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Nuclear News - 07/18/02
RANSAC Nuclear News, July 18, 2002
Compiled by David Smigielski



A. Nuclear Cities
    1. Zheleznogorsk And Neighbouring Cities Fail To Find Common Language, Charles Digges, Bellona, July 15, 2002
    2. Tending To Russia's Nuclear Family, Brandon Spun, Insight, August 2002
B. Multilateral Threat Reduction
    1. G-8 Pledges $20 Million For WMD Threat Reduction, Devon Chaffee, Center for Defense Information, July 11, 2002
C. Spent Nuclear Fuel
    1. Minister Says Russia Ready To Import Spent Nuclear Fuel In December, RFE/RL Newsline, July 15, 2002
D. Russia-U.S.
    1. Senators: US Should Press For More Cuts, Associated Press, July 18, 2002
    2. Moscow And Washington Ponder Energy Cooperation, RIA Novosti, July 18, 2002
    3. Senators Expect Approval Of U.S.-Russia Arms Treaty, Vicki Allen, Reuters, July 17, 2002
    4. Government Expects Rapid Ratification Of Arms-Reduction Treaty, RFE/RL Newsline, July 15, 2002
E. Russia-Iran
    1. Russian Assistance To Iran, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, July 17, 2002
    2. Rumyantsev Confirms Iran Fuel Deal, Moscow Times, July 15, 2002
    3. Moscow to Deliver Nuclear Turbines to Iran on August: Russian Minister, Tehran Times, July 13, 2002
F. Russia-China
    1. Russian-Chinese Cooperation In Nuclear Energy Continues Successfully, Pravda, July 13, 2002
    2. Petersburg Baltiisky Plant Starts Delivering Equipment For The Chinese Tian Wang Nuclear Power Plant, Pravda, July 8, 2002
G. Russia-Japan
    1. U.S. May Allow Japan To Export Nuclear Waste To Russia, Kyodo News, July 13, 2002
    2. Japan Reports Progress In Burning Russian Weapons Plutonium, UIC Weekly News Digest, June 12, 2002
H. Russian Nuclear Forces
    1. Typhoon Submarine Scrapping Continues, David Ruppe, Global Security Newswire, July 16, 2002
    2. Ukraine: DTRA Team Arrives To Verify SS-24 Destruction, Mike Nartker, Global Security Newswire, July 16, 2002
    3. Search For Reusable Space Vehicle Continues In Kamchatka, Interfax, July 15, 2002
I. Nuclear Terrorism
    1. Al-Qaida Weapon Access Worries U.S., Associated Press, July 18, 2002
J. Nuclear Safety
    1. Fruit In Central Russia Gets Glowing Review, RFE/RL Newsline, July 15, 2002
K. Nuclear Waste
    1. Russian Watchdog Attacks Plan To Import Nuclear Waste, Ian Traynor, The Guardian, July 13, 2002
L. Announcements
    1. Alexander Yakovenko, The Official Spokesman Of Russia's Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Answers A Russian Media Question About The Prospects For Ratification In Russia Of The Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, July 18, 2002
    2. On The Upcoming Election Of A New Director General Of The Technical Secretariat Of The Executive Council Of The Organization For The Prohibition Of Chemical Weapons, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, July 17, 2002
    3. On Russian-Italian Inter-MFA Consultations, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, July 16, 2002
    4. Alexander Yakovenko, The Official Spokesman Of Russia's Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Answers Russian Media Questions About The Date And Topics Of The First Meeting Of The Russian American Consultative Group For Strategic Security, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, July 12, 2002
M. Links of Interest
    1. International Code Of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation, Aidan Harris, BASIC Note, July 18, 2002
    2. Prepared Testimony For The Senate Foreign Relations Committee Regarding The Moscow Treaty, Department of Defense, July 17, 2002
    3. Nuclear Dangers And The State Of Security Treaties Conference Hosted By The Institute For Energy And Environmental Research (IEER), April 9, 2002

A. Nuclear Cities

1.
Zheleznogorsk And Neighbouring Cities Fail To Find Common Language
Charles Digges
Bellona
July 15, 2002
(for personal use only)


Standing in the heat, swatting at mosquitoes and answering sometimeshostile questions at a tent city pitched by environmentalists at theside of the road that leads to the closed nuclear city of Zheleznogorskis probably not how Eduard Zavdugayev wants to be spending hisafternoon.

Just 15 kilometres up that road is his office in that city, which isshown on few maps, and he is probably missing the air-conditionersadministration officials get this time of year when the summer sun burnsinto the flat Siberian plains.

Zavdugayev is the chief public affairs officer for the administration ofZheleznogorsk -also known as Krasnoyarsk-26 - which houses one ofRussia's three remaining plutonium burning reactors and an estimated3,000 tonnes of high level spent nuclear fuel (SNF) in its RT-2facility. His administration is angling for the import of even moreforeign and domestic SNF to the region to fill a proposed 20-tonnecapacity nuclear waste storage repository to be built in the region.

This combination of activities and plans has made the ZheleznogorskState Chemical Combine (GKhK) a lighting rod for fierce argumentsbetween the state and environmentalists about not only the import ofSNF, but its possible internment within the Krasnoyarsk region.

The SNF imports championed by the combine also called into questionprinciples of democracy on July 1, when the Krasnoyarsk Regional Courtupheld the scrapping of a locally generated signature drive that wouldhave forced the issue of accepting foreign SNF in the Krasnoyarsk areato a regional referendum. The court kicked the question back to Moscow,saying the handling of SNF was a federal decision.

Irreconcilable differences

As such, Zavdugayev - as an advocate of foreign SNF imports and theproposed SNF internment facility - was not making many friends at thecamp when he was invited earlier this month for a dialogue with theenvironmentalists.

"This to me is not an environmental protest," he confided to Bellona Webabout the camp.

Casting a jaded look at the protest banners and cars on the highway thathonked their support of the camp, Zavdugayev said the gathering was "anopportunity for a bunch of young kids to come out to the woods, rest alittle, have some fun. And none of them has a clue as to what we do downthe road at Zheleznogorsk - and I bet not one in ten of them couldexplain what SNF is."

"They all think life [in Zheleznogorsk] is horrible, that the city isglowing with radioactivity, but it is some of the best living you canknow in Russia," he added. "There's no crime, you can walk the streetsat night, there is a supply of food in the stores unmatched by what youcan get in these surrounding villages."

Indeed, many gathered at the camp would have loved to get a closer lookat what happens in Zheleznogorsk, but entrance permits for Russians whodon't live there take several days to process, and permits forforeigners take a month and a half. Bellona Web, at the invitation ofZavdugayev, plans to file the necessary paperwork for a legal visit.

Even so, the trips are strictly ushered affairs, say journalists andactivists who have gone on them, which show the brighter face of thecity that houses a plutonium reactor, is begging Moscow for more waste,and is one of the biggest radioactive polluters in Russia, contaminatingSiberia's Yenisey River.

Nevertheless, Zavdugayev repeated an oft-cited dictum regarding Russia'sclosed nuclear cities, the pass regimens and barbed wire that keep outundesirables, the adequate funding base from Moscow, and the highmilitary presence that lead to cleaner, safer streets and well-stockedstores is a fair exchange for living on top of a potential Hiroshima.

Health in the closed city

Pavel Morozov, the 73-year-old press secretary for the ZheleznogorskGKhK - spry despite his age and potbellied countenance - said he"couldn't think of a healthier place to live."

"We have trees and fresh air around, fishing in the Yenisey, naturalresources forest and health in abundance," he told Bellona Web whilevisiting the environmentalists' tent city with Zavdugayev.

