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Nuclear News - 5/19/2004
RANSAC Nuclear News, May 19, 2004
Compiled By: RANSAC Staff


A.  Research Reactor Fuel Return
    1. Nuclear Monitor Sees Treaties Weakening (excerpted), Judith Miller, New York Times (5/15/2004)
    2. US Energy Secretary to Visit IAEA Headquarters, Melanie Sully, Voice of America (5/15/2004)
B.  Mayak Fissile Material Storage Facility
    1. Big forest fire stopped near Mayak plant , Bellona Foundation (5/18/2004)
C.  Submarine Dismantlement
    1. Admiral Convicted in Sinking of K-159, Oksana Yablokova , Moscow Times (5/19/2004)
    2. Admiral Suchkov Expected to be Sentenced for Sunk Submarine, RIA Novosti (5/18/2004)
    3. Admiral Suchkov Receives Suspended Sentence, RIA Novosti (5/18/2004)
    4. Russia Wants Faster Aid for 'Rotting' Nuclear Subs, Mark Trevelyan, Reuters (5/16/2004)
D.  Chemical Weapons Destruction
    1. Fires Pose No Threat to Kurgan Chemical Weapons Depots, RIA Novosti (5/18/2004)
    2. 2,000 firefighters working to put out forest fires in Kurgan Region, ITAR-TASS (5/17/2004)
    3. Forest fires rage in Siberia , BBC News (5/17/2004)
E.  Nuclear Terrorism
    1. FSB Director on Risk of WMD Falling into Terrorist Hands, RIA Novosti (5/18/2004)
    2. Illegal Cruises to North Pole on Nuclear Icebreakers, MosNews (5/17/2004)
    3. Ukraine discovers nuclear trafficking ring, AFP (5/17/2004)
F.  G-8 Global Partnership
    1. Russia, Canada to sign weapons of mass destruction elimination agt, ITAR-TASS (5/15/2004)
G.  U.S.-Russia
    1. In Moscow U.S. State Department Spokesman Eyes Nonproliferation, Andrei Kislyakov, RIA Novosti, RIA Novosti (5/19/2004)
    2. US Undersecretary of State John Bolton to Discuss in Moscow Nuclear Non-Proliferation Issues and Situation Around Iran, RIA Novosti (5/19/2004)
    3. Rice, Putin Seek Way Forward in Iraq, Simon Saradzhyan, Moscow Times (5/17/2004)
H.  Nonproliferation Diplomacy
    1. Russian Parliament Knows what June G8 Summit will Mainly Discuss, RIA Novosti (5/19/2004)
    2. CIS to Discuss Common Nonproliferation Position, Global Security Newswire (4/17/2004)
I.  Russia-Iran
    1. Iranian Foreign Minister on the Importance of Russia and Iran for Regional Stability and Security, RIA Novosti (5/19/2004)
    2. Iranian foreign minister to arrive in Moscow for 2-day visit, ITAR-TASS (5/17/2004)
    3. Russia-Iran: Nuclear Fuel Controversy Settled , RIA Novosti (5/17/2004)
    4. Russia Resisting U.S. Pressure to Halt Nuclear Cooperation with Iran: MP , Mehr News Agency (5/16/2004)
    5. Russia to complete Iran reactor despite snags, Mark Trevelyan, Reuters (5/14/2004)
J.  Nuclear Industry
    1. Vietnam Interested in Development of Economic Contacts and Defense Cooperation with Russia , RIA Novosti (5/17/2004)
K.  Nuclear Safety
    1. A worker at the Siberian Chemical Combine in closed city Seversk stole a small quantity of radioactive waste and took it to Moscow in January. , Bellona Foundation (5/18/2004)
L.  Official Statements
    1. Transcript of Remarks and Replies to Journalists' Questions by Russian Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov Following Talks with Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamal Kharrazi, Moscow, May 17, 2004 (excerpted), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin (5/19/2004)
    2. DOE Surpasses Congressional Target of Recovering Radioactive Sources, Department of Energy (5/18/2004)
    3. On the Official Visit to the Russian Federation of Kamal Kharrazi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran , Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin (5/18/2004)
    4. On the First Meeting of the Working Group at the Six-Party Talks in Beijing , Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin (5/17/2004)
    5. On the Participation of Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov at the Meeting of Heads of Foreign Affairs Agencies of G8 Countries, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin (5/17/2004)
M.  Links of Interest
    1. Protected Speech, Michael Levi, The New Republic (5/19/2004)
    2. Expansion of Global Partnership, Gabrielle Kohlmeier, Arms Control Today (5/14/2004)
    3. The Challenges Facing Nonproliferation, Mohamed ElBaradei, Council on Foreign Relations (5/14/2004)
    4. Collision Avoidance: U.S.-Russian Bilateral Relations and Former Soviet States, Eugene B. Rumer, Strategic Forum (4/1/2004)



A.  Research Reactor Fuel Return

1.
Nuclear Monitor Sees Treaties Weakening (excerpted)
Judith Miller
New York Times
5/15/2004
(for personal use only)


[�]

Speaking at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, Mohamed ElBaradei, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said he and President Bush had discussed at the White House working jointly toward a package of measures to bolster the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and on other reforms that he called crucial to stopping the spread of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.

Specifically, he said, he and the Bush administration had discussed a proposal to spend between $50 million and $100 million over the next five years to better guard stockpiles of highly enriched uranium in atomic power reactors and other sources throughout the world. Experts have warned that terrorists who obtained such material could use it to make nuclear or radiological weapons.

He said Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham of the United States would travel to the atomic agency's headquarters in Vienna this month to announce details of the program.

Jeanne Lopatto, spokeswoman for the Energy Department, confirmed that the administration was developing a plan to "accelerate and expand efforts to secure and remove high-risk nuclear and radiological materials.''

[�]


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2.
US Energy Secretary to Visit IAEA Headquarters
Melanie Sully
Voice of America
5/15/2004
(for personal use only)


The International Atomic Energy Agency says U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham will visit its Vienna headquarters later this month to launch a new initiative on nuclear non-proliferation.
IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming confirmed top-level talks are planned on a global clean-up of highly enriched uranium from civilian reactors.

"There are major initiatives by the U.S., and Secretary of Energy Abraham is coming to Vienna the week after next to announce new U.S. measures to attack that problem," she said.


The United States is already financing a program to send weapons-grade uranium from Eastern Europe and former Soviet states back to Russia.

Experts fear many of the reactors are run-down and poorly guarded, making them a possible target for terrorists.

