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Nuclear News - 11/9/2005
RANSAC Nuclear News, November 9, 2005
Compiled By: Julia Myers


A.  Nuclear Terrorism
    1. Nuclear-bomb website woos al-Qaida warriors, WorldNetDaily.com  (11/7/2005)
B.  Nonproliferation Diplomacy
    1. All Russian CW Disposal Sites to Be Working by 2009, Global Security Newswire (11/4/2005)
C.  US-Russia
    1. U.S. Senate requests report on Russian-U.S. nuclear arms , Arkady Orlov, RIA Novosti, RIA Novosti (11/9/2005)
    2. Washington, Moscow Come to Liability Agreement for U.S.-Backed Nuclear Projects in Russia, David Francis, Global Security Newswire (11/9/2005)
    3. US and Russia back 'nuclear fuel bank', MSN (11/7/2005)
D.  Russia-Iran
    1. No disagreement with EU on Iran nuclear file - Russian minister , RIA Novosti (11/9/2005)
    2. Iran's right to peaceful nuclear technology key to further talks with Europe - Lavrov, Interfax (11/8/2005)
    3. Russia, Iran Eye Nuclear Fuel Venture, Reuters (11/7/2005)
    4. UN Nuclear Watchdog Satisfied With Russia-Iran Nuclear Cooperation, MosNews (11/5/2005)
E.  Russia-North Korea
    1. Russia ready to cooperate with N. Korea in nuclear talks -- ministry , Alexei Yefimov, RIA Novosti (11/8/2005)
F.  Nuclear Forces
    1. Ivanov on army reform, national defense , RIA Novosti (11/9/2005)
    2. Putin attends army command conference, promises pay raise , RIA Novosti (11/9/2005)
G.  Nuclear Industry
    1. Russia may corporatize nuclear power utility by year's end , RIA Novosti (11/8/2005)
    2. Red Report Presented in Krasnoyarsk , Vera Ponomareva, Bellona Foundation (11/5/2005)
H.  Nuclear Safety
    1. Armenia to allocate $190,000-plus to build spent nuclear fuel storage , Gamlet Matevosyan, RIA Novosti (11/4/2005)
I.  Official Statements
    1. PRESS RELEASE: On the Talks Between the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Leading European Union Troika in Moscow, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (11/9/2005)
    2. President Vladimir Putin will make a working visit to the Republic of Korea on 19 November 2005, following the APEC summit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (11/7/2005)
    3. PRESS RELEASE: Results of the Work of the First Committee of the 60th UN General Assembly Session, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (11/7/2005)
    4. NNSA Completes Czech Research Reactor Conversion , National Nuclear Security Administration (11/4/2005)
J.  Items of Interest
    1. 2005 Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (11/7/2005)
    2. 2005 Carnegie International Nonproliferation Conference: Remarks Prepared for Energy Secretary Sam Bodman , Samuel Bodman, Department of Energy (11/7/2005)
    3. Kola Nuclear Plant Operating Illegally , Andrei Ozharovsky, Bellona Foundation (11/4/2005)



A.  Nuclear Terrorism

1.
Nuclear-bomb website woos al-Qaida warriors
WorldNetDaily.com
11/7/2005
(for personal use only)


At least one nuclear physicist is expressing alarm over an al-Qaida website that has posted a detailed manual providing instructions for building nuclear, "dirty" and biological bombs--both for the precise details the manual provides and for the site's growing popularity.

The internet forum, Al-Firdaws, or Paradise, contains "80 pages of instructions and pictures of kitchen bomb-making techniques," reports the London Times. The site has had 57,000 hits, worrying terror experts the information is serving as a recruiting tool for al-Qaida.

John Hassard, a reader in physics at Imperial College, London, says, "Normally you just get generic principles, but this appears to be more like a proper instruction manual. The thing about this website that is striking is that it is very particular. A lot of effort has been put into it."

The online manual, divided into nine sections, offers lessons such as "The Nuclear Bomb of Jihad" and "The Way to Enrich Uranium," as well as instructions on how to make more simple bombs that can be used against gasoline stations or power generation facilities. Readers are directed to more easily obtained sources of radioactive materials such as radium--widely available in the medical field--for use in "dirty bombs."

