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Nuclear News - 4/23/2004
RANSAC Nuclear News, April 23, 2004
Compiled By: Matthew Bouldin


A.  MPC&A
    1. Security At Moscow's Nuclear Facilities Raises Concerns, ITAR-TASS (4/19/2004)
B.  Nuclear Terrorism
    1. Assessing The Risk Of Nuclear Terrorism: Experts Differ On Likelihood Of 'Dirty Bomb' Attack , James Sterngold, San Francisco Chronicle (4/18/2004)
C.  Export Controls
    1. Russian Defense Ministry to Oversee Export Controls, Mike Nartker, Global Security Newswire (4/23/2004)
D.  Sub Dismantlement/K-159
    1. Russia Annually Allocates 50 Million Dollars For Nuclear Submarines Utilisation - Foreign Ministry, RIA Novosti (4/23/2004)
    2. Russia To Finalize Disposal Of Decommissioned Subs By 2010, ITAR-TASS (4/23/2004)
    3. K-159 to be Inspected in May or June , Bellona Foundation (4/21/2004)
E.  Chemical Weapons Destruction
    1. Russia To Spend $184 Million Destroying Chemical Weapons, RIA Novosti (4/23/2004)
F.  G-8 Global Partnership
    1. Japan To Bankroll Utilisation Of Russian Nuclear Submarines, RIA Novosti (4/23/2004)
    2. Washington's "Nuclear Blackmail", Dmitry Chirkin, Pravda.ru (4/22/2004)
    3. Sweden will Sponsor Russian NPP�s, Gazeta (Moscow) (4/20/2004)
G.  Cooperative Threat Reduction
    1. US Ready To Familiarse Ukraine With IBM Fuel Disposal Technologies, ITAR-TASS (4/22/2004)
H.  U.S. - Russia
    1. Russia Views U.S. �Mini-Nuke� Research as Threat, Experts Say, Mike Nartker, Global Security Newswire (4/22/2004)
I.  Nonproliferation Diplomacy
    1. World Needs Long-Term WMD Non-Proliferation Strategy, RIA Novosti (4/23/2004)
J.  Russia - North Korea
    1. Russian Minister Favors Diplomacy To Solve N. Korea Problem, Interfax (4/21/2004)
K.  Russia - China
    1. Russia Invests In Nuclear Plant, Chinaview.cn (4/23/2004)
    2. Russia, China Adhere To Common Positions On Anti-Terror, ITAR-TASS (4/21/2004)
L.  Nuclear Forces
    1. Tula Nuclear Sub Updating To Be Over In Early May , RIA Novosti (4/23/2004)
    2. Petr Veliki Nucear Missile Cruiser Put To Dock For Repairs , Yekaterina Kozlova, RIA Novosti, RIA Novosti (4/21/2004)
    3. Russia Test-Fires Missile, The Australian (4/21/2004)
    4. Ivanov To Forward Proposals On Defence Ministry Reform, RIA Novosti (4/20/2004)
    5. Numerous Violations Uncovered on Russia�s Nuclear Flagship, MosNews (4/20/2004)
    6. The Strategic Nuclear Submarine �Tula� Will Put to Sea in the Beginning of May After Repairs at the �Zvezdochka� Shipyard in Severodvinsk, ITAR-TASS (4/20/2004)
M.  Nuclear Industry
    1. Russian Researchers Propose Joint Nuclear Energy Projects To Japanese Business, RIA Novosti (4/22/2004)
    2. Uzbekistan Boosts Q1 Uranium Production 32% , Interfax (4/20/2004)
N.  Nuclear Safety
    1. Nobody Heeds The Lessons Of Chernobyl Tragedy, Yevgeny Velikhov , RIA Novosti (4/22/2004)
    2. Radioactive Container Found in Siberia , Bellona Foundation (4/22/2004)
O.  Official Statements
    1. A General Meeting of the Members of the Union of Workers in Atomic Energy, Industry and Science was Held in Moscow, Minatom.ru (4/22/2004)
    2. Looking To The Second Decade: Remarks at the Carnegie Moscow Center Alexander Vershbow, U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation (excerpted), Department of State (4/22/2004)
    3. The Director of the Federal Agency for Atomic Energy A. Rumyantsev Met with a Delegation of the International Organization �Doctors of the World for Preventing Nuclear War�, Minatom.ru (4/20/2004)
    4. The Federal Service for Atomic Inspection Announcement on the Condition of Nuclear and Radiological Security as Nuclear Research Installations in the City of Moscow, The Federal Service for Atomic Inspection of the Russian Federation (4/20/2004)
P.  Links of Interest
    1. NPT Briefing Book � April 2004 Edition, Center for Nonproliferation Studies and the Mountbatten Centre for International Studies (4/23/2004)
    2. An Assessment of the Impact of the Repeal of the Prohibition on Low Yield Warhead Development on the Ability of the United States to Achieve Its Nonproliferation Objectives, Secretaries of State, Defense, and Energy, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (3/31/2004)



A.  MPC&A

1.
Security At Moscow's Nuclear Facilities Raises Concerns
ITAR-TASS
4/19/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, April 19 (Itar-Tass) -- The Federal Service of Atomic Supervision has expressed concern about security at nuclear facilities in Moscow.

The service's spokesman, Valery Rozhnov, told Itar-Tass on Monday, "There are 11 research reactors in Moscow, the combined capacity of which is 20 megawatt . and part of them are operating at higher educational institutions where it is hard to cerate conditions for effective control over the production of radioactive materials."

He stressed, "Such nuclear facilities as the Moscow Institute of Engineering and Physics, which works with radioactive materials on a daily basis, have a critical bench of two megawatt. The productions generated by this bench may pose a threat if they fall into the hands of potential terrorists."

In his words, "This requires constant control over the activities of the institute by our service and its compliance with our recommendations."

The Federal Atomic Energy Agency told Itar-Tass, "There is a number of operating commercial reactors in Moscow that make radioactive isotopes for various purposes, including medical ones, which may be used in a 'dirty nuclear bomb'."

Federal Atomic Energy Agency spokesman Nikolai Shingarev said, "It is necessary to introduce strict control over isotope products made in Moscow and experiments that involve radioactive materials".

In his view, physical protection of these facilities and the transportation of radioactive materials "are not properly financed."

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B.  Nuclear Terrorism

1.
Assessing The Risk Of Nuclear Terrorism: Experts Differ On Likelihood Of 'Dirty Bomb' Attack
James Sterngold
San Francisco Chronicle
4/18/2004
(for personal use only)


After two wars and more than two years of efforts to plug holes in America's post-Sept. 11 defenses against surprise attacks, no threat is regarded as more alarming, more complex or more filled with vexing uncertainties than nuclear terrorism.

President Bush solemnly declared two months ago that nuclear weapons were "the greatest threat to mankind," and he acknowledged they were becoming easier to acquire. Just last week, the Department of Energy announced it was accelerating a program, in the face of mounting criticism, to take back the roughly 19 tons of highly enriched uranium the United States has supplied over the years to sometimes lightly guarded reactors in countries such as Iran, Pakistan, South Africa and Mexico.

