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Nuclear News - 09/06/02
RANSAC Nuclear News, September 6, 2002
Compiled by David Smigielski



A. Cooperative Threat Reduction
    1. US Helps Russia Move Uranium To Safer Sites, Nick Paton Walsh, The Guardian, September 6, 2002
    2. US, Russian Nuke Security Officials Meet, Associated Press, September 4, 2002
    3. Russia, U.S.: Main Actors In Global Partnership For Nonproliferation, RIA Novosti, September 4, 2002
B. Russia-Iran
    1. Iranian-Russian Nuclear Cooperation Pursuing Only Peaceful Objectives, Nikolai Terekhov, RIA Novosti, September 4, 2002
    2. Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant To Be Put To Operation In Early 2004, Nikolai Terekhov, RIA Novosti, September 4, 2002
    3. Russia-Iran Energy Cooperation Not Limited To Building Of Nuclear Power Plant "Bushehr" Alone, Nikolai Terekhov, RIA Novosti, September 4, 2002
C. Russia-G8
    1. G-8 Pledge Needs Organization, Lugar Says, Bryan Bender, Global Security Newswire, September 6, 2002
D. Submarine Dismantlement
    1. Nerpa Shipyard Can Go Bankrupt Without US Money, Bellona, September 5, 2002
    2. Brand New US Sponsored Defuelling Site Unable To Handle Typhoons, Igor Kudrik, Bellona, September 4, 2002
E. Nuclear Terrorism
    1. U.N. Worried About Nuclear 'Dirty Bomb' Material, Louis Charbonneau, Reuters, September 5, 2002
    2. Russia To Spend $136m On Nuclear Security, RBC, September 5, 2002
    3. Russian Defense Ministry Denies Possibility Of Nuclear Weapons Theft, Interfax, September 4, 2002
F. Russian Nuclear Power Industry
    1. Nuclear Revenues, Moscow Times, September 6, 2002
    2. Russia Plans 4 New Nuclear Reactors, Associated Press, September 5, 2002
    3. Nuclear Power Up, Prime-TASS, September 5, 2002
G. Central Asia Nuclear Free Zone
    1. C. Asia Nuke Pact May Be Ready Soon, Associated Press, August 24, 2002
H. Announcements
    1. Russian Deputy Minister Of Foreign Affairs Georgy Mamedov Meets With Linton Brooks, Acting Administrator Of The US National Nuclear Security Administration, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, September 5, 2002
I. Links of Interest
    1. Topical Issues: Nuclear Power - Life Cycle Management, Managing Nuclear Knowledge, Nuclear Security, Scientific Forum During the 46th Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference, September 17-18, 2002
    2. US Nuclear Policy And The Future Of Arms Control, Jon B. Wolfsthal, Paper for STYX Conference, Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, August 28, 2002
    3. Research Reactors, UIC Nuclear Issues Briefing Paper # 66, August 2002

A. Cooperative Threat Reduction

1.
US Helps Russia Move Uranium To Safer Sites
Nick Paton Walsh
The Guardian
September 6, 2002
(for personal use only)


US and Russian nuclear security officers are planning a joint operationwith Uzbek officials to remove a large amount of enriched uranium from areactor site in Uzbekistan considered vulnerable because of itsproximity to Afghanistan.

An estimated 70kg - enough to make at least one bomb - is stored at theInstitute of Nuclear Physics at Ulugbek, near Tashkent, close to porousborders with Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Security at the site is considered very weak.

Washington will pay up to $4m (£2.6m) towards the cost of the operation.

Nikolai Shingariev, head of information at Minatom, the Russian civilnuclear authority, confirmed yesterday that the operation would go aheadwithin months, but declined to give any details.

"Shipments like this go everywhere with heavily armed guards," he said .

Both spent fuel and fresh nuclear fuel will be moved to a more securelocation in Russia.

"[The security at] most of these old reactors is pretty scary," saidMatthew Bunn, senior research assistant at the Managing the Atom projectat Harvard University.

Security at the Ulugbek site was upgraded in the mid-90s by theinstallation of such essentials as hardened doors, and personnel accesscontrols.

A source at Minatom said the US and Russian authorities were trying topersuade the Uzbek authorities to close the reactor down rather thanconvert it to use uranium that is less enriched and harder to convertinto weapons-grade material.