Hassard is not too concerned a novice bomb maker could use the site to build a nuclear weapon; the technology and access to fissionable material is beyond the reach of amateurs, but the information could be of use to groups involved in smuggling nuclear materials out of the former Soviet Union, he says.

"It is a very real threat and one which we can't afford to ignore," he warns. "I would say this is public enemy No 1."

Matti Steinberg, an Israeli security expert on al-Qaida, sees the publishing of detailed bomb-making manuals as part of the terrorist organization's usual progression prior to an attack.

"Al-Qaida strives to move directly from the stage of obtaining the WMD to the stage of using it," says Steinberg.

Additionally, he notes another seldom-mentioned motivation behind the attempt of al-Qaida (made up of Sunni Muslims) to acquire nuclear weapons: the fear that Shi'ite Iran is close to developing a bomb and the desire to balance those efforts by building the first Sunni one.

The Paradise forum encourages its prospective recruits to "Fight them so that Allah will punish them at your hands and will put them to shame and will give you victory over them"--a quote from the Koran. "Perhaps nuclear weapons represent a technology of the 1940s. However, the Crusaders, the allies of the Satan, Allah's curse be upon them, insist on depriving the jihad fighters of the right to have these weapons."


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B.  Nonproliferation Diplomacy

1.
All Russian CW Disposal Sites to Be Working by 2009
Global Security Newswire
11/4/2005
(for personal use only)


All planned Russian chemical weapons destruction facilities are expected to be operational by 2009, Viktor Kholstov, deputy chairman of the country�s Federal Industry Agency, said yesterday.

"In 2009 all seven sites needed in Russia to destroy chemical weapons within the relevant international convention will start to operate," Kholstov said during a press conference in Moscow.

Work at Russia�s first disposal site, at Gorny, expected to end this year, according to ITAR-Tass.

"The second facility will be put into operation before the end of the year in the settlement of Kambarka (Udmurtia)," Kholstov said.

A third facility is expected to begin operations by mid-2006 in the Kirov region, followed by plants in the Kurgan, Bryansk and Penza regions in 2008 and another site in the Udmurtia region in 2009, he said.

Kholstov said 1,000 of Russia�s 40,000 tons of chemical weapons have been eliminated to date. "In 2007, within the framework of the second stage of implementing the [Chemical Weapons Convention], Russia should destroy 8,000 tons of chemical weapons, about 20 percent of the amount accumulated," he added (ITAR-Tass, Nov. 3).

Kholstov also said that foreign investors should finance roughly 30 percent of Russia�s chemical weapons disposal work.

A press release circulated at the press conference said, "As of 1 June 2005, the declared sum of aid by foreign sponsors of the program equaled about $1.73 billion, but only a little over $311 million were received for the implementation of specific projects"(Interfax, Nov. 3).


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C.  US-Russia

1.
U.S. Senate requests report on Russian-U.S. nuclear arms
Arkady Orlov, RIA Novosti
RIA Novosti
11/9/2005
(for personal use only)


WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate has requested that the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon prepare a report on U.S. and Russian nonategic nuclear arms, the Senate's secretariat said Wednesday.

The U.S. Senate voted in a corresponding amendment to the current bill on defense spending for 2006. The document says that not later than six months after the defense budget is approved, the U.S. Defense Secretary will consult the Secretary of State on reviewing U.S. and Russian nonategic nuclear armaments.

The heads of the Pentagon and the State Department will then use this review to prepare a report on the need for cuts in nonategic nuclear arms, measures to improve security during their storage and transportation, and means of decommissioning excess nonategic nuclear weapons.


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2.
Washington, Moscow Come to Liability Agreement for U.S.-Backed Nuclear Projects in Russia
David Francis
Global Security Newswire
11/9/2005
(for personal use only)


WASHINGTON--The United States and Russia are nearing an agreement on liability that would permit U.S. support for disposing of Russian weapon-grade plutonium, officials said yesterday.

However, the officials said no final agreement has been reached on funding the project to build a Russian plant to convert plutonium from weapons into nuclear power-plant fuel by blending it with uranium. In 2000, Russia and the United States agreed to dispose of 34 tons of plutonium each by producing the mixed-oxide, or MOX, fuel.

A dispute over liability issues has stalled progress on the plan as the United States has been pushing for broad liability protections for U.S. contractors conducting nuclear-security work at Russian sites, but U.S. and Russian officials said yesterday that the liability problem has nearly been solved.

