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Nuclear News - 2/27/2004
RANSAC Nuclear News, February 27, 2004
Compiled By: Matthew Bouldin

A.  Sub Dismantlement
    1. Lack Of Environmental Impact Study Puts British-Funded Dismantlement Of Two Russian Subs On Hold , Andrey Mikhailov, Igor Kudrik, Bellona Foundation (2/25/2004)
B.  Nuclear Terrorism
    1. Ukraine Stops Man With Uranium, Moscow Times (2/25/2004)
C.  Cooperative Threat Reduction
    1. High Praise for Disarmed Ally, John Hendren, Los Angeles Times (2/26/2004)
    2. AP: Uzbek Official Welcomes U.S. Forces , Burt Herman, Associated Press (2/21/2004)
D.  Threat Reduction Expansion
    1. U.S. To Aid Iraqi Science Rebuilding, United Press International (2/26/2004)
E.  Russian - North Korea
    1. Russian Representative: Beijing Round Of Six-Party Talks On Korea Passed Without Any Dramatization, RIA Novosti (2/27/2004)
F.  Nuclear Forces
    1. New Russian Warhead Seen Undermining Rationale for SDI, Sergey Ptichkin and Vladislav Kulikov, Rossiyskaya Gazeta (2/20/2004)
G.  Nuclear Industry
    1. Imports Of Spent Nuclear Fuel Advantageous For Russia, ITAR-TASS (2/27/2004)
    2. Containment System Tests Completed on Unit No.3 at Kalinin NPP , Bellona Foundation (2/26/2004)
    3. Kyrgyz Government Plans To Bar Foreign Uranium Waste , Interfax (2/26/2004)
    4. Uzbek Uranium Producer Extends Contract with U.S. Distributor , Interfax (2/26/2004)
    5. Kyrgyz NGO Condemns Kyrgyz-German Uranium-Processing Venture, Radio Free Europe (2/25/2004)
H.  Nuclear Safety
    1. Spent Nuclear Fuel Imports Do Not Pose Danger To Environment, RIA Novosti (2/27/2004)
    2. Violations Up At Russia's Nuclear Power Plants, RIA Novosti (2/27/2004)
I.  Official Sources
    1. Statement by Ambassador Jackie W. Sanders Permanent Representative U.S. Delegation to the Conference on Disarmament and Special Representative of the President for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Department of State (2/26/2004)
    2. NNSA Program to Engage Iraqi Scientists � Will Support Reconstruction Efforts and Prevent Expansion of WMD Knowledge, National Nuclear Security Administration (2/25/2004)
    3. Sandia Cooperative Monitoring Center And Arab Foundation To Identify Iraqi Scientific Needs, Sandia National Laboratories (2/25/2004)
    4. U.S. Department of Defense News Briefing, Donald Rumsfeld, Department of State (2/25/2004)
    5. Current and Projected National Security Threats to the United States (excerpted), Lowell E. Jacoby, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (2/24/2004)
    6. DOD Official Briefs on Rumsfeld's Upcoming Uzbekistan Visit (excerpted), Department of Defense (2/24/2004)
    7. The Worldwide Threat 2004: Challenges in a Changing Global Context (excerpted), George J. Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (2/24/2004)
    8. United States Present Trucks and Other Equipment, US Embassy in Uzbekistan (2/11/2004)
J.  Links of Interest
    1. Military Exercises In Russia: Naval Deterrence Failures Compensated By Strategic Rocket Success, Nikolai Sokov, Center for Nonproliferation Studies (2/24/2004)

A.  Sub Dismantlement

Lack Of Environmental Impact Study Puts British-Funded Dismantlement Of Two Russian Subs On Hold
Andrey Mikhailov, Igor Kudrik
Bellona Foundation
(for personal use only)

SEVERODVINSK, NORTHWEST RUSSIA - British Under-Secretary of State of Trade and Industry Nigel Griffiths this Tuesday toured Severodvinsk in Northwest Russia to inspect progress on the British-funded dismantlement of two Oscar I class submarines. Unfortunately for Griffiths, the inspection took place under a cloud, as no environmental impact study on the submarines' �11.5m ($21.5m) has yet been performed, the discovery of which has caused an enforced cessation of the project's major work.

The submarine dismantlement operation is being carried out at the Zvezdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk in the Arkhangelsk region. The main contractor for the British side is the Sevmash shipyard, also located in Severodvinsk.

On February 14th, Yury Dyachenko, chief environment protection inspector of the Chief Directorate of Natural Resources, issued a stern warning to Sevmash for not providing environmental impact study documentation in time on. He said that he might suspend all the work on the two Oscars unless Sevmash could furnish a satisfactory explanation for beginning the project without the study.

Shipyards scramble to �find� the study

The first reaction from Sevmash was that the documents had at one time been in their possession, but had mysteriously disappeared. Other sources at Sevmash said that the full documentation package was sent by post to Britain, but that Sevmash itself had forgotten to photocopy the documents for its own use.

The official explanation came on February 20th, when the commission of the Chief Directorate of Environmental Resources held a meeting on subject of the missing documents. Top brass from both Sevmash, Zvezdochka and other officials were present.

Sevmash admits it hasn�t performed an impact study

The Shipyards' representatives admitted that no environmental impact study has yet been performed due to the fact that it was a pilot project�or a first time experiment in dismantling decommissioned Oscars�and since the 2003 financial year was nearing its end, it was decided to start preparation work on dismantling the two submarines without a finalised environmental impact study.

The Shipyards' officials also said that they were basing their decisions in the pilot project on documentation developed for Yankee class submarines, project 667A. Yankee class submarines are first generation strategic submarines, whereas Oscars are third generation cruise missile submarines, implying myriad structural differences.

The meeting resulted in a 40,000-rouble fine�equivalent to $1,400�for Sevmash and a decision by the Directorate of Environmental Resources to suspend all decommissioning operations which are beyond the scope of documentation developed for Yankee class before the environmental impact study is completed. This means the British-funded Oscar I class dismantlement will not move forward until an environmental impact study based on documentation for Oscar I class is produced.

The environmental impact study is being carried out by the Onega bureau, based in Severodvinsk.

An array of smaller operations falling within the parameters of Yankee class sub documentation that are currently being carried out on the two submarines include unloading of the equipment and the removing removable plating on the submarines' hulls.

500,000 pounds for documentation

The funding for the decommissioning is carried out under auspices of the British Department of Trade and Industry, or DTI. The project commenced in summer 2003 was a British contribution to the Group of Eight industrialised nations' $20 billion Global Partnership pledge. The objective of the British project was to determine its long-term sustainability, and make recommendations on the feasibility of further similar initiatives.

David Field, the project director from RWE NUKEM�the British firm that is performing the consulting work necessary for the project�told Bellona Web in a telephone interview that DTI selected these two Oscars because they are "low risk" subs. Both of the submarines are relatively new�they were commissioned in 1980 and 1981�they have both been defuelled and were already in the area of Severodvinsk shipyards, therefore no risky towing operations were involved.

Charles Davies, Second Secretary of the British Embassy in Oslo, told Bellona Web in a telephone interview that the Oscar dismantlement is a pilot project, and the low risk factor was central to selecting these subs in order to gain first hand experience in performing such operations.

Both Davies and Field were surprised to hear of the documentation snafu, specifically concerning the environmental impact study.

"We spent �500,000 on the documentation and we thought it included environmental assessment," Davies said.

K-159 sinking prompts change of polices

After the dramatic sinking of K-159, a November class submarine that went down on August 30th 2003�killing nine of the 10 crew members aboard�The Bellona Foundation called on western nations providing funding for nuclear remediation projects in Russia to spend their money prudently. Though the K-159 was not towed using western funding, it illustrated in morbid detail the slip-shod practices employed in dismantling Russia's fleet of derelict decommissioned subs�practices no western nation would wish to be responsible for funding.

"Western donors cannot simply give financial support without reviewing each stage of the process they are funding�for example the process of dismantling a nuclear submarine," Alexander Nikitin, former submarine captain first class and currently chairman of Bellona's St Petersburg branch, said shortly after the K-159's accident.

The K-159 was being towed by tug-boat to the Polyarny shipyard, near Arctic city of Murmansk for dismantlement when its tow line snapped and it sank during the early morning hours of August 30th, one day out to sea. The bulk of funding for dismantling the K-159�and 15 other nonategic submarines that were to be towed from Gremikha, a semi-abandoned naval base in the eastern part of the Kola Peninsula�was to come from Western donor countries. But the sinking put sub towing indefinitely on hold by order of Sergei Ivanov, Russia's former Minister of Defence.

