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Nuclear News - 09/11/02
RANSAC Nuclear News, September 11, 2002
Compiled by David Smigielski

A. Russia-U.S
    1. John Bolton Arrives In Russia For Talks, Associated Press, September 11, 2002
    2. Russia And USA Have Common Key Interests, Believe Russian Senators, Maria Balynina, RIA Novosti, September 11, 2002
    3. US Under Secretary Of State John Bolton Will Arrive In Moscow On Wednesday, Arkady Orlov, RIA Novosti, September 10, 2002
    4. Disarmament Is One Of UN's Main Tasks, RIA Novosti, September 10, 2002
    5. US Under Secretary Of State John Bolton To Conduct Negotiations In Russian Foreign Ministry, RIA Novosti, September 9, 2002
B. U.S.-Russia HEU Purchase Agreement
    1. New Uranium Plant Will Be in Tennessee, New York Times, September 10, 2002
    2. HEU-LEU Price Determination Procedures To Change In 2003, Interfax, September 9, 2002
    1. Nuclear Plants Avoid Conversion, Eric Williamson, Augusta Chronicle, September 1, 2002
D. Spent Nuclear Fuel
    1. International Conference On Use Of Irradiated Nuclear Fuel Opens In Moscow, Pravda, September 9, 2002
E. Nuclear Safety
    1. EU To Allocate $100m For Improving Safety Standards At Armenian Nuclear Power Plant, RBC, September 9, 2002
    2. IAEA Holds A Seminar In Russia On A Safe Running Of Nuclear Power Plants, RIA Novosti, September 9, 2002
    3. Mayak's Power Supply Unsafe, Rashid Alimov, Bellona, September 9, 2002
F. Nuclear Terrorism
    1. Poorly Secured Nuclear Materials Are Bombs Waiting To Happen, Matthew Bunn, Salt Lake Tribune, September 8, 2002
G. Announcements
    1. Daily Press Briefing, Richard Boucher, Department of State, September 9, 2002
H. Links of Interest
    1. Taken From Nuclear Disarmament, Nonproliferation, And National Security, Viktor N. Mikhailov, Sarov Analytical Center for Nonproliferation Problems, 2001

A. Russia-U.S.

John Bolton Arrives In Russia For Talks
Associated Press
September 11, 2002
(for personal use only)

U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton arrived in Moscow on Wednesdayfor talks expected to focus on Russia's contacts with Iran, thethreatened U.S. military action in Iraq and other strategic issues.

Bolton was scheduled to meet with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister GeorgyMamedov, Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev and AerospaceAgency chief Yuri Koptev, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said on condition ofanonymity.

He said Bolton would discuss a range of security and nonproliferationissues during three days of talks with Russian officials, but did notelaborate.

The Interfax and ITAR-Tass news agencies quoted Russian diplomats assaying that Bolton and Russian officials were set to discuss Russia'snuclear cooperation with Iran, which has long caused concern inWashington.

The U.S. administration believes that Russia's project to develop Iran'snuclear energy industry is giving Tehran the ability to produce nuclearweapons along with the means to deliver them. Russia has shrugged offthe U.S. protests, saying that the nuclear plant it is building in Iranwill serve civilian purposes only and remain under internationalcontrol.

In July, the Russian Cabinet released a 10-year plan for cooperationwith Iran, which proposed to build five more reactors in addition to theone Russia is building in the port of Bushehr. In an apparent attempt tosoothe U.S. concerns, the Atomic Energy Ministry said later that theprogram was not irrevocable and would "depend on many factors, includingpolitical."

The controversy over Russia's ties with Iran has remained a major sourceof friction in otherwise warm U.S.-Russian ties, bolstered by RussianPresident Vladimir Putin's support for the U.S. war in Afghanistan andother global action against terrorism in the wake of the Sept. 11attacks.

Washington and Moscow have also differed over Iraq. Russia, which hasstrong economic interests in Iraq - including at least dlrs 7 billion inSoviet-era debt owed by Baghdad - has strongly opposed any U.S. militaryaction aimed at toppling the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Russian officials planned to raise the Iraqi issue in talks with Bolton,according to Russian news reports.