As proof of his hail physique, he invited a bystander to punch hisbicep. Then he produced his medical papers - a small booklet containingthe results of periodic radiation check-ups by doctors required for allGKhK workers. A bad check-up in that book can mean the loss of a job fora combine worker, though Morozov did not have figures for those who washout at check-up time because of detected radiation poisoning.

"See," he said pointing to his papers. "I'm clean. I've worked at theGKhK for more than 20 years and not a thing is wrong with me." He thendid a set of pull-ups on a nearby tree branch. Dusting off his handsafter four repetitions, he said: "Your health is as safe, if not safer,living in Zheleznogorsk, and I am living proof."

Check-ups on the sly

But what of combine workers who - unlike press secretaries andbureaucrats who sit in offices - actually have to deal with theplutonium waste from the reactor, unload incoming shipments of SNF, andwork with radioactive material every day?

Several doctors in Sosnovoborsk and Krasnoyarsk, who spoke with BellonaWeb on the condition of anonymity, said they routinely treated patientsfrom the GKhK, who come to them on the sly for radiation relatedillnesses, most notably cancer. These doctors then forge a clean bill ofhealth in their patients' medical papers and return them to work.

"I have at least ten patients who will be dead within the next two yearsof cancer from radiation poisoning," said one Krasnoyarsk doctor. "Butwithout a clean bill of health, they cannot work, and if they can'twork, they get a tiny medical pension and slow death. This way they canat least pay for some treatment and prolong their lives."

Another area doctor, who makes frequent trips to Zheleznogorsk,suggested the following: "Have a look at birth and death dates on someof the gravestones in the cemetery inside the closed city and thepicture becomes clear: 1968-1995; 1955-1981; 1960-1988 - these peopleare not dying of natural causes."

But according to the Zheleznogorsk administration, it is all in how youunderstand the dangers involved.

"We already have 3,000 tonnes of SNF in storage at RT-2 and that posesno danger to anyone," said Zavdugayev. "It's not that we don'tunderstand the danger of this, but that we do understand it andunderstand that it is minimal. The greens do not understand this danger.I wouldn't want to live in any other city in Russia."

Sosnovoborsk

In Sosnovoborsk - Zheleznogorsk's immediate neighbour by 10 kilometres,many people would rather live in any other city in Russia. Built as abarracks city to house the some 5,000 workers who erectedKransnoyarsk-26, and then some of the factory workers themselves, thetown has fallen into drab disrepair of peeling paint and guttedbuildings, and the population of about 10,000 simmers with an angertoward its nuclear neighbour that, officially anyway, it can't express.

Bella Mironova, interviewed by Bellona Web on one of the town'strashewn central squares, seemed to speak for many of her fellowcitizens.

"They have waste over there that is capable of catastrophes, and thatwaste rolls not 50 meters from the edge of our town by railroad. What ifit spilled? What would there be for us then?" she said.

"And anyone can get in and out of that place and get their hands onanything they like, any kind of terrorist."

Others interviewed expressed similar sentiments and were dismayed by theKrasnoyarsk Regional Court's decision that cast aside the referendumeffort. Indeed, on June 27, a six-car trainload of SNF trundled intoZheleznogorsk through Sosnovoborsk from Ukraine.

"I want my children to grow up safely in a world where they won't bethreatened by Chernobyl type accidents," said a young mother namedSvetlana, who would not give her last name.

According to Yevgeny Spirin - effectively Sosnovoborsk's soleenvironmentalist - it is no surprise that residents were reticent togive their last names.

"These issues are the kinds of things we are all aware of but will onlytalk about in private," he said in an interview with Bellona Web. "Thereis a culture of intimidation, and when you talk too loudly aboutenvironmental safety, bad things can happen."

As an example, he cited a town meeting held in May, which dealt with anumber of planned civic improvements. Spirin's then co-environmentalactivist, Taisia Panina, spoke up about issues concerning theZheleznogorsk Combine. Discussion ground to a halt, as Spirin recountsit.

Shortly after that meeting, agents of the Federal Security Service, orFSB, visited the school where Panina worked as an administrator, and shelost her job. Then, her 16-year-old son Gleb was arrested by localpolice on a trumped up drug charge.

"He was taken to the police station where he was beaten and his pantswere torn off his body," said Spirin. "They told him they were going tofeed him to the real cons. Finally they let him go at 2:00 am, but themessage was clear enough."

Since then, a radiation related illness has kept Panina bed-ridden andout of environmental activity, and she and Gleb were unable to beinterviewed because their flat does not have a phone - a common problemin Sosnovoborsk and surrounding towns, but one that would be virtuallyunheard of in Zheleznogorsk.

Zheleznogorsk

Not that Zheleznogorsk is not suffering from problems of its own- mainlythe scheduled closure of the plutonium reactor in 2006 as part of anagreement with the US Department of Energy, which will create vastshifts in the local job market. The town also continues to suffer fromsecurity problems.

Last February, Yabloko party lawmaker Sergei Mitrokhin -accompanied by atelevision crewof three and two activists from Greenpeace - made a splash by marchingpurposefully into the RT-2 nuclear waste storage facility atZheleznogorsk via a two-by-two-meter hole in the security fence.

Filming all the way, the team followed a well-worn footpath that tookthem into the facility, where they posed for pictures next to 3,000tonnes of highly radioactive SNF. "The guards drove past us severaltimes and we passed by their sentry boxes," but were ignored, Mitrokhinrecounted at a news conference in Moscow afterwards. "I was shaken tosee it."

Copycat actions by other activists at other loosely guarded facilitiesacross Russia prompted Russia's Nuclear Ministry, or Minatom, a monthago to announce security upgrades, which included giving guards theright to shoot intruders.

But, despite these declarations, not much has improved since Mitrokhin'strip to RT-2, according to people familiar with the situation. Localactivists from Zheleznogorsk say security has been increased during theday, and some of the fences - like the one Mitrokhin breached - havebeen mended. But these activists, who spoke with Bellona Web on thecondition of anonymity, said it is still possible to make forays intoRT-2 by different routes than the one followed by Mitrokhin and hisentourage.

The activists also said that Mitrokhin's visit didn't shed light on anyparticularly new problem.

"There literally are footpaths," said one of the activists. "Anddepending on the security schedule - which Mitrokhin showed on nationaltelevision makes little difference anyway - you follow the paths and canend up at RT-2, almost by accident, it's been that way for many years."

By comparison to Sosnovoborsk, the activists describe the streets ofZheleznogorsk as clean of trash. Meters measuring background radiation,they say, hang like clocks from most of the main buildings in town.

Spent fuel routes

Similarly unattended are the railroad tracks that bear trains full ofSNF into the territory of the closed city. Bellona Web observed only onecheckpoint located a few kilometers from where the restricted areaactually began, and it was easy enough to walk along the tracks beyondthe restricted area as hikers and flower pickers and approach the sentrybox, from where guards control the gate.

The gate - as rickety as the unmanned guard tower 100 meters behind it -could be seen to hang about a half meter's distance from the groundgiving a person ample room to roll under. The sentry box itself wasempty when Bellona Web arrived and only after several shouts did thegatekeeper - an old woman obviously of pension age - appear.

She would not let the group of activists pass through her gates, thoughshe happily offered to guide them to areas closer to the restrictednuclear zone - but not officially on its grounds reachable through holesin the fence, where more verdant flower fields could be found. The groupchose against exploring that option.

"These tracks are one of my main concerns," said Spirin. "Anyone dressedup as a mushroom hunter can get close to them. My fear, naturally, isthat terrorists will blow up the rails and cause a spill of highlyradioactive SNF."

For now, though, there are relatively few people Spirin can share hisfears with, besides groups of like-minded activists who occasionallydrift in his remote direction.