"I will tell you that the threat is real," Paul Longsworth, the Energy Department's deputy administrator for defense and nuclear nonproliferation, said in an interview. "There will be additional steps."

The president, working with several dozen countries, has put in place a program called the Proliferation Security Initiative to intercept shipments of illicit bomb-making materials and to tighten controls on the export of equipment that can be used in the bomb-making process. The Bush administration also has proposed measures to prevent countries that do not already have the technology for creating reactor fuel from acquiring it, even for commercial power reactors open to inspection.

Yet, frustrated by what she says has been the administration's lethargic response to this dire threat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said earlier this month she was co-sponsoring legislation to accelerate the programs for securing the tons of weapons-grade material left in the former Soviet bloc to keep it away from terrorists, and she has exhorted the administration to take a more urgent approach to the problem.

All these measures underscore the reality that -- as nearly every expert agrees -- the threat of nuclear terrorism is in a class by itself in terms of how to measure the real likelihood and its potentially horrific impact and what to do about it.

A key problem is that, while the probability of a successful strike is regarded as extremely low, the subject is shrouded in a fog of uncertainty so dense that many studies of the issue lead to what researchers often admit are debates built on faith as much as science, with little agreement except that a single strike could alter the course of history in a million-degree burst of heat and light.

"Very quickly this argument becomes theological," said Brian Jenkins, a government adviser on terrorism for 30 years and a senior official at the Rand Corp. think tank in Santa Monica. "Like theology, there are nonbelievers. There are also those who see the apocalypse. The truth is, this is an analytical dilemma and there is no answer. It is a statistically remote, high- consequence event."

Nikolai Sokov, a former Russian arms control negotiator who is now a senior researcher at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, has written two long, cautious reports on the possible theft of so-called "suitcase nukes" or weapons-grade material from Russia's bulging arsenals, considered one of the most likely sources for a terrorist bomb.

Still, he admits, the leads he found in his voluminous research often ended up relying on unsubstantiated rumors, guesses, half-truths, reports that merely reflected older reports or deliberate misinformation -- a confusing array of dead ends murkier than the information on most other kinds of weapons terrorists might use.

"In my opinion, the threat is pretty remote," said Sokov, who has presented his research to the Defense Department. "It is extremely difficult to get such a weapon, even a real 'dirty bomb.' At the same time, this is one of those cases where you cannot allow yourself a single failure. You cannot be wrong even once."

Few have been more strident in warning of the consequences and pressing for a stronger U.S. response than Graham Allison, a professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and a senior defense official in the Clinton administration.

In articles and a coming book, "Nuclear Terror: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe," he argues that the Bush administration has not done nearly enough to secure nuclear materials that could be stolen and fashioned into a bomb, particularly in Russia and former Soviet bloc countries.

He has said that if the Bush administration fails to take tougher measures to keep nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists, a strike is likely within this decade. But he also admitted in an interview that any such statement is a stab in the dark, unlike predictions about attacks with conventional weapons.

"There's no scientific method you can apply to measure this," said Allison. "You are talking about an event that is low-probability and infrequent, even unprecedented. It's like being hit by a meteor or something."

David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, a leading Washington think tank on nuclear weapons issues, said that to some immeasurable degree, the chances of such a strike do appear to be growing, particularly because of revelations about how Pakistan was able to spread weapons technology with the help of businessmen in places like Malaysia and Dubai.

He agreed with Allison that the Bush administration needed to do more, and quickly, to safeguard the hundreds of tons of weapons-grade uranium in Russia. That fuel could be transformed into a nuclear device or an effective dirty bomb, which would disperse a lethal cloud of radioactive dust.

"What's not understood is why we haven't been hit by one already," said Albright of dirty bombs.

He added that he placed the probability of terrorists developing a working nuclear-fission bomb -- in which the detonation triggers a nuclear chain reaction releasing an immense burst of energy, as at Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- at "less than 1 percent."

Karen Clark is president of AIR Worldwide, a Boston-based firm that is a pioneer in measuring the probability of catastrophic events, using complex mathematical models, for use by insurance companies. Her firm has done an intensive analysis of the prospects of terrorists using a nuclear weapon within the United States. She said that they concluded the likelihood had risen somewhat, but not for all types of attacks.

"The probability has gone up," said Clark. "But the probability has gone up more for smaller kinds of attacks and down for something that requires more coordination and complexity," because intelligence, security, vigilance and defenses have improved since Sept. 11.

That troubles some experts. "We ought to be in a situation where we're much safer now than we were on 9/11," said Matthew Bunn, a nuclear proliferation expert at Harvard's Kennedy School. "And we can't say that."

He calls himself a pessimist, estimating that the likelihood of a terrorist nuclear attack in the range of 5 percent.

Bunn said the Bush administration has not done nearly enough to push forward programs for securing the many tons of highly enriched uranium -- the easiest fuel to transform into a working bomb -- left in the former Soviet Union in facilities that have lax security.

Enough fissile material to make thousands of nuclear devices is stored in often-vulnerable sites in Russia and the former Soviet republics, he said, and American-assisted programs to beef up the safeguards are going far too slowly.

The administration has proposed spending $650 million in the coming fiscal year on efforts to prevent nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorists, according to Bunn's analysis. But that, he noted, is only an 8 percent increase from 2001, the last Clinton budget and the last year before Sept. 11. That amount equals just 0.2 percent of the entire defense budget, which Bunn says is not nearly enough, given the grave impact of such an attack.

Longsworth, the Energy Department's nonproliferation chief, said the Bush administration recognized it had to speed up these programs, and he acknowledged that "the appetite" for nuclear weapons had grown, along with easier access to nuclear bomb-making technology and uncertainties about the source of potential threats.

"You can't guess where the next non-nation or non-state actor or the next Libya will come from," said Longsworth, but he added that he felt the administration was spending enough and moving fast enough to secure nuclear materials.

Michael May, a former director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where U.S. nuclear weapons are designed, and now a professor emeritus at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford, said the technological hurdles to a terrorist bomb remain, realistically, quite high.

He discounted the possibility terrorists could make use of a stolen warhead because of all the sophisticated security devices built into them. He also said it would be all but impossible for a non-state terrorist group to develop the capability of making its own weapons-grade uranium, because of the industrial infrastructure required.

The real fear, he said, is that terrorists could steal or buy from corrupt officials weapons-grade uranium, either from Russia or perhaps a country like Pakistan, where many government and military officials are sympathetic to radical Islamists. Getting that material is far more difficult than actually creating a workable weapon, he said.

"Scientists have been pointing to this possibility for years," May said. "What higher priority can there be? It's not a high-likelihood event, but the results are so catastrophic you have to pay attention."

He said that a relatively small, 1 kiloton bomb -- about one-fifteenth the size of the weapon that destroyed Hiroshima -- would kill most of the people within an 800-meter radius, or about a half-mile. Depending on the direction and speed of the winds, the fallout could spread for miles and poison huge numbers of people.

Bunn helped prepare a study at Harvard that estimated a 10-kiloton weapon detonated in Manhattan could kill 500,000 people and cause $1 trillion in immediate economic disruption.

One problem with a nuclear attack is that, unlike other kinds of attacks, there is no way of mitigating the devastation. "Once it happens, there's nothing to do except pick up the wounded and care for them," said May.