At the end of last year, a U.S.-led team evacuated highly enriched uranium from an inactive research reactor in Bulgaria, and flew it to Russia, where it was blended down as reactor fuel. Similar joint operations with the IAEA have taken weapons-grade uranium from reactors in Romania and Serbia.

Now, the United States is planning to have large quantities of highly enriched uranium in reactors in Ukraine and Belarus processed as well, and talks are under way with Uzbek authorities to take similar security measures at a reactor near the Afghan border.

Analysts at Harvard University say there are hundreds of reactors in the world with highly enriched uranium that could be used by terrorists to make a bomb. Secretary Abraham visited the IAEA headquarters last September, and warned then that nuclear material, if not properly guarded, could fall into the hands of terrorists.

The United States is engaged in a program to replace dangerous uranium in reactors it once supplied, and, so far, has retrieved about half of the material. The aim of the latest missions is to take out the weapons-grade uranium in reactors world-wide, and fly it back to the country of origin, either the United States or Russia, by the end of 2005.


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B.  Mayak Fissile Material Storage Facility

1.
Big forest fire stopped near Mayak plant
Bellona Foundation
5/18/2004
(for personal use only)


A big forest fire on the area of 600 ha was stopped near Mayak plant 60 km from Chelyabinsk.

Mayak plant is one of the biggest sites dealing with spent nuclear fuel reprocessing, ITAR-TASS reported. The storage facility of the radioactive materials at the Mayak plant is capable to contain up to 400 tonnes of the weapon-grade uranium and plutonium extracted from the nuclear warheads. There are still three big forest fires going on in Chelyabinsk region covering the area of 2.3 thousand ha, ITAR-TASS reported.


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C.  Submarine Dismantlement

1.
Admiral Convicted in Sinking of K-159
Oksana Yablokova
Moscow Times
5/19/2004
(for personal use only)


A Severomorsk court on Tuesday found Northern Fleet commander Admiral Gennady Suchkov guilty of negligence in the sinking of a decommissioned submarine that killed nine sailors in August and handed him a four-year suspended sentence.

The navy court held Suchkov solely responsible for the accident, rather than any of the other officers in the chain of command between him and the submarine commander.

Suchkov, who was suspended of his duties last fall, has maintained his innocence, and supporters say he was made a scapegoat in a show trial.

Suchkov's lawyers said Tuesday they would appeal.

"We believed that the investigation would be objective and [investigators] would thoroughly look into the details of the case. Unfortunately, this did not happen," Suchkov told reporters after the trial, Interfax reported.

Suchkov said he was not trying to duck responsibility for the accident, but did not consider the criminal prosecution against him fair.

The K-159 nuclear submarine sank in the Barents Sea while being towed to a scrap yard.

Nine of the 10 crew members on the K-159 drowned when a fierce storm ripped away pontoons supporting the submarine.

The sinking occurred on Aug. 30, near the site where the Kursk submarine sank in August 2000, killing all 118 sailors on board.

Suchkov also said he had come under pressure during the investigation, but did not elaborate. His trial started Jan. 12.

Prosecutor Igor Murashov said Tuesday that he was satisfied with the verdict, because it was based on "a thorough analysis and unbiased evaluation of the evidence."

Murashov earlier had asked the court to sentence Suchkov to a four-year term to be served in a special village for prisoners.

In March, the commander of the Navy, Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov, took the stand to testify against Suchkov.

Navy spokesman Igor Dygalo said the sinking and the trial "reflected on the reputation" of the fleet, but that prosecutors had apportioned blame for the accident correctly.

"Of course, all this is said, but the men died and this is a fact to be dealt with," Dygalo said.

But many of Suchkov's supporters disagreed that he was the only official responsible for the disaster.

Igor Kurdin, head of the St. Petersburg-based veteran seamen's club, said that there were a number of Navy officers and technical personnel who were involved in planning and conducting the towing operation.

"This is a political trial aimed at holding a public whipping," Kurdin said by telephone from Odessa.

Kurdin said that he, along with 29 acting and retired admirals, had signed an open letter in Suchkov's defense.

He also noted that no Navy official had been convicted in the sinking of the Kursk.


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2.
Admiral Suchkov Expected to be Sentenced for Sunk Submarine
RIA Novosti
5/18/2004
(for personal use only)


On Tuesday the Northern Fleet Military Court will return with a sentence on the criminal case regarding a sunken K-159 nuclear submarine.

Admiral Gennady Suchkov, who was removed from the post of the Commander of the Northern Fleet at the end of the last year, will be sentenced, a spokesman for the court reported.

In court on April 27, the state prosecutor asked the court to find Admiral Suchkov guilty of negligence that caused the death of people and sentence him to four years in an open prison and also to deprive him of the right to hold a commanding post for three years.

The admiral's lawyers asked the court to find him not guilty. In his final statement, the admiral said that he was not guilty "from the criminal point of view."

The court spokesman said that the materials of the case consisted of 29 volumes. Altogether 109 people were interrogated, including Commander-in-Chief of the Navy Vladimir Kuroyedov, officials from the Main Headquarters of the Navy and representatives of the Northern Fleet command.

Seven leading Russian scientists in the sphere of ship-building and military sciences gave expert testimony. The expert's reports were studied, recordings of conversations between Northern Fleet headquarters, the tugboat and the K-159 submarine were listened to, videos of the examination of the sunk nuclear submarine were reviewed and technological and other documents were studied.

The K-159 nuclear submarine was being towed to Polyarny, a town on the Kola Peninsula, for scrapping. The submarine's nuclear reactor was in a safe state and it contained no weapons. The submarine began to be towed using four pontoons on August 28. A storm broke the pontoons away from the submarine on August 30 three miles northwest of Kildin Island in the Barents Sea. The water is 170 meters deep in that location.

There were ten members of the line-handling crew on the submarine. Nine died and one was rescued.

The military court started hearings in connection with this criminal case of the sunken submarine on January 12.


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3.
Admiral Suchkov Receives Suspended Sentence
RIA Novosti
5/18/2004
(for personal use only)


Admiral Gennady Suchkov, who was dismissed from the post of Northern Fleet commander in late 2003, received a four-year suspended sentence that was postponed for two years.

Admiral Suchkov was found guilty of negligence that resulted in deaths.

When determining his sentence, the Northern Fleet Military Court took into consideration such circumstances as the admiral's underage child, his impeccable efficiency report and his several state awards.

The sentence from the criminal case of the wreck of the K-159 submarine can be appealed in a superior body within ten days.