Meanwhile it has become known that three tonnes of material withpotential for use in a bomb has already been moved from the Aktaunuclear reactor in western Kazakhstan to a plant at Ust-Kamenogorsk, onthe border between eastern Kazakhstan and Russia, considered moresecure.

Aktau is on the Kazakh coast of the Caspian Sea, which also bordersIran, a state keen to obtain nuclear technology.

US officials were concerned about Iran's interest in the site in thelate 90s and arranged to have spent fuel put into big metal drumsdifficult to move.

The reactor was shut down in April 1999 because the Kazak authoritiesconsidered it too isolated, but a large amount of material remained atthe site.

"There were three tonnes of better than weapons-grade plutonium at thissite that you could row a boat to," Mr Bunn said.

Its removal a few months ago was carried out by local companiesassociated with the plant but the security costs were met by the NuclearThreat Initiative (NTI), which is funded by the American mediabillionaire Ted Turner.

The material will be turned into a less enriched form of uranium.

Mr Turner through the NTI also financed the removal of kilos of enricheduranium from a crumbling Belgrade reactor in former Yugoslavia.
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2.
US, Russian Nuke Security Officials Meet
Associated Press
September 4, 2002
(for personal use only)


The official in charge of U.S. nuclear security matters met Wednesdaywith Russia's deputy foreign minister to discuss cooperation to reducethe threat of weapons of mass destruction, including a dlrs 20 billionWestern effort to help Russia dispose of its arsenal of aging nuclear,biological and chemical weapons, the Foreign Ministry said.

Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov and Linton Brooks, the actingadministrator of the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration, alsodiscussed the secure storage and transport of nuclear materials,military conversion, surplus fissile materials and refitting reactors"to meet modern nonproliferation, ecological and economic needs," theForeign Ministry said.

Meanwhile, a spokesman said Wednesday that Russia's customs service hasinstalled four U.S. funded monitors to detect radioactive cargoes atnorthern border crossing points.

One of the systems is in place at St. Petersburg's Pulkovo airport, andthe three others have been installed at sea cargo checkpoints on theBaltic Sea, said Nikolai Vragov, head of the Northwest CustomsDepartment's press service.

He said that five or six more such systems would be installed. TheUnited States has fully financed the purchase and installation of thesystems, which were manufactured by Yantar, a Russian firm.

"The United States is providing this help to Russia in the framework offighting international nuclear terrorism," Vragov said.

Cashapped Russia has sought help from the United States and otherWestern countries to safeguard and destroy some of its nuclear,biological and chemical weapons. Western countries have also help fundsecurity upgrades at nuclear facilities and helped Russia tighten itsborder controls to prevent smuggling of radioactive materials.
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3.
Russia, U.S.: Main Actors In Global Partnership For Nonproliferation
RIA Novosti
September 4, 2002
(for personal use only)


Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov and Linton Brooks, ActingAdministrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)within the U.S. Energy Department, have considered the preparations forRusso-American talks on the implementation of the G8 Global PartnershipAgreement on the Non-proliferation of Weapons and Materials of MassDestruction, the Russian Foreign Ministry's Information and PressDepartment reports in a press release.

It will be remembered that the Global Partnership Agreement was approvedat the latest G8 summit in Kananaskis, Canada.

The Mamedov-Brooks meeting dealt with a wide range of issues related tothe development of U.S.-Russian cooperation in ensuring safe storage andtransportation of nuclear materials and in disposing of redundant andwaste weapons-grade radioactive materials, the Foreign Ministry's pressrelease says. According to the ministry, the sides pointed out theparticular relevance of such interaction now that measures counteringnuclear proliferation come together with the fight against internationalterrorism.
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B. Russia-Iran

1.
Iranian-Russian Nuclear Cooperation Pursuing Only Peaceful Objectives
Nikolai Terekhov
RIA Novosti
September 4, 2002
(for personal use only)


The accusations against Russia and Iran voiced by "certain politicians"that the countries' cooperation in the nuclear sphere "is of doublepurpose" are "groundless", said Doctor Hossein Afarideh, chairman of theIranian Majlis (parliament) Energy Commission in an exclusive interviewwith RIA Novosti. "Everyone is perfectly aware that the nuclear powerplant Busher is being built only for producing electricity," heemphasized.