That's a key reason Feinstein introduced the legislation seeking to prevent the theft of bomb materials.

"The current approach will take 10 to 20 years to complete, at the current rate of about one facility per year," she said. "This is a time frame out of sync with near-term dangers."

According to Allison, it is now estimated that there are perhaps 30,000 nuclear weapons in the world, mostly in the United States and Russia, but there is enough highly enriched uranium and plutonium stored around the globe for 240,000 more warheads.

Also, there is evidence that Pakistani weapons scientists have met with Islamic extremists interested in obtaining bombs, and the U.S. military has found al Qaeda documents in Afghanistan demonstrating the group's interest in learning the technology and obtaining the materials to create the weapons.

"The main certainty is that if we keep the fissile material out of their hands, we stop them from building weapons," said Bunn. "The key is, you have to secure the material at the site before it is stolen. The good news is we know how to do that. The issue is having a sustained political will."

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C.  Export Controls

1.
Russian Defense Ministry to Oversee Export Controls
Mike Nartker
Global Security Newswire
4/23/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW � As part of a massive government reorganization, Russia�s export control regulatory system will be formally placed under the auspices of the country�s Defense Ministry, an export controls expert here told Global Security Newswire yesterday.

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin eliminated about half of Russia�s 30 Cabinet-level ministries in a move described by Russian officials as necessary �administrative reform.� Among the ministries eliminated was the Atomic Energy Ministry, which has had its activities transferred to the new Industry and Energy Ministry and the Defense Ministry (see GSN, March 26).

Previously, all export control activities were conducted by a department within the Economic Development and Trade Ministry, said Elina Kirichenko of the Russian Academy of Sciences� Institute of World Economy and International Relations. The department was responsible for preparing export licensing documents for a state review by experts from the appropriate ministries, such as Defense, Science and Technology and the former Atomic Energy Ministry. The item to be exported and on which control list it appeared determined which ministry was responsible for the review, according to Kirichenko.

Oversight of Russia�s export control framework would now be transferred from the Economic Development and Trade Ministry to the Defense Ministry, Kirichenko said. Under the new system, the Defense Ministry will oversee the Service of Technical Regulation and Export Control, which in turn will oversee the export control department, she said.

Kirichenko said an interagency export control commission, which had worked to develop a nonproliferation export control strategy and was also responsible for reviewing �difficult� export control decisions, would be maintained. She said that Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov would probably head the commission, but the rest of its membership, which consisted of deputy heads of relevant ministries and agencies, may change as part of the reorganization.

While the overall impact of the transfer is yet to be known, Kirichenko said yesterday that she expected little change to Russia�s export control policies and activities. Many of the same officials and experts previously involved in the system have remained in place, though the names of their ministries and agencies may have changed.

The export control department maintained a large degree of independence under the Economic Development and Trade Ministry, Kirichenko said, adding that it remains to be seen if it would maintain the same level of autonomy under the Defense Ministry.

One concern, though, is that the Defense Ministry might be assuming too much control of various governmental functions as a result of the restructuring, Kirichenko said, calling for a �more balanced mechanism.�

It is also still unclear as to when the government reorganization will be officially completed, according to Kirichenko. Various export control-related guidelines must be rewritten to reflect the new changes to the government structure, she said. It took about a year to do so after Russia enacted a comprehensive export control law in 1999, Kirichenko added.

One possible deadline for the progress on the restructuring is the Group of Eight summit to be held in June in the United States, Kirichenko said. The summit is expected to include discussion of the G-8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction, an effort launched in 2002 under which G-8 members agreed to pledge funding for nonproliferation projects in Russia. G-8 members would want to know at the summit who in Russia would be responsible for the Global Partnership�s efforts now that the government has been restructured, she said.

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D.  Sub Dismantlement/K-159

1.
Russia Annually Allocates 50 Million Dollars For Nuclear Submarines Utilisation - Foreign Ministry
RIA Novosti
4/23/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, April 23 (RIA Novosti) - Every year Russia allocates about 50 million dollars for the utilisation of nuclear submarines, Mikhail Lysenko, director of the Security and Disarmament Board of the Russian Foreign Ministry, has said in Moscow on Friday. He appeared at the international conference G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction "In all, we have to utilise over 100 multipurpose nuclear submarines", Lysenko said.

The important goal of "handling radioactive waste" and rehabilitating on-shore technical bases in Russia's North Western and Far Eastern regions is tackled.

As regards international cooperation in utilising nuclear submarines, Lysenko reminded of the 2003 Russian-Japanese agreement on utilising the Victor submarine type.

"This pilot project can be the first step towards even more important utilisation contracts on 40 written-off general-purpose submarines in the Far Eastern region", Lysenko said.

Canada has voiced readiness to be involved in nuclear subs utilisation starting in the next fiscal year.

"Such interaction is getting on in Germany. Several contracts have been made with Britain in continuation of the earlier agreements for the Andreev Bay and Gremikha (were nuclear submarines are utilised)". Lysenko said.

To him, joint projects with also Italy are in discussion.

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2.
Russia To Finalize Disposal Of Decommissioned Subs By 2010
ITAR-TASS
4/23/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, April 23 (Itar-Tass) -- Russia will finalize the disposal of all decommissioned nuclear-powered submarines by 2010, deputy head of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency Sergei Antipov said at an international conference on the G8 Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction in Moscow.

�One hundred and thirty-three nuclear-powered submarines were decommissioned from the Russian Navy as of April 2004,� Antipov said. �Ninety-six of them have been disposed, and 35 are being disposed. Fifty-five of 62 submarines still have nuclear fuel inside.�

The disposal is in progress in Northwest Russia, Antipov said. �Unfortunately, only Japan and the United States are giving a moderate assistance to the disposal of Russian nuclear-powered submarines in the Far East,� he noted. The other countries, which have pledged assistance to the disposal of Russian decommissioned submarines, �are helping to finance the disposal in the northern areas,� he said.

All in all, �Russia obtained only $50 million from allocations pledged by donors in June 2002, and it spent $100 million of national funds on the disposal,� Antipov said.

Antipov hopes that donors �will solve a number of national legislative problems, enlarge the funding a lot, and boost the disposal of decommissioned nuclear-powered subs.�

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3.
K-159 to be Inspected in May or June
Bellona Foundation
4/21/2004
(for personal use only)


The expedition to the sunken K-159 needs a good weather, Severnaya nedelya reported.

The specialists of the design bureau Malakhit presented their salvage project to the navy in the end of last year. However, some details of the operation have to be clarified beforehand during the sub�s hull examination. The salvage operation will be first tested at the site of the St Petersburg Central Science Research Institute. The specialists of the Severodvinsk State Centre for Atomic Shipbuilding and the Belomorsk navy base can be engaged in the operation, Severnaya nedelya reports.

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E.  Chemical Weapons Destruction

1.
Russia To Spend $184 Million Destroying Chemical Weapons
RIA Novosti
4/23/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, April 23 (RIA Novosti) - In 2004 Russia will spend $184 million on the destruction of chemical weapons, Mikhail Lysenko, the director of the security and disarmament department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, told The Global Partnership of G8 Countries Against the Proliferation of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction conference on Friday.

