1. US Delegation Visits Embattled Shchuchye Chemical Weapons Storage Depot
May 31, 2002
(for personal use only)
Russia's largest chemical weapons storage facility, whose destructionhinges on US funding provided by the Cooperative Threat Reduction Act(CTR), is springing leaks of lethal compounds at the rate of severaltimes a year, according an administration official in the Urals town ofShchuchye, where the plant is located.
A group of US Congressmen led by Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana visitedthe chemical weapons disposal site Wednesday in the Ural Mountains,1,560 kilometres southeast of Moscow, US Embassy officials saidThursday.
"We have three to five accidents a year" caused by leaks from corrosion,Yuri Mamontov, a Shchuchye administration official in charge of chemicaldisarmament told Bellona Web in a telephone interview Thursday. "Manymunitions have been stored here for more than 50 years. We would bebetter not to tempt fate."
Mamontov added that these accidents are quickly contained without harmto personnel and cause no serious harm to the surrounding environment.He also asserted that such accidents were not uncommon in similar sitesin the United States.
But the dilapidated state of the weapons dump holding corrodingchemicals from the world's largest known chemical weapons programmepoints to disturbing bureaucratic snags in US and Russian efforts tocontain the threat to world security.
Each year, the Pentagon must "certify" Russia to be committed tonon-proliferation, or else roughly one-third of CTR activitiescontrolled by the US military shuts down. (Other CTR programmes, forexample, to improve security around Russia's weapons-grade uranium andplutonium stocks-are unaffected.)
This spring the Pentagon told Russia not to expect certification becauseit was refusing to share information about a bio-engineered strain ofanthrax it had long promised the United States, refusing to provideaccess to biological institutes run by the Russian Defence Ministry, andfailing to own up to decades of secret work on biological and chemicalweapons.
In part, this lack of certification means - rather embarrassingly forthe Pentagon - that the weapons cuts Presidents George Bush and VladimirPutin agreed on at last weeks summit cannot begin in Russia until USCongress approves a waiver to that certification procedure.
This certification problem has also caused the Pentagon to blockconstruction of a plant in Shchuchye to destroy the nearly 2 millionshells, missile warheads and other munitions carrying nerve agents likeRussian VX gas and sarin, the gas released in 1995 into the Tokyosubway. All told, the Shchuchye stockpiles constitute about 14 percentof Russia's 40,000 to 44,000 tonnes of chemical weapons - the world'slargest arsenal.
Zinovy Pak, head of Russia's Federal Munitions Agency that overseeschemical and biological weapons destruction, told the Associated PressWednesday that the US accusations were groundless and said he hoped thatUS assistance for Shchuchye would resume soon.
But Washington sources say that - beyond certification and allegedinformation sharing problems - the Pentagon is holding up theconstruction of the Shchuchye CWD plant for two other reasons. First,the Pentagon has asked for rights to inspect any facility anywhere inRussia for chemical weapons on 24-hour notice. Second, the Russian sidehas promised to build so called "outside-the-fence" infrastructure forthe plant - such as housing for plant workers and kindergartens fortheir children - and the Americans have committed to building the plantitself. Neither side, these sources say, wants to start before theother.
Indeed, by some reports, the Russian side has started construction onits side of the agreement, the Global Security Newswire (GSN) quotedRussia's Federal Munitions Agency as saying Wednesday. After Wednesday'sofficial visit, the Agency told GSN it hopes the United States willresume its financing.
Several European nations - including Britain, Italy and Norway - havealso pledged to help build the Shchuchye site but are holding off untilUS financing resumes.
Lugar, who co-authored with former Sen. Sam Nunn the decade-old CTReffort - also known as the Nunn-Lugar Act - to help contain the threatof weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union, pledged tocontinue championing weapons dismantling efforts, AP reported.
The visit to Shchuchye followed a Moscow conference where Nunn, Lugarand other US and Russian officials and experts discussed new safeguardsthat should prevent terrorists obtaining nuclear, biological andchemical weapons and ways to speed up dismantling projects.
Lugar and his delegation also visited the Mayak facility nearChelyabinsk to inspect the progress of a plutonium storage facility thatCTR has been financing for the last 10 years, US Embassy officials saidThursday. According to Mayak officials, the storage facility should openthis August.
Earlier this week, the delegation witnessed the destruction of astrategic missile silo in the nearby Chelyabinsk region, the Embassyofficials said return to menu
2. US Delegation Inspects Nuclear-Waste Storehouse In Russia
May 30, 2002
(for personal use only)
A US Congressional delegation has visited the construction site of Mayakstorehouse for nuclear wastes in the town of Ozersk, the Chelyabionskregion of Russia, the Uralinformbyuro agency reported. According toinformation provided by the regional administration, the US delegationinspected the course of construction, which was already 85 percentcompleted, while installation work was 75 percent done.
Russia and the USA allocated a total of $11.18m for this project. return to menu
B. Spent Nuclear Fuel
1. $360 Million Facility For Spent Nuclear Fuel Will Be Built InZheleznogorsk
May 29, 2002
(for personal use only)
A USD 360 million facility to store spent nuclear fuel will be built inthe Siberian city of Zheleznogorsk, officials said last week. PavelMorozov, spokesman for the city's Chemical and Mining Combine, said workon the 120 million first stage of the facility will start next year. Thefacility will be ready to store 10,000 tons by 2006-07 and eventually beable to store 40,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel, according to local newsreports.
The new facility, unlike an existing Zheleznogorsk wet storage site inwhich some 3,000 tons of SNF is stored under a layer of water, will bedry. Dry storage systems are cheaper to operate, are safer and haveproven successful in the United States and France, Mr. Morozov said. St.Petersburg's All-Russia Scientific-Research Institute for EnergyTechnology designed the center, which is to be built by the firmSpetstroi. return to menu
C. Plutonium Disposition
1. Minatom Jumps The Gun On Reactor Cooperation Program With US DOE
May 30, 2002
(for personal use only)
With an agreement between The Russian Nuclear Power Ministry and USDepartment of Energy to form two joint expert research teams to tacklethe destruction of weapons-usable fissile material and examine thecreation of a proliferation-proof nuclear power bloc, Russia Tuesdaytabled its own suggestion for the reactor - the controversial BRESTplutonium-burning fast neutron reactor.
The BREST "breeder" reactor - which both consumes reactor gradeplutonium as fuel and produces it as raw material - is a long standingtheoretical dream of Russia's Nuclear Power Ministry (Minatom), whichhas long billed the BREST's ability to consume its own waste for fuel asa kind of perpetual motion machine that could solve spent nuclear fuel(SNF) storage problems forever.