Norway pioneered the efforts of the international community to fund the dismantlement of nonategic submarines when it signed a contract last summer with Russian shipyards to dismantle two Victor II class submarines. Both submarines had been located at Gremikha and towed to a dismantlement site for destruction. The dismantlement of these two Victors is well underway, but the sinking of K-159 was a cold shower for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which coordinates such projects.

As a result of pressure from the Storting�Norway's parliament�and Bellona, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs eventually adopted a new scheme for dealing with dangerous waste and nuclear material in Russia. The new scheme suggested that Norwegian Radiation Protection Authorities, or the NRPA, is responsible for the technical part of nuclear remediation projects and evaluates the environmental risk assessments provided by Russia prior to commencing such projects.

Commenting on why Britain did not follow a similar line when contracting to destroy the two Oscars, DTI�s Field said: "We did not follow the same practice as Norway does now, since the submarines were of low risk."

Davies of Britain's Oslo embassy added that "[w]e shall evaluate all the documents generated during the decommissioning and before that we shall not contract for new submarines."

There are only two Oscar I class submarines in the Russian Navy, both of them were operating in the Northern Fleet. As for the sheer number of submarines that have been decommissioned from the Soviet-era figure of 250, 192 have been taken out of service�116 of those in the Northern Fleet. Overall, 91 submarines have been entirely dismantled, 58 of those being Northern Fleet submarines.

Seventy-one submarines that have been taken out of active service await dismantlement with their spent fuel still on board. Of those, 36 are located in the Northern Fleet in bases on the Kola Peninsula and Arkhangelsk region.

Mikhailov reported from Severodvinsk and Kudrik reported from Oslo.

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B.  Nuclear Terrorism

Ukraine Stops Man With Uranium
Moscow Times
(for personal use only)

KIEV -- Ukrainian border guards stopped a man trying to take nuclear bomb-making materials into Hungary on Tuesday, an official said.

Border guards arrested the driver of a passenger van at the Tisa checkpoint after finding a container containing some 400 grams of uranium, said border guards' spokesman Yevgeny Bargman.

It was unclear whether the uranium was in natural form or had been enriched for potential use in reactors or weapons. The material is to be sent to Kiev for analysis.

Bargman said the man told officials he was paid an unspecified sum of money by men at a nearby gas station to take the material to Hungary for use "by a dentist's office."

Officials are holding the radioactive material at a secure facility, pending its transfer to Kiev for analysis.

It was unclear where the uranium originated.

In 2002, Ukrainian police arrested three Russian men who allegedly tried to sell strontium-90 and plutonium-239.

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C.  Cooperative Threat Reduction

High Praise for Disarmed Ally
John Hendren
Los Angeles Times
(for personal use only)

Calling Kazakhstan a model of how countries can dismantle weapons, Rumsfeld says Iraq could have averted war by following its lead.

ASTANA, Kazakhstan � Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld stopped in the Central Asian steppes Wednesday to laud Kazakhstan as what he termed a model for international disarmament.

Rumsfeld sought to compare Kazakhstan, which willingly dismantled its nuclear arsenal years ago, with Iraq � despite the fact that the latter did not possess nuclear weapons.

"It's interesting when one thinks about the problem of Iraq and their unwillingness to disarm that Kazakhstan stands as an impressive model of how a country can do it," Rumsfeld told reporters at the Ministry of Defense building here, known locally as the Pentagon after its American counterpart despite its rectangular shape.

"Had Iraq followed the Kazakhstan model after 17 U.N. resolutions and disarmed the way Kazakhstan did, there would not have been a war."

As the Soviet Union crumbled in 1991, Kazakhstan was one of four former Soviet republics � along with Russia, Belarus and Ukraine � that possessed nuclear weapons. All but Russia disarmed voluntarily, but Bush administration officials said Kazakh President Nursultan A. Nazarbayev dismantled with fervor the world's fourth-largest nuclear arsenal, the second-largest nuclear test site and the largest anthrax production facility.

The nation of 15 million people, spread across a Central Asian landmass the size of Western Europe, could have used its nuclear arsenal to raise its international profile and serve as a regional counterbalance to Russia.

Rumsfeld singled out Kazakhstan as the Bush administration continued to struggle with persistent criticism over its failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. At stops in Iraq, Uzbekistan and here as part of a six-day tour, Rumsfeld � asked about the failure to find such weapons � has maintained that it was Saddam Hussein's violation of United Nations resolutions, and not the immediate threat of banned weapons, that led to the armed ouster of the Iraqi president's regime.

"He chose unwisely," Rumsfeld said. "The world is a vastly better place with Saddam Hussein in prison and the Iraqi people free."

Rumsfeld thanked Kazakhstan's defense minister, Gen. Mukhtar Altynbayev, and 27 combat engineers who recently returned from a six-month mine-clearing mission in Iraq.

Although its military contribution to the U.S.-led occupation in Iraq is small, Kazakhstan's participation is a boost to the Bush administration's effort to broaden the coalition to include Muslim nations. Kazakhstan, a majority Muslim nation, has sent 27 more troops to Iraq.

Like some allies in the Bush administration's counter-terrorism efforts, Kazakhstan's relatively authoritarian government has been accused of rights abuses. Nazarbayev won a seven-year term in a 1999 election seen as falling short of international standards.

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AP: Uzbek Official Welcomes U.S. Forces
Burt Herman
Associated Press
(for personal use only)

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (AP) - Uzbekistan will allow the United States to keep military forces here as long as needed for operations in Afghanistan, and would consider a permanent U.S. outpost if Washington wanted one, the Uzbek foreign minister said in an interview Saturday.

Speaking before Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld visits Tuesday, Sadyk Safayev also told The Associated Press that Uzbekistan is improving its much-criticized human rights record. He said two people convicted in recent high-profile cases likely would receive amnesty soon.

Rumsfeld's visit will be his third here in two years, meeting with Uzbek President Islam Karimov before heading to neighboring Kazakhstan and Afghanistan, the Uzbek Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

This former Soviet republic went from a largely forgotten backwater to a prominent place in the war on terror after the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States. A U.S. base in the southern town of Khanabad became a key staging point for American operations in Afghanistan.

Hundreds of U.S. troops remain stationed there, and the two countries signed a strategic partnership agreement in 2002.

While troops continue operations in Afghanistan, ``we have an obligation as a member of the anti-terrorist coalition to allow U.S. military forces to use the military infrastructure in Uzbekistan,'' Safayev said.

Previously, Karimov had ruled out a long-term U.S. military presence, but Safayev said the government will make a decision after the Pentagon completes its assessment of U.S. military deployments.

Rumsfeld's visit will also focus on nonproliferation, including American help in cleaning up a Soviet biological weapons lab once used to produce anthrax. So far, Washington has pledged $6 million for cleanup projects, but Safayev called for more cooperation.

Such nonproliferation work and other cooperation has been hindered by Uzbekistan's poor human rights record.

Uzbekistan has not improved that record enough to meet requirements for funding under a U.S. nuclear disarmament program. That forced President Bush to grant a waiver in the interests of national security in December.

The strategic partnership agreement also requires progress on human rights for the Uzbek government to receive aid. The next evaluation, due in April, is expected to be a close call.

In a report after a 2002 visit, United Nations envoy Theo van Boven found that torture was systematic in Uzbek prisons. Safayev said Uzbekistan was making improvements, and invited van Boven ``to visit anytime.''

Also, Safayev hinted Saturday that pardons would be granted in two cases that have attracted widespread international criticism.

Earlier this month, an Uzbek court imprisoned a 62-year-old mother of a prisoner who was allegedly tortured to death. Fatima Mukadirova was convicted of anti-constitutional activity and possessing banned leaflets, but her family and activists claim the case was motivated by her efforts to draw attention to her son.

Safayev rejected the claim and called Mukadirova an ``active'' member of the banned extremist Muslim group Hizb ut-Tahrir. Still, he said he expected an appeals court to grant her a pardon Tuesday because of her age.

Also, Safayev suggested that independent journalist Ruslan Sharipov, serving four years in prison on convictions for homosexuality and having sex with minors, could be freed. Human rights groups and Western diplomats have said the case against Sharipov was motivated by his critical articles about the government.

``It might happen that (Sharipov) would be amnestied,'' Safayev said. ``Personally I am against that ... but somehow the international community thinks that I'm wrong.''