"Russia annually spends about $160 million on the destruction of chemical weapons," he recalled.

In 2003, a facility to process chemical weapons was built in Gorny, a village in the Saratov region, with the help of Germany, France, the Netherlands and the EU. Presently, over 600 metric tons of chemical weapons have been destroyed at this facility, said Mr. Lysenko.

According to a report from the information center for storage and destruction of chemical weapons, 40 metric tons of lewisite will be destroyed before the end of April at the facility. Another 252 metric tons of potent war gases stored in the facility's arsenal will be destroyed by the end of 2005, under Russia's program for destroying stockpiles of chemical weapons.

Through this method, one of the provisions of the international convention on the elimination of 1% of the Russia's chemical weapons has been implemented, noted Mr. Lysenko.

"Our next target is the elimination of 20% of the chemical weapons before 2007. This will be the second stage of the implementation of the convention on the elimination of chemical weapons," said Mr. Lysenko. He specified that this task will be accomplished in cooperation with a number of states, in the village Kombarka (Udmurtia).

The Saratov region and Udmuria are in the Volga Federal District.

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F.  G-8 Global Partnership

1.
Japan To Bankroll Utilisation Of Russian Nuclear Submarines
RIA Novosti
4/23/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, April 23 (RIA Novosti) - Within the framework of Global Partnership projects, Japan will allocate to Russia funds enough to utilise over 20 nuclear submarines, Japanese ambassador to Russia Issei Nikomura said at the plenary sitting of the international conference G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

"Japan believes that full utilisation of written-off nuclear submarines, tough control of nuclear materials are necessary. Especially in the light of the threat of terrorism. Guided by these considerations, Japan develops cooperation with Russia in this field", the Japanese ambassador said.

Projects to back up the utilisation of Russian submarines are floating in the Japanese parliament, he said.

"I'm sure that cooperation with Russia in this sphere must be developed", Issei Nikomura said.

He voiced the hope that the process of submarines utilisation will be over by 2010.

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2.
Washington's "Nuclear Blackmail"
Dmitry Chirkin
Pravda.ru
4/22/2004
(for personal use only)


Will Russia share Iraq's destiny?

The States continue to "blackmail" Russia claiming they will reduce the amount of promised grants for utilization of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), in case Russia will not compromise certain political and economic aspects. Most likely, Russia will never see those promised $20 billion USD meant for the liquidation of WMD, writes "Vremya Novostei."

This has been stated yesterday by Director of political research Center of Russia Vladimir Orlov. A new program entitled "Global partnership against the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction" has been proposed during the G-8 summit which took place in Canadian town of Kananaskis in June 2002. In accordance with the initiative, known as "10 plus 10 over 10", the US plans to provide half of the money, the rest of the members, including Russia will provide the rest. The total amount will be issued for 10 years.

Today, according to Orlov, this promising program is rapidly going down the drain. Time limits of the destruction of 40-tonns worth of Russian chemical weapons have to be extended; only 5 submarines have been cut in pieces so far of almost 200 subs total. The reason is simple-no money.

Japan for instance, promised to contribute $200 million USD and provided only one or two million. France preferred to keep quite. About 60%-90% of the allocated funds remain in the country-donor in a form of a pay to contractor companies. But even that minimum that makes it to Russia causes nothing but troubles.

Russia will inevitably have to increase its financing portion. This will not be an easy task experts claim, since the country is in need of twice as much as $20 billion USD. Vice-President of the American "Nuclear threat reduction initiative" fund Lora Hallgate has made a rather blatant statement yesterday: "The problems that are intended to be solved by means of the "Global partnership" program are those of Russia."

The US and NATO have been spending heavily in Afghanistan and Iraq and do not wish (or simply cannot afford) to help Russia. The US tends to use terrorism threat as its main excuse more often in order to justify its financial passivity.

Mrs. Hallgate has made a rather sensational statement the other day. According to her, terrorists can easily create nuclear weapons, in case they have some sort of a fissionable material handy. The statement appears to be rather meaningful, especially considering that it came out of the mouth>

of ex-Director of the nuclear materials utilization department of the US Department of Energy. This gets even more exciting after one takes into account the newly adopted US strategic defense plan of nuclear materials. What a remarkable position indeed: we refuse to give any money and at the same time, we refuse to loosen control.

In the meantime, nuclear suitcases disappear; Chechen terrorists make their "dirty bombs" in their underground laboratories and so on. Isn't it a real Joker? We leave it up to you to decide: moans of Putin's authoritarianism from across the ocean started to bore people; the Russian bear is no longer bothered by such claims and simply ignores them. How else is it possible to attract his attention? Perhaps, a nuclear war will do?! There is a vast country with massive supply of WMD and no control whatsoever! This, as you may have already guessed, poses potential threat to the civilized world. Let's wave our nuclear cudgel and perhaps, the bear will fall down on his knees or simply die. However, the latter will most likely never happen. After all, present-day master of the White House still needs Russia.

Last year, Russia intended to review its own programs concerning destruction of weapons of mass destruction while relying on international support. A rather "amorphous" position of the West regarding the matter was the main reason for such move.

Partial financing of the program regarding total liquidation of WMD by the West, which it constantly uses as a "pressure lever on our country", served as the main reason for such statement. Such situation leads to the fact that Russia is no longer capable of making long-term plans concerning construction of special nuclear and chemical destruction facilities. Unofficial experts admit that such statements are absolutely valid, since the US constantly blackmails Russia with the fact that they will reduce the promised funding for the WMD utilization and attempt to use this matter as an excuse to get certain political and economic concessions.

"The West (mainly the United States) constantly promises us to provide funding for the WMD utilization," said expert of the Institute of strategic and Military analysis, Alexander Khramchikhin to RBC daily. "In the end however, we get much less the initial promise."

"The West is really behaving unethically, while trying to manipulate Russia," states Khramchikhin. "Russia in turn will least likely to curtail its program of WMD destruction." These weapons and materials, mainly chemical, are mostly dangerous for us then they are for them. Our country cannot provide normal conditions to keep them safe. At times, they are simply lying around outside.

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3.
Sweden will Sponsor Russian NPP�s
Gazeta (Moscow)
4/20/2004
(for personal use only)


Translated by RANSAC Staff

The government of Sweden intends to allocate 4 million dollars in 2004 for solving issues of nuclear and radiological security at the Leningrad and Kola NPP�s. �These two atomic stations present a potential threat not only to the population of Russia, but also to Sweden, in that they are located not far from our borders and equipped with one of the oldest reactors,� � said the representative of the Swedish embassy Martin Kvik. Sweden intends to allocate another 1.5 million dollars for setting-up a system of physical protection for depositories of nuclear waste at the Andreev Bay on the Kola Peninsula.