"The most natural reactor for this project is the BREST reactor,"Nikolai Shingaryov, an assistant to Minatom's deputy ministers toldBellona Web in a telephone interview Tuesday.
"It is a project Minatom has long wanted to advance and this is what theUS Department of Energy (DOE)-Russian joint working groups will beworking to realize."
But DOE and US Embassy officials where surprised to hear they had beensigned on to the BEST project when the ink from the cooperationagreements signed at last week's summit between President's George Bushand Vladimir Putin had even dried.
Minatom's self-assured announcement was even more jarring in the contextof US concerns over Russia's nuclear cooperation with Iran, which arestill smouldering post-summit, and analysts said it was unlikely the DOEwould support a reactor program that - while operating on a closed fuelcycle - has the potential to increase the amount of plutonium in Russia.
As for the reactor cooperation arrived at during the summit, US Embassyofficials in interviews with Bellona Web Tuesday quickly pointed outthat the selection of experts for the joint committees will not beginuntil next week, at the earliest, and that no particular reactor designhas been discussed with Minatom.
The summit-generated agreement for joint cooperation between the DOE andMinatom to study the further disposition of Russian fissile materials,improve security at Russian nuclear sites, and begin consideration ofalternative reactor possibilities, was cemented in a telephoneconversation last Friday between Russian Nuclear Minister AleksanderRumyantsev and DOE chief Spencer Abraham, according to US Embassyofficials in Moscow.
But nothing in the declarations of cooperation signed at last week'ssummit between Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin, specifiedthat the expert groups would examine the possibility of building a BRESTtype reactor. In fact, the language in the agreement was limited to"cooperat[ing] in elaboration and development of new ecologically safernuclear power technologies," and, somewhat later in the agreement, aproposal "to recommend collaborative research and development efforts onadvanced, proliferation-resistant nuclear reactor and fuel cycletechnologies."
To Minatom, this obviously signalled that it was time to dust off thedesigns for the BREST.
But when the head of the DOE's Defence Non-proliferation Office, LintonBrooks, was asked by Bellona Web on Tuesday if that language referred tothe plutonium producing BREST reactor, he said: "This is amisunderstanding. No specific reactor has yet been discussed, be it afast neutron reactor, or otherwise."
"It will give me some idea of the kind of reactor they are going to belooking at when we sit down to discuss it," added Brooks, who was inMoscow this week for a non-proliferation conference hosted by the TedTurner founded NGO, the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).
"I hadn't heard about the BREST - it was not something they evenmentioned [during the conference]," Brooks said.
But Minatom has an established history of reading agreements withforeign governments as absolute commitments to its own point of view, anassertion supported by US Embassy officials.
Officials also suggested that such cooperation agreements often includeprovisions that are there strictly to mollify signatories who areinsistent about mentioning programs that cannot possible be realized foryears, and that may be the case with the proposed reactor studies,which, in all likelihood, will try to steer clear of plutonium basedunits.
But the BREST reactor has existed in blueprint form for decades, and itis nearly certain that Minatom scientists will push the DOE for itsfunding in the context of the summit agreement.
Perfecting the breeder program in the form of the BREST reactor "hasbeen the philosophy [of Minatom] going back to the Soviet Union," saidAdrian Collings, a nuclear industry expert with the London-based UraniumInstitute, a non-profit, non-governmental nuclear forum. Defence analystPavel Felgenhauer told Bellona Web that the BREST project has been"Minatom's baby since the 60's," because of its theoretical capabilitiesto produce power and weapons grade plutonium at the same time.
Breeder reactors of earlier vintage - of which Russia currently has one,a BN-600 at the Beloyarsk nuclear power plant - were built in the 60'sand 70's in a variety of countries to answer the problem of what to dowhen supplies of uranium ran out. In short, they are designed to createmore fuel than they consume by converting a non-fissile isotope ofuranium into fissile plutonium, which can then be used as fuel.
However, the idea never really worked because breeder reactors provedtricky and expensive to run, while the price of uranium steadilydeclined, making the reprocessing of spent fuel to extract plutoniumuneconomical by comparison.
In order to make the BREST program fly - and the closed plutonium fuelcycle it implies Minatom needs money from the DOE to get the reactor offthe drawing board.
But if there is one thing that will keep the BREST reactor firmly inblueprint form, it is the as-yet unresolved dispute over theRussian-built Bushehr reactor in Iran, which the United States maintainsis a cover for a nuclear weapons assistance program. Indeed, even as thesummit was wrapping up, Iran had carried out a successful test of theShahab-3 missile, which has a range adequate to reach Israel and UStroops stationed in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and easternTurkey, the Associate Press reported.
The missile also has the capability of carrying a nuclear warhead,especially the lighter and higher yield warheads designed by Russia,Felgenhauer said.
"Against this background, it would be highly unlikely that the UnitedStates would help Minatom realize a plutonium producing reactor," AndreiPinotkovsky of the Moscow office of the Centre for Strategic Studiestold Bellona Web.
"The discussion of such a reactor would be a certain contradiction forthe United States' foreign policy." return to menu
1. Military Cunning Galore
The Russia Journal
May 30, 2002
(for personal use only)
Just before U.S. President George Bush's visit to Russia, the twocountries exchanged nasty surprises. The American Senate refused torepeal the Jackson-Vanick amendment that enables the United States toslap trade restrictions on Russia if it chooses. This amendment was madealmost 30 years ago in a bid to pressure the Soviet authorities intoletting Jewish emigration go ahead. Now the U.S. senators refuse toappeal it as long as Russia puts limits on U.S. chicken-thigh imports.
Of course, chicken thighs aren't the only issue. Bush had alreadypromised to repeal the amendment, and the senate's refusal to go alongwas an attempt by democrat senators to spoil Bush's visit rather than adesire to play a dishonest game by the U.S. administration.
Moscow's surprise was of a somewhat different nature. A few days beforethe summit, Yury Baluyevsky, the first deputy head of the General Staff,announced that 154 heavy SS-18 missiles, dubbed Satan, wouldn't bedestroyed. Moscow had been committed to destroying these missiles underthe terms of the START-2 Treaty, which is destined not to come intoforce.
By keeping the SS-18s, Russia doesn't violate the terms of the StrategicOffensive Reduction Treaty just signed by Bush and President VladimirPutin. During negotiations, Washington insisted that reductions shouldinvolve no more than removing several thousand warheads from theirdelivery vehicles and stockpiling them.
