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Nuclear News - 10/09/02
RANSAC Nuclear News, October 9, 2002
Compiled by Wyatt Cavalier



A. Russia-U.S
    1. US: Moscow Aid To Iran Nukes May Hurt Ties, Krishnadev Calamur, UPI, October 9, 2002
B. CANWFZ
    1. Nuclear-Free Zone for Central Asia: 5 Ex-Soviet States Act to Distance Themselves From Russia, Washington Post Foreign Service, October 5, 2002
C. Nuclear Smuggling
    1. Nuclear Expert Doubts Reports on Attempt to Smuggle 27 Tonnes of Enriched Uranium, Rosbalt, October 9, 2002
    2. Enriched Uranium Smuggler Arrested, Associated Press, October 8, 2002
    3. Russian Tries To Sell Tons Of Uranium Abroad: We Used To Speak About A Couple Of Kilos, But Now We Speak Of Tons, Sergey Alexandrov, PRAVDA, October 8, 2002
    4. Defense Ministry Rules Out Theft From Nuclear Weapon Warehouses, Interfax, October 8, 2002
    5. Abkhaz Charge Two With Theft Of Cesium, RFE/RL Newsline, October 7, 2002
    6. Kazakhs seize contraband radioactive waste, Marina Kozlova, UPI, October 7, 2002
D. U.S.-Russia HEU Purchase Agreement
    1. Russia Completes Third Of Uranium Deal With USA, Interfax, October 8, 2002
E. Nuclear Industry
    1. Scientists From A Number Of Countries Discuss In Tashkent Prospects Of Use Of Radioactive Isotopes, Valery Niyamatov, Ria Novosti, October 8, 2002
F. Nuclear Energy
    1. Ukrainian Company Wins Contract To Equip Nuclear Plants In India, Interfax News Agency, October 5, 2002
G. Radiological Weapons
    1. World Looks For Ways To Thwart Terrorist 'Dirty Bombs': Last Week, Experts From 26 Countries Met In London To Tackle The Radiological Threat, Mary B.W. Tabor, The Christian Science Monitor, October 7, 2002
H. Announcements
    1. Weapons of Mass Destruction Are Major Terrorist Threat (Say co-chairs of U.S. Commission on National Security), David Pitts, Washington File, October 8, 2002
    2. Jump-Starting Weapons Nonproliferation in Russia, Hearing Before the Committee on Foreign Relations: United States Senate, October 7, 2002
    3. Senator John Edwards (excerpted), Center for Strategic and International Security, October 7, 2002
    4. Powell Sees "Robust" U.S.-Russia Commercial Relationship, Speech to U.S.-Russia Business Council in Washington, U.S. Department of State: International Information Programs, October 3, 2002
    5. "Missile Wars" airs on PBS (Excerpted), PBS/Frontline, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/press/2104.html, October 2002
I. Links of Interest
    1. A Progress Report on 10 + 10 Over 10, Notice: Hearing Before the Committee on Foreign Relations: United States Senate, October 9, 2002
    2. State Official Urges Strengthening of Existing Arms Control Accords, Washington File, October 7, 2002
    3. U.N. Study on Disarmament and Nonproliferation Education Presented to the General Assembly, Masako Toki and Fred Wehling, Monterey Institute Center for Nonproliferation Studies, October 7, 2002
    4. Remarks By Secretary Of State Colin Powell To The U.S.-Russia Business Council At Their Annual Meeting Re: Expanding The U.S.-Russia Partnership, October 3, 2002
    5. Toxic Warfare, Theodore Karasik, RAND, 2002

A. Russia-U.S.

1.
US: Moscow Aid To Iran Nukes May Hurt Ties
Krishnadev Calamur
UPI
October 9, 2002
(for personal use only)


WASHINGTON -- Moscow's continued support of Iran and Syria's nuclear and missile program and poor coordination within the Russian government worries Washington and may undermine future bilateral cooperation and a global nonproliferation initiative, a top U.S. arms control official told the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday.

"We remain very concerned that the nuclear and missile program of Iran and others, including Syria, continue to receive the benefits of Russian technology and expertise," said John Bolton, undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security.

He was appearing before the committee to discuss the G8's Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The G8 represents the world's top industrialized nations and Russia.

Bolton said though cooperation with Russia on Washington's withdrawal from the 1972 Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty had been successful, serious divisions remained over the flow "from Russia to other countries" of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, and related materials and technology.

"Concerns about Russia's performance on its arms control and non-proliferation commitments have already adversely affected important bilateral efforts, and unless resolved could pose a threat to new initiatives including the global partnership," Bolton said.

Bolton singled out what he said was Russia's considerable help to Iran's "nuclear weapons program, Tehran's long-range missile program, which was built with North Korean technology, and its pursuit of longer-range missiles that could "threaten Europe, Russia, and eventually the United States."

