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Nuclear News - 08/21/02
RANSAC Nuclear News, August 21, 2002
Compiled by David Smigielski



A. Cooperative Threat Reduction
    1. Senator Lugar To Visit Nuke Sites In Northern Russia, Bellona, August 20, 2002
    2. Lugar Pushes To Visit Closed Russian Facility, Bryan Bender, Global Security Newswire, August 9, 2002
B. Debt for Nonproliferation
    1. Tauscher Touts Debt Swap For Security, Edward Epstein, San Francisco Chronicle, August 21, 2002
C. Russia-U.S.
    1. Meeting With American Congressmen Took Place In The Russian Foreign Ministry, RIA Novosti, August 21, 2002
D. Russia-Iran
    1. Egypt Reports Increase In Iranian Nuke Activity, Middle East Newsline, August 20, 2002
E. Russian Nuclear Forces
    1. Delta-IV Submarine Scheduled For Overhaul Repairs, Bellona, August 21, 2002
    2. Moscow Extends Life Of 144 Cold War Ballistic Missiles, Nick Paton Walsh, The Guardian, August 20, 2002
F. Russian Nuclear Power Industry
    1. U.S. Experts Express Interest In Russian Nuclear Energy Technologies, Interfax, August 21, 2002
    2. Rosenergoatom Opt To Sell Floating NPP To China, Bellona, August 21, 2002
    3. Chechen War Veteran To Build A Nuke Plant, Rashid Alimov, Bellona, August 20, 2002
G. Spent Nuclear Fuel
    1. Local Duma Members In Krasnodar Oppose Spent Fuel Transit, Bellona, August 21, 2002
H. Former Soviet Republics
    1. No Obstacles For Creating A Free Market Zone In Central Asia, Says UN Under Secretary General, Yulia Orlova, RIA Novosti, August 20th, 2002
I. Nuclear Waste
    1. Russian Atomic Energy Ministry Does Not Conduct Negotiations On Bringing Radioactive Waste Into The Country, RIA Novosti, August 21, 2002
J. Announcements
    1. OSCE-Supervised Melange Project In Georgia Successfully Concluded, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Mission to Georgia, August 16, 2002
K. Links of Interest
    1. The Moscow Treaty Will Not Eliminate Weapons Or Reduce Arsenals, Joseph Cirincione, APS Physics and Society Newsletter, July 2002

A. Cooperative Threat Reduction

1.
Senator Lugar To Visit Nuke Sites In Northern Russia
Bellona
August 20, 2002
(for personal use only)


Senator Richard Lugar will meet with Norwegian and Russian officials inMurmansk on August 24 to discuss the future of the Arctic MilitaryEnvironmental Cooperation (AMEC) program.

The Senator - who co-authored 1991 Nunn-Lugar legislation creating theCooperative Threat Reduction program - will observe U.S.-funded programsfor destroying former Soviet strategic weapons, including submarinedismantling sites.

After meetings in Moscow and St Petersburg, Lugar plans to go to thestrategic submarine dismantlement yards SevMash and Zvezdochka inSeverodvinsk. SevMash is the yard where the largest nuclear submarineever built, the Typhoon class, will be dismantled.

Then, on August 24, Lugar will visit the nuclear powered icebreaker baseAtomflot near Murmansk. Together with Norwegian officials, Lugar willview radiological monitoring and waste disposal programs. At Atomflot, apad for storing naval spent nuclear fuel containers is currently underconstruction with financial assistance from the trilateral Norwegian,Russian and US Arctic Military Environmental Cooperation (AMEC).

Also on schedule is a visit to the Nerpa shipyard at Kola Peninsula,where CTR also is involved in submarine dismantlement.
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2.
Lugar Pushes To Visit Closed Russian Facility
Bryan Bender
Global Security Newswire
August 9, 2002
(for personal use only)


U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) is awaiting permission from Moscowto tour one of four Russian biological weapons facilities not previouslyopened to the West, his office said today.

Lugar - the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committeewho co-authored 1991 Nunn-Lugar legislation creating the CooperativeThreat Reduction program - is planning to travel to Russia this week toobserve U.S.-funded programs for destroying former Soviet strategicweapons and for shifting weapons laboratories to peaceful pursuits.

