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Nuclear News - 10/23/02
RANSAC Nuclear News, October 23, 2002
Compiled by Wyatt Cavalier



A. Russia-U.S
    1. U.S./Russia/Nuclear, Lisa McAdams, VOA, October 22, 2002
    2. U.S. hands over information on N. Korean uranium program to Russia, Interfax, October 22, 2002
    3. Visiting U.S. Diplomat Holds Talks On North Korea, Iraq, Strategic Stability, Vladimir Isachenkov, Associated Press, October 21, 2002
B. SORT
    1. Russia, USA Sure To Ratify Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, Say Negotiators, Anna Bobina & Vladimir Pakhomov, RIA Novosti, October 21, 2002
C. Russia-Iran
    1. Russians, Iranians Discuss Nuclear Ties, RFE/RL Newsline, October 23, 2002
    2. George W. Bush And Vladimir Putin To Speak About Russia's Nuclear Cooperation With Iran, Anna Bobina, RIA Novosti, October 22, 2002
    3. Russia Resists Ending Iran Project: Moscow Balks at U.S. Offer for Curtailing Work on Reactor, Peter Baker, Washington Post Foreign Service, October 22, 2002
D. Russia-North Korea
    1. Bush Likely To Visit Russia Next Month, Robert Cottrell, Financial Times, October 22, 2002
    2. USA Makes No Accusations About Russia In Connection With North Korean Nuclear Programme, Anna Bobina & Vladimir Pakhomov, RIA Novosti, October 22, 2002
E. CTBT
    1. Russia Takes Notice As USA Pledges CTBT Allegiance In U.N. Debates, RIA Novosti, October 22, 2002
F. Russian Submarine Decommissioning
    1. First Soviet Ballistic Missile Submarine To Be Scrapped, Bellona, October 23, 2002
    2. Submarine On Fire In Murmansk Suburb, Igor Kudrik, Bellona, October 22, 2002
G. Nuclear Power Industry
    1. Atomic Energy Minister Adds To Russian Pressure On E.U., RFE/RL Newsline, October 23, 2002
    2. Nuclear-Power Sector In Dire Straits, RFE/RL Poland, Belarus and Ukraine Report, October 22, 2002
H. Announcements
    1. On the Adoption by 57th UNGA First Committee of a Resolution on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, October 22, 2002
    2. Defense Appropriations Bill Has Money For Nunn-Lugar That Can't Be Spent, Senator Richard Luger, October 16, 2002
I. Links of Interest
    1. Weapons of Mass Disruption, Michael Levi & Henry Kelly, Scientific American, November 2002
    2. Radiological Weapons: Georgia Wraps up Search for Radiological Sources, Bryan Bender, Global Security Newswire October 23, 2002
    3. Is the U.S.-Russia Partnership Working? Transcript of Panel Discussion by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, October 10, 2002
    4. Nunn-Luger Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, Senator Richard Luger

A. Russia-U.S.

1.
U.S./Russia/Nuclear
Lisa McAdams
VOA
October 22, 2002
(for personal use only)


A senior U-S diplomat has completed two days of talks in Moscow that focused on North Korea's recently revealed nuclear weapons program and other security issues likely to be discussed later this week by the U-S and Russian presidents. V-O-A's Lisa McAdams reports from Moscow.

Under Secretary of State John Bolton says he discussed a host of nuclear non-proliferation issues during his two days of talks with Russian officials.

Officials on both sides say the discussions were dominated by what Mr. Bolton called North Korea's very real and dangerous breach of nuclear non-proliferation accords.

Mr. Bolton was expected to try to persuade Russia to use its influence to convince North Korea to cancel a secret nuclear weapons program, which officials in Pyongyang have recently admitted to having.

On Monday, Mr. Bolton said Russia shares Washington's concern about North Korea. Briefing reporters at the end of his stay in Moscow, Mr. Bolton said he had presented Russian officials with the U-S assessment of the danger of the North Korean program.

We have presented certain evidence to the Russian side and we're sure that they'll consider it and that the two foreign ministers and the two presidents will discuss this subject in the next few days.

Mr. Bolton was referring to scheduled meetings between the U-S and Russian leaders on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Mexico later this week.

He said President Bush has made clear the United States wants to resolve the North Korea weapons issue through peaceful dialogue.