"The authorities are not going to pay attention until something awfulhappens, and even then, their reaction will be flaccid," he said. "Letwhoever in and out of the city through these fence holes as long as theadministration can keep the notion of peace and security and blockoutsiders from interfering with their plans, even if it means pressuringthe residents of Sosnovoborsk into silence."
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2.
Tending To Russia's Nuclear Family
Brandon Spun
Insight
August 2002
(for personal use only)


Unemployment can be rough, especially for a Russian nuclear scientist ofthe Cold War era. When that era came to an end, so did the careers ofthousands of highly specialized workers. But while both Russians andAmericans lost jobs, American nuclear scientists had advantages:favorable laws, good communications and infrastructure, easy access tothe job market and a relatively strong economy, to name a few.

The American scientists also were not confined to the "closed cities"spread across Russia from Moscow through Siberia and overseen byMINATOM, the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy. Since their constructionin the 1940s, these weapons-design and production sites have beensurrounded by guards and gates and closed to the outside world, withspecial permission required to enter or leave them.

The closed Soviet cities were self-sustaining communities, dedicated tothe production and design of modern weapons. The cities protected theprivilege and economic well-being of the Soviet scientists, engineers,technicians and their families who lived and worked behind their walls.These cities boasted an estimated total population of 800,000, many ofwhom lost their jobs in the end.

An unemployed nuclear scientist is a potentially dangerous person whoseskills and know-how might be bought by the highest bidder, includingsuch rogue nations as Iran, North Korea and Iraq. The Nuclear CitiesInitiative, a joint project between the U.S. Department of Energy andMINATOM, was created to deal with unemployment issues involving Russiannuclear scientists, with the idea being to make sure that Russia finds aplace for these workers - lest they sell their skills to rogue states.

The American project manager for the Nuclear Cities Initiative is DavidZigelman, with whom Insight talked recently.

Insight: Why are unemployed Russian weapons scientists our business?

David Zigelman: These scientists were making $1,000 to $12,000 a year.It was not a lot by our standards, but they were taken care of by theirgovernment. They lived quite well, but that no longer is the case.

The Russian government doesn't have the money to continue paying thesepeople, and neither Russia nor the U.S. wants them working for, say,North Korea, Iran or Iraq. So our partnership began about three to fiveyears ago, after peace broke out.

This work is important because a country like the People's Republic ofChina might offer one of these scientists $500,000 to help develop aweapon. That's a strong incentive, especially to desperate men in anunemployment line. So we must find commercial jobs for them at $50,000to $100,000 a year or risk their defection.

These people need our assistance because moving out of those citiesmeans they suddenly will have to pay rent for the first time in aneconomy that no longer needs their services.

Insight: Where do you come into this scheme of things?

DZ: I was working at Savannah River for Westinghouse where we madenuclear materials. In 1998 the Department of Energy [DOE] recruited mefor the Nuclear Cities Initiative. I had experience in downsizing,economic diversification and business development.

But I never would have believed it if I had been told I would be workingwith Russians on a project like this. It's an opportunity few have,especially those who don't speak Russian.

I help these scientists formulate new projects. Often they believe that,because they have the technology and capability to make a product, thatproduct will be valued in the marketplace. They take an engineeringapproach, a supply-side approach, but the market is driven by marketforces. One cannot push a product down a buyer's throat.

I also help get funding from the DOE for the projects we developtogether and for the commercial partners with whom we work. I helpdevelop the partners, contracts, publicity and follow the basicexecution of each project. One big project was the establishment of amajor telemedicine center.

Insight: What is your relationship with the Russians?

DZ: It depends which Russians. In the closed cities, they call me the"Godfather." I go to a city and sit down at the end of a table whilegroup after group comes and pitches projects. I have become their sugardaddy. It's like the movies: "Godfather, I need money for this;Godfather, I need money for that."

I travel to these cities about three or four times a year. I would liketo spend a lot more time there but usually it is difficult to get intothem, and I only have a few weeks each year to do this. Sometimes youget permission and sometimes you don't. It's strange because you'd thinka sugar daddy would always be welcome.

One trouble is that MINATOM, the Russian DOE, gives us static. We have arocky relationship at times and can get tangled up in pissing contests.Luckily one group will recognize the importance of the program whenanother views us as a threat.

One faction probably still believes we're spies. But inside the citiesour relationship is fine. In the news, President George W. Bush andVladimir Putin seem the best of friends, but there still are bureaucratsexercising their authority to use or not use a rubber stamp. Thisrelationship is, after all, a radical change.

Insight: How important are these scientists and engineers? Are theirminds as potentially threatening as the raw materials on which theymight get their hands?

DZ: The U.S. spends $5 million to $6 million on managing thesemi-obsolete products that are a threat to nuclear proliferation. Whenthe Iron Curtain fell, all the satellite countries sent Russia theirnukes because they didn't want them. This included nuclear submarines,spent cores, bombs and other nuclear materials. It is obviouslyimportant to get these things off the Russian market. But Russia did nothave the money to safely guard and secure them.

This is not the whole story. There are other things to worry about.People say that given the right materials anyone can make a nuclearweapon with plans from the Internet or magazines like Popular Science.Well, you could make a crude device, a dirty bomb, for instance, but tomake something deliverable in a missile or a payload for a bomber, youneed to make the device as small as possible. In that case, materialsare not all there is to the equation. You might make a bomb, but withoutthe scientists you would never get fusion.

Insight: What is the future of the Nuclear Cities Initiative?

DZ: Hopefully, I will be retired in 10 years. But, in one form oranother, assuming we don't go hostile with one another again, thereshould be a nonproliferation program for the next 20 years. It'simportant because, even if you dismantle [the weapons], you still haveto do something with the raw materials and information which could beused to construct weapons.

Also, the old ICBM [intercontinental ballistic missile] treaty justisn't applicable any longer. Once there were 6,000 warheads aimed atboth countries. Even now, with the reconstructed treaties, there stillare around 1,500. Unfortunately, it costs money to build weapons andeven more to disarm them.

Insight: Why was the end of the Cold War so devastating for the Russianscientists and technicians?

DZ: There have been two nuclear industries worldwide - the commercialsector and the military. The commercial was hit hard by Chernobyl in theU.S.S.R. and Three Mile Island in the U.S. Then the military downsizedat the end of the Cold War. In the United States there have always beenpeople moving back and forth between the two, because they often involvethe same companies. So the result wasn't too dramatic here when theweapons race wound down. Also, environmental-restoration projects herehelped because factories in Rocky Flats [Colo.], Washington [state] andOhio utilized many of these employees.

None of this was the case in Russia. People didn't have the mobility orflexibility. For instance, some scientists here just went into thenational labs or into teaching, while in Russia this was regarded asimpossible for reasons of national security.

Insight: What is the sense you get from these people? How are theyhandling the shift? Do you believe some will leave and defect?

DZ: Some want to go back and start making weapons again. Many are justvery uncomfortable. Change is difficult. These scientists were recruitedout of high school as being the best and put in special colleges withthe understanding that they would be part of an elite force working inclosed cities.

Working in those cities meant working for the protection of themotherland - a great honor - and it meant both security and prestige.Now they must find commercial jobs, some as menials manufacturingplastic dinnerware. When suddenly one does much less important work, itcan seem degrading. Many yearn for the good old days.

I am not sure if any will defect. But they wouldn't have to leave thecities to do so. Many have Internet access in their homes and could dowork online.

Brandon Spun is a free-lance writer for Insight magazine.
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B. Multilateral Threat Reduction

1.
G-8 Pledges $20 Million For WMD Threat Reduction
Devon Chaffee
Center for Defense Information
July 11, 2002
(for personal use only)


On the last day of their economic summit in Canada last month, the G-8nations agreed to spend $20 million in a new "Global Partnership againstthe Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction." Though thisagreement may signify an increase in international commitment toaddressing the threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), difficultiesaccompanying implementation should not be underestimated.