"As far as liability, I was informed that at least maybe before the end of this year, maybe January" an agreement would be finalized, said Russian State Duma Deputy Valentin Ivanov, speaking here at the Carnegie International Nonproliferation Conference. "It will be solved by both sides."

"There is an agreed document. That document is being reviewed," agreed James Timbie, senior adviser to Robert Joseph, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security. "The current obstacle of progress is no longer liability."

Timbie could not offer a specific time at which the liability agreement might be in place.

Still, the issue of funding for the Russian facility remains, Ivanov said. Russia has only $800 million to pay for the plant, which is expected to cost $2.5 billion. The rest must come from the international community, he said.

"It isn�t possible to start any attempt, from my point of view," Ivanov said. "We won�t have money to pay for the extra price."

Timbie, in an interview with Global Security Newswire, said countries planning to support the plant are discussing how much money each would give. So far, France, Germany and the United States have pledged financial assistance.

"It�s a mismatch between how much money has been raised and how much people think it�s going to cost," Timbie said. "The big next step is to try to refine what those costs are and to try to match the contributions."

"Countries are prepared to move forward" with contributions, Timbie said. "But still more needs to be agreed on. Negotiations are ongoing."

France, Germany and the United States have been pushing for Russia to pick up more of the tab, said Anthony Wier, a research associate at Harvard University�s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Russia, however, is reluctant to commit resources to the plant.

The liability agreement "certainly removes the first barrier," Wier said. "That�s not to say there�s not another barrier--the funding barrier--right behind it."

Funding efforts were also drawn out as the United States and Russia sought to conclude the liability agreement.

Two U.S. senators said in July that an agreement was imminent, but critics said the senators were trying to increase funding for the U.S. MOX plant at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.

The United States last month broke ground at the Savannah site, although it is unclear how the $1.6 billion facility will be funded. The Energy Department�s National Nuclear Security Administration has already committed $600 million to the plant.

Earlier this week, U.S. lawmakers agreed to set aside $220 million for construction of the plant. The Energy Department funding bill, finalized by a House-Senate conference, mandates that MOX processing begin by 2012. If processing is not completed by 2020, the Energy Department must remove remaining plutonium from South Carolina.


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3.
US and Russia back 'nuclear fuel bank'
MSN
11/7/2005
(for personal use only)


Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the UN nuclear monitor, said on Monday he had won commitments from the US and Russia for an initiative to create an international nuclear fuel bank.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said only such an international approach could resolve the problem of countries being able to develop a nuclear bomb through their own development of the fuel cycle.


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D.  Russia-Iran

1.
No disagreement with EU on Iran nuclear file - Russian minister
RIA Novosti
11/9/2005
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW--Russia and the European Union have no disagreements over the issue of the Iranian "nuclear file", the Russian foreign minister said Wednesday. "There are no contradictions here," Sergei Lavrov said.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said that the EU troika of Germany, Britain and France would not refer Iran's file to the UN Security Council, which has the power to impose sanctions on the Islamic republic if the country is found to be in breach of its international obligations.

Straw also praised interaction with Russia over Iran.


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2.
Iran's right to peaceful nuclear technology key to further talks with Europe - Lavrov
Interfax
11/8/2005
(for personal use only)


PODGORICA (Montenegro) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that further negotiations between Iran and a group of European nations - Great Britain, France and Germany - should be guided by recognition of Iran's right to develop peaceful nuclear technology.

"Iran has been speaking about it for a long time," Lavrov told journalists in Podgorica.

The minister offered his comment in response to media reports claiming that Iran is ready to resume negotiations with the European 'Troika'.


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3.
Russia, Iran Eye Nuclear Fuel Venture
Reuters
11/7/2005
(for personal use only)


Russia is in talks with Iran to set up a nuclear fuel joint venture over the next few years, a plan seen as a possible solution to a deadlock over Tehran's nuclear program, officials said.

Under the plan, Russia and Iran would jointly make enriched uranium and sell it around the world through a 50-50 commercial joint venture, a Federal Atomic Energy Agency official said Thursday.



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4.
UN Nuclear Watchdog Satisfied With Russia-Iran Nuclear Cooperation
MosNews
11/5/2005
(for personal use only)


The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has no complaint against Russia or Iran in relation to the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, the head of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency Rosatom Aleksandr Rumyantsev was quoted by Itar-Tass news agency as saying.