The Americans don't plan to destroy either the delivery vehicles, whichwill be equipped with non-nuclear weapons, or the warheads, which willbe warehoused. Russia, of course, has the same right. But when Russiansput forward their conditions, the Americans knew full well that Moscowwon't be able to keep most of its delivery vehicles.
For almost 10 years now, ever since the START-2 Treaty was signed,Russian generals have repeated that the last SS-18 missiles will have tobe retired from service no later than 2008. But now Baluyevsky is sayingthat the newest of the SS-18s can remain in service even beyond 2010.
No one knows for sure whether this is serious or not. Only the missilespecialists know the truth about the state of the SS-18s and to whatextent the toxic heptyl liquid fuel they use has corroded the fueltanks. These specialists have changed their opinions from one extreme tothe other at least twice over the last decade, depending on the defenseminister at the time.
When Pavel Grachyov, a supporter of START-2, was defense minister, theexperts said it was impossible to keep the missiles in service. DuringSTART-2 opponent Igor Rodionov's time, the same specialists said themissiles were fit for use. With the arrival of Igor Sergeyev, who wantedto completely update the country's missile forces, the specialists againsaid the old missiles had to be taken off duty. And now these samemissiles are once more being pronounced fit to defend Russia's security.
The intention behind these statements is obvious. If Moscow seriouslyintends keeping the SS-18s on duty, it will maintain nuclear parity withthe United States. The Americans insist that the treaty signed on May 24is the last between the two countries, but the Russian military hopesthat, with the help of the Satan missiles, it will be able to holdnegotiations and sign treaties for many years to come. Russian generalsare already talking about the need to hold negotiations on tacticalnuclear weapons, which so far aren't regulated by any agreements.
Baluyevsky makes no secret of why Russia feels such a need to negotiateand sign nuclear-arms treaties with the United States. These treatiesmake Moscow Washington's equal, and the Kremlin hopes it will stay thisway at least until 2010, so long as the aging Satans remain on duty.
But the Russian strategists might find that their calculations don'twork out. Paradoxically, the more seriously the Americans view Russia'snuclear weapons, the less trust there is between the two countries.These arms can strengthen one party's position only so long as the otherparties admit that they could be used against them. So long as Russiaand the United States live within the framework of mutual deterrence,they really are equal to each other. But this equality will last only solong as each side believes the other could attack it. This would alsomean, however, that all the things Moscow wants from Washington -technology transfers, long-term investments and the chance to become amajor energy supplier to the United States - will remain very limited.
So far, U.S official representatives are acting as if the Russianmilitary's statements don't really bother them. "Heavy missiles were aconcern when we were rivals," a high-placed State Department officialsaid to me a few days ago. "In that context, we saw them as dangerousand destabilizing. But now it's Russia's problem how it deploys itsnuclear potential. In my opinion, it wouldn't be very wise to rely onold missiles. But this is a question for your own generals, not for me."
The American refusal to repeal the Jackson-Vanick amendment, however,shows that in the United States, too, there are influential people whoprefer to keep Russia in check. The confrontation today is between theSatan missiles and chicken thighs, and both are equally stupid. return to menu
2. U.S. And Russian Cooperation On Missile Defense: How Likely?
G. Wayne Glass
Center for Defense Information
May 29, 2002
(for personal use only)
When President Reagan unveiled the Strategic Defense Initiative duringthe early 1980s, he spoke repeatedly about his intent to share missiledefense technology with the Soviet Union as a means that couldultimately lead to the elimination of offensive strategic ballisticmissiles. President Bush has reiterated that position leading up to theSt. Petersburg summit. What few may know is that during the past decade,the U.S. and Russian governments have quietly undertaken a joint effortthat could ultimately enable the Reagan-Bush vision to become a reality.In 1992, the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization [BMDO-recentlyredesignated to be the Missile Defense Agency (MDA)] began discussionswith Russian officials about the possibility for a joint technologydemonstration program that could assist both nations in developingeffective early warning and missile defense technologies. During thenext several years, US and Russian officials negotiated details of theproposal, leading to an agreement in 1997 between Presidents Clinton andYeltsin to proceed with the Russian American Observation Satellite(RAMOS) program.
During the past decade, RAMOS has withstood repeated challenges from avariety of sources within the executive and legislative branches of theUS government. This year the program is once again in danger of beingterminated. Currently, the MDA is withholding funds authorized andappropriated by the Congress for FY 2002 pending the signing of a newgovernment-to-government agreement between the U.S. and Russia. In theinterest of promoting cooperation in meeting important mutual securityconcerns, the Bush administration and the Congress should take steps toensure that funding is provided to keep this unique joint program aliveand moving forward.
Program Objectives-Cooperation and Building TrustIn May 2001, BMDO officials briefed congressional staffers that aprimary policy objective underlying the RAMOS program was to "developwith Russia, mutually beneficial space technologies for defense andcivilian applications." BMDO officials further stated their intent thatRAMOS would "increase trust between the U.S. and Russia", and would"establish groundwork for future cooperative efforts with the RussianFederation." Early successful scientific joint experiments inspace-based observations suggested that such objectives were realistic.During the early phase of the program, the U.S. and Russia conducted thefirst joint space surveillance experiment in which observation data wereexchanged between the two participants. Later, Russians flew an imagingradiometer on a U.S. satellite. The history of the program since 1998,however, belies the goal of cooperation. Mistrust has become rife onboth sides and prospects for further cooperation, even during thecurrent post-September 11th period of cooperation, are growing dim.
One important factor underlying the growing mistrust between US andRussian program officials lies in the instability which characterizesthe weapons acquisition process. For decades, DoD officials have decriedthe "instability" which plagues the development and purchase of majorweapon systems. Program plans and schedules are constantly revised;funding levels are continually adjusted both within DoD and by theCongress; and program schedules are frequently delayed to reflect thosechanges. Often, political interests in the Congress serve as the sourceof instability. RAMOS has a history similar to many other DoD programsin those respects. The important factor distinguishing RAMOS from otherdefense programs, however, is that RAMOS was conceived as aninternational "partnership"between former antagonists undertaken inlarge part to build trust between them.
Since its inception, the US RAMOS program and policy administrators haverepeatedly directed significant changes to RAMOS plans, funds, andschedules with little input from their Russian counterparts. As aresult, Russian officials and scientists increasingly question thevalidity of the "partnership" despite their government's repeatedofficial statements supporting the RAMOS program. A brief summary ofchanges to program plans and objectives illustrates why.