The Bush administration was able to convince Europe, Japan and Canada tocommit significant funds to WMD threat reduction activities that theUnited States has supported for years, but whose benefits are widespread. The partnership welcomes other non-G-8 countries to becomecontributing members, leaving the door open for enlarging theinitiative.

Top priorities for the partnership include destruction of chemicalweapons, the dismantlement of decommissioned nuclear submarines, thedisposition of fissile materials and the employment of former weaponsscientists, initially within Russia.

The G-8 leaders also announced that they "would be willing to enter intonegotiations with any other recipient countries," opening thepossibility for funds to be given to states not currently receiving suchassistance through U.S. programs. Such activity would be in line withSenator Richard Lugar's (R-Ind.) initiatives to expand so called"Nunn-Lugar" assistance to countries beyond the Former Soviet Union.

However, essential details of the partnership remain to be sorted out,including which countries will provide what percentage of the designatedfunds, and how the use of such funds will be coordinated.

Coordination of Nunn-Lugar initiatives between federal agencies in thiscountry and between the United States and Russian authorities has been astruggle. There have been problem programs such as the U.S.-builtSiberian factories that were to dispose of Russian rocket fuel.Unfortunately, by the time the factories were completed, this fuel hadused for other purposes by the Russian government. One can only imaginethat multilateral coordination will prove even more difficult, given thearray of bureaucratic agencies in any one of the many participatingcountries.

No central organizational body was established for the implementation ofthe Global Partnership initiative, and each country is to hold primaryresponsibility for fulfilling its obligation. The only coordinationmeasure laid out thus far is an annual review, which is likely to proveinsufficient for coordinating complex cooperation projects.

If coordination issues are not addressed the partnership could result inthe wasting of valuable resources and time, leaving an urgent securityrisk -- the spread of weapons of mass destruction -- ineffectivelyaddressed.

Even if the programs are successfully coordinated, the challenge ofextracting the committed funds from the parliaments involved isconsiderable. There may be disagreement over how the financial burdenwill be distributed among participating states. Also, other countriesmay encounter the difficulties that have impeded U.S. efforts whencongress attaches political conditions to Nunn-Lugar funds, restrictingthe flow of assistance.

Though obstacles facing the new G8 Global Partnership are significant,this political pledge holds the potential for sizable gains in WMDthreat reduction in Russia and elsewhere. As is the case with mostlong-term assistance programs, the real test will be in successfulimplementation.
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C. Spent Nuclear Fuel

1.
Minister Says Russia Ready To Import Spent Nuclear Fuel In December
RFE/RL Newsline
July 15, 2002
(for personal use only)


Atomic Energy Minister Aleksandr Rumyantsev told reporters on 12 Julythat Russia will be ready to accept spent nuclear fuel for reprocessingin December of this year, ITAR-TASS reported. According to the minister,another four amendments to the document permitting such imports will beadopted by November. He complained that South Korea would like todeliver such fuel to Russia; however, the United States is in no hurryto all allow South Korea to do this since its nuclear fuel is "100percent American." Rumyantsev also said that Russia will take back allthe spent nuclear fuel from the nuclear-power plant that it is currentlybuilding in Bushehr, Iran.
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D. Russia-U.S.

1.
Senators: US Should Press For More Cuts
Associated Press
July 18, 2002
(for personal use only)


The United States should press for bigger cuts and tighter security forRussia's nuclear arsenal after the likely ratification of PresidentGeorge W. Bush's arms reduction treaty, senior senators said Wednesday.

The pact calls for cutting both nations' long-range nuclear stockpilesto between 1,700 and 2,200 warheads each. Top members of the SenateForeign Relations Committee said they expected the Senate to ratify thetreaty but called it only one step toward reducing the worldwide nuclearthreat.

"I'm for it, but I hope it's not the end of the ride," committeechairman Joseph Biden said at a hearing on the treaty. "I hope we'regoing to be doing more." Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said theBush administration wants to do more and will be meeting with Russianofficials to work toward that goal. The United States will continuepressing for ways to verify that Russia has carried out its weaponsreduction plans, for example, Rumsfeld said.

But that issue isn't a big concern with the latest agreement, Rumsfeldsaid, because both Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin havepledged a two-thirds cut in their nuclear arsenals whether the treaty isratified or not. Bush and Putin signed the three-page treaty in May andBush submitted it to the Senate in June, asking for a quick vote onratification. Biden and Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, a top Republicanon the Foreign Relations panel, said they saw no problems ahead for thepact's ratification.

The treaty calls for each nation to cut its stockpile from about 6,000weapons to between 1,700 and 2,200 by 2012. The treaty does not requirethe decommissioned warheads to be destroyed, one point that critics saymakes the treaty nearly meaningless.
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2.
Moscow And Washington Ponder Energy Cooperation
RIA Novosti
July 18, 2002
(for personal use only)


Moscow and Washington are discussing plans for energy cooperationbetween the two countries.

The press and information department at the Russian Foreign Ministryreports that a meeting was held on Thursday between Russian deputyforeign minister Georgi Mamedov and acting head of the US nationalnuclear security administration and energy undersecretary Linton Brooks.

The two "thoroughly discussed practical questions, including the startof bilateral negotiations on the implementation of agreements on GlobalPartnership Against the Proliferation of Mass Destruction Weapons andMaterials, which were reached by the G8 leaders in Kananaskis", said theForeign Ministry.

"The Russian side paid special attention to the salvaging of nuclearsubmarines removed from the fighting strength of the Navy", reads thecommunique of the Russian foreign policy establishment.

The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that the sides also spoke ofpreparations for a visit to Russia by American Energy Secretary SpencerAbraham, scheduled for late July-early August. His visit "is to becomean important stage in the development of energy cooperation between thetwo countries", it stressed.
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3.
Senators Expect Approval Of U.S.-Russia Arms Treaty
Vicki Allen
Reuters
July 17, 2002
(for personal use only)


Senators said on Wednesday approval of a U.S.-Russia nuclear arms treatywas all but certain but they pressed the Bush administration to providemore details of how material from dismantled Russian arms would be keptaway from rogue nations.

"I expect this committee and indeed the full Senate to support thistreaty as -- on balance -- it enhances our national security," SenateForeign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden, a Delaware Democrat,told Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

But Biden and Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana said lawmakersneeded more information on how the treaty to slash both nations' nucleararsenals by some two-thirds over 10 years would be carried out, and whatwould be done to keep material from dismantled Russian weapons fromfalling into the hands of rogue nations.

"If this treaty leads Russia to put thousands of warheads in poorlysecured storage ... then I wonder whether it will really make the UnitedStates more secure," Biden said at a committee hearing.

Without more U.S. help for Moscow to dismantle and secure its nuclearweapons, Lugar said, "I believe it is likely that the benefits of thistreaty will be postponed and perhaps never realized."

Lugar said "getting rid of thousands of weapons you don't need" shouldmake both countries safer, but said "getting rid of the fissile materialposes a whole new set of problems."

Rumsfeld said it was impossible now to gauge the costs of the accord toreduce each country's deployed strategic nuclear warheads to between1,700 and 2,200 from about 6,000 because few decisions had been made onhow the countries would implement the treaty.

Under terms of the brief treaty which Rumsfeld said was written to giveboth countries flexibility to deal with emerging threats, Moscow andWashington could store warheads or destroy them.

Rumsfeld downplayed a comment Secretary of State Colin Powell made lastweek indicating that the Pentagon may keep up to 4,600 warheadsavailable, saying that was "a theoretical" figure, and it had not beendecided.

While the Bush administration has heralded the treaty as a symbol of anew era of trust and cooperation with Moscow, Biden and Lugar complainedthat the U.S. program to keep Russian nuclear material from reachingrogue nations or radical groups was being hampered by concerns overRussia's chemical weapons policies.