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4.
Russia Wants Faster Aid for 'Rotting' Nuclear Subs
Mark Trevelyan
Reuters
5/16/2004
(for personal use only)


Russia faces grave environmental and terrorist threats unless donors accelerate a slow trickle of international aid for dismantling its rusting nuclear submarines, a senior official said.

Deputy Atomic Energy Minister Sergei Antipov said Russia would raise its concerns next month at a meeting of the Group of Eight (G8) leading nations in the United States.

He said Moscow was very worried at the slow rate of funding, despite a much-trumpeted G8 initiative at a 2002 summit in Canada to spend $20 billion over 10 years to secure stockpiles of nuclear, chemical and biological materials.

"The longer a submarine remains without being scrapped and without the nuclear fuel being removed... the more danger for the environment, the greater the risk of these materials falling into the hands of terrorists or other groups for malicious purposes," Antipov said in an interview.

"Any of the submarines -- and we have 96 waiting to be scrapped -- could sink. Any of them could rust through or break up. Anything could happen," he told Reuters in Berlin, where he attended a 14-nation meeting on the issue last week.

The submarines are decommissioned vessels of the former Soviet fleet, some of which "have been rotting at their piers for several decades," Antipov told parliament last November.

Dismantling them involves removing the highly radioactive reactor compartment, hermetically sealing it to prevent leakage, and eventually transferring it to be stored for decades at a special site which Russia is building, with German help, in the northern region of Murmansk.

DILUTING THE AID

Antipov said Moscow was concerned about some talk among G8 members of extending the $20 billion program to cover more countries, diluting the funds available in Russia itself.

"It's reasonable to ask the question: if we can't help just one country effectively, is there any point in extending efforts to others? The lion's share of all the dangers, as far as nuclear materials are concerned, is situated in Russia.

"We (also) have a huge problem with stocks of chemical weapons, on which this money is also to be spent. If the money isn't spent here but in Iraq or Nigeria or Ukraine, then solving the security problems in Russia will be put back."

Antipov said a large proportion of the promised aid money was being spent ineffectively by donors in their own countries on "various experts, trips and discussions."

"It's a well known problem, it always arises with international aid. We understand they can't help spending some of this money at home because this work has to be organized. But the question is what proportion -- 10, 20 or 60 percent?

"Ten to 20 should probably be the upper limit but there are actual facts today to show our partners are spending up to 60 percent at home," he said.

As a result, only about $100 million had been spent directly in Russia in the first two years of the 10-year, $20 billion plan, he said -- about half on the submarine program and the rest on securing stocks of chemical weapons.

The United States is due to host the next G8 summit next month. The group also includes Canada, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Russia.


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D.  Chemical Weapons Destruction

1.
Fires Pose No Threat to Kurgan Chemical Weapons Depots
RIA Novosti
5/18/2004
(for personal use only)


The chemical weapons depot in Shchyuchie, a village in the Kurgan region (the Trans-Urals), is not threatened by fire, a spokesman for the press service of the Kurgan regional administration reported on Tuesday.

Forest fires have been raging in the region for the last five days. However, according to Pyotr Chikishev, the deputy head of the Shchyuchie administration, there are no large fires in the district. Small fires have been put out by local firefighters.

The commander of the Sahchyuchie garrison and the head of the chemical weapons depots, Colonel Gennady Tatarintsev, said that servicemen are on duty 24 hours a day and that there are not threats to the depots. The chemical weapons depot in Planovy, a village in the Shchyutie district, is more than 150 kilometers away from the forest fires in the Kargopol district. In addition, there are no uninterrupted forests between the Kargopol district and Shchyuchie.

The Shchyuchie depot accounts for about 7% of the chemical weapons in the world. The construction of a chemical weapon disposal plant has being going on there for the last few years.


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2.
2,000 firefighters working to put out forest fires in Kurgan Region
ITAR-TASS
5/17/2004
(for personal use only)


Some 2,000 firefighters from the entire Ural Federal District are fighting forest fires in the Kurgan Region in Western Siberia.

According to Chief of the regional center of the Ministry for Emergencies Pyotr Tretyakov, �These people are fighting fires might and main.�

The pilots of the two planes and helicopters sent to the region by the Ministry for Emergency Situations take out three hours a day for rest and recreation. They have already dropped 4,000 tons of water on seats of fire.

The regional administration reports that the flames have engulfed 15,000 hectares of forests, gutted more than 400 houses and killed eight people. One person is unaccounted for.

The areas near the Kosobrodsk and Tverdysha railway stations remain most dangerous. Bulldozers are plowing the soil to create safety belts on the approaches to some villages and towns.

Authorities have evacuated 75 minors from a special boarding house for juvenile delinquents in Kosobrodsk. As many as 190 children are about to leave the Vvedensky orphanage for the regional center Kurgan.

Authorities in Kurgan have opened centers, at which to collect humanitarian aid donations, and bank accounts to raise funds for charitable assistance. Hospitals are rendering first medical aid to fire victims. The population of the region has responded to the deplorable situation of the people left without shelter: they bring clothing and food to the reception centers.

New seats of fire are a special headache. According to a report of the regional department for emergency situations, forests are also burning near the city of Shadrinsk and in the Beloozersk and Mishkin districts. The storage facilities for chemical weapons in Shchuchye are under special control.


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3.
Forest fires rage in Siberia
BBC News
5/17/2004
(for personal use only)


Some 2,000 firefighters in the Kurgan region of eastern Siberia are battling to contain forest fires in which at least eight people have died.

One TV report said that one of the world's largest chemical weapons depots was in the path of the fires, although the authorities have denied it was under threat.

Over 150 square kilometres of forest are ablaze and more than 400 homes have been gutted in the region, according to the Itar-Tass news agency.

More than 600 people have been evacuated from the areas affected by the fires, and 180 people have received hospital treatment.

Russia's NTV reports that the fires are advancing westwards and northwards towards the neighbouring Chelyabinsk and Sverdlovsk regions, where it says the smoke from the blazes can already be smelled.

"Specialists are saying that the main task now is to prevent the fire from reaching the village of Shchuchye, which houses one of the world's largest chemical weapons depots," the NTV report said.

However, local authorities denied the reports.

"Military units are on duty. There are no fires within direct visibility, and nothing is threatening the arsenal," the military officer in charge of the facility, Col Gennady Tatarintsev, was quoted as saying.

Special measures

Earlier, a member of Russia's chemical disarmament commission, MP Nikolay Bezborodov, said the regional government, the emergencies ministry and the defence ministry had taken special measures to protect the site.

