RIA Novosti Interview By Alexander Yakovenko, The Official Spokesman For The Russian Foreign Ministry, In Connection With The Forthcoming Session Of The Russo-American Anti-Terrorist Group, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, July 22, 2002
1. U.S. Experts Train Uzbek Military, Security Officers To Counter WeaponsOf Mass Destruction
July 18, 2002
(for personal use only)
U.S. experts have begun a two-week training course for Uzbek military,security and emergency service officers on coping with incidentsinvolving weapons of mass destruction, officials said Thursday.
The training, which began Monday, is part of the U.S. Defense Departmentand FBI's counter proliferation program for Eastern Europe and theformer Soviet Union, said Maj. Keith Falcetti, policy analyst at theU.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency. The program was launched in 1995.
Military and security cooperation between the United States andUzbekistan has increased significantly since last fall when the CentralAsian nation offered its base for U.S. troops involved in anti-terrorismoperations in neighboring Afghanistan.
The team of 10 U.S. experts, including seven instructors, will train 31Uzbek officers in how to respond to accidents and attacks involvingchemical or other mass destruction weapons and how to protect themselvesand civilians in such situations.
The U.S. team is to leave behind 6,000 pounds (2,700 kilograms) ofequipment worth dlrs 270,000. The equipment includes devices fordetecting harmful substances in the air, water and soil, as well asindividual protection equipment.
The U.S. military is also involved in the destruction of waste from theformer Soviet bacteriological weapons laboratory on the VozrozhdeniyeIsland in the Aral Sea. The island is shared by Uzbekistan andKazakhstan. return to menu
B. Spent Nuclear Fuel
1. U.S.-Europe Group Wants To Build Nuclear Fuel Plant In U.S.
Matthew L. Wald
New York Times
July 23, 2002
(for personal use only)
A consortium of European and United States nuclear companies said todaythat it would apply soon for a license from the Nuclear RegulatoryCommission to build a $1.1 billion plant for processing reactor fuel,the first in this country in half a century and one of the largestprivate nuclear projects here since the 1980's.
The plant would enrich uranium for use in power plants, using atechnology that consumes about 5 percent as much electricity as the onenow used in the United States. It would break a domestic monopoly heldby USEC Inc., formerly the United States Enrichment Corporation, whichruns an Atomic Energy Commission plant in Paducah, Ky., that wasprivatized in July 1998.
USEC announced a month ago that it would also seek to build a plant butthat it would first have to modernize a prototype plant tested in the1980's.
The consortium's proposal poses a serious threat to USEC, some expertssaid. "As a business, they are dead," Thomas L. Neff, a scientist at theMassachusetts Institute of Technology, said of USEC. In the 1990's, Dr.Neff came up with the idea of buying weapons-grade uranium from Russiaand diluting it for use in United States reactors, a job once done bythe Energy Department and now done by USEC. If USEC does not build anenrichment plant, he said, it will become merely a broker of the Russianuranium.
Patrick C. Upson, the chairman of the consortium, said, "We have asignificant head-start on the technical side."
But USEC executives said their technology would be even better.
"USEC remains the leading supplier of enriched uranium fuel in theUnited States market, and we're on track to be enriching uranium usingnew advanced gas centrifuges by the end of the decade," a spokesman forthe company, Charles Yulish, said. "We expect our technology to beproven the most efficient in the world."
The company wants to incorporate advanced composite materials into theEnergy Department's older centrifuge design. When the plant wasprivatized four years ago, the company said it would seek tocommercialize an enrichment technology using lasers, but it laterdropped the idea.
USEC has shut down one of two plants it took over, and it has keptitself afloat partly by winning a trade case and forcing tariffs on twoEuropean suppliers that it accused of taking government subsidies. But aplant built here using European technology would face no such tariffs.
USEC has also raised revenue by taking electricity it had bought underlong-term contracts, intending to use it for enrichment, and selling itin peak demand periods.
The consortium raising the challenge includes Urenco, aBritish-Dutch-German company that uses a technology called gascentrifuge to enrich uranium; the Cameco Corporation of Canada, theworld's largest uranium supplier; the Westinghouse Electric Company andFluor Daniel, which are active in many areas of the nuclear industry;and affiliates of three companies that operate power reactors in theUnited States: Exelon, Entergy and Duke Energy.
The same group, but with a different United States utility partner,tried several years ago to build a plant in Louisiana, but it gave upbecause of opposition at the site.
This time, Mr. Upson said, the partnership will seek to build at a sitethat is already licensed for nuclear uses.
Industry experts say the group is looking at sites in Lynchburg, Va.;Wilmington, N.C.; and Erwin, Tenn. All have been used for uraniumenrichment. Environmental advocates in Erwin have already organized tooppose that choice.
The consortium, still known as Louisiana Energy Services, said it wouldpick a site soon.
Enrichment means raising the proportion of uranium-235, the kind that iseasy to split in reactors. Natural uranium is about 0.7 percenturanium-235. The problem is that the dominant type of uranium,uranium-238, is chemically identical; the only difference is in theweight. USEC's plant, built in the 1950's, uses a method called gaseousdiffusion, in which uranium, converted to gaseous form, is forcedthrough a barrier, with one type slightly more likely to pass throughthan the other. The European technology uses a centrifuge.
Enrichment is measured by "separative work units," or S.W.U.'s, and theUnited States market is about 11 million units a year. USEC meets morethan half of United States demand by blending down Russian bomb uranium.USEC also enriches uranium at the plant in Paducah. It shut down a plantin Portsmouth, Ohio, with a capacity of 10.5 million units.
The consortium plans to build a plant that would begin operation in 2007or 2008 and reach a capacity of 3 million units a year in 2012.
Just weeks after a federal judge overruled South Carolina Gov. JimHodges' orders to forcibly prevent the Department of Energy fromtrucking several tons of nuke plutonium to its Savannah River Site(SRS), where it is to be converted into mixed oxide reactor fuel (MOX),Congress overruled the objections of Nevada politicos, authorizing thedepartment to truck tens of thousands of tons of partially "spent"nuclear fuel to Yucca Mountain for indefinite burial. We're recyclingweapons-grade plutonium as MOX, which makes sense. Why aren't werecycling the reactor-grade plutonium? Thereby hangs a tale.