Mr. Bolton next heads to Western Europe, in a bid to build international consensus on the issue among permanent U-N Security Council members Britain and France.

Among other key issues discussed in Moscow was U-S concern about Russia's nuclear cooperation with Iran and its plans to help Iran build a nuclear reactor at Bushehr in the Persian Gulf.

Mr. Bolton bristled Tuesday when asked whether the United States would overlook that issue, in return for Russia's cooperation on North Korea.

The idea of that kind of quid-pro-quo tradeoff is simply an inaccurate representation of the nature of the relationship between Russia and America today. We wouldn't offer such an arrangement and the Russian government wouldn't accept it.

On the U-S / Russian front, Mr. Bolton says he expects a treaty calling for a significant reduction in strategic nuclear arsenals could be ratified by the U-S Congress before the year is out.

The treaty was signed during last year's U-S/Russia Summit.

Mr. Bolton also said he expects the U-S Congress will soon approve funding to build a chemical weapons destruction facility in Shchuchye, in Russia's Kurgan region. The facility would be the largest plant for destroying chemical weapons ever built in Russia.
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2.
U.S. hands over information on N. Korean uranium program to Russia
Interfax
October 22, 2002
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW - U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton has handed over information regarding North Korea's uranium-enrichment program to the Russian government.

Speaking at a press conference at the Interfax main office on Tuesday, Bolton confirmed that the North Korean government has admitted the existence of this program itself.
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3.
Visiting U.S. Diplomat Holds Talks On North Korea, Iraq, Strategic Stability
Vladimir Isachenkov
Associated Press
October 21, 2002
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW - Undersecretary of State John Bolton conferred with Russian officials on Monday about North Korea's bid to build nuclear weapons, the situation in Iraq and U.S.-Russian cooperation on strategic security issues.

A top Russian diplomat meanwhile warned that Moscow would oppose any new U.N. Security Council draft resolution on Iraq that would allow "automatic use of force" or contain "unfeasible" demands.

The United States and Britain have been pushing for a resolution that would set strict terms for Iraqi compliance with U.N. weapons inspectors and that would authorize use of force if Iraq does not meet those terms.

Russia, which has veto power on the Security Council, is pushing for return of the inspectors to Iraq as soon as possible according to existing resolutions, although officials say they are willing to discuss new resolutions.

Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix is to meet Tuesday with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov to discuss Iraq, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov reaffirmed that Moscow would oppose draft resolutions that "contain provisions authorizing the automatic use of force against Iraq or unfeasible requirements, which might lead to new crises and tensions in the country rather than contribute to the return of weapons inspectors," the news agency Interfax reported.

Fedotov said that the United States was expected to submit a new draft resolution within the next few days.

Bolton's stop in Moscow was part of a tour that began last week in China and was set to continue in Britain, France and Belgium, aimed at searching for ways to stop North Korea from developing nuclear weapons and missile technology, U.S. officials have said.

Pyongyang's recent acknowledgment that it had resumed work on its nuclear weapons program came amid increased global efforts to curb the spread of weapons of mass destruction and raised alarm in Washington.

"The Russian government shares President Bush's concern about this egregious violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and ... they share President Bush's desire to resolve this matter peacefully and through diplomatic pressure," Bolton told reporters on Monday.

He said that his talks in Moscow were part of preparations for a meeting between Bush and President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Mexico this weekend and that the talks covered counterterrorism, non-proliferation and other issues.

Before meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov, Bolton conferred with chief of presidential Security Council chief Vladimir Rushailo who hailed warm ties between Moscow and Washington.

"Our strength lies in unity," Rushailo said, according to Interfax. "Only by working together can we hope to overcome the powerful enemy, which is terrorism."

Bolton was also scheduled to meet with Russian Aerospace Agency chief Yuri Koptev and Nuclear Minister Alexander Rumyantsev.

Rumyantsev, who spoke on Echo of Moscow radio Monday, said that neither Iraq nor North Korea are likely to have any nuclear weapons capability. "We don't think that Iraq had enough potential to get hold of nuclear weapons," he said.

Russia's nuclear cooperation with Iran has been another sensitive issue on the U.S.-Russian agenda. Washington has expressed strong concern about the cooperation, saying it could help Tehran develop nuclear weapons.

