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Nuclear News - 3/18/2004
RANSAC Nuclear News, March 18, 2004
Compiled By: Matthew Bouldin


A.  MPC&A
    1. Security Company To Protect Russian Nuclear Assets, Christopher Davis , Pittsburgh Business Times (3/14/2004)
B.  HEU Purchase Agreement
    1. FEATURE-Russian Nuclear Warheads Help To Power U.S., Nigel Hunt, Reuters (3/14/2004)
C.  Nuclear Terrorism
    1. Tajikistan Arrests Man With Three Grams Of Plutonium For Sale, AFP (3/15/2004)
D.  Chemical Weapons Destruction
    1. Chemical Funds, Associated Press (3/17/2004)
E.  Cooperative Threat Reduction
    1. USA Afraid Of Nuclear Responsibility , Bellona Foundation (3/16/2004)
F.  U.S. - Russia
    1. Lavrov Banters With The Press, Caroline McGregor , Moscow Times (3/18/2004)
    2. Little to Show From Putin , Michael McFaul, Washington Post (3/14/2004)
G.  Russia - NATO
    1. Russia, NATO Through With Anti-Missile Games, ALEXANDER SHISHLO, RIA Novosti (3/16/2004)
H.  Russia - Iran
    1. Iran-Russia Expansion Of Ties Discussed , IRNA (3/18/2004)
    2. Russia And Iran Deputy Foreign Ministers Meet In Geneva, RIA Novosti (3/18/2004)
    3. Russia Stresses Nuclear Coordination With Iran , IRNA (3/18/2004)
    4. Iranian Power Station To Be Completed In 2006 , RosBusinessConsulting (3/17/2004)
    5. Russia Says Iran Nuke Project Faces Obstacles, Reuters (3/17/2004)
    6. Russian-Iranian Accord On Spent Nuclear Fuel To Be Signed By Summer , RosBusinessConsulting (3/17/2004)
    7. Russia Asks For Closer Cooperation Between IAEA And Iran , IRNA (3/16/2004)
    8. Putin's Potemkin Election, Boston Globe (3/14/2004)
I.  Russia - China
    1. Russia Offers Best World Nuclear Technologies To China, ITAR-TASS (3/16/2004)
    2. Deputy Head Of Russia's Atomic Energy Ministry To Visit China's NPS Construction Site , RIA Novosti (3/14/2004)
    3. Russia Likely To Win Contract To Build Second Stage Of Chinese Nuclear Power Station, Interfax (3/14/2004)
J.  Russia - India
    1. Specialists from India�s Oldest NPP �Tarapur� Will Visit the Bilibinsk NPP, ITAR-TASS (3/18/2004)
K.  Nuclear Forces
    1. Navy Could Make More Than Half Of Russia Nuclear Triad-Commander, ITAR-TASS (3/18/2004)
    2. Missile Blasts Off From Russia Submarine, ITAR-TASS (3/17/2004)
L.  Nuclear Industry
    1. First Unit Of Bashkir Nuclear Power Station Begins Operation, ITAR-TASS (3/18/2004)
    2. Four Nuclear Power Units To Be Launched In Russia By 2008, ITAR-TASS (3/18/2004)
    3. Russian Uranium To Europe , Bellona Foundation (3/17/2004)
    4. Malfunction At Kola Nuclear Power Plant , Bellona Foundation (3/16/2004)
    5. Russian And Ukranian Nuclear Operators To Discuss Cooperation , RosBusinessConsulting (3/16/2004)
    6. Funding Of Floating NPP To Be Determined This Year , Bellona Foundation (3/15/2004)
M.  Official Statements
    1. DoD Continues Efforts To Reduce WMD Proliferation Threat, Gerry J. Gilmore, American Forces Press Service  (3/16/2004)
    2. Press Briefing � Y-12 National Security Complex, Oak Ridge, TN, Spencer Abraham, Secretary of Energy, Department of Energy (3/15/2004)
    3. Statement on FY 2005 Appropriations to the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development (excerpted), Spencer Abraham, Secretary of Energy, Department of Energy (3/11/2004)
N.  Links of Interest
    1. Testimony before the House Armed Services Committee Regarding Seven Steps to Overhaul Counterproliferation, Ashton Carter, Harvard University (3/17/2004)



A.  MPC&A

1.
Security Company To Protect Russian Nuclear Assets
Christopher Davis
Pittsburgh Business Times
3/14/2004
(for personal use only)


EAST PITTSBURGH -- A local security company has been tapped to protect some of Russia's nuclear assets, as well as help ensure that those weapons are not stolen and used against the United States.

Gregg Protection Services, part of East Pittsburgh-based staffing and security firm, Gregg Services Inc., was awarded several U.S. Department of Energy contracts totaling roughly $6 million to provide security services for the former Cold War enemy's nuclear facilities and materials.

Gregg Protection Services' most recent contract, which is capped at about $3 million, was received in January and was awarded through the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., according to Gregg Protection vice president Robert Keib.

Mr. Keib said the contracts were generated by the Defense Threat Reduction Act, signed more than a decade ago by the United States and Russian governments.

Under the 1991 pact, the U.S. agreed to provide funding and expertise to protect the then-Soviet Union's fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, aircraft carriers and other vessels; nuclear materials and reactors scattered throughout the country; and nuclear missiles; from potential theft, sabotage and accidental or intentional releases or detonations.

The Department of Energy, through its various national laboratories, taps contractors to help provide those security services.

In addition to Gregg Protection Services' contract through the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the company also previously received two contracts capped at $1.5 million through the Argonne National Laboratory-West in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn., Mr. Keib said.

Gregg Protection Services has 23 full-time and 40 part-time employees working on the government contracts. The company has another 250 uniformed security officers that do work for separate commercial clients, Mr. Keib said.

On the Defense Threat Reduction Act-related contracts, Mr. Keib said Gregg Protection Services helps the government evaluate the functionality of security alarm systems related to some of Russia's nuclear facilities, as well as the security of vaults where nuclear materials are kept.

He said the company also evaluates potential sabotage targets, works with the local military and police security forces that guard nuclear materials and generates computer-based vulnerability assessments and models for nuclear facilities.

Mr. Keib said Gregg Protection Services has been working with the Department of Energy on nuclear protection services contracts for about two-and-a-half years. The company recently opened an office in Moscow.

"We've gone from East Pittsburgh to Moscow," Mr. Keib said.

Mr. Keib, who spent seven years with the Secret Service, worked for the Department of Energy from 1978 until 1997, when he retired and went to work for Gregg Protection Services.

During his time with the Department of Energy, Mr. Keib said he worked on security issues related to the U.S. government's nuclear weapons and facilities, such as the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory in West Mifflin.

Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Ralph Pasini, an independent defense and homeland security consultant who said he previously consulted Gregg Protection Services, said there is "an enormous necessity" for the type of security work done by companies such as Gregg Protection, "not only in the former Soviet Union, but in all the Warsaw Pact countries."

"All the former Soviet allies, they had nuclear weapons facilities," Mr. Pasini said. "There's a lot of opportunities for American businesses to do anything from security to nuclear waste cleanup. This is a real growth industry."

Mr. Pasini said he has seen firsthand a "ghost shipyard" in Murmansk, near the Kola Peninsula, where the former Soviet government has docked a number of nuclear submarines. The subs are not active, but they still have nuclear materials inside that could endanger the environment.

"When you shut them down, they still have the plutonium or uranium derivatives in there," Mr. Pasini said. "It's something that has to be dealt with fairly quickly.

"It's an environmental time bomb."