In the fall of 1991, as the Soviet Union was disintegrating, officialsfrom MinAtom - the Soviet equivalent of our Department of Energy (DOE) -came to see Sens. Sam Nunn, Richard Lugar et al. MinAtom was in theprocess of dismantling tens of thousands of Cold War-surplus nukes.MinAtom was determined to dispose of the recovered plutonium as MOX, butit didn't have the funds to build the necessary plants. Would the UnitedStates help? "You bet." cried Messrs. Nunn and Lugar. Because of thedifficulty of accounting for and protecting stocks of weapons gradeplutonium from theft, Messrs. Nunn and Lugar judged dismantled Sovietnukes to be more of a nuke-proliferation threat than nukes still instockpile. So, Congress promptly authorized the to Bush-Quayleadministration to help assist the Russians to peacefully dispose ofthose stocks of excess plutonium.
The Bush-Quayle administration - also eager to prevent terrorists fromacquiring nuke materials - quickly developed a plan to assist MinAtom.But then - surprise, surprise - we had an election. Exit Bush-Quayle(Stage Right). Enter Clinton-Greenpeace (Stage Left). Recall that - backin the 1970s - Carter-Greenpeace thought they had killed nuclear power.Jimmy Carter prohibited the recycling of slightly "spent" reactor fuel.It had to be buried at Yucca Mountain instead. The Europeans recycled,but we couldn't.
Now, in the 1990s, Clinton-Greenpeace was being asked to assist MinAtomin making MOX. Greenpeace realized that, once Russia had used up all itsexcess nuke plutonium, it would turn to making MOX from spent fuel.Nuclear power - running on reprocessed spent fuel - would have a newlease on life.
"MOX nix." cried Clinton-Greenpeace. But, Messrs. Nunn and Lugarinsisted that we help the Russians reduce the threat of nuke terrorism.What was Clinton-Greenpeace to do? Why, delay,delay,delay, of course.Run out the clock. Negotiate endlessly with the Russians, theInternational Atomic Energy Agency, the G-7 group of industrial nations,the lady from Philadelphia, whoever. Then we had an election. ExitClinton-Greenpeace (Stage Left). Enter Bush-Cheney (Stage Right).Bush-Cheney discovered that Clinton-Greenpeace had saddled them with areal mess, the US-IAEA-Russia Trilateral Agreement.
At the end of the Cold War, Bush Quayle had also begun dismantlingthousands of our surplus nukes. Now, no one judged our recoveredplutonium to be vulnerable to theft by terrorists. Nevertheless, in1993, Clinton-Greenpeace offered to provide Messrs. Nunn and Lugarassistance to Russia if and only if we both transparently disposed of -under the watchful eyes of the IAEA - an equal amount of plutonium. TheGreenpeace ploy? We got to tell the Russians what they could do withtheir plutonium. They promptly told us what we could do with ours.
The result is that 10 years after Messrs. Nunn and Lugar authorized it,and five years after the trilateral agreement was signed, practicallynothing has been done to actually dispose of the Russian nuke plutonium.President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin have just nowannounced they would begin trilateral implementation, and that the G-8would fund it.
How did Mr. Hodges get in the act? Well, Clinton-Greenpeace had offeredto make a teeny-tiny amount of MOX if the Russians would mix some oftheir plutonium - as we intended to do with all of ours - with highlyradioactive nuclear waste and bury it at a Russian equivalent of YuccaMountain. Eventually, the Russians agreed. South Carolina competed for -and won - the right to have our teeny-tiny MOX plant built at SRS. ButBush-Cheney soon discovered that DOE had already concluded that theRussians had the right idea. Turn all our excess plutonium - not just ateeny-tiny amount - into MOX. Of course, that would mean modifying ourend of the trilateral agreement. Meanwhile, the scheduled shipments ofplutonium to SRS began. Mr. Hodges ordered state troopers to stop them.Mr. Hodges had fought to get a teeny-tiny MOX plant, but was nowfighting against getting a much larger plant? Why? Democrat Hodges saidthat Bush-Cheney had violated the agreement he had made with Mr.Clinton. What do you suppose he and Mr. Clinton had agreed to do? Runout the clock on MOX?
Gordon Prather is a former national-security adviser with severalfederal agencies, including the Defense Department. He also worked as anuclear-weapons specialist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory inCalifornia and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico. return to menu
3. Minatom Of Russia Outlines Reprocessing Development Costs
July 19, 2002
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Investments of up to 3.4 billion US dollars are needed within the next30 years to develop Russia's spent nuclear fuel (SNF) reprocessingindustry, according to the country's atomic energy ministry, Minatom.The head of Minatom's board for relations with government bodies andinformation policy, Nikolai Shingarev, said around USD 1.1 billion alonewas needed in the period up to 2010 - which would come from electricitytariffs and income raised through imports of SNF.
Russia currently accepts SNF from a handful of east European countriesand Mr. Shingarev said no major imports were expected over the next fiveto seven years because of "very strong competition" in the internationalreprocessing market. He also pointed out that Russia had not yetratified "sub-legislation" regulating the process of import, storage andfurther reprocessing of SNF.
Minatom figures for 2001 show that 64 tons of spent nuclear fuel wasimported to Russia from Bulgaria and about 100 tons from Ukraine.Russian nuclear industry enterprises produce around 850 tons of SNFannually, while the country currently reprocesses around 130-150 tons ofSNF each year. return to menu
1. Russia, U.S. Discuss Nuclear Safeguards
July 19, 2002
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The official in charge of U.S. nuclear security matters talked toRussia's deputy foreign minister Thursday about prospects forstrengthening nonproliferation safeguards. The talks between LintonBrooks, acting administrator of the U.S. National Nuclear SecurityAdministration, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedovfocused on ways to fulfill a recent pledge by the United States andother Western nations to help secure Russia's vast stockpiles ofnuclear, chemical and biological weapons, the Foreign Ministry said in astatement.
During last month's summit of the Group of Eight leading industrializednations, its participants pledged to disburse dlrs 20 billion over 10years to help Russia destroy its chemical weapons stockpiles, dismantleits nuclear-powered submarines and improve safeguards around otherweapons of mass destruction. At Mamedov's and Brooks' talks Thursday,"The Russian side paid special attention to dismantling thedecommissioned nuclear submarines," the ministry said.