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Trubnikov was quoted onWednesday as saying that Moscow was pursuing its legitimate "economicand political interests" in developing contacts with Iran, Iraq andNorth Korea, countries that Washington has dubbed the "axis of evil."

At the same time, he added that Russia will continue its "constructivedialogue" with Washington. "We hope that the new character of theRussian -U.S. relations ... will allow us to more deeply andspecifically understand each other," Trubnikov said in an interviewpublished in the daily Vremya Novostei.
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Russia And USA Have Common Key Interests, Believe Russian Senators
Maria Balynina
RIA Novosti
September 11, 2002
(for personal use only)

After the terrorist acts committed on September 11th in New York andWashington, it became clear that the key national interests of Russiaand the United States coincide. This was stated by Mikhail Margelov,chairman of the international committee of the Federation Council (theUpper House of the Russian parliament).

He said that Russia "has long since been fighting against internationalterrorism on its southern borders" and for this reason it has a bigexperience in this sphere. He emphasised that already three years agoRussia lived through a tragedy of terrorist acts when residential houseswere blasted in Moscow on September 9 and 11.

Speaking about the changes in the international policy, the senatorpointed out that a number of factors contributed to these changes. Themain one of them, according to him, is the telephone conversationbetween Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush after which Russia "has becomean ally of the United States in the coalition against internationalterrorism."

"The main lesson learned from the September 11 events is that the worldpolicy cannot be a zone of exclusive powers of one or several states,"underscored the chairman of the international committee of the UpperHouse. According to him, the world is becoming more and more open,interconnected and interdependent.

Chairman of the defence committee of the Upper House Viktor Ozerov toldRIA Novosti in an interview given to it that already two years beforethe September 11 events in the United States, Russia faced the danger ofinternational terrorism when the explosions of residential housesthundered in Volgodonsk and Moscow. "Already at that time our countryspoke of the necessity of joint actions in the fight against such anevil as international terrorism," pointed out the senator.

At the same time, Viktor Ozerov believes, the year that has passed sincethe terrorist acts in America has shown that "the United States has notleaned a lesson from what has happened." "That country still follows apolicy of double standards with regard to terrorism," said the senator.However, the main lesson which has be learned from the terrorist actsthat were committed a year ago is that even "a super powerful statecannot defend itself alone and that the fight against terrorism mustunite all the countries," said he.

In the opinion of first deputy chairman of the information policycommittee of the Upper House Igor Morozov, after the terrorist acts ofSeptember 11, Russia and the United States "have started to understandeach other better and have consolidated their efforts in the fightagainst international terrorism which is today the main danger for thecivilised community."

At the same time Igor Morozov does not exclude that in the near futureterrorists will be able to get access to bacteriological and nuclearweapons with the help of so-called "rogue countries." "For this reason Ithink it necessary to intensify international control over thesecountries and terrorist organisations both on the part of the entireinternational community, the United Nations and other influentialinternational structures," he said.
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US Under Secretary Of State John Bolton Will Arrive In Moscow OnWednesday
Arkady Orlov
RIA Novosti
September 10, 2002
(for personal use only)

US Under Secretary of State for controlling armaments and thenon-proliferation John Bolton will arrive in Moscow on Wednesday,September 11th, to discuss a broad range of questions concerningsecurity and non-proliferation, said official spokesman for the USDepartment of State Richard Baucher in Washington on Monday. Accordingto him, John Bolton will stay in the Russian capital till Friday,September 13th.

During his visit to Moscow the US Under Secretary will conductnegotiations with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov,Minister of Atomic Energy Alexander Rumyantsev, director of the RussianAviation and Space Agency Yury Koptev and other officials.

Richard Baucher said that Bolton's trip will also be devoted topreparations for the first session of the Russian-American consultativegroup for strategic security which was formed by the decision of thePresidents of Russia and the United States during their summit inMoscow. The co-chairmen of the group are Russian Defence Minister SergeiIvanov and US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as well as RussianForeign Minister Igor Ivanov and US Secretary of State Colin Powell.