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B.  HEU Purchase Agreement

1.
FEATURE-Russian Nuclear Warheads Help To Power U.S.
Nigel Hunt
Reuters
3/14/2004
(for personal use only)


LOS ANGELES, March 14 (Reuters) - Few Americans realize that uranium once intended to destroy their civilization is now helping to keep it very much alive by powering televisions, microwaving dinners and chilling beer.

Uranium extracted from Russian nuclear warheads helps supply about 10 percent of U.S. electricity, according to USEC Inc. (USU.N: Quote, Profile, Research) , which has charge of the "Megatons to Megawatts" project that has helped Russia reap profits from previously loss-making nuclear disarmament.

The Bethesda, Maryland-based company purchases uranium taken from dismantled Russian nuclear warheads under a 1993 U.S.-Russian nonproliferation agreement.

The treaty was designed to lower the risk of the Russian uranium falling into the wrong hands and posing a security risk. The highly enriched mineral from the warheads is diluted in Russia prior to shipment to the United States.

USEC then sells the uranium to operators of nuclear plants that supply about 20 percent of electricity in the United States.

The company is the world's leading supplier of uranium to nuclear power plants. The U.S. government created USEC in the early 1990s as part of its restructuring of its uranium enrichment operation. Privatization was completed in 1998.

USEC sells the grade of uranium used in power plants, known as low enriched uranium, in both the United States and overseas. Sales of its Russian material are limited to the United States.

Chief Executive William Timbers said about half of the uranium used by U.S. nuclear plants currently comes from Russian warheads.

The program is scheduled to run for 20 years. During the first decade, about 8,000 nuclear warheads were dismantled with the uranium extracted and used in U.S. power plants.

PROFITABLE DISARMAMENT

"It has transformed the prior loss-making process of nuclear disarmament into an economically effective one," Valeriy Govorukhin, Russia's deputy minister of atomic energy, said in an interview earlier this year.

"For Russia, this contract has not only contributed to an increase in international security, but has also been an important source for economic growth," he added.

USEC had 2003 revenue of $1.46 billion. It reported a modest profit of $10.7 million last year, compared with a 2002 loss of $3.3 million, and its stock has been climbing during the last 12 months.

The company's shares were trading around $8.10 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, near the upper end of its 52-week range of $5.20 to $9.

Timbers said additional Russian uranium would probably be available when the program is due to end, raising the possibility it could be extended.

Such a move would depend on the U.S. and Russian governments because the program was signed at a presidential level.

With power plants' demand for this uranium roughly equal to the supply, the United States would have to return to a method of electricity generation that has been out of favor for more than 20 years to justify expanding the U.S.-Russian program or developing similar ones.

"If there are to be more similar programs with other countries, there needs to be an expansion of demand (for uranium)," Timbers said. "We need additional nuclear power plants."

SAFETY CONCERNS

Nuclear power fell out of favor partly due to safety concerns following an accident in 1979 at the Three Mile Island plant in Pennsylvania.

Nearly 200,000 people fled their homes and local schools were temporarily closed after operator error resulted in parts of the core beginning to melt and traces of radioactive iodine were detected in nearby communities.

Massive cost overruns at the Seabrook nuclear plant in New Hampshire contributed to the bankruptcy of utility Public Service Company of New Hampshire in 1988, further dampening enthusiasm for embarking on such projects.

Sentiment has begun to change, however, as the United States seeks ways to meet growing demand for electricity amid increasing environmental concerns about the greenhouse gases emitted by the leading source, coal-fired power plants.

Nuclear plants emit virtually no greenhouse gases.

"New ground is being broken, activity is going on," Timbers said, noting newer designs for nuclear power plants are simpler in design and had lower construction costs.

U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham recently pointed to the development of new "meltdown-proof and proliferation-resistant" nuclear plants as one of the keys to meeting the nation's growing demand for energy.

If the Bush administration's dream becomes a reality, then America's energy future could become increasingly dependent on a legacy from an era when their very existence appeared to be threatened -- massive stockpiles of Cold War nuclear weapons.

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C.  Nuclear Terrorism

1.
Tajikistan Arrests Man With Three Grams Of Plutonium For Sale
AFP
3/15/2004
(for personal use only)


DUSHANBE (AFP) Mar 15, 2004 Tajik authorities have arrested a man with three grams of factory-grade plutonium that he allegedly planned to sell to someone in Afghanistan or Pakistan, officials told AFP Monday.

"The arrested man confessed that he intended to sell the plutonium to citizens of Afghanistan or Pakistan for 21,000 dollars," said Avaz Yuldashev, spokesman for the drug control agency in the Central Asian country.

Yuldashev did not release the suspect's name, but said he was a citizen of neighboring Uzbekistan.

"Tajik special services suspected him of drug smuggling, but during a search found a capsule of factory-grade plutonium that was likely made either in Russia or Kazakhstan."

Tajikistan is a main smuggling route for drugs destined for Western markets from Afghanistan, with which it shares a 1,340-kilometer (830-mile) border that is patrolled by thousands of Tajik and Russian troops.

The economic disarray that followed the breakup of the Soviet Union has sparked fears that downtrodden scientists would sell to extremists weapons of mass destruction from the former superpower.

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D.  Chemical Weapons Destruction

1.
Chemical Funds
Associated Press
3/17/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW (AP) -- Environmental and human rights activists criticized the implementation of Russia's chemical disarmament program Tuesday, accusing authorities of mismanaging funds and endangering lives by skimping on safety and security measures.

Sergei Mitrokhin, a former Yabloko deputy, said Russian legislation does not adequately provide for chemical disarmament by international standards, and an activist said authorities violate the laws that do exist.

"The entire state machine is deliberately violating all possible laws, regulations and procedures for disposing of chemical weapons," Lev Fyodorov, head of an environmental group called For Chemical Safety, told a news conference.

Maxim Shingarkin, an activist with the Citizen Foundation, said that some 50 million rubles ($1.8 million) was spent to build an unpaved road to a chemical weapons disposal facility in the Saratov region, while people nearby have not been provided with gas masks.

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E.  Cooperative Threat Reduction

1.
USA Afraid Of Nuclear Responsibility
Bellona Foundation
3/16/2004
(for personal use only)


The USA still has not signed the paragraph concerning responsibility for the possible damage during aid programs.

Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the foreign policy committee of the Lower House of the Russian parliament, told recently RBC Daily about that. The CTR program allocated $6.5 billion in total to secure weapons of mass destruction since 1992. The USA still has not signed the paragraph regarding responsibility for technogenic accidents in Russia due to the possible US fault during implementation of such programs as Cooperative Threat Reduction Program (CTR) and the Multi-Lateral Environmental Protect in the Russian Federation agreement (MNEPR).

It is stated in the MNEPR agreement that deliberate damage caused by an individual during implementation of this program stipulates certain responsibility. According to Kosachev, this principle is civilised and used in international relations. Almost all countries signed it. The USA, however, does not like this principle and they insist on the rules used since 1992 in the CTR program, when the US responsibility was not determined. Both programs are extremely profitable for Russia, as it does not have resources to eliminate excessive nuclear and chemical weapons itself. �If we do not find a legal solution, we might not get this money� Konstantin Kosachev added.

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F.  U.S. - Russia

1.
Lavrov Banters With The Press
Caroline McGregor
Moscow Times
3/18/2004
(for personal use only)


Sergei Lavrov gave his first press conference as foreign minister Wednesday, displaying his renowned diplomatic repartee as he gave a comprehensive snapshot of Russian foreign policy at the beginning of President Vladimir Putin's second term.