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G.  Cooperative Threat Reduction

1.
US Ready To Familiarse Ukraine With IBM Fuel Disposal Technologies
ITAR-TASS
4/22/2004
(for personal use only)


KIEV, April 22 (Itar-Tass) - The Pentagon proposed to the Ukrainian national space agency to send to the United States specialists to familiarise with technologies of blasting and burning fuel of ballistic missiles. The US side recommends these methods as an alternative to the washout technology that was chosen by Kiev for liquidating about 5,000 tonnes of solid fuel of decommissioned Ukrainian missiles SS-24, director general of the Ukrainian national space agency Alexander Negoda told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

The relevant letter was handed over to the US embassy last week. �We expect the definite answer to the question of financing the fuel disposal by the washout method, but the US Defense Department has not answered yet,� Negoda emphasised. According to him, the Ukrainian national space agency has not decided on visits to US missile fuel disposal plants. The agency will outline further steps within a week, Negoda added.

The delegations of the countries discussed pluses and minuses of various variants of missile fuel disposal for a week in Kiev last March. The US side proposed to burn or explode it, the Ukrainian side strongly opposed it out of ecological security concerns.

Ukraine planned together with the US launch the industrial disposal of the fuel of missiles SS-24 in Pavlograd by the washout method in the second half of this year. The US suspended the financing of this project in 2003 in which the country invested about 25 million dollars. Washington believes that works dragged out and need additional expenses.

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H.  U.S. - Russia

1.
Russia Views U.S. �Mini-Nuke� Research as Threat, Experts Say
Mike Nartker
Global Security Newswire
4/22/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW � U.S. efforts to expand research into new, miniature nuclear weapons could lead Russia to begin contemplating similar efforts, Russian nuclear nonproliferation experts told Global Security Newswire here yesterday (see GSN, April 25, 2003).
Last year, the Bush administration persuaded Congress to overturn a U.S. ban on the research of miniature nuclear weapons, which are defined as having a yield of less than five kilotons. The administration indicated that such weapons, if developed, would be used against terrorists and stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in hardened bunkers.

Russia, however, views the efforts to research and develop new nuclear weapons as a threat, said Vladimir Novikov of Russia�s Institute for Strategic Studies. New nuclear arms could lower the overall threshold for the use of nuclear weapons, Novikov said, echoing the concerns of opponents of new nuclear weapons research in the United States. He also said that the question of who would control the use of miniature nuclear weapons � be it the president, the National Security Council, or high-ranking generals in the field � was still unresolved.

In addition, Novikov said that the Bush administration�s rationale of potentially using miniature nuclear weapons against terrorists was �not understandable.� The international community would see such an action, for example against terrorists in the mountains of Afghanistan, more as an attack against another country and the beginning of a nuclear war, he said.

Sergei Mikhaliov of the institute questioned how the United States would have reacted if the Soviet Union had decided to use nuclear weapons during its own conflict in Afghanistan during the 1980s.

While Russia currently lacks the economic capability to begin similar nuclear weapons research, the experts said, the situation could change as the country�s economy continues to grow. If U.S. efforts move beyond the �theoretical� into �practical research,� then Russia might be forced to act, Mikhaliov said, adding that any actual U.S. tests of miniature nuclear weapons would be seen in Russia as a �signal� to begin serious consideration of its own nuclear weapons research.

The research of miniature nuclear weapons, Novikov said, �is not a difficult question� for Russian scientists (see GSN, Aug. 18, 2003).

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I.  Nonproliferation Diplomacy

1.
World Needs Long-Term WMD Non-Proliferation Strategy
RIA Novosti
4/23/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, April 23 (RIA Novosti) - The world needs a long-term strategy of the non-proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction (WMD), Former Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev said Friday. He was speaking at the international conference, Global Partnership of G-8 Countries in WMD non-proliferation, currently held in Moscow.

"Now there is a need to work out a long-term strategy on WMD non-proliferation, combining economic, diplomatic and military measures," said Mr. Sergeyev.

"Measures to counteract such proliferation should not be static," said Mr. Sergeyev. He added that international approaches to the non-proliferation problem should be overhauled.

According to Mr. Sergeyev, there is a point in considering measures of active counteraction to WMD proliferation, apart from traditional approaches. Such measures "include the policy of direct pressure from the nuclear powers of the world on violators, the use of economic and political sanctions, and tactical air defense systems in crisis regions," said Mr. Sergeyev.

He noted that these measures should undoubtedly be authorized by the UN.

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J.  Russia - North Korea

1.
Russian Minister Favors Diplomacy To Solve N. Korea Problem
Interfax
4/21/2004
(for personal use only)


BEIJING. April 21 (Interfax) - The problem of the North Korean nuclear program can be settled only by political and diplomatic methods, said Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov.

"We do not see methods other than political-diplomatic efforts to resolve this problem, and we support the organization of the third round of negotiations on the problem of North Korea in Beijing in the summer," Ivanov told journalists following negotiations with his Chinese counterpart Cao Gangchuan on Wednesday.

"I cannot predict in what framework the problem of North Korea could be resolved, but I believe this should be a reasonable compromise, taking into account both parties' concerns and the existing nonproliferation regime," Ivanov said.

The minister said he and Cao had discussed ways to settle the situation on the Korean Peninsula "because this involves a nuclear program that could influence the interests of our countries' security."

Asked whether he plans to meet with North Korean leader Kim Chong-il while visiting Beijing, Ivanov replied, "I am unaware of Kim Chong-il's whereabouts."

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K.  Russia - China

1.
Russia Invests In Nuclear Plant
Chinaview.cn
4/23/2004
(for personal use only)


BEIJING, April 23 (Xinhuanet) -- A Russian nuclear electric power company plans to increase its investment in a Jiangsu Province nuclear power plant.

AtomStroyExport will contribute 40 percent of the investment of the second-phase construction. The 10 million kilowatt plant, which will be operated by a company from Jiangsu Province, will ease the power shortage in the region, company officials revealed yesterday.

As a practice of the power industry, those who contribute to the construction of a power plant could share its future revenue.

The firm, under the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Atomic Energy, invested in the first-phase construction, in coastal Lianyungang City, Jiangsu Province, for which it provided two 1-million kilowatt nuclear generators.

The first phase cost more than US$3 billion, in which the company and the Russian government contributed 60 percent investment in the form of loans and technology. The rest is provided by Chinese partners.

"China is a big market for our business with its demand for energy growing," said Dr Viktor Kozlov, senior vice president of the firm, in Shanghai yesterday.

The firm expects the contract to be sealed in the second half of this year, said Kozlov.

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2.
Russia, China Adhere To Common Positions On Anti-Terror
ITAR-TASS
4/21/2004
(for personal use only)


BEIJING, April 21 (Itar-Tass) - Russia and China adhere to common positions on counterterrorism, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov told a news conference here on Wednesday.

Ivanov said a double standard policy exists in this respect and that the theme of counterterrorism is quite often used by some countries for political purposes.

This does not apply to Russia and China that interact in countering terrorist acts in deed, not in words. "Russia and China are victims of terrorist acts. We understand whence threats to our security come from and we shall fight the roots of terrorism, not just its manifestations," Sergei Ivanov emphasised.

The positions assumed by Russia and China on settlement of a very serious crisis around the Korean peninsula are fully identical, declared Russian Defence Minister.

The Korean crisis exercises direct and essential influence or might directly affect security in the region, Ivanov stressed.

