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Nuclear News - 04/16/02
RANSAC Nuclear News, April 16, 2002
Compiled by David Smigielski



A. Cooperative Threat Reduction
    1. U.S. Aid For Nonproliferation, RFE/RL Newsline, April 16, 2002
    2. A New Bone Of Contention In U.S.-Russian Relations?, Stratfor.com, April 11, 2002
    3. The Bush-Putin Nuclear Agreement: Rhetoric Vs. Reality, Ben Friedman, Center for Defense Information, April 11, 2002
B. Debt For Nonproliferation
    1. Russian And Czech Republic To Agree On Debt Settlement, RosBusinessConsulting, April 16, 2002
C. Russia-U.S.
    1. Analysts Say U.S.-Russian Nuclear Deal To Include Comprehensive Verification Regime, Vladimir Isachenkov, Associated Press, April 16, 2002
    2. Newspaper Predicts Signing Of Two Military Treaties At Russian-US Summit, Strana.ru, April 16, 2002
    3. Russia Notes Growing Opposition To US Plans To Ditch ABM Treaty, BBC Monitoring Service, April 13, 2002
D. Spent Nuclear Fuel
    1. Russia's Atomic Energy Minister Details Spent Nuclear Fuel Plans, Izvestia, April 16, 2002
    2. Japan Processes Dismantled Russian Nuclear Weapons Into MOX Fuel, BBC Monitoring Service, April 13, 2002
E. Russian Nuclear Forces
    1. Russian Nuclear-Powered Sub Completes Refit, ITAR-TASS, April 16, 2002
    2. Russian Missile Defense System Called Obsolete, Associated Press, April 15, 2002
F. Russian Nuclear Power Industry
    1. Russia's Nuclear Plant Director Comments On The Company's Problems, RosBusinessConsulting, March 29, 2002
G. Announcements
    1. Alexander Yakovenko, The Official Spokesman Of Russia's Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Answers A Question From ITAR-TASS Regarding Session Of Preparatory Committee For 2005 NPT Review Conference, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, April 15, 2002
    2. Speech Of H.E. Mr. Alexander M. Kadakin, Ambassador Of The Russian Federation In India, At A Meeting In New Delhi To Celebrate The 55th Anniversary Since The Establishment Of Diplomatic Relations Between The Two Countries (excerpted), Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, April 10, 2002
H. Links of Interest
    1. Statement Of Tariq Rauf At The General Debate NPT Preparatory Committee Session, International Atomic Energy Agency, April 9, 2002
    2. Letter From Senator Carl Levin And Senator Jack Reed To President Bush Regarding Nuclear Force Reductions, April 4, 2002
    3. Growing Pains, Joseph Ferguson, The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, April 2002
    4. The Higher Police: Vladimir Putin And His Predecessors, Laurent Murawiec and Clifford C. Gaddy, The National Interest, Spring 2002

A. Cooperative Threat Reduction

1.
U.S. Aid For Nonproliferation
RFE/RL Newsline
April 16, 2002
(for personal use only)


Addressing Central Asia's sixth regional forum on nonproliferation ofweapons of mass destruction (WMD) and export control, which opened inTashkent on 15 April, John Schlosser, an official at the StateDepartment's Nonproliferation Bureau, announced that Washington will bedistributing $30 million in assistance among Central Asian states tocombat WMD trafficking, RFE/RL and Uzbek news sources reported. Anadditional $20 million is earmarked solely for Uzbekistan to help itstrengthen its borders, Schlosser said, noting that eight attempts tosmuggle radioactive material out of Central Asia were thwarted lastyear. He was addressing some 100 export-control officials from theregion at a four-day conference titled "Barriers Against Weapons Of MassDestruction, Proliferation, And Terrorism," co-sponsored by the U.S.State Department and the Uzbek Institute for Strategic and RegionalStudies. The fifth regional nonproliferation forum was held in Bishkekin 2001.
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2.
A New Bone Of Contention In U.S.-Russian Relations?
Stratfor.com
April 11, 2002
(for personal use only)


Summary

The U.S. State Department informed Moscow in a recent cable that theUnited States was suspending several new disarmament programs andcutting funding for existing ones, since it could not verify that Russiahad met its obligations under existing treaties. Although Russia hasfallen behind in its nonproliferation commitments, the cable has deepermeanings. It may represent an attempt to get Moscow to accept a moreintrusive inspection regime and an effort to shut down some militaryinstallations altogether.