Rumyantsev on Monday defended Russia's deal to build a nuclear power plant in the Iranian city of Bushehr, saying it was meant for strictly peaceful purposes and conforms to Russia's international obligations. Iran will not be able to use the spent nuclear fuel from Bushehr for military purposes because all of it will be taken back to Russia, he said.

Rumyantsev said that Russian and Iranian officials had signed two documents on the return of spent nuclear fuel.
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B. SORT

1.
Russia, USA Sure To Ratify Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, Say Negotiators
Anna Bobina & Vladimir Pakhomov
RIA Novosti
October 21, 2002
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW - Russia's parliament and the US Congress will certainly ratify the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, as signed by the two federal Presidents. Both Moscow and Washington are sure of that, Georgi Mamedov, Russia's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, said to the media after he met at the negotiation table with John Bolton, US Undersecretary of State.

Ratification prospects were prominent on today's Moscow agenda. The host delegation informed Mr. Bolton about the latest preliminary debates in Russia's both parliamentary houses. "As is our opinion, the Russian parliament will lend an attentive ear to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence and approve the ratification idea unless the international situation drastically changes," said Georgi Mamedov as he stressed that ratification would promote Moscow's interests.

The US Administration expects the Senate to landslide ratification of the Strategic Reductions Treaty, John Bolton reassured, in his turn. Mr. Mamedov, however, does not rule out the ratification put off to November, what with approaching Congressional by-elections.

The Treaty's ratification prospects will be regarded in the nearest Russian-US contacts-in particular, at the presidential and foreign-ministerial levels during an upcoming APEC summit in Mexico, added Georgi Mamedov.
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C. Russia-Iran

1.
Russians, Iranians Discuss Nuclear Ties
RFE/RL Newsline
October 23, 2002
(for personal use only)


A delegation from Iran's Atomic Energy Organization met in Moscow on 22 October with AtomicEnergy Minister Rumyantsev, Interfax-AVN reported. Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Gholam Reza Shafei also attended the meeting, at which the two countries discussed the possibility of amending the agreement on Russian assistance in the construction of a nuclear-power plant in Bushehr ("RFE/RL Newsline," 20 August 2002).

The amendment concerns the return of spent nuclear fuel to Russia. "The Washington Post" reported the same day that U.S. officials have failed to persuade their Russian counterparts to cease work on the Bushehr plant. The U.S. officials reportedly promised that the White House would work on lifting restrictions on Russia's import of spent nuclear fuel in exchange for an end to Moscow's nuclear cooperation with Tehran.

The Russians indicated their skepticism of U.S. promises, noting that the U.S. commitment to lift the Jackson-Vanik trade restrictions has not yet been fulfilled. Atomic Energy Ministry spokesman Yurii Bespalko said Russia would rather have the $800 million from the Bushehr project than depend on U.S. promises of future benefits, according to "The Washington Post."
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2.
George W. Bush And Vladimir Putin To Speak About Russia's Nuclear Cooperation With Iran
Anna Bobina
RIA Novosti
October 22, 2002
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, October 22nd, 2002. /From RIA Novosti correspondent Anna Bobina/. - U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton said at a press conference that he did not rule out the possibility that U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin would discuss Russia's cooperation with Iran in both nuclear and missile technology spheres during their meeting in Mexico.

According to John Bolton, he discussed this issue during meetings with the Russian party. "We continue the dialogue, the issue has been discussed at the meeting of the G8 in Canada," the U.S. Undersecretary of State said.
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3.
Russia Resists Ending Iran Project: Moscow Balks at U.S. Offer for Curtailing Work on Reactor
Peter Baker
Washington Post Foreign Service
October 22, 2002
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW -- U.S. officials eager to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons privately offered a potentially lucrative economic deal to Russia in exchange for halting construction of an atomic reactor and other cooperation with Tehran, but Moscow has resisted the proposal.

The Americans told the Russians that if they cut off all avenues of nuclear proliferation to Iran, the Bush administration would work to lift restrictions on the import of spent nuclear fuel to Russia, officials from both countries said today. Russia believes it can make billions of dollars by storing and reprocessing radioactive material from around the world, but it has been blocked by the United States.