The G8 Global Partnership was signed by the world's seven top industrialized nations and Russia in June 2002 at a summit in Kananaskis, Canada, in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. The partnership agreed to support specific projects, initially in Russia, to address non-proliferation, disarmament, counter-terrorism and nuclear safety.

A total of $20 billion over the next 10 years was earmarked for the "destruction of chemical weapons, the dismantlement of decommissioned nuclear submarines, the disposition of fissile materials and the employment of former weapons scientists." The United States pledged half that amount.

"From early indications from other G8 members, we are a little over halfway toward meeting the $10 billion target," Bolton told the committee.

He said Canada would contribute $650 million; Britain $750 million; Germany $1.5 billion; the European Commission $1 billion; and Japan would initially put in $250 million.

But, he warned, not all countries had been able to implement non-proliferation cooperation agreements with Moscow.

"Some have been unable to conclude government-to-government implementing agreements because of inability to reach agreement with Russia on adequate provisions for liability protections, exemption from taxation, access to work sites, and other conditions."

He also blamed poor coordination within the Russian government for the delay.

"For the new Global Partnership to be successful, the Russian Federation will need to take concrete actions to resolve outstanding problems," Bolton said.
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B. CANWFZ

1.
Nuclear-Free Zone for Central Asia: 5 Ex-Soviet States Act to Distance Themselves From Russia
Washington Post Foreign Service
October 5, 2002
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW - Five Central Asian nations have agreed to a treaty declaring their region a nuclear weapons-free zone in a move toward stemming arms proliferation and distancing themselves from Russia.

After five years of stalled negotiations, envoys from the countries settled on a final text of the treaty at a conference last week in Uzbekistan and might hold a signing ceremony as early as this month. The ceremony is expected to be held at Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan, the onetime nuclear weapons test center for the Soviet Union.

Joining Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan in reaching the agreement were Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan, all former Soviet republics that became independent a decade ago and are still struggling with the environmental legacy of the arms race. The treaty would prohibit any of them from developing, producing or testing nuclear weapons, or helping any other country to do so. It would also ban them from allowing other nations to station nuclear weapons there.

Kazakhstan held Soviet nuclear weapons during the Cold War, but returned them to Russia after the Soviet collapse. Today, Central Asian nations no longer have such weapons, but are surrounded by others that do, or are believed to be seeking them. In addition to established nuclear powers Russia and China, the Central Asian states are near nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan, and both Iran and Iraq are believed to have sought fissionable material to build nuclear devices.

Various reports have suggested that terrorists, including Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda while operating in Afghanistan, have tried to obtain fissionable material from Central Asia, and treaty advocates contend the new pact could help prevent the region from becoming a transit corridor for nuclear proliferation.

"Central Asia is an important region because of its proximity to Afghanistan," said Arman Baislanov, head of the national security department at the Kazakh Foreign Ministry. "The world community believes that a stronger control regime in Central Asia would be helpful in ensuring that illegal organizations in Afghanistan and other countries will not be able to obtain material for nuclear weapons."

"It's very important because now the Central Asian states finally have come to recognize their own role in the area of providing security and stability in the region," Alla Karimova, the chief diplomat negotiating the treaty for Uzbekistan, said by telephone from the capital of Tashkent.

The treaty also could thwart any Russian attempt to reintroduce tactical nuclear weapons to the region, an option it has quietly tried to preserve during negotiations. The United States, which now has bases in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, would also be barred from introducing nuclear weapons there. For that reason, analysts said, China considers the new nuclear weapons-free zone a security boon.

"The Russians don't like this at all," said William C. Potter, director of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California, who has followed the issue closely. "They're not happy with anything that limits their freedom to maneuver."

The Russian Foreign Ministry did not respond to repeated requests for comment. But a Moscow analyst said the issue was more important to the Central Asian countries than to the Kremlin. "The leaders of Central Asia want to emphasize that they are an exception [in the region] - they're not Iran, they cannot be compared to Pakistan, they don't dream of this prospect. In that context, they belong to world society," said Alexei Malashenko, a scholar at the Carnegie Moscow Center.

In the negotiations, Russia inserted language protecting Moscow's ability to redeploy nuclear weapons in Central Asia. Kazakhstan, acting on Russian concerns, insisted on a clause saying that the new treaty did not affect obligations of past treaties, according to participants. Russia maintains that a collective security pact signed in Tashkent in 1992 gives it the right to deploy nuclear arms in Central Asia, a disputed interpretation.

But the other negotiators who met at Samarkand, Uzbekistan, last week added a follow-up sentence saying that the signatories would take all necessary measures to implement the main principles of the treaty, language they believe obligates them to rebuff any Russian deployment.