Analysis

In a cable delivered to Moscow in early April that was subsequentlyleaked to the press, the Bush administration informed the Russiangovernment that it will not begin several new disarmament projects andwill curtail existing ones due to concerns about Russia's sincerity inmeeting disarmament obligations. The United States also has cancelledseveral visits to discuss new nonproliferation projects.

Specific complaints include Russia's apparent unwillingness to sharebioengineered anthrax samples, despite promises to the contrary. A newergripe is that Russia refuses to acknowledge that a Soviet-era "fourthgeneration" chemical weapons program produced toxic agents far moresophisticated than any produced by the United States. In March, CIADirector George Tenet made it clear that he feels intentional WMDproliferation is Russian policy: http://www.stratfor.com/standard/analysis_view.php?ID=203559. Therecent cable indicates that that view now permeates the entireadministration. Washington didn't directly accuse Russia ofnoncompliance in the cable, but the inference is certainly there. Thecable may foreshadow future demands by Washington for a more stringentweapons inspection regime in Russia and conditions for WMD disposalfacilities built with U.S. money.

Washington has reason to doubt Russia's ability -- if not itswillingness -- to comply with existing disarmament treaties. Under theChemical Weapons Convention, agreed upon in 1997, Russia was bound todispose of 1 percent of its 40,000-ton chemical arsenal by the end of2000, 20 percent by 2002 and all of it by 2007. Despite the commitment,the first decommissioning center in Saratov is not expected to comeonline until this summer at the earliest. The reason for the delay issimple: lack of cash.

For the most part, the United States is willing to supply that resource.Since 1991, the Nunn Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program, thekeystone of U.S. nonproliferation efforts in Russia, has spent $3.5billion out of a total nonproliferation budget of $5 billion ondismantling the Soviet-era WMD network. This program is directlyresponsible for the dismantling of more than 5,800 nuclear warheadsalong with the facilities that build and launch them.

With WMD fears heightened by Sept. 11, Washington has lumped theNunn-Lugar program in with other counter-terrorism operations and givenit a robust funding boost. This year's total nonproliferation budget forU.S. activities in Russia is a record $1.3 billion, with even more cashlikely in 2003.

Under pre-Sept. 11 conditions, Russian cooperation would not be assured.The Bush administration is still notorious for not taking countries attheir word, and with Russia this is no surprise. Of the $1.3 billion,Washington appears to be willing to cut off at least $520 million overconcerns about Russian compliance, and it certainly can crimpdisbursement of the rest if U.S. requests are denied.

Unlocking that cash will require cooperation, and that cooperation willrequire verification. This has several potential implications:

A more intrusive inspections regime -- particularly one that grants U.S.access to Russia's four military bioweapons laboratories.

U.S. insistence that all 24 of Russia's chemical and biological weaponsdevelopment centers that have not yet been converted to civilian use begutted and shut down to prevent further weapons production.

Demands by Washington that any disposal centers built with U.S. moneyshould ultimately be torn down to prevent their use in any futureresearch. The United States is on a quest to eradicate WMD, and it willnot help others build facilities that could have dual-use capabilities.

Russia has little leverage in this debate, despite the potential hit tolong-term economic and military development. The Kremlin finds the U.S.blueprint for nuclear disarmament galling but lacks the financialwherewithal to propose an alternative. Its total defense budget is $9billion, hardly enough to fund the upgrades its aging military machineneeds to become functional.

A year ago, Russia simply might have told the United States to shove offand delayed destroying its weapons stockpiles, but the politicalbackdrop has changed. So far, aside from a blistering criticism of thecable (after it was leaked) the Russian response has been limited to avery loud and proud uncovering of what Russia claims is an extensive CIAspy ring operating in the CIS and Russia. Significant proactive movesare simply not feasible, for now Russia lacks the capacity andmaneuvering room to do much more than react to American advances.

