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Nuclear News - 3/3/2005
RANSAC Nuclear News, March 3, 2005
Compiled By: Jeffrey Read


A.  WMD Scientists
    1. Science in the Former Soviet Union - Star Wars Into Ploughshares, Economist (3/3/2005)
B.  Nuclear Terrorism
    1. Ukraine Secret Service Seizes Uranium at Airport, Reuters (3/2/2005)
    2. Secret Services to Prevent Terrorists From Obtaining WMDs, RIA Novosti (3/1/2005)
C.  Cooperative Threat Reduction
    1. Russia's Loose Nukes, James Holmes, The Washington Times (3/3/2005)
    2. Russia Will Not Grant American Inspectors Access to Nuclear Sites, RIA Novosti (3/1/2005)
    3. Russia Admits 'Problems' in Nuclear Site Protection, Agence France-Presse (2/28/2005)
D.  US-Russia
    1. Think Again: Losing the Loose Nukes, Eric Alterman, Center for American Progress (3/3/2005)
    2. Kokoshin: US Not To Control Russia's Nuclear Objects, RIA Novosti (2/28/2005)
E.  Russia-Iran
    1. Bushehr Gives Russia Chances to Build More Stations in Iran, ITAR-TASS (3/2/2005)
    2. Russian Officials Defend Iran's Right to Develop Its Own Nuclear Program, RIA Novosti (3/1/2005)
    3. Closed Conditions of Bushehr Fuel Supplies is a Measure Against Competitors, Nikolai Terekhov, RIA Novosti (2/28/2005)
    4. Nuclear Power Plant Being Built by Russia in Iran Safe � Expert, ITAR-TASS (2/28/2005)
    5. Russia, Iran Guarantee Return of Nuclear Waste, Tatyana Sinitsyna, RIA Novosti (2/28/2005)
    6. Russian Nuke Chief: Moscow Advised Iran, Maria Danilova, Associated Press (2/28/2005)
F.  Nuclear Forces
    1. Russia to Start Testing New Sea-Based Ballistic Missile, BBC Monitoring and Itar-Tass (3/2/2005)
    2. Russia: No System Will Stop New Missiles, Steve Gutterman, Associated Press (3/1/2005)
G.  Nuclear Industry
    1. Uranium Prices on the Rise, But Will Its Deficit Threaten Russia Nuke Market?, Vladislav Nikiforov, Bellona Foundation (3/3/2005)
    2. Rosatom Calls Investors to Finance Floating Nuclear Plants, RIA Novosti (2/28/2005)
    3. Russian Company to Help Build Chinese NPPs, RIA Novosti (2/28/2005)
H.  Nuclear Safety
    1. France to Finance Decontamination Stations in Gremikha, Bellona Foundation (2/28/2005)
I.  Official Statements
    1. Transcript of Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov's Press Conference Following International Meeting on Supporting PNA and Quartet Session in London (excerpted), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (3/1/2005)
    2. Press Briefing (excerpted), Scott McClellan, Office of the Press Secretary, The White House (2/28/2005)
    3. Transcript of Remarks by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov at Press Conference Following Talks with European Union Troika, Luxembourg (excerpted), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (2/28/2005)
J.  Links of Interest
    1. Cooperative Threat Reduction Beyond Russia, Rose Gottemoeller, The Washington Quarterly (3/1/2005)
    2. Cooperative Threat Reduction Annual Report to Congress FY2006, Department of Defense (2/28/2005)



A.  WMD Scientists

1.
Science in the Former Soviet Union - Star Wars Into Ploughshares
Economist
3/3/2005
(for personal use only)


America's attempt to find peaceful employment for the Soviet Union's weapons scientists seems to be working.

Want to meet a nuclear physicist on your next trip to Moscow? Try hailing a cab. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and of that country's extensive arms programmes with it, weapons scientists of all kinds have had trouble finding work. Taxi driving is one option for making ends meet. Another, of course, is to work with a government or terrorist organisation that would like to have the Bomb, some unpleasant bacilli, or some other weapon of mass destruction (WMD). That is why, some years ago, the American government decided to provide a third option�to work, under American sponsorship, on peaceful projects that would allow an expert to use his expertise for commercial gain.

A report to be published in the next edition of International Security suggests that the experiment is working. The report's authors employed a Russian survey firm to interview 600 local scientists whose experience might be turned to weapons making in such places as North Korea, Iran or Syria. The survey was not so crass as to ask the direct question, �would you help these countries develop nuclear or biological weapons.� It merely asked if they would be willing to work in one of them.