"As much as you trust them, you don't trust them enough for us to goforward" with parts of the nonproliferation program, Biden said.

Under the program, the president must certify each year that Russia is"committed to the goals of arms control." But Bush did not certify thatthis year because of questions over whether Russia was complying withchemical and biological weapons agreements.

Biden and Lugar urged Rumsfeld to lobby Congress harder to grant awaiver for the certification requirement to let work proceed ondismantling Russian weapons.
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4.
Government Expects Rapid Ratification Of Arms-Reduction Treaty
RFE/RL Newsline
July 15, 2002
(for personal use only)


The Foreign Ministry urged the State Duma to make ratification of theU.S.-Russian Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty a top priority forits fall session, ITAR-TASS reported on 12 July. Foreign Ministryspokesman Aleksandr Yakovenko said that the ministry has completed ananalysis of the treaty and prepared all the necessary ratificationdocuments. "We are counting on a positive result," Yakovenko was quotedas saying.
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E. Russia-Iran

1.
Russian Assistance To Iran
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
July 17, 2002
(for personal use only)


The Bush administration had three security priorities with regards toRussia when it assumed office: withdraw from the ABM Treaty, pursue itsvision of nuclear arms reduction, and stop Russian assistance to Iran'snuclear and missile programs. Having achieved the first two, theAdministration is poised to turn its attention to the issue overRussia's assistance to Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and long-rangeballistic missiles. Secretary of State Powell noted as much during hisJuly 9 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, statingthat the issue of Iran would be at the top of the agenda when Powell andDefense Secretary Rumsfeld met with their Russian counterparts inSeptember as part of the newly established four party group.

In advance of that meeting, it is worth reviewing the bidding on Iran'snuclear and missile capabilities and the extent to which Russia isinvolved - officially and unofficially - in supporting both. Theinformation below is taken from Deadly Arsenals: Tracking Weapons ofMass Destruction.

Nuclear Weapon Capability

Iran currently has no nuclear-weapon capability, but it is known to bepursuing a nuclear-weapon option. The intelligence services of theGermany, Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States haveconfirmed the existence of a long-term program to manufacture nuclearweapons. The U.S. Department of Defense cites Iran as "one of thecountries most active in seeking to acquire NBC [nuclear-, biological,chemical-] and missile-related technologies." Iran has the basic nucleartechnology and infrastructure to build a bomb, and "Iran's success inachieving a nuclear capability will depend, to a large extent, on thesupply policies of Russia and China or on Iran's successful illicitacquisition of adequate quantities of weapons-usable fissile material."

Missile Capability

Iran possesses about 300 Scud-Bs with a 300-kilometer range and 1,000-kilogram payload, and approximately 100 Scud-Cs with a 500-kilometerrange. Having received North Korean assistance, Iran is nowmanufacturing Scuds. The country also has 200 Chinese-supplied CSS-8missiles with an estimated range of 150 kilometers and a payload of 190kilograms, purchased in late 1989. The short-range series is developedand manufactured primarily as a counterweight against Iraq. Iran hastested the medium-range Shahab III, a derivative of the North Korean NoDong, with a range of 1,300 kilometers and a payload of about 750kilograms. United States officials assess that Tehran could have theShahab III on "emergency operational status." This MRBM can reachIsrael, although it requires further testing in order to be considered a"reliable threat." The country is also reportedly developing the ShahabIV, with a range of 2,000 kilometers and payload of 1,000 kilograms.

Nuclear Assistance

In 1995, Tehran signed an $800 million deal with Moscow to finish thefirst of the two units (Bushehr) by 2001. Under the contract, Russia isalso to provide low-enriched uranium fuel for a period of ten years. Inthe course of consultation with the United States, however, Russia hasdropped its previously contemplated plan to assist Iran in uraniumenrichment.

Russia's assistance with the Bushehr nuclear plant is important toIran's weapon program. Its pressurized-water-power reactors areparticularly unsuitable to produce weapons-grade material. The1,000-megawatt nuclear power reactor is under IAEA safeguards and issimilar to the light water reactor supplied by the United States toNorth Korea under the terms of the Agreed Framework. Bushehr's benefitsto Iran's nuclear weapon program are likely to be largely indirect. Theproject will augment Iran's nuclear technology infrastructure, helpingTehran's nuclear weapon research and development. Iran will also benefitfrom the presence of thousands of Russian nuclear scientists who areexpected to take part in the Bushehr project. Iran might also try tohide illicit transfers of technology and materials in the stream ofpermitted commerce. Further, Russian "entities" are known to offernuclear assistance that extends beyond the Bushehr nuclear plant.

Missile Assistance

During 1997, U.S. press reports quoted U.S. and Israeli intelligencefindings that Russian enterprises, including cashapped Russiantechnical institutes, research facilities, and defense productioncompanies, were transferring to Iran Russian SS-4 MRBM technologies.According to these assessments, Iran hoped to employ these SS-4 MRBMtechnologies to develop two Iranian derivatives of the1,000-kilometer-range North Korean No Dong missile. The first indigenousmissile, the Shahab III, is projected to have a range between 1,300 and1,500 kilometers. The second such missile is the Shahab IV, which has a2,000-kilometer range and a 1,000-kilogram payload.

In September 1997 then-Vice President Al Gore raised the issue in Moscowwith Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, as a result of which there wasa visible decline in Russian assistance until the summer of 1998.Nevertheless, Russian assistance remains critical to Iran's developmentof the Shahab series, helping Iran "to save years in its development ofthe Shahab III"; further it "could significantly accelerate the pace ofits ballistic missile development program." The Shahab III was tested inJuly 1998, July 2000, and September 2000. United States officialsbelieve that only the September 1998 test was successful. In February1999 Iran said that it was testing the Shahab IV but that it would beused only as a satellite-launch vehicle. Iran has publicly mentionedplans for a Shahab V, with a possible range of 6,000 kilometers.
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2.
Rumyantsev Confirms Iran Fuel Deal
Moscow Times
July 15, 2002
(for personal use only)


Nuclear Power Minister Alexander Rumyantsev said Friday that Russia willtake back spent nuclear fuel from the nuclear power station it isbuilding in Iran. Rumyantsev's announcement confirmed statements madeThursday by officials in his ministry who spoke on condition ofanonymity. Rumyantsev said Russia and Iran were drawing up the protocol,which he said should be signed in September or October, The AssociatedPress reported

"We'll provide them with fresh fuel and take back the spent," he wasquoted as saying. And Russia would not provide any fuel at all "untilthe signed regulations are in place."

The spent fuel has been a major concern both for the United States andnonproliferation experts because it could be converted intoweapons-grade radioactive material and could thereby accelerate Iran'sefforts to develop its own nuclear weapons.
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3.
Moscow to Deliver Nuclear Turbines to Iran on August: Russian Minister
Tehran Times
July 13, 2002
(for personal use only)


Russia will hand over turbines destined for Iran's Bushehr Nuclear PowerPlant in August, IRNA reported.

The Russian Atomic Energy Minister told a press conference on Fridaythat the construction work of the first phase of Bushehr plant is nearcompletion and the heavy machinery including turbines and other atomicreactors parts will be destined for Iran.

He said Russian has proposed Iran the construction of another nuclearplant with a 1,000 megawatt capacity but the Tehran has not yet decidedon the feasibility and the site of the project.

Russian officials have tacitly reported of the construction of anotherpower plant in Iran.
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F. Russia-China

1.
Russian-Chinese Cooperation In Nuclear Energy Continues Successfully
Pravda
July 13, 2002
(for personal use only)


According to the statement Alexander Rumiantsev, Russia's Minister ofNuclear Energy, made during a press conference on Friday,Russian-Chinese cooperation in nuclear energy was continuingsuccessfully. Mr. Rumiantsev said a delegation of Russia's nuclearenergy professionals had recently returned from China.