Iran has no aims or intentions of creating nuclear weapons, Afaridehsaid. Scientific and technological capacities of the new plant will onlyallow to produce electricity forthe country's needs, he pointed out.

"Moreover, all activities at the plant since the construction began havebeen controlled by MAGATE specialists," the Iranian MP stressed. Thisyear Busher has been visited by 70 expert groups of the internationalagency which strictly controls the issues of nuclear weapons nonproliferation, he said.

None of the committees discovered anything illegal which could testifyto a deviation in the plant's construction, Afarideh added.
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2.
Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant To Be Put To Operation In Early 2004
Nikolai Terekhov
RIA Novosti
September 4, 2002
(for personal use only)


Iran is highly interested in the completion of the Bushehr Nuclear PowerPlant (NPP), as well as in other nuclear projects on its territory, Dr.Hussein Afarideh, the Chairman of the Energy Committee of the IranianMejles (legislature), is quoted as saying in an exclusive interview withRIA Novosti.

He highly appreciated Russia's determination to continue to cooperatewith the Islamic Republic of Iran in the area of civil nuclear energy.However, he believes that the Bushehr project should be completed first.

The truth is that this power plant has been constructed for over 30years, the legislator said. These were the Germans who started theproject, but it came to a standstill following the Islamic Revolution.Today, these are Russian experts who are completing this facility.

Dr. Afarideh believes that a successful completion of the project atissue will create a sound potential for expanding cooperation in thearea of civil nuclear energy and, consequently, the construction ofother NPPs in Iran.

The legislator added that the NPP Bushehr is expected to be put tooperation in late 2003 or early 2004.
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3.
Russia-Iran Energy Cooperation Not Limited To Building Of Nuclear PowerPlant "Bushehr" Alone
Nikolai Terekhov
RIA Novosti
September 4, 2002
(for personal use only)


Russia-Iran energy cooperation is not limited to building of "Bushehr"nuclear power plant, said chairman of the Iranian Majlis (parliament)Energy Commission Hossein Afarideh in an exclusive interview with RIANovosti.

An opportunity of building the first thermal power plant in Iran, usingnatural coal, is now being discussed, he said. This is a jointRussian-Iranian project "Tabas".

Taking into account the necessity to acquire additional energy sourcesfor the country's needs, the opportunity of building "Tabas" powerstation, with a capacity of 1500 MWt, is now being studied by experts,the MP stated. "We will proceed from the real energy needs," he said.

The chairman of the Parliamentary Energy Commission expressed hissatisfaction with the Russian government's draft project on boostingRusso-Iranian scientific and technical cooperation, planned till 2012.

Iran supports Russia's decision to cooperate closely with the Islamicrepublic in terms of energy, Afarideh said. He believes that realisationof this project will not only strengthen bilateral relations in thespheres of science, technology and energy, but increase bilateralcooperation as a whole.

Afarideh added that the Iranian energy sector had a big potential.Russia is not the only country to participate in studying them. Europeancompanies are also taking an active part in oil and gas sectordevelopment.

"We are currently cooperating with Japanese, German and Italiancompanies," added chairman of the Majlis Energy Commission of theIslamic republic.
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C. Russia-G8

1.
G-8 Pledge Needs Organization, Lugar Says
Bryan Bender
Global Security Newswire
September 6, 2002
(for personal use only)


The Group of Eight economic powers must begin coordinating efforts toexpand nonproliferation programs in the former Soviet Union, U.S.Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) said yesterday. Lugar, the seniorRepublican member of the Foreign Relations Committee, is an original cosponsor of the Cooperative Threat Reduction program, the U.S. effort tosupport WMD reductions in former Soviet states.

Lugar, who just returned from a trip to Russia where he witnessed someU.S.-funded nonproliferation programs first-hand - but was prohibitedfrom visiting Kirov 200, one of four military biological weaponsfacilities yet to be opened to the West - applauded a recent G-8decision to dramatically expand the programs with an additional $10billion from Washington and another $10 billion from other G-8 membersover the next 10 years (see GSN, June 28).

The financing will go a long way in addressing remaining chemical,biological and nuclear proliferation threats in Russia, Lugar said. Heexpressed dismay, however, that the effort remains disorganized andlacks a framework for moving ahead.

"Not much has happened since the G-8" meeting in June, Lugar said."There's got to be some kind of organization."