Lavrov was visibly at ease and patient as he answered questions from an auditorium full of Moscow reporters interested in the government's international priorities and foreign correspondents eager for a readout on bilateral relations with their home countries.

Lavrov was quick to assure journalists that he would not depart from the course cast in Putin's first term under former Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, who was shifted to the helm of the Security Council in the same March 9 government revamp that brought Lavrov back to Moscow from his post in New York as Russia's ambassador to the United Nations.

"It's misplaced to wait for sensations. There must be continuity," Lavrov said, acknowledging that his job is to execute the foreign policy set by the president.

"We will endeavor to defend our national interests, without aggression and confrontation. We will show flexibility and work to reach compromises with all of our foreign partners," he added.

His first challenge will be Georgia, where tensions with separatist Adzharia have threatened to boil over. He met with the head of Georgia's Security Council later in the day.

At the press conference, Lavrov touched on a wide array of issues, ranging from the Russian-speaking minority in Latvia to the Kuril Islands dispute with Japan and from Russia's cooperation with the Conference of Islamic States to the chances for a unified Cyprus to join the European Union.

In expressing grief for the victims of last week's bombings in Madrid, he reiterated that the fight against terrorism must be "without compromise and unyielding. ... The terrible tragedy shows once again that no one can be protected from this threat in isolation."

He declined to comment on the likelihood that Spain's new government might pull its troops from Iraq, saying the situation there "continues to deteriorate." The UN needs to take a central role in running Iraq "soon," he said.

Calling the U.S.-led presence there an "occupation force" as the Russians have done for the past year, he insisted the UN inspectors should be put in charge of the search for the weapons of mass destruction the U.S. administration claimed as a basis for last year's invasion.

"Everything is kept secret," he said. "So far we have only seen the conclusions" from the intelligence report by lead U.S. inspector David Kay. "The full content remains classified. ... I want to see the facts."

Iraq will likely be the thorniest of many topics on the agenda when Lavrov meets with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in May, ahead of June's G-8 meeting at Sea Island, Georgia. He said a meeting with Powell prior to that, at an April conference on Afghanistan in Berlin, remains unconfirmed. He and Powell have talked twice by phone since his appointment.

Lavrov encouraged provocative questions, but he got only one. CNN correspondent Jill Dougherty asked whether Russia felt it had the right to kill terrorists abroad, in light of Qatar's arrest earlier this month of two Russian citizens it accuses in the assassination of Chechen separatist leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev.

"That's not a pretty question," he said, betraying only a faint hint of agitation, and he fired back without answering the question. "It's a conceptual issue discussed in the context of Israeli actions in Palestinian territory and ... in the fight with the Taliban, al-Qaida and members of Saddam Hussein's regime."

Sergei Karaganov, chairman of the Foreign and Defense Policy Council, said Lavrov, whom he knows well, is the best foreign minister Russia could hope for. "He's very amicable, very talented, very pleasant, but at the same time, a very tough man."

Lavrov good-naturedly accepted reporters' congratulations on his new appointment. Iran state television also offered well wishes in advance of his 54th birthday on March 21, which "significantly coincides" with Iran's spring holiday. The crowd clapped and Lavrov chuckled, but demurred: "When drinking toasts with friends, there's a strict rule that one shouldn't drink to an event before it happens," he said.

He promptly answered the reporter's question concerning Iran's nuclear program, saying he hoped the date of IAEA verifications would be decided in "the nearest future." He repeated Moscow's long-running defense of Iran's right to develop a peaceful nuclear energy program at Bushehr, which Russia is helping to build in defiance of Washington.

Andrei Malyshev, head of the Federal Nuclear Supervision Service, indicated Wednesday that progress on the Bushehr project has been stalled because of European countries' refusal to sell Iran the equipment needed to complete the reactor.

Lavrov, known at the UN as an unapologetic smoker who frequently could be found sipping scotch in the lounge and talking by cellphone to Moscow, may also be something of a ladies' man. He gently interrupted his press secretary, Alexander Yakovenko, as he tried to wrap up proceedings, extending the session three times to take questions from women reporters, having mused earlier that there seemed to be so few.

Lavrov graduated from MGIMO, the Moscow State Institute for International Relations, 32 years ago. For a book compiled in 1998, Lavrov wrote several lines of verse for a school hymn. One line, cited by a reporter, read: "Don't fall and go straight for the goal." Lavrov responded, saying these were good words to live by and assured the audience, "I'm not falling."

Lavrov, like Ivanov, is of the generation of diplomats whose careers were peaking just as the Soviet Union collapsed, and the shadow of Russia's great power status is still part of their world view, said Ivan Safranchuk, at the Center for Defense Information. "They still have some complexes in that."

Lavrov highlighted his multipolar worldview in praising China, which in contrast to the United States, "is willing to secure its national interests through collective actions within the realm of international law." He added that Russia and China have practically identical positions on the overwhelming majority of international issues."

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2.
Little to Show From Putin
Michael McFaul
Washington Post
3/14/2004
(for personal use only)


President Bush should be the first world leader to phone Russian President Vladimir Putin and congratulate him on his pending reelection victory today. Because Putin is one of Bush's closest colleagues among world leaders, it's appropriate that Bush be first in line to commend his Russian friend. Putin, after all, was one of the first world leaders to call Bush and send his condolences and support on Sept. 11, 2001.

In fact, Sept. 11 helped forge this unlikely friendship. After that tragic day, Bush's "war on terror" became the new strategic focus in which others around the world were either with us or against us. In this black-and-white world, Bush saw Putin as a white hat.

Bush deserves credit for forging a personal bond with Putin. The development of working relationships with leaders of strategic countries is certainly part of the job of being the U.S. president. America's national interests would not be served by bad chemistry between the American and Russian presidents.

But pleasant company should never be the objective of a foreign policy. Rather, it should be a means to pursue other ends. The problem in U.S.-Russian relations today is that the personal friendship initiated by Bush has produced little in the way of the tangible outcomes that Bush himself has defined as his major foreign policy objectives. Bush seems content to keep it simple. Putin is considered an ally in the war on terror. Therefore, keeping close to Putin is the central focus of the president's policy toward Russia. This simplicity, however, does not serve American interests.

To defend the United States after Sept. 11, Bush has correctly stressed three major goals. First, the United States must remain in hot pursuit of the terrorists who attacked and plan to attack us. This is the literal war against terrorists. Second, the United States must recommit to stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Third, the United States must promote democracy around the world and especially in the greater Middle East.

Have Bush's close ties to Putin helped him pursue these three objectives? The record is mixed.

On the war against terrorists in Afghanistan, Russia did provide important military assistance to the Northern Alliance and valuable intelligence that helped destroy the Taliban regime. Two years later, however, it is difficult to identify any new battlefront in which Bush has leveraged his personal relationship with Putin to acquire Russian assistance in fighting terrorists. The one front on which Russia is allegedly engaged in directly battling terrorism -- Chechnya -- has been a disaster. Terrorists there still operate; Russia is no more secure today that it was when the war reignited in 1999, and America's war against terrorism is made no easier by Russia's brutal methods, which inspire recruits to the terrorist cause.

Bush can point to even fewer deliverables from his relationship with Putin in the struggle to stop proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Amazingly, 21/2 years after Sept. 11, and following revelation after revelation about Iran's true intentions in acquiring nuclear technologies, Putin has done next to nothing to alter or stop the Russian contracts to build nuclear facilities in Iran. Nor is there any evidence that Putin has reinvigorated the efforts of his own government to stop the leakage of weapons of mass destruction from his own country.