We do not see any alternative to political-diplomatic efforts and welcome a third round of six-lateral talks on the Korean problem in Beijing in summer, the Russia minister declared at a meeting with his Chinese counterpart on Wednesday.

A settlement of the Korean problem should be reached on the basis of a reasonable compromise, taking into account problems that arouse concern of both sides and non-proliferation regimes that exist in the world, he said.

"I assure you that Russia and China will closely cooperate on this problem, as well as on settlement of the crisis in Iraq and the regulation of the situation in Afghanistan,� the Russian minister declared.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov arrived for a three-day visit to China on Turesday, sources at the Defense Ministry said.

The visit programme envisages Ivanov's meetings with Defense Minister, Army General Cao Gangchuan, and Chief of General Staff of the People�s Liberation Army, Lieutenant General Liang Guanglie to discuss the progress of bilateral relations in defense and related technologies, including in the format of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Apart from defense officials, Ivanov is to meet in China with the Chairman of the Central Defense Council, Jiang Zemin, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, and Deputy Chairman of the Central Defense Council, Guo Boxiung.

The Russian delegation includes Director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Mikhail Dmitriev.

No documents are planned to be signed.

During his three-day stay in China Sergei Ivanov will visit the Henan Province, in the central part of China, which is the native place of Cao Guangchuan, the old Chinese city of Luoyang and the Shaoling Monastery, where the traditions of the Ushu wrestling are being revived.

The Russian and Chinese defense ministries hold 16 to 20 joint events each year, Ivanov said.

China is "one of the most important partners of Russia in the sphere of military-technical cooperation," the Russian defense minister said.

Thousands of Chinese students study at Russian military colleges. "Russia intends to develop military cooperation with China as actively as it did before," he stated.

Ivanov emphasized the importance of interaction between Russia and China in the field of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

"We have to coordinate our positions on WMD non-proliferation issues, including at the UN Security Council," he said.

Russia has supplied over 100 warplanes of various kinds and modifications, about a dozen of armament sets for anti-aircraft missile units, destroyers, helicopters, ground-based radar and communication systems to China since 1990.

Moscow has also given Beijing a license to the production of warplanes, infantry flame-throwers and some other military products. Russian and Chinese specialists have joint military research and development.

In June 2004 Russia will finalize the supply of S-300 PMU-1 anti-aircraft missile systems to China, Director of the Federal Service for the Military-Technical Cooperation Mikhail Dmitriyev said. Dmitriyev is accompanying Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov on his trip to China.

An agreement to supply several units of S-300 PMU-1 anti-aircraft missile systems to China in payment of the Russian foreign trade debt was signed in the end of the 1990s.

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L.  Nuclear Forces

1.
Tula Nuclear Sub Updating To Be Over In Early May
RIA Novosti
4/23/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, April 23 (RIA Novosti) -Modernisation of the Tula nuclear submarine will be over in the beginning of May, the press service of the Machine-Building Works Zvezdochka, engaged in the overhaul and updating of the submarine, said on Friday.

"Upon repairs and modernisation the Tula will be tested and do shooting practice. Only after that can the sub join the fleet", the press service said.

"The submarine will be commissioned and, most probably, become part of the Northern fleet next year", Leonid Abramov, chief of the works' fifth repair and modernisation division, said by telephone.

In the beginning of May, the bulk of updating work will be over and the submarine will be taken out of the dockyard and launched, he said. Brought to the works for updating in 2000, the submarine has had its crucial systems - hydroacoustic and communication - replaced.

For lack of financing, it has proved to be impossible to manage overhaul and updating within the usual two years, Abramov said.

The Tula nuclear submarine was built 14 years ago.

A similar submarine of the Russian Navy is undergoing modernisation at the same Zvezdochka works. It is simultaneously filling an Indian order modernising a diesel submarine of the 877 design.

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2.
Petr Veliki Nucear Missile Cruiser Put To Dock For Repairs
Yekaterina Kozlova, RIA Novosti
RIA Novosti
4/21/2004
(for personal use only)


MURMANSK, April 21 (RIA Novosti's Yekaterina Kozlova) - On Wednesday the Petr Veliki nuclear missile cruiser has been put for repairs to the dock of the ship-building factory in Roslyakovo (the Murmansk region).

Hull and other maintenance work will be done on the cruiser, RIA Novosti learnt from the headquarters of the Northern fleet.

The repair work is scheduled and preventive, to be done under the present clauses of scheduled preventive maintenance for each kind of warships depending on their service life.

For the Petr Veliki such work was done in 2001, said the headquarters.

The nuclear power plant is in a safe condition, requiring no overhaul and causing no concern of specialists.

During maintenance, the cruiser's crew will remain aboard, ensure maintenance work and be engaged in training according to the combat-training plans for crews whose ships are under repair.

The Petr Veliki maintenance timeframe is not specified because it depends on many factors such as financing, said the Northern fleet headquarters.

After repairs the cruiser will undergo acceptance by a commission of specialists from the Northern fleet. After the acceptance certificate is issued, the Petr Veliki will be put on the list of the permanent combat-readiness forces of the fleet, noted the headquarters.

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3.
Russia Test-Fires Missile
The Australian
4/21/2004
(for personal use only)


RUSSIA early today launched an intercontinental ballistic missile in a test-firing, news agencies cited the Strategic Missile Forces as saying.

The missile was fired from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia and it landed in the intended area of the Pacific Ocean, the reports said.

The launch's purpose was to test systems at the cosmodrome and to gather technical data on the rocket flight, the Interfax news agency cited the missile forces' press service as saying.

The launch followed two embarrassing failures of ballistic missile launches from submarines during highly publicised naval manoeuvers in February.

Later that month, Russia said it had successfully tested a space vehicle that could lead to weapons capable of penetrating missile defences.

Details remain sketchy, but military analysts believe the device is a manoeuverable ballistic missile warhead.

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4.
Ivanov To Forward Proposals On Defence Ministry Reform
RIA Novosti
4/20/2004
(for personal use only)


BEIJING, April 20 (RIA Novosti) - Proposals on the defence ministry reform will be presented to the Russian president within two weeks, Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov told reporters during his flight to Beijing.

"As soon as the proposals are ready, I will report them to the Supreme Commander. The timeframe will be restricted as it is usually the case in power structures. Our proposals will be ready within 10-14 days," said Mr. Ivanov.

He specified that at issue were the number of the personnel and the structure of the ministry.

No layoffs are intended in the ministry, but the number of the minister's deputies might be reduced, said Sergei Ivanov.

"We have carried out considerable cuts already. I must stress that no men, soldiers or officers, above all in the units of permanent combat readiness to be reinforced, will be fired," said Mr. Ivanov.

As for the central apparatus of the ministry, he said, "I would put it this way: it is not so much the reform as the improvement of the functions of the central apparatus, which will be accomplished." In his opinion, the central apparatus should not account for more than 0.5% of the total personnel of the defence ministry. The minister said that he was talking about both military and civil persons, who make two million people in the ministry.

As for the central personnel of the defence ministry, he noted, "It did not exist. We intend to form the central apparatus and to define clearly which of the current subdivisions of the ministry's top brass will remain in the central apparatus." When commenting on the main principles of the defence ministry reform, Mr. Ivanov said, they included new tasks that the ministry was entrusted with after the recent administrative reform.