The Foreign Relations Committee plans to hold hearings "in the next fewweeks" to begin debating how the money should be managed andprioritizing the many disarmament projects left to be completed, hesaid.

"This is not necessarily a congressional prerogative," Lugar said,indicating that the leadership of U.S. President George W. Bush andother countries is a needed step, but there is "some sense of urgency"to get things moving.

The $20 billion pledge would build on funds already spent by the UnitedStates since 1991, when Lugar and former Senator Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) firstsponsored the CTR program.

Legislation Pending

Much remains to be done in the former Soviet Union, Lugar said,including destroying Russia's chemical weapons, securing biologicalpathogens such as those believed to be at Kirov 200, eliminatingRussia's tactical nuclear weapons, engaging former weapon scientists inmore peaceful projects, protecting nuclear materials, monitoringradioactive sources, shutting down plutonium producing reactors,disposing of leftover plutonium, dismantling nonstrategic nuclearsubmarines and enhancing nuclear reactor safety.

Bureaucratic delays continue to plague the release of U.S. funds forthese and other related CTR projects. For example, lawmakers arescheduled to deliberate this month on several measures to provide morespending flexibility for CTR funds. The defense authorization bill inthe Senate includes Lugar-sponsored legislation that would allow the CTRprogram to expand beyond the former Soviet Union, but the House ofRepresentatives' version of the bill prohibits such expansion.

As Bush has requested, the Senate bill also seeks to permanently allowthe president to waive the need to certify that Russia is complying withvarious requirements before CTR funds can be released. The House bill,however, includes only a three-year waiver. Lastly, the Senate iscalling for another waiver that would allow CTR funds to begindestroying Russia's chemical weapons, while the House bill has no suchprovision.

All of these differences will have to be ironed out in conferencecommittee, and Lugar expressed confidence that Senate positions willprevail.
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D. Submarine Dismantlement

1.
Nerpa Shipyard Can Go Bankrupt Without US Money
Bellona
September 5, 2002
(for personal use only)


Nerpa shipyard in Murmansk region is on the edge of bankruptcy, NTVreported. The shipyard decommissioned 6 nuclear submarines during 10years. The US Congress covered the works through the Cooperative ThreatReduction Program (CTR) which aimed at eliminating threat from theRussian strategic submarines. The head of Nerpa shipyard proposeddecommissioning of the old general purpose submarines, which present thebiggest threat to the environment, but not to the security of the UnitedStates, hence, cannot be funded by the US. Nerpa officials hope Norwaycould take part in the new program on general submarinesdecommissioning.
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2.
Brand New US Sponsored Defuelling Site Unable To Handle Typhoons
Igor Kudrik
Bellona
September 4, 2002
(for personal use only)


Submarine spent nuclear fuel unloading site commissioned at Zvezdochkashipyard, Severodvinsk, in late August encountered problems trying todefuel a Typhoon class submarine.

The construction of the unloading site was funded by the USA viaCooperative Threat Reduction Act, or CTR, in consent with a contractsigned on May 29th 1998.

Starting in 1992 and until 1997, CTR has been delivering equipment forscrapping ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) to Zvezdochka inSeverodvinsk, Nerpa at the Kola Peninsula and Zvezda shipyard in theRussian Far East. The equipment was used to dismantle five SSBNs. After1997, CTR started to contract directly with the shipyards themselves andfunded the dismantlement of submarines, as the scarce Russia's budgetwould not let the work to proceed.

In 1998, due to the lack of defuelling capabilities and storage spacefor spent nuclear fuel, US officials granted CTR a waiver of thenon-reprocessing policy. It was agreed that CTR would fund shipment ofspent nuclear fuel to the Mayak reprocessing plant from 15 SSBNsdismantled on CTR's money.

But funding of shipment to the Mayak plant was still not enough. Newinfrastructure was to be created to ensure that defuelling SSBNs,including Typhoons, could be carried out. Defuelling operations atSeverodvinsk were carried out at military site coded "09" The fuel caskswere first loaded onboard Malina class ship PM-124, which has been inoperation for 20 years without overhaul repairs. Then an old crane -DPK-125 - in a very bad state of repair took empty TK-18 transportcontainers and placed them into compartment four onboard PM-124 - one ata time. TK-18 was then loaded with fuel and, with the use of craneDPK-124, was transferred into railway car. The site had no pad forintermediate storage of TK-18 containers and hardly met requirements forsafe management of spent nuclear fuel.