Moscow needs U.S. acquiescence in order to achieve several of its policygoals: routing the Chechens, joining the World Trade Organization andintegrating with Europe. Finally, the cost of maintaining its weaponsstockpiles is beginning to slip beyond Russia's grasp. That makes U.S.nonproliferation funds -- and whatever political concessions are neededto get them -- necessary.
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3.
The Bush-Putin Nuclear Agreement: Rhetoric Vs. Reality
Ben Friedman
Center for Defense Information
April 11, 2002
(for personal use only)


A new American-Russian strategic arms control agreement will be unveiledin May. The treaty, if that is the appropriate word, will not befinalized until U.S. President George W. Bush arrives in Moscow in Mayfor a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but its outlineshave emerged.

Codifying Bush and Putin's handshake agreement reached in November, theaccord will replace the START II treaty, which, while ratified by bothnations, has never entered in to force. The agreement will beaccompanied by a political statement outlining areas where the twocountries aim to cooperate in the future. Under this new agreement, theUnited States and Russia will reduce their arsenals of operationallydeployed strategic weapons from 6,000 to 1,700-2,200 by 2012. Barring alate American capitulation, the agreement, like the START treaties, willnot dictate how the weapons are dealt with after being taken off theirdelivery vehicles and will not deal with the thousands of small,shorter-range tactical nuclear weapons. The new agreement will differfrom START I and II, however, by counting nuclear warheads themselvesrather than attributing an agreed number of warheads to a deliveryvehicle -- a plane or missile. Moreover, unlike START II, the agreementwill likely allow Russia to retain multiple independent reentryvehicles, which outfit missiles with several warheads.

According to the lead U.S. negotiator, the undersecretary of state forarms control, John Bolton, the agreement will include a withdrawalprovision, like most major treaties, but it also will allow either sideto readjust the warhead ceiling in the face of a major shift ininternational circumstances. Thus, faced with a major threat such as arapidly arming China, the United States could choose to hold onto morethan 2,000 operationally deployed warheads without withdrawing.

According to Dr. Ivan Safranchuk of CDI Moscow, the agreement hinges ona simple quid pro quo: the Americans agree to make it subject toratification -- more than the executive agreement the Bushadministration initially wanted -- and the Russians agree to the U.S.counting rules for reductions, meaning that warheads taken off theirdelivery vehicles but kept nearby them in storage will not count towardsthe ceiling. Subjecting the treaty to ratification is important to theRussians because, symbolically, the arrangement mirrors the great powerstatus they had in Cold War. Counting stored warheads is important tothe Bush administration because it believes that having thousands ofweapons in storage is essential for deterring other potentialadversaries. The political declaration will discuss future cooperationon issues such as counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, and even missiledefense.

The two documents will likely illustrate the gap between rhetoric andreality. While the two sides say their relationship is no longer basedon mutually assured destruction, the reality of 2,000 operationallydeployed warheads tells a different story. No contingency short ofdeterring a nuclear first strike justifies keeping that many nuclearweapons. Bearing in mind former Secretary of State George Schultz'sprinciple that it is the capabilities, not the intentions, of otherstates that govern national security decisions, it is clear that thoughwe are moving toward a day where U.S.-Russian relations are no longerbased on the prospect of annihilation, we have not yet arrived there.

Bolton has said that getting the deal finished by May precludesdiscussion of what is to be done with the dismantled warheads. Yetsurely something as essential as the security of thousands of nuclearweapons and their components should not be held hostage to politicalschedules. More likely, the treatment of the dismantled warheads is notbeing discussed because the Bush administration, fixated on theflexibility provided by a massive nuclear hedge force in storage,refuses to discuss the issue. That could be a dangerous error.

The potential for leakage from the massive Russian weapons complex wascalled the greatest threat to American national security by theBaker-Cutler Task Force on Nonproliferation Programs in Russia, abipartisan commission of national security experts chaired by formerSenator Howard Baker and former White House Counsel Lloyd Cutler. Astheir report made clear, operationally deployed strategic weapons arejust the most visible part of a this vast nuclear infrastructure and, inthe age of suicidal terrorists, just one component of nuclear security.

The Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program, also known as theNunn-Lugar program, after the two senators that created it, former Sen.Sam Nunn, D-Ga., and Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., provides funds andassistance to aid the security of the Russian nuclear infrastructure.The Bush administration recently announced that it would withholdfunding for some CTR programs pending greater Russian compliance withthe treaties banning biological and chemical weapons. A reduction inAmerican funds for disarmament programs coupled with the possibilitythat the Russians will mimic the U.S. hedge force could further strainRussia's overburdened system of storage and dismantlement, possibilitymaking it more vulnerable to terrorists.