The result was that researchers backed by western money were half as likely as their unfunded counterparts to consider such employment possibilities. Of course, they might just be attracted by the local nightlife. But as Deborah Yarsike Ball, one of the report's authors, observes, �North Korea is certainly not one of the world's vacation hot spots.� Dr Ball works on the Proliferation and Terrorism Prevention Programme at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, one of America's atomic-weapons labs.

Weapons of mass construction

The Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) in Arlington, Virginia, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, is one of the oldest programmes designed to tap the energies of ex-Soviet scientists. It has a budget of $21m, about two-thirds of which comes from the taxpayer, under various guises, and the rest from contracts and private funds. It uses this money to finance a combination of grants and training that help its clients to do two things. The first is to switch to fields of research with commercial potential. The second is to learn how to identify and court commercial partners, so that the fruits of their new research may be brought to market. For, as Kirill Dmitriev, the managing director of Moscow's Delta Private Equity Partners, puts it, �Russia doesn't know how to market and package products to outside markets.�

Craig Smith, a researcher at Lawrence Livermore who is currently on loan to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, has been helping Ukrainian researchers from the cryptically named Institute for Single Crystals to create explosive-detection technology for use in places such as luggage and shipping containers. Their previous job was building missiles. But, assisted by a CRDF grant, they are advancing quickly with product development, and Dr Smith is now trying to put them in touch with potential commercial partners.

Another CRDF-sponsored partnership is the one between SciClone Pharmaceuticals, of San Mateo, California, and Verta, a St Petersburg-based firm that employs two dozen former biological-weapons scientists from Russia's State Research Institute of Highly Pure Biopreparations. Before the CRDF introduced it to Verta, SciClone was working on an injectible compound designed to stimulate the immune system and fend off infection. Verta's researchers had an alternative compound that can be taken by mouth. With help from CRDF grants, Verta's researchers are collaborating with SciClone to develop oral treatments for tuberculosis, hepatitis C and other diseases that are accompanied by suppression of the immune system.

As Alexander Kolobov, Verta's director, puts it, �I am sure that we could perform the same TB research without CRDF's help, but it would take much more time and would be carried out on a lower level.� SciClone is happy, too. Verta's researchers continue to live in Russia, and although they are well paid by Russian standards (which is, after all, the point of the exercise), they are a lot cheaper than they would be if they lived in America. According to Cynthia Tuthill, SciClone's vice-president of scientific affairs, �We were able to get clinical data for a fraction of what it costs in the United States.�

CRDF has a long list of such collaborations. Scientists from the Eliava Institute of Bacteriophage, Microbiology and Virology in Tbilisi, Georgia, are working with a team from the Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, on a new method to identify anthrax rapidly in the event of a bio-terrorist attack. The Institute of Physiologically Active Compounds, in Chernogolovka, Russia, is co-operating with the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on a device for measuring neurotoxic agents in the blood. This will allow the rapid detection of exposure to chemical-warfare agents. And besides encouraging enterprise, CRDF's grants also encourage scientists to stay put, helping to build self-sufficient scientific communities. Nana Voitenko, who leads a team of diabetes researchers at the Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology, in Kiev, was training to be a weapons scientist at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology when the Union collapsed. In 1997 she gave up her pitiful Ukrainian salary and moved to Iowa State University, in Ames, to work as a researcher until her first CRDF grant came through. It was that grant which enabled her to return home and start her team.

The temptation to leave for more profitable pastures can, however, be powerful. Once, Dr Smith recounts, the deputy director of a Ukrainian laboratory went missing for several days. Fearing bad news, he called the scientist's home. The scientist's wife explained that her husband was busy harvesting potatoes, in preparation for the lean winter months. As Dr Ball's paper concludes, �western assistance programmes work to reduce the threat of WMD brain drain. But their task is not complete. Now is not the time to pull back.� If a potato harvest can still tempt a weapons scientist from his laboratory bench, that sounds like wise advice.


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B.  Nuclear Terrorism

1.
Ukraine Secret Service Seizes Uranium at Airport
Reuters
3/2/2005
(for personal use only)


Ukraine's SBU security service arrested a man at Kiev's airport who had a case containing radioactive uranium-238 in his car, the Emergencies Ministry said on Tuesday.

It said the man was detained at Boryspil airport, Ukraine's main international gateway, with 582 grams of uranium. It did not say when the arrest took place or whether he had been attempting to leave the country.

"SBU officers detained the person who was moving a case with a radioactive substance -- Uranium-238 -- in his car," the ministry said in a statement. It said ministry specialists had seized the case.