The brand new $15 million defuelling site sponsored by the USA islocated at Zvezdochka shipyard. It is equipped with an 80-tonne crane,an intermediate storage pad for 12 fuel transport casks, a parking areafor railway transport cars, and a building where the fuel is transferredto casks. The annual capacity of the site is four Delta class or twoTyphoon class SSBNs. The site, however, cannot deal with damaged reactorcores, thus the condition of fuel in laid up submarines should beverified before they are placed for defuelling there.

The site was scheduled for commissioning in November 2001, but due tovarious delays it was put into operation in August 2002.

The first submarine to be defuelled is Typhoon class - TK-202 - whichhas been laid up in Severodvinsk since July 1999. In mid June this yearit was reported that the works to defuel the Typhoon had been inprogress. Apparently, those were preparations onboard the submarine asthe defuelling site was not ready by that time. The actual defuellingwas to be started last week of August but again the schedule was notfollowed. According to Nikolay Kalistratov, the manager of Zvezdochka,there are technical problems to match the systems onboard the Typhoonand those in the onshore defuelling site. To resolve the problem onemonth of work can be required. Should the process go smoothly, theoperation takes 67 days.

Russian official sources suggest that all together three Typhoon will bescrapped. Those are TK 202, TK-12 and TK-13. The remaining threeTyphoons will perform some testing of new weapons to be placed on newergeneration submarines.

With commissioning of the defuelling site the USA may watch only oneTyphoon being emptied of spent nuclear fuel and consequently scrapped.Local newspapers in Severodvinsk reported that the bridge separating theYagry Island, where Zvezdochka is located, from the mainland is in poorcondition and requires either an upgrade or total reconstruction. Thebridge can hardly be used for the trains laden with spent nuclear fuelcrossing it. The situation suggests that the US officials may very wellbe soon notified that in order to proceed with Typhoons decommissioningmore cash is required - this time for the bridge.
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E. Nuclear Terrorism

1.
U.N. Worried About Nuclear 'Dirty Bomb' Material
Louis Charbonneau
Reuters
September 5, 2002
(for personal use only)


The United Nations' nuclear watchdog is increasingly worried about hugeamounts of discarded and unregulated radioactive material in the worldthat could be used to make "dirty bombs," a top official said Thursday.

A year after the September 11 attacks in the United States, theInternational Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) believes world leadersunderstand that militants could make weapons out of radioactive materialleft over from everyday uses.

"It's very difficult for nuclear reactors to fall out of regulatorycontrol -- to be orphaned -- because they're usually owned bygovernments and are in a few places that everyone knows about," AbelJulio Gonzalez, Director of Radiation and Waste Safety at the IAEA, toldReuters in an interview.

"With radioactive material, the opposite is the case. It is usuallyowned by private people -- hospitals, small clinics, companies that doradiography (X-rays) of piping. It's much easier for this material to beorphaned," he said.

The IAEA's big worry is that it could fall into the hands of terroristgroups who could use them to make "dirty bombs" -- not involving anynuclear reaction or great physical damage, but using conventionalexplosives to spread radioactivity and panic.

POST-SOVIET PROBLEM

Perhaps the main worry is the former Soviet Union.

After it fell apart, much radioactive material that had been used therewas simply abandoned. Nuclear fuel rods lie unattended on Arcticbeaches, portable generators using radioactive sources sit in forests,dump trucks stand idle full of radioactive powder.

"We are talking here about simple radioactive material that is used forthousands of applications, used for so many things that our life wouldbe completely different without it. This material can easily be orphanedand severely contaminate areas."

Caesium is one of the more worrisome radioactive sources for the agency.

In 1987 a canister of caesium-137 powder, used to keep grain fromrotting, was abandoned in a junkyard in Brazil. It contaminated 240people, four of whom later died.

Gonzalez said an unknown number of trucks with a large amount of caesiumappear to have disappeared in the former Soviet republics of Georgia andMoldova.

The agency is cooperating with the United States and Russia to try torecover them, though the number of trucks and their location is stillunclear.

"They are as secure as they can be in a place like Georgia...orMoldova," he said. "These are the kinds of sources that no one knowsabout and only appear when somebody gets hurt.

