1. General Director of the IAEA Mohammad ElBaradei will discuss the implementation of the RF-US agreement
(for personal use only)
General Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohammad ElBaradei will discuss the implementation of the Russia-U.S. agreement on return of nuclear fuel in Moscow on Monday. He is expected to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary of the Russian Security Council Igor Ivanov.
Under the agreement all nuclear fuel that has been delivered abroad for research reactors built according to Soviet projects will return to Russia in exchange for financial assistance. All unspent nuclear fuel will go back to Russia by late 2005. Seventeen foreign countries are due to return the spent nuclear fuel (about four tons) by 2090.
The sides will also discuss the North Korean nuclear problem and the Iranian dossier. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that Russia recognizes North Koreaï¿½s right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes on condition of accession to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and cooperation with the IAEA.
ï¿½Russia builds its nuclear cooperation with foreign partners in compliance with international commitments,ï¿½ Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko stressed. ï¿½Russia will continue building cooperation in this sphere with all countries, including Iran,ï¿½ Yakovenko went on to say.
Mohammad ElBaradei will hold consultations with Alexander Rumyantsev, the head of the Russian Atomic Agency. They will discuss ways of strengthening the non-proliferation regime, the implementation of specific international projects and the Resolution of the IAEA Council of Governors on Iran.
ElBaradei will attend a conference devoted to the 50th anniversary of the first nuclear power station in Obninsk and will visit the Leningrad nuclear power station.
2. Russia to host conference on spent nuclear fuel: IAEA
(for personal use only)
Russia is to host a conference next year on disposing of spent nuclear fuel, a highly radioactive material that is considered one of the major dangers in using atomic reactors to generate electricity, the chief UN nuclear inspector said Monday. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said after meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Russia would hold the conference next year but that neither an exact date nor place had been set.
ElBaradei said Russia was willing to build a "state of the art" geological depository for spent nuclear fuel and be the first in the world "to accept foreign spent fuel."
"There is a lot of spent fuel in former Soviet eastern Europe," ElBaradei said.
ElBaradei had Sunday told an IAEA conference in Moscow on the peaceful uses of nuclear power that public opinion about nuclear energy "will likely remain skeptical, and nuclear waste disposal will likely remain controversial, until the first geological repositories are operational and the disposal technologies fully demonstrated."
He said more than 50 countries have spent nuclear fuel but "not all countries have the right geology to store waste underground" or the money to do this.
"I am encouraged the Russian Federation is considering one such collective disposal initiative," he said.
ElBaradei said the "greatest progress on deep geological disposal has been made in Finland, Sweden and the United States."
But he said the problem must be solved multinationally.
"Most technological hurdles to spent fuel disposal or reprocessing have already been solved," he said.
In addition, "when the actual amount of spent nuclear fuel produced globally every year -- 12,000 tons -- is contrasted with the 25 billion tons of carbon waste released directly into the atmosphere every year from fossil fuels, the amount of nuclear waste seems relatively small," ElBaradei said.
But he said the "management and disposal of spent nuclear fuel remains a challenge for the nuclear power industry."
3. U.N. Agency to Push Ahead with Russia Nuke Dump
(for personal use only)
The U.N. Atomic Agency will press ahead with plans to build the worldï¿½s first global atomic waste dump in Russia in order to keep the dangerous material away from extremists, Reuters reported on Monday, citing the agencyï¿½s head.
Highly radioactive waste from power plants, which can be used to make atom bombs, is currently put into temporary ï¿½- and often poorly guarded ï¿½- warehouses around the world.
There are no final repositories where the material can be stored for more than 10,000 years, after which it would be harmless.
ï¿½Itï¿½s a very good thing for us. Iï¿½d like to push that as much as I can,ï¿½ Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
ï¿½If we can have a state-of-the-art repository here in Russia, that would be a major breakthrough ... They (the Russians) are, of course, very keen that we have a robust plan to combat possible nuclear terrorist attacks.ï¿½
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, speaking alongside ElBaradei at a conference on Sunday, said that Moscow fully supported the IAEA proposal. ï¿½Russia is the only country in the world where legislation allows it to be done,ï¿½ he said.
Russia amended its legislation in 2001 to allow spent nuclear imports. The project, which is likely to lead to a dump being built in the vast wastes of Siberia, could bring Moscow up to $20 billion in revenues in a decade, according to some estimates.
But a source familiar with the project told Reuters that it could take years before officials could get down to actual construction. ï¿½The project is still pretty much in the making. It will take years, more than five years, before itï¿½s done,ï¿½ the source said.
Spent nuclear fuel is currently stored in water pools for up to four decades, while its radioactivity and heat production declines. After that, most countries plan to seal it in containers and place it underground.
ï¿½(The Russian facility) is not going to be the only one,ï¿½ ElBaradei said. ï¿½But at least this would be the first one which would be ready to accept foreign spent fuel.ï¿½
He said financing and other issues had yet to be finalized.
Russian ecologists have long protested against what they say would be turning Siberia into a giant dump for nuclear trash.
ï¿½The most incredible thing is that such an immoral and criminal idea of turning Russia into a global nuclear waste dump found the support of the prime minister, who clearly doesnï¿½t understand what horrors he is talking about,ï¿½ said Vladimir Slivyak, co-head of the Ecodefence environment group.
4. IAEA head to discuss spent nuke fuel center in Russia
(for personal use only)
Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei, who is taking part in an international atomic energy conference, will meet with Russian officials next week to discuss the construction of an international center for storing and processing spent nuclear fuel on the Russian territory.
A number of countries are already implementing the idea, ElBaradei said at the conference on Sunday. He said that Finland, Sweden and the United States had decided to open such centers.
ElBaradei said he was glad that the Russian administration also welcomed the idea.
5. Nuclear power plants produce about 16% of overall energy in Russia, Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov said
(for personal use only)
Nuclear power plants produce about 16% of overall energy in Russia, Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov said at an international conference marking the 50th anniversary of the atomic energy industry in Moscow on Sunday.
ï¿½The rate is 42% in the Russian northwest,ï¿½ he added. ï¿½The atomic energy industry of Russia is stable. Nuclear power plants produce 148.6 billion kilowatt/hours of electricity each year, and the annual growth of the atomic energy industry produce has made 9 billion kilowatt/hours for the past three years.ï¿½
Russia is actively cooperating with foreign partners in atomic energy, which gives an additional impetus to the industryï¿½s development in Russia and abroad, Fradkov said. He pledged further development of the international cooperation.
6. Russia backs proposal for intl nuclear waste storage centers
(for personal use only)
Russia on Sunday expressed support for a proposal by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to establish international centers for the storage and recycling of spent nuclear fuel.
"Today Russia is the only country where domestic legislation makes it possible to put this into practice," Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov told an international conference in Moscow called in connection with the 50th anniversary of Russian nuclear power engineering.