In his words, four new services and two agencies were formed in the ministry.

Besides, he continued, the defence ministry will include railway troops, which never happened before, and will closely co-operate with the nuclear energy agency in the nuclear defence sphere.

However, the minister said the fundamental military structure of the country and the armed forces would not be changed.

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5.
Numerous Violations Uncovered on Russia�s Nuclear Flagship
MosNews
4/20/2004
(for personal use only)


A commission led by staff of the Russian Navy uncovered numerous significant violations on the flagship of the Northern fleet, the atomic missile cruiser Peter The Great, Russian Information Agency Novosti reported Tuesday.

Those violations were uncovered within the framework of services organizations and special trainings. The commission, headed by deputy commander of the Navy Mikhail Zakharenko, also discovered that the team violated ship regulations, with the daily routine not being maintained.

It was decided to put the ship in for scheduled repairs for a month.

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6.
The Strategic Nuclear Submarine �Tula� Will Put to Sea in the Beginning of May After Repairs at the �Zvezdochka� Shipyard in Severodvinsk
ITAR-TASS
4/20/2004
(for personal use only)


Translated by RANSAC Staff

The strategic nuclear submarine �Tula� will put to sea in the beginning of May after repairs at the �Zvezdochka� shipyards in Severodvinsk. This was announced to an SPB-TASS correspondent today at the ship repair facility.

It is planned that the factory will turn over the nuclear-powered vessel to the operational strength of the Northern Fleet this year. The strategic submarine rocket cruiser (RPKSN) �Tula� � the fourth hull of the 667-BDRM class (Delta-4 in NATO classification) � was build at the Sevmash facility in Severodvinsk in 1987. It underwent planned repairs for about two years. �Zezdochka� has already earlier overhauled two ships of this class � the lead cruiser the �Verkhoture� and the �Ekaterinburg�, and still another submarine of the same class, the �Bryansk�, is located at the factory�s berth.

From open-source information, BDRM-class submarines make-up the basis of the sea-based strategic nuclear forces of Russia. These submarines have a length of 167 meters and a width of 12 meters, a water displacement up to 11,740 tons. Maximum cruising depth � 400 meters, speed � 24 knots, crew � 130 people. The power plant consists of two nuclear reactors. Nuclear armaments � 16 intercontinental missiles with multiple warheads. In total, between 1984 and 1992, Sevmash delivered seven such submarines to the Ministry of Defense.

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M.  Nuclear Industry

1.
Russian Researchers Propose Joint Nuclear Energy Projects To Japanese Business
RIA Novosti
4/22/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti) - The Igor Kurchatov Nuclear Energy Institute, based in Moscow, propose to Japanese businessmen joint projects in the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Acting director Vyacheslav Kuznetsov said this on Thursday at the seventh sitting of the Russian-Japanese and Japanese-Russian committees for economic cooperation.

It can be three large projects, he said. Russia proposes joint construction of a fast-neutron power reactor.

Russia is the only country in the world to have mastered the commercial use of this kind of nuclear reactors, Kuznetsov said. The fuel cycle of fast-neutron reactors allows efficient use of plutonium, he specified.

Japan has amassed over 30,000 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel, which is the objective condition for cooperation between our countries in building fast-neutron reactors, Kuznetsov said.

Another proposal from the Kurchatov Institute concerns the project of the international thermonuclear experimental reactor (ITER). Alongside Russia, its participants are Japan and France. France will concentrate theoretical and calculations support, Japan will house the reactor proper. According to Kuznetsov, this makes the project costlier. The Kurchatov Institute proposes cutting the total cost and putting to use the capacities of Russia's machine-building Sevmash works in Severodvinsk in the country's north. The ITER power unit, assembled by Sevmash, can then be towed to Japan. "This decision makes the project one billion dollars less costly", Kuznetsov believes.

The third project is the creation of a Russian-Japanese nuclear-safety control centre related to the utilisation of Russian nuclear submarines in Russia's Far Eastern region, Kuznetsov said.

Essentially, the third project consists in arranging a single Russian-Japanese management structure to ensure monitoring of the radiation situation, prevention, containment and elimination of effects of radiation-hazard actions and mathematical modelling of the utilisation process.

"The Japanese Foreign Ministry and organisations of the Japanese nuclear community are in the know about the project and actively support the formation of such a centre", Kuznetsov said.

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2.
Uzbekistan Boosts Q1 Uranium Production 32%
Interfax
4/20/2004
(for personal use only)


Tashkent. (Interfax) - Uzbekistan's Navoi Mining and Metals Combine boosted uranium output 32% year-on-year to 500 tonnes in the first quarter of 2004 on the back of improved world market trends and availability of financing, a source at Navoi told Interfax.

The source said Navoi used a credit of $6 million that it received from Nukem Inc. of the United States at the end of last year to upgrade capacity to produce sulfuric acid, which is used to mine uranium by the in situ leach (ISL) method, and to retool other areas of uranium production.

Navoi said it was able to repay the credit almost entirely in the quarter thanks to higher uranium prices.

Navoi, which is UzbekistanTs uranium monopoly, reduced production of the metal 23% to 1.6 million tonnes in 2003 because sulfuric acid was not always available and because equipment was in need of renewal.

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N.  Nuclear Safety

1.
Nobody Heeds The Lessons Of Chernobyl Tragedy
Yevgeny Velikhov
RIA Novosti
4/22/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW (Academician Yevgeny Velikhov for RIA Novosti)

When the Chernobyl tragedy happened on April 26, 18 years ago, one of my friends in the USA sent me a cable where he wrote that iodine pills must be immediately issued to children. I immediately called Vice-Premier Ivan Silayev to tell him about that recommendation. I was invited to the session of the State Commission and accompanied it to Chernobyl, though I am a physicist and specialise in different problems. But along with others I participated in the elimination effort of the aftermath of that terrible tragedy.

Today, 18 years after the tragedy, I would like to share some of my views with you. First, the consequences of the Chernobyl tragedy were greatly exaggerated all this time. No medical documents prove that Chernobyl had a serious effect on public health. The medical statistics of the Kurchatov Institute [formerly the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy] shows that the 600 researchers of the institute who have been working, one and off, in Chernobyl in the past 18 years are in good health.

One more thing to note: Chernobyl demonstrated the country's inability to cope with such problems, though there had been a similar tragedy before - an explosion and radioactive emission at the Mayak chemical works in Chelyabinsk, Urals, in 1957. By decision of the Soviet authorities, the Mayak tragedy was kept under a tight lid, along with the analysis of the tragedy and conclusions drawn from it by the best specialists and scientists of the country who studied its causes and consequences. As a result, society was not prepared for Chernobyl.

Regrettably, the time that has elapsed since it shows that nobody needs the Chernobyl experience, which was not classified. Nobody in the world analysed it and drew conclusions from it, which is very bad because it is truly invaluable. It can be used to create a behaviour model for such situations. Regrettably, man-induced disasters at nuclear power plants can happen, though much has been done to make nuclear power engineering a safer business since the Chernobyl tragedy. We should also take into account the current political situation in the world, in particular the looming threat of terrorism. There may be a truly tragic situation with radioactive pollution.