Such a trade-off could eliminate a major dispute that has aggravated American presidents and soured U.S.-Russian relations for years. Russian scientists are working to complete construction of a light-water nuclear reactor at the Iranian coastal city of Bushehr, a project U.S. officials believe has served as cover for the transfer of weapons technology. Russia has defied all U.S. pressure to cancel work at Bushehr and denied any clandestine aid to Iran.

By proposing an exchange for spent fuel, Washington hoped that incentives might work where badgering had not. Yet the suggested deal appeared to be foundering, at least in part because of the mistrust engendered by what Moscow perceives as the broken U.S. promises of the past year.

In an interview today, Yuri Bespalko, a spokesman for the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry, noted that the United States has not lived up to its commitment to remove Jackson-Vanik trade restrictions on Moscow, made last year after Russian President Vladimir Putin threw his support behind the U.S.-led war on terrorism. The Jackson-Vanik amendment bars countries that lack market economies and open emigration policies from enjoying normal trade relations with the United States.

"Americans are being rather sly when they offer this kind of swap," Bespalko said of the latest proposed exchange. Russia, he added, would rather keep the existing $800 million Bushehr project than rely on another U.S. promise of future benefits. "It's better to have a bird in the hand than two in the bush," he said.

U.S. officials appeared uncertain how vigorously to pursue the deal, with some considering it unlikely to happen and others still sensing the prospect of an agreement with Russia.

"I don't think the Russians themselves have a coherent position on it," said a senior U.S. official who asked not to be identified. "We're picking up different vibes from different people." In part, he said, that may stem from U.S. ambivalence.

Clearing the way for Russia to import spent nuclear fuel would be controversial with environmental groups and some members of Congress. Critics contend that Russia would contaminate its environment while not keeping the spent fuel sufficiently secure. Environmentalists and Russian civic groups failed to block the Russian parliament from adopting a plan last year to import spent fuel that the government said could bring in $20 billion over two decades.

Washington controls the disposition of spent fuel from all U.S.-built reactors in the United States and other countries -- as much as 90 percent of the world's spent fuel.

The Bellona Foundation, a Norwegian environmental group that described the potential U.S.-Russian deal on its Web site, criticized it as worse for the cause of nonproliferation than permitting Russia to complete the Bushehr plant.

"There's already too much nuclear material in Russia, and they lack good control over it," said Nils Bohmer, a nuclear scientist with Bellona.

The Iran issue was on the agenda for talks beginning today between visiting Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton and Russian officials. Russian Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev said Moscow's position had not changed and insisted again that it had complied with all international nonproliferation obligations.

"Russia is not providing any weapons technologies and is not even negotiating any such projects with Iran," he said on Ekho Moskvy radio.

Rumyantsev also disputed criticism from environmentalists that Russia cannot adequately guard spent fuel against terrorists. "We have dealt with the problem for 50 years and so far, knock on wood, we have never had situations" such as that, he said.
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D. Russia-North Korea

1.
Bush Likely To Visit Russia Next Month
Robert Cottrell
Financial Times
October 22, 2002
(for personal use only)


President George W. Bush is likely to visit Russia next month, after attending the Nato summit in Prague, a US diplomat told the Financial Times on Tuesday.

The main purpose of the trip would be to reassure Russia once again that Nato enlargement, the subject of the Prague summit, is not directed against Russia.

But it would also be a chance for Mr Bush to seek further Russian co-operation on strategic issues including Iraq and North Korea.

These two issues will also dominate a meeting between Mr Bush and President Vladimir Putin in the margins of an Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summit in Mexico on Saturday, but this meeting will be brief, officials say.

The US sees Russia as a valuable intermediary in dealing with North Korea, which recently admitted to having a nuclear fuel enrichment programme.

Mr Putin appeared to have a good personal relationship with the reclusive North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, following two visits to Russia by Mr Kim in the past 15 months.

The US and Russia have "an opportunity to co-operate against a major strategic threat" in the form of North Korea's nuclear programme, the US diplomat said.