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D.  Threat Reduction Expansion

U.S. To Aid Iraqi Science Rebuilding
United Press International
(for personal use only)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Feb. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. and Arab scientists say they have begun a cooperative effort to help rebuild key elements of Iraq's scientific infrastructure.

The effort involves the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration, the Arab Science and Technology Foundation and Sandia National Laboratories.

To date, the project involves ASTF scientists surveying the science and technology situation in Iraq to identify critical areas of need. The survey will document Iraqi expertise in areas critical to reconstruction as well as potential areas of peaceful scientific development, project representatives said.

An ASTF team entered Iraq in late January and established a temporary office in Baghdad for conducting the survey. They also recruited a team of Iraqis to assist in their work.

Sandia scientists said they are helping the Arab team establish survey goals and plan the next stage of the project.

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E.  Russian - North Korea

Russian Representative: Beijing Round Of Six-Party Talks On Korea Passed Without Any Dramatization
RIA Novosti
(for personal use only)

BEJING, February 27, 2004. (RIA Novosti special correspondent.) The plenary session at the regional talks in Beijing on the North Korean nuclear problem on Friday passed without any dramatization and at present the drafting of the final document is under way, said Alexander Losyukov who heads the Russian delegation at the six-party talks.

In his conversation with journalists the deputy acting foreign minister of the Russian Federation noted that the session participants also discussed the issue how often and where such talks should be held in the future.

The South Korean delegation suggested that the six-party talks should be held once in two months to keep up this dialogue. It is not ruled out that the next round will also take place in Beijing, Mr. Losyukov said.

The parties to the talks also debated the creation of the permanent consultative mechanism at the level of experts who will work in between the major rounds of the talks.

"The mandate for this group's work was debated, the issues it will tackle." Losyukov said. "If such a group is created, it will, of course, will be engaged in such things as the coordination of positions on specific measures relating to settlement." Replying to the question whether a joint document will be adopted on the results of the current round of the talks, Losyukov answered that "it is difficult to give an answer to this question so far, but it is highly probable that it will."

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F.  Nuclear Forces

New Russian Warhead Seen Undermining Rationale for SDI
Sergey Ptichkin and Vladislav Kulikov
Rossiyskaya Gazeta
(for personal use only)

Yesterday (February 19) Colonel General Yuriy Baluyevskiy, first deputy chief of the Russian Federation General Staff, reviewed the first results of the big war games now ending in Russia. Specialists reckon that it is 20 years since there have been exercises on such a scale. The climax of the training war came this week, when the Space Forces and the Strategic Missile Troops demonstrated their might. Moreover, the missile launches (both space missiles and ICBM's) and the Northern Fleet maneuvers took place in the presence of the Russian president.

Officially all this was called strategic command staff training. The war game involved all Russia's military districts (we have six of them). In one way or another, the exercises involved units and subunits from all the Armed Forces branches and combat arms, as well as the Northern Fleet.

It is already possible to say that everything ended successfully.

Direct Speech

"The ICBM launches that were conducted make it possible to assert that there are no signs of the collapse of the Strategic Missile Troops," Col Gen Yuriy Baluyevskiy said. "The Strategic Missile Troops have confirmed the high degree of reliability of their combat command and control and of the missile systems in service with them."

If the forces of Russia's nuclear triad can already review their results, the exercises are still continuing for the Ground Forces and the Air Force. "Air Force planes will take part in joint exercises with the Ground Forces in the Moscow Military District," Gen Baluyevskiy said. "As part of the training exercise, subunits of the Volga-Urals Military District and the Siberian Military District were transferred by rail from one theater of military operations to another, in particular to the North Caucasus and Moscow Military Districts. The Volga-Urals Military District subunits are currently making the return journey to their place of permanent stationing, but the Siberian Military District subunits will conduct tactical exercises with field firing in the Moscow Military District."

It is noteworthy that, according to Gen Baluyevskiy, virtually all the types of aircraft in service with the Air Force were used in the exercises. During the training almost two dozen sorties were made by long-haul combat jets alone, which conducted launches of air-launched cruise missiles. Furthermore, fighter and fighter-bomber planes were used in the exercises. According to Gen Baluyevskiy, the pilots clocked up about 140 hours' flying time over the past few days.

Quite naturally, the strategic command staff training provoked a surge of interest from NATO intelligence services. Orion spy planes circled constantly in the places where strategic missiles were expected to be launched. There was also increased activity by spy satellites. Our probable friends' expectations were not disappointed.

The Russian Federation president made a pretty sensational statement, saying that "we have definitively established and confirmed that the Strategic Missile Troops will soon take delivery of state-of-the-art technical systems which are capable of hitting targets at intercontinental range at hypersonic speed and with great accuracy, as well as being highly maneuverable in terms both of height and direction."

This was a reference to a fundamentally new ballistic missile warhead, nothing similar to which exists now -- or is likely to exist soon -- elsewhere in the world. The Soviet Union began, and the Russian Federation completed, the construction of a warhead capable of penetrating any antimissile defense. Experts believe that no effective systems for intercepting the Russian miracle weapon will be created in the next 100 years.


Classic strategic missile warheads follow ballistic trajectories, which can in principle be calculated, with the coordinates for their interception then being fed into antimissile defense systems -- missile, laser, ray, or electromagnetic ones. Russia has tested a warhead which, by analogy with the famous submarine maneuver, could also be called a "crazy Ivan" -- that is how our transatlantic neighbors dubbed Russian submarines capable of moving out of the way with lightning speed. It is in principle impossible to intercept the new warhead.

The ability to create such a weapon was given to us by... the Americans. Under START-I, restrictions were imposed on the number of nuclear warheads. At that time the USSR was bringing into service the Topol ground-based mobile strategic system, which was designed to have cluster warheads (kassetnyye boyevyye chasti). As it happened, though, it was decided that mobile missiles should have single warheads, and this created surplus volume and the possibility to install additional equipment in the missile head.

And pretty soon the Topol's totally "blunt" warhead, which used to be capable of flying along a clearly prescribed trajectory, turned into a highly maneuverable, supersonic missile. This was achieved by placing several maneuverable missile engines and a ramjet (pryamotochnyy reaktivnyy uskoritel) in the warhead. The Russian designers also managed to make use of the peculiarities of the lower strata of the Earth's atmosphere to enhance maneuverability. In certain sections of its flight, the warhead bounces like a ball, rebounding from denser atmospheric strata. During its descent, such a missile begins to fly in unpredictable zigzags and to jump up and down. Even tracking it with the most powerful radars is very difficult, and hitting it is impossible. The most amazing thing, though, is that, after all its crazy maneuvers, the missile finds its assigned target and hits the "bull's-eye."

As Col Gen Yuriy Baluyevskiy said at his news conference, effective protection against "half-wits" who get hold of a few ballistic missiles and take it into their heads to launch them at targets in Europe or the United States can also be provided by classic ground-based antimissile defense systems. It is hardly worth adding that this applies particularly to Russian S-300V systems. But against whom is the SDI aimed?

The main outcome of the command staff training exercise can be identified not only as confirmation of the Russian Strategic Missile Troops' striking power but also as a thoroughly specific, albeit veiled, proposal to the United States that it should not squander its state budget to no purpose.

For the first time in the history of strategic missile system tests in our country, an experimental warhead was launched in the direction of the Kura test range in Kamchatka. This test range is well monitored by a whole set of US intelligence systems. In view of this, experimental missile launches have always been targeted at inland ranges -- toward Kazakhstan or Volgograd Oblast. This time the Pentagon was pointedly shown what sort of potential weapon the Russian Strategic Missile Troops could possess. The Americans are deploying the first and most important SDI echelon in Alaska. And it will be very strange if the United States does not ask itself the natural question: Against whom, in fact, is this multi-billion-dollar fence being built?

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G.  Nuclear Industry

Imports Of Spent Nuclear Fuel Advantageous For Russia
(for personal use only)

SAROV, February 27 (Itar-Tass) - Russia's acting Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev said spent nuclear fuel imports were an advantageous project for Russia.

"The amendments to the legislation allowing such imports have been effective for five years," Rumyantsev told Itar-Tass on Friday, "yet Russia has been unable to come onto this promising market."

"It's not our fault, it's our trouble," Rumyantsev said, noting that the United States and western Europe held monopoly over this market.

"The USA keeps up to 80 percent of spent nuclear fuel under its jurisdiction," he said.

