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Nuclear News - 11/06/02
RANSAC Nuclear News, November 6, 2002
Compiled by Wyatt Cavalier



A. Russia-U.S.
    1. Topical Issues Of Russo-American Dialogue Considered During Moscow Meeting In Foreign Ministry, RIA Novosti, November 6, 2002
B. Cooperative Threat Reduction
    1. US Delegation Arrives in Kiev to Inspect Missile Destruction Process, Viktor Demidenko, RIA Novosti, November 5, 2002
    2. Ukraine To Eliminate Hundreds Of Nuclear Missiles And Dozens Of Bombers, Associated Press, November 4, 2002
C. Nuclear Safety
    1. Minister Says Security Stepped Up At Nuclear Sites In Russia And Abroad, German Solomatin, ITAR-TASS, October 30, 2002
D. SORT
    1. No Movement on Strategic Reductions Treaty, News Brief: Arms Control Today, Novermber 2002
E. Russia-NATO
    1. NATO Plans Radically New Strategy (Excerpted), Robert G. Kaiser, The Washington Post , Not Yet Published
F. Export Controls
    1. Russian Export Controls Will Be Under Putin's Supervision (Excerpted), Masha Katsva and Igor Khripunov, Center for International Trade and Security, November 1, 2002
    2. GAO Says Multilateral Export Control Regimes Too Weak, Wade Boese, Arms Control Today, November 2002
G. Nuclear Waste Management
    1. Radioactive Waste To Be Dumped Near Dimitrovgrad's Water Wells, Rashid Alimov, Bellona, November 6, 2002
    2. Russia Completes Two-Week Survey Of Arctic Radioactive Waste Sites, Bellona, November 5, 2002
H. Links of Interest
    1. Global Nuclear Stockpiles, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: NRDC Nuclear Notebook, November/December 2002
    2. Kucinich v. Bush, Matt Bivens, The Nation: The Failsafe Point, November 5, 2002
    3. Arms Control Today, November 2002

A. Russia-U.S.

1.
Topical Issues Of Russo-American Dialogue Considered During Moscow Meeting In Foreign Ministry
RIA Novosti
November 6, 2002
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW -- Topical issues of Russo-American dialogue, within the framework of arrangements for the forthcoming political contacts at the high and highest level, were discussed on Tuesday at a meeting between Russian deputy foreign minister Georgy Mamedov and director of the department for Russia of the US National Security Council Thomas Graham.

The press and information department of the Russian foreign ministry reported that Mamedov, in particular, expressed the hope that the treaty on strategic offensive reductions will be ratified before the end of this year, and specific steps to develop cooperation in the interests of strengthening strategic stability will be made in the anti-missile defence sphere.

In the course of the talk, the Russian side expressed gratitude for efficient cooperation in the common anti-terrorist struggle during taking hostages in Moscow, which symbolises the new spirit of partnership in Russo-American relations, says the report of the Russian foreign ministry.
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B. Cooperative Threat Reduction

1.
US Delegation Arrives in Kiev to Inspect Missile Destruction Process
Viktor Demidenko
RIA Novosti
November 5, 2002
(for personal use only)


KIEV - A group of US Defence Ministry inspectors arrived in Kiev on Tuesday to control Ukraine's scrapping of SS-24 missile components. The Ukrainian Defence Ministry's press service reported today that the destruction of the SS-24 inter-continental ballistic missiles was being carried out in compliance with START-1.

The scrapping process is being conducted at the Pavlograd Machine Plant in the Dnepropetrovsk region. There are 46 SS-24 missiles in Ukraine designated for destruction.
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2.
Ukraine To Eliminate Hundreds Of Nuclear Missiles And Dozens Of Bombers
Associated Press
November 4, 2002
(for personal use only)


KIEV, Ukraine - Ukraine will start dismantling hundreds of missiles and dozens of strategic bombers this month as part of a U.S.-funded disarmament program, an official said Monday.

The first of some 225 Kh-22 air-to-surface missiles are slated to be destroyed at the Ozerne military airfield in the central Zhytomyr region on Wednesday.

Destruction of Ukraine's 31 Tu-22 strategic bombers will start Nov. 12 in the eastern city of Poltava, said Defense Ministry spokesman Oleh Mykhalko.

A total of 30 Kh-22s and six Tu-22s are expected to be dismantled by the end of 2002, said Ihor Mitiayev, who heads the ministry's arms elimination program, according to the Interfax news agency.