Although Lugar has expressed hope Russia will allow him to visit theKirov 200 laboratory when he travels there Aug. 28, the visit "is stillunconfirmed," his office said today.

Lauding strengthened international commitment to addressing nuclear,chemical and biological weapons proliferation in the former Soviet Unionand elsewhere, Lugar last month was optimistic he could help unlock the"mystery of the biological situation."

Theories differ on why Russia has prohibited U.S. or other Westernofficials from seeing the four weapons facilities, believed to be theheart of the Soviet military's advanced efforts to develop deadlypathogens during the Cold War.

Experts' views range from a dissatisfaction with U.S. reciprocity at itsown nuclear, chemical and biological weapons facilities - Russian accessto U.S. facilities has been almost nonexistent - to what Lugar considerssimple embarrassment over the utterly macabre nature of the Sovietprogram, suspected of developing "designer" and exponentially moredeadly pathogens. Any embarrassment may also signal decades of Sovietviolations of the 1969 Biological Weapons Convention.

Lugar is to arrive in Russia Wednesday and remain more than a week tomeet with top Russian officials and visit weapons facilities andlaboratories that are recipients of U.S. nonproliferation aid.

He plans to first visit nuclear and biological laboratories near St.Petersburg, according to the official itinerary. He then plans totravel to submarine dismantlement facilities at SevMash and Zvezdochka,near Severodvinsk, where 41 ballistic missile submarines and 612submarine launched ballistic missile launchers are being dismantledunder Nunn-Lugar programs. SevMash is the site where crews aredestroying Typhoon class submarines, which can carry 200 nuclearweapons.

Lugar is also scheduled to visit the Atomflot shipyard near Murmansk toview radiological monitoring and waste disposal programs and review moresubmarine dismantlement efforts at the Nerpa Shipyard.

In the Moscow area, Lugar plans to tour biological facilities whereNunn-Lugar funds are employing former weapons scientists in vaccineresearch and treatment for diseases such as brucellosis and anthrax.

Before visiting Kirov 200, Lugar plans to view neutralization facilitiesand missile-cutting operations at the Surovatilka Missile EliminationDismantlement and Storage Facility, where SS 24 ICBMs and their launchcanisters are destroyed. A second facility is eliminating SS-17, SS-18and SS-19 ICBMs and launchers.

Lugar will wrap up the trip Aug. 29 with a meeting with Russian DefenseMinister Sergei Ivanov and the head of the Russian general staff.

"Our allies have committed to joining the U.S. in addressing criticalproliferation threats emanating from the former Soviet Union andelsewhere," Lugar told reporters last month, "but the future is notassured."
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B. Debt for Nonproliferation

1.
Tauscher Touts Debt Swap For Security
Edward Epstein
San Francisco Chronicle
August 21, 2002
(for personal use only)


Russia has two things in abundance -- billions of dollars in foreigndebt and scads of old nuclear weapons and fuel.

To East Bay Rep. Ellen Tauscher, an experienced Wall Street hand, thatcombination has the makings of a deal that she says could improveAmerica's security and help Russia's still-limping economy.

The idea, which is gaining support in Congress and in the Bushadministration, is for the United States to forgive about $3 billion inRussian foreign debt left over from the old Soviet Union. In return,Russia would spend the money saved on intensified efforts to secure anddestroy thousands of nuclear weapons.

"We can literally buy down our risk that a Russian nuclear weapon willbe stolen and aimed at us," Tauscher, a third-term Walnut CreekDemocrat, told a House International Relations Committee hearing beforeCongress left on its current recess.

While Tauscher sees an enormous benefit, mainly in preventing Russiannuclear weapons or weapons-grade uranium or plutonium from falling intothe hands of international terrorists, critics say it's not a good ideato forgive the debt. They also say Russia pays lip service to the ideaof preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons and fuel, then turnsaround and builds a nuclear power plant in Iran, one of the threenations President Bush has labeled an "axis of evil."