The first session of the Russian-American consultative group forstrategic security will take place in Washington on September 20th, saidRichard Baucher.
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Disarmament Is One Of UN's Main Tasks
RIA Novosti
September 10, 2002
(for personal use only)

On the eve of the 57th UN General Assembly, official Russian ForeignMinistry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko told RIA Novosti in an interviewthat new challenges and threats had not forced disarmament and otherpressing problems off the UN General Assembly's agenda. "On thecontrary, we believe it important that the UN's multi-faceted mechanismsfor disarmament and enhancing strategic stability be used to the full,"he stressed. He said that Moscow would make every effort to prevent anyinternational legal vacuum in the disarmament sphere.

Yakovenko said that the Russian and US presidents' signing of theStrategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, which maintains the reciprocallink between strategic offensive and defensive weapons, served thispurpose. According to the Russian diplomat, this document is the"binding and concrete contribution of the leading nuclear powers tonuclear disarmament work." He gave assurances that Russia would continueto take energetic steps to reinforce non-proliferation regimes and toprevent an arms race in space.

According to the official spokesman, the UN General Assembly session,which will be held hot on the heels of the Worldwide Development Summitin Johannesburg, will also aim to translate the results of the latermeeting into life in an effort to solve pressing socio-economic andenvironmental problems.

As in previous years, the Russian delegation will propose a series ofinitiatives to bolster the UN's constructive role in the world.Delegation head, Foreign Minster Igor Ivanov, is scheduled to make hisspeech to the assembly on September 13th. Yakovenko said that Moscow wasaiming to ensure wide co-operation to promote its initiatives.

The Russian side is counting on the general political discussion andevents as part of "ministerial week" will give an important politicalimpulse to the session's work with the aim of effectively realising themain tasks on the UN's agenda.
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US Under Secretary Of State John Bolton To Conduct Negotiations InRussian Foreign Ministry
RIA Novosti
September 9, 2002
(for personal use only)

US Under Secretary of State John Bolton will conduct negotiations onnon-proliferation of mass destruction weapons in the Russian ForeignMinistry this week, said Alexander Vershbow, US Ambassador to Russia ata round table conference on Monday.

According to him, Mr. Bolton will conduct consultations on the Iranissue with Russian Foreign Ministry spokesmen. The US Ambassador saidthat Russia's intentions to construct a new nuclear power plants in Iranwill be discussed.

Mr. Vershbow said that the USA hoped that 'Russia will reinforce controlover its export of sensitive technologies'.

If the forthcoming negotiations end successfully we will conduct talkson further cooperation with Russia on peaceful use of nuclear power andhigh tech in air and space, emphasized the Ambassador.
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B. U.S.-Russia HEU Purchase Agreement

New Uranium Plant Will Be in Tennessee
New York Times
September 10, 2002
(for personal use only)

A partnership of American, Canadian and European nuclear companies thatis seeking to build the first new uranium enrichment plant in thiscountry in 50 years said today that it had selected a site, inHartsville, Tenn., for the $1.1 billion project, state officials saidtoday. Officials said the partnership hoped to apply to the NuclearRegulatory Commission for a license by the end of the year.

The Tennessee Valley Authority tried to build a nuclear reactor therebut abandoned it in the 1980's because of high costs. Today'sannouncement was made by Tennessee's governor, Don Sundquist.

The consortium, Louisiana Energy Services, based in Washington, is madeup of Urenco, a European enrichment company; Cameco, a Canadian uraniumcompany; and three major nuclear power plant operators in this country:Exelon, Duke Energy and Entergy. The company that operates the onlyenrichment plant now running in this country, USEC, is also seeking tobuild a new plant.

