debate in the U.S. over poor security measures in Russia alsohas a Middle Eastern angle. The American intelligence community isfocused on terror groups that not only regard the U.S. as a target, butalso Israel. Nuclear terror could reach this region, too. Therefore, itis clearly an Israeli interest not to obstruct the American campaignagainst countries harboring terrorists in the region and the terroriststhemselves.
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I. Nuclear Waste

1.
Radioactive Sources In Grozny To Be Buried
Interfax
April 5, 2002
(for personal use only)


A Chechen Emergencies Ministry unit has cordoned off a warehouse inGrozny where five industrial containers of cesium-137 are emittingionizing radiation. The containers are to be buried early next week, anofficial in the ministry told Interfax on Friday.
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J. Russian Nuclear Industry

1.
Russian Power Utility Loses R8bn In Fruitless Competition With NuclearPlants
RIA
April 5, 2002
(for personal use only)


The UES [Unified Energy Systems] of Russia has proved that it is not yetready to compete with Rosenergoatom [Russian nuclear power utility] andhas lost R8bn. This, as a RIA-Novosti correspondent reports, has beenacknowledged by the head of the electricity holding company, AnatoliyChubays.

He cited figures which show that 4.6 per cent less electricity wasgenerated this winter compared with the previous winter. This reductionwas due both to the warm winter and to a reduction in the country'sconsumption of electricity, Chubays noted in a speech on Friday [5April] to a nationwide energy conference in Sochi.

Chubays said another reason for the reduction in the consumption ofelectricity produced by the holding company's power stations wasincreased production by nuclear power stations. Thus, while UES's outputfell by 3.7bn kWh in the fourth quarter of 2001 compared with the sameperiod of the previous year, nuclear power stations increased theiroutput by 5.8bn kWh.

A similar state of affairs obtained in the first quarter of 2002, whenthe electricity holding's power stations reduced their output by 13bnkWh, while the nuclear power plants, for their part, increased it by2.8bn kWh.

As Chubays himself acknowledged, this indicates that the holdingcompany's power stations are not yet ready to compete and that they havelost some of their customers. Rosenergoatom, for its part, was entitledto occupy its niche on the electricity market.

In this context Chubays stressed that one of the main tasks, especiallywhen a competitive market in electricity services is being established,is "to win customers".

The electricity holding is forecasting that consumption of electricitywill not increase to any great extent in 2002.
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K. Announcements

1.
Alexander Yakovenko, The Official Spokesman Of Russia's Ministry OfForeign Affairs, Answers A Question From Russian Media About Work OnPreventing Missile Proliferation
Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Of The Russian Federation
April 9, 2002


Question: Could you comment on the work which is currently being carriedout, in particular within the UN, in the field of prevention of missileproliferation?

Answer: Russia participates in a variety of forums whose activities areassociated with the prevention of missile proliferation. As is known, weourselves held in 2000 and 2001 in Moscow the international meetings ofexperts on the Global System of Control for Nonproliferation of Missilesand Missile Technologies (GSC).

As to UN activities, at the present time in accordance with theresolution passed by the 55th session of the UN General Assembly areport of the Secretary General of this organization on the issue ofmissiles is being prepared. For the first time within the UN an attempthas been undertaken to review the world situation in the missile field,work out appropriate recommendations and look for mutually acceptablesolutions. Russia is participating in this process too.

This work is being conducted in the working group of government experts,which has already held two sessions. The participation in it of statesholding differing, sometimes diametrically opposed positions reflectsthe complexity and nature of the problem being discussed.

The task of the work in this direction we believe is to reach,ultimately, decisions which would call for international negotiations toconclude a legally binding agreement on a global regime for missilenonproliferation.

Work in the field of the restriction and curbing of missileproliferation, regrettably, has become complicated as a result of the USadministration's decision, in December 2001, to withdraw from the ABMTreaty. This kind of step may spur the arms race on the most dangerous -missile - track with the prospect of its spilling over into outer space.

Nevertheless, even in these conditions Russia, which came up back in1998 with the GSC initiative, considers it necessary to continue theefforts for preventing the spread of missiles in the world. Of course,this can be achieved with due consideration for the new aspects in theevolving situation and on the basis of appropriate agreements.

That is why, participating in the group of experts on missiles, Russiais vigorously in favor of continuing the process begun in the missilefield. We see the ways to achieve these objectives in the implementationof a program of action, which, in our opinion, should include such stepsas the holding of multilateral talks under UN auspices - preferably atthe Conference on Disarmament. The subject of the talks would be theprevention of proliferation of missiles and missile technologies withthe aim of elaborating an agreement on a global regime for missilenonproliferation. For such a negotiation forum to bear a universal andrepresentative character and be successful, it is necessary that all theconcerned nations should participate in it on an equal andnondiscriminatory basis.