Swaps Have Been Used Before

So-called debt swaps like that proposed by Tauscher are nothing new."Eco- swaps," in which poor nations are forgiven part of their foreigndebt in return for environmental improvements, have been around forabout a decade.

And while there is debate among diplomats and international economicexperts about the merits of completely forgiving the often-cripplingdebts run up by some of the world's poorest nations, Russia isconsidered too advanced for such treatment, even if its economy remainshalf-broken in the wake of 70 years of communism.

"I don't believe we should get into a situation where we willy-nillyforgive debt," said Tauscher, a former stock and bond trader.

The Tauscher plan, which would cost the United States $150 million overthe first two years, would be in addition to $1.2 billion inU.S.-financed programs already operating in the republics of the formerSoviet Union.

"We're already spending millions of dollars a year in Russia," she said."If we can balance that against increasing American security and helpingthe Russian economy, we should." The swap would help Russia by keepingmoney at home and providing more employment to people hired to secureand dismantle the weapons.

Worries about the fate of aging Russian nuclear weapons and the vastsystem of Soviet-era weapons labs are much more than academic. A recentSenate report cited three disturbing instances that have sparked fears-- increased since the Sept. 11 attacks -- of a terrorist nuclear bombor "dirty bomb," in which conventional explosives are used to spreadpoisonous radioactivity.

The cases cited include a conspiracy at one of Russia's largest nuclearweapons facilities to steal enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclearbomb; an attempt by an employee at a weapons facility to sell designs toagents of Iraq and Afghanistan; and the theft of radioactive materialfrom a Russian submarine base.

Money To Comply With Treaty

Russia is going to need money to pay for compliance with the latestU.S.- Russia nuclear weapons reduction treaty. That pact, awaitingSenate ratification, calls for Russia to dismantle more than 3,000long-range weapons.

The Russians already have about 13,000 strategic and short-range nuclearweapons in stockpiles.

Experts say the Tauscher bill, which is similar to legislation in theSenate, is a good idea. "There is no question debt reduction wouldadvance United States nonproliferation efforts," said James Fuller ofthe nuclear defense nonproliferation program at Pacific NorthwestNational Laboratory in Idaho.

He said the debt program should be in addition to a plannedinternational aid effort dubbed "10 plus 10 over 10." This idea, agreedto by leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations, calls forthe United States to spend $10 billion in Russia over 10 years, a figureto be matched by other leading Western nations. In addition, there is aneffort to get other lending nations to join the United States in anydebt swap. In all, Russia still has about $71 billion in Soviet-eraforeign debt on its books.

"The best way to ensure Russian cooperation is to earmark the debt swapas an increase in aid and to give Russia a partnership role in runningsuch a program," Fuller said.

Alan Larson, the undersecretary of state whose portfolio includes thenonproliferation effort, praised the debt swap idea but didn't committhe administration to supporting it. The Russian government of PresidentVladimir Putin likes the idea.

"It's a very innovative option," Larson said. "The administration willconsider this exceptional way of funding nonproliferation activitiesbecause of the unique burden Russia faces."

But opposition to the debt swap is easy to find in Congress. "I'm not abig fan of forgiveness of debt," said Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, at theHouse hearing. "You invite future instances of countries' going intodebt expecting it will be forgiven later on. I'm generally going to befairly skeptical."
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C. Russia-U.S.

1.
Meeting With American Congressmen Took Place In The Russian ForeignMinistry
RIA Novosti
August 21, 2002
(for personal use only)


On Wednesday First Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia VyacheslavTrubnikov received in Moscow a delegation of American congressmen. TheAmerican delegation was headed by Henry Hyde, the Chairman of theCongress Committee on International Relations. According to theinformation provided by the Russian Foreign Ministry, the parties spokein favour of continuing the dialogue on key strategic issues.