About 5.5 tons of nerve gases such as sarin and VX are stored in the Shchuchye chemical weapons disposal facility, 70km to the east of the city of Chelyabinsk.

NTV also reported that the fires were only 7km from an ammunitions dump in the village of Sosnovskoye.

It added that the exact number of forest fires in the region was not known, and that the two firefighting planes being used were only enough to prevent the blazes from spreading to dangerous areas.

Cooler weather and rain is forecast over the next few days in the Kurgan region, which has been experiencing a drought and temperatures of 30C.

But an official from Russia's meteorological bureau was quoted as saying that the rain would have little impact on the fires.


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E.  Nuclear Terrorism

1.
FSB Director on Risk of WMD Falling into Terrorist Hands
RIA Novosti
5/18/2004
(for personal use only)


The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) director, Nikolai Patrushev, talked about the danger of the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) falling into the hands of terrorists.

Presently, the danger of terrorism approaching threshold that divides it from possession of WMDs is growing, the FSB director said at the 16th session of the Council of the heads of the CIS security bodies and secret services.

Mr. Patrushev said that the secret services are also seriously concerned about terrorist organizations' desire to obtain some types of conventional arms. "For example, to man-carried air defense systems," he said.

Developments in Iraq, Afghanistan and other regions of the world speak to the increased threat of global terrorism, Mr. Patrushev noted.

The FSB believes that an effective method of fighting against terrorism is the creation of a bank of the voices of terrorists.

"It has been proposed to discuss the issue of creating a bank of the voices of people involved in terrorist activity," Mr. Patrushev said.

According to him, the problems of protecting CIS security bodies and secret services' electronic automatic systems and electronic data banks need to be protected from the criminal actions of international terrorist and extremist organizations.

"The session participants will also consider a proposal of drafting a project of a unified system of marking explosives, ammunition and weapons of the CIS member-countries," the FSB director said.

He said that information about foreign secret services that conduct intelligence activity against CIS member-countries need to be more actively exchanged.


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2.
Illegal Cruises to North Pole on Nuclear Icebreakers
MosNews
5/17/2004
(for personal use only)


A navigating company in the North Russian city of Murmansk leased nuclear-powered icebreakers to foreign companies for cruises to the North Pole without the permission of the Russian state which the owns the vessels. This was reported by RIA Novosti, citing the results of an Audit Chamber report.

�This activity is a real threat for Russian national security in the Arctic, with the probability of radiation and terrorist dangers increasing,� the press release of the chamber was quoted by the agency as saying. The company in Murmansk also did not pay out enough rent to the federal budget which cost $7.4 million for the state.

The Audit Chamber also discovered that the navigating company came into possession of the icebreaker fleet illegally because the state property management of the Murmansk region had no authority to conclude a treaty with the company in 1998.


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3.
Ukraine discovers nuclear trafficking ring
AFP
5/17/2004
(for personal use only)


The Ukranian secret services (SBU) said on Monday they had arrested several members of a criminal gang that was trying to sell radioactive material to the Middle East.
The Odessa branch of the SBU said in a statement several Ukranians and citizens of Middle Eastern countries had been detained for trying to traffic red mercury, which is used in nuclear weapons.

The suspects had obtained the mercury in Ukraine and had tried to take it out of the country in special containers, it said.

Several more arrests were expected, it said, without giving details.

On May 6 the SBU announced it had arrested several members of a criminal gang that was trying to illegally purchase two containers of radioactive Cesium-137 in Crimea for 120,000 dollars.

The authorities had followed the gang for six months and believed it wanted to purchase the containers to sell off to other clients, Interfax reported.

Cesium-137 is used in metallurgy and medicine. It can also be used for the construction of "dirty bombs" that emit low-level radiation.


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F.  G-8 Global Partnership

1.
Russia, Canada to sign weapons of mass destruction elimination agt
ITAR-TASS
5/15/2004
(for personal use only)


Russia and Canada have practically finalized a bilateral agreement within the framework of implementing the program for Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, Russia�s first Deputy Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Trubnikov told Tass in an interview.

�We are on the threshold of signing a bilateral agreement with Canada, by which the funds � up to one billion dollars Canada is to disburse over a period of ten years � will be spent on specific projects, including the disposal of defunct submarines and the construction of a chemical weapons elimination facility at Shchuchye, the Kurgan Region.�

Trubnikov said the agreement had been practically finalized. It is aimed at implementing the G8 initiative put forward at the 2002 summit in Kananaskis.

Under this initiative, having the unofficial title Ten Plus Ten over Ten plan, the United States, on the one hand, and the European Union, Canada and Japan, on the other, will provide ten billion dollars each over a period ten years to help Russia enhance nuclear security and eliminate weapons of mass destruction.

�For the Canadian side this is a specific sphere where to apply financial resources Russia will be using to eliminate articles and facilities that might pose a threat to it. With Canada we shall be cooperating actively in the Northwestern and Arctic regions, that is, in our common vital space, including ecological space,� Trubnikov said.

In Ottawa the Russian deputy foreign minister participated in international security consultations with his Canadian counterpart Peter Harder. He also held talks with Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham and chief of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service Ward Alcock.


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G.  U.S.-Russia

1.
In Moscow U.S. State Department Spokesman Eyes Nonproliferation
Andrei Kislyakov, RIA Novosti
RIA Novosti
5/19/2004
(for personal use only)


Meetings in the Russian foreign, industry and energy ministries, federal space and nuclear energy agencies have been planned for John Bolton, the United States Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, to be held on Wednesday and Thursday in Moscow. As reported by the press service of the American embassy, the spokesman for the U.S. Department of State is interested in the matters of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Noteworthily, a few days before one of the most influential American policy-makers Condoleezza Rice, national security adviser for the American president, had visited Moscow. To all appearances, she also discussed non-proliferation with Russian top officials.

It goes without saying that the strengthening of the non-proliferation regime is among the main problems of international politics. Today's close attention of the leading American arms specialists to Russia can be explained by, particularly, its army adopting the mobile strategic missile system Topol-M, being finally tested to success.

Thus, qualitatively speaking, the strength of Russia's "nuclear triad" will greatly increase. "Qualitatively" means the capacity of modern Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles of silo and mobile basing to meets the goals set despite possible technical counteraction.

In other words, it is counteraction of Russian arms to the American national missile defence programme, the first elements of which are going to be deployed in December.

Properly speaking, it is this programme that matters. Withdrawing from the 1972 NMD treaty, which was actually the basic document of nuclear deterrence development, and launching implementation of the new concept of missile defence, the United States has left no choice for Russia except the perfection of its strategic nuclear armaments.