A ministry official said an investigation had been launched. SBU officials were not immediately available for comment.

Depleted uranium, where uranium-238 is normally found, can theoretically be used to make nuclear "dirty bombs", but it is often used in gun ammunition and armour because of its high density.

Ukraine gave up its share of the Soviet nuclear arsenal after independence in 1991 but remains home to some of Europe's largest nuclear power stations. The country is trying to strengthen security and border controls as it now borders three member states of the enlarged European Union.

Eastern Europe's vast pool of nuclear technology is of major concern to the United States and the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, as it remains open to theft and black market trade.


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2.
Secret Services to Prevent Terrorists From Obtaining WMDs
RIA Novosti
3/1/2005
(for personal use only)


Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Nikolai Patrushev underlined the growing threat of terrorists resorting to weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

"The danger posed by international terrorism has grown by far due to possible use of WMDs in terrorist attacks," Mr. Patrushev told the conference of secret service leaders in Novosibirsk.

According to Mr. Patrushev, the threat of terrorists laying their hands on WMDs highlights the need for all nations, first of all, their law enforcement agencies, to pool their efforts.

Director Patrushev noted that intelligence available indicated that terrorism was becoming a transnational phenomenon.

"The spike of terrorism in Iraq, Israel, Spain, Russia and several other countries proves terrorism is a greatest threat to vital interests of a person, society and the world," he said.

According to Mr. Patrushev, terrorist attacks are becoming ever more shrewd and cruel.

"This is proven by terrorists' seizure of the school and murdering the children there in Beslan in 2004," he said.

The FSB director believes international terrorism keeps on adapting to new realities despite the hard blows dealt to it.

"Struck hard, international terrorist organizations recruit new followers, obtain new gear and coordinate their tactics to adapt to the fluid situation," he said.

Proceeds from drug trade are the main source of the money to stoke terrorism.

"No doubt, one of the main source of funding of terrorism is the money earned from drug trafficking," Mr. Patrushev said, emphasizing that the production of drugs in Afghanistan and smuggling them to other countries are run by international criminal syndicates linked with terrorists. Drug trafficking has become a serious adversary enjoying huge financial and technical capabilities.

Mr. Patrushev also stressed that the fight on terrorism should be waged within the confines of international law.

"As a proactive participant in the fight against terrorism, Russia believes the problem should be resolved based on international law and through bolstering the US's role in coordinating the struggle," he said.

Mr. Patrushev also stressed that representatives of the United Nations - UN Security Council's Counter Terrorism Committee Chairman Andrei Denisov and Executive Director Xavier Ruperez - have for the first time joined the special services' chiefs' conference.


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C.  Cooperative Threat Reduction

1.
Russia's Loose Nukes
James Holmes
The Washington Times
3/3/2005
(for personal use only)


On Feb. 24, President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Bratislava, Slovakia, to discuss a variety of issues. Defying predictions that they would accomplish nothing of substance, the two presidents inked an agreement on nuclear security. They vowed to "focus increased attention on the 'security culture' in our countries, including fostering disciplined, well-trained, and responsible custodians and protective forces, and fully utilized and well-maintained security systems." To describe this as a welcome move understates matters. To prevent nuclear terrorism at home, American leaders must look abroad � in particular to Russia, a country awash in the makings of nuclear weapons.

Russia inherited the Soviet Union's vast network of nuclear power plants, weapons facilities and storage sites. Because of security problems at these sites, Russia could unwittingly supply terrorists with the means to carry out an attack.

As they come to terms with this problem, the Bush administration and Congress must resist Americans' usual temptation to simply throw money and hardware at a vexing problem. They must keep their gaze riveted on the human element of security.

The perils of loose nukes � nuclear weapons that lack adequate protection from theft � are well known. Indeed, farsighted American leaders began grappling with the loose-nukes problem shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union.

For instance, the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, intended to ameliorate the perils of nuclear proliferation, funded the dismantlement of thousands of nuclear warheads. Hundreds of tons of fissile material � the building blocks for additional thousands of nuclear weapons � have been safeguarded from outside attack or theft. And yes, U.S.-funded fences, alarms and cameras have helped.

But material fixes are not enough. Building a corps of skilled, motivated nuclear workers to use security hardware is as important as the hardware itself, if not more so. People, not machines, provide security.

That's where U.S. policy has fallen short. Its achievements notwithstanding, the Nunn-Lugar program pays scant attention to the problem of insider theft or diversion, meaning the unlawful removal of sensitive materials by technicians or guards to whom these materials have been entrusted. Nor does it address the problem of simple negligence.