Central Asia would be the world's fifth such nuclear weapons-free zone, but the first negotiated under the auspices of the United Nations. After announcing their intention to create such a zone in 1997, the Central Asian states bogged down. Their newfound closeness to the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks made it easier to resolve differences and resist Russian pressure, participants said.

The countries are still debating when to sign the treaty. Uzbekistan and others want a ceremony during an Oct. 16-23 visit by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. Baislanov said Kazakhstan wants to wait, perhaps until year's end, to see whether the five established nuclear powers sign a protocol agreeing to respect the terms of the treaty.

All agree to have the ceremony at Semipalatinsk, where, over 40 years ending in 1989, the Soviets tested more than 460 nuclear bombs. Today, the local population continues to suffer from the remaining radioactive waste. "We have a lot of negative experience," said Baislanov.
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C. Nuclear Smuggling

1.
Nuclear Expert Doubts Reports on Attempt to Smuggle 27 Tonnes of Enriched Uranium
Rosbalt
October 9, 2002
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW -- As Rosbalt reported yesterday (Russian Tries to Export 27 Tonnes of Enriched Uranium), a man has been caught in Eastern Siberia allegedly attempting to smuggle enriched uranium out of the country. However, Vladimir Kuznetsov, the Director of the Russian Green Cross nuclear and radioactive security program, has called an attempt to smuggle over 27 tonnes of enriched uranium out of Russia unrealistic.

"If this really was enriched uranium, this attempt at smuggling takes the cake, since the nuclear reactor of a submarine can hold only one tonne of enriched uranium," Kuznetsov told Interfax. He suggested that "the matter most likely involves depleted uranium, which you can take in such quantities from any enterprise belonging to the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy".

Considering the point on the Russian border where the smuggling attempt was discovered, the expert said that the uranium was most probably stolen at the Novosibirsk chemical concentrate plant, which produces nuclear fuel. Kuznetsov also said that the transportation of depleted uranium does not call for any special security measures and does not pose any particular environmental threat.
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2.
Enriched Uranium Smuggler Arrested
Associated Press
October 8, 2002
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW - Russia's customs said Tuesday they had opened a criminal investigation into what they called the smuggling of 27 metric tons (29.75 short tons) of enriched uranium, but nuclear officials said the incident was just a regular shipment of uranium to neighboring Kazakhstan for industrial purposes.

The State Customs Committee reported the smuggling in a terse one-sentence statement buried between a pile of routine reports on the customs activities between Saturday and Monday, saying the criminal investigation into the "smuggling of radioactive materials across the Russian border" was opened by its regional branch in eastern Siberia. Customs officials refused to comment further.

Nikolai Shingaryov, a spokesman for Russia's Nuclear Power Ministry, quickly denied the incident had been a case of smuggling, saying the uranium came from one of the ministry's facilities and was bound for neighboring Kazakhstan to be processed into fuel and imported back to Russia for use at its nuclear power plants.

Russia annually sends about 1,000 metric tons (1,100 tons) of uranium to Kazakhstan for reprocessing, Shingaryov told The Associated Press.

He said customs officials found a flaw in the documents accompanying one shipment of uranium to Kazakhstan in 2000 and opened a criminal investigation into what they termed "smuggling."

"It sounded like the valiant customs service thwarted the smuggling of 27 tons of uranium, but there was no smuggling at all," Shingaryov said.

Enriched uranium could potentially be used in a nuclear weapon if it has a high enough percentage of a certain isotope. Shingaryov said the uranium in question was only good for energy purposes and unfit for making a bomb.

There has been widespread international concern over Russia's nuclear stockpiles and reactors since the breakup of the Soviet Union, and thefts of radioactive material have been common in the last decade.

Responding to an unrelated media report Tuesday about fears that Russia's nuclear weapons could fall into the wrong hands, the head of the Defense Ministry department for nuclear warheads said the country's stockpiles were secure and dismissed the risk of theft as "impossible."

Col. Gen. Igor Voliynkin told Interfax-Military News Agency that the security around nuclear weapons had been tripled in the past year, and that even officials would not be able to get access to a nuclear weapon without proper permission. He said there had been no attempts this year by terrorists to get their hands on a Russian nuclear weapon.
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3.
Russian Tries To Sell Tons Of Uranium Abroad: We Used To Speak About A Couple Of Kilos, But Now We Speak Of Tons
Sergey Alexandrov
PRAVDA
October 8, 2002
(for personal use only)


Today, a sensation from Siberia comes in. East-Siberian customs agents nabbed a Russian citizen attempting to transport over 27 tons of uranium abroad.

The man's name, as well as the country to which he intended to take the uranium to, have not been released due to the on-going investigation. However,, if you look at a map of East Siberia, you will easily understand that the only possible destination could have been China. At the same time, it would not be correct to come to the conclustion that China was the final destination. After China, the Uranium could have been shipped anywhere.