He called on all IAEA participants to draw lessons from the history of Russia's nuclear power industry and the tragic events it has involved.
"We need to pool our efforts in seeking security, environmental safety for the industry, and nonproliferation of nuclear weapons," he said.
UN atomic energy agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei travels to Moscow Saturday for a visit that will celebrate a half-century of the use of peaceful nuclear energy but also review how to combat the current threat of nuclear terrorism.
International Atomic Energy Agency director general ElBaradei will be opening in Moscow on Sunday a week-long "International Conference on 50 years of nuclear power -- the next 50 years," an IAEA spokesman said.
"The event commemorates a half-century since the Obninsk power reactor (120 kilometres/70 miles south of Moscow) became the world's first to produce electricity for a national grid and the 50th anniversary of the UN General Assembly resolution calling for international cooperation in developing the peaceful uses for nuclear energy," the spokesman, who asked not to be named, said.
ElBaradei will also be meeting during his trip with Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and atomic energy agency chief Alexander Rumyantsev.
The United States had at IAEA headquarters in Vienna in May unveiled a 450-million-dollar plan to try to prevent nuclear materials stored around the world from falling into the hands of terrorists who could use them to make a "dirty" bomb or even a full-fledged atomic device.
The U.S. plan includes working with Russia "to repatriate all Russian-origin fresh HEU (highly enriched uranium) (nuclear) fuel by the end" of 2005, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham had told the IAEA in May.
Daniil Kobyakov, from the PIR think tank in Moscow, told AFP by telephone this week that the U.S. initiative and other anti-proliferation programs were expected to be part of ElBaradei's talks in Moscow.
"Nuclear terrorism is a great concern here, and there is also concern about nuclear materials in Russia itself," he said.
Kobyakov said he also thought ElBaradei would be discussing "lingering issues like Iran" with Putin.
Russia has been under U.S. pressure to halt construction of Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor.
Russia vowed last week however to keep up its nuclear cooperation with Iran.
A representative of Russia's federal nuclear agency said Moscow would continue building the Bushehr nuclear reactor despite criticism of Iran by ElBaradei.
"The criticism of IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei in his report on Iran does not in any way concern the Russian project of constructing the Bushehr nuclear power station," the Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed agency official as saying.
"IAEA does not now and has never had any concerns with Bushehr. Therefore there is no basis for worries about Russia possibly ending its participation in this project," the Russian official said.
8. Putin points to great chances of nuclear innovative technologies
(for personal use only)
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a message of greetings to the International Conference ï¿½50 Years of Nuclear Energy: lessons and tasks in the futureï¿½, reported the presidential press service.
ï¿½The nuclear power industry now is a growing economic sector, actively promoting social and economic progress in many states. Its future largely depends on fruitful international cooperation.
ï¿½It is precisely due to this reason that Russia moved a motion at the Millennium Summit at the U.N. to draft, with IAEA participation, an International Project for the development of the nuclear power industry to be based on innovative technologies which would help to resolve comprehensively problems of power supplies and ecological security,ï¿½ the message runs.
The world had learnt about the dawn of the nuclear energy era 50 years ago from a Tass report of June 27, 1954: a turbo-generator of the worldï¿½s first nuclear power station in Obninsk, Kaluga Region, had started generating power from a nuclear reactor.
The report pointed out that ï¿½the commissioning of the nuclear power station has made the first step in peaceful uses of atomic energy. A commercial power turbine has started operating, for the first time in the world, not by burning coal or any other fuels, but thanks to atomic energy ï¿½ fission of the nucleus of the uranium atomï¿½.
The well-known Russian nuclear authority Nikolai Dolezhal emphasized that ï¿½the Obninsk nuclear power station will look for people of rising generations as distant from their time as Polzunovï¿½s steam engine or Mozhaiskyï¿½s plane, but they will be always for mankind monuments to science and technology as well as historic landmarks on the way of progressï¿½.
Spokesman of the Federal Agency for Nuclear Energy Nikolai Shingarev, speaking in an interview with Tass, said that ï¿½the Obninsk atomic power station gave mankind not only ï¿½atomicï¿½ power, but also basic knowledge for peaceful uses of nuclear energyï¿½.
ï¿½The pile of the Obninsk station was shut down only in 2002 ï¿½ after 48 years of accident-free operation. This is a world record for nuclear power plants,ï¿½ he emphasized. Work is now in progress to put the Obninsk station out of action, which will ï¿½also yield priceless experience for the future of the nuclear power industry,ï¿½ he added.
1. Russia to launch nuclear waste recycling facility in July
(for personal use only)
Russia's only facility for primary recycling of radioactive waste has passed tests and is expected to be launched early next month. The construction of the facility at the SRZ-10 ship repair plant in Polyarnoye on the Kola Peninsula has been part of the international program on Arctic Military Environmental Cooperation. SRZ-10 Chief Engineer Viktor Frolov told Interfax on Monday that the facility, built "in the interests of the Russian navy," would be launched within the first ten days of July. He said it was expected that navy commander in chief Fleet Adm. Vladimir Kuroyedov would "sign the necessary documents within the next few days." Rubber, plastic and metal refuse that has been released in the disposal of 15 nuclear-powered submarines and is being stored at SRZ-10 has a low radioactive contamination level but is in facilities that do not meet European security standards. Four hundred storage containers have been brought to SRZ-10 for the new facility. Environmentalists say about 800,000 cubic meters of solid radioactive waste is stored in the Murmansk region.
2. Australia Allocates $7 Bln For Recycling Of Russian Nuclear-Powered Vessels
(for personal use only)
[Note: The amount of $7 billion is likely an error, as other sources have reported that Australia would commit approximately $7 million ï¿½ RANSAC Staff]
A document has been signed according to which Japanese-Russian Committee will get $7 bln. for recycling of Russian nuclear armaments.
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi, Australian Ambassador to Russia Leslie Rowe and Department Head of the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency Sergei Antipov took part in the signing ceremony in the Japanese Embassy on Thursday.
"Australian government is happy to contribute $7 bln. to the Global Partnership Project of the 'G-8' against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," the Australian ambassador said after the signing ceremony.
In 1993 both Japan and Russia set up an international organization called Japanese-Russian cooperation committee for elimination of Russian nuclear weapons, which are to be reduced. The goal of the organization is to support safe recycling of nuclear weapons which are to be reduced in Russia.
Australia took a decision at the last G-8 summit in Sea Island (Georgia, the USA) to participate in a project for reduction of Russian nuclear submarines which is being implemented by Russia and Japan.
Russia's Far East has 30 nuclear submarines which are to be recycled. Their fast and safe elimination is very important for nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons; it prevents pollution of the Japanese Sea as well.