Both planned enrichment plants would be similar in technology to the onethat American intelligence experts say that Saddam Hussein is trying tobuild in Iraq. The American plants, however, would produce low-enricheduranium, suitable for power reactors but not bombs.
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HEU-LEU Price Determination Procedures To Change In 2003
September 9, 2002
(for personal use only)

Price determination procedures in the so- called HEU-LEU contractbetween Russia and the United States will be altered in 2003, Presidentand Chief Executive Officer of the U.S.- based USEC Company WilliamTimbers said. He made this announcment at an international conference onused nuclear fuel treatment in Moscow on Monday.

2002 is the last year that Russia's uranium will be supplied to theUnited States at fixed prices. Starting in 2003, the prices set in a newcontract signed in 2002 will take effect, Timbers said. The new contractwill alter the procedures for determining prices, which will bedependent on price fluctuations on the market, he noted.

Each year, Russia processes about 30 tonnes of uranium under thecontract and earns about $500 million. The same profits are expected in2002.
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Nuclear Plants Avoid Conversion
Eric Williamson
Augusta Chronicle
September 1, 2002
(for personal use only)

The Department of Energy's mixed-oxide fuel project will turn readilyavailable plutonium from shelved nuclear weapons into a fuel componentfor commercial nuclear reactors.

However, nuclear power plants aren't rushing to convert their reactorsto burn the fuel, which will be available for little or nothing.

The reason: The expensive program is driven more by an internationaldisarmament agreement than by economics. The United States and Russiaformalized an agreement in 2000 to dispose of 34 tons each ofweapons-grade plutonium, a process that will take years to complete.

Duke Energy, the company whose affiliate is contracted to build theplant at Savannah River Site, has applied for licensing at its Catawbaplant near York, S.C., and its McGuire plant near Huntersville, N.C.

Virginia Power had agreed to use MOX fuel in its Mount Anna plant butbacked out in April 2000, saying it wanted to apply the capital towardnewly purchased plants elsewhere.

So far, there have been no other takers.

Regina Waller, a spokeswoman for Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant, said parentcompany Southern Nuclear decided against MOX because of the expense ofconverting the nuclear power plant near Waynesboro, Ga., and convertingthe plutonium to fuel. Government incentives were not as persuasive asthe bottom line.

"The economics of the fuel were problematic," she said. "We did not wantto go into a situation to commit to using a fuel that's more costly thanwhat it is now."

Scientists say typical low-enriched uranium can cost as little asone-fifth what it will cost to produce the MOX fuel.

MOX and uranium assemblies produce about the same amount of power -enough to supply 150,000 homes with electricity for a month. Whencombined with uranium to create MOX, 1 gram of plutonium produceselectricity equal to that from 1 to 2 tons of oil.

Creating a MOX assembly is expensive. The estimated cost of processingplutonium will be $110 million per ton.

Many industry observers say the $3.8 billion cost attached to theprogram, which includes the SRS fuel fabrication plant, is far tooconservative.

The costs come with the new infrastructure, operation expenses andstepped-up security. The power plants, too, will have to make their owncostly adjustments - although with the help of generous governmentsubsidies.

Joe Davis, a spokesman for the Department of Energy, said there is apositive side, at least for the consumer, to using MOX.

"The cost savings of using the discounted government-supplied MOX fuelwill be passed on to the ratepayers, although we expect the ratepayers'savings will be minimal," he said. He could give no specifics.

Nuclear power is the cheapest form of energy, but nuclear power plantsare the most expensive to build, according to Brian Duncan, a spokesmanfor South Carolina Electric & Gas.

"You haven't seen many new nuclear plants because it's too hard to do,"he said. "What's needed is a more standard design and a more streamlinedprocess to be licensed. What you're seeing rather than new constructionis license extension (for old plants)."

SRS initially planned to bake 19 tons of the total plutonium scheduledfor disposition into ceramic pucks, then store them inside glass-filledstainless steel canisters. That plan, known as immobilization, wasabandoned last year because the Russians feared it would not eliminatethe plutonium, said Matthew Bunn, a Harvard arms control expert whoconducted classified research for the Clinton administration.

Although MOX will be more expensive, U.S. Rep. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.,said a dollar figure cannot be put on world peace.