The participants in the meting assessed the development ofRusso-American relations as "positive." They also expressed satisfactionwith the level of cooperation between the two countries in the struggleagainst global threats and challenges which primarily refers tointernational terrorism.
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D. Russia-Iran

1.
Egypt Reports Increase In Iranian Nuke Activity
Middle East Newsline
August 20, 2002
(for personal use only)


Israel and the United States are said to have detected a significantacceleration in Russia's efforts to build a nuclear reactor in Iran. AnEgyptian report said that Russia and Iran have increased the number ofpersonnel working on the Bushehr nuclear reactor. So far, the reportsaid, more than 20,000 people are at the site. The report, published inthe monthly journal by the United Arab Emirates military, said Israeland the United States have determined that the number of personnel atBushehr has increased significantly over the last few months. Theincrease consists of scientists and technicians and the activity in thearea has been described as unusual. Authored by Egyptian Gen. SaadShaaban, the report, which was not described as an official study by theEgyptian government or military, said Israel and U.S. spy satelliteshave increased their monitoring of the Bushehr area. Shaaban, an armyofficer and regarded as a leading strategist, said the focus of thesatellite reconnaissance is the Helila oasis, about 17 kilometers fromBushehr.
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E. Russian Nuclear Forces

1.
Delta-IV Submarine Scheduled For Overhaul Repairs
Bellona
August 21, 2002
(for personal use only)


A Delta-IV class submarine, the Bryansk, is placed into a dry dock atshipyard Zvezdochka in Severodvinsk, ITAR-TASS reported. The nuclearpowered submarine of the Northern Fleet, the Bryansk (K-117), is inSeverodvinsk scheduled for overhaul repairs. The SSBN is currentlyplaced into a dry dock to be transferred into a ship-house. The repairswill take several years, depending on the funding available. The Bryanskwas taken into operation in the Northern Fleet in 1990. Earlier,Zvezdochka shipyard repaired two Delta-IV class submarines - theVerkhoturye, K-51 (in operation since 1985), and the Yekaterinburg, K-84(in operation since 1986). The latter submarine was launched from theworkshop this year. The submarine is to enter sea trials shortly.Russian Navy has seven Delta-IV class submarines in operation, whichrepresent currently the core of the Russian naval strategic forces.
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2.
Moscow Extends Life Of 144 Cold War Ballistic Missiles
Nick Paton Walsh
The Guardian
August 20, 2002
(for personal use only)


Russia has announced a radical plan to overhaul more than 100 of itsmost powerful intercontinental nuclear missiles, which had been destinedfor the scrapheap under the arms reduction treaties with the UnitedStates.

A total of 144 of the missiles, which weigh 200 tonnes and can eachcarry 10 warheads to the US from silos behind the Ural mountains, weredue to be dismantled by 2007 under the Start 2 weapons treaty signed byGeorge Bush Sr and Boris Yeltsin nine years ago.

But the commander in chief of Russia's strategic nuclear forces,Colonel-General Nikolai Solovtsov, has declared that the missiles -nicknamed Satan by the west during the cold war - are to be refurbishedand upgraded to keep them fully operational until 2014.

The decision has been seen as an indication of Russia's desire tomaintain a functioning nuclear arsenal, despite its warmer relationswith the west, and to aggressively pursue a strong negotiating positionwith the White House.

The missiles are considered particularly effective, since they send 50warheads over their target area, 40 of which are decoys designed tooutwit sophisticated missile defence systems of the kind planned by theBush administration.

Ten warheads are left to deliver one-megaton payloads.

Satan missiles are land-based, allowing several to be launchedsimultaneously from the same place, thus increasing their chance ofevading a defence system.

Their prolonged existence is a significant issue in Washington, which isat pains to justify and expedite the creation of a missile defenceshield.

General Solovtsov announced that three divisions of the silo-based SS 18"Satan" missiles would be saved, as would one division of thetrain-based SS 24 "Scalpel" heavy missiles.

It is Russia's first practical step towards renovating its nucleararsenal since the US declared in December that it considered theanti-ballistic-missile treaty obsolete.

President Bush said the treaty prevented the US defending itself againstterrorism and claimed that a new era of entente with Russia meant it wasno longer needed.

"We're moving to replace mutually assured destruction with mutualcooperation," Mr Bush said at the time.

President Vladimir Putin replied that the decision was a "mistake", butnot a threat to Russia.