The US wants international efforts to stop North Korea getting any more external help for its nuclear programme. It stops short of saying that Russian companies may have been quietly or illicitly selling technology to North Korea, but it appears to have some suspicions in this direction.
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2.
USA Makes No Accusations About Russia In Connection With North Korean Nuclear Programme
Anna Bobina & Vladimir Pakhomov
RIA Novosti
October 22, 2002
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, October 22, 2002. /Corr. RIA Novosti Anna Bobina, Vladimir Pakhomov/. - Following a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, US Under-Secretary of State John Bolton announced at a Moscow press conference that America would not make any accusations against Russia in regard to the nuclear programme in North Korea.

According to the high-ranking diplomat, America has not hinted at and has not made any accusations against Russia.

Bolton said that all the responsible nuclear powers had to act to stop the nuclear programme underway in North Korea.

He confirmed that North Korea had allegedly acknowledged the existence of this programme during a visit made by Assistant Secretary of state James Kelly to Pyongyang on October 4th.

Bolton stressed that the US had carefully and cautiously assessed this information and come to the conclusion that it presented a threat.
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E. CTBT

1.
Russia Takes Notice As USA Pledges CTBT Allegiance In U.N. Debates
RIA Novosti
October 22, 2002
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW - The First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly yesterday voted a resolution to approve the comprehensive treaty banning nuclear tests and whatever nuclear blasts, or CTBT. The USA used the occasion to reassure the voters of its allegiance to the treaty. Russia paid due attention to the statement, says the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Co-authored by Russia and another 69 countries, the UN resolution won 144 votes. It highlights the CTBT as one of principal disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation instruments. The resolution calls to bring the treaty into force as soon as possible. Such countries as have not for now signed or ratified the CTBT are to do it urgently, says the document. The appeal is specially emphatic with regard to countries whose joining is necessary to get the CTBT into force.

The USA was the only to vote against the resolution. Meanwhile, CTBT entry into force is the only way to confirm an essential international legal norm which will free the world from nuclear tests forever, stress Foreign Ministry PR.
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F. Russian Submarine Decommissioning

1.
First Soviet Ballistic Missile Submarine To Be Scrapped
Bellona
October 23, 2002
(for personal use only)


Ballistic missile nuclear submarine K-137, first Soviet strategic submarine, will be scrapped in Severodvinsk.

Leninets Yankee class, project 667A, nuclear powered submarine commissioned in 1967 has been laid up in Severodvinsk, Arkhangelsk region, since mid 1980s. The plans suggested converting the submarine into a museum, but no money was found for the project. Since 1967, the Soviet Union had built 34 submarines of this class. Sevmash shipyard, located in Severodvinsk, was producing up to five Yankees per year in construction picks. K-137 will be scrapped at Severodvinsk Zvezdochka shipyard on the funds provided by the US Cooperative Threat Reduction programme.
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2.
Submarine On Fire In Murmansk Suburb
Igor Kudrik
Bellona
October 22, 2002
(for personal use only)


A nuclear powered submarine, undergoing decommissioning at a naval shipyard in a suburb of Murmansk, caught fire.

A nuclear powered submarine, which has not been identified, caught fire at 9:21 Moscow time on October 23rd. The submarine was undergoing decommissioning at Sevmorput shipyard located in the north of Murmansk city at the Kola Peninsula.

The fire started on the wood scaffolding in the dry dock surrounding the submarine, and then spread to the rubber coating of the submarine.

Six fire engines arrived at the scene and extinguished the fire in two hours, by 11:10 Moscow time, said local Civil Defence representative to the Interfax new agency.

Negligent welding works reportedly caused the fire.

Although the submarine was not identified, there is reason to believe that the vessel was a first generation Echo-II class submarine (K-22). This submarine was defuelled at Sevmorput by the Imandra support vessel in summer 2001. Imandra is run by Murmansk Shipping Company, a commercial operator of nuclear powered icebreakers.

No release of radiation or causalities was reported.

