The Russian Delta-IV Project 667BDRM nuclear submarine completed the last stage of the sea tests in the White Sea after the overhaul at the Zvezdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk.
ITAR-TASS reported about this fact on September 14 with the reference to the Zvezdochka press department. The last part of the sea trial took place from September 5 to September 10. The main tasks were measuring acoustic fields, examining of the maneuverability and speed, torpedoes testing, and equipment testing in deep sea.
The project 667 Tula, Delta-IV (factory no.382) began its previous sea trials this year on August 29 in the White Sea. According to Interfax news agency, then the main task of the trials was testing acoustic systems and the submarineï¿½s systems. The shipyardï¿½s trials were combined with the acceptance trials therefore the Northern Fleetï¿½s representatives were onboard Tula during the trials. The shipyardï¿½s specialists corrected the faults revealed by the Northern Fleet representatives and soon it will to return to active service.
Earlier in July, Tula went to sea trials twice. There it performed a test dive, the accuracy of the magnet compass and speed measurements was checked, and various electric and magnet parameters were examined. The submarine is scheduled to return to active service in 2005. The Zvezdochka shipyardï¿½s specialists said to Interfax they had carried out works to prolong the lifetime of the submarine in the way it "will not reflect negative on the crew and environment safety." Before Tula the shipyard has successfully repaired Verhoturye and Ekaterinburg, the subs of the same class.
K-114 was built at the Sevmash plant in 1987. Tula is one of the last Soviet built subs and it got its name in 1995 together with the sponsorship from the city of Tula. Submarines of the Project 667BDRM (Delta-IV) class entered service in 1985-1991. The total of 7 ships of this class was built. Submarines of this class carry the D-16RM missile system with 16 R-29RM (SS-N-23) missiles.
1. Kazakhstan to Recycle Weapons-Grade Uranium for Peaceful Applications: The Ulbinsk Metallurgic Factory is to Start Transforming Weapons-Grade Uranium for Peaceful use
(for personal use only)
ASTANA, Kazakhstan -- On October 8th, there is to be an official ceremony to mark the launch of processing of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) into low enriched uranium (LEU) at the Ulbinsk Metallurgic Factory in Eastern Kazakhstan. President Nazarbayev, Ted Turner, US Senator Sam Nunn, the President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Pierre Lellouche, as well as representatives of IAEA and NGOs will be among attendees to the event, which is held in the framework of the non-proliferation of WMD program.
HEU is weapons-grade or weapon-usable uranium in which the content of the U-235 isotope is over the 20% mark. Weapons-grade HEU (containing 85% of U-235) is the standard for existing nuclear devices, though weapons-usable HEU (with U-235 content ranging between 20% and 85%) can be used in a crude nuclear device. LEU is the type of nuclear fuel used in civil reactors, with a concentration of U-235 of the order of 3% to 5%.
Kazakhstan joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear state on February 14th 1994 after having destroyed its formidable arsenal of 110 ballistic missiles and 1,200 nuclear warheads it inherited from the Soviet Union. The country now leverages its experience of the safe disposal of nuclear weapons with the opening of this new installation at the Ulbinsk Metallurgic Factory.
Opened in 1949, the Ulbinsk Metallurgic Factory's original function was to supply the USSR's defence sector. At the present time the plant is one of the largest world producers of its kind. It occupies 529 hectares, and houses over 100 structures and installations housing uranium, beryllium and tantalum production as well as an etching acid production department, instrumental and mechanical quarters, electrical repair and energy repair shop, and a number of other production complex utilities.
The Ulbinsk Metallurgic Factory's is mostly owned (90%) by the national atomic energy firm "KazAtomProm" which is Kazakhstan's operator for the import and export of uranium and is among top 10 uranium-mining companies of the world accounting for 5% of the world production of uranium. In 2004 "KazAtomProm" mined 3,320 tons of uranium compared to 2952 tons in 2003.