The Russians have been asking the United States to agree to cuts on thisorder for the better part of a decade. With most of Moscow's ICBMs dueto go out of service by the end of the decade and the nuclear submarinefleet too expensive to maintain, Russia has little choice but to reduceits arsenal substantially.

Ironically, by exerting its considerable leverage to get the Russians toagree to their counting standards, the United States may have missed twoopportunities to stem weapons proliferation -- the opportunity to blockthe sales of nuclear and missile technology to rogue states and theopportunity to reduce the vulnerability of Russia's nuclearinfrastructure to theft by terrorists or their agents. These negativepotentialities can still be avoided by increasing pressure through othermeasures to stem proliferation on one hand and by increasing funding forthe CTR program on the other. Short of that, these missed opportunitiesmay undermine any gains in security this agreement provides. Bringingthe full influence bought by nuclear reductions to bear onnon-proliferation issues could do more for American security than anynuclear hedge.
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B. Debt For Nonproliferation

1.
Russian And Czech Republic To Agree On Debt Settlement
RosBusinessConsulting
April 16, 2002
(for personal use only)


The Czech Republic hopes that the problem with Russian debts will besettled in the near future, Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman announcedin an interview today after a meeting with Federation Council's ChairmanSergey Mironov. According to the Czech PM, Russia and the Czech Republicwill sign an agreement on supplies of nuclear fuel from Russia to theCzech Republic over the next five years. These supplies will be reckonedfor the settlement of $200m of Russia's debt to the Czech Republic,which totals $1.1bn. The rest of debt will be repaid, in particular, bysupplies of helicopters and other military equipment. Zeman praised thisagreement and stressed it was mutually beneficial.
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C. Russia-U.S.

1.
Analysts Say U.S.-Russian Nuclear Deal To Include ComprehensiveVerification Regime
Vladimir Isachenkov
Associated Press
April 16, 2002
(for personal use only)


A nuclear arms deal on the agenda of next month's U.S.-Russian summitwill include verification tools from previous arms control agreementsalong with new measures intended to further increase transparency, armscontrol analysts said Tuesday.

"In this new agreement there will apparently be some measures to monitorwarheads cooperatively," Rose Gottemoeller, senior associate at theCarnegie Endowment for International Peace, told a news conference."This is a very welcome innovation in the strategic arms control processand the first in many years."

Earlier arms control agreements contained control mechanisms to verifythe dismantling of nuclear submarines, missiles and bombers, but notwarheads.

"Historically, the strategic arms reduction agreements hadn't touched onwarheads because they were considered to be too sensitive and difficultto monitor," said Gottemoeller, who served on the National SecurityCouncil staff under former President Bill Clinton.

President George W. Bush (news - web sites) has promised to cut the U.S.arsenal to 1,700 to 2,200 strategic nuclear warheads, while PresidentVladimir Putin (news - web sites) has said Russia could go even lower,to 1,500 warheads from the current 6,000 that each country is currentlyallowed to have under the START I treaty.

Bush initially favored an informal deal, but later acceded to Putin'spush to formalize the cuts in a written, legally-binding agreement.

"It's much better for the predictability of our nuclear relationship ifwe proceed together under a legally binding agreement," Gottemoellersaid.

While U.S. and Russian officials say that nuclear arms will top theagenda of Bush's visit to Russia, talks have been difficult because ofMoscow's strong objection to the Pentagon (news - web sites)'s decisionto stockpile decommissioned nuclear weapons rather than destroy them.

Russia's opposition began to melt last month, when Defense MinisterSergei Ivanov abruptly announced on a trip to Washington that Russiawouldn't mind if the United States put some of the decommissionedweapons in storage.

Despite Ivanov's optimism that a deal could be reached by the summit,the battle isn't over yet as Russian negotiators still oppose the U.S.plan to store the decommissioned weapons, said Alexander Pikayev, anuclear analyst with Carnegie's Moscow office.

Pikayev predicted that Russia would end up accepting the U.S. reductionplan because "a bad deal is better than a good fight," but would demandin return to be freed of constraints under previous arms controlagreements.