There were four first generation submarines moored at Sevmorput waiting to be decommissioned: one Hotel class (K-145) defuelled in 1995, one November class (defuelling time unclear) and two Echo-II class submarines - K-22 defuelled in summer 2001 and K-128/62 defuelled this summer.
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G. Nuclear Power Industry

1.
Atomic Energy Minister Adds To Russian Pressure On E.U.
RFE/RL Newsline
October 23, 2002
(for personal use only)


Atomic Energy Minister Aleksandr Rumyantsev told Ekho Moskvy on 22 October that his ministry is considering constructing a floating nuclear-power plant in Kaliningrad. Rumyantsev said the future prospect of the closure of the Ignalina nuclear-power plant in Lithuania has prompted the ministry to look into the feasibility of building a floating station using nuclear reactors decommissioned from atomic icebreakers or submarines. He said the ministry already has about 20 blueprints. Ekho Moskvy reported that Rumyantsev described the move not as a threat but as an economic necessity.
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2.
Nuclear-Power Sector In Dire Straits
RFE/RL Poland, Belarus and Ukraine Report
October 22, 2002
(for personal use only)


Ukraine's nuclear-power industry, which satisfies close to 50 percent of the country's energy needs, is in serious financial trouble. The Chornobyl power station, the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster in April 1986, is a constant strain on the state budget. The last of the working reactors there (No. 3) was ceremonially closed under pressure from the West in December 2000. But until the plant is finally decommissioned, it will need a constant input of money for water, gas, electricity, and the wages of the maintenance staff. But there is no money. Instead, there are only debts that now exceed 20 million hryvnyas ($3.8 million). Recently, the water supply was cut off, although after an appeal from the staff about possible consequences, the Vodokanal supply company agreed to reconnect it. But the draft Ukrainian state budget for 2003 allots to Chornobyl only funds for the staff payroll. According to Oleksandr Antropov, the presidential representative at Chornobyl, it may be necessary to reduce the safety level at the plant.

This is no easy decision. There are, Antropov said, "many millions of curies of radioactive" waste at the site, and the "sarcophagus" enclosing the ruined No. 4 reactor is in a "critical" state, with nuclear fuel still inside. Following the accident, a whole range of monitoring devices was installed, but there is no money to run them. Now, some Ukrainian lawmakers, in particular, members of the Parliamentary Committee for Fuel and Energy, are suggesting that, although the closure of Chornobyl was politically correct, it was economically premature, and they are urging that the No. 3 reactor be restarted to provide the necessary electricity. Almost immediately after the accident, there was worldwide pressure for the permanent closure of the Chornobyl power station. However, the Soviet authorities, and later those of independent Ukraine, maintained that they could not manage without the electricity from the surviving three Chornobyl reactors. Back in 1986, the G-7 countries agreed to provide "compensation" for the lost generating capacity by helping fund the construction of two additional reactors, one at the Khmelnytskyy power station and one at Rivne, a project known as K2R4. The extra electricity is definitely needed. Yuriy Kostenko, Ukrainian environment minister in the early 1990s, told the author of this note that closing or not closing Chornobyl was a matter of having to choose between the putative death toll of a possible new explosion at Chornobyl or the certainty of many thousands of deaths from hypothermia in the coming winter. Eventually, the Chornobyl station was closed, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development began negotiating a $215 million loan for the completion of K2R4. But, just when the negotiations seemed about to be finalized, the Ukrainian side expressed a reluctance to meet the bank's conditions. During the visit of EBRD President Jean Lemierre to Ukraine in mid-October, Ukrainian Prime Minister Anatoliy Kinakh expressed a desire to renew negotiations. Lemierre was shown on Ukrainian television saying that the bank and the Ukrainian government had "agreed to renew talks" on the project.

In the meantime, however, the parameters and costs have changed, and the details of the project will have to be renegotiated. Moreover, Lemierre stressed the importance for K2R4 of cooperation between Ukraine and the International Monetary Fund, saying that K2R4 is "a big long-term project, and it will have an impact on the energy sector in general." Lemierre added that the project "will require long-term energy policy, and we'll talk both with the prime minister and the IMF on this subject." An IMF delegation is due to visit Ukraine at the end of October to discuss a new "standby" agreement. However, it may well be some time before the projected loan for K2R4 materializes.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian nuclear industry is strapped for cash across the board. At all the country's five operating nuclear stations, safety levels are imperiled by lack of money. There is a massive brain drain. According to Aleksandr Bilychenko, the director of capital construction at Ukraine's national nuclear-generating company Enerhoatom, over the past three years, 280 specialists with top qualifications in nuclear power have left Ukraine, while 60 percent of those still at their posts want to leave. To stem the outflow, Enerhoatom drew up at the end of September what it describes as a "social policy program" for its employees. But this would cost an estimated 91.8 million hryvnyas to implement, which would mean trebling the present tariff for the sale of electricity to the energy market.