"There are no complaints against us from the IAEA, or against Iran, because we are following all the required procedures," he said.

"Iran has signed the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, albeit not ratified it yet. There is also the additional IAEA protocol, under which Iran must provide any information that interests the Agency for the purpose of overseeing the peaceful use of atomic energy," he explained. "So there are no criticisms of us from the IAEA," he summed up.

On Friday Foreign Ministers of India and Russia supported the way of resolving the dispute over Iran�s nuclear programme within the ambit IAEA.

Sergei Lavrov and his Indian counterpart Natwar Singh agreed in a telephone conversation that the UN nuclear watchdog would be the right place for resolving the Iran nuclear issue, with the help of political and diplomatic efforts.

The U.S. and EU are demanding the transfer of Iran�s nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council. During the last vote at IAEA in Vienna, India had voted against Iran resisting this move.


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E.  Russia-North Korea

1.
Russia ready to cooperate with N. Korea in nuclear talks -- ministry
Alexei Yefimov
RIA Novosti
11/8/2005
(for personal use only)


BEIJING, November 8 (RIA Novosti, Alexei Yefimov) - Russia is ready to cooperate with North Korea to produce results in the fifth round of six-nation talks on the nuclear problem, the head of the Russian delegation said Tuesday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Alexeyev arrived for the negotiations in Beijing from Pyongyang on the same flight as the head of the North Korean delegation to the six-party talks, Kim Gye-gwan.

According to Alexeyev, during the meetings in Pyongyang, both sides said they would "continue their efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula."

"This is an objective recognized by all the parties to the six-nation talks," he said.

The fifth round of talks, which also involve China, the United States, South Korea and Japan, is to be held in Beijing on November 9 through 11.


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F.  Nuclear Forces

1.
Ivanov on army reform, national defense
RIA Novosti
11/9/2005
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW - Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, speaking at a meeting of top military commanders Wednesday, said the Russian army would receive six inter-continental ballistic missiles and six satellites in 2006. He said a total of $8.2 billion would be allocated to buy and modernize weapons in 2006.

The minister also said more expenditure was needed to move army recruitment to a contract basis. "The 2006 draft budget stipulates a sum that is smaller than the demands of the [transfer program] taking into account inflation," Ivanov said, estimating the financing gap of the last two years at $142 million.

He added that the funds the Russian government had allocated to the Armed Forces had been insufficient to cover the needs of the army and navy because they had been used to maintain nuclear deterrent forces and the operational capability of regular troops.

The minister mentioned combat training problems caused by the process of transferring the army to a contract basis. Despite these problems, "military units are capable of fulfilling their tasks in peacetime and wartime and in emergency situations."

He said about 40 military units would be transferred to a contract basis in 2005 and 20 more units in 2006.

The minister said all military units needed professional sergeants "following the decision to cut military service to 12 months as of 2008."

He said the number of non-combat deaths in the armed forces had fallen this year by 5% to 857. The minister cited road, traffic, and other accidents among the main causes accounting for one-half of all non-combat deaths.

Speaking about national defense, Ivanov said Russia supported the principle of using preventative strikes. "We understand prevention as meaning not only strikes against criminal organizations and terrorist groups, but also other preventative actions to block the emergence of various threats before the need arises to take extreme measures to neutralize them."


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2.
Putin attends army command conference, promises pay raise
RIA Novosti
11/9/2005
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, November 9 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin attended a conference of the Armed Forces' command staff in the Defense Ministry Wednesday demanding that the government ensure that the Armed Forces not be commercialized. "I want to draw your attention to preventing the Armed Forces' material base from being used to solve commercial tasks," the president said.

Military pay and allowances for the Russian Armed Forces will be raised by 67% in the next three years, with a 15% raise planned for January 1, 2006, the president said.

Pensions for veterans will be raised accordingly, he said.

Putin said the country's economy was robust enough to increase spending on the development of the armed forces.

Putin said that by the end of 2015, the percentage of military spending invested in the development of the army and the navy should be raised to 70%, with the remaining 30% for maintenance.

"Only in this way will we be able to advance in substantial technical modernization of the armed forces, rather than patching up holes," the president said.

Putin said the Prosecutor General office and that of the military prosecutor would continue checking up the legality of certain practices in the Armed Forces, including hazing.