Mamedov and Brooks also discussed preparation for U.S. Energy SecretarySpencer Abraham's visit to Russia later this summer. The ministry saidthe visit would become an "important stage in the development of thestrategic energy cooperation between the two countries." Since the 1991Soviet collapse, the United States has provided assistance to Russia tohelp dismantle decommissioned nuclear weapons and protect weaponsstockpiles from falling into private hands.
Russian officials insist that the country's mass destruction weapons areproperly secured, but have pushed for more Western financial assistanceto help quickly dispose of Russia's vast Cold War-era weaponsstockpiles. Russian authorities have taken additional security steps tostrengthen control over nuclear energy facilities after the terrorattacks in the United States on Sept. 11. Yegor Obukhov, the director ofthe Rostov nuclear power plant located near the southern city ofVolgodonsk, said at a news conference Thursday that an interior troopsunit would be deployed to protect the plant. return to menu
2. U.S.-Russia: Key Senators Support Treaty But Air Significant Concerns
Global Security Newswire
July 18, 2002
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Two senior U.S. senators said yesterday they favor ratification of theStrategic Offensive Reductions Treaty signed in Moscow in May, but theyexpressed serious concerns about whether it would actually make theUnited States safer.
"You know, it's . a little like my car breaking down in the desert 20miles from out of town," Senate Foreign Relations Committee ChairmanJoseph Biden (D-Del.) said, during the second set of hearings on thetreaty. "Someone comes along and says, 'Hey, look, I can give you aride for four miles.'"
"This [treaty] gets us four miles closer, or whatever, so I'm for it.But I hope it's not the end of the ride," Biden said.
As Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Chairman of the Joint ChiefsGen. Richard Myers appeared before the committee, Senators Biden andRichard Lugar (R-Ind.) separately questioned whether the treaty wouldimprove U.S. security.
Biden said he observed a "born again" outlook among Pentagon militarythinkers and questioned why they would support a treaty based on newlyfound trust in Moscow when Russia appears to be failing to live up toother treaty commitments. Lugar said the benefits of the treaty mightonly be achieved if the United States put more money into theCooperative Threat Reduction program, which he helped create, so that itcould eliminate Russian warheads taken out of operation.
"Without United States assistance provided by the Pentagon through theNunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program, I believe it's likelythat the benefits of the treaty will be postponed and perhaps neverrealized," Lugar said.
He further expressed an interest in a "technical briefing to theCongress" of "the risks to our countries, Russia and the United States,of not doing anything with these nuclear weapons."
Rumsfeld offered that "simply because those weapons exist does not makethem dangerous. It's the security of those weapons until they aredestroyed that becomes the critical element."
"I generally agree with that," Lugar replied, "although I'm justquerying the problem that even the reality of the weapons, quite apartfrom their security, is a problem. That is, they may be secure, butthey might have an accident - may destruct."
Lugar said the United States should increase its budget for guarding oreliminating any weapons Russia might choose to destroy as a result ofthe treaty.
Rumsfeld Refutes Powell
At the hearing Rumsfeld pulled back from testimony by Secretary of StateColin Powell that the United States would destroy all but 4,600 deployedand un-deployed warheads.
"We have not come to a conclusion as to the numbers that would beappropriate to not be destroyed, that are not currently deployed onoffensive strategic nuclear weapons," he said. Nongovernmental analystsestimate the current arsenal includes more than 6,000 warheads.
"I think the number 4,600 was a fallout of a theoretical number that youmight be able to upload on the platforms that you might have, dependingif you make a certain set of assumptions as to what you would do betweennow and 10 years from now," Rumsfeld said.
"Those would only be assumptions. Therefore, I think that we ought notto get 4,600 chipped into concrete," he said.
Trust, But Don't Verify
The central concern that Biden expressed is whether the Bushadministration might be placing undue trust in Russia to abide by theterms of the treaty, which would require each party to have a maximum of2,200 strategic nuclear warheads operationally deployed on one day -Dec. 31, 2012. He said the United States in the early 1990sunilaterally reduced its tactical nuclear weapon deployments with theexpectation that Russia would do the same, but it did not.
Biden further noted the administration's refusal to certify to Congressthis year that Moscow is committed to complying with other arms controlagreements. Such certification is needed to free up additional CTR moneyfor reducing chemical weapons in Russia.
"Where's all this trust?" Biden asked Rumsfeld. "I mean, you trust themto have a three-page treaty instead of a 700-page treaty, but you don'ttrust them enough to allow us to destroy . up to 2 millionchemical-tipped artillery shells. You confuse me."
"If you don't think they're committed to comply with all relevant armscontrol agreements today, how in the hell could you sign an agreementwith them that is based on so much trust in the future?" Biden said.
Rumsfeld replied that the treaty is not rooted in trust. He said theUnited States would have made the reductions with or without the treaty,based on a military assessment that 1,700 to 2,200 deployed warheadswould still be "the kind of capability that this country will need fordeterrence and defense."
In his prepared testimony, however, Rumsfeld spoke at length about howthe treaty - and the determination to cut the warheads regardless ofwhether a treaty was signed - was made possible by an emergingU.S.-Russian relationship based on "friendship and cooperation."
"We're working together to reduce deployed offensive nuclear weapons,weapons that are a legacy of the past and which are no longer neededwhen Russia and the U.S. are basing our relationship on one ofincreasing friendship and cooperation, rather than a fear of mutualannihilation," Rumsfeld said.
"These proposed reductions are a reflection of our new relationship.When President Reagan spoke to the students at Moscow State Universityin 1988, he told them nations do not distrust each other because theyare armed; they are armed because they distrust each other. Andclearly, we do not distrust each other the way the U.S. and Soviet Uniononce did," he said.
U.S. officials had decided they did not need to include measures forverifying compliance with the treaty because of the new sense of trust,Rumsfeld said.
The United States is cutting its arms not "because we signed the treatyin Moscow, but because the fundamental transformation in therelationship with Russia means that we do not need so many deployedweapons. Russia has made a similar calculation," he said. "That's alsowhy we saw no need to include detailed verification measures in thetreaty."
Rumsfeld and Myers also said U.S. officials had pushed hard for averification regime for the treaty, but key Russian officials hadobjected. Rumsfeld said the two parties plan to resume discussions ofextending the START I verification procedures past 2009 at the firstmeeting of a new Russian-American strategic security consultationarrangement scheduled for September.
The secretary noted, however, that the treaty does not requiredestroying any weapons. It would enable either side to rapidly redeployits warheads three months after notifying Moscow it would withdraw fromthe treaty. That might conceivably be needed, he said, only with "thesudden emergence of a hostile peer competitor on a par with the oldSoviet Union."