Meanwhile, as many observers note, Washington and Moscow could have reached agreement: the Americans could have rejected the NMD deployment and the Russians -- updating their strategic nuclear arms. It is the question of the first step now.


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2.
US Undersecretary of State John Bolton to Discuss in Moscow Nuclear Non-Proliferation Issues and Situation Around Iran
RIA Novosti
5/19/2004
(for personal use only)


US Undersecretary of State John Bolton arrives in Moscow on Wednesday to discuss the issues of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the situation around Iran, RIA Novosti was told at the US embassy in Moscow.

Bolton is scheduled to meet with representatives of Russia's Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Industry and Power, Federal Space Agency, and Federal Atomic Energy Agency.

In its turn, the Foreign Ministry of Russia said that Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak will meet with John Bolton.

Bolton will leave Moscow on May 20.


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3.
Rice, Putin Seek Way Forward in Iraq
Simon Saradzhyan
Moscow Times
5/17/2004
(for personal use only)


U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice wrapped up her three-day visit to Moscow on Sunday saying she had fresh assurances of Russia's support for U.S. efforts to stabilize the situation in Iraq.

But the two countries still remained at loggerheads over how much control the planned Iraqi caretaker government will have over security and other key issues.

"I think we, the United States and Russia, share a common understanding of how we should move forward," Rice said in a Russian voice-over in a television interview aired after she completed her series of meetings with top Russian officials, including a closed-door meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

In a short interview aired on NTV television's "Namedni" program Sunday, Rice said the United States and Russia had a shared interest in preventing destabilization in Iraq. She offered a generally positive assessment of U.S.-Russian relations, but was noticeably short on details.

"Everyone agrees that the most important thing at the moment is to give Iraq stability and pass a UN Security Council resolution. I hope we will be able to prepare the text of this resolution with help of our Russian partners" among others, she said.

Rice met with Putin on Saturday to deliver a personal letter from President George W. Bush with "general affirmation of our desire to work with them [the Russians] on Iraq and on the broader partnership," a senior U.S. diplomat told reporters Sunday.

Rice also met with Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, as well as Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov and chief of the presidential administration Dmitry Medvedev.

While Iraq dominated Rice's visit, she discussed a wide range of other issues with Russian officials traditionally high on the agenda between the two countries -- energy cooperation, terrorism, weapons proliferation, Iran's nuclear program, developments in former Soviet republics and the Middle East, according to the U.S. diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Rice also "underscored our continued interest in democratization, the rule of law and independent media in Russia" and "a peaceful solution in Chechnya," but made no linkage to other issues in U.S.-Russian relations, the U.S. diplomat said.

"It is important that democratic institutions take root and strengthen in Russia," Rice told NTV.

Russian officials also chose not to probe sore spots for the Bush administration, with the scandal swirling around the torture of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. service personnel mentioned only in passing, the diplomat said.

The Russians reassured Rice that Moscow will support a United Nations Security Council resolution endorsing the transition of power from U.S. administration to the planned Iraqi government on June 30, the diplomat said.

He said the United States would share the text of the UN resolution with Russia as soon as it was drafted.

But he declined to comment on whether Washington and Moscow saw eye to eye on how much control the new government and U.S. military commanders would have over security issues, or when and for how long international peacekeeping troops could be deployed in Iraq.

Nor would the diplomat say if the two sides agreed on whether the UN resolution should be adopted before the June 30 transfer of power, or after.

While Washington has said it is prepared to see an international peacekeeping force deployed in Iraq, it wants to retain overall security control after the transfer of power to an Iraqi caretaker government, which will rule until national elections are held.

Russia will support the deployment of peacekeepers, but only if they are given a clear mandate and timeline, Deputy Foreign Minister Yury Fedotov said last week.

Russian diplomats have also called for the Iraqi caretaker government to be given greater control, and suggested that an international conference be organized before June 30 to discuss the new government.

During her Moscow visit, Rice said the United States would be interested in discussing the idea of an international forum, which Russia wants Iraqi leaders, neighboring countries and UN Security Council members to attend, but is not ready to support it outright, the U.S. diplomat said.

The UN's special envoy to Iraq, Lakhdar Brahimi, is expected to announce the makeup of the planned government.

In comments ahead of Rice's visit, Fedotov suggested that the Security Council adopt two resolutions on Iraq. The first resolution should be passed after Brahimi's announcement, while the second should be passed after consultations with members of the new government to spell out "future steps toward an Iraqi settlement," Fedotov said.

But during Rice's visit, her "interlocutors" made it clear to her that Russia would not insist on passing two resolutions, rather than one, the U.S. diplomat said.

Russia opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and warned that the war could lead to instability and a growth in terrorism in the country. But during their meetings with Rice, none of the Russian officials made any "I told you so" comments, the diplomat said.

Instead, they displayed a "genuine desire to help us ... so Iraq will not become a long-term source of terrorism," the diplomat said.

Rice also discussed with Russian officials the Middle East and recent developments in former Soviet republics, including Adzharia, Nagorny Karabakh and Transdnestr, the U.S. diplomat said.

Sergei Ivanov also briefed Rice on the security situation in Uzbekistan after his recent trip to Tashkent, while Fradkov briefed her on the Russian government's ongoing economic and administrative reforms.

On energy cooperation, Russian officials acknowledged that the decision to cancel ExxonMobil's operatorship of the Sakhalin-3 offshore field "remains on the table," the U.S. diplomat said. Regarding the overall U.S.-Russian energy dialogue, Rice said the results were "a little bit disappointing" as it has stalled, he said.

Rice left Moscow for Berlin on Sunday for security talks with European countries, including France and Germany. The U.S. diplomat said that talks between with Russia would resume Wednesday, when Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton is due in Moscow for two days of talks.

Kremlin and government sources would only reveal the issues discussed with Rice, but offered no further details of the talks.

News of a consensus on Iraq between the two sides could be revealed when Bush and Putin meet during the 60th anniversary celebrations of the D-Day landings in France on June 8, Izvestia reported.


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H.  Nonproliferation Diplomacy

1.
Russian Parliament Knows what June G8 Summit will Mainly Discuss
RIA Novosti
5/19/2004
(for personal use only)


The G8 summit will spotlight the security sphere, head of the State Duma international affairs committee Konstantin Kosachev said at a press conference in Moscow on Wednesday.

"It is especially topical now since the two main threats - international terrorism and WMD proliferation - have been aggravated," Kosachev pointed out.

According to him, the North Korean nuclear problem and the problem of non-proliferation treaty adjustment should be discussed above all in this context.