Six months later Russia pulled out of the START-2 treaty, whichcompelled it to destroy its Satan missiles.

Defence experts said the decision to renovate the Satan was alsomotivated by the cash crisis in the Russian armed forces.

"It is cheaper to keep maintaining the missiles than to dismantle them,"Yevgeny Miasnikov of the Centre for Arms Control, Energy andEnvironmental Studies in Moscow said.

"The missiles are not very old. The general purpose [of the Russianmilitary] is still the downsizing [of the nuclear arsenal], but thiswill not happen as quickly as we thought two years ago."
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F. Russian Nuclear Power Industry

1.
U.S. Experts Express Interest In Russian Nuclear Energy Technologies
Interfax
August 21, 2002
(for personal use only)


Russia's latest nuclear energy technologies are drawing U.S.specialists' attention, Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev hassaid. Both the United States and Russia "realize that the main uraniumdeposits will have been exhausted in the second half of this century.Fuel for nuclear power plants will last for a maximum of a hundredyears. To meet mankind's needs, regenerated uranium, as well as weapons-grade and energy plutonium, should be applied in global power[generation]. Reactors based on depleted materials should be used,"Rumyantsev said in an interview with Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper.Fast-neutron and high-temperature nuclear reactors with coolingfacilities are the technologies of the future, he said.
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2.
Rosenergoatom Opt To Sell Floating NPP To China
Bellona
August 21, 2002
(for personal use only)


Representatives of Russian nuclear energy utility, Rosenergoatom, touredChina in attempt to sell new Russian invention - floating nuclear powerplants. A delegation comprised of Rosenergoatom and Sudimport, a shipimport company, were in China from August 14th and until August 17th tohold negotiations about the perspectives of selling floating nuclearpower plants, Nuclear.Ru reported. Anatoly Kirichenko, the head ofRosenergoatom's international department, says to Nuclear.RU that thenegotiations resulted in an agreement to continue talks on this matter.Mr Kirichenko also said that the negotiations focused on supply of up toseven floating nuclear units to China. There were also talks that Russiacould manufacture nuclear units and place it on Chinese boats.Rosenergoatom and Ministry for Nuclear Energy, Minatom, have plans tosupply half the world with the floating NPPs, which today exist only onpaper. Severodvinsk shipyards, Arkhangelsk region, is planning to startconstruction of the first plant shortly, given the funding is in place.The reactors sketched for the plants will be standard PWRs used to powernuclear icebreakers. Despite the optimistic reports from the trip toChina, Bellona Web has information that the talks ended with nosubstance.
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3.
Chechen War Veteran To Build A Nuke Plant
Rashid Alimov
Bellona
August 20, 2002
(for personal use only)


Vladimir Shamanov, Governor of Ulyanovsk County, established a workinggroup to draft a declaration of intention with the Ministry for NuclearEnergy on building a nuclear heat plant.

Mikhail Piskunov, chairman of Dimitrovgrad Centre for Assistance onCitizens' Initiatives, says that he has obtained documents, revealinggovernor's plan to build in Ulyanovsk County, southern Russia, a nuclearheat plant (NHP).

One of the documents, the decree "On Creating a Working Group to Preparea Mutual Declaration with Ministry for Nuclear Energy" (479-p dated13.06.02), is signed by the head of the county General VladimirShamanov.

Mikhail Piskunov says that the Decree refers to an agreement, which hadbeen reached by the Ministry of Nuclear Energy, or Minatom, andUlyanovsk County administration two years ago. As strange it might be,however, this agreement was signed on the day off - on June 12th 2000 -and has not been published, though Russian legislation demands suchdocuments to be public domain. "Laws stipulate, such questions to besolved taking into account what people think. Like in the Soviet times,county authorities and Minatom keep their plans in secret fromtax-payers, whose money would be spent on this nuclear furnace."

The draft Declaration of Intention on building the nuclear heat plantstipulates construction of two VK-300 reactors, which would cost about$310m. The document says, the reactor units are to be put in operationin 2011 and 2012.