And Bush shares the blame for this. Given his intimate relationship with Putin, the two presidents might have worked to develop a bigger, more robust and more transparent Cooperative Threat Reduction program. Nothing of the sort has taken place.

On the last American strategic objective, promoting democracy worldwide, Putin is a liability. He has contributed nothing to the spread of democracy in the Middle East or elsewhere but instead has acted as a real force for the erosion of democracy inside Russia. Putin has conducted an inhumane war inside Chechnya, seized control of all of Russia's national television networks, emasculated the Federal Council (Russia's equivalent of the U.S. Senate), assaulted federalism and regional autonomy, arbitrarily used the law to jail or chase away political foes, removed candidates from electoral ballots, harassed and arrested leaders of nongovernmental organizations and weakened Russia's independent political parties. Today's presidential vote, which Putin will win in a landslide, is the least competitive election in Russia's post-Soviet history. The idea therefore of having Russia contribute to a G-8 initiative for democracy promotion in the greater Middle East is absurd. Bush's unqualified embrace of Putin undermines his credibility when speaking about the need for democratization in other countries.

Complex times require complex foreign policies. The American government has the capacity to pursue multiple objectives at the same time with difficult but strategic countries like Russia. During the Cold War, some American leaders tried to keep it simple and cast the entire world as communists against us and anti-communists with us. Such simplicity made thugs such as Jonas Savimbi in Angola and the apartheid regime in South Africa our "friends." But the more effective leaders understood that the United States needed a more sophisticated approach that oftentimes included dual-track diplomacy toward the same country. In dealing with the Soviets, this meant the pursuit of arms control and democratic regime change in the Soviet bloc at the same time. A similarly complex strategy for dealing with Russia -- and for that matter, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt and Uzbekistan -- is needed today.

Michael McFaul is a Hoover Fellow and associate professor of political science at Stanford University. His latest book, with James Goldgeier, is "Power and Purpose: U.S. Policy Toward Russia After the Cold War."

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G.  Russia - NATO

1.
Russia, NATO Through With Anti-Missile Games
ALEXANDER SHISHLO
RIA Novosti
3/16/2004
(for personal use only)


BRUSSELS, MARCH 16 (RIA Novosti correspondent Alexander Shishlo) - NATO and Russian experts had a command-and-staff theater missile defense exercise in Colorado Springs, USA, March 8 into 12. The joint exercise proceeded under the aegis of the NATO-Russia Council special group, and on the basis of the US national integration center. All objectives were met, and further teamwork prospects blueprinted, report officers of Russia's permanent representation on the NATO HQ.

The Colorado Springs exercise had, for its principal goal, streamlining essential provisions of CONOPS, experimental operation concept, and a joint Russia-NATO experimental concept of theater air defense, as elaborated within the two preceding years.

The Colorado Springs event involved more than sixty NATO countries' and Russian experts. The NATO International Military Staff and an enlarged air defense group - of Germany, the USA and the Netherlands - were represented.

The games included computer modeling, and command and troop control streamlining.

An anti-missile defense alliance ushers in upgraded Russia-NATO contacts, which started with a Declaration of Rome, signed in 2002. Our Russian informants regard this alliance as part and parcel of global anti-terror efforts.

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H.  Russia - Iran

1.
Iran-Russia Expansion Of Ties Discussed
IRNA
3/18/2004
(for personal use only)


Moscow, March 18, IRNA -- Iran and Russia discussed here Thursday possible avenues for bolstering bilateral cooperation in various areas in the economic field.

Iranian Ambassador to Russia Gholam-Reza Shafei, during a meeting with Russian Deputy Minister for Economic Development and Trade Vladimir Karastin, called for implementation of accords reached by the two sides during the Iran-Russia 4th Joint Economic Commission held in Tehran on March 17.

Shafei voiced Iran`s readiness to sign agreements to encourage and support joint ventures by the two countries, and highlighted the strategic role such accords can play in enhancing economic cooperation.

Karastin, for his part, expressed his satisfaction over the level of current economic cooperation with Iran, and welcomed a planned visit by an Iranian delegation to Russia to map out the agenda of the next Iran-Russia Joint Economic Commission session.

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2.
Russia And Iran Deputy Foreign Ministers Meet In Geneva
RIA Novosti
3/18/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, March 18, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Russian-Iranian interaction within the United Nations also in the human rights field have been discussed between the deputy foreign ministers Yuri Fedotov of Russia and Gulam Hoshru of the Islamic Republic of Iran, says the communique of the Press and Information Board of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The meeting was held in Geneva at the 60th session of the UN Human Rights Commission.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that they discussed also the agenda of the UN Human Rights Commission, the situation in Iraq and the Middle East.

"Gulam Hoshru was informed of the Russian approaches to these questions. Mutual interest was expressed in the continuation of the practice of regular Russian-Iranian consultations on a wide range of problems of mutual interest," reads the communique of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

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3.
Russia Stresses Nuclear Coordination With Iran
IRNA
3/18/2004
(for personal use only)


Moscow, March 18, IRNA -- Director General of Russia�s Foreign Ministry for Asia Affairs Geleb Ivashetsev said here Thursday bilateral nuclear cooperation with Iran would be in the interest of the two countries.

During a meeting with Iran�s Ambassador to Russia Gholam-Reza Shafei, Ivashetsev referred to the recent telephone conversation between the presidents of Iran and Russia, and stressed the importance his country�s foreign policy attaches to ties with Tehran. He said Tehran-Moscow coordination on issues raised regarding Iran�s nuclear programs amid continuing verification by experts of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the resolution of its Board of Governors would be in the interest of the two countries, he said.

He voiced opposition to unilateral measures adopted by certain countries to resolve issues pertaining to Iran�s nuclear activities, and highlighted the need for coordination among countries. More realistic views on Iran�s nuclear activities can be obtained through further cooperation in the future, the Russian official added. Shafei, for his part, appreciated Russia�s cooperation in the recent IAEA Board of Governors meeting, reiterating his country�s readiness to continue cooperation with the agency.

"Iran reserves the right to use its nuclear capability for peaceful uses, including uranium enrichment, within the framework of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and without reneging on its commitments under such treaty," the ambassador stressed.

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4.
Iranian Power Station To Be Completed In 2006
RosBusinessConsulting
3/17/2004
(for personal use only)


RBC, 17.03.2004, Moscow 15:51:08.The first power generating unit of the nuclear power station at Bushehr (Iran) will not be completed until 2006, Radzhab Safarov, the head of the Russian Center for Contemporary Iranian Studies, declared. If the pace of construction is the same as now, the first reactor will start in late 2005 - early 2006, according to him. The nuclear power plant will be commissioned in the second half of 2006. Meanwhile, the Russian and the Iranian governments have agreed to complete the reactor by 2003, Safarov added.

The delay is due to the change of the construction contractor and to the inexplicit position of Russia on the return of nuclear waste to the country of origin. Now the pre-commissioning checks are implemented at Bushehr, and the power station is 90 percent complete, Safarov said. But the fuel is still undelivered, he stressed.

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5.
Russia Says Iran Nuke Project Faces Obstacles
Reuters
3/17/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, March 17 (Reuters) - Russia's plan to build a nuclear power station in Iran in defiance of the United States has run into obstacles, a senior nuclear official said on Wednesday.

U.S. criticism of Russia's nuclear ties with Iran and disagreements between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have already prompted industry insiders to say Russia may kill off the $800 million project in Bushehr.

"The problem has to do with additional equipment Iran needs to buy," the head of Russia's Nuclear Safety Inspectorate, Andrei Malyshev, was quoted as saying by Itar-Tass news agency.