In short, current U.S. assistance doesn't take into account the pivotal human element of security. Good security is 20 percent equipment and 80 percent people, says Gen. Eugene Habiger, a former commander of U.S. strategic nuclear forces. Alarmingly, visitors to Russian sites from the U.S. General Accountability Office have reported seeing guards disable alarms, admit personnel to sensitive areas without clearing them properly or cut off power to critical gear to save money.

Problems abound. Theft and diversion are commonplace in this lax environment.

These are failures not of machinery but of culture. Workers who doubt the worth of security precautions or fail to grasp that such precautions serve the nation's greater good are prone to negligence.

Worse, Russia's lingering economic woes create a financial incentive for impoverished workers to divert and sell weapons-related materiel. The well-being of one's family could trump security, aiding terrorist groups in the process.

So, the Bush-Putin agreement had it right. Now the U.S. and Russian governments must follow through on the presidents' joint pledge.

To cut down on failures stemming from human frailty, the Bush administration must, first of all, work with Congress to widen the purview of Nunn-Lugar to include measures that bolster the security culture within the Russian nuclear complex.

Second, the administration must work with Russia's leadership to nurture a culture that endows managers, technicians and security guards not only with technical skills but also with esprit de corps, a sense of professional responsibility, the discipline to obey procedures and the ability to improvise when unexpected events occur as they will, given the limits on human foresight.

Third, now that Moscow has seemingly embraced the importance of security culture, Washington must now supply the resources and the sustained attention necessary to propagate this ideal throughout Russia's nuclear sector. Winning over nuclear personnel to the ideal of security poses a leadership challenge of the first order.

Russia must remake its professional culture, and it needs American help. To do otherwise would forfeit the security of both countries.


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2.
Russia Will Not Grant American Inspectors Access to Nuclear Sites
RIA Novosti
3/1/2005
(for personal use only)


According to a joint statement made by the US and Russian presidents that was posted on the weekend on the latter's official Web site, www.kremlin.ru, Vladimir Putin agreed at the Bratislava summit to grant US inspectors access to Russian nuclear facilities. However, the text was immediately updated, with several phrases deleted from the penultimate paragraph, and the edited version says nothing of inspections, Vedomosti reports.

A Kremlin source says, "at the summit, Mr. Bush raised the issue of granting Americans access to Russian nuclear sites, but the Russian side did not agree to these requests." He added that there were no secret agreements or supplements, and a draft statement had been posted by mistake.

The US State Department reports there were no clauses about on-site inspections in Russia in the English-language statement.

An informed source in Russia's Federal Agency for Nuclear Power (Rosatom) says there have been no agreements with the US on on-site inspections of Russian nuclear facilities. However, he said the Nunn-Lugar Program (named after Senators Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar) had been launched in 1991, under which the US has been funding various nuclear-related activities in Russia, including the modernization of nuclear facilities' security systems. Since the early 1990s, American experts have been admitted to some key nuclear sites belonging to the Defense Ministry and Rosatom to assess security systems. However, the source said they had never been allowed inside, which "caused their discontent."

The director of Rosatom's Strategic Stability Institute, Viktor Mikhailov, who was nuclear power minister from 1992 through 1998, says, "This kind of monitoring regime [on-site inspections] cannot be established, and has never been discussed."

Boris Shmelyov, the head of the Center for Comparative Political Science at the Institute for International Economy and International Relations, says, "A joint statement is a declarative document to which no secret supplements can be signed." This means that Russia and the US are going to do exactly what is stated in the statement.


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3.
Russia Admits 'Problems' in Nuclear Site Protection
Agence France-Presse
2/28/2005
(for personal use only)


Russia's top nuclear energy official admitted Monday the country had "problems" protecting some of its nuclear sites.

"Technical means for protection of Russian nuclear power stations are the best in the world," Alexander Rumyantsev, head of the Russian atomic energy agency, said at a press conference.

"But there are problems with protection of other nuclear sites," he said, apparently referring to laboratories and research centers, most of which were built in the Soviet era and some of which sprawl over entire closed towns dotted around the country.

"We are talking about very large areas and very large cities, so there are always problems," Rumyantsev said, a rare admission from a senior government official of security deficiencies in the country's nuclear facilities.

He added however that despite these problems, which he did not specify, Russia's nuclear facilities were well-enough guarded "to repel any threat."

Earlier this year, the US National Intelligence Council published a report asserting that theft of nuclear material in Russia "has occurred" and stating that Russian nuclear facilities were too vulnerable to attack.