Recently, the Senate voted in support of the Bush administration's request for funds to explore new nuclear ''bunker-buster'' technology. In his major national security address in June, John Kerry specifically criticized this drive to expand our nuclear arsenal. This is but one of many significant differences between the two candidates on what Kerry called ``the greatest threat we face in the world today -- a terrorist armed with nuclear weapons.''
In describing the threat, Kerry mirrored Bush's oft-repeated one-liner about preventing ''the world's most dangerous regimes and terrorists'' from acquiring ''the world's most destructive weapons.'' To keep ''the worst weapons from falling into the worst hands,'' he outlined a strategy and program of actions.
Bush campaign spokesmen reacted sharply to Kerry's speech, as if turf owned by this president had been invaded by the challenger. Accusing Kerry of ''me-too-ism,'' they argued that Bush identified this threat first, that the administration is doing everything that can be done about it and that Kerry's proposals to do much more, much faster are ``unrealistic.''
Amidst clamorous competing claims, many commentators have concluded that on nuclear terrorism Kerry is little more than Tweedle-Dum to Bush's Tweedle-Dee. However, careful comparison of the positions advocated by Kerry and Bush on how to prevent nuclear terrorism reveals a wide gulf between them. Consider three issues: urgency, strategy and personal priority.
For Kerry, nuclear terrorism is ''our most urgent priority.'' Operationally, ''most urgent'' requires maximum effort to do everything possible on the fastest technically feasible timetable. Kerry therefore proposes securing all vulnerable nuclear weapons and materials in Russia, as well as nuclear materials at risky research reactors in other countries, within the first four years of a Kerry presidency.
This contrasts sharply with the Bush plan, which, like Clinton's, focuses on activity not tempo. At the current pace, the finish line when all potential nuclear weapons will be secure from theft lies more than a decade ahead. Bush accepts this result with equanimity, rather than adamantly pushing for an earlier deadline. In fact, under Bush, fewer ''near nukes'' (lumps of highly enriched uranium and plutonium from which a terrorist could make a nuclear weapon) in Russia have been secured in the two years after 9/11 than in the two years prior to 9/11. At this rate, it will take until 2017 to complete that job.
`No more material'
Strategically, the Bush program focuses on offense against would-be nuclear terrorists, but gives defense short shrift. In responding to Kerry's speech, Bush surrogate Sen. Saxby Chambliss argued that defense is essentially ''too hard.'' According to Chambliss: ``As long as you have terrorists out there, there are going to be weapons that are available to those terrorists. The No. 1 goal, frankly, is to eliminate the terrorists. Weapons of mass destruction mean nothing without terrorists.''
Conversely, Kerry calls for a balanced strategy that accelerates offense and deepens defense. Proposing expanded efforts to capture and kill terrorists wherever they are, he notes, nonetheless, that offense alone will not suffice. If preventing nuclear terrorism is the problem, securing nuclear weapons and materials is the simplest answer. In his words: ``No more material; no bomb; no nuclear terrorism.''
To achieve this result, Kerry recognizes the necessity for deep international cooperation. While the Bush administration has created a G8 Global Partnership and launched the Proliferation Security Initiative, its unilateralist instincts have exasperated essential allies. Despite the fact that the administration has engaged in six-party talks on North Korea's methodical march toward a nuclear arsenal, its nonnegotiable ''no carrots, no sticks'' approach has led the governments of both China and South Korea to conclude that the U.S. posture is as unrealistic as the North Koreans'.
Finally, preventing nuclear terrorism requires not just rhetoric but hand-to-hand combat by a commander-in-chief who makes it a priority for himself, personally. While talking about ''priority,'' in fact, day-to-day, President Bush has been detached. As U.S.-Russian agreements and initiatives have bogged down in the bureaucracies of both governments, he has refused to resolve cabinet-level differences within his own government or to persuade Putin to do the same. And he has repeatedly rejected the recommendation urged by GOP Sen. Richard Lugar and others that he make this the full-time job of a high-level White House coordinator who reports directly to him.
Theory and practice
Kerry not only endorses the proposal for such a coordinator, but pledges to make this a daily claim on his scarce time and energy. As he argued in his speech, preventing nuclear terrorism would be as important to a Kerry presidency as preventing nuclear war was to Cold War presidents such as John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.
Yogi Berra once observed: ''In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.'' While Bush and Kerry agree in theory, in practice, Bush has struck out on this issue. Kerry is eager to show that he can hit this ball.
Kazakhstan has delivered its first batch of radioactive isotopes to the United States under a deal to prevent the spread of nuclear materials, a Kazakh official said Thursday.
The Nuclear Physics Institute sent a tiny amount - about 100 millicuries - of the isotope germanium-68 to the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico on June 18, said Professor Artem Arzumanov of the Kazakh National Nuclear Center.
By comparison, medical devices used in cancer radiation therapy typically emit more than 1,000 curies, or 1 million millicuries.
It was the first shipment of radioactive material by this former Soviet republic as part of the U.S. Energy Department's Initiative for Proliferation Prevention, Arzumanov said.
The program aims to prevent the spread of nuclear materials and weaponry by helping nuclear research and productions facilities in ex-Soviet countries to make peaceful products and to secure radioactive stockpiles.
The Central Asian nation has surrendered the considerable arsenal of nuclear weapons it inherited from the Soviet Union, but still has several nuclear materials production facilities and stockpiles of radioactive waste.
Under the deal, the institute in Kazakhstan's commercial capital Almaty is expected to deliver another 200 millicuries of germanium-68 isotope to the Los Alamos laboratory next year and 300 millicuries in 2006.
Germanium-68 is used in early diagnosis of cancer, heart disease and other ailments. Many hospitals and research institutions also use isotopes such as germanium-68 to calibrate medical imagining equipment.
On Jan. 12, the Los Alamos lab dedicated a $23 million facility to produce short-lived isotopes - including germanium-68 - for medical diagnosis and treatment.
Demand for the isotopes has grown dramatically in the past decade, said Dennis Phillips, a chemist at the lab.
1. U.S. Edicts Curb Power Of Iraq's Leadership (excerpted)
Rajiv Chandrasekaran and Walter Pincus
(for personal use only)
In recent weeks, Bremer has issued orders aimed at setting policy for a variety of controversial issues, including the future use of radioactive material, Arab-Kurd property disputes and national elections planned for January.
On June 15, Bremer signed an order establishing the Iraqi Radioactive Source Regulatory Authority as an independent agency regulating radioactive material in Iraq. His order forbids, even after the transfer of sovereignty, any activity involving radioactive material except under requirements established by the agency.
On June 19, in an effort to keep unemployed Iraqi weapons scientists from working for other nations, Bremer established the Iraqi Non-Proliferation Programs Foundation, a semi-governmental organization set up to provide grants and contracts to people who worked on Saddam Hussein's chemical, biological and nuclear arms programs. An initial grant of $37.5 million was set aside by Bremer to pay the scientists' expenses to attend international conferences so they can be retrained for non-weapons employment.