START I banned Russia from modifying its existing land-based nuclearmissiles, the cheapest way to maintain nuclear parity with the UnitedStates, and Moscow wants to dump the restrictions, Pikayev said. Russiawill also push for inspections to be less intrusive than those providedunder START I, which allowed U.S. inspectors wide access to Russianmilitary facilities.
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2.
Newspaper Predicts Signing Of Two Military Treaties At Russian-US Summit
Strana.ru
April 16, 2002
(for personal use only)


In addition to a treaty on strategic offensive arms, an agreement onstrategic partnership will be signed at the coming US-Russianpresidential summit in Moscow. Strana.Ru was told this by informedsources at the Russian military department.

The sources noted, however, that significant differences currentlyremain concerning the mechanism for monitoring the implementation of theexpected treaty. They are currently being actively discussed atintensive consultations under way between Russian and US experts. TheAmericans are proposing various new terms: "operationally deployed","permanently deployed" and "nonoperationally deployed" (reserve) nuclearmunitions. This makes the question of monitoring them very difficult.The source did not rule out the possibility that the format for theimplementation of START-1 will be changed and that the sides willabandon mutual implementation of START-2.

A Defence Ministry representative expressed concern about US intentionsto launch the development and production of low-yield nuclear munitions.This lowers the threshold for use of nuclear weapons. However, thedevelopment of such weapons is only at the planning stage so low-yieldnuclear weapons are not being discussed at the current consultations onthe parameters of the new strategic offensive arms treaty.

With regard to the problems of Russia-NATO relations, the sources saidthat at the alliance summit in Rome on 28 May the sides will sign a veryimportant document that represents a breakthrough for Russia. Russia andNATO will, on equal terms, determine the subject matter of theirrelations...Russian sources express confidence, however, that by thestart of the Rome summit the sides will have reached agreements andsigned a full-scale treaty with Russia whereby Moscow and the alliancecountries will collaborate on equal terms.
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3.
Russia Notes Growing Opposition To US Plans To Ditch ABM Treaty
BBC Monitoring Service
April 13, 2002
(for personal use only)


Countries that are signatories of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treatyhave sharply criticized the US decision to unilaterally leave the ABMtreaty, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Saturday [13April].

Aleksandr Yakovenko was answering a question by Russian media on fearsthat the US departure from the ABM treaty, a 1972 accord between theformer Soviet Union and the United States, would among other things leadto the deployment of nuclear weapons in space.

Asked whether the problem was raised at the current fifth session of thePreparatory Committee for the 2005 conference to review the operation ofthe Non-Proliferation Treaty, Yakovenko said: "This issue was activelyraised in many speeches in the course of general debates and thediscussion of nuclear disarmament problems that took place at thesession of the Preparatory Committee."

He said it was from the standpoint of nuclear disarmament that the finaldocument of the 2000 review conference recommended that the ABM treatybe preserved.

"Therefore the unilateral decision of the United States to leave the ABMtreaty came under sharp criticism from participant countries of theNon-Proliferation Treaty," he said. "As some of the possible and moreserious consequences of this, many of the speakers mentioned the likelydeployment of antimissile nuclear weapons in space."

"Everyone met" the prospect "with a deep sense of alarm, because itwould mean undermining the foundations of the current system ofinternational security, the emergence of additional stimuli for theproliferation of nuclear missile weapons, and the diversion oftremendous resources from the needs of social and economic development,"Yakovenko said.

He said official delegations and nongovernmental organizations appealedat the session that every measure be taken to thwart this.

"It gives us satisfaction to note the positive reaction of participantsin the forum to the Russian initiatives to prevent the deployment ofweapons in space, to refrain from the use or threat of force in outerspace, and to strengthen the 1967 Outer Space Treaty onnon-militarization of outer space, which was reaffirmed in a speech bythe Russian delegation," Yakovenko said.

"We also stated our support for important initiatives in this areacurrently put forward by a number of other states, in particular Canadaand China."

"All this is evidence that the non-militarization of space is cominginto the focus of attention of the world community."
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D. Spent Nuclear Fuel

1.
Russia's Atomic Energy Minister Details Spent Nuclear Fuel Plans
Izvestia
April 16, 2002
(for personal use only)


Aleksandr Rumyantsev, minister of atomic energy of Russia, met yesterdayfor the first time since he has been in office with representatives ofenvironmental organizations. His predecessor, Yevgeniy Adamov, did sucha thing only once. The meeting was held in an atmosphere of relativelystrict secrecy. As expected, reporters were not admitted. But Izvestiyagreatly needed to obtain from Rumyantsev several answers. It had to findsecret ways of infiltrating Izvestiya's questions, and we found them.The questions were put, the answers were obtained.