Russian officials have said on numerous occasions that no unauthorized persons could acquire material in Russia that could be used for producing a nuclear weapon or a radioactive "dirty bomb."


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D.  US-Russia

1.
Think Again: Losing the Loose Nukes
Eric Alterman
Center for American Progress
3/3/2005
(for personal use only)


The Bush administration boasts many impressive qualities, but none captures the attention quite so powerfully as its masterful ability � possibly the most adept in American history � to say one thing while practicing another. By staying relentlessly on message and obscuring their true intentions with a fusillade of rhetoric, Bush & Co. have been able to push through all manner of legislation harmful to those whose allegiance they depend on most. In winding up his "fence-mending" swing through Europe last week, the president pulled off this stunt again, this time by publicly securing a deal with Russia to secure the "loose nukes" left over from the dissolution of the Soviet Union, while at the same time slashing its commitment to actually getting the job done.

In a much anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Bratislava, Slovakia, in which Bush was expected to take a hard line against Russia's turn toward authoritarianism, the president instead "pronounced himself pleased without securing any specific commitments or directly contradicting any of Putin's points," according to the Washington Post. Despite this, the U.S. media, as per usual, focused on the meeting's atmospherics. Hence we read and heard of a president who "gently chided" Putin in a "tense" and "frank" meeting, but without sufficient context for a reader to make any semblance of sense of the encounter's larger implications, which are considerable.

The agreement between the two nations calls for cooperative steps to reduce the threat of the proliferation of nuclear materials being housed at poorly guarded Russian facilities, and will accelerate previously agreed deadlines for securing Russian nuclear facilities. The new plan calls for these facilities to be secured by 2008 � four years earlier than called for in previous agreements.

Typical of the coverage of the agreement is the Washington Post's quick dismissal of the pact: "Securing Russian nuclear material remains at the top of the U.S. agenda with Moscow, [an American] official said, and the Bratislava agreement is intended to 'get better control over things to avoid the possibility that things fall into the wrong hands.'" If only this were so. Our most important tool for ensuring that Russian nuclear material doesn't fall into the hands of a terrorist organization or unfriendly state has, since 1991, been the Nunn-Lugar program. Yet since the Bush administration has taken office, it has quietly chipped away its funding.

As an October 2001 Time magazine piece pointed out, "the 2002 federal budget calls for cuts of about $140 million [to Nunn-Lugar]. That's quite a hit for an initiative whose seven-year operating costs were only $3 billion � less than the annual cost of missile defense research and development efforts." Despite the administration's rhetoric about weapons of mass destruction � which unprotected nuclear weapons surely are � in the president's 2005 budget proposal, funding for the program again fell slightly from 2004 levels. As the Carnegie Endowment for Peace reported in March 2004, "Bush's proposed budget for FY 2005 cuts funding for Nunn-Lugar by 10 percent and cuts the Department of Energy's Russian nuclear security funding by 8 percent." In the president's 2006 budget, he has called for $416 million for the Nunn-Lugar program, which is $7 million above the 2005 enacted level, and about even with what the program has been receiving since its inception.

Moreover, a Washington Post report points out that "late negotiations watered down a central element." It turns out that the 2008 deadline is actually a chimera, as the "deadline had gone fuzzy." The new language calls for the two nations to "develop a plan to work through and beyond 2008 on joint projects." According to former Sen. Sam Nunn, co-author of the initial legislation, several important steps are still "missing-in-action," including "Transparency and accountability for tactical nuclear weapons in both the U.S. and Russian arsenals;� Transparency and cooperation, beginning with the U.S. and Russia, in preventing biological terrorism and the spread of infectious diseases," and "An acceleration of chemical weapons destruction, which is far behind the agreed-on schedule."

Given all of the above, one might expect some enterprising American reporter to expose this obvious contradiction in U.S. policy. Alas, we're still waiting.

Another major characteristic of the president's trip was the rhetorical support that he has been offering of late to nascent democracies around the world. Yet nowhere in the media's coverage can one discern a critical examination of the president's actual policies in this regard. Media conservatives are eager to offer the administration credit for the slowly thawing Palestinian/Israeli relationship and the hopeful events in Syria, but cannot find a moment to explain the Bush administration's pandering to dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The former continues to spread anti-American and anti-Semitic propaganda throughout the Arab world and the latter appears to be the source of our most horrific global nightmare: terrorists with nukes.