The foundation, which has been exempted from a ban on government support to former high-ranking members of Hussein's Baath Party, is also supposed to establish a venture capital fund to promote the commercial development of products and technologies by former employees of Iraqi weapons programs, according to the order setting up the foundation.
Amid widening fears that Al-Qaeda and its affiliates are striving to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and concern about another major terrorist attack on the United States before the November presidential election, the Americans are finally addressing a problem that they ignored for months after invading Iraq: keeping the scientists who built Saddam Hussein's secret weapons programs out of the clutches of terrorist organizations and rogue states.
John Bolton, the hawkish US under-secretary of state for arms control, says it's "a race against time."
The main target group comprises 400-500 scientists. The fear is that they could be lured into clandestine weapons programs that could threaten the United States and its allies. It's a problem that began when the Soviet Union imploded in 1991 and some unemployed military scientists went to the highest bidders, such as Iran and North Korea.
The US government paid the salaries of more than 22,000 former Soviet scientists who had worked on WMD projects. All told, the Cooperative Threat Reduction program has cost the US $400 million a year, or around $5 billion.
"The pattern we've seen is that scientists from the former Soviet Union, as the economy collapsed, were without a livelihood and they were offered big salaries in Iran and other places, and they took it," Bolton said. "We want to try to head that off in this case."
Some Iraqi scientists have already fled to Iran, Jordan, Syria or Sudan - possibly heading elsewhere - since the US-led invasion in March 2003, according to US and Iraqi officials. "There's a definite concern that some people have already gone astray," says Michael Roston of the Russian-American Nuclear Security Advisory Council.
Before the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration had not formulated any plans to deal with the estimated 25,000 scientists and technicians that Saddam had employed. Some were seen as possible war criminals, but no one in authority apparently foresaw the possibility of a postwar scientific exodus or the need to keep the Iraqi scientific community under control.
It was not until September 2003 that the administration seemed to become aware of the problem. At that time, Bolton put a new spin on the justification for invasion, saying that even if Saddam had not actually possessed WMD, as the White House had insisted, he still had scientists and engineers with the expertise to manufacture them at some point in the future.
"As long as that regime was in power, it was determined to get nuclear, chemical and biological weapons," Bolton argued.
Scores of people involved in Saddam's WMD programs were arrested by the US-led occupation forces and rigorously interrogated, but no weapons or even active programs to produce them have yet been uncovered. Only about a dozen of the detainees remain in custody, and they are believed to be linked mainly with the chemical and biological weapons Saddam actually used against Iran and against Iraq's Kurdish rebels in the late 1980s.
Some of those in custody were offered immunity from prosecution if they provided information of Saddam's clandestine programs. But that apparently was of no help in putting the Americans' CIA-military Iraq Survey Group (ISG), tasked with hunting down the ousted regime's WMD, any closer to their target.
John Negroponte, named US ambassador to Baghdad, told the UN Security Council recently, when he was still US ambassador to the world body, that some Iraqis were refusing to cooperate with the ISG, possibly out of fear of reprisals by Saddam loyalists. US officials say that many have let it be known that they feel they have been mistreated by the occupiers, particularly the 1,000ong ISG, largely because of frustration at not uncovering any weapons programs.
But there is also the suspicion that some, possibly most, of these people fear that if they spill the beans on Saddam's programs they could be charged with war crimes.
Until just a few months ago there were not even any mechanisms in place for tracking or restraining Iraqi scientists, and there was clearly confusion about the whereabouts of some key figures. In November 2003, US officials involved in the hunt for WMD said that Dr. Modher Sadeq-Saba al-Tamimi, who headed Saddam's long-range missile program, had fled to Iran some time in June 2003. Tehran denied that he was in Iran.
Then on Dec. 15, Tamimi, who had studied in Czechoslovakia during the Cold War, appeared in Baghdad, saying he had never left, that he'd been meeting with British intelligence operatives, who gave him a military identification pass in July which acknowledged he was "cooperating" with occupation forces.
In November 2003, the State Department finally embarked on a $22 million program that involves paying stipends to up to 600 scientists, engineers and technicians who had worked on weapons projects. For scientists who were earning $8,000 a month under Saddam, with many side benefits, the $50 a month they are getting from the Americans is hardly enticing, although in Iraq at present that's almost big money. But there are other inducements.
As a first stage of the project, the Americans are encouraging the scientists to submit proposals for projects. Each submission will be awarded $450, a huge sum in Iraq. Some 9,000 scientific personnel have been hired by the newly established Science Ministry.
Alaa al-Saeed, who managed stockpiles of the deadly nerve agent VX during Saddam's rule and proved to be "very cooperative" with the Americans, has been placed in charge of many of them. Another 25,000 are being paid around $100 a month until the government comes up with a program for them. Others have returned to teaching.
Perhaps the Americans' decision to employ Saddam's former military and intelligence personnel to build a new security apparatus could sway some of these scientists and technicians to throw in their lot with the occupation forces. "Some of the most important people in America's ballistic missile programs in the 1950s were former Nazi scientists," said Roston of the Nuclear Advisory Council. "So if we could employ those people, then we shouldn't have a problem with the Iraqis."
But that could be a dangerous proposition. Several top scientists have been among the scores of Iraqi officials and intellectuals assassinated in recent months. One of the first victims was Falah Hussein, deputy dean of the college of sciences at Mustansiriya University, in May 2003. The assassins are probably diehard supporters of Saddam, but there are those who believe that Israel's Mossad intelligence service or the CIA, even Iranian intelligence, is bumping off Iraq's scientists to ensure that the country never rebuilds its programs. This has spooked the scientific community. Many are desperate to flee, which is just what the Americans don't want them to do.
Al Qaeda-connected terror chief Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other terrorists are apparently trying to recruit Iraqi weapons of mass destruction experts and resources for possible future attacks against the U.S.-led coalition, the head of the Iraq Survey Group told FOX News Thursday.
In an exclusive interview with FOX Newsï¿½ Brit Hume, Charles Duelfer ï¿½ whose ISG is leading the hunt for weapons of mass destruction ï¿½ said terrorists in Iraq are ï¿½trying to tap into the Iraqi WMD intellectual capital.ï¿½
ï¿½When we have investigated certain labs and contacted certain former experts in the WMD program, we have found that they are being recruited by anti-coalition groups,ï¿½ Duelfer told FOX News. ï¿½They are being paid by anti-coalition groups. Weï¿½re seeing interest in developing chemical munitions.ï¿½
The same process seems to be happening in Afghanistan, he said.
He also told Fox News that about 10 or 12 sarin and mustard gas shells have been found in various locations in Iraq.
The shells are all from the first Gulf War era and thus weakened, though intelligence sources say theyï¿½re still dangerous.