"This treaty works well de-jure but de-facto it does not take into account new realities, that is the situation when India, Pakistan and Israel - the countries possessing nuclear weapons - are not signatories to it," Kosachev stressed.

According to him, the Sea-Island G8 summit scheduled for June 8-10 should discuss the economic situation in the world, taking into account the unprecedented growth of oil prices. This situation has both positive and negative aspects for all G8 states, Kosachev believes. He stressed that coordination of actions on this issue could be very important for the OPEC.

The deputy also pointed out that the humanitarian cooperation within the G8 framework should also be discussed. The point at issue is cooperation, above all in the spheres of education, science and culture, Kosachev concluded.


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2.
CIS to Discuss Common Nonproliferation Position
Global Security Newswire
4/17/2004
(for personal use only)


Defense ministers from the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States are expected to develop a common position on nuclear nonproliferation this week during a meeting in the Armenian capital of Yerevan, Russian government sources said today (see GSN, May 10).

The agenda for the meeting, scheduled to be held Friday, includes discussion of coordinating a common nonproliferation position as part of preparations for next year�s planned Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty review conference, according to the source. This week�s scheduled meeting will be chaired by acting Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov and will be attended by all CIS members except Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, ITAR-Tass reported (Alexander Konovalov, ITAR-Tass, May 17).


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I.  Russia-Iran

1.
Iranian Foreign Minister on the Importance of Russia and Iran for Regional Stability and Security
RIA Novosti
5/19/2004
(for personal use only)


"Russia and Iran are playing an irreplaceable crucial role in the establishment of regional stability and security," Iranian Foreign Minister Dr Kamal Kharrazi said in Teheran airport upon his return from Russia on Wednesday.

He positively assessed his talks with ranking Russian officials and put the stress on Moscow's assistance concerning Teheran's interaction with the IAEA and European countries to solve the problem of Iranian nuclear programmes.

The Iranian foreign minister also spoke about the good results of the talks on the signing of a Russo-Iranian protocol on the return of nuclear fuel wastes from the Bushehr nuclear power station to Russia. "We are now negotiating the price of the fuel and hope the document will be signed soon," said Dr Kharrazi.

He highlighted the importance of close dialogue between Russia and Iran on the settlement of the crisis in Iraq and problems in Afghanistan, the Caspian Sea and Central Asia. "Moscow and Teheran are unanimous or hold similar stands on these issues," said the foreign minister of Iran.


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2.
Iranian foreign minister to arrive in Moscow for 2-day visit
ITAR-TASS
5/17/2004
(for personal use only)


Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi will arrive for a two-day official visit in the Russian capital on Monday to discuss the settlement in Iraq.

The Iranian minister is to be received by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A Russian Foreign Ministry source told Itar-Tass that Kharrazi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would have a detailed discussion of the situation in Iraq. Russia and Iran have a convergence of views on ways of settling the situation in Iraq with the help of the world community.

Prospects for the Russian-Iranian relations and a search for new steps designed to strengthen them will be a vital topic for discussion. Moscow intends to confirm its invariable course towards developing mutually beneficial cooperation with Tehran and deepening dialogue on a wide range of issues as well as questions of economic cooperation.

The Russian-Iranian trade turnover stood at $1.37 billion in 2003. About 95% of this sum falls on Russian exports. Machines and steel rolled stock form a considerable part of these exports. Other projects in the oil, gas and energy spheres are being implemented. Iran shows interest in the purchase of Russian commercial planes.

The construction of a nuclear power station in Bushere is a major Russian-Iranian cooperation project. The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that Iran�s observation of its voluntary commitment to freeze the enrichment of uranium and accelerate the ratification of a supplement to the IAEA agreement on guarantees would contribute to the development of cooperation between our two countries in the field of atomic energy.

Sergei Lavrov and Kamal Kharrazi intend to exchange views on the situation in Central Asia and the Trans-Caucasian region. The ministers will also touch upon the Caspian problems, especially in view of the Caspian summit to be held in Tehran in the second half of 2004.


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3.
Russia-Iran: Nuclear Fuel Controversy Settled
RIA Novosti
5/17/2004
(for personal use only)


A controversy round depleted nuclear fuel return from Iran to Russia has been settled, announced Sergei Lavrov, Russia's acting Foreign Minister.

"Don't make a political sensation of it-the matter is over and done with, and we shall now deal with its commercial aspects," he said to a news conference after talks with Kamal Kharrazi, his Iranian counterpart.

Iran has by now secured Russia's principled consent. "There are only certain pricing and other commercial issues to deal with. Spent nuclear fuel must be returned to Russia. That is the point we are proceeding from," added Dr. Kharrazi.


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4.
Russia Resisting U.S. Pressure to Halt Nuclear Cooperation with Iran: MP
Mehr News Agency
5/16/2004
(for personal use only)


Russian foreign policy toward Iran is different from the Iran policy of the U.S., said MP Hasan Qashqavi of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission.

Qashqavi told the Mehr News Agency that Iran-Russia cooperation in nuclear energy is based on technical and legal matters, thus Russia�s goals and policies toward Iran differ from those of the U.S. and are closer to the stance of the European Union.

Russia has resisted U.S. pressure to halt its cooperation with Iran in the field of nuclear energy, he said, adding that Russia will determine its own national interests and will not be influenced by the United States.

The MP explained that Russia and Europe have asked the Islamic Republic to clear up all misunderstandings about the Iranian nuclear program and Russia and Europe will cooperate with Iran within the framework of its relations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and Russia has maintained its firm position of support for Iran and its civilian nuclear program.

Commenting on Russian foreign policy, Qashqavi noted that many analysts believe that the recent measures taken by Russian President Vladimir Putin seem to indicate that Russia will adopt an independent stance and this will positively influence the whole region.


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5.
Russia to complete Iran reactor despite snags
Mark Trevelyan
Reuters
5/14/2004
(for personal use only)


Russia will finish an atomic reactor in Iran despite technical complications, unresolved commercial issues and strong objections from the United States, a senior official said on Friday.

Sergei Antipov, deputy minister for atomic energy, said strict U.N. controls would ensure no fuel could be diverted to help build a nuclear weapon.

The United States accuses Iran of trying to build an atomic bomb under cover of what Tehran insists is a peaceful nuclear energy programme based around the planned $800 million Russian-built reactor at Bushehr.

Antipov said Moscow would supply fuel for the reactor only on condition that spent fuel be returned to it later, although he said the commercial terms for this had not yet been agreed with Iran.