The weapons will be destroyed under a US$15 million program funded by the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, under a 1993 agreement between Ukraine and the United States to eliminate the former Soviet republic's strategic nuclear arms and bombers.

Ukraine inherited the world's third-largest nuclear arsenal with the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, including hundreds of missiles and dozens of strategic bombers. In 1996, Ukraine renounced nuclear weapons and transferred all its 1,300 nuclear warheads to Russia for destruction.
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C. Nuclear Safety

1.
Minister Says Security Stepped Up At Nuclear Sites In Russia And Abroad
German Solomatin
ITAR-TASS
October 30, 2002
(for personal use only)


Moscow: A special security regime remains in place at all nuclear installations in Russia, which was enacted minutes after terrorists seized the Dubrovka theatre complex, the Russian atomic energy minister, Aleksandr Rumyantsev, told the ITAR-TASS correspondent in an exclusive interview today.

"In Moscow alone, there are 12 such facilities. They include the Research, Development and Design Institute of Energy Technology, which is one of the industry's leaders and which is where Russia's first nuclear weapons were developed almost exactly 50 years ago," the minister said.

Aleksandr Rumyantsev went on to say that a conference of the Atomic Energy Ministry's heads took place today. It focused on "analysis of the state of security at the industry's nuclear installations and facilities, plus introduction of a special security regime during the transport of radioactive waste from nuclear production by rail in Russia".

Particular attention at the conference was paid to the transport of nuclear fuel for use in reactors at nuclear power plants both in Russia and abroad. In particular, the minister said, the discussion concerned "security measures at the power generation complexes of nuclear power plants under construction by Russian personnel in a number of foreign countries".

Work by the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry to improve the security of nuclear facilities from possible terrorist attacks "continues at all times, and is well funded", the minister said. However, he added, "the latest developments in Moscow, in which hostages were taken and a concert hall was mined, have forced the Russian nuclear industry to bring in considerably stricter requirements for the protection of Russia's nuclear facilities".
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D. SORT

1.
No Movement on Strategic Reductions Treaty
News Brief: Arms Control Today
Novermber 2002
(for personal use only)


Despite support from the White House, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and key Republican senators, the Senate did not act on a resolution of ratification for the U.S.-Russian Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty before Congress recessed October 17. It remains to be seen whether the Senate will vote on a resolution when it reconvenes for the lame-duck session expected to begin November 12.

During an October 9 hearing, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden (D-DE) emphasized his intention to move the treaty through the Senate. "I know of no outright opposition to that treaty," he said, adding that "it would be my intention to bring it up in the lame-duck session to get it finished." Leading Republican Senators Jesse Helms (NC), John Warner (VA), and Richard Lugar (IN) sent a letter October 10 to Biden in support of the treaty and urged him to "finish the job before we recess the 107th Congress."

It is unclear what is causing the delay, but wrangling over whether to add conditions to the treaty will certainly be an issue for the Senate. In addition to the joint October 10 letter, Warner wrote the Foreign Relations Committee October 21 urging that the treaty "proceed through Senate consideration unencumbered by reservations, understandings or declarations."

But, in an October 7 report to Biden, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) cast doubt on whether the treaty should go forward without careful examination of its weak points. Calling the new strategic reductions agreement "an unusual treaty," Levin suggested adding conditions, such as providing for Senate consultation prior to U.S. withdrawal from the treaty; encouraging the elimination of both delivery platforms and warheads; pursuing an information exchange agreement with Russia on warhead and fissile material stockpiles and associated security measures; and reporting annually on the progress made toward the treaty's reduction goals.

Reaffirming the difficult path facing the treaty in the Senate, a U.S. official indicated that "the chances of ratification of the treaty are very slim for this year."
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E. Russia-NATO

1.
NATO Plans Radically New Strategy (Excerpted)
Robert G. Kaiser
The Washington Post
Not Yet Published
(for personal use only)


[...]

After years of debate over whether NATO should operate "out of area," meaning out of Europe, the foreign ministers agreed that "NATO must be able to field forces that can move quickly to wherever they are needed" so that the alliance can "more effectively respond collectively to any threat of aggression against a member state." This was an important step toward the new rapid deployment force idea.