Last December parts from abandoned Soviet-era portable generatorscontaining deadly strontium-90 were found in a remote Georgian forestnear the breakaway Abkhazia region. Three woodsmen who discovered themwere severely burned by radiation.

Fortunately the events of September 11 have helped to change Russia'sattitude toward complying with international controls on radioactive andnuclear materials, Gonzalez said.

"Before, the basic attitude of Russia was non-engagement -- that thiswas not their problem but a problem of the former Soviet Union," hesaid. "Now I believe things have changed and there really is engagementfrom Russia."
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2.
Russia To Spend $136m On Nuclear Security
RBC
September 5, 2002
(for personal use only)


The Russian atomic energy concern Rosenergoatom is going to spend 4.3bnrubles (about $136m) for improving security at domestic nuclear stationsover the next two years, Rosenergoatom President Oleg Sarayev announcedat a press conference today. In 2002, the concern allocated 2bn rubles(about $63m at the current exchange rate) for these purposes. Theofficial noted that a fund for these allocations was formed by theFederal Energy Commission and approved by the Finance Ministry while thespending was controlled by the Gosatomnadzor nuclear security watchdog.Sarayev stressed that regulating the level of security at nuclearstations was an uninterrupted process, implemented within the EuropeanConvention on Nuclear Security.
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3.
Russian Defense Ministry Denies Possibility Of Nuclear Weapons Theft
Interfax
September 4, 2002
(for personal use only)


The Russian Defense Ministry has denied the possibility of nuclearweapons being stolen from storage facilities.

"A theft or a leak from our nuclear weapons storage facilities isabsolutely impossible," Col. Gen. Igor Volynkin, head of the DefenseMinistry's 12th main department in charge of nuclear security, toldjournalists late on Wednesday.

The general said that security measures at nuclear weapons storagefacilities have recently been increased threefold. "We have very toughsecurity measures. The procedure of opening nuclear facilities alone isso complicated that nobody, including officials, can enter them withouta pass," the general said.
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F. Russian Nuclear Power Industry

1.
Nuclear Revenues
Moscow Times
September 6, 2002
(for personal use only)


State-owned nuclear energy monopoly Rosenergoatom plans to double itsrevenues to 50 billion rubles ($1.6 billion) from 28 billion rubles thisyear, Rosenergoatom president Oleg Sarayev told reporters Thursday.

The company, which was founded in 1992, manages Russia's 10 nuclearpower plants and is responsible for maintaining nuclear and radiologicalsafety at all stages of nuclear power production, including containmentand cleanup measures in the event of an accident.

Nikolai Sorokin, Rosenergoatom's technical director, said the companywill more than double the amount of money it spends on safety at itsplants next year to 4.3 billion rubles from 2 billion rubles this year.

Sorokin, citing a recent study by the world's governing body for nuclearpower, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Russia has thethird-safest nuclear power industry in the world after Germany andJapan.
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2.
Russia Plans 4 New Nuclear Reactors
Associated Press
September 5, 2002
(for personal use only)


With fears of nuclear energy giving way to concerns about powershortages, Russia is carrying out an ambitious plan of putting four newnuclear reactors on line in the next several years, officials saidThursday.

Rosenergoatom, a state consortium in charge of the nation's nuclearpower plants, plans to launch reactor No. 3 at the Kalinin power plantin western Russia next year and intends to complete another threereactors at the Kursk, Rostov and Balakovo plants by 2006, said itspresident Oleg Sarayev.

``Atomic energy has a very big potential of growth,'' Sarayev said at anews conference.

The April 1986 explosion at a nuclear reactor in Chernobyl in thenSoviet Ukraine -- the world's worst nuclear catastrophe -- caused strongpublic distrust of atomic power and thwarted plans to build newreactors.

But increasingly acute power shortages in post-Soviet Russia have raiseda renewed interest in nuclear power among regional officials and thepopulation.

``We had Chernobyl, and its burden will stay with us,'' Sarayev said.But, he added, ``Rosenergoatom has started a new life, linked to therevival of nuclear energy.''

In March 2001, Russia launched its first new nuclear reactor since theChernobyl catastrophe, at a plant in the southern Rostov region.

Rostov's 1,000-megawatt reactor is of the VVER-1000 type that usespressurized water to cool its fuel rods instead of the less-stablegraphite used in RBMK reactors, like the one that exploded at Chernobyl.