More Changed Thinking on MIRVs
Biden asked Gen. Myers whether he was comfortable with the fact that thetreaty and Russia's related renunciation of the unratified START IIagreement would allow Russia to retain its ICBMs with multiple warheads.
Myers said senior military leaders have discussed the issue and there isno concern.
U.S. officials in the early 1990s, including then-Chairman of the JointChiefs of Staff Powell, had described Russia's MIRVed missiles as themost destabilizing threat to U.S. security. Because MIRVs wouldinherently be the focus of a first strike, there is an incentive forRussia to keep them on hair-trigger alert so that it might use - notlose - them.
Eliminating Russian MIRVs was once "one of the holy grails" of theDefense Department, Biden said, noting years of concerns about theinadequacy of Russia's early warning system, which could lead it toinaccurately conclude that the country is under attack.
"I think our conclusion was that it really doesn't matter," Myers said,"that we are very comfortable with the range of warheads of 1,700 to2,200 that was decided upon - that we're comfortable with our capabilityto defend this nation." return to menu
1. Russian Experts Voice Concern About Iran
RFE/RL Iran Report
July 23, 2002
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Aleksei Yablokov, the president of the Russian Center for EnvironmentalPolicy and a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences,said on the "Moment of Truth" program of Moscow's Tsentr TV on 14 Julythat he had seen an Iran-Russia memorandum of intent that mentioned auranium-enrichment plant, as well as a nuclear-power plant. If Russia issupplying fuel for the plant it builds, Yablokov asked, why does Iranneed an enrichment plant?
Earlier, concerns were expressed that Russia and Iran had not agreed onhow to handle spent fuel from the Bushehr nuclear reactor, and if Iranretained the spent fuel it would be in possession of weapons-usablematerial. On 12 July, Russian Minister of Atomic Energy AleksandrRumyantsev said that an agreement on shipping the spent fuel back toRussia should be signed in August, ITAR-TASS reported. Russian FirstDeputy Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Trubnikov said during 20 Julycomments to reporters in Tehran that Russia is willing to accept newproposals on the construction of nuclear-power plants in Iran, accordingto IRNA. Trubnikov said that Iran-Russia cooperation in the Bushehrpower plant does not violate international regulations, and he claimedthat Russia-Iran cooperation is transparent and has nothing to do withmilitary matters.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Orlov of Moscow's PIR Center said, "Russia'sassistance to Iran in the nuclear and missile areas is dual-purpose andcan therefore be used for both civil and military purposes," Interfaxnews agency reported on 11 July. Two reports from Moscow's "Izvestiya"newspaper on 11 and 12 July indicate that the partnership with Iran isvery profitable for Russia.
The Bushehr contracts have brought Russia "billions of dollars andprovided jobs for supply of modern weapons." Moreover, Moscow isprepared to fulfill previous arms-supply agreements with Tehran thatwere frozen in 1995. These agreements deal with the supply of MiG-29 andSu 24MK aircraft and Kilo-class diesel submarines, as well as productionagreements for T-72 main battle tanks and BMP-2 infantry fightingvehicles. Tehran also would like to buy S-300PMU-1, Buk, and Tor-M1antiaircraft missile systems, as well as Igla mobile antiaircraftmissile systems. And in a paragraph that speaks of the "secret hope inIran," there is a reference to "hints" of a possible Russia-Iranmilitary alliance that would coincide with Russian President VladimirPutin's visit to Iran later this year, "Izvestiya" reported on 11 July. return to menu
2. Envoy: Russia-Iran Ties Fret U.S. Less
July 22, 2002
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The United States has less ground for alarm about Russia's nuclearcooperation with Iran, the U.S. ambassador to Russia said Monday, butwarned that those ties and Russian weapons sales to China could stillthreaten world security.
Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, in a sweeping speech at a conferenceoutside Moscow, also issued frank criticism of Russia's military actionsin Chechnya and of threats to Russia's post-Soviet freedoms.
Such criticism had been muted in recent months amid warmer U.S.-Russianties prompted by President Vladimir Putin's support of the U.S.-ledanti-terrorism campaign.
Washington has "fewer reasons" to be worried about Russian-Iraniancooperation and the possibility of Iran gaining technology that could beused for making nuclear weapons, Vershbow said, according to theInterfax news agency. The report did not elaborate.
Moscow has tried to allay U.S. fears over a nuclear power plant Russiais building for Iran. Earlier this month, Russia said it would requireIran to allow it to take back spent fuel from the Bushehr plant. U.S.officials fear Iran could use the spent fuel to generate weapons-graderadioactive material.
Still, Vershbow told the political affairs conference Monday thatWashington remains concerned about the Bushehr project, which Russiasays will be used only to generate energy.
"Russia has to keep close watch on nearby countries - Iran, Iraq, NorthKorea that are actively seeking to acquire nuclear, chemical orbiological weapons," Vershbow said in his speech to the conference, acopy of which was provided by the U.S. Embassy.
"Russia has to avoid letting its desire for commercial gain end uphastening the day that these countries can pose a threat that could notonly destabilize their own region, but undermine the security of theentire world," he said.
The U.S. Embassy text included only Vershbow's speech and not othercomments he made at the conference, which was open only to a few Russianjournalists. The comments reported by Interfax were apparently saidoutside the speech.
Vershbow noted that the United States and other Western nations recentlypledged $20 billion in aid to help Russia destroy or secure its weaponsof mass destruction.
"We hope that in the wake of this new initiative Russia will do its partby tightening its controls on nuclear cooperation with Iran," he said.
The ambassador also expressed concern about Russia's weapons sales toChina.
"Could the massive amounts of weaponry that Russia sells to China - forunderstandable commercial reasons - add to the instability of Asia?" heasked. "If war broke out in the Taiwan Straits, this would lead toserious instability on Russia's eastern border."
Regarding the Chechnya war, Vershbow asked: "Will Russia have thecourage to seek a political solution to the bloody war in Chechnya,which continues despite the government's claims that the situation isreturning to normal? Will the Russian leadership hold to account thosemembers of the security forces who, in the name of fighting terrorism,are committing serious violations of the human rights of the civilianpopulation?"