A Summary of RAMOS Program History
The original RAMOS concept called for each country to develop its ownobservation satellite, both of which would be launched aboard Russianrockets into low earth orbit. The satellites, using short-, mid-, andlong-wave infrared sensors, would observe and analyze various militaryand civilian scientific test objectives, including the firing ofshort-range test missiles such as SCUD missiles. Technologicalobjectives included whether the polarization of solar glint could beused to mitigate short-wave infrared clutter for use by early warningsatellites; whether missile emissions could be observed effectivelyagainst the earth's own background radiation; and whether infraredtracking could adequately observe a missile's flight pattern from belowto above the horizon. The initial RAMOS plan also called for tests toobserve and measure industrial effluents, volcanic plumes, and cyclonicstorm activity. Under the original scheme, each nation would beresponsible for constructing its own instrumentation and ground controlstation.
In 1998, BMDO conducted a Concept Design Review of the RAMOS program anddetermined that the original two-satellite demonstration program did notprovide the United States with sufficient additional missile defensetechnical benefits to warrant moving forward with the original programplan. BMDO concluded that the political benefit of cooperating withRussia in missile defense could be achieved through other, unspecifiedcooperative programs. In short, without consulting with their Russianpartners, DoD unilaterally backed away from the original agreement andshifted the priority of the program from "cooperation" to "operationalbenefit" for US space assets. Given that the technical objectives of theprogram are basic elements of effective missile defense not yet fullysolved by MDA, the shift in priorities suggests that DoD changed itsposition on RAMOS for political, not technical, reasons.
The Department of Defense did not, however, abandon the program at thatpoint. Instead, BMDO proposed to restructure it. After examining a broadrange of alternatives, the DoD developed two alternative program planson its own to discuss with the Russian RAMOS team. The first alternativeproposed using infrared sensors mounted on either an American or Russianaircraft to measure and simulate mid- and long-wave infrared againstatmospheric clutter against the earth's background. The secondalternative was simply to provide funding to the Russians to design andtest new sensors on their own. Representatives of DoD met with Russianofficials in March 1999 to discuss the matter. Although the Russians didnot reject those options as additions to the program, they reiteratedtheir support for the initial two-satellite program plan to which, intheir view, both Presidents Yeltsin and Clinton had agreed. When PrimeMinister Primakov met with Vice President Gore in New York in March1999, he reiterated Russian support for the two-satellite program.
In July 2000, the Department of Defense proposed a revised plan to theRussians that returned to the two-satellite format of the initialprogram plan, but contained some important differences. Under Secretaryof Defense for Acquisition, Jacques Gansler, proposed to the Russiansthat they be responsible for the design, construction and launch of bothsatellites and supporting ground station equipment. The US, he offered,would only be responsible for providing the basic sensors, theperformance of sensor calibrations, and the integration of the sensorson to Russian satellites. The Russians have not formally accepted Dr.Gansler's proposal for the restructured program, a process that hasdoubtless been affected by Russian reactions to President Bush'sannounced intent for the U.S. to withdraw from the Anti-ballisticMissile (ABM) Treaty.
The Current Situation: RAMOS Funding Being WithheldIn his letter of July 14, 2000 to his Russian counterpart, Dr.Mikhailov, State-Secretary, First Minister of Defense, Dr. Ganslerstated the need to "underpin this (revised) program with agovernment-to-government agreement to underscore the commitment of bothour governments to the program and outline our specific roles." BMDOofficials have interpreted Dr. Gansler's words to mean that a newgovernment-to-government agreement is required before the program couldresume at full throttle. Consequently, BMDO officials determined thatthe release of Congressionally-authorized and appropriated funding forRAMOS should be withheld pending a new agreement. Of $30 millionappropriated to fund Russian participation in the program for FY 2002,MDA has released only $2 million thus far this year.
While BMDO withholds critical funding for the program, the Russian sidewrestles with the nature and the form of a new government-to-governmentagreement. During meetings in Moscow between members of the RussianRAMOS team and representatives of the Center for Defense Information(CDI), Russian scientists and officials in the Ministries of Defense andForeign Affairs stated their view that the government-to-governmentagreement reached between Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin for the initialtwo-satellite RAMOS program still pertained despite the adjustmentsproposed by Gansler in July 2000. BMDO officials, however, have takenthe view that those adjustments are sufficiently significant that a newagreement is warranted.
Given the disparity in viewpoints on this crucial issue, it is likely totake a significant amount of time for US and Russian officials tonegotiate detailed terms of a new government-to-government agreement.Meantime, MDA could effectively kill the program by withholding fundsthe program needs to continue. During CDI's recent meetings with US andRussian program contract personnel, both sides indicated that thetechnical teams that have been working side by side on the program for anumber of years will soon be dissolved if funding is not made availablein coming weeks. The cooperation and trust built among Russian andAmerican technical personnel could soon be lost if the teams aredisassembled. Aside from the issue of funding availability,Congressional staff familiar with the program have indicated to CDI thatMDA intends to formally discontinue the program this summer if a newgovernment-to-government agreement is not signed in the near future.
Conclusion: RAMOS Is Too Important To Cancel
The RAMOS program represents some very important national securityobjectives for the United States. First, it is in our interest thatRussia's early warning system perform capably, reliably, and accurately.False information from Russia's anti-ballistic missile early warningsystem could cause an ill-advised decision or automatic response tolaunch retaliatory strategic missiles armed with nuclear weapons. TheRAMOS program is intended, in part, to assist the Russians in meetingthis very important objective which serves both nations' securityinterests. Second, the RAMOS program may be particularly useful indeveloping technologies that are also useful in detecting, tracking, andtargeting short-range tactical missiles. The dismal US performanceregarding SCUD missiles during the Persian Gulf War points to theimportance of this high priority goal. Finally, RAMOS provides the U.S.with an important opportunity to build trust and confidence with thenation President Bush refers to as "no longer our enemy." To the extentthat the United States government will seek Russian cooperation on abroad menu of foreign policy matters, it could be very useful to pointto successful joint programs such as RAMOS as evidence that bothcountries can work together well to achieve goals of mutual securityconcern.
It may well be that the troubled history of RAMOS in recent years ismore than simply a manifestation of the instabilities generated bydefense program management and our annual budgeting system. DespitePresident Bush's observation that the Cold War is over, there are manyinvolved in the RAMOS program who appear unwilling to cooperate in thespirit of trust intended as a cornerstone to this program. Consequently,bureaucratic actions in recent years which have posed obstacles to theprogram may in fact reflect a more profound opposition to cooperatingwith our former enemy. Nevertheless, the program has managed to muddlethrough despite opposition. The current circumstance, however, mayrepresent a final moment of truth unless immediate actions are taken.