"Part of the equipment required to finish construction (of the Bushehr nuclear plant) has to be bought in Europe where there is a ban on sales of such equipment to this country."

Malyshev's remarks were the first official indication Bushehr's construction was not on track despite Moscow's previously upbeat stance.

Russia's Atomic Energy Ministry has pursued the project in the face of repeated U.S. accusations that Iran could be secretly acquiring nuclear arms.

But last week's downgrading of the ministry to the status of agency was seen by industry analysts as another sign Russia may be preparing to pull out.

Sources at the agency have said that for the time being it was unlikely Russia would resume work at Bushehr until Iran formally convinces the IEAA that its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful.

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6.
Russian-Iranian Accord On Spent Nuclear Fuel To Be Signed By Summer
RosBusinessConsulting
3/17/2004
(for personal use only)


RBC, 17.03.2004, Moscow 14:52:39.An agreement on returning spent nuclear fuel from Iran to Russia will be signed before this summer, Radzhab Safarov, the head of the Russian Center for Modern Iran Studies, declared at a news conference. According to him, the delay in signing this accord was due to the lack of agreements of the sides about price policies. Former Russian atomic minister Alexander Rumyantsev was to visit Iran on February 15 to sign this agreement. However, the visit was canceled, although Iran had declared that positions of the sides had been agreed fully.

Safarov noted that "Russia is playing wait and see in respect to Iran", which is due to pressure by the USA and other western countries. He believes Russia should be more active within the framework of nuclear cooperation with Iran, taking into account Iranian plans to build another 6 reactors over the next 20 years.

Successful accomplishment of construction of the first reactor at the nuclear facility in Bushehr will obviously influence development of Russian-Iranian cooperation, Safarov said. As a result of the delay in putting the first Bushehr reactor into operation, negative attitude towards cooperation of the two countries is growing in Iran, he added.

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7.
Russia Asks For Closer Cooperation Between IAEA And Iran
IRNA
3/16/2004
(for personal use only)


Moscow, March 16, IRNA -- Russia here on Monday encouraged the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to cooperate more closely with Iran.

The Russian Federation�s Atomic Energy Organization, that has recently replace Russia�s Atomic Energy Ministry asked for closer cooperation between the Unite Nation�s atomic energy watchdog, IAEA and the Islamic Republic of Iran, to clear off the West�s suspicions on the nature of Iran�s nuclear activities by their close cooperation. A high ranking official of the Russian Atomic Energy Organization in an interview with Russia�s Interfax News Agency on Monday made the comment, expressing regret over the delay in IAEA technicians` visit to Iran.

The Russian official who spoke on condition of anonymity added, Iran�s cooperation with the IAEA needs to be punctual, permanent, and free from political intentions and objectives.

He emphasized, "unnecessary sensitivities and political ambitions around Iran�s nuclear projects are instructive and Iran�s cooperation with the IAEA need to continue quite transparently, positively and constructively.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Saturday approved a resolution deferring progress on the verification of Iran�s stated nuclear activities until the watchdog�s next meeting in June. The 35-member IAEA Board of Governors decided to withhold its decision on the nature of the Islamic Republic�s nuclear activities until the receipt of a report which IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei has been asked to submit before the end of May. The IAEA resolution, issued without a vote, came following intensive closed-door negotiations, with the US and its allies lobbying hard to send a strongly worded message to Tehran.

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8.
Putin's Potemkin Election
Boston Globe
3/14/2004
(for personal use only)


THE MAKE-BELIEVE quality of today's presidential election in Russia is apparent not only in a change President Vladimir Putin made before the election but also in his refusal to alter -- or hardly mention -- a disastrous war policy that needs to be remedied.

Putin reshuffled his Cabinet Tuesday and reduced 30 ministries to 17. This streamlining and Putin's appointment of loyalists and veterans of the old Soviet KGB and military -- called "siloviki" by Russians -- seems designed to make all vectors of authority converge in Putin's czarlike locus of power.

For the United States and other countries worried about Russia's sale of an $800 million nuclear reactor to Iran, Putin's preelection restructuring of his administration promises a considerable benefit. What had been a troublesomely independent Atomic Energy Ministry has been downgraded to a mere agency and subordinated to a superministry run by officials whom Putin can count on to do his bidding.

The former head of the Atomic Energy Ministry, Alexander Rumyantsev, had resisted US appeals to ensure that Iran did not have access to the fissile material needed for nuclear weapons. When his post was eliminated, he had been preparing to leave for Tehran to sign a deal on deliveries of fuel for the Russian-built reactor at the Iranian site of Bushehr. Putin's decision to take control of Russia's nuclear commerce reflects a welcome recognition of the Kremlin's need to act responsibly to help prevent nuclear proliferation.

These measures also suggest Putin wants cooperation with Washington to serve as a guiding principle of Russian foreign policy.

Welcome as Putin's pragmatism in foreign policy may be, it should not excuse his mockery of democracy. Where the levers of state power are manipulated to make certain a reigning president will not be unseated in an election, an indispensable element of genuine democracy is lacking -- the voters' untrammeled freedom to change their leaders. By ostentatiously installing a new Russian government before election day, Putin displayed a czar's disdain for popular sovereignty.

And then there is the unchanging, unacknowledged horror of Putin's war against Chechnya. Just this week the puppet regime Putin installed in Chechnya demanded that two brothers, ministers in the deposed elected Chechen government of President Aslan Maskhadov, turn themselves in or 16 detained relatives would be killed, beaten, raped. One brother did surrender to save his kin.

When President Bush congratulates Putin on winning a Soviet-style election, he should tell the Kremlin's master to negotiate a settlement of the Chechen conflict with the Maskhadov government. Bush should do this for the sake of Russia, Chechnya, Russia's relations with the United States, and the relations of both countries with the Muslim world.

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I.  Russia - China

1.
Russia Offers Best World Nuclear Technologies To China
ITAR-TASS
3/16/2004
(for personal use only)


BEIJING, March 16 (Itar-Tass) -- Russia offers to China the best nuclear technologies that exist in the world at present, deputy chief of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency Vladimir Asmolov said speaking on the construction project of two reactors that Russia is planning to build for the second phase of the Tianwan nuclear power plant in eastern China.

The reactor that is being built at the Tianwan nuclear power plant is the best Russian reactor operating at Russian nuclear power plants and being built by Russian specialists abroad --- in China, India and Iran, Asmolov told Itar-Tass before the opening of the exhibition �Atomic energy industry. China � 2004.� He noted that the Russian reactor VVER-1000 �is first equipped by modern security means and the crash management system including a trap for serious breakdowns.�

The Russian specialist also stressed that the reactor with the increased capacity --- VVER-1500 is being built, and this theme is already being discussed with Chinese colleagues. At present the main task is to build and commission such reactor at the Leningrad nuclear power plant, Asmolov emphasized. All countries that intend to develop the atomic energy industry in the next 50 years plan to use more powerful reactors than reactors VVER-1000. According to him this factor caused Russia�s loss in the tender for the construction of a new reactor in Finland. Thus at the exhibition �we offer to our Chinese colleagues to familiarize with a new absolutely revolutionary project that will embody all the best experience that we accumulated in the construction of reactors,� Asmolov pointed out.

The delegation of Russian nuclear engineers will leave for Lianyungang after the talks with the leadership of the Committee for defence science, technologies and defence industry on Thursday. The Chinese atomic energy industry is managed by the committee. The construction of the first reactor of the Tianwan nuclear power plant will be finished this year near Lianyungang. The second reactor will be commissioned in 2005.