For the time being, it is too early to make any conclusions. The investigation is supposed to answer all questions. Yet, such an incident might bring harm to Russia's international reputation. As is well known, officials and media outlets of the USA and other Western countries continue to say that the Russian mafia sells radioactive materials to terrorists. American special services claimed that Al-Qaeda conducted negotiations with Russian criminal organizations about purchasing nuclear weapons.

Illegal sales of radioactive materials are not a big surprise in Russia. News about certain "businessmen" who try to sell uranium abroad is not rare. However, no one has attempted to sell tons of the stuff, just several kilos. A Siberian vendor set the record. To date, Russian law-enforcement officers have managed to prevent illegal attempts to sell radioactive materials. However, the increasing number of such incidents raises much concern.
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4.
Defense Ministry Rules Out Theft From Nuclear Weapon Warehouses
Interfax
October 8, 2002
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW - The Defense Ministry has ruled out the possibility of the theft of materials from nuclear munitions warehouses.

"The theft and leakage of nuclear charges from our facilities are out of the question," head of the Defense Ministry's 12th Main Department Igor Volynkin told Interfax on Tuesday.

The Washington Times reported the U.S. intelligence service's concern about terrorists' alleged efforts to obtain portable nuclear weapons and nuclear bomb materials in Russia
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5.
Abkhaz Charge Two With Theft Of Cesium
RFE/RL Newsline
October 7, 2002
(for personal use only)


The Abkhaz National Security Service has arrested two people on suspicion of stealing radioactive cesium from an Academy of Sciences research facility two months ago, Caucasus Press reported on 4 October (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 1 and 2 July 2002). The two detainees have confessed to the theft. Speaking in Tbilisi on 4 October, Giorgi Gachechiladze, leader of Georgia's Greens, claimed that the level of background radioactivity in Abkhazia exceeds the permitted norm by a factor of 30 to 150, Caucasus Press reported. Gachechiladze also claimed the Abkhaz leadership plans to build an underground vault to store radioactive waste from Russian and Armenian nuclear-power plants. But a Georgian Environment and Natural Resources Ministry official on 5 October cast doubt on Gachechiladze's claims, Caucasus Press reported. He said that two months ago his ministry supplied the unrecognized republic with equipment to monitor radiation levels "and they voiced no concern."
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6.
Kazakhs seize contraband radioactive waste
Marina Kozlova
UPI
October 7, 2002
(for personal use only)


ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazakh customs officers suppressed an attempt to smuggle radioactive waste into China, the Kazakh Khabar news agency reported Monday.

The radioactive waste, weighing 1,974 pounds and contained in 18 sacks, went as a transit load from Russia in a KAMAZ trailer.

Kazakh customs officers and border guards stopped the smugglers at the Bakhty checkpoint in the eastern Kazakh region on the border with China.

The Kazakh sanitation and epidemical station said the substance, resembling brown sand, was solid radioactive waste.

Kazakh law-enforcement agencies launched an investigation of the incident. The names of the smugglers were not reported.

Such incidents have ocurred before, a Kazakh diplomatic source told United Press International.

In February, a railroad car loaded with iron-and-steel scrap was stopped at the Ognevka railroad station in eastern Kazakhstan. A 7-foot-long pipe in the scrap pile contained a brown-colored radioactive substance.
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D. U.S.-Russia HEU Purchase Agreement

1.
Russia Completes Third Of Uranium Deal With USA
Interfax
October 8, 2002
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW - Russia is a third of the way through the HEU-LEU deal with the United States, by which Russia supplies weapons-grade, or high-enriched uranium (HEU) extracted from dismantled nuclear warheads to the U.S. in a diluted, low-enriched form (LEU) suitable for use as nuclear power plant fuel.

"So far, more than 150 tonnes of HEU have been turned into nuclear fuel. In other words, we have managed to rid humanity of more than 6,000 nuclear warheads or the equivalent of 1,200 megatons of TNT, and converted this into 2 billion megawatt-hours of electricity," Vladimir Smirnov, general director of Tekhsnabexport, which is delivering the contract on the Russian government's behalf, told Interfax.

"The HEU-LEU program is not only a contribution to international security, it is also a major source of economic growth," Smirnov said. "All of the $3.5 billion we have earned from the contract since 1994 has been invested in the Russian economy, specifically in areas like research, defense industry conversion, enhancing nuclear power plant safety and environmental programs."

Smirnov said the deal was important to the United States as well. Firstly, it increases global security at no cost to the taxpayer. Secondly, Russian nuclear fuel derived from 500 tonnes of HEU equals approximately 3 billion tonnes of coal, which would otherwise be burned and emit something like 10 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases.