Perhaps the clearest example of the administration's Janus-face on democracy can be found in the former Soviet colony of Uzbekistan. In April 2002, the U.N. condemned that nation's commitment to "systematic" and "pervasive and persistent" torture of its citizens. Opposition leader Muzafar Avazov was boiled alive for refusing to abandon his religious convictions during the same year. Yet when Secretary of State Rice recently listed a series of worrisome "outposts of tyranny," Uzbekistan somehow didn't make the cut. Why is that? The answer, as any real estate agent could explain, is "location, location, location." Lying in Central Asia, Uzbekistan has the good fortune to host a U.S. military base offering easy access to both Afghanistan and Iraq. As The Guardian pointed out, "In February 2004 the US secretary of defence, Donald Rumsfeld, visited the country's dictator, Islam Karimov, and said: "The relationship [between our countries] is strong and growing stronger. We look forward to strengthening our political and economic relations."

In other words, the president may talk the democratic talk, but when it comes to walking the walk, well, to quote [Editor's Note: The article posted on the website for the Center for American Progress ends here]


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2.
Kokoshin: US Not To Control Russia's Nuclear Objects
RIA Novosti
2/28/2005
(for personal use only)


The joint Russian-US statement on cooperation in the sphere of nuclear security does not imply US control over Russian nuclear objects, said State Duma deputy, former secretary of the Russian Security Council Andrei Kokoshin.

"Any control over these or those Russian nuclear objects is out of the question," Mr. Kokoshin told journalists.

According to him, some US politicians would like to control nuclear objects in Russia.

"However, the US administration understands that the Russian leadership defending national interests will never renounce Russia's sovereign rights, in particular, in this sphere," Mr. Kokoshin stressed.

The document says that "the condition of the protection of the Russian and US nuclear objects meets modern demands" and both countries should make all efforts to increase the level of protection of nuclear objects in the countries where it is insufficient, Mr. Kokoshin noted.

In his words, the joint statement "can play a very important role in the prevention of terrorists' seizure of nuclear and radiological weapons". On the basis of this document Russia and the United States being equal partners can and should lead the international community to the solution of this vital problem.


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E.  Russia-Iran

1.
Bushehr Gives Russia Chances to Build More Stations in Iran
ITAR-TASS
3/2/2005
(for personal use only)


Russia has rather good chances to build more nuclear power plants in Iran, Russian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Iran Alexander Maryasov told Itar-Tass. In order to make our cooperation successful, we must, of course, round off the construction of the first generating unit of the Bushehr nuclear power plant within the time limits that were agreed with the Iranian side. This is bound to enhance Iran�s trust in Russia and in the work of Russian specialists. I believe this will create favourable conditions for the conclusion of new contracts,� he stressed.

�The Iranian side is offering us to jointly think of preparations to build one or two more generating units. Such an agreement was reached during Rosatom Chief Alexander Rumyantsev�s recent visit to Iran,� Maryasov stated. A joint working group will be formed, he added, within which Russian specialists will help the Iranian side determine technologically and documentarily the site for the possible construction of at least one more generating unit.

�Russia is playing the role of trailblazer, since it is building the first-ever Iranian nuclear power plant. I think the way will be paved for the participation of other countries in the construction of Iranian nuclear power stations after the situation around Iran relaxes and if Tehran will continue to cooperate actively, effectively and transparently with the International Atomic Energy Agency, will successful complete its negotiations with the �European Trio�. We, in turn, are prepared to give Iran our assistance, on condition that the Iranian side will steadfastly observe its international commitments. In this case, we believe, there will be no obstacles to further cooperation,� the Russian Ambassador stated.

The documents on the return to Russia of the spent nuclear fuel and on deliveries of fresh fuel to the Bushehr plant, which the two sides signed last Sunday, are very important, he added. They have put an end to all the fabrications, conjectures and speculations on this subject, Maryasov pointed out.

Today, �there are no more grounds for any cock-and-bull stories and speculative statements on this subject, which had been quite numerous in the past�. The signing of these documents paves the way to the tranquil completion of the first generating unit of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, he stressed.

�These documents are of great political importance, because Iran�s consent to return the spent fuel to Russia does away with the allegations that the Islamic Republic of Iran could use the nuclear materials for some other undeclared purposes. The delivered fuel will be fully controlled by IAEA inspectors: from the very beginning of its shipment to its storage in special sealed depots. The IAEA will be responsible for constant, round-the-clock monitoring, and it will be impossible to use these materials for any other purposes, but fueling the nuclear power plant,� the Russian diplomat stressed. The Sunday Russo-Iranian agreements, signed at Tehran, prove that Iran is prepared to honour its international commitments,� Maryasov stated. �This is to a definite extent a trust-building step, because Iran has declared its determination to return the spent fuel, which is now recorded in the signed documents.