The minister said the delegation had visited a Russian-designed Chinesenuclear power plant now under construction, Russian equipment used. Oneof the two power units is nearly completed and is being equipped. Theconstruction of the second unit continues. The minister said he wasdelighted with the speed the work was done. The power plant is expectedto go into operation in 2004.

Mr. Rumiantsev also said, a fast reactor was being made in Russia to besold to China, its design identical with that of the one installed atRussia's Beloyarsk nuclear plant.

The minister admitted that nuclear weapons were also discussed duringthe visit of the Russian delegation. Russian professionals related theexperience they had gained during conversion process. Mr. Rumiantsevsaid that an official protocol had been prepared to summarise theresults of this visit.
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2.
Petersburg Baltiisky Plant Starts Delivering Equipment For The ChineseTian-Wang Nuclear Power Plant
Pravda
July 8, 2002
(for personal use only)


The Petersburg Baltiisky Plant has started delivering equipment for theChinese Tian-Wang Nuclear Power Plant.

As the press service of the Baltiisky Plant reported on Monday, thefirst heat exchanger, out of the six, which the plant produces for thefirst and the second power generating units of the Tian Wang NuclearPower Plant, has already been made. Till the end of July it is plannedto send to China another two heat exchangers for the first powergenerating unit.

The detail design of the heat exchangers has been developed at theRussian Research Institute of Nuclear Machine-Building in Moscow, andthe contractor design - at the Specialised Design Bureau ofBoiler-Building.

The heat exchangers can stand an 8.0 earthquake and have a 40-yearstrength, reported the press service. The Tian-Wang Nuclear Power Plantis being built in the city of Lianyungan in the East Chinese province ofJiangsu. The first, out of the four, power-generating unit is planned toput into operation in November 2004.
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G. Russia-Japan

1.
U.S. May Allow Japan To Export Nuclear Waste To Russia
Kyodo News
July 13, 2002
(for personal use only)


The United States is ready to study the feasibility of allowingcountries using its nuclear fuel - namely Japan and South Korea - toexport nuclear waste to Russia, Nuclear Energy Minister AleksandrRumyantsev said Friday.

Japan has said it does not have any plans to export waste from itsnuclear power plants to Russia.

Consent from the country that produced nuclear fuel is necessary toexport waste from the fuel. The U.S. produces some 90% of nuclear fuelglobally.

The Izvestiya newspaper reported July 5 that the U.S. may allow SouthKorea and Taiwan to export nuclear waste to Russia for disposal andstorage as they have trouble disposing and storing it domestically.

The Russian minister, however, said Taiwan has not been named regardingthe matter.

He mentioned Japan and South Korea during a press conference but saidany formal negotiations on the matter have yet to begin.
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2.
Japan Reports Progress In Burning Russian Weapons Plutonium
UIC Weekly News Digest
June 12, 2002
(for personal use only)


The Japan Nuclear Fuel Cycle Development Institute (JNC) has reportedthat it has successfully burned a test batch of mixed oxide (MOX) fuelmade from 60 kg of Russian weapons plutonium. The 22-month test wasundertaken in Russia's BN-600 fast reactor at Beloyarsk, using compactedgranular fuel instead of conventional pellets. The work was carried outas part of international non-proliferation activities to dispose ofplutonium from dismantled weapons, which differs significantly from thatin normal MOX fuel.

By 2004 it is expected that the new MOX fuel using weapons-gradeplutonium will be routinely burned in the BN-600 core, replacinghighly-enriched uranium.
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H. Russian Nuclear Forces

1.
Typhoon Submarine Scrapping Continues
David Ruppe
Global Security Newswire
July 16, 2002
(for personal use only)


Russia has nearly finished scrapping one of its six Typhoon-classstrategic nuclear missile launching submarines and is preparing todismantle a second, U.S. sources said this week.

Armed with 20 ballistic missiles with 10 warheads each, Typhoonsubmarines - Russia calls them Akulas - are the world's largest, andthey were one of the most feared submarines during the Cold War. Thesubject of Tom Clancy's novel The Hunt for Red October, for example, wasbased on the Typhoon.

Through the U.S.-funded Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program,begun in the early 1990s, officials have been carrying out thedestruction at the Sevmash shipyard in the Northern Fleet base ofSeverodvinsk. At least 20 strategic missile submarines have beendestroyed so far through CTR, including one Russian Delta IV submarine,the most modern of the Russian fleet.

Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) told reporters at a briefing May 17 thathe hoped all six Typhoons would eventually be scrapped through theprogram. Contracts for dismantlement and destruction, however, aresigned one submarine at a time, and work on the first Typhoon isbelieved to be continuing. Russian officials previously have said thatfour or five Typhoons would be destroyed. Scrapping all six wouldeliminate the platforms for delivering 1,200 Russian nuclear warheads.

>From the Russian point of view, Typhoon elimination is motivated largelyby cost, experts said.

"The Typhoons, being very large, are very expensive to maintain," saidnaval expert Norman Polmar. "The larger the ship, generally the moreexpensive they are," he said. "It's a very sophisticated submarine.They were certainly the most innovative ballistic missile submarinesbuilt during the nuclear era."

Lugar visited Sevmash last August and witnessed dismantlement work onthe first Typhoon. The destruction is a multi-step process involvingdefueling, cutting out missile launch tubes for verification, disposingof the nuclear reactor and then cutting up the hull.

Scarce Resources, Declining Forces

The elimination of the Typhoons, first deployed in the early 1980s,reflects a declining trend in Russian strategic submarine forcecapabilities since the 1980s, attributed in part to scarce funding andfacilitated by the CTR program (see GSN, July 9).

Three Typhoons were decommissioned in the mid-1990s, according toanalyst Igor Kudrik of the Norwegian environmental organization Bellona,which monitors Russian nuclear weapons activities. The remaining boatsin service have seen little or no activity in recent years, according toKudrik.

A single Typhoon was overhauled and modernized over the last 12 years,according to Russian wire service reports. That boat, the DmitryDonskoy, was launched last month, the reports said.

Russia also has a new fourth-generation submarine program underway, withthe first keel laid in November 1996 and service scheduled to begin assoon as 2003-2004. Skeptics say service could be delayed until 2010 orbeyond because of lack of funding.

Along with the reportedly refurbished submarine, Russia may only haveabout a dozen strategic nuclear submarines left - six Delta IIIs and sixDelta IVs- said Stan Norris, an analyst at the Natural Resources DefenseCouncil in Washington.

"The future does not look bright" for Russia's strategic submarineforce, Norris said, estimating the future force "may not be larger than10," down from an estimated Cold War peak of about 62 (see GSN, May 6).

The active Delta submarines also rarely go out to sea, said Norris.

"Not more than one or two here go on patrol at any time. The wholetempo has been slashed," he said.

According to the U.S. Navy, there were 31 Russian ballistic missilesubmarine patrols in 1991. In 2001, there was only one, Norris said, but"they do have the capability to launch missiles from dockside."

Reductions Across Russia's Strategic Force

The Bush administration, reflecting its Nuclear Posture Review, has saidit is planning to reduce the U.S. strategic submarine force from 18 to14, reconfiguring four submarines for nonstrategic missions.

Norris said the United States has traditionally relied more uponsubmarines in its strategic nuclear triad than has Russia. While maybe25 percent of Russia's warheads have been on submarines, about half ofU.S. warheads were, he said, with the remainder in each case on ICBMsand bombers. Polmar said the United States had a peak of 41 strategicsubmarines in operation during the Cold War.