To come onto this market it is necessary to use the experience gained in the trade in enriched uranium. In this field, Russia competes with the world's leading countries on equal terms.

Europe, in its nuclear program, uses 25 percent of Russian-made uranium. In addition, "we have come onto the markets of such countries as Japan, South Korea, South Africa and Mexico," he noted.

Commenting about the safety of transportation of spent nuclear fuel, Rumyantsev noted as an example the federal nuclear center in Sarov, to which he had traveled to take part in the events marking the 100th jubilee of Yuri Khariton.

"The nuclear center in Sarov has engaged in the transportation of nuclear materials for 60 years. There has never been any emergencies, not mentioning accidents," Rumyantsev stressed.

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Containment System Tests Completed on Unit No.3 at Kalinin NPP
Bellona Foundation
(for personal use only)

The containment system tests were completed at the Kalinin-3 nuclear power unit to check it for strength and leak-tightness, Nuclear.Ru reported.

This is an essential stage of start-up operations, which should demonstrate quality of construction and assembling of the reactor hall containment, assess the state of concrete, steel and inner environs. The start-up management group headed by Mr. Aksenov called the tests� results "quite satisfactory".

Rosenergoatom's first deputy general director Sergei Ivanov told Interfax earlier that the company would allocate 4.9 billion rubles ($170m) in 2004 to finish the construction of the third power generating unit of the Kalinin nuclear power plant. It was initially planned to put the power generating unit into operation in December 2003. "The Kalinin nuclear power plant's new power generating unit will be put into operation in the summer of 2004. It is expected to generate some two billion kilowatt hours of electricity this year." A power generating unit with a VVER-1000 reactor has an annual capacity of 7.5 billion kilowatt hours of electricity.

In 2003 Kalinin nuclear plant produced 15 billion 171 million kWh of electricity to exceed the FEC of Russia's planned figure by 240 million kWh and 2002 output by 200 million kWh. Load factor approached 86.6% with the planned 85.22%. Presently Kalinin nuclear power plant operates two units with VVER-1000 reactors with total load of 2070 MW, reported.

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Kyrgyz Government Plans To Bar Foreign Uranium Waste
(for personal use only)

Bishkek. (Interfax) - The Kyrgyz government objects to bringing uranium waste from abroad into the country, Prime Minister Nikolai Tanayev said at a government meeting on Thursday.

Public protests are mounting in Kyrgyzstan against the proposed processing of uranium waste from Germany at the Kara-Balta uranium refinery.

"The government disapproves of the project. It will not allow the country to be turned into a uranium waste dump," Tanayev said. "First and foremost, Kyrgyzstan must solve the problem of uranium tailing storage facilities."

A number of non-governmental organizations made a joint statement on Wednesday declaring that the deal with Germany's Nukem Gmbh camouflaged imports of uranium waste and ran counter to the policy of ecological tourism and the state program of reclamation and conservation of uranium tailing storage facilities.

Meanwhile, Adviser to the Kara-Balta Plant General Director Zhalgap Kazakbayev told the press on Wednesday that the deal was profitable for Kyrgyzstan.

The Kyrgyz plant "uses only natural uranium in this deal. No country would allow spent uranium to be brought in, because it's ecologically dangerous and unlawful," he said.

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Uzbek Uranium Producer Extends Contract with U.S. Distributor
(for personal use only)

Tashkent. (Interfax) - The Navoi Integrated Mining and Metals Combine, a major uranium producer from Uzbekistan, extended until 2006 a contract with Nukem Inc. of the United States, its exclusive distributor on the world market, a management source at Navoi told Interfax.

The previous contract was valid until 2004, the source said.

Nukem has been the Navoi plant's exclusive uranium exporter since 1992. The Navoi source said the parties were discussing a long-term deal to 2013.

Navoi borrowed $6 million from Nukem to finance upgrades towards the end of last year. The combine will spend $1 million of these funds on the modernization of capacity to produce sulfuric acid, which is used to mine uranium by the in-situ leach method.

Navoi will spend $1.7 million on submersible pumps from Denmark's Grundfos and $1.9 million on 12 drilling rigs from Russia's Rusburmash.

The Navoi combine produced about 1,600 tonnes of uranium in 2003, nearly 23% less than in 2002. Navoi blamed disruptions with sulfuric acid supplies and obsolete equipment for the drop.

The upgrades ought to halt the decline in production in 2004 and enable Navoi to increase uranium production in the years that follow.

Navoi is Uzbekistan's uranium monopoly. Three of its divisions mine uranium by the in situ leach (ISL) method. The ore is milled at the No. 1 hydrometallurgical plant in the city of Navoi.

In Soviet times Navoi produced 3,000-3,500 tonnes of low-enriched uranium per year. Production decline bottomed out in 1996, when the plant produced just 1,700 tonnes owing to a slump in world demand, however in 1999, output recovered somewhat to 2,100 tonnes. Navoi produced 2,100 tonnes of uranium in 2002, as much as in 2001.

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Kyrgyz NGO Condemns Kyrgyz-German Uranium-Processing Venture
Radio Free Europe
(for personal use only)

Toktaim Umetalieva, head of the Association of Kyrgyz Nongovernmental and Noncommercial Organizations, told a news conference in Bishkek on 24 February that a contract signed by Kyrgyzstan's Kara Balta Mines and the German firm RWE NUKEM nuclear-engineering firm to process raw uranium will not benefit Kyrgyzstan, reported.

Umetalieva said the contract would set a precedent for storing radioactive waste in Kyrgyzstan and could endanger financial aid from international donors. At present, processed uranium is selling for $20-$30 a kilogram on world markets. The joint project is intended to produce a total of 40 to 60 tons of processed uranium. Some of the proceeds from the operation are to be used to clean up Kyrgyz nuclear-waste dumps. BB

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H.  Nuclear Safety

Spent Nuclear Fuel Imports Do Not Pose Danger To Environment
RIA Novosti
(for personal use only)

KRASNOYARSK, February 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said spent nuclear fuel imports will not cause any problems whatsoever.

"As of today, I cannot foresee any problems (in connection with spent nuclear fuel imports)," the president said as he was answering questions from students of the Siberian Technological University.

"If we import spent nuclear fuel observing the required rules, if we import nuclear waste from Russia-supplied fuel, and if we allocate appropriate funds to address environmental, including nuclear contamination, issues, the decision to import nuclear waste will be justified," said President Putin.

The failure to meet these requirements may cause problems, admitted the president.

Mr Putin said he held frequent meetings with environmentalists and that issue dominated their discussions, among others. The president agreed with experts' opinion that tough control on the part of society over the import of spent nuclear fuel and over the distribution of relevant earnings was necessary.

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Violations Up At Russia's Nuclear Power Plants
RIA Novosti
(for personal use only)

MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 27. /RIA NOVOSTI / -- Russia's Gosatomnadzor is concerned over the increasing number of safety violations at nuclear power stations. Last year it increased to 51 from 39 in 2002, Gosatomnadzor head Andrei Malyshev said on Friday at the collegium of the federal supervisory body for nuclear and radiation safety.

In 2000 69 violations were registered, he said.

Despite the rise in violations last year, work of the nuclear power stations was positive: the utilisation rate of the designed capacity increased by 4.6 percent, Malyshev said.

To him, an examination will be held very soon to see whether the increased number of violations in 2003 was linked to the increased production of electricity.

Malyshev also said that in 2003 violations in work of facilities of the nuclear-fuel cycle increased almost two-fold. Seven out of the 24 violations were due to the human factor.

"It is a very bad tendency, because the human factor becomes to dominate in violations", head of Russia's Gosatomnadzor said.

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I.  Official Sources

Statement by Ambassador Jackie W. Sanders Permanent Representative U.S. Delegation to the Conference on Disarmament and Special Representative of the President for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
Department of State
(for personal use only)

February 26, 2004

As prepared for delivery

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
It is a pleasure to see Mexico, a close friend and neighbor of the United States, sitting in the Chair -- even if only temporarily. It inspires confidence to have someone so experienced and knowledgeable in CD matters filling in, and to know that we will get the benefit of your presence on a longer-term basis again in the near future.

I would like to express my sympathy and that of all Americans to the government and people of Morocco on the devastating earthquake that occurred earlier this week. Our prayers are with the victims and their families.

It is an honor for me to be making my first substantive statement to the Conference today on behalf of the United States. We are all aware that the Conference has in recent years fallen on hard times. I regret to say that I do not have with me today ideas or proposals to lead the CD out of its current impasse, but that is because the solution does not lie in U.S. hands alone. Breaking the logjam is a collective effort, and I look forward to working closely with you and with all of our colleagues toward that end.