U.S. criticism of the Chechnya campaign softened after Sept. 11, andU.S. officials have said international terrorists are among thosefighting Russian troops in the breakaway republic. return to menu
1. Russia: Discussion On Fast Reactor Progress In China
July 19, 2002
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Russia's atomic energy minister says construction of the first Chinesefast neutron reactor is 'proceeding successfully', and Beijing has askedMoscow to 'further accelerate' work on the joint Tianwan-1 and -2nuclear power plant project. Alexander Rumyantsev said he discussedongoing co-operation on nuclear projects between the two countries inBeijing last week.
His visit paves the way for a planned meeting in August between theprime ministers of both countries, when bilateral co-operation in areasincluding nuclear power will be on the agenda. Mr Rumyantsev saidconstruction of the experimental reactor used "mainly Russiantechnology", adding: "We provide consultations, control the equipmentand ensure all the physics of the process." Construction is due to becompleted by 2005.
Concerning construction of the two Tianwan units, the minister said workwas "going well" with the assembly of heavy equipment now beingconcluded at unit one and construction works "approaching the end" atunit two, together with the start of equipment assembly. "We arefulfilling all our commitments and (our) Chinese colleagues arerequesting us to further accelerate work in all directions," he said.
The minister's visit also included talks about the start of constructionof the fourth phase of a uranium enrichment plant at Lanzhou in centralChina and "conceptual issues" of the ongoing third phase - which begantwo years ahead of schedule last year. return to menu
F. Nuclear Terrorism
1. U.S. Official's Claim Of Plutonium Theft Has Authorities ScratchingTheir Heads
July 23, 2002
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An unnamed US nuclear official has said that highly radioactivematerials - possibly including plutonium - have been stolen fromRussia's new Volgodonsk nuclear power plant by Chechen separatists.Russian nuclear and law enforcement authorities, however, havestrenuously denied the charge, calling the leak by the US Official toBritain's Guardian newspaper a concoction planted in the press by theCentral Intelligence Agency, or CIA, to discredit Russian nuclearsecurity. US nuclear experts- though not ruling out the theft of lessvolatile radioactive metals - have also cast doubt on the plutoniumtheft detailed by the anonymous US official, citing the extreme dangerto thieves that such a theft would involve.Speaking anonymously with the Guardian, the US official attributed thetheft from the plant, located near Rostov-on-Don, to Chechen rebelfactions - who the Russian government says, and many US Administrationofficials believe, have ties to the al Qaeda terror network.The US official said the alleged heist occurred sometime within the last12 months and added that the United States fears that weapons-gradeplutonium - which may have been stolen during the robbery - may havefallen into the hands of Iraq or Libya, the Guardian reported.But other US experts familiar with the supposed theft say theparticulars of the case, including how much material was stolen, aremurky and the precise details of the security breach - if any occurred -remain unclear. The US official quoted by the Guardian said there wasthe "possibility that a significant amount of plutonium was removed,"together with other radioactive metals. These included caesium,strontium and low-enriched uranium, which pose a threat to human healthif detonated with conventional explosives - a so-called "dirty bomb.""Chechen groups have relationships with countries we do not findexceptionally desirable. The possibility that these metals may have beengiven to another party is very troubling," the unnamed US official said.
The Volgodonsk nuclear plant - one of the newest atomic facilities inRussia - went online last December, after a nine-month trial period. Ituses a VVER-1000 reactor and is slated to get a second power bloc soon.But thus far, there is no real agreement among experts who have studiedthe case as about what, if anything, was taken from the plant. Russianaccounting practices for radioactive materials are widely acknowledgedto be lacking.Yegor Obukhov, head of the plant's press service, touted security andaccounting at the Volgodonsk station as "the best in Russia," Obukhovtold Bellona Web."Not a single gram of radioactive substances has ever gone missing inthe plant's 16-month operation," Obukhov said.Obukhov also denied that the weapons-grade plutonium referred to in theGuardian report would ever have been stored at his plant, saying "we arenot running a secret weapons construction facility."But assessing the information piling in from a variety of sources is noteasy for those who track the theft of radioactive materials in Russia."It is a bit difficult to speculate not knowing exactly what kind ofmaterial was stolen. Reports vary from caesium, strontium and depleteduranium to low-enriched uranium and 'weapons grade plutonium,'" saidLyudmila Zaitseva, of Stanford University's Institute of InternationalStudies, which runs the world's perhaps most comprehensive database onthe theft and smuggling of radioactive materials.She added that any weapons-grade plutonium that the US officialsuggested was stolen from the Volgodonsk facility was simply impossible.
"There is no weapons-grade plutonium at nuclear power plants," she toldBellona Web in an interview."On the other hand, if it was spent nuclear fuel (SNF) that was stolen,that does contain plutonium - though not of weapons grade - as well asother, highly radioactive materials."But to make plutonium from SNF weapons-usable, Zaitseva said theplutonium would have to be separated from other substances in the SNF,which is a technologically demanding and costly procedure that only afew countries in the world can afford, like England, France and Russia."Besides," said Zaitseva, "it would be extremely difficult to stealspent fuel from a nuclear power plant due to the large size and, mostimportantly, very high radioactivity of fuel assemblies, which makesthem self-protective."A US nuclear physicist involved in non-proliferation efforts in Russia,speaking on conditions of anonymity with Bellona Web, agreed withZaitseva's assessment."This stuff is stored mostly in pools of highly radioactive wet storagefacilities - the SNF assemblies themselves are seven meters long andweigh around 300 kilograms," he said.