Yet, such is the state of the Ukrainian labor market that almost simultaneously with Bilychenko's announcement of the nuclear brain drain, it was revealed that at the Rivne nuclear station (the "R" of K2R4), at least 10 senior engineering and administrative posts were held by unqualified people, whose diplomas in "nuclear engineering and thermal-power stations" from Odesa Polytechnic University were forged. (When purchased three years ago, the going rate for such documents is said to have been $500 to $600 apiece.) The Rivne Oblast prosecutor has now started criminal proceedings under Ukrainian Criminal Code articles 358 (deliberate use of false documents) and 367 (negligence in the workplace). Not surprisingly perhaps, Rivne has had in recent months a record of malfunctions, breakdowns, and emergency stoppages that, in spite of assurances from the station management that no escape of radiation was involved, built up into a worrying picture that eventually led the prosecutor to instigate an investigation.

Enerhoatom has had its own troubles. On 5 June, the cabinet of ministers dismissed Enerhoatom Chairman Yuriy Nedashkovskyy, replacing him with former Fuel and Energy Minister Serhiy Tulub. Nedashkovskyy immediately filed a lawsuit against the cabinet of ministers, claiming illegal dismissal, and the trade-union committee of Enerhoatom also protested his ousting. At the beginning of July, President Kuchma convened a three-day conference to sort out the "serious" problems (financial and otherwise) of the nuclear industry and, in particular, instructed the government to set up an interdepartmental working group to look into Enerhoatom's finances (a grim record of unpaid debts, overdue wage bills, and money earmarked for work on new reactors and upgrading safety measures failing to materialize). A few days later, Kuchma in effect called for a purge of the company. "We must sort it out, and name 'the heroes.' The enterprise should work for people, not for the small group of people who have brought it to bankruptcy," the president said.

Then, in August, the Kyiv-based newspaper "Den" announced that several former officials (unnamed) of the company had been charged under Article 364/2 (abuse of power with grievous consequences). Interfax quoted Volodymyr Hohol, who was described as "acting head of a department of the Prosecutor-General's Office," as saying that the accused had caused damage to the state in the amount of some 200 million hryvnyas over the period from 1998 to 2001, when, as managers of Enerhoatom, they had "concluded a number of contracts that they knew were not advantageous to the state in selling promissory notes through commercial banks, causing enormous losses to the company." Furthermore, the harm done by corruption may have been compounded by incompetence. "Den" quoted a "source close to Enerhoatom" as saying that in one deal, the company lost profits "because of simple forgetfulness: Someone failed to take into account the payment for the transmission of electricity." Considerable sums of money, "Den" claimed, had "evaporated" beyond the borders of Ukraine in some rather strange deals, including the case of 500 tons of uranium concentrate, which Enerhoatom received in 2000 from the Ukrainian Ministry of Fuel and Energy at a price of 352 hryvnyas per kilogram and then sold on to a Russian enterprise for only 97.2 hryvnyas per kilogram!

Under Tulub's leadership, the situation has apparently improved. The whole commercial side has been separated into a new department, and a tender committee has been established with the aim of lowering the cost of buying equipment, materials, and services. A new social policy program has been drafted, even if it is not clear where the money will be found. Work on the K2R4 reactors has been speeded up. Tulub seems determined that the reactors will be built eventually, with or without the EBRD loan. But on both safety and financial counts, Ukraine's nuclear industry is still far from healthy.
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H. Announcements

1.
On the Adoption by 57th UNGA First Committee of a Resolution on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
October 22, 2002


On October 21, the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly by 144 votes approved a resolution in support of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The resolution was cosponsored by 70 countries, including Russia.

The resolution notes the importance of the CTBT as one of the fundamental instruments in the field of disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation. It emphasizes the need to ensure the early entry of the Treaty into force and it contains an appeal to all States which have not yet signed or not ratified the CTBT and primarily to those whose accession to it is necessary for the entry of the Treaty into force to do so without delay.