He confirmed plans to reduce the conscription service term to 12 months, beginning January 1, 2008.

"We must, without cutting the combat efficiency of the army and navy, ensure the reduction of the conscription service term to 12 months from January 1, 2008," Putin said.

Putin said it was necessary to pay heed to training Armed Forces units to take part in counter terrorist operations.

He also highlighted progress in improving Russia's nuclear deterrent and said trials had been conducted on weapons systems that could beat all existing anti-missile defense complexes and those in the design stage.

Russia's permanent combat readiness units should be armed with cutting-edge weapons, Putin said.

"Special attention should be paid to equipping the Russian Army permanent combat readiness units with high-accuracy weapons and effective reconnaissance and electronic warfare systems, as well as automated command-and-control systems," he said.

Putin said the Russian Army must constantly be prepared to provide global stability and protect Russia from any military-political pressure or military intimidation.

Russia's spending on weapons and military hardware in 2006 will grow 1.5 times against 2005, Putin said.

"I understand that this is a very difficult task," the president said about military modernization. "I had a detailed discussion of this issue with the defense minister, the chief of the General Staff, the prime minister and other departments. This is a difficult task, but it should be solved."

Putin said the armed forces had witnessed a switch from a stage of prolonged transformation to a stage of planned military development this year.

"These have been hard years for the country, army and navy... We lived under conditions of unending conflict in the North Caucasus and were unable to solve one problem at a time. It's pleasant to note that the armed forces are starting rhythmic work," Putin said.

He said the Defense Ministry had managed to improve the quality of command over troops and forces, and that the Armed Forces had been quite effective in countering the recent attack on Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria in the North Caucasus.


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G.  Nuclear Industry

1.
Russia may corporatize nuclear power utility by year's end
RIA Novosti
11/8/2005
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, November 8 (RIA Novosti) - A bill on the corporatization of Rosenergoatom, the utility that operates Russia's nuclear power plants, could be sent to the government for consideration by the end of 2005, a senior concern official said Tuesday.

"I hope we will receive an approval from the Ministry of Economic Development [and Trade] on all the details of the corporatization concept in November 2005, so that the corporatization bill could be passed to the government and the State Duma for consideration by year's end," Rosenergoatom's General Director Stanislav Antipov said.


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2.
Red Report Presented in Krasnoyarsk
Vera Ponomareva
Bellona Foundation
11/5/2005
(for personal use only)


Alexander Nikitin presented The Bellona Foundation's new report "The Russian Nuclear Industry--The Need for Reform" at a press conference Wednesday in Krasnoyarsk.

The theme of the report presented at Wednesday's press conference in Krasnoyarsk is Russia's policies in the sphere of nuclear power, and the structure and current state of its nuclear complex, which has remained largely unchanged since Soviet times.

The report contains a detailed overview of the current state of Russia's nuclear industry, as well as recommendations for improving safety and dealing with potential threats.

The authors of the report are Bellona employees Alexander Nikitin, Igor Kudrik, Nils B�hmer, and Charles Digges, as well as Vladimir Kuznetsov of the Green Cross nuclear safety project, and environmentalist and journalist Vladislav Larin of the NGO Ecopress Centre.

At the press conference, Nikitin devoted special focus to the construction in Zheleznogorsk of the new RT-2 spent nueal fuel (SNF)reprocessing facility, and gave a number of reasons why construction should be halted. Zheleznogork is some 40 kilometers from Krasnoyarsk.

According to Nikitin, the SNF processing facility is economically not feasible.

"Without a doubt, this will make quick bucks on a huge scale, but the money is in no way commensurate with the losses. Construction of this facility will create yet another nuclear dumping ground in Russia."

If RT-2 is built (and some estimates say it wlll take 30 years to do so) radioactive waste will be transported through a tunnel under the Yenisei River for underground storage on the opposite bank.

"Storing liquid radioactive waste underground, which many Rosatom experts think is an effective and environmentally safe way to store radioactive waste, is a very controversial and dangerous idea," Nikitin said.

At the Severny firing range some 4-6 kilometres from the Yenisei, some five million cubic meters of liquid radioactive waste have already been buried. At present, the underground radioactivity is gradually moving towards a tributary to the Yenisei--the Bolshoi Tel River. Underground storage of liquid radioactive waste has been practised for more than 30 years at the Siberian Chemical Combine and the Dmitrovgrad Nuclear Reactor Institute.