There are a variety of ways to sustain RAMOS in the face of incipientcancellation. First, the Russian government could agree to sign the newagreement drafted by US officials. Russian officials, however, adamantlyopposed this solution during meetings with CDI personnel. Alternatively,the Russian government could sign its own version of such an agreementand proceed to negotiate the details. In that event, in order to sustainthe program, the US would have to agree to provide sufficient funding onan interim basis. CDI supports the latter as a means to overcome thecurrent hurdle and has encouraged both Russian and American officialsand elected personnel to support such an approach. If that approach isadopted, the Congress will be on much firmer footing as it considersfunding for RAMOS for FY 2003 during the summer. Beyond FY 2003,however, RAMOS needs to find new procedures to ensure that the programbecomes and remains "cooperative." return to menu
3. Mironov On Treaty
May 29, 2002
(for personal use only)
Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov said Tuesday he sees noobstacles to Russian ratification of a new nuclear arms reduction treatywith the United States, but warned that it probably would not happenuntil this fall.
"The process of ratification of such important documents is not going asfast as we would like it to," the speaker of parliament's upper housesaid.
Mironov said lawmakers would like a better idea of the U.S. Senate'sposition before ratifying the accord. He added that the FederationCouncil may consider the ratification at the same time as the U.S.Senate, Interfax reported.
"I don't see any problems with the treaty's ratification on the Russianside," Mironov said on a trip to the northern Arkhangelsk region.
U.S. President George W. Bush and President Vladimir Putin signed thetreaty during their summit in Russia that ended Sunday. The treatyenvisages that the United States and Russia will slash their nucleararsenals to the level of 1,700 to 2,200 nuclear warheads for each return to menu
1. Russia, Iran Diplomats Meet For Talks
May 30, 2002
(for personal use only)
Top Iranian and Russian diplomats met Thursday for talks expected tofocus on nuclear nonproliferation and other security issues.
The meeting between Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Jawad Zarifand his Russian counterpart Georgy Mamedov came a week after U.S.President George W. Bush pressed Russia's Vladimir Putin over Moscow'snuclear assistance to Iran. Washington says the assistance in building anuclear power plant could help Tehran in its missile program, a chargeRussian officials have denied.
The U.S. concerns were a key topic during last week's summit betweenPutin and Bush.
The ITAR-Tass and Interfax news agencies said nonproliferation would topthe agenda at Thursday's meeting. return to menu
2. Russia, Iran Discuss International Security Issues
May 30, 2002
(for personal use only)
Iran and Russia will discuss international security and strategicstability issues at Russia's Foreign Ministry in Moscow Thursday, theItar-Tass news agency said. The two sides, represented by Russia'sDeputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov and his Iranian counterpartMohammad-Javad Zarif, will discuss missile and nuclearnon-proliferation, exports control and bilateral cooperation on apeaceful use of nuclear energy, the agency said. Nuclear energycooperation between Tehran and Moscow has stirred up unease inWashington, claiming that it could enable the Islamic Republic toacquire weapons of mass destruction. Both Tehran and Moscow haverepeatedly rejected these claims, with Iran opening the plant to regularsupervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which hasconfirmed its intention for peaceful means.
"Russia and Iran have sufficiently vast and concrete cooperation withinthe scope of the requirements set by the non-proliferation of missileand nuclear technologies (treaty)," Itar-Tass cited an expert at theRussian Foreign Ministry as saying. The Russian-Iranian cooperation inthe field of nuclear energy does not undermine the non-proliferationtreaty and exclusively focuses on economic demands, the expert furthersaid.
Russia and the US decided during a recent visit of President George W.Bush to Moscow to set up a consultative group, headed by the twocountries' foreign and defense ministries, on strategic security. Thegroup will help build mutual confidence, expand transparency, exchangeinformation and discuss strategic issues of mutual importance.
Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi on Sunday welcomed RussianPresident Vladimir Putin's position in defending nuclear cooperationbetween Tehran and Moscow during President Bush's visit to that country.
"President Putin's recent stance on Iran is in accordance with thenational interests of that country," Kharrazi said, adding nuclearcooperation between the two countries is 'legitimate' and 'transparent'.Cooperation between Iran and Russia in the field of technology is clearand it is a natural right of the Russian president to defend thiscooperation," he added. return to menu
3. Iranian Nuclear Plant to Be Built Under IAEA Supervision
May 29, 2002
(for personal use only)
The construction of an Iranian nuclear power plant at Bushehr withRussia's assistance will in future proceed under the control ofinspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), head of theIranian Parliamentary Commission for Energy Hossein Afarideh, visitingLondon, said on Monday.
He said several IAEA missions would visit Bushehr this year. "We intendto build a power station under strict observance of IAEA as it is amatter exclusively of peaceful uses of nuclear energy," Afarideh said.
"Iran is a member of IAEA so we follow all the rules of the agency andits experts regularly visit Iran," IRNA said.
The head of the Iranian parliamentary committee said the construction ofthe nuclear power plant with the participation of over a thousandRussian specialists is 'proceeding well'.
The U.S. administration accuses Iran of its nuclear program allegedlyhaving a military use and urges Russia to curtail cooperation withTehran in the nuclear area.
The Iranian authorities refute these accusations and stress that theconstruction of the nuclear power station in Bushehr has peacefulpurposes only.
Russia also states that the results of its technical assistance to Iranin the nuclear area cannot be used for military purposes.
Spokesperson of IAEA Melissa Fleming said representatives of IAEA hadalready visited the nuclear power plant in Bushehr. However, regularinspections of the facility four or six times a year will be startedafter nuclear materials are supplied to the station, she said. return to menu
1. Government May Ax Panels On N-Arms Disposal
May 30, 2002
(for personal use only)
The Foreign Ministry is considering abolishing bilateral cooperationcommittees on nuclear arms disposal set up with Russia and three otherformer Soviet republics, a senior Foreign Ministry official saidWednesday.
During a House of Representatives Foreign Committee session Wednesday,Yuji Miyamoto, the Foreign Ministry's director general of arms controland scientific affairs, said: "There are some systematic problemsregarding the implementation (of the planned disposal projects).Although we have to see how Russia (and the three other countries)respond, we'd like to give serious consideration to abolishing thecommittees."
Miyamoto made the comment in response to a question by Minshuto(Democratic Party of Japan) committee member Atsushi Kinoshita, who saidhe thought the committees should be abolished.