When solutions are not easy to come by, it is particularly important for us to continue a dialogue on the serious challenges we face, and to work cooperatively to address them. On February 11 President Bush issued a call to action to address what he considered as the "greatest threat before humanity today" -- that is, the possibility of a "secret and sudden attack with chemical or biological or radiological or nuclear weapons." That assessment may be startling to some, given that so recently the end of the Cold War seemed to promise unprecedented peace and security. The specter of Armageddon may indeed have faded, but it would be a dangerous illusion to believe that we no longer face grave risks. And we must not draw false comfort that the solutions and methods that got us through the Cold War are sufficient to address the challenges we now face. Indeed, the threat has shifted and the tools we choose to meet it must necessarily evolve as well.

Today the materials and expertise necessary to produce weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery are more widely available than ever before. At the same time, we can no longer assume that all of our potential enemies will be persuaded by a shared impulse for self-preservation. The recent experience of my country and the countries of many of our colleagues here today shows that no state is immune from terrorist attack. Thus, no government can be sure that terrorists will not some day use weapons of mass destruction against own its citizens. As President Bush said, "in the hands of terrorists, weapons of mass destruction would be a first resort -- the preferred means to further their ideology of suicide and random murder."

The ongoing pursuit of weapons of mass destruction by a handful of states in violation of treaty commitments and international obligations poses multiple risks. It puts the safety of their neighbors and their own citizens at doubt. It threatens the international legal norms that our predecessors in this body and elsewhere worked painstakingly to build and that have helped keep the world safer for decades. It has also encouraged an international black market willing and able to put the most dangerous technologies in the hands of the world's most irresponsible regimes and individuals including terrorists. In short, it puts us all at risk.

Mr. Chairman,

These realities require a change in both our thinking and our tactics. We must first recognize a compelling common interest in halting proliferation, and then strengthen the tools to advance that common interest. This is not to dismiss the importance of existing concerns, but rather to recognize and deal with a threat of overriding urgency before us.

President Bush called for unity among nations in promoting an international environment that actively discourages proliferation. He identified a number of practical steps comprising an effort that would be both profoundly multilateral and effective:

First -- expand the work of the Proliferation Security Initiative [PSI]. Through improved information sharing and enhanced operational readiness, PSI has created the practical basis for cooperation among states in disrupting the trade in weapons of mass destruction, delivery systems, and related materials. President Bush called for the PSI to expand its focus to law enforcement cooperation against proliferators, building on both PSI and on the tools already developed to fight terrorism, to prosecute illicit networks and other sources of supply.

Since the PSI's launch last May, it has gained the support of nearly 60 countries, many of whom are represented in this body, and that number continues to grow. We hope eventually to involve all countries that have the will and capacity to take action on proliferation. Key flag, coastal or transit states, as well as countries that are used by proliferators, are particularly important in these efforts.

Second -- enact and enforce effective domestic laws and controls that support nonproliferation. Governments should criminalize proliferation, implement export controls conforming to the highest international standards, and ensure the security of dangerous materials within our territories. If our citizens act contrary to these laws and standards, there must be stiff penalties. President Bush proposed last fall a Security Council resolution calling for such measures. The permanent members of the Security Council are now crafting a resolution designed to meet these goals. We hope to submit a draft soon to the entire Council, and we should all work to see that it is adopted quickly. When it is passed, we stand ready to help states meet the goals of the resolution.

Third -- expand on Cooperative Threat Reduction and other assistance efforts to deal with dangerous weapons and materials. Since proliferation is a global problem, we see opportunities to extend the scope of the G-8 Global Partnership beyond Russia to other states of the former Soviet Union, as well as to countries such as Iraq and Libya. This could include expanding programs for the security and disposition of fissile material, destroying chemical weapons, improving border security, controlling radiological sources, promoting cooperation against bioterrorism, eliminating the use of highly-enriched uranium fuel in research reactors, and redirecting scientists and other specialists with weapons of mass destruction know-how into peaceful civilian employment, including commercial ventures.

Fourth -- prevent governments from developing nuclear weapons under false pretenses. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT] sought to strike a balance between preventing proliferation and permitting maximum scope for states to pursue peaceful nuclear programs. Article IV reflects that balance by making clear that any such peaceful nuclear program must be in conformity with nonproliferation provisions of the Treaty. International nuclear commerce has settled into a reliable system that provides reactors and fuel for NPT parties, with the vast majority of states foregoing the large economic and technical challenge of constructing their own enrichment and reprocessing facilities. It is very clear that the peaceful nuclear benefits envisioned under the NPT can be fully realized without building an enrichment or reprocessing plant. Yet, in the last 15 years, a handful of states without any operational power reactors have sought their own enrichment or reprocessing facilities, and did so secretly and in violation of the NPT.

For this reason, President Bush proposed that the Nuclear Suppliers Group decide that no member state provide enrichment or reprocessing equipment or technology to any state that does not already possess a fully functioning enrichment or reprocessing facility. Nuclear Suppliers Group states long ago pledged to provide no such assistance to non-NPT states, and that position remains firm. At the same time, states that have renounced enrichment and reprocessing should have reliable access at reasonable cost to fuel for civilian reactors.

Fifth -- Add impetus to the Additional Protocol. More than 80 countries have already negotiated an Additional Protocol, with about half of these being in force. The United States must do its part, and the President urged the Senate to consent immediately to ratification of the Additional Protocol. We must accelerate diplomatic efforts in this area and also make signature of the Additional Protocol a condition of nuclear supply by the end of 2005.

Sixth - strengthen the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA]. The President has proposed to enhance the IAEA's capability to ensure compliance by creating a special committee of the IAEA's Board of Governors to focus intensively on safeguards and verification.

Finally -- countries under IAEA investigation should not be allowed to exercise the privileges of Board membership. The IAEA and its Board of Governors have faced very difficult noncompliance cases in recent years, and we must ensure IAEA has all the tools it needs to fulfill its mandate.

Mr. Chairman,

A realistic appraisal of the challenges we face is sobering. The continued spread of weapons of mass destruction and related technologies threatens the interests of every responsible government, and the future well-being of every person on this planet. But we are beginning to recognize the scope of the problem, and to identify the outlines of solutions.

As Secretary of State Colin Powell recently observed, there is some good news. The overwhelming majority of states have responsibly complied with their treaty obligations. Those that have not may be having some second thoughts -- we hope so -- with a view to following the good examples set by those countries which have renounced nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons programs, including South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus and, most recently, Libya. These states have recognized correctly that such weapons would ultimately make them less, not more, secure. Six-party talks on North Korea resumed yesterday in Beijing, and we remain hopeful that the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] will make the strategic choice to give up its nuclear programs.

Resolving the problem of proliferation will not be quick or easy. Terrorists and outlaw regimes will not be dissuaded by high-minded speeches or written agreements. We can begin by fostering an environment in which outlaw behavior is met with universal condemnation and with real consequences that make the costs of proliferation unsustainable. As Under Secretary of State John R. Bolton recently stressed, "Dictators around the world must learn that weapons of mass destruction do not bring influence, prestige or security -- only isolation."

President Bush has outlined several pragmatic steps, and we look forward to working with the international community in developing these ideas. There will be no single solution, and no state can win this battle alone. Whatever our individual national priorities may be in securing a higher and richer quality of life for our citizens, I believe we can all agree that our collective and national interests are best served if we combine our efforts to combat and defeat the scourge of weapons of mass destruction. The United States looks forward to working with every country here today to help achieve this goal.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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NNSA Program to Engage Iraqi Scientists � Will Support Reconstruction Efforts and Prevent Expansion of WMD Knowledge
National Nuclear Security Administration
(for personal use only)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is initiating a new program to provide employment opportunities to Iraqi scientists, technicians, and engineers. This program will complement other Bush Administration initiatives that seek to support reconstruction efforts and prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) expertise to terrorists or proliferant states.

The new effort is in cooperation with the Arab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF) and the Cooperative Monitoring Center at Sandia National Laboratories. The unique partnership will also help rebuild key elements of Iraq's critical infrastructure and develop new Iraqi business opportunities that provide sustainability to Iraqi science and technology.

"This program addresses the critical need to provide significant and meaningful employment opportunities for all scientists in Iraq," NNSA Administrator Linton F. Brooks said. "Moreover, it is helping them rebuild Iraqi science and technology infrastructure and reintegrate Iraq into the international science community."