1. Russia makes valuable contribution to IAEA work--El Baradei
(for personal use only)
MOSCOW - Russia makes a very valuable contribution to the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and approaches all activities of the agency in the atomic sphere in a weighed way, IAEA director general Mohammed El Baradei said at his talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday.
He said he was going to raise at the meeting the question of the broader use of atomic energy, the need for reduction of risk of the wrong use of nuclear energy and an idea for such use.
Russiaï¿½s opinion is very important for the IAEA, El Baradei said.
Lavrov in turn said that "Russia confirms the consistent support to the activity of Mohammed ElBaradei as the head of the IAEA."
"El Baradei has acquitted himself as a professional who guides himself by documents in a weighed way, which ensures a lack of politicisation of his work," Lavrov said.
El Baradei said in Moscow on Wednesday that the situation with nuclear safety in Russia had become much more favourable.
Not all issues have been lifted, El Baradei said, adding that there are problems that kill his night sleep, but Russia is not among them.
Questions about nuclear programmes of North Korea, Libya and Iran remain, but the UN Security Council can be addressed about them only in case the international community is unable to persuade some or another country to stop enrichment of nuclear materials, he said.
El Baradei said the organisation proposes a 5-10 year ban on the construction of new nuclear facilities.
This can be done after certain countries are given guarantees of fuel and technology deliveries, securing in exchange their refusal to reprocess nuclear materials.
This would solve 80 percent of problems in the nuclear sphere. It would be difficult for the countries to dispute with the international community if such deliveries were guaranteed to them, the IAEA chief said.
Besides, about 50 percent of states already have spent nuclear fuel and do not know what to do with it.
The IAEA, the US and Russia are discussing a possibility of making a so-called fuel bank.
Russia shows significant interest in what could become an international depositary, El Baradei said.
1. Russian Foreign Ministry demands Adamov's extradition to Russia
(for personal use only)
MOSCOW - A delegation from the U.S. Justice Department met with Russian officials in Moscow Wednesday to discuss the extradition from Switzerland of a former nuclear power minister wanted in the U.S. on embezzlement charges, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.
The U.S. delegation, led by U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan, who filed a criminal case against Yevgeny Adamov, was presented with Russia's reasons for demanding Adamov's extradition to Russia, where he is wanted on charges of fraud and abuse of office, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
U.S. authorities have accused Adamov and his business partner Mark Kaushansky, a U.S. citizen, of embezzling $9 million allocated by the U.S. government for nuclear security projects in Russia.
3. US denies urging Russia to end N-ties with Iran
(for personal use only)
LONDON - The United States denied it wanted Russia to freeze all nuclear cooperation with Iran, backtracking on earlier statements from a US diplomat, AFP reported.
The US government does not oppose an agreement between Russia and Iran for construction of a nuclear power plant because the deal ensures Moscow secure all spent fuel that could otherwise be diverted to military use, said US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.
The agreement "addresses the concerns that the United States has and others in the international community have with regard to Iran getting access to those sensitive nuclear fuel cycle activities," McCormack said.
The spokesman's comments contradicted earlier remarks by Stephen Rademaker, US assistant secretary of state, who told a UN panel on Monday that "no government should permit new nuclear transfers to Iran, and all ongoing nuclear projects should be frozen".
Iran's disputed nuclear program has been a source of friction between Russia and the United States, with Moscow keen to follow through with its 800 million dollar deal to build a reactor in the Iranian port of Bushehr.
The board of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last month adopted a resolution condemning Iran for resuming uranium enrichment activities.
The resolution found Iran in "non-compliance" with nuclear proliferation safeguards, a possible trigger for taking the matter to the UN Security Council.
Russia abstained from voting on the resolution, but the State Department said it believed Moscow agreed with the IAEA's position.
"I think that Russia shares the concerns of IAEA board members that are on this that Iran not be allowed to pursue a covert nuclear weapons program," McCormack said.
"We look forward to further consultations with Russia on how to address the Iranian nuclear problem at the November IAEA board meeting."