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2.
Russian Officials Defend Iran's Right to Develop Its Own Nuclear Program
RIA Novosti
3/1/2005
(for personal use only)


Iran has every right to develop a nuclear program of its own, but it should buy raw material from foreign suppliers, the Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Ivanov, said at a press conference Tuesday. The Russian stance on Iran's nuclear program is identical to that of the European Union, he said.

Speaking of US concerns over the uranium enrichment centrifuges found in Iran, the Russian Defense Minister cautioned the Bush Administration against unleashing a military campaign against that country, like it had done vis-a-vis Iraq, and said that not all diplomatic ways of settling the conflict had yet been tried. Both Russia and the EU hope that a negotiated solution will be found, he said.

American officials allege that the uranium enrichment centrifuges found in Iran are Russian-made. Mr. Ivanov dismissed the allegation as false and pointed the finger of blame to European partners, namely the British-German-Dutch multinational Urenco (Uranium Enrichment Company). According to him, the centrifuges got into Iran through Pakistan.

The Defense Minister then went on to speak about Russia's involvement in the Bushehr project. Mr. Ivanov said Russo-Iranian cooperation in the construction of the first nuclear reactor at Bushehr was absolutely legitimate and that it met all international standards. He reminded the media that Bushehr has been under the control of the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency. Once the Bushehr plant is put into operation, Russia will begin brining in nuclear fuel to keep it running, he said. The fuel it is going to provide has an isotopic composition unsuitable for a nuclear weapon production, he assured the press.


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3.
Closed Conditions of Bushehr Fuel Supplies is a Measure Against Competitors
Nikolai Terekhov
RIA Novosti
2/28/2005
(for personal use only)


Secrecy about Russian fuel exports to the first unit of the Bushehr nuclear plant is meant to keep commercial competitors away, Abdollah Ramazanzadeh, official spokesman for the Iranian government, told journalists on Monday

Iran is sure Russia will commission the unit on schedule, he added.

On Sunday Russia and Iran signed an agreement to return nuclear waste from the first unit to Russia, and a confidential protocol on fuel supply terms.

The 1,000 megawatt project, under construction by Russian specialists, is to be commissioned next year.


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4.
Nuclear Power Plant Being Built by Russia in Iran Safe � Expert
ITAR-TASS
2/28/2005
(for personal use only)


The Iranian nuclear power plant which is being built by Russia in Bushehr is unequivocally safe and meets all modern international standards, said Vladimir Kozlov, chief of the state-owned enterprise Safety of the Russian technical surveillance authority (Rostekhnadzor).

He said in an interview with Itar-Tass on Monday that the main thing in terms of safety of the Bushehr plant was to protect it from climatic impacts.

�The Iranian nuclear power plant must reliably work in one hundred percent humidity and 45 degrees of warmth, as if in a permanent Russian bath-house,� Kozlov said.

He stressed that the �plan also meets other safety principles, in particular, it is seismically resistant, can withstand the fall of a plane from a height of several thousands of kilometres, and is protected against terrorists�.

Russian-made nuclear energy units of the Bushehr plant are one of the best in the world, Kozlov said.

Five-ten Russian specialists permanently control the quality of the plant on the sport, and tens of Russian experts visit the construction site ever year.

�We on a mandatory basis monitor production of all necessary equipment and spare parts at 130 Russian enterprises engaged in the Bushehr projects Kozlov went ibn to say.

A total of 730 experts control the construction by Russia of nuclear power plants in Iran, China and India.

Kozlov said his enterprise had a separate contract with Iran for assisting its nuclear inspection authority.

The contract was sign in 1996 for the years to 2008.

Under this document, Russian specialists carry out inspections of design and installation at the Bushehr plan, train personnel and develop necessary quality control documents.

�For example, we helped writing an atomic law of Iran,�� Kozlov said.

All who work in Bushehr undergo attestation by Rostekhnador experts every year.

�Passing an examination by personnel is one of mandatory safety requirements,� Kozlov stressed.

He refused to give the price of a contract, only saying that it was �several tens of millions of dollars�.

�Such auxiliary contracts are a recognized international practice, and world prices of them range from one to five percent of total costs of a project,� the specialist said.

Kozlov could not call a precise number of mistakes revealed by experts in the Bushehr projects.