The program is being implemented by an international partnership of scientists from the ASTF, a pan-Arab non-governmental organization based in the United Arab Emirates that promotes the development of science and technology in the Arab world. Scientists from international organizations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as well as NNSA's national laboratories will also participate. The program complements the State Department's recently-established Iraqi International Center for Science and Industry and the work by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). Since July 2003, the CPA has employed and redirected Iraqi scientists through the establishment, funding and direction of Iraqi Ministries of Science and Technology, Higher Education, Agriculture, Water Resources, and Environment.

The first phase of this long-term effort is the current survey of Iraq's science and technology infrastructure by scientists from the ASTF. Once the survey is completed, the partners will convene a workshop in the region to bring together representative experts from Iraq, the United States, the international science community, and funding organizations to discuss priorities and options for technical cooperation. Finally, financial contributions from donor countries and funding organizations will be sought to initiate work on several of the highest-priority projects, as well as institute a merit-based nomination and review process for future work.

NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency of the Department of Energy. It enhances U.S. national security through the military application of nuclear energy, maintains the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, promotes international nuclear nonproliferation and safety, reduces global danger from weapons of mass destruction, provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion, and oversees its national laboratories to maintain U.S. leadership in science and technology.

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Sandia Cooperative Monitoring Center And Arab Foundation To Identify Iraqi Scientific Needs
Sandia National Laboratories
(for personal use only)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. � A cooperative effort is underway between a group of Arab scientists and a U.S. national security lab to help rebuild key elements of Iraq�s scientific infrastructure.

The agreement, signed in late December, was announced today by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) between the Arab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF) and Sandia National Laboratories� Cooperative Monitoring Center (

In phase one of the project, ASTF will survey the science and technology situation in Iraq to identify critical areas of Iraqi scientific strengths and technical needs. The survey will document Iraqi expertise in areas critical to reconstruction as well as in potential areas of peaceful scientific development.

Said Arian Pregenzer, Sandia senior scientist, �We both [at ASTF and CMC] had the idea of engaging the Iraqi S&T community. We decided to combine our ideas into one proposal that could take advantage of Sandia�s experience working with scientists in Russia and the Newly Independent States on peaceful research and development as well as ASTF�s extensive contacts in Iraq.�

Sandia worked with ASTF to help establish the survey�s goals, said Pregenzer. An ASTF team entered Iraq in late January and established a temporary office in Baghdad for completing their survey. They also recruited a team of Iraqis to assist in their work. Plans are to brief Washington officials of their results in March, and then to plan for an international workshop to obtain international support and funding for high-priority projects.

�We�re trying to help revitalize the Iraqi scientific community,� said Pregenzer.

The Arab Science and Technology Foundation, headquartered in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, is a nongovernmental organization established to stimulate scientific research in the Arab world. Its president, Abdalla Alnajjar, holds a physics Ph.D. with a focus on solar energy. He is professor of physics and Director of Research in Sharjah University.

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U.S. Department of Defense News Briefing
Donald Rumsfeld
Department of State
(for personal use only)

(Secretary Rumsfeld Joint Availability with the Kazakh Minister of Defense)

(Participating were Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and Kazakh Minister of Defense Mukhtar Altynbayev. This availability was held at The Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Astana, Kazakhstan.)

Altynbayev: The Secretary of Defense of the U.S.A. is here on a working visit. A little while ago there was a meeting with the head of the government. They exchanged views on several political and economic issues, and also issues concerning military cooperation. At the request of the Ministry of Defense, we are here now in the new building of the Defense Ministry. The Secretary expressed his thanks for the high quality and professionalism of our peacekeeping contingent, which is just back from Iraq. Now, please your questions.

Rumsfeld: Very briefly, I've just had an excellent meeting with the Minister of Defense and with the peacekeepers who did such a fine job in Iraq very recently. Earlier the Minister and I had a meeting with the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister. Kazakhstan is an important country in the global war on terror and has been wonderfully helpful in Iraq, and I came here to personally say "Thank you" and express our appreciation. I was particularly pleased to meet the young engineers, who have recently come out of Iraq and to thank them personally as well.

It's interesting when one thinks about Iraq and their unwillingness to disarm, that Kazakhstan stands as an impressive model of how a country can do it. If Iraq had followed the Kazakhstan model, after 17 U.N. resolutions, and disarmed the way Kazakhstan did, there would not have been a war.

About the things we discussed -- we talked about the U.S. support for Kazakhstan's sovereignty and independence and our important military-to-military relationship. We talked about the relationship that Kazakhstan has with NATO's Partnership for Peace Program and how important we believe that is. And that we are grateful for the strong and growing relationship we have, and for the friendship and the steadfastness of the Kazakh people.

Now we'd be happy to take some questions.

Q: I have a question for Mr. Rumsfeld about narcotic trafficking out of Afghanistan. My question is about the measures that the United States is taking to prevent the growing traffic in drugs from Afghanistan. Recently it has been intensifying.

Rumsfeld: The crop year in Afghanistan has been in every respect a good one. That's a good thing generally for food, but it's a bad thing that it was also a good crop year for drugs. The coalition countries under the leadership of the United Kingdom are working with the Government of Afghanistan to deal with the drug problem and the narcotics traffic out of Afghanistan into Europe. I expect there will be a re-doubling of efforts after the Constitution is approved and the elections are held some time later this year, and the focus on the drug problem will increase.

Altynbayev: With your permission, I would like to add something. As I have seen and heard in press reports here, the USA, and in particular, the Ambassador of the USA here in Kazakhstan have recently donated to our Border Guard Service a large quantity of four-wheel drive vehicles and portable radio transmitters of the latest technology. This, too, is an important contribution in the battle against drug trafficking across our borders, and I say "Thank you."

Q: Mr. Secretary, Charlie Aldinger with Reuters. We understand that Kazakhstan is very interested in security in this region, especially the Caspian Initiative, to provide better security, especially for oil. We are wondering how the United States is prepared to help on that, perhaps providing patrol boats, or radars, or in other areas.

Altynbayev: If I may answer that question. Of course we want the US to assist us, although we already have approved a five-year plan outlining concrete steps for increasing security in the Caspian, and not only in the Caspian, as you correctly surmise. Today in Astana there was a signing ceremony involving investment in Kazakhstan's oil industry worth more than $12 billion for the Caspian region. The Kazakhstani Army is taking definite steps concerning security in the Caspian basin.

Rumsfeld: Well, I'll just say that the Minister is, of course, correct. We have been cooperating with exercises, various types of equipment, refurbishments of some basic equipment. And the Embassy here has all the details with respect to that program, as do folks traveling with me, but it is Caspian security, the Western portion of Kazakhstan, which is important to this country and it is important to the world that security be assured in that area.

Q: I have two questions, the first to you Minister. Tell me please, besides Caspian security, what other forms of cooperation are there? And the second question is for you, Mr. Rumsfeld. If no weapons of mass destruction are found in Iraq, what will the U.S. do?

Altynbayev: In answer to the first question, about cooperation, I repeat: we have approved a five-year plan involving several ministries, a very comprehensive plan, which takes in the question of training, donations of equipment, and boats for the Caspian Sea. And we recently concluded an agreement with the U.S. concerning training for our specialists in U.S. higher military academies, including West Point. We also undertake joint annual training exercises, they have become rather commonplace. For example, exercise "Steppe Eagle," which was bilateral, has become trilateral with the inclusion of forces from Great Britain as well as the U.S. This year, Turkey has expressed a desire to participate. And then there is the peacekeeping activity, in which great assistance has been rendered to us by the United States, especially with regard to transport and security for our forces in Iraq.

Rumsfeld: With respect to the question of weapons of mass destruction. The United Nations passed 17 resolutions asking Iraq to cooperate with the disarmament requirements of those resolutions. Inspectors, who had been in the country, found that Iraq was unable to account for large quantities of WMD. Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons against his own people and against his neighbors. Instead of opening up his country, as Ukraine and Kazakhstan and South Africa, and any number of other countries have done, he filed a false declaration, as agreed by everyone who saw that declaration. He chose unwisely. Today he is in prison.