Sarayev said Rosenergoatom is working to modernize some of the oldest ofRussia's 30 existing nuclear reactors to extend their lifetime.Rosenergoatom now accounts for 15.4 percent of Russia's energyproduction.

He said the consortium produces energy nearly twice as cheaply asconventional plants fire by coal or natural gas.
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3.
Nuclear Power Up
Prime-TASS
September 5, 2002
(for personal use only)


Nuclear power plants generated 88.4 billion kilowatt-hours of power inJanuary-August, up 4.5 percent year on year and 520 million kwh abovetarget, state nuclear power holding Rosenergoatom reported Wednesday.

In 2001, nuclear power plants' output rose 1.6 percent year on year to109 billion kwh. Output is expected to rise to 144 billion kwh thisyear.
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G. Central Asia Nuclear Free Zone

1.
C. Asia Nuke Pact May Be Ready Soon
Associated Press
August 24, 2002
(for personal use only)


The top U.N. disarmament official signaled Saturday that a draft treatydeclaring the five former Soviet republics in Central Asia anuclear-free zone may be ready for signing this year.

Jayantha Dhanapala, who is at the end of a tour to persuade CentralAsian leaders to speed up talks, said he was encouraged by the talks andhoped the document would be signed this year.

``We in the United Nations think that the present historical moment isan opportune one to conclude the treaty in order to signal thestability, the unity and prospects for the future in this Central Asianregion,'' he told reporters in the Uzbek capital Tashkent.

A nuclear-free zone treaty is expected to lead to international effortsto identify all radioactive sources in Central Asia and tighten controlover such sources.

Since the Soviet breakup in 1991, there have been widespread attempts tosmuggle radioactive materials out of impoverished Central Asiancountries, which have been unable to ensure proper security for theradioactive facilities they inherited from the Soviet Union.

The treaty also envisages cleaning up environmental damage caused byradioactive materials. The Soviet military heavily used Kazakhstan fornuclear tests and part of the Soviet nuclear arsenal was stationedthere.

The Central Asian nations agreed to create a nuclear-free zone at asummit in Kazakhstan in 1997.

Dhanapala, the U.N. Undersecretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, heldtalks in Tashkent after visits to Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.The last leg of his two-week tour will take him to Turkmenistan.
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H. Announcements

1.
Russian Deputy Minister Of Foreign Affairs Georgy Mamedov Meets WithLinton Brooks, Acting Administrator Of The US National Nuclear SecurityAdministration
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
September 5, 2002


Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation GeorgyMamedov on September 4 received Linton Brooks, Acting Administrator ofthe US National Nuclear Security Administration.

During the talk, the sides discussed a broad range of questionspertaining to development of Russian-American cooperation in the areasof safe storage and transportation of nuclear materials, the dispositionof excess weapons-grade fissile materials, conversion ofmilitary-nuclear complexes, and the development of advanced nuclearreactors and fuel cycles meeting the present day nonproliferation,ecological and environmental requirements. In particular, they examinedthe preparations for Russian-American talks on the implementation of theprogram for the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons of MassDestruction (WMDs), approved at the recent G8 summit in Kananaskis,Canada.

They noted the special relevance of this cooperation in the conditionswhen counteracting the spread of WMDs is inseparably connected with theinternational efforts to combat international terrorism and lowerregional tensions.
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I. Links of Interest

1.
Topical Issues: Nuclear Power - Life Cycle Management, Managing Nuclear
Knowledge, Nuclear Security
Scientific Forum During the 46th Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference
September 17-18, 2002
http://www.iaea.org/worldatom/Meetings/2002/gc02sfpr.pdf


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2.
US Nuclear Policy And The Future Of Arms Control
Jon B. Wolfsthal
Paper for STYX Conference
Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
August 28, 2002
http://www.ceip.org/files/projects/npp/pdf/Paper%20for%20STYX%20Conference.pdf


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3.
Research Reactors
UIC Nuclear Issues Briefing Paper # 66
August 2002
http://www.uic.com.au/nip66.htm


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DISCLAIMER: Nuclear News is presented for informational purposes only.Views presented in any given article are those of the individual authoror source and not of RANSAC. RANSAC takes no responsibility for thetechnical accuracy of information contained in any article presented inNuclear News.



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