Representatives of six environmental organizations were present at themeeting, which went on for two hours.

"The minister tried to be very amicable, he smiled often and retreatedinto peaceful topics. But the discussion sometimes switched to elevatedtones, particularly when the issue of the import and reprocessing ofspent nuclear fuel was broached. We are categorically opposed to this,and Rumyantsev hardly hopes to achieve a compromise here," VladimirSlivak, cochairman of the Ekozashchita [Environmental Protection] group,told Izvestiya.

The main sensation of the meeting was the minister's statement that thefirst contract for the import of spent nuclear fuel would be signed onlyin a year's time - with Britain. The fuel will be coming to us fromlow-power research reactors. It is notable that representatives of theMinistry of Atomic Energy have repeatedly called Britain and Francetheir fiercest competitors when it comes to importing fuel. Now Russia'snuclear scientists are about to give refuge to the spent fuel of theircompetitors. Rumyantsev observed here that it is not worthwhile for theUK to reprocess this fuel.

This is the sole contract that awaits Russia in the immediate future.Rumyantsev said about spent nuclear fuel from conventional nuclearplants: "I do not see this nuclear fuel." According to the ministereverything has been snatched by competitors and there is no place in thesun for the Russian ministry. In addition, 80 per cent of peacefulnuclear fuel is produced by the Americans. The United States sells it toother countries but reserves the right to dispose of the spent product.Russia cannot unbeknownst to it [this appears to mean "without theAmericans knowing"] import fuel from Japan, China, and other countries.Rumyantsev says that he is attempting to persuade the Americans topermit Russia to import this fuel. And is employing an iron-cladargument for this: Russia has nowhere from which to get the money toguard its nuclear facilities. After 11 September, this should work, theminister believes.

Aleksandr Rumyantsev also said that he considers very favourable theidea of construction of a burial site on the Kurils and import oflow-level waste from Taiwan...

At the meeting with the environmentalists Rumyantsev attempted to defendthe agreement with Hungary on fuel storage. The Supreme Court of Russiarecently ruled the agreement illegal and required Hungary to take thefuel back, but it refused. The Hungarian spent fuel will remain inRussia, by all accounts. But the waste from reprocessing fuel that camein autumn from the Bulgarian Kozloduy station, the minister intends toreturn to its owners. Only this will not be happening any time soon:Russia has no plant that reprocesses this type of fuel (from a VVR 1000reactor). And it will not be built, as Rumyantsev said yesterday, for atleast 20 years. This is why a future generation of atomic energyministers will have to be responsible for the imported fuel.
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2.
Japan Processes Dismantled Russian Nuclear Weapons Into MOX Fuel
BBC Monitoring Service
April 13, 2002
(for personal use only)


The Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute announced Friday [12April] it has successfully refined plutonium removed from dismantledRussian nuclear weapons into plutonium-uranium mixed oxide (MOX) fuel,which was then burned in a Russian nuclear reactor.

Officials of the institute said it is the first internationalcooperation effort under which a Japanese institute dismantled Russiannuclear weapons

The institute has processed about 20 kg of plutonium, taken from Russiannuclear weapons in cooperation with Russia's Research Institute forAtomic Reactors (RIAR), into MOX fuel since 1999.

The institute then burned the fuel in the Russian BN600 fast reactor,and confirmed there were no abnormalities in the fuel, the officialssaid.

The institute is expected to dispose of 20 tonnes of plutonium to beextracted from dismantled Russian nuclear weapons by 2020, the officialssaid.

MOX fuel is designed to be used in light-water reactors in the so-called"pluthermal process", which the Japanese government has deemed necessaryfor its nuclear fuel cycle policy.
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E. Russian Nuclear Forces

1.
Russian Nuclear-Powered Sub Completes Refit
ITAR-TASS
April 16, 2002
(for personal use only)


The Zvezdochka defence-sector shipyard has completed a refit of thenuclear-powered strike submarine Yekaterinburg.