Under the 20-year HEU-LEU deal, which is worth an estimated $12 billion, Russia must dilute 500 tonnes of highly-enriched weapons-grade uranium (HEU) extracted from about 20,000 warheads into commercial low- enriched uranium (LEU) used as fuel for power plants.

According to the Atomic Energy Ministry, Russia has supplied the U.S. with 4,200 metric tons of LEU, equivalent to 141.4 tons of HEU, as of January 2002.
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E. Nuclear Industry

1.
Scientists From A Number Of Countries Discuss In Tashkent Prospects Of Use Of Radioactive Isotopes
Valery Niyamatov
Ria Novosti
October 8, 2002.
(for personal use only)


At the international conference radioisotopes and their use which opened here on tuesday the scientists of germany, russia, the usa, turkey, uzbekistan and ukraine are discussing the present state and prospects of the development and use of radioactive isotopes and nuclear technologies in various fields of science, technology, medicine, industry and agriculture.

According to scientific secretary of the nuclear physics institute of the academy of sciences of uzbekistan saidamin bakiyev, specialists from large centres and clinics who carry out diagnostics and therapy with the use of radioactive isotopes, as well as representatives of industrial plants are taking an active part in the conference.

According to bakiyev, the leading scientists and specialists will make reports at the plenary meetings, and the latest developments in this field will be discussed in the sections.
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F. Nuclear Energy

1.
Ukrainian Company Wins Contract To Equip Nuclear Plants In India
Interfax News Agency
October 5, 2002
(for personal use only)


New Delhi: Ukraine's biggest manufacturer of electricity generation equipment has contracted to supply equipment for four generating units at nuclear power plants in India. Turboatom, a company based in Kharkiv, was selected as the equipment supplier for the Kaiga and Rajastan plants via a round of bidding.

The 70m-dollar contract was signed during a current state visit by Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma to India, sources close to the talks on the deal have told Interfax. Other Kharkiv enterprises are involved in the 30-month deal as well.

Turboatom, in which the state holds a 75.22-per-cent stake, obtained a net income of 247.2m hryvnyas last year, which is 63 per cent more than the year before, and had a net profit of 61.89m hryvnyas in 2001 or 90 per cent more than in 2000. It has planned a 12-per-cent annual output increase for this year...

Generating Unit 3 at the Kaiga plant is going in operation in March 2007, Unit 4 in September that year. Generating Units 5 and 6 at the Rajastan plant will go in operation in August 2007 and February 2008 respectively.
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G. Radiological Weapons

1.
World Looks For Ways To Thwart Terrorist 'Dirty Bombs': Last Week, Experts From 26 Countries Met In London To Tackle The Radiological Threat.
Mary B.W. Tabor
The Christian Science Monitor
October 7, 2002
(for personal use only)


LONDON - After the cold war ended in 1991, the specter of rogue states using portable nuclear devices, or "suitcase nukes,'' helped spur cooperative efforts to seal up Russia's old nuclear factories, destroy existing weapons, and find peacetime work for jobless bombmakers.

But now a new kind of threat looms.

Earlier this year, the arrest of an alleged Al Qaeda operative in the US on suspicion of plotting to build a radiological dispersal device, or "dirty bomb,'' highlighted growing concerns that these improvised bombs, not nukes, present more immediate danger. Because they spread quickly over a wide area and are relatively easy to make - just a few grams of highly enriched uranium or plutonium mixed with conventional explosives - they are more likely to be used by terrorists.

Last week, some 240 delegates from 26 countries gathered in London for a three-day conference to boost international cooperation in securing nuclear and radiological materials and fighting nuclear terrorism.

Cohosted by the US Department of Energy and Moscow's Kurchatov nuclear institute, the meeting drew lawmakers, scientists, atomic-weapons experts, and security officials from nations as diverse as Kazakhstan and Japan. Closed-door sessions revolved around topics of radiological threat reduction, trends in illicit trafficking, materiel protection, control and accounting, and the challenge of preventing nuclear and radiological terrorism.

This challenge was made clear in a Balkan delegate's comments after the conference. Aleksandar Cvetkov, head of interior affairs for the Republic of Macedonia, said that his country does not produce nuclear materials but that such dangerous materials are smuggled through the country, using illegal drug and arms trafficking routes.

He said that while information on arrests involving nuclear materials at Macedonia's borders is confidential, the occurrence of such smuggling had risen noticeably since the attack on the World Trade Center.

"Our control of certain border points is not so strong,'' Mr. Cvetkov said through an interpreter.

"We want directions on how to work; how to locate the fragile points. And then we hope to get some help with equipment and training. Our aim is to be part of a more global system so that we can help prevent another September 11.''