Russia has taken note of the statement made in the course of the vote by the United States, the only country voting against this resolution, about the commitment by Washington to observe the moratorium on nuclear weapon test explosions and any other nuclear explosions. At the same time it is important to note that only the entry of the CTBT into force will establish the necessary international legal norm which will help to rid humanity of nuclear tests for good.
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2.
Defense Appropriations Bill Has Money For Nunn-Lugar That Can't Be Spent
Senator Richard Luger
October 16, 2002


The Defense Appropriations bill, passed by the Senate today and on its way to becoming law, includes $417 million for the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program. However, the money to destroy nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in Russia cannot be spent because the Bush Administration has not certified that the Russians are in compliance with arms control agreements. The administration cited a lack of transparency concerning biological and chemical weapons. Certification was made in each of the previous nine years of the program.

A congressional correction of this problem is bottled up in negotiations. House and Senate Defense Committee conferees have been unable to reach agreement on the Defense Authorization bill, which would likely include some form of authority for the President to waive the certification requirements.

The Bush Administration has extolled a new relationship with Russia and has signed the new Moscow Treaty that demonstrates greater trust than past treaties. At the same time, the Administration is saying it cannot certify that the Russians are in compliance with arms control treaty obligations.

"The Nunn-Lugar program is needed to help fulfill the goals of the Moscow Treaty. The Russians will not be able to destroy their nuclear weapons without it. Unless permanent waiver authority to the congressionally-inspired certification requirements becomes law, weapons covered by the treaty will not be destroyed. Also other critical destruction of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons will come to a standstill. The music will be stopped for months each year. Our unique window of opportunity in history to destroy weapons and materials would be lost," said U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar, who initiated the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction in 1991 with then Sen. Sam Nunn (D-GA). The U.S. program has spent about $400 million a year for ten years destroying weapons and employing weapons scientists in cooperative peaceful initiatives.

In July, the Congress approved a temporary waiver authority that expired on September 30. The administration did take advantage of the temporary waiver to execute about $300 million in new contracts that had been held up since the beginning of the year.

Chemical weapons destruction stymied by additional congressional conditions Lugar noted that additional congressional conditions have also stopped the effort to begin destroying nearly 2 million modern chemical weapons artillery shells and SCUD missile warheads at Shchuchye, Russia that "are in excellent working condition and many are small and easily transportable. They would be deadly in the hands of terrorists, religious sects or para-military units."

At a visit to Shchuchye in May, Lugar was told by the Russians that the weapons stored there in simple barn-like buildings could kill the world's population some 20 times over. "The size and lethality of the weapons at Shchuchye are clearly a direct proliferation threat to the American people," Lugar said.

The Defense Appropriation bill passed today would allow money to be spent on Shchuchye but only this year and only if the waiver issue is resolved.

"The Chemical Weapons Convention was ratified by the U.S. and Russia five years ago with both countries pledging to destroy all chemical weapons in ten years. Virtually none of Russia's declared 40,000 metric tons have been destroyed to date. U.S.-Russian cooperation to destroy all of the chemically-filled nerve gas shells at Shchuchye remains stalled by Congressional requirements. The Administration has not succeeded in gaining waiver authority even in the midst of the war on terrorism and the horrendous danger posed by small shell proliferation," Lugar said.

The $355.1 billion defense spending bill increases defense spending by $37.5 billion over last year. Military pay will be increased by 4.1 percent. The bill includes funds to destroy U.S. chemical weapons including those at Newport, Indiana. Lugar led the 1997 Senate floor debate in favor of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
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I. Links of Interest

1.
Weapons of Mass Disruption
Michael Levi & Henry Kelly
Scientific American
November 2002
http://www.fas.org/ssp/docs/021000-sciam.pdf


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2.
Radiological Weapons: Georgia Wraps up Search for Radiological Sources
Bryan Bender
Global Security Newswire
October 23, 2002
http://www.nti.org/d_newswire/issues/newswires/2002_10_23.html#11


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3.
Is the U.S.-Russia Partnership Working?
Transcript of Panel Discussion by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
October 10, 2002
http://www.ceip.org/files/events/2002-10-10-us-russia-tscript.asp


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4.
Nunn-Luger Cooperative Threat Reduction Program
Senator Richard Luger
http://lugar.senate.gov/nunnlugar.htm#


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