"And anybody trying to handle that and get it out of a plantclandestinely would get a very high dose of radiation on the spot -that's what 'self-protective' means. It just doesn't sound like afeasible theft at all if the plutonium the US official is referring tois plutonium contained in spent fuel," he said. He echoed Zaitseva'sassertion that weapons-grade plutonium would not be found at a nuclearpower plant."That would be nonsense," said the US physicist.What would not surprise US nuclear analysts would be the theft oflow-enriched uranium (LEU) from the Volgodonsk facility."It would not be too surprising if nuclear fuel had been stolen from apower plant. This has happened before in the former Soviet Union," saidMatthew Bunn, senior research assistant at the Managing the Atom projectat Harvard University."If it was fresh nuclear fuel - low-enriched uranium - I agree [.] thatit wouldn't be too surprising," said Zaitseva. "For example, a wholefuel assembly, seven meters long and weighing 280 kilograms, was stolenfrom the Ignalina nuclear power plant in Lithuania in 1992 as a resultof collusion between the facility employees and guards, who tied theassembly to the bottom of the personnel bus and thus carried it outsidethe facility. Parts of the material were later recovered on severaloccasions in Eastern Europe and former Soviet Union."When offered a similar scenario for the Volgodonsk facility, Zaitsevanonetheless remained perplexed."[.] Because caesium and strontium are also mentioned, I am stillpuzzled as to what exactly was stolen," she said.The US official said that the theft was reported by Russian officials tothe International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which then informed theUS Department of Energy (DOE) about the incident.Russia has an estimated 125 tonnes of weapons-grade plutonium consideredby Western experts to be "at risk" for theft because of poor security.US government experts are negotiating with Russian officials to speedthrough urgently needed safety upgrades via programmes like Nunn Lugar.Furthermore, the G8 group of nations last month pledged $10 billion overthe next ten years to help Russia protect its ageing weapons arsenals.A spokeswoman for the IAEA said her organization confirmed receivingreports of the theft from the Russian government. However, by Monday,the IAEA, the Volgodonsk nuclear power station, and even the secretiveRussian Nuclear Ministry, or Minatom - all but the DOE, which would notcomment - had reached a consensus that the theft never took place.Aleksandr Turinsky, chief press relations officer for the Rostov FederalSecurity Service, or FSB, told Bellona Web that the Guardian report was"just part of the psychological and information war that Chechen rebelsare waging against Russia.""I also don't understand why this American official decided to sharethis information with a British paper as opposed to a representatives ofRussia's press, who are, after all, the supposed allies of the UnitedStates in the war on terror," Turinsky said.But the US official told the Guardian that: "[this] incident is tied toa broader issue. There are a couple of other occasions when the Chechensmay have acquired nuclear or radioactive sources. Russia is rightly veryconcerned about that. We should not just blame Russia. The United Statesdoes not protect its materials better than anyone else."Southern Russia, bordering nations of Central Asia and the Caucasus -which are seen by the United Stated as posing a world security threat -is considered a flashpoint in non-proliferation. The US official saidthere have been a "number of occasions" in which Iranian agents tried tobuy weapons-grade plutonium from facilities in Southern Russia."[These facilities] seem to have been scammed a few times," he told theGuardian.But the involvement of Chechen separatists in the alleged theft at theVolgodonsk facility seemed "illogical" to Zaitseva."I believe that if they seriously wanted to sell weapons-grade plutoniumto Iraq or Libya, they wouldn't look for it at a nuclear power plant,"she said."On the other hand, if they needed radioactive material for a dirtybomb, they wouldn't have to go to such lengths [as stealing it from theVolgodonsk station] either, because they seem to have successfully usedthe Radon facility - a disposal site for used ionising radiation sourcesand other radioactive waste from the North Caucasus region of Russia,[situated] near the Chechen village of Tolstoy-Yurt - for this purpose."
In that incident, Zaitseva's data indicate, half of the 900 cubic metersof radioactive waste with radioactivity levels of 1,500 Curies stored atRadon was reportedly found missing from the depository after the firstmilitary campaign in the breakaway republic of Chechnya in 1996.Many of these stolen radioactive containers and sources were found lateron numerous occasions in the Chechen capital of Grozny, and other partsof the region, by the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations duringthe second military campaign, which began in 2000.Russian intelligence officials believed that this material might havebeen used by Chechen militants for making "powerful bombs," as some ofit was found in a workshop for the production of mortars and grenade cupdischarges, which was set up before the second campaign and reportedlybelonged to Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev.However, there were only two incidents suggesting that such dirty bombswere actually made and meant to be used by Chechen militants. In 1998, acontainer full of radioactive substances was found next to a railwayline near Argun in Chechnya with a mine attached to it. Russianintelligence officials touted the discovery as a foiled act of sabotage,Zaitseva said.Earlier, in 1996, Chechen rebels left a substantial quantity ofcaesium-137 wrapped in conventional explosives in Izmailovo park inMoscow. They notified the local media and the device was safely removedby police. return to menu
2. Russian-American Working Group For Fighting Terrorism To Hold SessionNear Washington
July 22, 2002
(for personal use only)
The Russian-American working group for fighting terrorism will hold asession near Washington, on Friday, July 26th, said the Russian foreignministry's official spokesman Alexander Yakovenko in an interview withRIA Novosti on Monday.
The working group was set up in June 2000 under the decision of theRussian and US presidents. Its first name was the Russian-Americanworking group for counteracting threats from Afghanistan.
The group's activities are of inter-departmental character, its sessionsinvolve representatives of the foreign and defense ministries andsecurity services of both countries. The group has already held sevenmeetings. The last one was organized in Moscow, on April 26th.
In compliance with the decision of the Russian-US summit on May 23-26,stated in the joint statement of the Russian and US presidents onantiterrorist cooperation, the group was transformed into theRussian-American working group for fighting terrorism.
Its mandate has been extended and now includes, among others, issues ofcounteracting terrorist threats involving nuclear materials and othermeans of mass destruction.
The group has become one of the most efficient mechanisms ofRussian-American cooperation in fighting international terrorism andcounteracting other new threats and challenges, Yakovenko pointed out.
"In particular, it plays an important part in coordinating Russian andAmerican activities in the antiterrorist cooperation in Afghanistanconducted by the international coalition," he said. return to menu
3. Russian Nuclear Theft Alarms US
Nick Paton Walsh
July 19, 2002
(for personal use only)
Chechen rebels have stolen radioactive metals, possibly includingplutonium, from a Russian nuclear power station in the southern regionof Rostov, according to US nuclear officials. The theft, which tookplace within the last 12 months at the new Volgodonskaya nuclear powerstation near the city of Rostov-on-Don, has heightened US fears thatweapons-grade plutonium may have fallen into the hands of terrorists orcountries such as Iraq or Libya.
The precise details of the security breach remain unclear, but one USofficial said there was the "possibility that a significant amount ofplutonium was removed", together with other radioactive metals. Theseincluded caesium, strontium and low-enriched uranium, which pose athreat to human health if detonated with conventional explosives tocreate a "dirty bomb".
The US source said Chechen rebels were believed to be responsible forthe theft. "Chechen groups have relationships with countries we do notfind exceptionally desirable. The possibility that these metals may havebeen given to another party is very troubling," he said.