"MOX is a win-win for South Carolina and the world," he said.
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D. Spent Nuclear Fuel

International Conference On Use Of Irradiated Nuclear Fuel Opens InMoscow
September 9, 2002
(for personal use only)

An international conference entitled 'The Use Of Irradiated Nuclear Fuel-2002:New Tendencies for Russia' opened in Moscow today. The conferenceis organized by Russia's Atomic Energy Ministry and the Tekhsnabexportcompany.

The conference will continue through September 12. Its principalobjective is extending international cooperation as concerns the use ofirradiated nuclear fuel. The participants represent over 100 Russian andforeign organization and companies engaged in atomic energy and Russianand US officials.

Discussed will be national programmes related to the use of irradiatednuclear fuel, related international legislation concerning tradetransactions and the spread of nuclear materials and internationalcooperation protecting environment.
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E. Nuclear Safety

EU To Allocate $100m For Improving Safety Standards At Armenian NuclearPower Plant
September 9, 2002
(for personal use only)

The European Union is ready to provide $100m for guaranteeing the safetyof the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant. Armenian Finance and EconomyMinister Vardan Khachatryan gave this information to reporters today. Hepointed out that Armenia needed much more money for that purpose, whichcould be received only from private investors. He did not rule out thepossibility that the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant would be repaired andwould continue its work until alternative sources of electrical powerare created in Armenia, the ARKA news agency reported.

EU experts had made repeated requests to close the Armenian NuclearPower Plant by 2004 for safety reasons. However, experts estimated thatthe power plant, put into operation in 1980, could work until 2018. Thecapacity of each reactor of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant is 407.5megawatts.
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IAEA Holds A Seminar In Russia On A Safe Running Of Nuclear Power Plants
RIA Novosti
September 9, 2002
(for personal use only)

An international seminar on a safe running of nuclear power plants inthe period of their starting was opened on Monday at a nuclear powerplant in the city of Volgodonsk in the south east of Russia. The seminaris being held on the initiative of the International Atomic EnergyAgency (IAEA) with the support of the Rosenergoatom concern whichconsists of all ten Russian nuclear power plants.

The seminar is attended by delegations from Ukraine, Slovakia, the CzechRepublic and Lithuania. In the course of five days they will discuss theproblems of a safe starting and putting into operation of new generatingunits. The programme for the stay of the foreign experts in Russia alsoprovides for visiting the industrial area of the Volgodonsk NuclearPower Plant and its first generating unit which was put into operationin December, last year. The representatives of the IAEA will visit thisRussian nuclear power plant for the first time.
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Mayak's Power Supply Unsafe
Rashid Alimov
September 9, 2002
(for personal use only)

A blackout cut off electricity at the Mayak reprocessing plant in thesouthern Urals two years ago. Today, the power transmission lines,supplying electricity to the plant, are still in a bad condition.

Situated in Chelyabinsk county, Mayak keeps on being one of the mainplants of Russia's nuclear fuel cycle. In the beginning of September, abig shipment of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) from nuclear submarines wassent from Kamchatka in the Far East to be reprocessed at the plant. Inaddition to the SNF from the Pacific Fleet, Mayak receives trainloadswith spent fuel from the Northern Fleet, and from July to December 2002ten trains are to arrive at the infamous plant. Furthermore, by the endof 2002 a warhead storage facility, built for US-allocated funds, is tobe launched at Mayak.

In the meantime, according to information, granted to Bellona Web byNatalia Poteryaeva from Chelyabinsk-based Movement for Nuclear Safety(MNS), accidents are well possible at Mayak, because of shockinginsecurity of its power supply.

"Power transmission lines, supplying Mayak, were built on wooden propsin the 1930s and 1940s. They are absolutely out-dated," NataliaPoteryaeva says.

Power grid failure

Exactly two years ago, on September 9th 2000, Mayak was cut off of theelectricity supply for more than for 40 minutes.

Disconnection was caused by a fault of personnel of the Sverdlovenergopower circuit operating company, which resulted in a power gridaccident. Besides Mayak, generators of Novo Sverdlovsk and Argayashheating plants, one power unit of Reftinsk hydro plant, and the fastneutron reactor BN-600 at Beloyarsk NPP were halted.