Unlike nuclear stockpiles, which are based in only a handful of countries, radiation sources are ubiquitous, and it is nearly impossible to keep track of them all. About 375 sources of radioactive material, which can be used to treat cancer, preserve food or check for welding errors in pipelines, are reported lost or stolen in the US each year. In other countries, the exact amount of unaccounted for, or "orphaned,'' radioactive material is unknown. Officials say they often do not know material has been lost until it is found.

The US Department of Energy has joined with Russia's Ministry of Atomic Energy, or MinAtom, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to try to secure some of Russia's orphaned radioactive sources.

Russia and the newly independent states of the former USSR are believed to have about 600 metric tons of weapons-usable material - "enough to produce more than 41,000 nuclear devices,'' according to a 2001 report by the department's Material Protection, Control, and Accounting Program. About a third of that material has not been officially secured, officials said.

Last month, the G-8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction pledged up to $20 billion toward new and expanded projects on nuclear security.

Nonproliferation efforts include finding ways to put bomb ingredients to commercial use. Sen. Richard Lugar, (R) of Indiana, announced last Thursday that more than 6,000 nuclear warheads worth of Russian bomb material has been eliminated by converting it into fuel to make electricity.

Among other developments:

  • The US and Russia have agreed to dispose of 68 metric tons of surplus plutonium - enough material for over 10,000 nuclear weapons.
  • Security upgrades will expand from four to 21 border sites in Russia and Ukraine - an important contribution to efforts to curtail nuclear smuggling.
In addition to a database that helps track and account for the nuclear and radiological material, the US has provided portal monitors to countries in the former USSR and Europe and X-ray vans at airports to detect radioactive sources and possible shielded sources in luggage. But Kenji Murakami, director of the Department of Safeguards at the IAEA in Vienna, noted that only 70 nations are members of the voluntary database. The system "needs to be more timely and more accurate,'' he said. "Much has been done. But it isn't enough.''

Conference recommendations also included enacting tougher laws to deal with weapons smuggling and setting up telephone and Internet-based "hotlines'' to help countries improve regulation and disposal of nuclear and radiological materials.
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H. Announcements

1.
Weapons of Mass Destruction Are Major Terrorist Threat (Say co-chairs of U.S. Commission on National Security)
David Pitts
Washington File
October 8, 2002


Boston -- The major terrorist threat in the 21st century will be from weapons of mass destruction -- chemical, biological and nuclear - despite the fact that the 9/11 attacks were conventional in nature, former U.S. Senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman, co-chairs of the bipartisan U.S. Commission on National Security, a Pentagon-established body, said at a September 24 forum held at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.

The commission, which consists of seven Republicans and seven Democrats, released a report precisely two years before the 9/11 assault titled, "New World Coming," that predicted a major terrorist attack on the United States. Two followup reports were issued, the last in February 2001, that also warned of the specter of terrorism and called for an overhaul of the U.S. national security infrastructure established in the aftermath of World War II to respond to the Cold War. The reports are available online at www.nssg.gov.

"We're dealing with a form of evil genius we're not used to dealing with that is rewriting the rules of war established in the 17th and 18th centuries," said Hart, a Democrat and former presidential candidate. "This terrible enemy is both suicidal and fiendishly clever. As a result, we're going to have to think differently in the 21st century; it's going to be a dramatically different century," he added.

Terrorist organizations, as opposed to governments that sponsor terrorism, are shadowy groups that are difficult to trace and penetrate, Rudman, a Republican, said. "The old Soviet Union was a threat, but we knew the phone numbers and addresses of our opponents there. We even knew what cars they drove," he noted. "But this is a very different situation. It is a very difficult task for the intelligence organizations no matter how we reform and streamline them."

Rudman also stressed that command and control in terrorist groups is very different than in governments. "They are highly decentralized. Perhaps eight people in al-Qaeda knew what was going to happen on September 11." He compared the terrorist threat to guerrilla warfare, but noted that terrorism is more difficult to combat even than that "because it is more shadowy. And it is not that difficult now to assemble and deliver weapons of mass destruction."

Both Hart and Rudman urged congressional approval of the Department of Homeland Security called for by President Bush as one of the major reforms necessary at the federal level. The general need for an umbrella department of this kind was foreseen in the pre-9/11 Rudman-Hart commission report, although it lacked details about its makeup, saying these decisions should be made by the president. Asked what he thought of the agencies and functions that Bush included in his detailed proposal for the new department submitted to Congress, Hart said, "I think he has it about right." Hart did not comment on the current controversy about labor protections for the employees of the proposed new department.

In his message to Congress that accompanied his proposal, Bush spoke of the far reaching nature of the change that, in his view, is required. "I propose the most extensive reorganization of the federal government since the 1940s by creating a new Department of Homeland Security," he remarked. "For the first time, we would have a single department whose primary mission is to secure our homeland," he added. The Bush administration has pointed out that currently responsibilities for homeland security are dispersed among 100 different government organizations.