Miyamoto pointed out that the counterpart countries--Russia, Ukraine,Kazakhstan and Belarus--are ill-equipped to carry out nucleararms-scrapping projects and disclosed that 16.5 billion yen of 25billion yen provided by Japan over the past decade to the fourcommittees for projects such as constructing facilities to dispose ofradioactive waste has not been used.
As for the time frame, Miyamoto failed to indicate a specific date,saying, "We'd like to come to a conclusion as soon as possible."
Japan established the committees in March 1994 to provide financialassistance to the countries to scrap Soviet-era nuclear armaments. return to menu
G. Nuclear Terrorism
1. The New Nuclear Threat
May 31, 2002
(for personal use only)
The agreement signed last week by George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin is aworthwhile step to reduce nuclear arsenals and strengthen theU.S.-Russian friendship. Anything that cuts nuclear stockpiles on eachside by two-thirds is bound to enhance peace and stability. But thefading of the Cold War threat of an all-out nuclear exchange hascoincided with the emergence of a new and less controllable threat:nuclear terrorism. And that danger needs more attention in bothcapitals.
Since Sept. 11, there has been a great deal of discussion about thepossibility that Al Qaeda or other violent fanatics might somedayacquire radioactive explosives. Theft of nuclear materials would requirethem to build bombs themselves--a formidable but not impossible task. Amore plausible scenario for them is to buy or steal an existing bombfrom a nuclear power. Russia, with its vast arsenal and meager resourcesfor security, could be their best bet.
Critics worry that the new arms deal may diminish the risk of a nuclearexchange only by increasing the threat of nuclear terrorism. Under theterms of the treaty, many of the warheads being removed from servicewon't be destroyed but put in storage in case they should someday beneeded. The fear is that the Russian government might maintain loosersecurity at storage sites than at missile silos. The problem could beaverted by requiring the dismantling of all the warheads slated to becut, but the Bush administration declined that option.
A bigger problem lies with Russia's small tactical nukes, built for"battlefield" use during the Cold War. The New York Times reports thatthe number of these weapons is estimated at anywhere from 4,000 to30,000, and there has been less than strict accounting of them.
"They'll tell you they've never lost a weapon," says Kenneth Luongo ofthe private Russian American Nuclear Security Advisory Council. "Thefact is, they don't know. And when you're talking about warheadcounting, you don't want to miss even one." One, smuggled into theUnited States and detonated in an American city, is all it would take tolevel everything within a 2-mile diameter, killing tens or hundreds ofthousands of people.
But the magnitude of the peril still exceeds the efforts to avert it. Arecent report by the Project for Managing the Atom at Harvard's BelferCenter for Science and International Affairs says that though the U.S.and Russia have taken some significant steps, far more remains to bedone.
Even preliminary security upgrades haven't been made for 40 percent ofRussia's weapons-grade nuclear material. Less than one-seventh of itshighly-enriched uranium has been destroyed. In spite of all the workthat is needed, the Bush administration proposes to spend just $1billion next year to safeguard Moscow's nukes. That is just a third ofthe amount recommended by a bipartisan blue-ribbon panel before theSept. 11 attacks.
The recommended amount, notes the Project on Managing the Atom, "wouldstill amount to less than 1 percent of annual U.S. defense spending--yetit would be sufficient to radically reduce one of the most urgent andcatastrophic threats to U.S. security." Two or three billion dollars toavert nuclear terrorism is no guarantee of success. But it could be thebest money the U.S. government ever spent. return to menu
2. Backdoor Nuclear Threat To U.S.
May 23, 2002
(for personal use only)
Nuclear missiles like the SS18 were the pride of the Soviet Union - andAmerica's Cold War nightmare.
And although Russia is now preparing to slash its stockpile of weaponslike these by two thirds, the nuclear threat to America could actuallybe growing, reports CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer.
Russia's decrepit and badly-guarded nuclear installations may be adangerous source of raw material for terrorists.
"I have no doubt that a dedicated and top-class terrorist organizationcould target and acquire nuclear materials and it's essentially a raceagainst time," said John Wolfstahl, an editor with the CarnegieEndowment for International Peace. "Either we will secure the materialsbefore they are stolen or they will steal the materials before they aresecured."
A home video shot by a former major in the Russian army - who now worksfor Greenpeace - makes the same point. Maxim Shingarkin decided inFebruary to break into a high-security nuclear fuel storage facility.
Strolling through holes in the fence - Shingarkin says no one challengedhim as he climbed onto the roof - where only a row of windows separatedhim from the spent fuel canisters.
It's criminal negligence, Shingarkin says.
"Armed terrorists could steal 800 pounds of spent plutonium from theplant - which is enough to produce a nuclear bomb."
Since September 11, attention has newly focused on the fact that Russiacan't make its nuclear installations secure by itself. It is completelydependent on American money.
American money - a total of $400 million a year - has already beenflowing steadily since 1991. It's funded a vast array of projects fromnuclear waste processing project to centers like one just outside Moscowwhere the military tests the new security devices.
But Russia has a long way to go.
The army says it is doing its best - but without even more internationalaid - a real terrorist attack would find it outmaneuvered and outgunned. return to menu
H. Nuclear Waste
1. Russia To Construct Second Nuclear Waste Processing Plant
May 31, 2002
(for personal use only)
Russia's second expended nuclear fuel processing plant will startworking at the Zheleznogorsk chemical works by 2020, Eduard Shingaryov,head of the information policy department of the Russian AtomicMinistry, said in an interview with RBC. According to him, although theChelyabinsk based Mayak plant's full capacity is some 400 tons ofexpended fuel per year, it currently processes only 150 tons per year,which is enough at present. Russia processes Bulgarian fuel at $640 perkilogram and Ukrainian at $300 per kilogram, which is in line with worldprices. At the same time these prices have an upward tendency, theofficial stressed. return to menu
2. Russia Plans Nuclear Dump For Soviet Test Site
May 29, 2002
(for personal use only)
The Russian Ministry of Atomic Power (Minatom) and Governor ofArkhangelsk region Anatoly Efremov have announced the construction of adump site for radioactive waste on former Soviet nuclear test siteNovaya Zemlya. Minatom says the project on the strait between two Arcticislands will cost about US$70 million and is scheduled for completionwithin three years.
Novaya Zemlya is the northern extension of the Ural Mountains whichdivide the European and Asian continents.
On May 21, Minatom and Efremov said low and medium level radioactivewaste will be moved to Novaya Zemlya from the regional storage site atSeverodvinsk, a small city and nuclear submarine base on the site calledMironova Mountain.