"Definitely, that is our demand. Otherwise we won't supply it," Antipov told Reuters in an interview during a visit to Germany. "The only question that's being discussed in this connection is the question of price."

He said the Iranians argued Moscow should sell the fuel more cheaply in the first place if it was going to take it back at the end of the reactor cycle. "It's a commercial issue, not a defence or technical question."

Antipov also said construction at Bushehr, whose launch is scheduled for 2006, was being slowed by technical factors.

"There are some technical complications connected to the fact this station started to be built many years ago and a lot of equipment was supplied by Germany. Now, to activate that equipment -- a lot of it is past its expiry date -- it needs to be rechecked and retested," he said.

"All the delays are connected with purely technical engineering questions."

Iran was found to have made omissions from what it had said last October was a full declaration of its nuclear activities, and the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said last week the world would not wait for ever for it to "come clean".

Antipov said the watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, maintained strict controls on Iran's nuclear activities at all stages.

"Material mustn't be outside control for a second. It's an absolutely closed fuel cycle. At no point can fuel be diverted or extracted for nuclear weapons."

He said objections to Russia's involvement in building Bushehr were based on commercial motives, not security concerns.

"All the accusations against Russia in my personal opinion arise from our unscrupulous rivals in this field. If Russia is made to give up the construction of the reactor in Iran, I assure you that in a very short time this reactor or reactors will be built by other countries," Antipov said.

"It's a purely commercial battle and the most varied methods are being employed, including dishonest competition."


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J.  Nuclear Industry

1.
Vietnam Interested in Development of Economic Contacts and Defense Cooperation with Russia
RIA Novosti
5/17/2004
(for personal use only)


Vietnam is interested in the development of trade turnover with Russia. This was said at a meeting between Russian acting industry and energy minister Viktor Khristenko and Vietnamese deputy government chairman Voo Khoan, who arrived in Moscow on Monday.

"As regards trade contacts with Russia, our trade turnover has increased, though not much. In our opinion, we could apply the maximum of effort to expand the trade turnover," he said.

Last year Russian-Vietnamese trade turnover stood at 651 million dollars, Voo Khoan said.

"It is not much. Our goal should be to increase bilateral trade and take practical steps," he noted.

"We have a serious imbalance in trade. In order to increase the turnover steps should be taken to downsize the imbalance", he said.

Vietnam is also interested in getting a credit from Russia for the purchase of Russian equipment for power stations, Voo Khoan said.

"Russian specialists participate in the development of a large power center in Vietnam. Already now we should think of its construction and equipment for it. We are going to buy your equipment but our capabilities are limited. If you can grant us credits for the purchase of such equipment, we are ready for it," he added.

Voo Khoan stressed that energy cooperation between Vietnam and Russia is very important and productive.

RIA Novosti was told at the Russian Industry and Energy Ministry that the Yali and Kandon hydroelectric power plants have in recent years been put into service in Vietnam with Russian assistance. Also, the Sesan-3 and Pleikrong hydraulic power projects, financed from a Russian 100-million-dollar state credit, are being implemented. The Vietnamese side is going to use part of this credit to build the Kuangchi hydro, a ministerial official said. The Russian organizations OAO Siloviye Mashiny and FGUP VO Tekhnopromexport are working to conclude contracts to build and update the thermal power plants Haiphong, Wongbi, Kamfa, hydro Nahang, thermal plant Falai and other facilities. The ministry also said that Russian organizations are interested in realizing the largest South-East Asian hydro project Shonla, as well as building Vietnam's first nuclear power plant, including the designing, equipment supply, building, service and personnel training.

Voo Khoan also voiced Vietnam's interest in defence cooperation with Russia.

"There is an opportunity to broaden defense cooperation between our countries. We would like to discuss the possibility of cooperation in this field. Our defense minister is in our delegation and he is supposed to hold talks on this question at different levels," Voo Khoan said.

Siberian Chemical Combine worker contaminated himself to get bigger pension


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K.  Nuclear Safety

1.
A worker at the Siberian Chemical Combine in closed city Seversk stole a small quantity of radioactive waste and took it to Moscow in January.
Bellona Foundation
5/18/2004
(for personal use only)


The Seversk Prosecutors office in Tomsk region launched a criminal case against one of the employees of the Siberian Chemical Combine. He is charged with theft of the radioactive materials. The combine�s press department confirmed the accident in March.

According to Regnum.ru, a 57-year old worker was engaged in dismantling of the facility, which was closed down 10 years ago. The commission investigating the accident found out that on January 9, 2004, the worker illegally took out a radioactive substance (contaminated paper or cloth) packed in protective cover through all the combine�s check-points. On January 14, he arrived at Moscow�s hospital no.6, Centre of Occupational Pathology, for medical examination. He deliberately contaminated his body and clothes before the examination in order to falsify the data about radionuclides content in his body and therefore receive rise to his future pension.

�We are dealing with hypothetical criminal offence� the General Director of the Siberian Chemical Combine Vladimir Shidlov said to Regnum.ru. The physical protection equipment is sensitive to the irradiation of plutonium and uranium, but the worker allegedly took away low-radioactive material the equipment could not detect.


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L.  Official Statements

1.
Transcript of Remarks and Replies to Journalists' Questions by Russian Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov Following Talks with Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamal Kharrazi, Moscow, May 17, 2004 (excerpted)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin
5/19/2004
(for personal use only)


[�]

Question: Has an understanding been reached with the Russian side on an agreement to return spent nuclear fuel to Russia?

Foreign Minister Lavrov (in addition to the reply by the Iranian Foreign Minister): There should be no looking for sensations in this matter. The political question has been decided. Now it is on a commercial and technical plane.

[�]


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2.
DOE Surpasses Congressional Target of Recovering Radioactive Sources
Department of Energy
5/18/2004
(for personal use only)


WASHINGTON, DC � The Department of Energy (DOE) has surpassed a congressional target of recovering and securing 5,000 radioactive sources domestically within an 18-month time period, Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham said today. These radioactive materials could be used in a radiological dispersal device, also known as a �dirty bomb.� The Department�s National Nuclear Security Administration passed the congressional target this month by recovering and securing 5,529 high-risk sources during the specified time-period.

As a key part of Secretary Abraham�s efforts to strengthen DOE�s activities to address the threats posed by radiological materials, he established DOE�s Nuclear and Radiological Threat Reduction Task Force in November 2003. The task force consolidated three existing DOE programs to address international and domestic radiological materials into one office, and accelerated and expanded these efforts.

�We are continuing to work overtime to secure and recover radioactive materials that can be used for dangerous purposes. The national security effort we are involved in to recover these materials with other U.S. agencies is vital to the safety and security all Americans,� Abraham said.