Hart stressed that democratic governments have a particular problem in combating terrorism because it is difficult to sustain public interest and attention, absent further terrorist attacks. He also said this is not just a matter for central government. Local governments and agencies as well as volunteer organizations that would immediately respond to any attacks, "must rethink their plans and operations. They should not just wait for the federal government," he added.

Both Hart and Rudman said that the terrorist threat should not be seen as coming exclusively from one part of the world, from one ideology, or from one set of religious beliefs. "People should remember," said Hart, "that the second worst terrorist attack in the United States was perpetrated by Timothy McVeigh, an American."

In response to one question, Hart said more should be done to combat the hopelessness and poverty that can be a breeding ground for terrorism. "But there will always be a core group of terrorists no matter what we do," he said. "And the point we want to stress is that in the 21st century, they will have access to weapons of mass destruction."
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2.
Jump-Starting Weapons Nonproliferation in Russia
Hearing Before the Committee on Foreign Relations: United States Senate
October 7, 2002


International efforts to reduce Russia's vast, poorly secured stockpile of nuclear and chemical weapons materials will be the subject of a hearing in the Foreign Relations Committee at 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, October 9.

Witnesses will discuss the G-8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, which is also known as "10 + 10 over 10" because participating countries have pledged to spend at least $20 billion over the next 10 years on the initiative.

The 10 + 10 over 10 program would support specific cooperation projects, initially in Russia, to promote non-proliferation, disarmament, counter-terrorism and nuclear safety programs. It includes the possible use of debt reduction to fund projects in Russia. As part of the agreement, Russian President Putin pledged to provide G-8 states with access to sites, tax exemptions and liability protection.

The lead witness at the hearing will be Under Secretary of State John R. Bolton, followed by a panel of witnesses from the Departments of State, Defense and Energy

to testify regarding each Department's plans for implementing the G-8 initiative. A third panel will feature non-governmental experts.

Government experts will explain the efforts that have been made to give substance to the G-8 initiative, and the Administration's vision for this initiative, both short-term and long-term.

Senator Biden was the co-author, along with Senator Richard Lugar, of bipartisan legislation recently signed into law that expands the President's authority to reduce Russia's debt to the United States in exchange for nonproliferation programs.
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3.
Senator John Edwards (excerpted)
Center for Strategic and International Security
October 7, 2002


[...]

If we're serious about dealing with this problem once and for all, and if we want to prevent future threats like Iraq from arising, then the United States must see non-proliferation for what it is: a strategic imperative, vital to our national interests.

Unfortunately, the administration's policies have moved the U.S. in the opposite direction. So far, the administration has spent far more diplomatic energy to weaken international consensus against proliferation than it has to strengthen it. Since coming into office, the administration has blocked efforts to strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In its 31-page National Security Strategy, there is only one paragraph that says anything about strengthening preventive measures like non-proliferation.

This gratuitous unilateralism is coupled with neglect of programs that will make America safer over the long-term. Right now, the administration spends four times more on developing missile defense than on supporting programs to safeguard nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union. It spends five times more on programs to resume nuclear testing than it does to prevent nuclear weapons from spreading.

These are the wrong priorities at exactly the wrong moment. The world needs more U.S. leadership on these issues, not less. Just as the U.S. must lead a global coalition against Iraq, it must forge a global coalition against the larger threat from weapons of mass destruction.

We must address the most insidious threat posed by weapons of mass destruction, the threat posed by terrorists. We must do much more to support the many disarmament programs already in place to dismantle weapons and prevent access to weapons-grade materials in Russia and the former Soviet states; we must devote the maximum resources necessary to support cooperative threat reduction programs, including Nunn-Lugar.

[...]
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4.
Powell Sees "Robust" U.S.-Russia Commercial Relationship
Speech to U.S.-Russia Business Council in Washington
U.S. Department of State: International Information Programs
October 3, 2002


Addressing the U.S.-Russia Business Council in Washington October 3, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell predicted "a robust commercial relationship between Russia and the United States, and a dynamic Russia occupying a leading place in the global economy."

"Russia has made fundamental choices for democratic government and for market economics," he said, adding that while there have been some setbacks, "there's no concern anymore that we're going to go back to the old days -- back to a closed economy, back to the kind of economy that existed for so many years."

Another positive development, Powell said, is "the new strategic partnership that Presidents Bush and Putin have established, and which they are determined to deepen in the years ahead."

Russia is also forming a new partnership with NATO through the establishment of the NATO-Russia Council "that will foster Russia's full integration into the Euro-Atlantic community," he noted.