Member states of the IAEA's board of governors are due to meet on November 24 to discuss Iran's nuclear project.
Iran, which denies it is pursuing a clandestine weapons program, initially reacted to the IAEA reprimand by threatening to go ahead with uranium enrichment and warned it could withhold oil deliveries from the world market.
1. Russia pledges to work in parallel with EU on Iran
Xinhua News Agency
(for personal use only)
MOSCOW -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday Russia will work in parallel with the European Union (EU) in resolving the dispute over Iran's nuclear program.
"Russia has been very active in the process of negotiations between the EU trio and Iran. The resumption of negotiations between the trio and Iran meets the interests of both parties," Lavrov said after talks with Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
"Russia intends to move along a parallel path to contribute to the achievement of results that satisfy all sides," he said.
The EU talks with Iran, aimed at persuading Tehran to scrap uranium enrichment, collapsed after Iran resumed uranium conversion activities in August.
The EU trio -- Germany, France and Britain -- bristled at Iran's renewal of nuclear fuel work and warned of hauling Iran before the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.
Russia is opposed to such a move.
Uranium conversion is a process that precedes enrichment. Enriched uranium can be used as fuel in nuclear power generation or in nuclear bombs.
The United States accuses Iran of seeking nuclear know-how to build nuclear weapons. Iran, however, says its nuclear program is dedicated exclusively to power generation.
Lavrov described the IAEA's activities in Iran as the "best way of achieving the goal of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."
"Russia is interested in the strongest consolidation of the non-proliferation regime, above all nuclear arms, and is convinced that further IAEA activities in Iran will help achieve this goal" Lavrov said.
"We are for the IAEA's further cooperation with Iran and we encourage the Iranian leadership to act likewise," he said.
1. Russia's Navy Pins Hopes On Bulava Nuclear Missile
Eurasia Daily Monitor
(for personal use only)
During his September 27 call-in television program, Russian President Vladimir Putin once again invoked one of his favorite themes. Specifically, he stressed that under his leadership Russia is developing new hypersonic, high-precision missiles that can change their course and altitude unlike any other missiles belonging to any other state in the world. These missiles are also invulnerable to other missiles, so no anti-missile defense system, e.g. the one that America is building, could take them out and undermine Russia's deterrent.
Naturally this kind of rhetoric is meant to appeal to the patriotic sentiments of the population and the armed forces. This helps explain why Putin has frequently chosen to talk about such weapons to both national and military audiences. But this time he apparently was referring specifically to the successful tests of the long-awaited Bulava nuclear missile, known also as the R-30 ballistic sea-launched nuclear missile.
The missile was successfully tested by being launched from a Dmitry Donskoi class submarine in the Pacific Fleet against a target in Kamchatka. Following those tests, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov announced that Russian submarines would start deploying operational versions of the Bulava in 2007. The Bulava is a solid propellant sea-launched missile that can carry up to 10 multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVS). It is highly compatible with Russia's new Topol-M (SS-27) land based nuclear missile, which is also MIRV capable. And its introduction comports with plans to modernize Russia's Akula (Shark) class submarine (Project 941) and the new Borey class missile-carrying submarines (Project 955) that are to be armed with 12 Bulava missiles by 2010.
These new systems reveal Russia's plans for its navy and for its nuclear arsenal. Putin and Ivanov have announced that the Bulava's development reflects the recovery of the defense industry and its capability to produce for both domestic and foreign markets. They are also supposed to be counters to America's plans for a missile defense system and to demonstrate the continuing robustness and improvement of Russia's nuclear missile and command-and-control capability.