Fortunately no accidents happened either at Beloyarsk NPP or at Mayak.Backup diesel generators were eventually switched on.

But investigation of the power grid accident, made by Unified EnergySystems, state energy utility, revealed serious defects in Mayak's powersupply.

Power transmission lines

110 kW transmission lines, supplying Mayak, were built in 1930s and1940s on wooden props. Life-term of the props expired in 1970s and1980s, and they do not meet present day safety requirements for nuclearindustry plants. One of the lines even lacks required carrier-currentprotection.

And these are the lines that have to stand long periods of hot weather,thunderstorms and high winds. Wires may be broken by fall of the trees,which has grown around the lines since the time they were built.

Any accident in the lines may result in an accident at the reprocessingplant. But today the local Chelyabenergo energy utility has no plans toupgrade them.

An out-dated high-voltage line of 110 kW goes to the substation of thewarhead storage facility, built at Mayak for US-allocated funds. And anysimple break of the wires may question expediency of spending of $400m,which have been invested into the storage during the past ten years.

Power company answers, but accidents keep occurring

Answering to inquiries of MNS, chief engineer of Chelyabenergo said,that the lines may be reconstructed only in 2014. The administration ofthe power circuit operating company claims, that in 2003 they think itis realistic to start reconstructing only of two sections out of thesix, mentioned in the MNS inquiry. The answer also reads, Chelyabenergocannot solve the problem sooner, because of the arrears of payments forelectricity. And Mayak is one of the late payers, Chelyabenergo says.

Russia today goes through an electricity system reform. Unified EnergySystems, which monopoly is being liquidated, does not rush to repair theout-dated power lines. Nuclear authorities also do not seem to beconcerned with the situation. It looks like that to convince anybody tomake safe power supply, Mayak needs to suffer a new grid accident.

Meanwhile, on July 10th this year, because of grid errors, anothernuclear industry plant - Ural Electrochemical Combine, owned byRosenergoatom - was fully cut off for 12 minutes.

This event made Nadezhda Kutepova from Chelyabinsk region-basedorganization Planet of Hopes harshly criticize Ministry for NuclearEnergy. The notorious ministry claims it made a lot to develop Russia'spower system, but at the same time, it cannot provide its own plantswith non-interrupting supply. "One time it's an accidental error, butfurther it is a system. Where will it happen next time?" she asksrhetorically.

Mayak's outdated system

But the question of Mayak's safe power supply would not be fully settledeven if the lines are reconstructed. Natalia Poteryaeva says, a 220 kWsubstation must be built at the plant. This substation should besimultaneously connected with substations of two operating companies -Sverdlovenergo and Chelyabenergo.

"Main circuits of Mayak need to be reconstructed, while they are usingcut-outs of an out-dated design. Relay protection should be changed.Also, present-day requirements say systems of automatic load transfersshould have two devices of power-up, and not one, as now," saysPoteryaeva.

She also says that the most serious attention must be paid to powersupply of the warhead storage facility: "To ensure its safety, storage'spower transformers should be correctly connected to the main Mayak'ssubstation. Just remember, that this autumn Mayak's storage is going tobegin receiving weapons-grade plutonium from dismantled warheads."
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F. Nuclear Terrorism

Poorly Secured Nuclear Materials Are Bombs Waiting To Happen
Matthew Bunn
Salt Lake Tribune
September 8, 2002
(for personal use only)

Terrorists with the makings of a nuclear bomb represent the worsthomeland security nightmare. So last month's removal of enough highlyenriched uranium, or HEU, for 2 1/2 bombs from the poorly guarded Vincaresearch facility in Yugoslavia is a dramatic step toward making theworld a safer place. But it is only the first step. Today, plutonium andHEU -- the essential ingredients of nuclear bombs -- are in hundreds offacilities, in scores of countries. Because obtaining such materials isthe hardest part of making a nuclear bomb, vulnerable nuclear materialanywhere is a threat to everyone everywhere. Yet there are no bindingglobal nuclear security standards, and the security for these materialsranges from excellent to appalling. Vinca was so impoverished it haddead rats floating in its spent fuel pool.