Russia's other strategic nuclear forces have been shrinking and areexpected to continue that trend. As of last August, the CTR programhelped pay for the destruction of at least 428 ballistic missiles, 390ballistic missile launchers, 87 bombers, 483 long-range nuclearair-launched cruise missiles, 352 submarine missile launchers and 225submarine-launched ballistic missiles, as well as strategic missilesubmarines.

Altogether, approximately 5,600 warheads that were once on strategicsystems aimed at the United States have been deactivated through theprogram. The U.S. intelligence community predicted earlier this yearthat without significant new funding, warhead numbers would drop tobelow 2,000 warheads by 2015.

While Russia has been reducing its nuclear launchers, Russian officialshave said they will match the United States and not destroy warheadstaken out of active service.
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2.
Ukraine: DTRA Team Arrives To Verify SS-24 Destruction
Mike Nartker
Global Security Newswire
July 16, 2002
(for personal use only)


A U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency inspection team arrived inUkraine yesterday to verify that the destruction of former Soviet SS-24ICBMs has been carried out as required by the Strategic Arms ReductionTreaty.

The on-site team traveled to Pavlorhad to verify the dismantlement of 54missiles stored there. Out of those, 46 silo-based SS-24s had beendisassembled by February, DTRA spokesman Lt. Dan Gai said. Thesilo-based ICBMs each consist of 16 START-designated components, out ofwhich 13 have been dismantled, Gai said. The elimination and disposalof these components is expected to be completed by the end of this year,he added. The three remaining components - loaded motor stageassemblies - are expected to be disposed of between 2005 and 2007, Gaisaid.
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3.
Search For Reusable Space Vehicle Continues In Kamchatka
Interfax
July 15, 2002
(for personal use only)


A search is underway for the Demonstrator-2 reusable space vehicle thatwas launched from a submarine on July 12 and landed about 30 minuteslater in Kamchatka.

The Northern Fleet submarine Ryazan launched the vehicle, which featuresan inflatable braking system.

"Experts are analyzing the flight's telemetric data and the search forthe vehicle continues in its probable landing area in Kamchatka," aspokesman of the Babakin Research Center, Lidiya Avdeyeva, told Interfaxon Monday.

The results of the unique experiment can only be discussed after thedevice is found, Avdeyeva said.

The use of inflatable braking systems with a changeable temperaturemaintenance system in cargo deliveries from outer space to earth wastested in the experiment.
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I. Nuclear Terrorism

1.
Al-Qaida Weapon Access Worries U.S.
Associated Press
July 18, 2002
(for personal use only)


Although U.S. troops in Afghanistan turned up no evidence that al-Qaidahad nuclear weapons, the Pentagon still worries the terrorist networkcould get them from sources in other countries, a senior official said.

Stephen Younger, director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, saidextensive searches in Afghanistan showed al-Qaida was interested innuclear technologies, as well as biological and chemical weapons.

He said they had made little progress toward building their own bombsbefore U.S. forces intervened last fall, drove the Taliban regime frompower and sent surviving al-Qaida leaders into hiding.

``Al-Qaida has been trying to get a weapons of mass destructioncapability,'' he told a group of reporters Wednesday. ``I think they hada limited infrastructure in Afghanistan to produce it indigenously.

``However, that doesn't mean that they don't have a different capabilityelsewhere,'' he added. Later he said this meant that al-Qaida leadersmay have connections in other countries that already have thetechnological base for building nuclear weapons. They have the money tomake such links, he said, and they have ``access to people in countrieswith advanced technological capability.''

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has publicly raised the possibilitythat Iraq could be such a supplier for al-Qaida or other internationalterrorist groups.

Al-Qaida's interest in biological weapons seemed to be focused mainly onanthrax, Younger said.

In light of the Sept. 11 attacks and concerns within the Bushadministration that international terrorists might link up with Iraq toobtain weapons of mass destruction, the Pentagon is exploring new waysto neutralize or destroy biological and chemical weapons that might bestored underground.

Younger said one possibility is a warhead that would encapsulate abiological or chemical weapons facility with a hard or sticky foamrather than blow it up with conventional bombs.

Another possibility is a nonexploding warhead that spreads flammablematerials to incinerate biological agents.

Both approaches are still on the drawing board. They would bealternatives to conventional high explosive warheads, which might allowcontaminants to escape, threatening civilians or U.S. troops.

``It's not as simple as blowing it up,'' Younger said.

Younger said that although the United States does not know what kinds ofweapons Iraq may have developed since U.N. inspections ended in 1998, itis a ``reasonable assumption'' based on Saddam Hussein's track recordthat the Iraqi president either has or is pursuing weapons of massdestruction.

Iraq claims it has no weapons of mass destruction.

The Pentagon is contemplating other unpleasant scenarios that couldemerge in Iraq or elsewhere, Younger said.

One possibility: a U.S. satellite detects a Scud ballistic missile,possibly armed with biological agents, being readied for launch. Whatcould the United States do to stop it if there were no U.S. strikeaircraft nearby and ready?

In the future, an answer might be to strike with a non-nuclearintercontinental ballistic missile, which has the advantage of very highspeed. For now, all the United States' ICBMs on land and at sea arearmed with nuclear warheads. To switch some to non-nuclear roles wouldcreate political issues; launching one in a crisis would raise fears inMoscow and elsewhere that a nuclear war was under way.

Younger's agency also is working on other kinds of advanced non-nuclearweapons. He said experiments have been done on arming a Hellfireair-to-ground missile with a thermobaric warhead, which ignites anexplosive mist that sends a powerful shock wave through a cave ortunnel, annihilating everything and everyone inside.

Such a weapon is likely to be ready for use ``in fairly short order,''Younger said without being more specific.

At least one thermobaric weapon was used by the Air Force inAfghanistan, but it has never been developed in a warhead small enoughto fit onto a Hellfire missile. Although the Hellfire normally islaunched from a helicopter, some have been fired in Afghanistan fromPredator unmanned drones.
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J. Nuclear Safety

1.
Fruit In Central Russia Gets Glowing Review
RFE/RL Newsline
July 15, 2002
(for personal use only)


Workers in the State Health Inspectorate discovered that five of 12samples of bilberries that they took from a market in Orel turned out tobe radioactive, ITAR-TASS reported on 14 June. According to the agency,the berries were found to be contaminated with cesium-137. Berries inBryansk Oblast were also found to contain the same substance. Statemedical doctor for Orel Oblast's inspectorate Yurii Odintsov told theagency that "this is not the first time that cesium has been found inberries," and that last year it was discovered in fruit in Bryansk andKaluga oblasts. Odintsov said that it is necessary to demand fromsellers certificates confirming that their berries do not containharmful substances.
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K. Nuclear Waste

1.
Russian Watchdog Attacks Plan To Import Nuclear Waste
Ian Traynor
The Guardian
July 13, 2002
(for personal use only)


Russia`s official nuclear watchdog has delivered an unprecedenteddemolition of the government`s plans to become the world`s leadingimporter of nuclear waste, denouncing the scheme as half-baked,misleading and "technologically impossible".

In documents leaked to Greenpeace and passed to the Guardian,Gosatomnadzor, the state nuclear supervisory agency, described the planto import and store or reprocess spent nuclear fuel as unacceptable.

The atomic energy ministry, the key lobby pushing the scheme, whichclaims that nuclear waste imports could earn Russia $20bn over the nextdecade, has drafted a lengthy "analysis" of the plan for the Kremlinahead of President Vladimir Putin`s signing off on the imports project.

The plan was prepared last year by three new laws, despite 2.5 millionsignatures petitioning for a referendum on the controversial topic.

In a letter to Alexander Rumyantsev, the atomic energy minister, YuriVishnevsky, the head of the watchdog, systematically criticised thegovernment argument.