Dimitrovgrad

The NHP would be located not far from Dimitrovgrad, where NuclearReactor Research Institute is situated. The Institute comprises sevenreactors and several nuclear research subdivisions.

One of the reactors in operation - VK-50 - is the prototype of theplanned VK-300.

"Design characteristics of VK reactors are rather poor", says YuryZagumennov, former scientist of the Nuclear Reactor Research Institute,now expert of Dimitrovgrad Centre for Assistance on Citizens'Initiatives.

Facts confirm this assertion. In 1996, VK-50 was accounted for anemergency emission of 4.5 tonnes of radioactive gas-vapour mixture. Anearlier accident resulted in 15 tonne emission of radioactive materials.Cladding failures of nuclear fuel elements has been documented severaltimes. The reactor uses water as coolant, generating great amounts ofradioactive waste, which is dumped into the underground, intowater-bearing horizons.

Plans to burn plutonium

Representatives of the nuclear industry claim that they are going toburn plutonium fuel in the new nuclear heat plant.

The construction of the plant, supported by Shamanov, general who foughtin Chechnya, does not provide economical benefits. Energy-generatingplants of the region, including heat power plants in Ulyanovsk, are notbeing used to their full capacity. The first-rate energy consumer in thecounty, Dimitrovgrad Automobile factory, refused to pay for energy,generated by VK-50 reactor, because it is too expensive. The factorypreferred to receive electricity from remote Kama hydro-plant, cuttingdown expenses for $200 thousands monthly.

Safe alternative

Dimitrovgrad city administration is considering an alternative project,which can meet the entire region's energy needs in a long run. It is anew power plant based on gas turbine. Such plant can generate up to 10MWand sell the electricity at a lower price, compared to the average pricetag in Ulyanovsk County. Though, nuclear lobby attempt to put obstaclesfor the project.

"They well understand that if they miss today's opportunity to sell anuclear plant, they won't be able to do it later," says MikhailPiskunov.

Bogus nuclear plants taking shape

Possible building of a nuclear plant in Ulyanovsk County was stipulatedin the federal program for Energy Efficient Economics for the Years 2002to 2005 and till 2010 in the long-term planning part. According to thisdocument, installed nuclear capacity of the Ulyanovsk plant operating onfour power units, will be 4GW.

Bellona Web reported on this Program earlier and discovered that Minatomhad alienated itself from it since it was written by the Ministry forEnergy and was "full of inaccuracies." It seemed that the Program wouldbe implemented on the sly, accompanied by Minatom's officials claimsthat they have nothing to do with the plans, mentioned in the Program.They would say that Program comprises the maximum of the new NPPs to bebuilt possible, but it is not an obvious thing that all the NPPs will beactually built. In the backstage, Minatom will still be planning andbuilding new NPPs.

In the beginning of 2002, despite the public opposition, the Governor ofSaratov County and the Minister for Nuclear Energy signed a declarationif intention for design and putting into operation the fifth and thesixth power units at Balakovo NPP. A similar declaration for UlyanovskCounty is being drafted as well. Minatom sends a delegation to China tosell there a recently designed floating NPP, a prototype of which seemsto be under construction in Severodvinsk - and there is a line itemstipulating such construction in the Program as well. Where the programfilled with inaccuracies pops up next time remains to be seen.
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G. Spent Nuclear Fuel

1.
Local Duma Members In Krasnodar Oppose Spent Fuel Transit
Bellona
August 21, 2002
(for personal use only)


Despite the protest of Krasnodar region Duma, Ministry for NuclearEnergy (Minatom) plans spent nuclear fuel transit through the sourthernport of Novorossiysk at the Black Sea, VolgaInform reported. Krasnodarregion Duma members expressed their concern regarding the perspectivesof foreign spent nuclear fuel being shipped through the region anddiscussed this issue at one of their meetings. Minatom's plans to entercontracts with Bulgaria and Iran on spent nuclear fuel import to Russiawill lead to intensive use of the port in Novorossiysk as a transitpoint. The first batch of the fuel from Iran can arrive, however, toRussia only in 2010. But the newly announced contract with Bulgaria willlead to intensified spent nuclear fuel shipments through the Black Seaport. The Duma is resolved to start studying the coming information onthis issue and take actions if necessary.
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H. Former Soviet Republics

1.
No Obstacles For Creating A Free Market Zone In Central Asia, Says UNUnder Secretary General
Yulia Orlova
RIA Novosti
August 20th, 2002
(for personal use only)


At the present time there are no insurmountable obstacles in CentralAsia for creating a zone free from nuclear weapons, and the UnitedNations intends to do everything possible to speed up this process, saidUN Under Secretary General for disarmament Jayantha Dhanapal in Bishkekon Tuesday.