There are 1200 or 1300 coalition officials currently looking around in the country and interrogating people with respect to WMD. They have found ballistic missiles that exceed the range allowed by the United Nations. Iraq is the size of California. It's an enormous country. The hole that Saddam Hussein was hiding in for five months was big enough to contain biological weapons sufficient to kill tens of thousands of human beings. The search will go on, and over time we'll learn the truth about why he was deceiving and refusing to conform to the U.N. resolutions. In the meantime, 25 million Iraqis are liberated and finding their way towards a freer economy and a freer political system. And they no longer have to fear the killing fields that we found in Iraq -- where tens of thousands of Iraqis are buried, one on top of another. The world is a vastly better place with Saddam Hussein in prison, and the Iraqi people free.

Q: Perhaps this is a question that both of you gentlemen could comment on. What do you believe is the level of activity of al Qaeda here in Central Asia? Are they involved in some of the drugs and arms trafficking issues that are of concern to both of you? I ask about this because the Pakistan government has said that in the raid they conducted and the people they arrested yesterday in the tribal areas they believe they have arrested people both from Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. So is al Qaeda here in Central Asia in some fashion?

Altynbayev: Perhaps I will answer first. I cannot say there is a strong influence on Kazakhstan. First, Kazakhstan is a multi-ethnic country. It has over 120 ethnic groups living here and getting along with each other. Second, religious issues are not very heated in this society. The question of al Qaeda is not acute in Kazakhstan. And this matter is seriously controlled by the special services so that this evil will not spread in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is a stable country. I doubt that al Qaeda has any serious presence in this country.

As for the individual of alleged Kazakh origin who was detained in Pakistan, there are a half million ethnic Kazakhs living outside Kazakhstan, in different countries, with different views, who have nothing to do with Kazakhstan. This person may be an ethnic Kazakh but not a Kazakhstani citizen.

I should also say that Kazakhstan has been recognized as a country with a market economy, even by the United States government. People here can earn a good living, we are busy producing goods, and with trade. This society is not fertile ground for al Qaeda. Thank you.

Rumsfeld: Let me just make a brief comment. There are some 90 nations in the coalition for the global war on terror. Pakistan is a strong and effective partner in this coalition. The work that they're doing along the Afghan border to capture terrorists is an enormous help in the worldwide effort. When people are scooped up in raids, like the one you questioned about, they may often have two or three passports, four or five aliases, different identities, and it's way too soon to try to comment on any that have been recently captured. Thank you.

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Current and Projected National Security Threats to the United States (excerpted)
Lowell E. Jacoby
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
(for personal use only)


Al-Qaida and other terrorist groups remain interested in acquiring Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) weapons. We remain concerned about rogue scientists and the potential that state actors are providing, or will provide, technological assistance to terrorist organizations.


Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missile Proliferation The trend with respect to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and missiles remains troublesome. There is continuing terrorist interest in acquiring and using WMD, especially biological, chemical, and radiological weapons. North Korea's reactivation of the Yongbyon nuclear facility and Iran's admission to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about years of covert nuclear activity reinforce concerns. The recent Libyan disclosure and pledge to divest itself of WMD and long range missiles programs and admit international inspectors is a positive sign. Other states continue to develop biological and chemical weapon capabilities. Numerous states continue to improve their ballistic and cruise missiles, focusing on longer range, better accuracy, deployment of new units and use of underground facilities. Proliferation of WMD- and missile-related technologies continues and new supply networks challenge US counter-proliferation efforts.

Nuclear Weapons Russia's nuclear weapons stockpile continues to decline. DIA believes the number of weapons in China, India, Pakistan and North Korea will grow. We are also concerned about Syrian interest in nuclear technologies that could support a weapons program.


Cruise Missiles The numbers and capabilities of cruise missiles will increase, fueled by maturation of land-attack and anti-ship cruise missile programs in Europe, Russia and China; sales of complete systems; and the spread of advanced dual-use technologies and materials. The threat from today's anti-ship cruise missiles is challenging and will increase with the introduction of more advanced guidance and propulsion technologies. Proliferation of land attack cruise missiles will also increase the threat to our forward based military forces and provide area denial weapons against potential contingency operations.

Today, very few countries, to include Russia, possess land-attack cruise missiles. China is expected to field its first dedicated LACM soon. China is developing and procuring anti-ship cruise missiles capable of being launched from aircraft, surface ships, submarines and land that will be more capable of penetrating defenses.

In the next ten years, we expect other countries to join Russia, China and France as major exporters in cruise missiles. India, in partnership with Russia, will begin production of the PJ-10, an anti-ship and land attack cruise missile, this year and may export the system.

Proliferation Russia, China, and North Korea support various WMD and missile programs, especially in the Middle East and South Asia. Russian entities support missile and civil nuclear programs in China, Iran and India, and to a lesser degree in Syria. Some of these nuclear technologies could have weapons applications. Chinese companies remain involved with nuclear and missile programs in Pakistan and Iran. In some cases, entities from Russia and China are involved without the knowledge of their governments. North Korea is the world's leading supplier of missiles and related technologies. We also see evidence of what is termed �secondary proliferation,� when countries who previously imported weapons or weapons technology begin indigenous production and export of those systems. The most disturbing example of this trend is the linkage of North Korean, Libyan and Iranian enrichment programs to Pakistani technology.


Russia. After nearly a decade of declining activity, the Russian military is beginning to exercise its forces in mission areas it believes are essential for deterrence, global reach and rapid reaction. Open source reporting confirms that ground force exercise activity in 2003 doubled that of 2002; training for use of nonategic nuclear forces continues; and Russia desires to have the ability for its Navy and Air Force to operate globally, as evidenced in their joint exercises in the Indian and Pacific Oceans in 2003. Russian military spending has increased in real terms in the past four years, in line with its improving economy. Additionally, we expect modest increases in the procurement of new weapons. Improvements will continue unless Russia suffers an economic setback � especially a significant decrease in the price of oil.

Moscow is attempting to reclaim great power status. Russian leaders believe an improving military supports its foreign policies and conveys the image of an active global power capable of asserting it national interests. It also supports the leaders' domestic political position. Additionally, Russia is improving its relations with some countries, most notably France, China, and India, in pursuit of a �multi-polar� world and to enhance its arms sales.

Russian military leaders were surprised by OIF's speed, effectiveness and low casualties, but not by the operation's ultimate success. Proponents of Western-style military reforms believe the results demonstrate the need for change in the Russian armed forces. However, they face resistance from an entrenched bureaucracy and senior leaders with vested interests in the status quo. OIF reinforced previous Russian assessments of the need for precision strike capabilities and improved intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems. Russian military leaders recognize the need for more resources, but economic realities will prevent dramatic increases in military expenditures.

Russian leaders see OIF as an embodiment of US unilateralism and believe US actions have weakened the GWOT alliance. Despite these views, Russia voted in favor of several US-backed UN Security Council Resolutions. Moscow believes the United Nations should have the lead in establishing an Iraqi government. They will also work to ensure Russian commercial access to post OIF Iraq and repayment of some of their loans to the previous Iraqi regime .

President Putin and other Russian leaders reacted calmly to the latest round of NATO enlargement and are working to improve relations within NATO. However, many maintain the traditional Russian fear of military encirclement, citing potential of US military rebasing and suspicions that Washington is not interested in ratifying the adopted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty or extending it to the Baltic States. They will oppose Ukraine's, Georgia's and Azerbaijan's efforts to join NATO.

The Chechen war continues after more than four years and is a drain on the Russian military. Moscow rejects negotiations to end the war, but has not been able to defeat the guerrillas. Approximately 65,000-75,000 Russian troops remain in Chechnya. Official casualties approach Soviet losses in Afghanistan. However, Chechnya remains a minor issue for most Russians and has not threatened President Putin politically. Nevertheless, Chechen extremists remain capable of headline-grabbing attacks in many areas of Russia.


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DOD Official Briefs on Rumsfeld's Upcoming Uzbekistan Visit (excerpted)
Department of Defense
(for personal use only)


Q: To follow up on my colleague's question, though, in December the State Department concluded that the Uzbek government hadn't made enough progress and the Bush Administration decided to go ahead anyway and grant a waiver, I believe. But there's another part of the agreement that cannot be waived. Is that going to come up?

Senior Defense Official: I think you're talking about cooperative threat reduction certification, which is different. This is a certification from the Secretary of State. What I'm talking about is the one that's in the foreign operations bill from last year and it refers to fiscal year '04 funds.

Q: -- threat reduction agreement �

Senior Defense Official: The certification is, and I'll have to get you the exact language, but it pulls out elements of the Strategic Partnership document and says there has to be sufficient progress. I can give you the exact language.