According to Nikitin, other countries have already shown that repocessing spent nuclear fuel is economically inefficient.

"Experts say that the amount required to finish construction of the first part of the RT-2 facility has been substantially cut by the Nuclear Power Ministry [Rosatom's predecessor], which puts construction costs at $2 billion dollars. In comparison, the Thorp facility at Sellafield [in England] has half of the capacity that RT-2 is supposed to have, yet cost $4.35 billion in 1994. The facility at Rokkasho in Japan, which deals with 800 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel, cost $17 billion."

Construction of the RT-2 SNF reprocessing facility, which is projected to have a capacity of 1,500 tonnes of SNF, began in 1984. In 1989, the USSR's nuclear energy ministry halted construction following protests by residents of Krasnoyarsk Region. In January 1991, the ministry adopted a resolution to halt construction for five years.

In 1994, construction was allowed to resume following a Presidential "Order On State Support for Structural Reconstruction and Conversion of the Nuclear Industry at Zheleznogorsk, Krasnoyarsk Region."


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H.  Nuclear Safety

1.
Armenia to allocate $190,000-plus to build spent nuclear fuel storage
Gamlet Matevosyan
RIA Novosti
11/4/2005
(for personal use only)


YEREVAN, November 4 (RIA Novosti, Gamlet Matevosyan) - The Armenian government said Friday it had allowed the energy ministry to spend over $190,000 to build a new dry storage of spent nuclear fuel.

The contract for building the storage was signed by the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant and France's Cogema Logistics on September 30, 2005.

Plant director Gagik Markosyan said Cogema Logistics would share its technology with Armenia and consult the republic on the construction of the facility.

Markosyan said 24 new storage modules designed for 56 casks would be built. The first batch of spent fuel is scheduled to be loaded in September 2007.

Armenia's first dry storage facility was built by France's Framatom. It was commissioned in 2000 and currently stores about 600 spent nuclear fuel casks.

Armenia's nuclear power plant was opened in 1980 and shut down in March 1989 for political reasons, but was reopened in November 1995 during an acute energy crisis in the republic.

Outfitted with a Russian-made first-generation reactor, the plant's second unit generates up to 40% of Armenia's overall power output and can remain operational until 2016, experts estimate. Since 1993, the republic has received a total of $80 million to improve security at the plant.

Since September 2003, the plant has been run by an affiliate of Unified Energy Systems and Rosenergoatom, Russia's major electricity producers and its trust managers for a five-year period.

The EU has said the plant should be shut down temporarily and it would be willing to provide 100 million euros in funding. Armenian experts, however, said building alternative power facilities would require nearly a billion euros.


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I.  Official Statements

1.
PRESS RELEASE: On the Talks Between the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Leading European Union Troika in Moscow
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
11/9/2005
(for personal use only)


In accordance with the schedule of the Russia-European Union political dialogue talks were held in Moscow on November 9 between the Foreign Affairs Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov and the leading European Union troika: the British Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Secretary Jack Straw, the Foreign Affairs Minister of the Republic of Austria Ursula Plassnik, European Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner and the Secretary General of the European Union Council and European Union High Representative on Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana.

Practical steps were discussed aimed at further promoting the interaction between Russia and the European Union in various areas in the light of the results of the Russia-EU summit held in London on October 4 this year. A positive assessment was given to the process of the formation of the four common Russia-EU spaces.

During the course of the meeting, plans and ways of implementing the external security road map, the renewal of the legal framework of the Russia-EU relations after 2007 and compliance with the Joint Statement of April 27, 2004 on EU enlargement and Russia-European Union relations were discussed.

The participants in the talks exchanged opinions on a range of topical international issues: reform of the OSCE, the nuclear program of Iran, the development of the situation in the Middle East, Iraq and some regions of Europe.



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2.
President Vladimir Putin will make a working visit to the Republic of Korea on 19 November 2005, following the APEC summit
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
11/7/2005
(for personal use only)


The visit is at the invitation of President of the Republic of Korea Roh Moo Hyun.