"It was done by stealth, but everyone was conscious of its significance," said a West European ambassador to NATO who asked to remain anonymous. "No one wanted it to become a controversial political matter at home." The accord was overshadowed by the announcement on the same day of a new agreement with Moscow to make Russia a kind of associate member through a NATO-Russia joint council. In addition to the anticipated admission of seven members and formation of a rapid deployment force, the officials said they foresaw an announcement that groups of NATO members would jointly agree to lease U.S.-made tanker aircraft for in-flight refueling and long-range strategic air transports to carry troops to far-flung battlefields. Germany is key to the decision on leasing C-17 transports - Berlin would take the lead, and pay the most, in this arrangement - but the German government has not made a final decision, according to NATO diplomats. Leaders at the Prague meeting may also agree to acquire a fleet of JSTAR surveillance aircraft, which carry advanced electronics to track targets on the ground, to provide intelligence for military operations.

Diplomats are trying to reach final agreement on a plan for joint response to any nation's use of weapons of mass destruction - biological, chemical or nuclear. Members may commit to fielding additional special forces troops, and to acquiring improved communications equipment to allow secure exchanges among NATO member forces. And they will announce plans to reduce the number of NATO commands and headquarters, and reorient the remaining ones to new tasks.

[...]
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F. Export Controls

1.
Russian Export Controls Will Be Under Putin's Supervision (Excerpted)
Masha Katsva and Igor Khripunov
Center for International Trade and Security
November 1, 2002
(for personal use only)


On February 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin presided over a highly publicized meeting of the Russian Federation Security Council on export controls, the highest-level meeting ever held on the issue. The President's presence at the meeting lent visibility to a topic that, in the past, has been of interest mainly to bureaucrats and businessmen, but has recently begun to garner extensive media coverage because of its potential impact on U.S.-Russian relations.

The initially stated objective of the meeting was to address the need for coordination among export control agencies and implementation of newly passed export control legislation. However, discussion focused instead on a flurry of recent critical statements made by the U.S. administration on Russia's nonproliferation record. Several days before the meeting, Condoleezza Rice, the new U.S. National Security Advisor, declared Russia to be one of the major threats to U.S. security. Recently issued CIA and DOD reports accuse Russia of transferring sensitive materials to Iran; and recent changes in Russian regulations on the export of high-speed computers have earned Russia a spot on the U.S. list of proliferators of sensitive technologies. The United States has also issued an official protest against the Russian export of nuclear fuel to India, claiming that such transfers violate Nuclear Suppliers Group regulations.

[...]
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2.
GAO Says Multilateral Export Control Regimes Too Weak
Wade Boese
Arms Control Today
November 2002
(for personal use only)


Concluding a 13-month study of four international regimes designed to stem global weapons proliferation, the General Accounting Office (GAO) reported October 25 that the Australia Group, the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and the Wassenaar Arrangement are not working as effectively as they should and need to be made more robust.

While noting that governmental and nongovernmental nonproliferation experts believe the four regimes have successfully helped institute standards limiting worldwide exports of dangerous goods and kept such items out of the hands of troublesome governments, GAO asserted that measuring the actual impact of the regimes is difficult, and it identified several shortcomings that undercut their utility.

Established over a span of 21 years, beginning with the 1975 creation of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and ending with the 1996 founding of the Wassenaar Arrangement, the four regimes each deal with a specific area of proliferation concern, although they are largely comprised of the same members. More than 30 countries, including the United States, have committed to adhere voluntarily to the regimes, which were established separately to regulate the global trade of dangerous materials by harmonizing national export controls. The Nuclear Suppliers Group limits nuclear materials and technologies; the Australia Group addresses chemical and biological weapons-related goods and technologies; the MTCR restricts missiles and related technologies; and the Wassenaar Arrangement covers conventional arms and goods with both military and civilian uses.

GAO, which conducts investigations and studies for Congress, said two chief problems hamper the regimes: members do not share adequate information with each other in a timely manner about their approval and denial of exports, and they fail to implement regime decisions quickly and consistently enough so that members' export controls are uniform. Making agreed-upon changes to national export controls has taken some countries, including the United States, more than a year.

The report warned that countries or groups seeking outlawed or deadly capabilities might exploit an exporter's outdated controls or incomplete knowledge of what exports other suppliers are denying.