Secretary Abraham said the DOE continues recovering at-risk radiological materials domestically at universities, hospitals, and other locations. Because of the Bush administration�s priority on nonproliferation, the Nuclear and Radiological Threat Reduction Task Force accelerated its efforts, which has resulted, to date, in the recovery of over 9,500 high-risk radiological sources within the United States.

The announcement marks the recent one-year anniversary of the March 2003 International Conference on the Security of Radioactive Sources held in Vienna, Austria, which was co-sponsored by the United States, Russia, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Since the conference, DOE has initiated important radiological threat reduction efforts in over 25 countries and is planning to expand its cooperation to 40 by the end of this calendar year.

The conference, called for and co-chaired by the Secretary, was attended by 123 nations and resulted in recommendations to mitigate the threat posed by at-risk radiological materials around the world. In his remarks at the time, the Secretary said, �It is our critically important job to deny terrorists the radioactive sources they need to construct such weapons.� Then, Abraham announced a new radiological security partnership program with the IAEA to address dangerous radiological materials globally as well as accelerate current efforts.

As part of these activities, DOE provided critical security enhancements to secure high-risk radiological materials in Uzbekistan. The materials removed had been housed in the immediate vicinity of a recent terrorist attack in Tashkent. The Secretary noted that DOE is working hard to address the radiological threats in other areas as well that are critical to U.S. national security interests, including Iraq and Greece, in support of the upcoming Olympic games.

In the past three months, the Task Force has had two key achievements. It recovered four high-risk Strontium-90 Radioisotopic Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) in the Houston area in close cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Texas officials. These were the largest high risk sources recovered to date by the task force. This effort served as a model of cooperation between DOE and other U.S. national security agencies. Just last month, the task force recovered, in close cooperation with the NRC and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection�s Bureau of Radiation Protection, approximately 500 at-risk radiological sources from a bankrupt company in Pennsylvania. The task force is also exploring additional ways within the U.S. to leverage DOE�s expertise and experience in reducing the threat posed by radiological materials that could be used to make a dirty bomb.


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3.
On the Official Visit to the Russian Federation of Kamal Kharrazi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin
5/18/2004
(for personal use only)


On May 17, Kamal Kharrazi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, paid an official visit to Moscow.

Kharrazi was received by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. He had a meeting with Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Igor Ivanov and talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov.
The sides expressed satisfaction with the ongoing development of Russian-Iranian political, economic, commercial and other cooperation in accordance with the Treaty on the Foundations of Mutual Relations and the Principles of Cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran, signed by Putin and Sayed Mohammad Khatami in Moscow on March 12, 2001. They also noted the strengthening of collaboration between the two states on key issues of the world today, including the struggle against international terrorism and the eradication of illicit drug trafficking.

The Russian side spoke for continuing Iran's active cooperation with the IAEA on the questions of its nuclear program and the speediest ratification by it of the additional protocol to the safeguards agreement with the IAEA.

Pressing regional problems were discussed, the similarity or identity of the sides' approaches to Afghan and Iraqi settlement was reaffirmed, and their positions were compared with regard to the situation in the Middle East.

The official visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran Kamal Kharrazi is seen in Moscow as an important landmark on the road of strengthening good-neighborly Russian-Iranian relations.


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4.
On the First Meeting of the Working Group at the Six-Party Talks in Beijing
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin
5/17/2004
(for personal use only)


The first meeting of the working group at the six-party talks to settle the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula was held in Beijing on May 12-15. Taking part in the meeting were the representatives of Russia, the DPRK, the US, China, the Republic of Korea and Japan at the level of deputy heads of the delegations at the talks.

The meeting participants reaffirmed their interest in an early settlement of the problem and in ensuring the free of nuclear weapons status of the Korean Peninsula via a constructive dialogue on the basis of due consideration for the concerns of all the parties. Understanding was expressed that a freeze on the DPRK nuclear program in exchange for the appropriate measures of the other parties is an important stage in achieving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Agreement was reaffirmed to hold the third round of six-party talks before the end of June, this year. The specific dates for the third round, as well as the timeframe for holding the next meeting of the working group to prepare that round will be arranged via diplomatic channels. There also was reached agreement to submit for approval by the third round the draft regulations for the activity of the working group.

The delegations' representatives were received by PRC Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo.

Moscow regards the consultations held as useful, notes the businesslike, frank character of the discussion and expresses readiness to continue to make an active contribution to the negotiating process.


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5.
On the Participation of Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov at the Meeting of Heads of Foreign Affairs Agencies of G8 Countries
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin
5/17/2004
(for personal use only)


On May 14, in Washington, Sergey Lavrov, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, took part in the meeting of heads of the foreign affairs agencies of the Group of Eight countries.

In the context of the preparation for the G8 summit in Sea Island, USA, on June 8-10 the ministers discussed a broad range of foreign policy issues that are expected to be submitted for consideration by the leaders of the world's key industrial states.

The central place was allotted to elaborating the common approaches of the G8 to a number of pressing international and regional problems, inter alia the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan and Middle East settlement.

The heads of the foreign affairs agencies examined the most important concrete initiatives that are being worked through towards the summit at Sea Island, in particular on fostering a partnership with the states of the Greater Middle East, on assistance in strengthening the peacekeeping potential in African states and others.

The meeting bore witness to the disposition of the G8 partners towards serious preparation for the upcoming summit, which must constitute an important stage on the road of further deepening cooperation by the Group of Eight in such priority areas for the world community as the struggle against international terrorism, the strengthening of the WMD nonproliferation regimes, the settlement of international conflicts, as also assistance to the solution of global problems and the development of the Third World states.


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M.  Links of Interest

1.
Protected Speech
Michael Levi
The New Republic
5/19/2004
(for personal use only)
http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=express&s=levi051904


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2.
Expansion of Global Partnership
Gabrielle Kohlmeier
Arms Control Today
5/14/2004
(for personal use only)
http://www.armscontrol.org/aca/midmonth/may/g8.asp


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3.
The Challenges Facing Nonproliferation
Mohamed ElBaradei
Council on Foreign Relations
5/14/2004
(for personal use only)
http://www.cfr.org/pub7032/graham_t_allison_mohamed_elbaradei/the_challenges..


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4.
Collision Avoidance: U.S.-Russian Bilateral Relations and Former Soviet States
Eugene B. Rumer
Strategic Forum
4/1/2004
(for personal use only)
http://www.ndu.edu/inss/strforum/SF207/sf207.htm


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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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