According to Jayantha Dhanapal, in case a free nuclear zone is createdin Central Asia, none of the countries in the world under any pretextwill be able to deploy weapons of mass destruction in the region. Todiscuss this problem with the heads of five countries in the CentralAsian region - Tajikistan, Kirghizia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan andTurkmenia - is the main aim of his present visit.

The spokesman for the United Nations also underscored that the creationof zones free from nuclear weapons in as many as possible regions of theworld and the slowing down of the arms race on all the continents arethe main tasks of the United Nations. At the present time there are foursimilar zones - in Africa, Latin America, South East and South Asia, andthe United Nations will do its utmost to speed up the process ofcreating the fifth one - in Central Asia.

According to the data of the United Nations, last year all together 800billion US dollars were spent on purchasing armaments. This figure hasreached such a high mark for the first time after the end of the ColdWar.
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I. Nuclear Waste

1.
Russian Atomic Energy Ministry Does Not Conduct Negotiations On BringingRadioactive Waste Into The Country
RIA Novosti
August 21, 2002
(for personal use only)


The Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy has refuted all reports that it isconducting negotiations on bringing into the country low-active nuclearwaste from abroad. On Wednesday, the Ministry's press service reportedthat it had never conducted such negotiations and did not give suchpowers to any Russian or foreign organisation.

The ministry observes the existing legislative ban on bringing to Russialow-active radioactive waste from abroad, the ministry's press releasereads.

The Russian ministry has also refuted the information about the facilitywhich is allegedly being built on the Kuril Islands for to storelow-active radioactive waste. The Russian Atomic Enerfy Ministry "doesnot support this project," says the press release.

It also reads that the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry is trying to enterthe world market of services for storing and processing foreignirradiated nuclear fuel. "Irradiated nuclear fuel is not radioactivewaste, but is a valuable energy raw material which can be used more thanonce as fuel for nuclear power plants," underscores the press release.
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J. Announcements

1.
OSCE-Supervised Melange Project In Georgia Successfully Concluded
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Mission to Georgia
August 16, 2002


The Melange project, an OSCE-supervised project aimed at producingfertilizer from highly explosive missile fuel in Georgia, has beensuccessfully concluded.

"The international co-operation of German experts with local specialistsunder OSCE supervision was a full success", said Ambassador Jean-MichelLacombe, Head of the OSCE Mission to Georgia.

In total, 400 tons of highly dangerous liquid missile fuel stored on theformer Soviet airfield in Meria, Western Georgia, were transformed intofertilizer for the acid soil in the same region.

This pilot project was realized through OSCE voluntary funds andestablished in order to alleviate the consequences of the disbanding offormer Soviet military sites in Georgia. It was financed by thegovernments of Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey and the United Kingdom.In addition, Germany sent experts to help with the work. The project wasimplemented by the Institute for Physical and Organic Chemistry of theGeorgian Academy of Science.

Following the successful conclusion of the project, the OSCE has beenrequested by the Georgian authorities to take further steps to securemissile storage areas in Georgia. Numerous missiles, partly filled withexplosive liquid fuel and still equipped with warheads, urgently have tobe scrapped safely. The OSCE Mission to Georgia continues to seekfunding for such projects in the framework of the OSCE voluntary fund.
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K. Links of Interest

1.
The Moscow Treaty Will Not Eliminate Weapons Or Reduce Arsenals
Joseph Cirincione
APS Physics and Society Newsletter
July 2002
http://www.aps.org/units/fps/jul02/commentaries.pdf


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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