Map showing location of Novaya Zemlya (Map courtesy Sam Clayton) TheRussian Ministry of Foreign Affairs denies that the recent activity atNovaya Zemlya signifies preparation for resuming nuclear tests. "Russia,which has ratified all the international agreements on real reductionsof nuclear weapons, as well as the CTBT, strictly adheres to theobligations it has assumed, including the obligation not to carry out anuclear weapons test explosion or any other nuclear explosion," theministry stated May 17.
On May 12, in advance of U.S.-Russia meetings earlier this month,Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov also denied that the recentactivity at Novaya Zemlya had anything to do with nuclear weaponstesting, calling such suspicions "ungrounded."
Russia has been moving in the direction of importing high-level nuclearwaste. Last year the country changed its laws to permit import ofradioactive waste including spent nuclear fuel from power plants.Government officials estimate that over the next 10 years the projectcould earn the country about US$21 billion.
Anti-nuclear activists say that figure is enormously inflated to justifythe program. Activists from EcoDefense and other groups across Russiahave been protesting Russian import of nuclear waste for years.
"There are no regions across Russia where people would acceptradioactive waste dumping. For the past 50 years nuclear industry wasunable to create technology for waste disposal that would be safe forpeople and the environment," said Vladimir Slivyak, co-chair forEcodefense, environmental group campaigning against unsafe disposal ofradioactive waste.
"Hundreds of protest actions against possible radwaste disposal tookplace all over Russia in last three years. But nobody lives on NovayaZemlya, so nuclear industry hopes nobody would bother them there withprotests," Slivyak said.
The activists object that no monitoring or public control will beallowed over the nuclear waste dump. They fear it will first beestablished for low-level waste and then will accept highly radioactivematerials as well. "The nuclear industry just wants to build a cheapfacility for low-level radioactive waste first and then dump thereeverything it has to get rid of, mainly spent fuel", said AlisaNikulina, anti-nuclear campaigner for Socio-Ecological Union, anumbrella for nearly 300 environmental groups across the RussianFederation.
"Construction of a dumping site for low-level waste costs much smallerthen repository for spent fuel," said Nikulina. "One can not build siteto dispose all kinds of radioactive waste for 70 million people, unlessyou ignore all kinds of safety systems."
Anti-nuclear activists say that Novaya Zemlya is far from cities orvillages where people may organize effective public control overoperations of nuclear industry. "That gives Minatom the ability toviolate all kinds of law and regulation, as it did many times in thepast, and nobody would speak a word about it," Nikulina said.
Slivyak said, "Ecodefense greatly concerned over the possibility ofradiation leaks to the environment if the dumping site on Novaya Zemlyais constructed, even if the plan looks safe on paper."
"The Russian nuclear industry is famous for its inability to constructsafe nuclear facilities. Industry cannot be trusted and, in case ofNovaya Zemlya project, it would be very hard to monitor what's going onthere," he warned.
Ecodefense and the Socio-Ecological Union urge that radioactive wastesbe stored at sites which produce them. They say the nuclear industrymust increase the safety of nuclear waste storage technology.
A history of nuclear explosions on Novaya Zemlya is reported by theNorwegian Bellona Foundation.
Bellona has produced a report on dumping of radioactive waste in theRussian Far North. return to menu
I. Central Asian Nuclear Issues
1. Kazakhstan Denies Involvement In Pakistan's Nuclear-Weapons Program
May 30, 2002
(for personal use only)
In a statement released on 29 May, Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry deniedmedia reports that the country contributes to Pakistan's nuclear-weaponsprogram, Interfax reported. The statement reiterated that Kazakhstan"has voluntarily abandoned nuclear weapons" and has signed the NuclearNonproliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. return to menu
1. Abraham Announces Members Of U.S.-Russia Working Groups To AdvanceNuclear Nonproliferation Efforts
U.S. Department of Energy
May 30, 2002
Following the agreement last week between President Bush and RussianPresident Putin to establish two new bilateral working groups focused onfurther nuclear nonproliferation activities, U.S. Energy SecretarySpencer Abraham today announced the U.S. members of the working groupsand emphasized that there is "no higher priority" at the Department thanthe success of the nuclear nonproliferation programs.
Secretary Abraham and Russian Minister of Atomic Energy AlexanderRumyantsev have been tasked with overseeing the progress of the twoworking groups. Immediately after the announcement at the Russia summit,Secretary Abraham phoned Rumyantsev to discuss the next step in ongoingefforts to deal with nuclear nonproliferation issues and make plans forthe establishment of the working groups.
The focus of one of the working groups will be to examine ways toeliminate excess plutonium and highly enriched uranium - materials thatcan be used to make nuclear weapons. This group will work to identifyinitiatives that could lead to reductions in nuclear materials fromweapons beyond the obligations stipulated in existing agreements andreport its recommendations within six months.
A second working group will be comprised of technical experts torecommend areas for collaborative research on advanced,proliferation-resistant nuclear reactor and fuel cycle technologies toreduce stocks of weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium aswell as reduce waste produced by civilian reactors. This group will berequired to present recommendations within 60 days.
"Eliminating dangerous nuclear material, specifically highly enricheduranium and plutonium, is the ultimate safeguard against proliferationand nuclear terrorism and is an important step in dismantling the ColdWar legacy," Secretary Abraham said. "It is a way we can carry outPresident Bush's pledge to keep the most dangerous materials andtechnologies on earth out of the hands of the most dangerous people onearth."
Leading the team of participants for the U.S. (whose names will beformally submitted to Minister Rumyantsev this week) will be GeneralJohn Gordon, Administrator of the DOE's National Nuclear SecurityAdministration and Under Secretary of Energy for Nuclear Security, andUnder Secretary of Energy for Science, Energy and EnvironmentalManagement Robert Card. General Gordon will lead the working group onnuclear material reduction and disposition and will be assisted byAmbassador Linton F. Brooks, chief of DOE's Defense NuclearNonproliferation Office. Under Secretary Card will lead the delegationdiscussing advanced nuclear technologies, and will be assisted byWilliam Magwood, DOE's Director of Nuclear Energy.
The joint working groups are tasked with exploring and identifyingoptions and reporting the results to the Secretary and Minister asstipulated. The experts will examine all options of interest to both theUnited States and Russia and will consult with industry to ensure thatthese efforts will not adversely affect existing agreements or thecommercial uranium market.