It is a paradox but the Chernobyl experience is not being used in Russia, too. At least, we do not keep it handy, which would be logical. The only section of the population that has learned the lesson is the nuclear power scientists. Since Chernobyl, the RBMK reactors (the first ever created in the Soviet Union for nuclear power stations) have been modernised and made safer, and they keep working to this day. This means that they could have been made safer before the tragedy, and it is the nuclear power engineers who are to blame for the failure to do it.

One major drawback of the reactor was that the human factor could provoke fatal consequences. Another weak element was the inadequate systems of reactor control and personnel training. A chain of inadmissible actions by Chernobyl operators on that tragic morning provoked the explosion at the fourth block. Regrettably, accidents also happened at the first nuclear power plants in other countries.

No industry can be made fail-safe, yet today we can reliably guarantee nuclear reactor safety. We also guarantee that, should an accident happen for some unfathomable reason, it will not lead to the evacuation of the people or any other consequences harmful for the health and welfare of the people.

In the past ten years, Russia has not built a single nuclear power plant, yet the output of electricity at the existing nuclear power plants has grown from 12% to 16% of the total. This positive result was attained thanks to the improvement of management, modernisation of nuclear power plants, and several other factors. Since mineral resources (oil, gas and coal) are finite and humankind's energy requirements are growing, nuclear energy, which has no discernible rivals so far, has a bright future. In fact, the planet's further progress is not imagined without it.

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2.
Radioactive Container Found in Siberia
Bellona Foundation
4/22/2004
(for personal use only)


A container emitting strong radioactivity was found along a highway in western Siberia, an Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman told The Associated Press Wednesday.

The container, about 20 centimetres square, was found along the highway between Yekaterinburg and Tyumen on Tuesday, ministry spokesman Viktor Beltsov said, according to AP. The container was emitting radiation at a level of 2,800 microroentgens, he said. Natural background radiation in that region of Russia is about 50 microroentgens. There were no immediate details on what substance it may have contained or on its origin, the news agency reported.

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O.  Official Statements

1.
A General Meeting of the Members of the Union of Workers in Atomic Energy, Industry and Science was Held in Moscow
Minatom.ru
4/22/2004
(for personal use only)


Translated by RANSAC Staff

A general meeting of the members of the Union of Workers in Atomic Energy, Industry and Science was held in Moscow on the 22nd of April. At it, the basic work of the Union in 2003 was gotten to. Gathered in the Minatom building were the heads of more than 40 enterprises of the atomic branch included in the Union of Workers. At the gathering it was noted that much work was performed in the development and modernization of the branches system of social partnership. Continuous monitoring of the collective-contractual relations at enterprises and organizations of the branch is under way. The participants of the gathering unanimously elected the general director of the concern �Rosenergatom� O. Saraeva as a member of the managing board of the Union. The decision was made to transform the Union of Workers from a non-commercial organization to the all-Russian branch association the �Union of Workers of Atomic Industry, Energy and Science of Russia.� The charter of this association was established.

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2.
Looking To The Second Decade: Remarks at the Carnegie Moscow Center Alexander Vershbow, U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation (excerpted)
Department of State
4/22/2004
(for personal use only)


Carnegie Moscow Center
10th Anniversary Symposium
April 22, 2004

[�]

While working together to remove the roots of terror, we will also need to do a better job in keeping the world's most terrifying weapons out of the hands of terrorists and rogue regimes. This requires a global effort - in which Russia should play a central role - to shore up the existing, increasingly porous, non-proliferation regimes. Libya's recent repudiation of its WMD program demonstrates that we can deter proliferators by raising the political and economic costs of their illicit activities. The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) to interdict traffic in WMD technologies is a key contributor in this regard, and we welcome the prospect of Russia becoming a full participant in PSI.

Recent revelations of the details of A.Q. Khan's sales network have given us a glimpse into the ability of global proliferation networks to circumvent existing non-proliferation regimes. As President Bush proposed on February 11, insisting that all states interested in civilian nuclear power technology sign an IAEA Additional Protocol would be one remedy. But other new measures - and new ideas - will also be needed to keep up with the fast pace of technology and to thwart the efforts of terrorists and the states that support them to acquire WMD.

Beyond political-military challenges like terrorism and proliferation, in the coming years we will also need to broaden our definition of security, to include other transnational threats to our societies and populations.

[�]

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3.
The Director of the Federal Agency for Atomic Energy A. Rumyantsev Met with a Delegation of the International Organization �Doctors of the World for Preventing Nuclear War�
Minatom.ru
4/20/2004
(for personal use only)


Translated by RANSAC Staff

Today, the 20th of April, the meeting of the Director of the Federal Agency for Atomic Energy Alexander Rumyantsev with a delegation of the international organization �Doctors of the World for Preventing Nuclear War� was held.

At the meeting, the following issues were discussed:

ensuring the security of the nuclear power sector in the conditions of the reorganization of Minatom of Russia;

realizing joint Russian-American agreements in the area of the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons;

preventing terrorist acts at atomic power stations and nuclear objects;

extending the operational life-span of the Leningrad NPP.

Alexander Rumyantsev assured the meeting�s participants that the reorganization of Minatom of Russia would not in any way impair the ensuring of the security of nuclear objects. Security was, is, and will be the priority in the work of the atomic branch. Particularly, the extension of the operational lifespan of the Leningrad NPP will be carried out in accordance with international criteria for ensuring the secure working of atomic stations.

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4.
The Federal Service for Atomic Inspection Announcement on the Condition of Nuclear and Radiological Security as Nuclear Research Installations in the City of Moscow
The Federal Service for Atomic Inspection of the Russian Federation
4/20/2004
(for personal use only)


Translated by RANSAC Staff

Currently on the territory of the city of Moscow there are 10 research reactors (RR�s) designated for fundamental scientific research for educational and medical purposes. Two of these are in the process of being decommissioned, and one is in the process of being mothballed. The maximum total power of operating RR�s does not exceed 8 MWt.

Work for the rehabilitation of the territory of the scientific centers RNTs �Kurchatov Institute� and the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics is being conducted.

The condition of the nuclear and radiological security of the nuclear research installations in the city of Moscow is under the constant control of the organs of inspection and regulation, and is evaluated as satisfactory. There were no radiological incidents in the time of the existence of GosAtomNadzor.

Recently the work for increasing the robustness from possible terrorist acts at the nuclear research installations MIFI, RNTs �Kurchatov Institute� and others was performed, a series of measures for increasing the level of physical protection was conducted.

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P.  Links of Interest

1.
NPT Briefing Book � April 2004 Edition
Center for Nonproliferation Studies and the Mountbatten Centre for International Studies
4/23/2004
(for personal use only)
http://cns.miis.edu/research/npt/pdf/bb04apr.pdf


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2.
An Assessment of the Impact of the Repeal of the Prohibition on Low Yield Warhead Development on the Ability of the United States to Achieve Its Nonproliferation Objectives
Secretaries of State, Defense, and Energy
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
3/31/2004
(for personal use only)
http://www.ceip.org/files/projects/npp/pdf/reports/nnsareport.pdf


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

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2002
2001
2000
1999


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