Duelfer said the ISG is closely monitoring the terroristsï¿½ solicitation of chemical weapons gurus.
ï¿½We are tracking that very carefully,ï¿½ he told FOX News. ï¿½What we are finding is that there are some networks that are seeking to tap into this expertise and try to use it against the United States. And we are very concerned about that. That is a problem.ï¿½
He sidestepped a question about whether or not terrorist cells have been successful in obtaining the information theyï¿½re after.
ï¿½I'm just going to say that we're keeping a very close eye on some anti-regime people, and we know of course that Zarqawi has expressed an interest in chemical weapons in the past,ï¿½ Duelfer said. ï¿½So we want to follow that very closely. This is one bad apple. And if he gets his hands on it, he'll use it.ï¿½
1. Delay in Russian-Iranian protocol on spent nuclear fuel technical
(for personal use only)
The delay in signing a Russian-Iranian protocol on returning spent nuclear fuel to Russia from Iran is technical, Hossein Mussavian, head of the Iranian negotiating team in the IAEA and secretary of the Foreign Policy Council reporting to the Higher National Security Council of Iran, told Interfax on Monday. Under the draft protocol, which is to supplement the 1992 agreement on the construction of a nuclear power station in Busher, Iran, spent nuclear fuel from the station would be sent back to Russia. The construction of the station is falling behind schedule, Mussavian said. On the other hand, Russia is "Iran's chief partner in developing nuclear energy and has a good chance to win new contracts on the construction of nuclear power plants in Iran," he said. "We hope that once the Busher project is finished, Tehran and Moscow will start a new stage in peaceful strategic cooperation on the use of nuclear energy," Mussavian said.
For more details see Interfax's Diplomatic Panorama for June 28. The full text of the interview will be published at www.interfax.ru on June 28.
2. Russia to Speed Up Nuclear Deal With Iran ï¿½ Top Nuclear Official
(for personal use only)
Russia will avoid delays in the launch of an atomic reactor in Iran by speeding up talks with Tehran on a key bilateral deal, the head of the Russian Atomic Energy Agency, Aleksandr Rumyantsev, said.
ï¿½We donï¿½t face any difficulties with signing the deal on the return of nuclear fuel from the Bushehr nuclear plant,ï¿½ Reuters quoted Rumyantsev as saying. ï¿½Our Iranian colleagues have confirmed that they are ready to sign this document... We will speed up talks if we see the process is being delayed, because we need to fulfill our contractual obligations.ï¿½
Such an agreement would oblige Iran to return spent fuel from the reactor to Moscow. The promise to sign this agreement was made by Russia under U.S. pressure. The agreement would ease concerns that Iran could extract plutonium for nuclear bombs. However, its signing has been delayed repeatedly, the agency reminded.
Industry insiders, quoted by the agency, say a disagreement over technical matters between Russia and Iran, as well as Moscowï¿½s efforts to avoid spoiling relations with the United States, nearly prompted Moscow and Tehran to abandon the project earlier this year.
The document on the fuelï¿½s return must be signed soon in order for Bushehrï¿½s first 1,000-megawatt reactor to go online in late 2005 and reach full capacity in 2006. Once the agreement is signed, Russia will ship fuel to Iran to start up Bushehr. Spent fuel will be sent back to a storage center in Siberia after roughly a decade of use.
It had been said by Iran and Russia that it was impossible to make a bomb with the technology Moscow had been providing to the plant.
3. Russia stresses continuation of nuclear cooperation with Iran
Islamic Republic News Agency
(for personal use only)
Head of Russian Atomic Energy Agency Alexander Rumyantsev stressed here Sunday on continuation of cooperation with Iran on nuclear energy.
Rumyantsev who was speaking in a joint press conference with Head of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamad Elbaradei added that Iran has signed the Additional Protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and has no intention of producing nuclear weapons.
"Any country which has signed the NPT is entitled to international cooperation in using peaceful nuclear energy.
We follow Iran's developments closely and supports Tehran in its cooperation with the IAEA," he added.
He also quoted the Russian president Vladimir Putin as saying that Moscow will continue its nuclear cooperation with Iran. Russia is closely monitoring the manner of cooperation and relationship between Iran and the IAEA, the Russian official stated.
He also said the recent deceleration by the Board of Director of the IAEA is a testimony to Iran's cooperation with the nuclear watchdog agency.
Elsewhere in his statements, Rumyantsev said there are no problems between Iran and Moscow over provision of nuclear waste for the Bushehr Nuclear powerplant.
"Iran is ready the sign the agreement on return of recycled fuel and is looking at international experiences on this matter."
He further said the first batch of nuclear fuel for Bushehr powerplant is ready for transfer to Iran.
He added that the powerplant is slated to be in operation by the end of 2005 and "the needed fuel should be available to Iran by that time."
He further did not rule out expediting the time frame on the part of Russia for completion of the powerplant.
Rumyantsev said here earlier in June that Russia will never bow to foreign pressure to stop nuclear cooperation with Iran.
Rumyantsev, speaking in a meeting with Iranian journalists, admitted that certain countries are pressuring Russia to decrease nuclear ties with the Islamic Republic, stressing however that Moscow will never care about such positions.
"Our American colleagues criticize us that why Russia is increasing cooperation with Iran and our response is that Moscow's cooperation with Tehran is based on international norms," he said.
He further described Iran-Russia cooperation over Bushehr nuclear power plant as constructive, stressing that both sides have always removed the faults of the project rapidly.
Rumyantsev rejected rumors that Bushehr project had been delayed as the result of foreign pressure, and said the current pressure to stop the project is non-political.
"Russia's response to them regarding the nuclear fuel which is delivered to Iran is that the Iranians will return the recycled fuel of Bushehr to Russia."
1. Moscow does not deny Pyongyang right to develop peaceful nuclear programme
(for personal use only)
Russia believes it is not legal to demand that North Korea should close down all of its nuclear programmes.
Russian Ambassador at Large Alexander Alekseyev, who led the Russian delegation to the six-party talks on the North Korea nuclear crisis which ended in Beijing on Saturday, said this at a news conference in Beijing.
Demands to end North Korea's nuclear activities run counter to international law and the country's sovereign right, according to Mr. Alekseyev. The diplomat believes there is no need to ban peaceful nuclear research, although it must be under control.
The United States advanced a plan of the complete dismantling of all of North Korea's nuclear facilities at the third round of talks in Beijing. North Korea is prepared to discuss freezing its nuclear facilities or even dismantling them on condition the USA end its anti-North Korean policy and compensate its energy losses in whatever form.
1. DEFENSE MINISTRY AGAINST NUCLEAR ENTERPRISES' PRIVATIZATION
(for personal use only)
Russia's Defense Ministry speaks out against nuclear complex enterprises privatization, said Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov answering the questions of the State Duma (Russian parliament's lower chamber) deputies during discussion of the CFE (Conventional Forces in Europe) Treaty ratification on Friday.