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2.
Deputy Head Of Russia's Atomic Energy Ministry To Visit China's NPS Construction Site
RIA Novosti
3/14/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, 14 March, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent). -Deputy head of Russia's former Atomic Energy Ministry (Minatom) Vladimir Asmolov is to visit the construction site of China's Tyanwan nuclear power plant (NPS).

Asmolov sets off on his four-day visit to China on 14 March. He is scheduled to stay two days in Bejing and then go to the Tyanwan NPS construction site, a Minatom spokesperson told RIA Novosti.

"Currently, Russia is completing construction of the first and second power generating units at the Tyanwan NPS," the spokesperson reminded the RIA Novosti correspondent.

Russia is constructing China's Tyanwan NPS under a contract worth over $3 billion. The project is based on the upgraded version of the Russian VVER-1000 (water-moderated power generator). It is implemented with the aid of Russian experts and funded by a credit allocated by the Russian Government. The machinery start of the first unit is scheduled for April 2004, with the power output launch expected in June 2004.

The first unit will start commercial power production by the end of 2004. Similar procedures will be carried out at the second unit throughout 2005.

Russia's former Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev has repeatedly said that Russia is ready to take part in other tenders for NPS construction in China.

China's nuclear power industry accounts for only 1.3 percent of the country's total energy balance. Eight of the Chinese eleven nuclear power generating units, both working and under construction, are of foreign design.

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3.
Russia Likely To Win Contract To Build Second Stage Of Chinese Nuclear Power Station
Interfax
3/14/2004
(for personal use only)


BEIJING. March 14 (Interfax-China) - Russia has very good chances of winning the contract to build the second stage of the Tianwan nuclear power station in Lianyungang, Vladimir Asmolov, Russian first deputy atomic energy minister, told Interfax on Sunday.

Asmolov, whose ministry is currently being transformed into a federal Atomic Energy Agency, arrived in Beijing on Sunday for consultations with Chinese officials.

The outlook for winning contracts on the second stage of the Tianwan nuclear power station is very good, Asmolov said.

The Atomic Energy Ministry has suggested using an advanced highly safe power unit in the station, he said.

Asmolov is to visit the site where two power units will be installed, making up to the first stage of the station. The construction is speeding to completion, he said.

It would be logical to contract Russia for building the station's second stage, Atomstroiproyekt representative in Beijing Valery Kurochkin told Interfax. It the contract is awarded to the French, our main competitors, a lot of preliminary work would have to be carried out, wasting two to three years, he explained.

Cooperation with Russia in the construction of the Tianwan station is beneficial to China. The Chinese Cabinet wants China to manufacture up to 60% of the equipment to be installed in the third and fourth power units making up the second stage and up to 80% of the equipment for the third stage, Kurochkin said. Hydraulic tests and cold running of the first unit were carried out in February, he said. They are now being followed by hot runs and blowing of the main steam pipelines, he said.

Asmolov said the Chinese will be offered to purchase a Russian VVR-1500 power unit and a floating nuclear power station during his trip to China.

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J.  Russia - India

1.
Specialists from India�s Oldest NPP �Tarapur� Will Visit the Bilibinsk NPP
ITAR-TASS
3/18/2004
(for personal use only)


Translated by RANSAC Staff

The nuclear physicists of the oldest atomic power plant of India, "tarapur", will become acquainted with the work of the Bilibinsk NPP. This was announced to ITAR-TASS correspondents today at the �Rosenergoatom� concern.

In the words of the official representative of the firm, �arrival of the Indian specialists � this is a reciprocal visit after this year�s visit by Russian power engineers to the NPP �Tarapur�. The specialists of the two countries are interested, most of all, in issues of modernizing and extending the operational life of power units. NPP �Tarapur� began operation in 1969, and the first power unit of the Bilibinsk NPP � in 1974.

At the Federal Agency for Atomic Energy ITAR-TASS correspondents confirmed that, �India manifests great interest in widening cooperation with Russia in the area of nuclear power engineering, and recently the contacts of the atomic departments of the two countries have been noticeably activated.� In the agency they noted that, �India has at all levels repeatedly voiced satisfaction in the condition of work at the construction site of the flagship atomic power station of South India, NPP �Kudankulam�, where Russian specialists are building two power units with VVER-1000 reactors.� In the last two years at Russian NPPs, they noted at �Rosenergoatom�, training was conducted for many of the future personnel of the Indian NPP.

Unfortunately, the announced at �Rosenergoatom�, cooperation with India �cannot be realized as we would like� in view of the currently acting International Agency for Atomic Energy (IAEA) ban on the delivery of modern nuclear technologies to this country. The ban was introduced in 1996, after India refused to sign the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons. �The two power units of NPP �Kudankulam� are being built by Russia according to an agreement signed by the two countries before this ban went into force,� � specified the agency�s speaker.

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K.  Nuclear Forces

1.
Navy Could Make More Than Half Of Russia Nuclear Triad-Commander
ITAR-TASS
3/18/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, March 18 (Itar-Tass) - With account for the international accords, the proportion of the Navy in Russia�s strategic offensive arms can be above 50 percent, Navy Commander Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov said.

�This component of the strategic nuclear missile triad of the country has a top priority,� he said in an interview published in the latest issue of the weekly Military-Industrial Courier.

The basis of Russia�s strategic forces is a �grouping of missile-carrying strategic submarines of Projects 667 and 941. Just they have secured a possibility of the parity agreements with the US in the framework of strategic arms reduction programmes,� he said.

These vessels will be replaced by �more perfect fourth-generation submarines�.

�At the present tome, a flagship -- Yuri Dolgoruky, is being built that has substantially better hydrodynamic characteristics and acoustic parameters as compared to second- and third-generation nuclear- powered submarines,� Kuroyedov said.

In his view, �despite a number of problems, the programme of development of naval strategic nuclear forces is feasible.�

This will secure effective nuclear deterrence of any aggression against Russia, the admiral said.

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2.
Missile Blasts Off From Russia Submarine
ITAR-TASS
3/17/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, March 17 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian Northern Fleet�s nuclear-powered submarine Novomoskovsk fired an intercontinental ballistic missile from the Barents Sea at 15:08 Moscow time on Wednesday.

The warhead of the Sineva missile accurately hit a target at the Kura testing ground on Kamchatka, the Russian Navy commander�s aide Capitan Igor Dygalo told Itar-Tass.

A Defence Ministry official told Itar-Tass that the RSM-54 Sineva missile, which is know as Scythian in the Western classification, was launched from the sea depth.

The Novomoskovsk and another nuclear-powered submarine, the Karelia, were to make combat training launches of Sineva missiles on February 17 and 18 during the massive command and staff exercises Security-2004 that were held in Russia on February 10-18.

However, the launches failed.

President Vladimir Putin, who watched the exercises, ordered to set up a commission for carrying out a probe �within a shortest time�.

He said the summary of the commission must contain not only �revealed causes of the failures but also proposals for abolishing them�.

The president also ordered another exercise of the submarines for making sure that malfunctions are eliminated.

The Defence Ministry�s commission has established that the Novomoskovsk�s system of underwater launches failed and was automatically blocked for safety.

A day later, a Sineva missile blasted off from the Karelia, but it veered off course at the 98th seconds of the flight and was annihilated by its self-destruction system.

The probing commission said in its preliminary summary that the missile�s control system could malfunction.

The missile-carrying strategic submarine Novomoskovsk (K-407) of Project 667 BDRM belongs to a Dolphin type that is called Delta-IV in the Western classification.

Seven Dolphins have been built since 1981.