Powell cited U.S.-Russia cooperation in efforts "to defuse tensions in other parts of the world," such as between India and Pakistan, the Balkans, and the Middle East. And "we share the strategic goal of an Iraq disarmed of its weapons of mass destruction, and we are working together to achieve it."

Russia and the United States "are working together on issues of shared concern, rather than vying for spheres of influence," he said. "That great global chessboard of the Cold War, the one with the red pieces for Soviet communism and then the other pieces, the white pieces, for the free world, has been overturned once and for all. Russia is becoming a full participant in the international system."

Powell acknowledged that some disagreements still exist, and he cited strong U.S. concern "about Russian nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology that is still finding its way to Iran. The second concern is Chechnya. We fully support Russia's territorial integrity, as well as Georgia's, but we believe that the solution to the current problem is a political dialogue."

He added that "we're working not only with the Russian leadership, but the leadership in Georgia with respect to the difficult situation in the Pankisi Gorge."

Regarding the negotiations under way at the United Nations towards a new resolution on Iraq, Powell said that "it has to be a resolution that all people understand will have some consequences associated with it if the Iraqis do not perform."

"The discussions are intricate, but I am optimistic that we will find a way forward in the Security Council. We must find a way forward if the Security Council will retain its relevance. But there can be no doubt about the determination of the United States and, I believe, of all nations in the world, to include Russia, to disarm Iraq. We can no longer turn away from this danger. We have to disarm Iraq, and the president is quite willing to do whatever is necessary to bring that about," he said.

On the U.S.-Russia relationship, Powell said it should not be defined only in terms of security issues. "The center of gravity of our relationship with an increasingly democratic Russia inevitably will shift, and should shift, toward issues of economics, trade and investment. The greater the shift, the more normal our bilateral relationship will become."

He urged the Russian government to press ahead with banking and financial reforms and intellectual property rights protection. "For our part, the Bush administration will continue to support Russia's reform efforts," he added. And the United States will continue to support Russian membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and full membership in the G-8 in 2006. Powell also cited the growing U.S.-Russia partnership in the field of commercial energy. "The Bush administration is committed to advancing the new partnership that we have forged between Russia and the United States, and to do it in all of its dimensions -- political, security and economic," he concluded.

During the question-and-answer session, Powell was asked about Russia's interests in the future of Iraq. He noted that "there are economic considerations, considerations of regional stability…. As we develop our contingency plans, we are taking fully into account the interest of the nations in the region and the economic impact such a transition might have on them."

Powell added that "Iraq in the future, if it turns out to be a different kind of country with a different kind of leadership, has enormous potential with respect to its revenues coming in through the sale of energy. And we will want it to be part of an integrated world system. And we are in conversation with our Russian friends about their interests."
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5.
"Missile Wars" airs on PBS (Excerpted)
PBS/Frontline
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/press/2104.html
October 2002


As much of the nation follows the ongoing War on Terror and events in the Middle East, ground is being broken at a remote U.S. Army post in Alaska for one of the most controversial military programs in history: an antimissile defense system that could eventually cost taxpayers $200 billion.

Supporters claim a national missile defense program is essential to protecting America from an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) attack launched by so-called rogue states. Critics argue that September 11th was the grim confirmation that America's greatest national security threat is terrorism--not a missile attack.

On Thursday, October 10, at 9 P.M. on PBS (check local listings), FRONTLINE examines both sides of the missile defense debate in "Missile Wars." Through interviews with staunch proponents, skeptical scientists, and military and intelligence experts, the one-hour documentary investigates this multibillion dollar--yet still unproven--weapons system, explores the current rationale for missile defense, and probes whether it will protect America from the greatest threats it now faces.

[...]
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I. Links of Interest

1.
A Progress Report on 10 + 10 Over 10
Notice: Hearing Before the Committee on Foreign Relations: United States Senate
October 9, 2002
http://foreign.senate.gov/hearings/hrg021009a.html

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2.
State Official Urges Strengthening of Existing Arms Control Accords
Washington File
October 7, 2002
http://usinfo.state.gov/cgi-bin/washfile/display.pl?p=/products/washfile/latest&f=02100702.plt&t=/products/washfile/newsitem.shtml

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3.
U.N. Study on Disarmament and Nonproliferation Education Presented to the General Assembly
Masako Toki and Fred Wehling
Monterey Institute Center for Nonproliferation Studies
October 7, 2002
http://cns.miis.edu/pubs/week/021007.htm

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4.
Remarks By Secretary Of State Colin Powell To The U.S.-Russia Business Council At Their Annual Meeting Re: Expanding The U.S.-Russia Partnership
October 3, 2002
http://www.fnsg.com/transcript.htm?id=20021003t7217&nquery=&query=

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5.
Toxic Warfare
Theodore Karasik
RAND
2002
http://www.rand.org/publications/MR/MR1572/

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



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