The regimes' voluntary nature also hinders them from working effectively, according to GAO. None of the regimes have monitoring or enforcement mechanisms, and all the regimes operate by consensus, meaning that a single country can block proposals or initiatives to strengthen a regime. Although the consensus rule can frustrate efforts to reform regimes, U.S. officials told GAO that it can also work to the U.S. advantage by permitting Washington to block proposals it does not like.

The regimes are also limited by the difficulty export controls have keeping pace with rapid technological changes; the growing number of countries outside regimes, such as China and North Korea, that are capable of manufacturing and selling weapons and related technologies; and the lack of criteria by which to judge regime performance.

The GAO report painted Russia, which belongs to three of the four regimes (the Australia Group is the exception), as pursuing policies at odds with the regimes' purposes. GAO stated U.S. officials claimed that "Russia does not yet have an effective export control system in place," and they cited Moscow's January 2001 shipment of nuclear fuel to India, despite the objections of 32 other capitals, as the clearest violation of a regime commitment. The Nuclear Suppliers Group forbids members from nuclear cooperation with countries that do not have internationally approved safeguards on all their nuclear facilities, which India does not.

Yet, Russia is not the sole country violating its nonproliferation pledges. GAO reported that the State Department provided it with roughly 100 diplomatic demarches that Washington issued between 1998 and 2002 to a dozen foreign governments, including Russia, raising questions about their exports. The problem may be even broader, however, because the State Department did not supply GAO with copies of all the demarches sent in recent years, and U.S. officials estimated that in 2001 100 demarches were issued regarding MTCR matters alone.

In general, GAO contended that its limited access to data prevented it from completely assessing "how regime members comply with their commitments or how well efforts to encourage compliance work."

U.S. and foreign government officials told GAO that judging how well the regimes work is complicated by the fact that it is not possible to know how widely dangerous technologies might have spread had the regimes not existed. One U.S. official interviewed October 29 about the GAO report commented that past experience shows that the regimes "are better than nothing."

To enable countries to make more informed decisions about their arms exports and to improve adherence to export control regimes, GAO urged the secretary of state to press for increased information-sharing among regime members, to work for more consistent implementation of export controls, and to identify possible ways to make regimes operate better, such as changing decision-making procedures. GAO further encouraged more frequent U.S. reporting on its export denials, thereby enabling other countries to take similar actions, and the development of criteria to evaluate regime successes and failures.

In an October 16 reply to a draft copy of the GAO report, the State Department said it would consider GAO's recommendations as part of a recently initiated review of the regimes ordered by the president.

When asked, however, several State Department and White House officials were unaware of the reportedly ongoing review. Only one State Department official knew of the review and she would only say, "The president has directed a review of the nonproliferation regimes." She explained she could not provide any other details, such as when the president ordered the review, who is conducting it, when it is supposed to be completed, or what it entails.
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G. Nuclear Waste Management

1.
Radioactive Waste To Be Dumped Near Dimitrovgrad's Water Wells
Rashid Alimov
Bellona
November 6, 2002
(for personal use only)


ST. PETERSBURG - Dimitrovgrad city court found nothing illegal in the planned underground dumping of radioactive waste only two kilometres away from the city's water wells.

Dimitrovgrad is a city in Ulyanovsk county, its population amounts to 50,000. Nuclear Reactors Institute (NRI), situated there, is one of the biggest Russia's nuclear centres, operating seven reactors, radiochemical laboratories and plants, producing assemblies of plutonium mixed fuel for fast breeder reactors.

Defending the right for favourable environment, Mikhail Piskunov, the head of Dimitrovgrad Centre for Assistance on Citizens' Initiatives, filed a claim against local nuclear industry. On October 28 the court rejected the claim.

The Centre for Assistance reports, radioactive waste was brought to the Nuclear Reactors Institute from the Institute of Plant Biological Protection, situated in Krasnodar. They researched effect of high radiation doses on trees, shrubs, and herbs in case of a nuclear war.

When the research was halted, the ionisation sources were transformed into radioactive waste, and it was planned to dump the waste at a polygon of the Radon combine in Rostov county. But when the Institute of Plant Biological Protection got money to dump the waste, nuclear specialists from Dimitrovgrad came forward to offer their service.

The waste was transported to Ulyanovsk county for dumping on the territory of Dimitrovgrad. Dimitrovgrad's Science Centre of Russian Academy of Technical Sciences acted as a mediator in transportation of the waste.