Main arms of the submarines are 16 intercontinental missiles RSM-54 with liquid fuel engines.

The 167meter- long submarine with a crew of 140 can dive to a maximum depth of 650 meters.

At present, the Dolphin submarines are a main naval component of Russia�s nuclear triad.

Tests were conducted on one of Dolphins in 1990 with a simultaneous launch of all 16 missiles, as in real combat.

A Shtil rocket was launched in July 1998 from the Novomoskovsk and successfully delivered in orbit Germany�s satellite Tubsat-N.

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L.  Nuclear Industry

1.
First Unit Of Bashkir Nuclear Power Station Begins Operation
ITAR-TASS
3/18/2004
(for personal use only)


NETESHIN, the Khmelnitskaya region, March 18 (Itar-Tass) - The first unit of the Bashkir nuclear power station will begin operation in the town of Agidel in 2012. Four more power units are going to be built at this power station. They will start operation in 2020, General Director of the Rosenergoatom concern Oleg Sarayev said after a visit to the Khmelnitskaya nuclear power plant on Thursday. He believes that the construction may drag on, if the company decides to replace the old VVER-1000 reactors with the VVER-500 nuclear power units. New types of reactors are to be designed for several nuclear power stations in Russia, including in Bashkiria, by 2007.

Sarayev said that Russia was not going to change its strategy for developing the nuclear power industry up to the year 2020. Russian nuclear power stations which generated 148.6 billion kilowatt hours of energy in 2003 plan to increase their annual energy production to 270-300 billion kilowatt hours of energy by 2020.

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2.
Four Nuclear Power Units To Be Launched In Russia By 2008
ITAR-TASS
3/18/2004
(for personal use only)


NETESHIN, the Khmelnitsky region, March 18 (Itar-Tass) - Four new nuclear power units will begin operation in Russia before 2008, General Director of the Rosenergoatom concern, Oleg Sarayev, said after visiting the Khmelnitskaya nuclear power station in Ukraine on Thursday. The third nuclear power unit equipped with the VVER-1000 reactor is scheduled to be launched this August. The reactor will be charged with nuclear fuel on June 30.

The fifth unit of the Kursk nuclear power station will go into operation late in 2006, the second unit of the Volgodonsk nuclear power plant will be launched in 2007 and the fifth unit of the Khmelnitskaya nuclear power station will begin operation in 2008.

The work of the second power unit at the Khmelnitskaya nuclear power plant will go faster than this August. Sarayev noted that a visit to the Ukrainian nuclear power station would make it possible to exchange experience in the construction of nuclear power stations.

In the meantime, the first unit of the Bashkir nuclear power station will begin operation in the town of Agidel in 2012. Four more power units are going to be built at this power station. They will start operation in 2020. Sarayev believes that the construction may drag on, if the company decides to replace the old VVER-1000 reactors with the VVER-500 nuclear power units. New types of reactors are to be designed for several nuclear power stations in Russia, including in Bashkiria, by 2007.

Sarayev said that Russia was not going to change its strategy for developing the nuclear power industry up to the year 2020. Russian nuclear power stations which generated 148.6 billion kilowatt hours of energy in 2003 plan to increase their annual energy production to 270-300 billion kilowatt hours of energy by 2020.

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3.
Russian Uranium To Europe
Bellona Foundation
3/17/2004
(for personal use only)


Russia and European Union will agree on uranium deliveries by May 1st.

Former vice Prime Minister Victor Khristenko informed journalists that Russia and EU would soon begin talks on natural and enriched uranium deliveries from Russia, ITAR-TASS reported on February 3. He would like to finish the negotiations by May 1st in order to keep the long-term contracts with the new EU countries.

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4.
Malfunction At Kola Nuclear Power Plant
Bellona Foundation
3/16/2004
(for personal use only)


The second unit at the Kola NPP suffered a minor incident on March 14th, TV Murman reported.

One of the turbo-generators was taken off the grid due to some faults in the cooling system. However, it did not influence the reactor�s operation on the whole. It took seven hours to repair the cooling system and then the turbo-generator was put back in operation. The radiation levels around the nuclear plant remained normal, TV Murman reported.

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5.
Russian And Ukranian Nuclear Operators To Discuss Cooperation
RosBusinessConsulting
3/16/2004
(for personal use only)


RBC, 16.03.2004, Moscow 12:56:52.The World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) president Oleg Sarayev, who is also the director of the Russian atomic energy concern Rosenergoatom, will visit Ukraine on March 17-19 to discuss cooperation with the top-management of the Ukrainian nuclear energy company Energoatom. The Russian delegation will visit Khmelnitskaya and Rovenskaya power stations, according to the press service of Rosenergoatom. The two parties are to discuss the construction of energy units of Ukrainian power stations.

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6.
Funding Of Floating NPP To Be Determined This Year
Bellona Foundation
3/15/2004
(for personal use only)


The Russian Federal Atomic Agency, former Russian Minatom, intends to make a final decision on construction of the floating NPP in Severodvinsk.

The former Russian Nuclear Minister Alexander Rumyantsev told journalists about it on January 29th, PRIME-TASS reported. He said the financing of the floating NPP's construction would be determined this year. The Russian federal budget or the credits from China, India or Indonesia, which are interested in the low capacity floating NPP project, could finance the construction. The legislation of these countries requires that at least one nuclear unit should already operate in Russia. The approximate price of the plant is $150m.

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M.  Official Statements

1.
DoD Continues Efforts To Reduce WMD Proliferation Threat
Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
3/16/2004
(for personal use only)


WASHINGTON, March 16, 2004 � The Defense Department continues to work with Russia, former Soviet states, and other countries to prevent the proliferation of deadly weapons of mass destruction and to keep them out of terrorists' hands, a senior DoD official told a Senate Armed Services Committee panel last week.

"Keeping Russia's bio-weapons technology, pathogen collections and expertise out of terrorist hands strengthens U.S. national security," Lisa Bronson, deputy undersecretary of defense for technology security policy and counter proliferation, noted in March 10 testimony before the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities.

With the demise of the Soviet Union, the U.S. Congress passed the Soviet Nuclear Threat Reduction Act of 1991, which in 1993 was renamed the Cooperative Threat Reduction program.

According to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Web site, the CTR program is "designed to help the countries of the former Soviet Union destroy nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction and associated infrastructure, and establish verifiable safeguards against the proliferation of those weapons." The DTRA was established in 1998 and integrates management and implementation of the CTR program.

DoD's WMD Proliferation Prevention Initiative, Bronson explained to the Senate panel, "is designed to address the vulnerability" of the former Soviet Union's porous borders to WMD-smuggling activities. The Bush administration's fiscal 2005 budget request for CTR is $409.2 million.

The initiative, Bronson pointed out, also "intends to build capabilities" of former Soviet satellites Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine "to stem the potential proliferation of WMD."

Bronson reported "much progress has been made," noting DoD signed agreements with Uzbekistan in October and with Azerbaijan in January.

And, "Ukraine has notified us that it is ready to sign," Bronson continued, adding, "We are in final negotiations with Kazakhstan."

Nations signing the WMD Proliferation Prevention Initiative, Bronson noted, will receive "equipment, training and other support to help develop self- sustaining capabilities to prevent the trafficking of WMD materials across recipients' borders."

Bronson noted that 51 out of 62 congressionally funded CTR projects within the former Soviet Union have been completed since the program began.