Thus the Bulava serves several purposes. First, it and the Topol ensure the continuity and robustness of Russia's nuclear deterrents and secondike capability against a U.S. and/or Chinese attack. (The fact that the test took place in the Pacific might be a hint here as well.) Second, it demonstrates that the nuclear fleet is, to a large degree, moving out to sea and that Russia will retain its capability for MIRVing missiles because that is the only way it can afford a robust nuclear capability, especially a secondike capability. Third, the navy will not be oriented to global power projection, as the former Navy commander-in-chief Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov wanted. Following his disgrace and forced retirement, Putin and Admiral Vladimir Masorin, the new CINC of the Navy, have also made clear a preference for a navy that will confine itself to defense of those waters crucial to Russia. The Black Sea and Baltic Fleets will be conventionally armed fleets to defend those waterways against foreign attack or terrorist threats. The Northern and Pacific Fleets will be nuclear fleets, largely made up of nuclear-powered and nuclear-missile submarines and more submarines to protect those missile-carrying ones from foreign threats. Thus they will provide combat stability to the fleet. They will also be the main repository of Russia's secondike capability and thus defend against any threats to Russia's nuclear strike capability. The Caspian Flotilla will dominate that Sea and be provided with modern conventional forces to assert Russian dominance and capability either to protect or threaten energy platforms there against foreign intrusion or terrorist threats.
Essentially Putin and Ivanov are seeking to modernize the Russian armed forces as a whole, but to assign the Navy fewer resources than it wants. The plans calls for building up land forces first and now air forces to meet what they and the military consider to be the main threat, either terrorism or a large-scale U.S. or NATO attack like that launched against Kosovo or Iraq in 1991. The steady but slow modernization of the Bulava and the Akula and Borey Class submarines are centerpieces of this effort to keep naval costs down while retaining an adequate deterrent and great-power bragging rights. But it is also clear that there are those in the navy who oppose confining modernization to those forces. It is very likely that this argument is not yet over.
(Itar-Tass, RIA-Novosti, President.ru, September 27; Interfax-AVN, September 28)
MOSCOW - Russia's Kalininskaya nuclear power plant shut down one of its reactors after specialists found a number of defects in it, an official said on Thursday.
"Reactor # 3 of the Kaliniskaya nuclear power plant was shut down on Wednesday in order to eliminate the defects that had been found," an official from the Rosenergoatom concern said. It is expected to go back on line before October 12.
The concern which runs ten Russian nuclear power plants, underlined that that there had been "no breaches of the limits or safe operation conditions of the plant's reactors."
The radiation level at the plant and the adjacent territory does not exceed the natural background level, it said.
Reactor #3 was commissioned last December, bringing the number of on-line Russian reactors to 31.
The 1,000-mW unit is the newest development in Russia's nuclear power engineering, packing more than 600 unique design solutions, according to Rosenergoatom.
Its construction lasted 20 years, as the physical launch was repeatedly postponed: first after the so-called Chernobyl syndrome, and later because of the shortage of funds.
The project to build the reactor costs about one billion dollars.
Earlier, Kalininskaya plant officials said the signing of the document by a state commission on clearing the reactor for operation was due to take place later this month.
3. Russian nuclear industry waiting for private investors
(for personal use only)
The Russian nuclear industry believes it is realistic to attract private investments into nuclear industry.
In September the Federal Nuclear Agency (Rosatom) hosted a seminar on perspectives of the state-private partnership in the field of nuclear energy, daily Kommersant reported. The participants decided that it is quite realistic to attract private investors into nuclear industry. According to the Rosatomï¿½s chief academic secretary Alexander Putilov, the state has not enough financing for the Russian nuclear industry, and Rosenergoatom can only support simple production. The existing conditions do not attract the private investors as the nuclear reactors may only belong to the state.
If the legislation is changed then the private investors could finance the nearly completed nuclear plants and then they could profit from the electricity sales. Besides, the private investments could be used for construction of floating nuclear power plants, and upgrade of the existing nuclear power plants.
Rosenergoatomï¿½s executive director Sergey Ivanov said to Kommersant, that private companies could be also engaged in spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste handling and even reactor decommissioning. "Of course, we should become a stock company first," he added.