It is from this vantage point that the Russian side will continue towork in the group of government experts on the preparation of the UNSecretary General's report on missiles.
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2.
Transcript Of Remarks By Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov At TheJoint Press Conference Following Talks With Kamal Kharrazi
Minister Of Foreign Affairs Of The Islamic Republic Of Iran
Moscow
April 4, 2002
(Excerpted)
MFA Daily News Bulletin
April 8, 2002


Q: The US is critical of Russia for its cooperation with Iran. How muchdoes this influence Russian-Iranian relations?

Foreign Minister Ivanov: As regards Russia's relations with Iran, theyrely on a clear legal basis and the observance of all internationalcommitments. Nobody has ever criticized us with regard to thiscooperation. Besides, it is a question of our bilateral relations.

At the same time, the US has voiced concern about the fact that thereallegedly have been dual-purpose deliveries as part of this cooperationand that Iran may use these deliveries for its nuclear or missileprograms. We, on our part, strictly observe all internationalobligations. All nuclear programs of Iran are under internationalcontrol, I mean electrical power plants that are being built in Iranwith the help of Russian specialists. And if some has some concerns, weare ready to consider these concerns, but these must be real facts, notwords. However, we have not received such facts. I want to stress onceagain that we are building our relations with Iran in a transparent wayand on a legal basis, with proper respect for all internationalobligations.
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3.
Transcript Of Russian President Vladimir Putin Meeting With German AndRussian Media, Moscow, April 4, 2002 (Excerpted)
MFA Daily News bulletin
April 4, 2002


President Putin: It seems to me that so far one cannot speak of any newUS nuclear strategy because so far, fortunately, those have been butindividual statements not by the first persons in the United States.

I must, however, say frankly that these statements do worry us. And hereis why. The United States complies with the provisions of theComprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, but has not ratified this Treaty.This means that potentially there remains the possibility of nuclearweapon tests being resumed. You know our stand on the withdrawal of theUS from the ABM Treaty. Well, the Treaty does provide the possibility ofa unilateral withdrawal, and in this regard, our American partners haveacted correctly. They, in accordance with the conditions of the Treaty,had notified us in advance, as required, of their withdrawal. Legally,everything was done irreproachably. One may, probably, agree withcertain arguments of the American side as well. But on the whole ourstand is that this move is erroneous from the point of view of buildingsecurity institutions in the world and in Europe.

What you have mentioned cannot but worry us for the following reason. Wehear individual statements about a possible use of nuclear weapons bythe United States, including against non nuclear states. This is thefirst point.

And the second point is, we hear statements and proposals for developinglow-yield nuclear charges and their possible use in regional conflicts.This, to a very low bar, to a dangerous line, lowers the threshold ofpossible nuclear weapons use. The very approach to this problem maychange, and then it will be possible to speak of a change of strategy.In this case nuclear weapons from weapons of nuclear deterrence go downto the level of weapons of operational use, and, in my opinion, this isvery dangerous.

At the same time we also see some positive signals from our Americanpartners. We assess the readiness of the United States to link thequestions of offensive and defensive arms very highly, and consider thisis right. We welcome the readiness of the US to reduce strategicoffensive arms to 1,700-2,200 warheads, and we are now actively workingwith our partners - as part of the preparations for the visit of UnitedStates President Bush to Russia - on the elaboration and possiblesigning of a new document on strategic stability. It appears to me thatthis will be a very important document, which can form the basis offuture strategic stability in the world. And in this sense, without anyexaggeration, the visit of President Bush to Moscow may carry a trulyhistoric character.

We now state that positive shifts are observable with respect to givingdocumentary, treaty shape to our agreements both in the disarmamentfield and in the field of arms control. The American partners in thissense are meeting us halfway and we are getting in the course of thenegotiation process certain compromises. We will see to what this willlead by the moment of President Bush's visit to Russia. I very much hopethat agreement will be reached and legally confirmed.
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L. Links of Interest

1.
Radiation Sources Secured In Afghanistan, Expert Mission From The IAEAAssists National And UN Authorities To Safely Store RadioactiveMaterials
L. Wedekind
IAEA Division of Public Information
April 4, 2002
http://www.iaea.org/worldatom/Press/News/afgan_wrap.shtml


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2.
DTRA Threat Reduction Literature Quarterly Bibliographic Review
Defense Threat Reduction Agency
Spring 2002
http://www.dtra.mil/news/nw_spring2002_review.html


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3.
Japan, Nuclear Weapons, And Reactor-Grade Plutonium
Marvin Miller
Nuclear Control Institute
March 27, 2002
http://www.nci.org/02NCI/04/mm-jpu-paper.htm


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4.
Russia And The United States In Search For A New Strategic Framework
Alexander Pikayev
Carnegie Moscow Center
February 2002
http://pubs.carnegie.ru/english/briefings/2002/default.asp?n=issue02-02.asp


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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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