"This reflects the large amount of former Soviet nuclear weapons inventory and infrastructure that CTR helped eliminate or secure," Bronson said. Results include destruction of chemical weapons and the bolstering of security at nuclear storage sites, she said.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America, "DoD has refined the CTR program to ensure that it effectively addresses new threats associated with the global war on terrorism," Bronson declared, while continuing the program's "longstanding goals and project activities."

Bronson discussed an envisioned maritime interdiction program for the Caspian Sea area that will provide radar equipment and small vessels to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan "to build their capabilities to police their own borders against illicit WMD trafficking."

That program eventually will be turned over to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan "to execute as their contribution to the global war on terrorism and WMD," she pointed out.

President Bush on Feb. 11 "called for the expansion of the G-8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction � of which CTR is an important part � to address WMD proliferation threats worldwide," Bronson noted to the subcommittee. The president, she added, "specifically mentioned retraining WMD scientists and technicians in countries like Iraq and Libya, and the need to secure and eliminate WMD and radiological materials worldwide."

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told reporters in Finland during a June 2001 trip to Europe to meet with NATO ministers that proliferation is a serious problem.

"The genie is out of the bottle in terms of some very bad stuff � both chemical and biological, particularly biological, but also nuclear," Rumsfeld said then of the WMD proliferation issue. Terrorists who obtain WMDs, the secretary said, "have power, and they can alter (countries') behavior. Anyone who pretends that's not the case doesn't 'get it,' because it's a fact."

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2.
Press Briefing � Y-12 National Security Complex, Oak Ridge, TN
Spencer Abraham, Secretary of Energy
Department of Energy
3/15/2004
(for personal use only)


Thank you all for coming today. You have just had the opportunity to examine in person some of the dangerous nuclear materials and equipment recently removed from Libya.

What you have witnessed represents a big, big victory in the Administration�s efforts to combat weapons of mass destruction.

On December 19, just three months ago, the Government of Libya announced several courageous decisions regarding its holdings of weapons of mass destruction.

The United States, the United Kingdom, and the Government of Libya began a period of intense cooperation to assist Libya in carrying out its decision to get rid of such weaponry.

For the nuclear program, the IAEA also played a central role � and Libya and the IAEA will continue their close coordination in the future.

So on January 27, a joint American and British team that included personnel from the Departments of Energy, State, and Defense, removed from Libya 55,000 pounds of uranium hexafluoride, centrifuge equipment, and other materials.

They brought all of this material � along with Libya�s detailed nuclear weapons designs � back to the U.S. for evaluation, testing, and destruction.

This 55,000 pounds of nuclear materials and equipment constitutes the largest recovery, by weight, ever conducted under U.S. nonproliferation efforts.

But it is only the tip of the iceberg.

What we retrieved in January represents less than 5 percent, by weight, of the total amount of equipment and materials that we are recovering from Libya.

The first shipment contained designs, materials, and equipment determined by U.S. and British experts to be some of the most sensitive items in the Libyan nuclear weapons program.

Now under secure storage here at Oak Ridge, those are the central ingredients that could have provided Libya with nuclear weapons capabilities.

Let me explain how this came about.

In October of last year, a shipment of centrifuge parts bound for Libya was intercepted by Italy and Germany, two of our partners in the multinational Proliferation Security Initiative created by President Bush last May.

That shipment revealed to the world what many had long suspected � that Libya was trafficking in the equipment needed to construct a nuclear weapons program.

Faced with this revelation � coming less than a year after the fall of Saddam Hussein�s Baathist regime � Colonel Qadhafi voluntarily pledged in December to disclose and dismantle all of Libya�s weapons of mass destruction programs, including a uranium enrichment project that could produce nuclear materials for several nuclear bombs each year.

As the President said in his State of the Union address, �Colonel Qadhafi correctly judged that his country would be better off, and far more secure, without weapons of mass murder.�

We applaud this wise and courageous decision by Libya.

By any objective measure, the United States and the nations of the civilized world are safer as a result of these efforts to secure and remove Libya�s nuclear materials. Libya itself is safer, too, and has moved toward improved relations with the United States and the United Kingdom.

The President�s nonproliferation policy gives regimes a choice. They can choose to pursue WMD at their peril and at great cost, or they can choose to disarm, renounce terrorism, and get on a path to better relations with the U.S. and the international community. It is the President�s hope that other nations will find an example in Libya�s decision to disarm.

The success of our mission in Libya underscores the success of our Administration�s broader nonproliferation efforts around the world, and I for one am proud of the role the Department of Energy is playing.

Working closely with the Russian Federation, we have accelerated material protection programs inside Russia:

* By the end of FY 2005, our materials and protection program will have secured 41 of 64 identified
nuclear warhead sites and will have secured 41 percent of the approximately 600 metric tons of
weapons usable nuclear material in the former Soviet Union.

* To date we have secured 97 percent of the Russian Navy�s nuclear weapons and fuel sites.

* We have dramatically expanded our cooperation with Russia�s Strategic Rocket Forces by initiating
warhead security work at three new sites.

* We have downblended more than 200 metric tons of Highly Enriched Uranium from Russia�s
dismantled nuclear weapons for use in U.S. nuclear power plants � enough material for
approximately 8,000 nuclear weapons.

* We have worked to line up non-military, commercial employment for more than 13,000 former
weapons scientists at 180 institutes across the former Soviet Union.

* And we are working with the Russian government on shutting down the last remaining plutonium
production plants and replacing their electricity production with coal burning power plants. This will
end the annual production of 1.2 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium.

Meanwhile, we continue to expand our nonproliferation cooperation efforts in other parts of the world as well.

In January I traveled to China where I signed a Statement of Intent between the Department of Energy and China�s Atomic Energy Authority concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energy and nuclear nonproliferation and counterterrorism.

This Statement will facilitate and accelerate future cooperation between our two countries in the areas of export controls, nonproliferation, safeguards and security, and radioactive source security.

We have also begun a MegaPorts program to detect the trafficking of nuclear or radioactive materials in the world�s busiest seaports. Eventually we hope to have detection equipment in key locations all over the planet.

These are aggressive, pro-active measures aimed at thwarting terrorists by limiting their opportunities.

They are measures that help demonstrate the degree to which nonproliferation is a priority for President Bush and this Administration.

They are measures that spell out our commitment to winning the War against Terrorism.

And they are measures that I am sure will yield more successes like our recent success with Libya.

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3.
Statement on FY 2005 Appropriations to the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development (excerpted)
Spencer Abraham, Secretary of Energy
Department of Energy
3/11/2004
(for personal use only)


[�]

We also continue to make great progress with Russia on nuclear nonproliferation. Of the $1.35 billion included in this budget for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, $999 million is requested for nonproliferation programs with Russia and other countries. We have accelerated the material protection programs and expanded the scope of our work to ensure that dangerous materials do not fall into the wrong hands. We have increased our cooperation with Russia�s Strategic Rocket Forces by initiating warhead security work at three new sites.

We have extended our International Radiological Threat Reduction Program to states that were once part of the Former Soviet Union and beyond. Working with them, with Russia, and with the International Atomic Energy Agency, we have been able to secure radiological materials in these countries.

Moreover, in this budget request we are continuing our MegaPorts program with $15 million to detect the trafficking of nuclear or radioactive materials in the world�s busiest seaports. We will complete installations at three ports in FY 2004 and complete an additional three ports in FY 2005. Eventually we hope to have detection equipment in key locations all over the planet.

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N.  Links of Interest

1.
Testimony before the House Armed Services Committee Regarding Seven Steps to Overhaul Counterproliferation
Ashton Carter
Harvard University
3/17/2004
(for personal use only)
http://www.house.gov/hasc/openingstatementsandpressreleases/108thcongress/04..


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