"The Defense Ministry objects point-blank to privatization or conversion of the enterprises involved in development, design or production of any nuclear forces", said Mr. Ivanov.
The defense minister pointed out that the government did not consider the issue of such enterprises privatization.
"We regularly increase the list of defense enterprises not subject to any privatization or conversion", the minister continued. He noted that some of the nuclear complex enterprises "had unique and excellent production and scientific potential".
The Defense Ministry insists that the nuclear complex issues should be supervised by this very ministry to prevent handover of the strategic enterprises to private owners, said Mr. Ivanov.
1. Putin calls for greater international cooperation in nuclear energy
(for personal use only)
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday called for greater international cooperation in nuclear energy as a week-long conference on peaceful uses of atomic power opened in Moscow. In a message to the conference, due to be opened by UN atomic energy agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei, the Russian leader praised nuclear power an engine of economic growth.
"Today, atomic energy is an expanding sector which actively promotes social and economic development in many states," Putin said according to a statement released by the Kremlin.
"I am certain that ideas and initiatives put forward at the conference will deepen dialogue and international partnership in the peaceful use of atomic energy," he added.
The IAEA nuclear power conference here will be commemorating a half-century since the Obninsk power reactor (120 kilometres/70 miles south of Moscow) became the world's first to produce electricity for a national grid and the 50th anniversary of the UN General Assembly resolution calling for international cooperation in developing the peaceful uses for nuclear energy.
Nuclear expert Alan McDonald told reporters at IAEA headquarters in Vienna last week that atomic energy definitely had a future, despite concerns brought on by the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl nuclear accidents in the United States in 1979 and in Ukraine in 1986.
Environmentalists condemn the use of nuclear energy for power, citing the danger of radiation from accidents and the problems of disposing of highly radioactive spent fuel.
But nuclear power use is growing in Asia while it continues to play a role in Western power supplies.
Another theme at the conference will be nuclear terrorism.
Experts working for the Obninsk-based physical-energy institute have designed a unique nuclear-powered heat-supply station. This station, which is called Ruta, is so safe that it can be sited inside residential areas. All in all, the world has several hundred-Ruta-type reactors, what with Russia boasting nine such contraptions. However, all of them serve other purposes; as a matter of fact, scientists have never discussed the possibility of using them for heat-supply purposes. Meanwhile the afore-said physical-energy institute's experts have suggested this for the first time ever; in other words, natural gas can be replaced by nuclear fuel, thus ensuring reliable heat supply.
If implemented, this project would usher in the nuclear-powered heat-supply industry, the Institute's director Anatoly Zrodnikov noted.
The Ruta project is supported by Russia's Economic Development and Trade Ministry, as well as by its State Construction Committee. A standard nuclear-powered heat-supply station should be designed before the year is out. After that, it will take 12 months to peg this station to any specific locality; construction operations themselves will last another 12 months.
Obninsk is located 100 km south-west from Moscow; the world's first nuclear power plant was commissioned there 50 years ago (June 27, 1954).
1. Israel's EER wins deal to treat Chernobyl waste
(for personal use only)
Israeli firm EER said on Sunday it won a contract from the Ukraine government to treat low-level radioactive waste from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
EER will invest $40 million to set up several waste treatment facilities and expects to receive income of about $35 million a year from the plants, the company said in a statement.
The contract to treat some 500,000 tonnes of waste is on a basis of build, operate and transfer and is for a period of 20-25 years.
The explosion at Chernobyl on April 26, 1986, was the world's worst civil nuclear accident and has been blamed for thousands of deaths due to radiation-linked illness, a huge increase in cancer and high radiation levels in affected areas.
"We have a unique technology. There is no pollution and no ash," EER Chairman Itschak Shrem told Reuters.
EER developed the plasma gasification melting technology together with Russia's Kurchatov Institute research centre and the Radon Institute. The technology uses high temperatures to transform the waste into ceramic residue and gas.
The Israeli company, which recently raised $9 million from Japan's Takahashi Group, is seeking a strategic partner to join EER.
"We believe this deal will lead to other contracts," Shrem said, noting the company has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese government for a large medical waste project.
EER is also setting up a facility in Israel using the same technology to treat municipal waste and which will serve as a demonstration model.
Investors in EER include Israeli investment company Shrem Fudim Kelner & Co (DOSR.TA: Quote, Profile, Research) and its subsidiary SFK Technologies (SFKT.TA: Quote, Profile, Research) , Urdan Industries (URDN.TA: Quote, Profile, Research) , the Japanese company and South Korean investment firm EBN.
Russian nuclear power plants (NPP-s) are now safer than they had been during the first few years of their operation, Andrei Malyshev, director of this country's federal nuclear-safety service, said here today.
It's an established fact that those specific NPP-s, which are having their licenses extended by us, are now safer than prior to modernization, Malyshev noted.
Their safety has been enhanced 20-fold, Malyshev added; in his words, this really impressive parameter has been confirmed by Russian and international experts alike.
The nuclear-safety service is extending licenses for the operation of No. One power units at the Kursk and Leningrad NPP-s for another five and three years, respectively. Quite possibly, their subsequent operation will be discussed after these deadlines expire, Malyshev went on to say. (These were among the first power units in the history of Russia's nuclear power industry - Ed.)
NPP operators estimate that the service life of both NPP-s can be extended by another 10-15 years. We can extend the afore-said licenses, if these NPP-s match nuclear-safety standards 3-5 years from now, Malyshev said.
At the same time, he reminded that the first power units had been shut down at the Beloyarsk and Novovoronezh NPP-s, before expending their rated service life; this decision was motivated by the fact that they no longer conformed to new safety standards.
Talking about the future of Russia's nuclear power industry, Malyshev noted the need for a comprehensive approach. We must sustain old NPP-s, also building new ones with the help of private investment.
The nuclear power industry is a top-priority aspect of federal policies. A recent Cabinet session dealing with tariff-regulation issues noted that, apart from state mechanisms, other investment incentives were essential, Malyshev stressed.
NPP-s generate 37 percent of all European Russian electricity, Malyshev noted.
I don't agree with the assertions of some US politicians to the effect that Russia can serve as a source of the nuclear-terrorism threat, Malyshev went on to say.
The US board of inquiry, which is investigating the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, noted a week ago that Al-Qaida terrorists had studied the possibility of seizing an ICBM launcher and forcing Russian scientists to fire a nuclear-tipped ICBM against the United States.
Russian nuclear facilities are reliably shielded against terrorist attacks, Malyshev assured RIA Novosti.
Our external-protection levels are no worse than those in some European countries, sometimes exceeding such levels a great deal, Malyshev said.
Surely enough, they boast pretty good equipment; meanwhile Russia has established a comprehensive system involving special forces, Malyshev added.