The Mayak plant in the Urals, where the waste is to be stored,represented a big environmental threat and was unsuitable because:

The plant`s operators were continuing, routinely and illegally, to dumpliquid radioactive waste in nearby reservoirs; laws governing nuclearenergy, radioactive safety and environmental protection make the plantinappropriate for storing imported waste; the projected income andprofits from the business were "incorrectly calculated"; problems oftransporting the nuclear waste had been "incorrectly" assessed andclaims that the transport containers had been tested and found to befully up to international safety standards were flawed.

The plethora of objections "confirmed the impossibility of receivingforeign spent nuclear fuel for reprocessing", given the currentcondition of the Russian facilities, the letter said.

Anti-nuclear protesters are planning to set up a camp near the Uralsstorage centre, one of the most contaminated sites in the world, nextweek. Last year, when the enabling legislation was pushed through, thegovernment refused to allow a referendum.

Apart from Russia, only Britain and France are in the nuclear wasteimports business, although the French trade is expected to suffer a bigblow from 2005 when German exports are banned.

Mr Rumyantsev is determined to compete with the west Europeans andcomplains bitterly about their attempts to keep Russia out of what hecontends is a lucrative market, although the worldwide trend is forcountries to store their own nuclear waste.

Vladimir Chuprov, a representative of Greenpeace in Moscow, said thewatchdog`s condemnation of the ministry`s plans "proves that there is atleast one independent official watchdog in Russia".

"The regulator`s letter is a slap in the face for Rumyantsev and anyoneelse considering dumping radioactive waste on Russia," added TobiasMuenchmeyer, a Berlin-based Greenpeace nuclear expert.

But Mr Putin is still expected to give the green light to the importsplan later this year, despite the watchdog`s withering criticism.Regulatory bodies, although official, are notoriously weak in Russia,while the atomic energy ministry is a powerful lobby.

Vladimir Slivyak, of the Eco-defence anti-nuclear organisation, said thewatchdog`s criticisms would have little impact on Kremlin thinking andthat the decision to proceed or halt the plan would be political.

President Putin ordered the atomic energy ministry "analysis" inFebruary after parliament passed three laws last summer on the schemethat critics say will turn Russia into the world`s nuclear dump.

The plan envisages importing 20,000 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel over 10years, more than doubling the amount of nuclear waste currently storedin Russia.

But, ultimately, the plan`s go-ahead hinges on American approval. The USdoes not import or reprocess foreign nuclear waste but controls, legallyand contractually, more than 80% of world nuclear waste and would needto approve exports to Russia from client states.
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L. Announcements

1.
Alexander Yakovenko, The Official Spokesman Of Russia's Ministry OfForeign Affairs, Answers Russian Media Questions About The Date AndTopics Of The First Meeting Of The Russian American Consultative GroupFor Strategic Security
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
July 12, 2002


Question: What are the date and venue of the first meeting of theRussian-American Consultative Group for Strategic Security with theRussian and US foreign and defense ministers in the lead?

Answer: As is known, the Consultative Group for Strategic Security,headed by the foreign and defense ministers, is established inaccordance with the Joint Declaration of the Russian and US Presidentson the New Strategic Relationship between the two countries, signed byVladimir Putin and George Bush in the course of their meeting in Moscowon May 24, 2002. The Consultative Group is called upon to be theprincipal mechanism with the help of which Russia and the USA willstrengthen mutual confidence, expand transparency, exchange informationand plans and discuss strategic issues of mutual interest. Infurtherance of the May agreements of the Russian and US Presidents theparties have agreed that the first meeting of the Consultative Groupwill be held in the USA in the second half of this September.

Question: Has the agenda been set for the upcoming Consultative Groupmeeting?

Answer: The agenda for this meeting is currently being worked out. Inour opinion, the number of priority topics for discussion at it couldinclude, in particular, such issues as nonproliferation, theimplementation of the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty,transparency and cooperation in the ABM field.

I think that dialogue within the framework of the Consultative Groupwill enable us not to lose the dynamics in building the new strategicrelationship, to switch this task onto a strictly practical track andessentially to form a program of our joint actions in the field ofstrategic security for the foreseeable future.
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2.
On The Upcoming Election Of A New Director General Of The TechnicalSecretariat Of The Executive Council Of The Organization For TheProhibition Of Chemical Weapons
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
July 17, 2002


A meeting of the Executive Council of the Organization for theProhibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) held on July 16 in The Hagueconsidered the question of a new Director General of the TechnicalSecretariat of this organization. Rogelio Pfirter, the current DeputyMinister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina, has been recommended forelection to this post in the course of the Special Session of theConference of States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition ofChemical Weapons scheduled for July 25, 2002.

The Russian Federation supports the candidacy of Rogelio Pfirter andexpects in the case of his election the renewal of energetic, effectiveand impartial work of the OPCW in such a topical and important field forglobal stability as chemical disarmament and nonproliferation. Therecent decisions of the G8 summit to establish a Global PartnershipAgainst the Spread of WMDs also create additional possibilities forattaining the OPCW's goals.
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3.
On Russian-Italian Inter-MFA Consultations
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
July 16, 2002


Giancarlo Aragona, Director General for Multilateral Political Affairsand Human Rights of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stayed inMoscow on July 16 for Russian-Italian inter-MFA consultations.

Aragona was received by Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs of theRussian Federation, Yevgeny Gusarov, Georgy Mamedov and Alexei Meshkov.A thorough exchange of views on topics of bilateral cooperation withinthe G8 in the context of the results of the Kananaskis summit, issues ofstrategic stability and nonproliferation of WMDs, and problems inRussian relations with the EU and NATO took place. As well, there wereexamined some aspects of bilateral Russian-Italian cooperation.

The sides stated with satisfaction the consistent strengthening of thepartner relationship between Russia and Italy, noting the similarity oridentity of their countries' positions on key issues of internationalpolitics.
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4.
Alexander Yakovenko, The Official Spokesman Of Russia's Ministry OfForeign Affairs, Answers A Russian Media Question About The ProspectsFor Ratification In Russia Of The Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
July 18, 2002


Question: The United States Senate has started considering ratifying theStrategic Offensive Reductions Treaty. What are the prospects forratification of this Treaty in Russia?

Answer: I would like to note that on both sides there exists a commonunderstanding of the importance of ratifying the Strategic OffensiveReductions Treaty in the parliaments of the two countries. It goeswithout saying that since the practice of preparation of appropriatedocuments, the work schedules of the legislative bodies and theprocedures of ratification itself in Russia and the US differ it ishardly possible to fully combine its time frames, nor is there any needto do so.

In accordance with the provisions of Russian legislation the Treaty andits article-by-article analysis were referred to the Federal Assembly ofthe Russian Federation in the first half of June. By now, thepreparation of the main package of ratification documents is beingcompleted in the appropriate Russian agencies.

There is now an intersession recess in the work of the Federal Assemblyof the Russian Federation. We expect ratification of the StrategicOffensive Reductions Treaty to be one of the top-priority issues in theactivity of our parliament, when it resumes its session this fall, andwe hope for a positive result.
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M. Links of Interest

1.
International Code Of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation
Aidan Harris
BASIC Note
July 18, 2002
http://www.basicint.org/nuk_ICOC.htm


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2.
Prepared Testimony For The Senate Foreign Relations Committee Regarding
The Moscow Treaty
Department of Defense
July 17, 2002
http://www.defenselink.mil/cgi-bin/dlprint.cgi?http://www.defenselink.mil/speeches/2002/s20020717-secdef.html


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3.
Nuclear Dangers And The State Of Security Treaties Conference Hosted ByThe Institute For Energy And Environmental Research (IEER)
April 9, 2002
http://www.ieer.org/latest/npt02ag.html


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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