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3.
PRESS RELEASE: Results of the Work of the First Committee of the 60th UN General Assembly Session
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
11/7/2005
(for personal use only)


The First Committee of the 60th jubilee session of the UN General Assembly finished its work in New York. A broad range of problems of maintaining world security and stability, arms control and disarmament and a search for collective responses to new challenges and threats was covered by the Committee in accordance with its agenda. As a result of the session, the Committee approved drafts of 56 resolutions and four decisions to be submitted for approval by the UN General Assembly.

This year Russia sponsored draft resolutions on strengthening transparency and confidence building measures in space and on supporting international information security. We are gratified with the fact that the overwhelming majority of nations voted for Russia's drafts, thus confirming the topicality of the relevant problems for continued peace and stability. The ideas contained in the draft resolutions will encourage the UN to take concerted concrete measures to ensure predictability of military activities in space and prevent the use of information and communication technologies for hostile purposes.

Conventional weapons and security measures in concrete regions of the world figured prominently in the work of the session, which discussed recommendations for further improvements in the organizational and procedural aspects of the First Committee's work with a view to making it more efficient.

We believe that the results of the work of the forum have reaffirmed the priority role of the General Assembly in addressing questions of world security and stability. It should be noted that the overwhelming majority of the world community members have strongly favored the preservation and strengthening of multilateral mechanisms in addressing non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament issues.


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4.
NNSA Completes Czech Research Reactor Conversion
National Nuclear Security Administration
11/4/2005
(for personal use only)


The VR-1 Sparrow is the first Russian-supplied research reactor to successfully convert from high enriched uranium to low enriched uranium fuel.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced today that the Czech Technical University's research reactor has become the first Russian-supplied reactor to convert successfully from highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel.

NNSA converted the reactor as part of its Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) program, which works to convert research reactors from the use of HEU fuel to LEU fuel by developing high-density LEU fuels and assisting reactors with the conversion process, including feasibility studies, conversion analysis, and licensing support. To date, 42 research reactors have either fully or partially converted to LEU fuel.

"The Czech Republic is at the forefront of international nuclear threat reduction efforts as a result of its repatriation of Russian-origin HEU fresh fuel and recent conversion of its a Soviet-supplied research reactor to LEU fuel. The Czech Republic is the first country to convert a Soviet-supplied reactor and should be commended for showing leadership that benefits international security," NNSA Administrator Linton F. Brooks said.

The VR-1 research reactor is a low-power university training reactor that had been operating with an HEU fuel core. The HEU fresh fuel was removed and reactor converted to run on LEU. In October, replacement LEU fuel was delivered to the Czech Technical University and the VR-1 Sparrow research reactor went critical with LEU fuel.

Profesor Karel Matejka, head of the Department of Nuclear Reactors at Czech Technical University in Prague, said,"We are proud to lead the way in nonproliferation efforts, and in particular we are pleased to be the first Russian-supplied reactor to convert to LEU. We look forward to working with NNSA and other U.S. programs to further cooperation on nonproliferation efforts worldwide."

On September 27, NNSA led a secret operation at the Czech Technical University that removed 14 kilograms (approximately 31 pounds) of HEU from the reactor and securely returned it to the Russian Federation under GTRI's Russian Research Reactor Fuel Return program. The HEU, suitable for a weapon of mass destruction, was airlifted under guard from an airport near Prague, Czech Republic, to a secure facility in Dimitrovgrad, Russia, where the material will be down-blended to LEU. Thus far, eight shipments of HEU from various countries fresh fuel totaling 122 kilograms have been conducted.

NNSA is sponsoring its 2005 Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors program annual international meeting on November 6-10 in Boston, Massachusetts. Supporters of HEU minimization from all over the world will discuss progress on fuel development and conversion.


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J.  Items of Interest

1.
2005 Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
11/7/2005
(for personal use only)
http://www.carnegieendowment.org/static/npp/2005conference/2005_conference.htm


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2.
2005 Carnegie International Nonproliferation Conference: Remarks Prepared for Energy Secretary Sam Bodman
Samuel Bodman
Department of Energy
11/7/2005
(for personal use only)
http://www.energy.gov/engine/content.do?PUBLIC_ID=19141&BT_CODE=PR_SPEECHES&..


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3.
Kola Nuclear Plant Operating Illegally
Andrei Ozharovsky
Bellona Foundation
11/4/2005
(for personal use only)
http://193.71.199.52/en/international/russia/npps/kola/40588.html


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