Q: What happens if it's not certified? If they decide it hasn't been �

Senior Defense Official: -- frozen and they don't have access to FMF or IMEF. I don't know what other funds. I'd have to look.

Q: How much is the total again? Did you say 14 million?

Senior Defense Official: For '04 I know that the FMF figure is 10 million. I don't know what in addition. I have to look that up. Sorry.


Q: Are there any issues that affect U.S. security, liberation, narcotics, any major issues?

Senior Defense Official: We've been working with the Uzbeks on the cooperative threat reduction types of issues. I don't remember offhand but there's a center in Tashkent that has been tracking and working on proliferation issues that we've supported. So it's always a concern. Whether you have the IMU or any other terrorist group, you worry about narcotics smuggling. We are trying to help the Uzbeks with that. This whole nexus of narcotics smuggling, trafficking in arms. The bad guys seem to do bad things across the board.

Q: Do those kinds of networks still exist in Uzbekistan?

Senior Defense Official: I don't know if they exist. I would say they exist in the region, the question is where they move. Where they come, where they go. It might be more prevalent at sometimes in certain countries to another. If you look at the map of Uzbekistan you see Kyrgystan and the [Pravana] Valley where there are a lot of problems. There's no, I would say the borders are porous so we've spent a lot of time on border security issues also.

Q: Two questions. One, what are your proliferation concerns? But also, second, now that you raise it, anything you're doing in terms of offering them assistance or anything they want from you on border security?

Senior Defense Official: We've got some ongoing border security programs. We've got an ongoing program with the narcotics office in the Pentagon, working with them on training border guards. Under the cooperative threat reduction program we can not only provide technical assistance but some equipment. I can get you that kind of information if you'd like.

Q: -- on the agenda this time?

Senior Defense Official: I think we're always concerned about proliferation in the region. I can't say that there's one specific thing that we're concerned about.

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The Worldwide Threat 2004: Challenges in a Changing Global Context (excerpted)
George J. Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
(for personal use only)


Mr. Chairman, I have consistently warned this committee of al-QA`ida's interest in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons. Acquiring these remains a "religious obligation" in Bin Ladin's eyes, and al-QA`ida and more than two dozen other terrorist groups are pursuing CBRN materials.

We particularly see a heightened risk of poison attacks. Contemplated delivery methods to date have been simple but this may change as non-Al-Qa`ida groups share information on more sophisticated methods and tactics.

Over the last year, we've also seen an increase in the threat of more sophisticated CBRN. For this reason we take very seriously the threat of a CBRN attack.

Extremists have widely disseminated assembly instructions for an improvised chemical weapon using common materials that could cause a large numbers of casualties in a crowded, enclosed area.

Although gaps in our understanding remain, we see al-QA`ida's program to produce anthrax as one of the most immediate terrorist CBRN threats we are likely to face.

Al-QA`ida continues to pursue its strategic goal of obtaining a nuclear capability. It remains interested in dirty bombs. Terrorist documents contain accurate views of how such weapons would be used.


To conclude my comments on proliferation, I'll briefly run through some WMD programs I have not yet discussed, beginning with Syria.

Syria is an NPT signatory with full-scope IAEA safeguards and has a nuclear research center at Dayr Al Hajar. Russia and Syria have continued their long-standing agreements on cooperation regarding nuclear energy, although specific assistance has not yet materialized. Broader access to foreign expertise provides opportunities to expand its indigenous capabilities and we are closely monitoring Syrian nuclear intentions. Meanwhile, Damascus has an active CW development and testing program that relies on foreign suppliers for key controlled chemicals suitable for producing CW.

Finally, we remain alert to the vulnerability of Russian WMD materials and technology to theft or diversion. We are also concerned by the continued eagerness of Russia's cashapped defense, biotechnology, chemical, aerospace, and nuclear industries to raise funds via exports and transfers�which makes Russian expertise an attractive target for countries and groups seeking WMD and missile-related assistance.


In RUSSIA, the trend I highlighted last year�President Putin's re-centralization of power in the Kremlin�has become more pronounced, especially over the past several months. We see this in the recent Duma elections and the lopsided United Russia party victory engineered by the Kremlin and in the Kremlin's domination of the Russian media.

Putin has nevertheless recorded some notable achievements. His economic record�even discounting the continuing strength of high world oil prices�is impressive, both in terms of GDP growth and progress on market reforms. He has brought a sense of stability to the Russian political scene after years of chaos, and he restored Russians' pride in their country's place in the world.

That said, Putin now dominates the Duma, and the strong showing of nationalist parties plus the shutout of liberal parties may bolster trends toward limits on civil society, state interference in big business, and greater assertiveness in the former Soviet Union. And the Kremlin's recent efforts to strengthen the state's role in the oil sector could discourage investors and hamper energy cooperation with the West.

He shows no signs of softening his tough stance on Russia's war in Chechnya. Russian counterinsurgency operations have had some success. Putin's prime innovation is the process of turning more authority over to the Chechen under the new government of Akhmad Kadyrov, and empowering his security forces to lead the counter-insurgency.

Although this strategy may succeed in lowering Russia's profile in Chechnya, it is unlikely to lead to resolution.

Moscow has already become more assertive in its approach to the neighboring states of the former Soviet Union, such as Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova. Russian companies�primarily for commercial motives, but in line with the Kremlin's agenda�are increasing their stakes in neighboring countries, particularly in the energy sector.

The Kremlin's increasing assertiveness is partly grounded in a growing confidence in its military capabilities. Although still a fraction of their former capabilities, Russian military forces are beginning to rebound from the 1990s nadir. Training rates are up�including some high-profile exercises�along with defense spending.

Even so, we see Moscow's aims as limited. Russia is using primarily economic incentives and levers of "soft" power, like shared history and culture, to rebuild lost power and influence. And Putin has a stake in relative stability on Russia's borders�not least to maintain positive relations with the US and Europeans.

Russian relations with the US continue to contain elements of both cooperation and competition. On balance, they remain more cooperative than not, but the coming year will present serious challenges. For example, Russia remains supportive of US deployments in Central Asia for Afghanistan�but is also wary of US presence in what Russia considers to be its own back yard.

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United States Present Trucks and Other Equipment
US Embassy in Uzbekistan
(for personal use only)

On February 11, Jon R. Purnell, U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan presented a total of $1,189,348 worth of equipment to border troops of Uzbekistan.

Accepting the equipment for border troops was Commander-in-Chief, Lieutenant-General Gafurjon Tishayev. Also participating in the hand over ceremony was Sadyk Safayev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan and other officials from the governments of Uzbekistan and the United States.

The five Kamas 53215 trucks (6X4 wheel drive cargo), forty Ural 43206 trucks (4X4 wheel drive cargo), 50 Honda generators, 200 Nikon binoculars, 150 Lectro-Science handheld spotlights, 6 laptop computers will significantly enhance the ability of the Committee's personnel to perform their assigned missions. The equipment was presented under the State Department-funded Export Control and Related Border Security Assistance (EXBS) program.

The EXBS Program, administered by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency, is designed to help halt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, related technologies, and other weapons. The program in Uzbekistan comprises a wide range of nonproliferation export control assistance, from licensing and legal/regulatory technical workshops, to provision of equipment, and training for border control and enforcement agencies. Equipment being provided under this program includes communications equipment, surveillance and detection equipment, protective and medical equipment, vehicles, and vessels.

Since its inception in April 2000, the EXBS program has donated over $5 mln. in equipment and training to the Government of Uzbekistan. In July 2003, the EXBS program presented a total of 146 UAZ vehicles to the Uzbek Committee for State Border Protection and Uzbek Customs Committee valued at over $800,000. In August 2003, the program presented 3,776 Motorola radios, 708 antennas, and other communications equipment valued at over $1,800,000 to the Committee for State Border Protection and Uzbek Customs Committee. In September 2003, EXBS presented over $217,000 worth of instructional equipment for the new Customs Institute in Tashkent.

In the comings months, EXBS equipment donations will include night vision equipment, global positioning system (GPS) receivers, voltage stabilizers, batteries, metal detectors, and other equipment valued at over $600,000. Other major equipment donations scheduled for delivery next year include two helicopter simulators valued at $6,5 mln. and two patrol boats valued at $5,8 mln.

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J.  Links of Interest

Military Exercises In Russia: Naval Deterrence Failures Compensated By Strategic Rocket Success
Nikolai Sokov
Center for Nonproliferation Studies
(for personal use only)

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