The potential investors, representatives of three banks, also took part in the seminar and they were about to believe in the bright future of such cooperation. "But it should be always taken into consideration that nuclear industry will be always dominated by the state, therefore special conditions for the investors are needed here," the head of the analytical department of Gazprombank Sergey Suverov said to Kommersant daily.
4. Lithuania should build new nuclear power plant: President
Xinhua News Agency
(for personal use only)
RIGA -- Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus said Tuesday that his country should remain a country with nuclear energy and build a new nuclear power plant as soon as possible, said reports from Vilnius , capital of Lithuania.
Wrangling over the shutdown of the Ignalina nuclear power plant,located 130 km northeast of Vilnius, should come to an end, Adamkus said in an interview with local media.
He said Lithuania has never signed documents on giving up its status as a country with nuclear energy, adding that his country should consider the construction of a third nuclear reactor to retain independent power supply.
A report released by the Lithuanian parliament said the closureof Ignalina nuclear power plant will cost 41.5 billion litas (14.6billion US dollars).
Experts feared that due to the huge cost, the Baltic country may be unable to meet its commitment to shutting down the plant completely.
Earlier, the parliament ruled against a draft on postponing theclosure of the No.2 reactor at the Ignalina nuclear plant.
The Ignalina plant, which provides 80 percent of Lithuania's electricity, was designed and built by the former Soviet Union and is the Baltic nation's only nuclear plant.
The first reactor started to operate on Dec. 31, 1983, and the second was launched in May 1987.
In June 2002, Lithuania and the European Union (EU) reached an agreement in Luxembourg on the closure of the plant. Under the agreement, Lithuania had to shut down the first reactor before 2005 and the second before 2009.
The EU will provide some funding for the closure, while the Lithuanian government has also raised about 814 million dollars.
On Dec. 31, 2004, the first reactor was closed completely after 21 years of operation.
The closure of the Ignalina nuclear power plant will have a huge impact on the power supply of Lithuania and its neighboring countries.
The Russian company TVEL intends to reduce nuclear fuel export in 2006.
The head of the Federal Nuclear Agency Alexander Rumyantsev stated this to journalists on September 14: "We do all to expand the nuclear fuel delivery market for Russia, but I think, for the first time the Russian company TVEL will slightly reduce the export of the fuel assemblies in 2006." He did not name the reasons for such reduction. The TVEL company produces nuclear fuel and delivers it to the Russian nuclear plants and for export, RIA Novosti reported.
6. Armenia signs deal to upgrade nuclear waste facility
(for personal use only)
YEREVAN - An agreement to upgrade the radioactive waste management facility at the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) was signed Monday, a senior official said.
Gagik Markosyan, the plant's general director, said the agreement had been signed by the Armenian NPP and France's ï¿½ogema Logistic.
"The French company will provide the technology to build a nuclear waste storage facility using the dry-burial method, along with consulting services," he said, adding that the agreement stipulated the construction of 24 additional modules, each containing 56 cassettes of spent nuclear fuel.
Markosyan said the project would be funded by the Armenian government but did not reveal the overall cost, citing the deal's confidentiality. He said $1.89 million had been allocated to the project this year.
The first additional storage facility is scheduled to be operational in 2007.
The Armenian NPP produces 40% of the country's electricity and will remain operational until 2016, according to experts.
In September 2003, the plant came under the five-year trust management of INTER RAO UES, a subsidiary of Rosenergoatom and Russia's RAO UES electricity monopoly.
The European Union has insisted that Armenia shut down the nuclear power plant, offering 100 million euros in aid. But Armenian experts have said the construction of alternative power generating facilities would cost the country about a billion euros.
1. PRESS RELEASE: Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Alexeyev Meets with S. R. Mohajeri, Director General of Consular Affairs at the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
(for personal use only)
On October 5, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Alexander Alexeyev received S. R. Mohajeri, Director General of Consular Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
During the conversation, the sides exchanged views on topical questions of Russian-Iranian ties, and in particular discussed a broad range of problems in bilateral consular cooperation.
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