The nuclear plant - one of the newest atomic facilities in Russia - wentonline last December, after a nine-month trial period. The US officialsaid the theft was reported by Russian officials to the InternationalAtomic Energy Authority (IAEA), which informed the US department ofenergy about the incident.
The department has begun a massive operation in Russia to improve thesecurity of nuclear facilities. The G8 group of nations pledged $20bnlast month to help Russia protect its ageing weapons arsenals.
Russia has an estimated 400 tonnes of weapons-grade plutonium consideredby western experts to be "at risk" from theft because of poor security.US government experts are negotiating with Russian officials to speedthrough urgently needed safety upgrades.
Southern Russia, bordering sensitive nations in central Asia and theCaucasus, is considered a flashpoint in non-proliferation. The US sourcesaid there had been a "number of occasions" in which Iranian agentstried to buy weapons-grade plutonium from facilities in southern Russia.
"They seem to have been scammed a few times," he said.
The IAEA, the Russian civilian nuclear ministry, Minatom, and the Rostovnuclear power station, deny the Rostov theft took place. An IAEAspokeswoman said their code of conduct would not oblige them to treatsuch an incident in confidence.
But the US official said: "This incident is tied to a broader issue.There are a couple of other occasions when the Chechens may haveacquired nuclear or radioactive sources. Russia is rightly veryconcerned about that. We should not just blame Russia. The US does notprotect its materials better than anyone else."
Matthew Bunn, senior research assistant at the Managing the Atom projectat Harvard University, said: "It would not be too surprising if nuclearfuel had been stolen from a power plant. This has happened before in theformer Soviet Union."
In 1996 Chechen rebels left a substantial quantity of caesium-137wrapped in conventional explosive, in Izmailovo park in Moscow. Thedevice was not detonated. return to menu
G. Russian Nuclear Forces
1. Ghost Of Russia's K-19 Haunts Us
Los Angeles Times
July 19, 2002
(for personal use only)
The blockbuster starring Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson that is openingtoday, "K-19: the Widowmaker," chronicles the terrifying early historyof the Soviet Union's first nuclear submarine, the K-19.
In July 1961, deep under the ice of the North Atlantic, the submarine'scoolant system failed, dangerously overheating its nuclear reactor.Several sailors entered the reactor compartment to improvise a coolingsystem. They died soon afterward from radiation poisoning. Twenty-onemen eventually perished.
Amazingly, the K-19 is still with us, one of 190 decommissioned Sovietnuclear-powered submarines rusting at their piers. As many as 100 ofthem still have nuclear fuel on board, risking a reactor incident ordiversion of material for a terrorist radiation weapon or "dirty bomb."The United States, through the U.S. Cooperative Threat Reductionprogram, has already spent more than $300 million dismantlingballistic-missile submarines and is planning to scrap 41 of these by2007.
However, threat reduction legislation forbids funding work onnonstrategic nuclear-powered submarines. Russia does not have the moneyto scrap these 149 vessels, which pose proliferation as well asenvironmental risks.
Although not ballistic-missile platforms, attack submarines arenuclear-capable. They can launch land-attack cruise missiles with arange of almost 2,000 miles and carrying nuclear warheads 13 times moredestructive than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
Since 1991, Russia has not armed its general-purpose submarines withnuclear weapons and has promised not to do so. However, the capabilityremains and should be eliminated while we have the opportunity.
Newer decommissioned boats could be recommissioned and even sold abroad.The Krasnoyarsk, an Oscar II submarine like the ill-fated Kursk, waslaunched in 1986 and has been laid up since 1995. Its crew is beggingfor funds to refurbish the boat.
As many as a dozen submarines could be recommissioned if the Russianeconomy continues to turn around. If money becomes scarce, that is allthe more incentive for Russia to sell or lease boats to foreigncountries.
Already, Russia is in talks with India over the leasing of two attacksubmarines.
Russia's nuclear submarines also provide a tempting terrorist target. In1998, a disgruntled sailor overpowered a guard and barricaded himself inthe torpedo compartment of a Northern Fleet Akula-class submarine. Hedied attempting to set a fire.
A fire beneath the torpedoes would have led to the explosion of all ofthe submarine's ammunition, which would have destroyed the submarine,neighboring nuclear submarines and the port town of Gadzhiyevo, not tomention the greater consequences of destroying the nuclear reactors.
Terrorists too have toyed with the idea of taking over a Russiansubmarine: In February, the Russian military discovered plans to hijacka Russian nuclear submarine. The plan, prepared by Islam Khasukhanov,chief of staff of the Chechen armed forces and a former deputy commanderof a Soviet nuclear submarine, called for seven people of Slavic originto board a submarine and place explosives in the torpedo, battery andreactor compartments as well as near the warhead of one of the missiles.
Decommissioned submarines also make tempting targets, and access isrelatively easy. Guards have often been caught supplementing theirmeager incomes of about $35 a month by stealing and selling metal fromthe submarines they are supposed to guard, or taking bribes to look theother way as others steal from the vessels.
What can we do? It costs about $7 million to defuel and dismantle anattack submarine, no small sum. But the financial and human cost ofcleaning up after a radiation incident would be immeasurable.
European nations and Japan have suggested that they are willing to helpfoot this bill but are waiting for the U.S. to lead the way. While wehave done a lot already, we should direct a new effort to eliminatethese boats while we have the chance.
The story of the K-19 is one of heroes willing to subject themselves toradiation to prevent its spread to the rest of us. Let's prevent anothertragedy so more men will not have to follow in their footsteps.