Comprehensive exercises are organized at an operational Russian NPP each year, Malyshev reminded RIA Novosti. According to Malyshev, the threshold of confrontation keeps increasing each year in line with different global terrorist tactics.
According to the nuclear-safety service, Russia has about 213 nuclear facilities and 454 nuclear-fuel compounds for storing different types of nuclear fuel, spent nuclear fuel included.
The nuclear-safety service employs 1,700 inspectors, who monitor all facilities round the clock, Malyshev said in conclusion.
1. Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov Meets with IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
(for personal use only)
On June 28, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov met with the visiting Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed ElBaradei.
During the talk, the sides touched on various aspects of cooperation by Russia with the IAEA. They noted the high level of collaboration in various fields, and underscored the important role of the Agency in strengthening the regime for the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, in developing international cooperation in the peaceful utilization of atomic energy and in ensuring the proper level of nuclear and radiation safety. The enhancement of the Agency's system of safeguards is assuming a great significance in the conditions of new challenges and threats, it was pointed out.
Special attention was devoted to regional problems of nuclear nonproliferation and to their settlement.
In respect of the Iranian "nuclear dossier" the sides emphasized the necessity of consistently developing interaction between the IAEA and Iran with the objective of removing the outstanding issues as regards its nuclear activity.
The Russian side re-emphasized that the solution of the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula remains one of the top-priority tasks. Furthermore, we see no alternative to continuing the six-party talks to settle the North Korean nuclear problem, the third round of which ended in Beijing on June 25.
Separately the sides discussed the ideas of strengthening the regime for the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, as elaborated at the recent G8 summit at Sea Island, with respect to the activities of the Agency.
The Russian side reaffirmed its invariable support for the activities of the IAEA.
2. Concerning Third Round of Six-Party Talks in Beijing
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
(for personal use only)
The third round of six-party (Russia, the DPRK, the US, China, the Republic of Korea, and Japan) talks on the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula took place in Beijing on June 23-26. Ambassador at Large Alexander Alexeyev headed the Russian delegation. The third round of talks was preceded by a meeting of the Working Group held in Beijing on June 21-22.
At the end of the talks a statement of the chairman was issued, and the Rules of Procedure of the Working Group were approved; agreement was reached in principle to hold the fourth round of talks before the end of September of the current year.
The Russian side is satisfied with the results of the meeting, in the course of which concrete proposals were submitted for ensuring the nuclear-weapons-free status of the Korean Peninsula and for implementing the first-stage measures on the road leading to denuclearization that presuppose a freezing of the nuclear activity of the DPRK in response to the reciprocal steps of the other parties.
Moscow believes that, given a constructive approach of all the parties, it is quite possible to achieve the common objectives on the basis of the already agreed-upon principles and approaches.
3. TEXT OF U.S.-EU DECLARATION ON THE NON-PROLIFERATION OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
The White House
(for personal use only)
26 June 2004
The United States and the European Union reiterate that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems is a major threat to international peace and security. The risk that terrorists might acquire such weapons adds a new dimension to this threat. This global challenge requires a long-term strategy and a multifaceted solution. We need to tackle it individually and collectively, working together and with other partners, including through relevant international institutions, in particular those of the United Nations system. We are committed to strengthening the consensus among nations that proliferation is unacceptable. We call attention to our 2003 Joint Statement and our individual and collective joint efforts since then. We have identified the following joint actions to express our continuing determination to prevent, contain, and reverse proliferation: We applaud the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 and urge all States to implement all of its provisions in full. The Resolution states that proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to international peace and security. Terrorism and illicit trafficking add new dimensions to this threat. The Resolution identifies additional steps that States should take to counter these threats. We will meet our obligations under this Resolution and are prepared to assist States in doing the same. We will adopt, where needed, and enforce effective laws to prohibit the manufacture, acquisition, possession, development, transport, or transfer of weapons of mass destruction by non-state actors. We will adopt, where needed, and enforce domestic controls to prevent proliferation, including physical protection, border, export, and transhipment controls. We welcome the G8 Action Plan on Non-Proliferation announced at Sea Island on 9 June 2004.
-- To allow the world to safely enjoy the benefits of peaceful nuclear energy without adding to the danger of weapons proliferation, we have agreed to work to establish new measures so that sensitive nuclear items with proliferation potential will not be exported to States that may seek to use them for weapons purposes or allow them to fall into terrorist hands. The export of such items should only occur pursuant to criteria consistent with global non-proliferation norms and to States rigorously committed to those norms. We shall work to amend appropriately the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) guidelines and to gain the widest possible support for such measures in the future. In aid of this process, for the intervening year we agree that it would be prudent not to inaugurate new initiatives involving transfer of enrichment and reprocessing equipment and technologies to other States. We call on all States to adopt this strategy of prudence. We will also develop new measures to ensure reliable access to nuclear materials, equipment, and technology, including nuclear fuel and related services, at market conditions, for all States, consistent with maintaining non-proliferation commitments and standards.
-- The International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Additional Protocol must become an essential new standard, alongside the IAEA's comprehensive safeguards agreements, in the field of nuclear supply arrangements. We will work to strengthen the NSG guidelines accordingly. We call on all States to implement these standards by the end of 2005.
-- To enhance the IAEA's integrity and effectiveness and strengthen its ability to ensure that nations comply with their NPT obligations and safeguards agreements, we will work together to establish a new special committee of the IAEA Board of Governors. This committee would be responsible for preparing a comprehensive plan for strengthened safeguards and verification. We believe this committee should be made up of Member States in compliance with their NPT and IAEA commitments.
-- We support the suspension of nuclear fuel cycle cooperation with States that violate their nuclear non-proliferation and safeguards obligations.-- It is our view that States under IAEA investigation for non-technical violations of their nuclear non-proliferation and safeguards obligations should not participate in decisions taken by the IAEA Board of Governors or the proposed special committee regarding their own case or other compliance cases reviewed by the Board.
-- We fully subscribe to the Proliferation Security Initiative Statement of Interdiction Principles and support efforts to interdict WMD shipments and enhance cooperation against proliferation networks, including in intelligence and law enforcement.
-- We will continue to support the important non-proliferation activities carried out under the Global Partnership Programme.
-- We will take concrete steps to expand and improve our capabilities to prevent and respond to bioterrorism.
Proliferation is a global threat which requires an effective global response. We reaffirm our willingness to work together to strengthen and universalise the disarmament and non-proliferation treaties and regimes that ban the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. In particular, we underline the importance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, and the Chemical Weapons Convention.
-- We call on States to fulfill their arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation commitments under the relevant multilateral treaty regimes. We support universal adherence to, and compliance with, these commitments.
-- We will seek to ensure strict implementation and compliance with these instruments and will support the multilateral institutions charged with verification and upholding compliance with these treaties and agreements.