There are more than 300 civilian research facilities such as Vincaaround the world fueled with HEU, which is the easiest material forterrorists to make into a nuclear bomb. Many of these sites do not haveenough HEU to pose a serious security threat. But there are others likeVinca: poorly secured and with enough material for a nuclear bomb.Rather than trying to beef up security everywhere, we need a focused"global cleanout" program targeted on getting rid of bomb material fromas many sites as possible around the world and then effectively securingthe sites that remain. The surest form of prevention is to ensure thereis no bomb material to steal.

Such a global cleanout effort would be feasible and cost-effective. LikeVinca, many of the facilities containing potential bomb material have nogenuine need for it anymore, recognize that they cannot afford to secureit effectively for the long haul and can be persuaded to give it up ifthe right incentives are offered.

The program should have the flexibility to tailor its work to the needsof each site -- from paying the cost of shipping the material away, tobuying the material outright, to helping to convert research reactors touse fuel that cannot be used in bombs, to paying scientists to doresearch that no longer requires a research reactor.

A program funded at perhaps $50 million per year would have thepotential to eliminate essentially all of the most serious threats --the facilities that are both poorly secured and have a substantialamount of bomb material -- within a few years.

The Vinca operation vividly demonstrates why such a focused, flexibleprogram is needed. While ultimately successful, pulling it togetherrequired more than a year of secret interagency and internationalnegotiations. And when the U.S. government found that it did not havethe authority to spend money on one part of the job crucial to sealingthe deal with Yugoslavia, it had to reach out for $5 million from theprivate Nuclear Threat Initiative, founded by Ted Turner and Sam Nunn.It was a similar story when the United States airlifted nearly 600kilograms of vulnerable HEU from Kazakhstan in 1994: more than a year ofinteragency debate to pull the mission together while the materialremained insecure. Post-Sept. 11, we no longer have time for that, andwe cannot afford to force the government to go to the private sector forhandouts to get these vulnerable bomb caches secured. We need to createone office with all the authority needed to get the job done and to moveas fast as we possibly can to reduce this urgent risk to U.S. security.

Now that Congress has returned from its August recess, the House andSenate will be debating language in the Senate's defense bill that wouldauthorize such an effort (although the Senate failed to provide newmoney to carry it out).

In the interest of securing ourselves and our children from terroristnuclear attack, Congress and the Bush administration need to worktogether to launch a fast-paced effort to clean out all of Vinca'svulnerable cousins, wherever they might be.
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G. Announcements

Daily Press Briefing
Richard Boucher
Department of State
September 9, 2002

QUESTION: What do you make, if anything, of Scott Ritter running aroundon the anti-attack-Iraq bandwagon? And on that, I notice that theRussians have announced that Bolton is going to go there next week. Isthis part of -- for consultations on Iraq and other things? But is thispart of what the President was setting up with the UN Perm 5 members?

MR. BOUCHER: I wouldn't say that. Let me describe to you Bolton'stravel as a separate matter and then we can move on to the questions ofIraq and former inspectors, if I can find it.

Under Secretary Bolton is going to Moscow later this week to discuss arange of security and nonproliferation issues with senior Russianofficials. He'll be in Moscow from Wednesday to Friday. This meetingis an advance meeting in preparation for the first meeting of theUS-Russia Consultative Group for Strategic Security which will meet onSeptember 20th. It will be chaired jointly by Secretary Powell andDefense Secretary Rumsfeld. We expect Under Secretary Bolton to havemeetings with Deputy Foreign Minister Mamedov, Minister of Atomic EnergyRumyantsev, Director of Russian Aviation Space Agency Koktev and othersenior Russian officials.
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H. Links of Interest

Taken From Nuclear Disarmament, Nonproliferation, And National Security
Viktor N. Mikhailov
Sarov Analytical Center for Nonproliferation Problems

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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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