This was a routine refit of medium complexity without modernization,according to specialist sources. It took four years due to cashshortages. The Yekaterinburg is of the same class as the Kursk; its keelwas laid at the Sevmash yard in Severodvinsk in 1982 and it enteredservice with the Northern Fleet three years later. In 11 years ofservice the Yekaterinburg travelled over 90,000 nautical milesunderwater and performed 10 deep-water submersions. It was sent forrefitting in 1996...
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2.
Russian Missile Defense System Called Obsolete
Associated Press
April 15, 2002
(for personal use only)


A retired Russian space forces general said Monday that the Soviet-builtmissile defense system around Moscow has become obsolete and can'tefficiently serve its purpose.

Ret. Lt.-Gen. Anatoly Sokolov, who previously served as a top commanderwith the nation's space forces, said that the A-135 system, the onlysuch system in the world, should be scrapped, the Interfax-Military NewsAgency reported.

"It makes no sense to maintain a dying system, as the existinganti-missile defense is unable to provide efficient protection of thearea, let alone the entire country," Sokolov said, according to theInterfax-Military News Agency.

The Soviet Union deployed the A-35 anti-ballistic missile system,consisting of radars and 64 missile interceptors, around Moscow in 1974.The system was continually modified to enhance its ability to interceptballistic missiles with independently-targeted multiple warheads. Itslatest version, the A-135, which includes both long- and medium-rangemissile interceptors, was put on duty in 1994.

Moscow's missile defense system complied with the Anti-Ballistic MissileTreaty, which allows both the United States and Russia to protect asingle site with no more than 100 interceptors. The United States had asimilar system to protect missile fields in North Dakota in the 1970sbut scrapped it.

President George W. Bush last December warned Russia that in six months,the United States would withdraw from the ABM treaty, which bars anationwide missile shield of the kind the U.S. administration wants todeploy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin reacted calmly, saying that U.S.withdrawal from the treaty wouldn't threaten Russia's security, butcalled the move a mistake that hurt global stability.

Russian officials have said recently that the Moscow missile defensesystem could be upgraded in the next few years, but Sokolov said thatthe government would be better off spending money on new missile defensetechnologies instead of conducting a costly modernization of the oldsystem.

"The state is not strong enough to modernize the existing antimissilesystem," he said.

Sokolov said that Russia had lost several Soviet-built long-range radarswhich are essential for effective operation of an anti-missile system,and a new one in Belarus can't make up for the loss.
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F. Russian Nuclear Power Industry

1.
Russia's Nuclear Plant Director Comments On The Company's Problems
RosBusinessConsulting
March 29, 2002
(for personal use only)


Russia will not receive nuclear waste from Hungary and Bulgaria, VitalySadovnikov, director of the Mayak plant, which is Russia's only facilityreprocessing spent nuclear fuel, said. The Ecodefense internationalenvironmental group reported that an annual conference devoted to theresults of 2001 finished at Mayak late Thursday night.

The Mayak director doubted that Bulgaria would continue to send nuclearwaste to Russia. He added that it was planned to transport some nuclearwaste from the Rovno Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine to Mayak in May ofthis year.

Sadovnikov considers it necessary to change the policies on depletednuclear fuel importation. "We are looking for different ways (to importdepleted nuclear fuel), including illegitimate ones, for which we areoften rebuked," he stated. "The way to achieve success is to change themarket for depleted nuclear fuel in Europe and the political situation.This is beyond my abilities," the Mayak director pointed out.

According to the director, the last train with nuclear waste fromHungary arrived at the plant in 1998, and the last train from Bulgariaarrived in 2001. In accordance with a government decree of 1995, wastesleft over from the processing of depleted nuclear fuel should be sentback to the country of origin. Yet, according to Sadovnikov, the plantwill not send these wastes abroad.

As for the prospects for the plant, the director said: "We process onlyfuel from VVER 440 reactors now, which are to be decommissioned soon;all the reservoirs will soon be full, and there will be no work; theNuclear Energy Ministry's plans do not provide for any measures in thisconnection."