-- We are committed to overcome the stalemate in the Conference on Disarmament.
-- We will seek universal adherence to the Hague Code of Conduct against the proliferation of ballistic missiles.
We recognise the NPT as the cornerstone of the global non-proliferation regime. We emphasise our commitment to preserve the integrity of the Treaty in all its aspects. We pledge to work together to achieve a successful outcome at the 2005 Review Conference of the Treaty and have agreed to the following steps to strengthen the NPT:
-- We will stress the importance of strict compliance with the NPT and continue to promote its universalisation. We recall our decision last year to make the International Atomic Energy Agency's safeguards agreements and Additional Protocols a standard for nuclear cooperation and non-proliferation. We seek universal adherence to comprehensive IAEA safeguards agreements and the Additional Protocol.
-- We will provide the IAEA with the necessary political and financial support, in particular for the rigorous implementation of safeguards and will insist on full transparency by all States, including by States that are subject to safeguards investigations considered by the IAEA Board of Governors. We remain concerned by the risks posed by the potential use of radioactive sources for terrorist purposes. We have resolved to enhance coordination of our efforts to promote radioactive source security and prevent the misuse of sources.
-- In this context, we will encourage every country to work towards following the guidance contained in the IAEA Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources as revised last year, in order to strengthen the protection and improve the management of radioactive sources.
-- We have agreed to import and export control guidance for radioactive sources and will work towards putting adequate export controls in place by the end of 2005 and apply them in a harmonised and consistent manner. We share the view that high-risk radioactive sources should only be supplied to authorised end-users in States that can control them and that States should take measures to prevent sources from being diverted for illicit use.
-- We are of the same view on the importance of legal and regulatory controls on radioactive sources and will support IAEA efforts to assist countries that need such assistance to establish effective and sustainable controls.
-- We support the IAEA Model Project to Upgrade National Radiation Protection Infrastructures and the recent IAEA draft Action Plan to expand and accelerate Model Project efforts, which will help the ability of participating countries to follow the guidance in the revised Code.
-- We will coordinate our assistance efforts in these areas. We support amending the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials to cover domestic storage, transport, and use of nuclear material for peaceful purposes. We will examine ways to strengthen existing controls and guidelines on weapons useable nuclear materials and nuclear facilities used for peaceful purposes. Since last year, we have made significant progress in the area of export control cooperation.
-- We will continue to promote, with others, the importance of effective export controls, backed up by criminal sanctions for illicit export and trafficking of sensitive materials for WMD programmes and work for a more efficient sharing of relevant information, in order to prevent illicit transfers. We will undertake additional efforts to identify, control, and interdict illegal shipments of WMD and missile-related materials. We will also explore ways to implement appropriate measures in the area of export controls and law enforcement that would contribute to the prevention of the illicit transfer of sensitive equipment and technology. We will work together to further strengthen the export control regimes.
-- Underlining the importance of effective export control systems and in the context of UNSCR 1540, we will work to widen international use of the control lists of the existing international control regimes.
-- We welcome recent developments which have seen all remaining EU Member States gain full membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Australia Group. We are working together to ensure that application for membership by the new EU Member States to the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Missile Technology Control Regime are actively considered in accordance with the respective procedures of those two Groups.
We remain committed to cooperating on specific proliferation challenges.
--The DPRK's announced withdrawal from the NPT is unprecedented and of serious concern to us all. The DPRK's pursuit of nuclear weapons, in violation of its international obligations, represents a threat to peace and security, as does the danger that the DPRK might export fissile material or nuclear weapons to dangerous States and terrorist groups. We support the Six-Party Process and call upon the DPRK to return to full compliance with the NPT and completely, verifiably, and irreversibly dismantle its nuclear programme, including nuclear enrichment and plutonium.
-- We remain united in our determination to see the proliferation implications of Iran's advanced nuclear program resolved. We are disturbed by Iran's recent announcement of its intention to resume manufacturing and assembly of centrifuges and urge Iran to rethink its decision. We reiterate that Iran must be in full compliance with its NPT obligations and its safeguards agreements. To this end, we reaffirm the IAEA Board of Governors' Iran resolutions, which deplore Iran's insufficient cooperation and call on Iran, inter alia, to cooperate fully and in a timely and proactive manner, with IAEA investigation of its nuclear programme and suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities.
-- We welcome Libya's decision to abandon, under international verification, its WMD and longer-range missile programs. We note Libya's cooperation with the IAEA, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and others, its signature of the Additional Protocol, and accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. We will work with Libya to implement these and other non-proliferation commitments.
We resolve to continue our work to prevent proliferation activity by both State and non-State actors and to address existing areas of proliferation concern.
4. STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY: H.R. 4614 ï¿½ Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill, FY 2005 (excerpted)
Executive Office of the President
(for personal use only)
Department of Energy The Administration strongly opposes reductions to the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Nonproliferation programs to eliminate weapons-grade plutonium production in Russia and to dispose of 68 metric tons of surplus weapons-usable plutonium in the Russian Federation and the United States. The proposed reductions could delay the programs and escalate their costs, thereby damaging critical components of the Nationï¿½s comprehensive nonproliferation strategy. [ï¿½]
Full statement: http://www.energy.gov/engine/content.do?PUBLIC_ID=16080&BT_CODE=PR_PRESSRELEASES&TT_CODE=PRESSRELEASE
5. Rare Radioactive Material From Kazakhstan Sent to Los Alamos, Could Save American Lives
Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan News Bulletin
(for personal use only)
Almatyï¿½s Nuclear Physics Institute, part of Kazakhstanï¿½s National Nuclear Center, delivered the first shipment of a rare radioactive isotope, Germani-68, to the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. This was the first ever shipment of the isotope from Kazakhstan to the U.S. and marked the completion of the first part of a long term cooperation project.
This shipment of Germani-68 weighed 100 mCi (milliCury), while there are plans to ship up to 300 mCi in 2005, the Nuclear Physics Institute explained on June 24.
This isotope is for medical use as an important component in modern nuclear medicine. It is used for early diagnosis in oncology, cardiology and neurology in a process known as positron emission tomography, or PET. Only a handful of worldï¿½s nuclear reactors produce Germani-68.
Germanii-68 is used as a generator for the isotope Germani-Gallii which emits positrons used to decipher tomography test results. For example, it can expose cancer when affected cells are smaller than the head of the head.
Ms. Natalya Zhdanova, Executive Director of Kazakhstanï¿½s Nuclear Society, said ï¿½intensive work of specialists in nuclear physics, radiochemistry, accelerating techniques and customs officials has seen this part of the project to successful completion. This is the first job of its kind in the countryï¿½s history.ï¿½
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.
RANSAC's Nuclear News is compiled two to three times weekly. To be automatically removed from our mailing list, click on the following link: Remove Me From The List