These working groups are the latest step in an ongoing nonproliferationeffort that has been a priority for the Bush Administration. SecretaryAbraham and Minister Rumyantsev met in Moscow in November 2001 andagreed to expand and accelerate U.S.- Russian efforts to secure nuclearmaterial. Just last month, during Minister Rumyantsev's visit toWashington, the two agreed, among other things, to establish a jointtask force to study the threat of "dirty bombs" and recommendappropriate responses. DOE's commitment to these nonproliferationprograms is also reflected in the biggest budget in history for theDepartment's nonproliferation programs topping more than $1.1 billionfor FY'03. As a result of recent agreements and strong support from theU.S. Congress, the task of improving security of weapons in Russia isexpected to be completed two years ahead of schedule.
On the goal of the working groups, Abraham said, "We look forward toworking with our Russian partners to eliminate excess weapons materialand safeguard against nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. Thereis no higher priority in my Department than the success of the nuclearnonproliferation programs. These working groups are the next logicalstep to help us achieve the goal of eliminating excess material from thenuclear stockpiles and reduce the threat of nuclear proliferation." return to menu
2. On The Measures Being Taken By Russia To Raise The Efficiency Of TheSystem Of Control Over Exports Of Dual-Use Goods And Technologies
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
May 30, 2002
Work is continuing in the Russian Federation, directed to raising theefficiency of the system of control over exports of dual-use goods andtechnologies, including the observance of the established rules forstorage of sensitive products associated with weapons of massdestruction and their delivery means.
For the accomplishment of these tasks federal laws have been adoptedthis May introducing amendments and addenda to the Criminal Code of theRussian Federation toughening the appropriate punishment of violations.
In addition, a new Code of Administrative Violations is to enter intoforce in the Russian Federation on July 1, 2002, envisaging theapplication of penalties to entities and persons engaged in the exportof dual-use goods and technologies in circumvention of existingregulations and rules.
Thus, acting in its national security interests, Russia is once againstrikingly demonstrating its firm and consistent commitment tononproliferation, backing its principled line by concrete moves innational legislation and the practice of law application. return to menu
3. NATO-Russia Fact Sheet
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
May 28, 2002
-- Reflecting the transformed relationship between NATO and Russia,President Bush and the other NATO Heads of State and Government haveagreed with Russian President Putin to establish the NATO-Russia Council(NRC).
-- The creation of the NRC opens a new era in NATO-Russia relations,providing opportunities for consultation, joint decision, and jointaction on a wide range of issues.
-- The NRC will focus on specific, well-defined projects where NATO andRussia share a common goal. NATO and Russia have agreed on an initial,specific workplan, which includes projects in the following areas:
-- Assessment of the terrorist threat -- Crisis management --Non-proliferation -- Arms Control and Confidence-Building Measures --Theater Missile Defense -- Search and Rescue at Sea --Military-to-Military Cooperation -- Defense Reform -- Civil Emergencies-- New Threats and Challenges (including scientific cooperation andairspace management)
-- Other projects may be added as the NRC develops.
-- The NRC does not affect NATO's existing responsibilities as apolitical and military alliance based on collective defense. The NRCdoes not provide Russia a veto over NATO decisions or action. The NATOAllies retain the freedom to act, by consensus, on any issue at anytime.
-- NATO Allies will decide among themselves the issues they will addressin the NRC, as well as the extent to which they will take a commonposition on these issues.
-- Representatives from Moscow first took part in meetings at NATO in1991, as part of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC). In 1997,the NATO-Russia "Founding Act" established a NATO-Russia Permanent JointCouncil (PJC). The PJC held its last meeting in Reykjavik on May 14,2002.
-- NATO-Russia cooperation since the Founding Act has taken a variety offorms. Russian troops have participated in the NATO-led SFOR and KFORoperations, and discussions in the PJC addressed issues such asnon-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, arms control, anddefense reform.
-- NATO has also established an Information Office in Moscow, whereNGOs, academic institutions, and interested Russian citizens can obtainfirsthand information about NATO. return to menu
4. U.S.-Russian Cooperation On Nuclear Material Reduction Fact Sheet
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
May 24, 2002
President Bush and President Putin have agreed to establish a jointexperts group to examine means to eliminate more weapons-grade nuclearmaterial.
Both the United States and Russia have recognized that one importantmeans to keep nuclear weapons material out of the hands of hostilenations or terrorists is to reduce the amount available. Under existingagreements, the United States and Russia are committed to reducing theamount of nuclear weapons-grade material, through the elimination of 34metric tons each of plutonium and through U.S. purchase of 500 metrictons of Russian highly-enriched uranium for use in commercial nuclearreactor fuel. More than 140 metric tons of highly-enriched uranium hasalready been delivered under the latter agreement.
These programs will eliminate enough material for almost 25,000 nuclearweapons. Nevertheless, President Bush and President Putin agree thatthey should seek to do more. Therefore, a joint experts group underSecretary of Energy Abraham and Russian Minister of Atomic EnergyRumyantsev will examine near- and longer-term, bilateral andmultilateral means to reduce inventories of plutonium andhighly-enriched uranium still further.
The joint experts group will begin work immediately, and report itsfindings to Secretary Abraham and Minister Rumyantsev within six months.It will consult closely with industry to ensure that commercial marketswould not be adversely affected by any new recommended initiatives toeliminate more weapons-grade plutonium and highly-enriched uranium. return to menu
5. U.S.-Russian Cooperation On Advanced Nuclear Technologies Fact Sheet
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
May 24, 2002
President Bush and President Putin have agreed to establish a jointexperts group to develop recommendations for potential U.S.-Russiancollaboration on advanced nuclear fuel cycle research and development.
The United States and Russia share the view that their economicwell-being and national security would be strengthened by thedevelopment of advanced nuclear reactor and fuel cycle technologies thatwould reduce significantly the volume of waste produced from civilnuclear reactors, would be highly proliferation-resistant, and could beused in the longer term to reduce stocks of excess weapons-gradeplutonium and other potentially dangerous nuclear materials. Thesebenefits were highlighted in President Bush's National Energy Policy inMay 2001.
Therefore, the Presidents have agreed that a joint experts group underSecretary of Energy Abraham and Minister of Atomic Energy Rumyantsevwill be established immediately to develop recommendations for potentialcollaborative U.S. and Russian research and development on advancednuclear fuel cycle technologies. The group will present itsrecommendations within 60 days. Implementation of the recommendationswill be in keeping with U.S. nonproliferation goals. return to menu
K. Links of Interest
1. The Threat Posed By The U.S. Development Of New Low-Yield NuclearWeapons
Presentation by Mark Bromley At the CFSP Contact Group - "Assessing theImplications of US Nuclear Weapons"
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.