"Some of the managers of the Nuclear Reactors Institute's work in this Science Center", - say the Dimitorvgrad environmentalists. The Centre for Assistance accused the managers of an illegal deal, and named the sum, about one million roubles (ca. $35,000), received by the mediator. Institute of Biological Shielding, Science Center and NRI were arraigned as defendants.

Solid or liquid?

First, 147 vials of liquid waste were planned to be dumped in a polygon of the Rostov's Radon Combine in a solidified form. But Nuclear Reactors Institute proposed another way to handle the waste, rather dangerous one - pump it underground. The Institute's director Alexey Grachev said it would be an experiment, in which scientists would study, how radioactive substances, including cesium-137 and strontium-90, dissociate in water-bearing horizons. The license granted to the NRI, which the Dimitrovgrad environmentalists tried to appeal earlier, permits dumping only of the low and medium active waste generated by the Institute. The radioactive waste sent from Krasnodar is high-active.

NRI is going to pump radioactive substances underground only two or three kilometers away from the city's water wells. The Ulyanovsk inter-regional ecological prosecutor supported claim, filed by Mikhail Piskunov, who demanded a ban on radioactive waste dumping. Mikhail Piskunov and the deputy ecological prosecutor Oleg Petrov mentioned a number of facts, demonstrating that nuclear companies violated the terms of the licences, granted to them by the State Nuclear Regulatory.

"We're sure, radioactive waste was brought to Ulyanovsk county with the only goal: to dump it underground to get money," - the plaintiffs say.

Before the trial, Ulyanovsk county administration's Committee on Natural Resource checked NRI's activities and banned pumping of the Krasnodar waste underground. Its official letter stipulated such operation requires environmental impact study, Ulyanovsk health service's approval, and a special one-time license. But the court turned out to be thinking differently. In its opinion to pump the waste underground, NRI needs no additional documents.

Michail Piskunov is very upset of the court's decision:

- And now, if the court's decision is carried into effect, it will clear the way to radioactive waste transportations to Ulyanovsk county. And here will be dumped the waste, including ionization sources out of use from different Russia's regions. So big amounts of this filth are accumulated in our country, that it's simply unknown, what to do with it. By the way, the world's trend is to dump radioactive waste only in solid form. But we here have quite the contrary practice. Are we going to drink contaminated water?

Mikhail Piskunov and Ulyanovsk inter-regional ecological prosecutor are going to appeal the court's decision.
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2.
Russia Completes Two-Week Survey Of Arctic Radioactive Waste Sites
Bellona
November 5, 2002
(for personal use only)


Experts from the Emergencies Ministry, Russian Kurchatov Research Center and Bauman Special Engineering Research and Development Institute examined the Novozemelskaya cavity, Tsivolki and Ambrosimov bays near the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Kara Sea.

The expedition has returned from the Kara Sea where it surveyed six sites where solid radioactive waste was buried. The expedition lasted two weeks, RIA Novosti was told on October 31 by Maksim Vladimirov, a senior officer in the department for special marine operations of the Emergencies Ministry directorate for federal support to the territories. Over that period samples of soil, water and air were taken around Novaya Zemlya. Specialists were able to survey visually 250 potentially dangerous sources of radiation dumped in this area of the sea by using AKVA-ChS TV-controlled submarine device, developed by the Bauman Institute under an order of the Emergencies Ministry. All studies were made on board the Akademik Boris Petrov vessel. The expedition concluded that the containers holding the solid radioactive waste are in a normal condition. Radiation level measurements around Novaya Zemlya also showed that background levels there are lower than in Murmansk, Vladimirtsev said. Russia carried out dumping of solid radioactive waste in the Kara Sea from 1960 to 1986. The last such expedition by the Emergencies Ministry was conducted in 1995. Investigations were resumed after the ministry was set the task of monitoring the condition of potentially dangerous underwater sites and compiling a state register of them.
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H. Links of Interest

1.
Global Nuclear Stockpiles
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: NRDC Nuclear Notebook
November/December 2002
http://www.thebulletin.org/issues/nukenotes/nd02nukenote.html


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2.
Kucinich v. Bush
Matt Bivens
The Nation: The Failsafe Point
November 5, 2002
http://www.thenation.com/failsafe/index.mhtml?bid=2&pid=146


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3.
Arms Control Today
November 2002
http://www.armscontrol.org/act/


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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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