Cristina Chuen is a research associate at the Center forNonproliferation Studies of the Monterey Institute of InternationalAffairs. return to menu
H. Nuclear Safety
1. Around 600 TACIS Nuclear Safety Projects Implemented In CIS Over PastDecade
July 22, 2002
(for personal use only)
Around 600 TACIS Nuclear Safety projects in a total amount of aroundEUR630 million have been implemented in Russia and other countries ofthe Commonwealth of the Independent States (CIS) over the past decade.As it was pointed out by the press service of Rosenergoatom, NuclearSafety is one of the largest programs of the European Commission inRussia, Ukraine and other countries of the CIS. The major goals of theprogram are contributing to the updating of the operating nuclear powerstations and improving their performance and reliability. TACIS held aconference on the results of the project implementation, at which theprogress of the nuclear safety operations was analyzed. Therecommendations were given to the national competent organizations andthe European Commission with a view to the future top priorities ofTACIS as far as the problems of nuclear safety are concerned. Theparticipants of the conference also discussed different issues ofcooperation. return to menu
I. Russian Nuclear Power Industry
1. Last Adamov Crony Reportedly Ousted
July 23, 2002
(for personal use only)
Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has signed a decree dismissing BulatNigmatulin from his post as deputy atomic energy minister and namingAndrei Malyshev to replace him, "Izvestiya" reported on 20 July.Malyshev was most recently director of the Atomenergoproekt Institute.According to the daily, Nigmatulin was one of the last close associatesof former Atomic Energy Minister Yevgenii Adamov still at the ministry.Adamov was dismissed by President Putin last spring amid corruptioncharges. Nigmatulin also supported the bill allowing Russia to importspent nuclear fuel for reprocessing. The daily noted that current AtomicEnergy Minister Aleksandr Rumyantsev has managed to cleanse the ministryof all the officials who lobbied for that law. However, it concludedthat their departure does not mean that the controversial idea itselfhas been rejected. return to menu
1. RIA Novosti Interview By Alexander Yakovenko, The Official Spokesman ForThe Russian Foreign Ministry, In Connection With The Forthcoming SessionOf The Russo-American Anti-Terrorist Group
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
July 22, 2002
(for personal use only)
Question: The next session of the Russo-American anti-Terrorist Groupwill be held in the nearby Washington on July 26th. Can you disclose theprogress of Russo-American cooperation within the framework of thisbody?
Answer: The group was established in 2000 in compliance with anagreement between the Russian and American presidents. At first, itsname was the Russo-American Working Group on the counteraction tothreats from Afghanistan. This is an interdepartmental organisation,which includes representatives of foreign and defence ministries, aswell as those representing secret services. There were 7 sessions of theorganisation.. The previous one took place in Moscow on April 26th.
In line with a decision taken at the Russo-American summit /May 23rd -26th/, which was subsequently included into a Joint Statement by theRussian and American Presidents on the anti-terrorist cooperation, theGroup was transformed into the Russo-American Anti-Terrorist Group. Itsscope of responsibility was expanded and now includes such areas as thestruggle against nuclear terrorism and its other forms implying the useof weapons of mass destruction.
The group is one of the most effective mechanisms for bilateralcooperation in the area of fighting international terrorism and otherthreats and challenges. It also plays an important role in thecoordination of Russia's and US efforts within the framework of theinternational anti-terrorist operation in Afghanistan.
Question: What other issues have been included into the session'sagenda?
Answer: Participants in the event are expected to discuss furtherimprovement of the Russia United States teamwork in the sphere offighting international terrorism and other global threats and challengeswith much account to the practical implementation of decisions taken atthe Russo-American summits in Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as ofthose taken at the G-8 summit in Kananaskis, including the idea toestablish global partnership in the area of non proliferation ofmaterials and weapons of mass destruction.
The sides will also continue to exchange opinions concerning thesituation in Afghanistan, touch upon the issue of Russo-Americaninteraction in Central Asia and Transcaucasia, as well as on thesituation in Southern Asia in the context of the struggle againstterrorism in all the aforesaid regions.
In addition, the agenda will include problems related to thecoordination of Russian and American anti-terrorist efforts in suchinternational organisations as the counter-Terrorist Committee of the UNSecurity Council, NATO, the OSCE and the like, as well as the issue offurther improving the legal basis of all antiterrorist activities basedon the international law and the UN Charter. return to menu
2. Daily Press Briefing (excerpted)
Department of State
July 19, 2002
QUESTION: I realize, again, you haven't named the nationalities and --but some of us have found out another way that most of them are Chinese.And as just an obvious question, can you explain how Russia has managedto avoid sanctions like this, even though you have this great concernthat there are transfers to Iran from Russia?
MR. BOUCHER: I think you have to look at the specific law. The specificlaw covers specific activities and actions. We have concerns aboutRussia's ongoing nuclear programs with Iran. We have concerns about someof the announcements that have been made about Russian agreement orintention or assumptions that they would be making some conventionalweapons sales. As you know, we've been very concerned about advancedconventional weapons.
But at this point I don't think -- I think it's safe to say we justhaven't seen anything transferred that would be affected by one of thisparticular laws, although we have frequently reminded the Russians thatwe have laws regarding these things and that any entities that might beinvolved would have to be looked at under those laws.
3. Russian Deputy Minister Of Foreign Affairs Georgy Mamedov Meets WithLinton Brooks, The United States NNSA's Acting Administrator And USUnder Secretary Of Energy
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
July 19, 2002
A meeting took place on July 18 between Deputy Minister of ForeignAffairs of the Russian Federation Georgy Mamedov and Linton Brooks, theUnited States National Nuclear Security Administration's ActingAdministrator and US Under Secretary of Energy.
During the talk, the sides discussed in detail practical matters,including the beginning of bilateral negotiations to implement theagreements on a Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons andMaterials of Mass Destruction, reached by the Big Eight leaders inKananaskis. The Russian side paid special attention to the question ofdisposition of its Navy's decommissioned nuclear submarines.
The sides also touched on questions of preparation of the upcoming visitto be paid to Russia at the end of July - the beginning of August, 2002,by US Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham, which is bound to mark animportant stage in the evolution of the strategic energy cooperation ofthe two countries, the foundations for which were laid during theRussian-American summit in Moscow and St. Petersburg this May. return to menu
4. Nunn Reacts to Homeland Security Proposal; Calls for Comprehensive PlanTo Secure Global Weapons and Materials
Nuclear Threat Intiative
July 16, 2002
Former Senator Sam Nunn, co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative,released the following statement today about the Bush Administration'snewly unveiled homeland security strategy:
"Today's announcement is a very important step forward in improving ournational security, but it is only one part of the overall equation forkeeping America safe. Homeland security begins abroad, where we mustlead and work with other nations in securing nuclear, biological andchemical materials and weapons in the former Soviet Union and around theworld. President Bush has said that keeping terrorists from acquiringweapons of mass destruction must be our 'highest priority.' I applaudPresident Bush's leadership and success in achieving a commitment by theG-8 leaders to establish a global partnership to prevent the spread ofweapons and materials of mass destruction and spend $20 billion over thenext ten years on this work. The key will be follow through and seeingthat these commitments are implemented and sustained. The G-8 plan needsto be part of a complementary strategy for our first line of defense --denying terrorists access to nuclear, biological and chemical weapons." return to menu
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