Environmental group Ecodefense strives to close Mayak as soon aspossible. According to the ecologists, a huge amount of nuclear wasteshas been accumulated at the plant's territory, and the kiln forvitrifying the wastes is not operable.
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G. Announcements

1.
Alexander Yakovenko, The Official Spokesman Of Russia's Ministry OfForeign Affairs, Answers A Question From ITAR-TASS Regarding Session OfPreparatory Committee For 2005 NPT Review Conference
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
April 15, 2002


Question: In New York, as part of the work of the first session of thePreparatory Committee (PC) for the 2005 Review Conference of the Treatyon the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), a general debate isover. How could you comment on the main results of the debate?

Answer: Most delegations, including Russia's, participating in the workof this forum have already delivered their main reports.

We consider that the chief result of the work on the preparation of theConference should be recommendations for the further strengthening ofthe NPT. In the statement of the Russian delegation, it was stressedthat already, so far as the actions of Russia are concerned, substantialprogress has been achieved in the realization of the key objectives ofthe Treaty, including the priority tasks agreed upon at the previousConference.

Our country not only is punctually fulfilling its obligations under theinternational treaties in nuclear arms limitation and reduction, but isalso ready to further cut its nuclear weapons to minimum levels inkeeping with strategic stability requirements. As is known, it was theRussian President's proposal in November 2000 to reduce the strategicoffensive arms of Russia and the USA to 1,500 strategic nuclear warheadsthat made it possible in the end, at the Russian American summit inNovember 2001, to agree on the future general ceilings of strategicoffensive arms of 1,700-2,200 warheads. At the same time many countriesat the PC session quite scathingly criticized the actions of the USadministration, which has unilaterally decided to withdraw from ABMTreaty of 1972, refused to submit to Congress for ratification theSTART-2 Treaty and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and isdiscussing the possibility of developing space-based nuclearantiballistic-missile weapons.

Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of the delegations at the sessioncame out for progress in the elaboration of a new treaty between Russiaand the USA on the reduction of strategic offensive arms, and in favorof working out rules for restraint and transparency in the ABM field inexchange for the 1972 Treaty.

On the whole, we think that the work of the session is proceeding in aconstructive spirit.
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2.
Speech Of H.E. Mr. Alexander M. Kadakin, Ambassador Of The RussianFederation In India, At A Meeting In New Delhi To Celebrate The 55thAnniversary Since The Establishment Of Diplomatic Relations Between TheTwo Countries (excerpted)
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
April 10, 2002


[.]

With Russian economic and technical assistance India had gone a long wayin developing steel, energy, chemical and other industries. Over 70industrial projects have been completed in India with Russianassistance. Even the sky is not the limit. Joint space programmes havehelped propel India into the elite club of space capable nations.Special importance is being attached today to developing and expandingbilateral trade and investment. Currently the two countries areembarking upon new multibillion-dollar projects in hydrocarbons andpower generation, including nuclear power. ONGC's $1.7 bn investment inSakhalin-1 oil and gas project, and the construction of the Kudankulamnuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu are just two among the most strikingand high profile joint ventures. There are good opportunities forexpanding mutually beneficial trade and investment into other areas.

Decades old bilateral defence cooperation has allowed Indian armedforces to be equipped with up-to-date military hardware that has passedmost rigorous tests and trials and has proved its worth in battle. Withseveral other mega deals in the pipeline (aircraft carrier AdmiralGorshkov, joint R&D on the fifth generation fighter and multi roletransport aircraft, BrahMos cruise missile) Russia will remain India'smost important partner in this sphere into the 21st century. We are notjust selling products - we share razor-edge technologies with our friendIndia.

[.]
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H. Links of Interest

1.
Statement Of Tariq Rauf At The General Debate NPT Preparatory CommitteeSession
International Atomic Energy Agency
April 9, 2002
http://www.iaea.org/worldatom/Press/News/nptPrepCom.pdf


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2.
Letter From Senator Carl Levin And Senator Jack Reed To President
Bush Regarding Nuclear Force Reductions
April 4, 2002
http://www.ceip.org/files/projects/npp/pdf/Bushletter.pdf


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3.
Growing Pains
Joseph Ferguson
The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
April 2002
http://www.csis.org/pacfor/cc/0201Qus_rus.html


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4.
The Higher Police: Vladimir Putin And His Predecessors
Laurent Murawiec and Clifford C. Gaddy
The National Interest
Spring 2002
http://www.nationalinterest.org/issues/67/MurawiecGaddy.html


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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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