�I can only say that five times less inconsistencies with regulation documents were revealed by us during the construction of a nuclear power plant in China than, for example, in the construction of one energy unit in France that is a recognized leader in the nuclear sector. There have been much less remarks in Bushehr than in China. And all of them are being abolished,� Kozlov said.


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5.
Russia, Iran Guarantee Return of Nuclear Waste
Tatyana Sinitsyna
RIA Novosti
2/28/2005
(for personal use only)


"During my visit to Iran I attended the construction site of the nuclear power plant in Bushehr and was satisfied with what I saw there. The speed and quality of works cause satisfaction and respect for Russian and Iranian builders," head of the federal atomic energy agency Alexander Rumyantsev said at a RIA Novosti press conference. Mr. Rumyantsev has just returned from Tehran.

He visited Iran not only to inspect the building site in Bushehr. The key purpose of the visit was to sign with Iranian Vice President for Atomic Energy Qolam Reza Aqadzadeh the long-awaited document which was being drafted with certain dissensions. This is the protocol to the agreement on the construction of the nuclear power plant regulating the order of the return to Russia of nuclear waste. "There is a common order implying that the states lacking the experience of handling with fissionable or radioactive substances should entrust this to the countries having this experience in the sphere. This behavior is ideal from the point of view of international security and meets the agreements on non-proliferation of fissionable materials," Alexander Rumyantsev said.

Obviously, Mr. Rumyantsev signed the protocol with certain relief. It took Iranians about a year to examine the legal and commercial aspects of this issue creating serious obstacles to the completion of the project. However, there was a political aspect - the protocol is to ease the existing international concern, above all, that of the United States about Iran's possible possession of the raw stuff which can be used to make nuclear bombs. As a matter of fact, the protocol on the return of nuclear waste is a guarantee that Iran will use nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes to promote the national energy program.

According to Mr. Rumyantsev, the second protocol signed in Bushehr is less transparent because it contains the Russian and Iranian positions on the order of supplies of fresh nuclear fuel for the reactor. "All movements of fissionable materials are confidential. The document is based on the strict technological order of the nuclear power plant's construction. The fuel will be brought to the reactor when it is necessary," Mr. Rumyantsev noted.

The first portion of the fuel is ready - 180 fuel elements weighing some 90 tons. The fuel will arrive no earlier than six months before the pilot launch of the reactor. "We shall not be able to deliver anything secretly because the IAEA controls all supplies of nuclear fuel from one country to another," Alexander Rumyantsev stressed.

"I do not understand those criticizing Russian-Iranian cooperation. We do not violate any principles of international relations. According to the IAEA Charter, if any country wants to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, signs the treaty on nuclear non-proliferation and assumes all relevant international obligations, other countries possessing nuclear technologies should give it assistance in this sphere. Our cooperation with Iran corresponds with these principles and is controlled by the IAEA," Mr. Rumyantsev emphasized.

However, the agreements achieved in Iran imply not only supplies of return of nuclear fuel but also the intention to complete the nuclear power plant in Bushehr in 2006 in spite of any pressure. Moscow also hints that it is not going to give up other contracts consolidating its leading role in the sphere of the construction of nuclear power plants. Cooperation in this sphere meets the economic interests of our branch and the country on the whole, Mr. Rumyantsev concluded.


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6.
Russian Nuke Chief: Moscow Advised Iran
Maria Danilova
Associated Press
2/28/2005
(for personal use only)


Russia's nuclear chief said Monday that Moscow is advising Iran against making its own nuclear fuel and has offered to build more nuclear reactors in that country after launching the first one at the Bushehr plant.

Alexander Rumyantsev, head of Russia's Federal Atomic Energy Agency, spoke a day after signing a deal that obliges Iran to return spent nuclear fuel from Bushehr. The requirement is aimed at lessening the possibility of Iran extracting plutonium for use in atomic weapons.

The Bush administration has accused Iran of running a covert nuclear weapons program and cautioned Moscow against supporting Iran's nuclear ambitions. Iran insists its program is solely for peaceful energy purposes.

The fuel agreement cleared the way for Iran to start the Bushehr reactor within the next year and a half.

"The cooperation we have with Iran is in accordance with the current international legislation � we are not breaking any regulations set by the international community and recorded by the International Atomic Energy Agency," Rumyantsev said at a news conference. He estimated the Bushehr project would cost more than $1 billion.

Rumyantsev said Russia was urging Iran not to develop facilities to produce its own nuclear fuel, arguing it wouldn't be economically feasible.

"In a country that has fewer than eight or 10 nuclear reactors ... developing an independent nuclear cycle is not only unfeasible, but wasteful," Rumyantsev said. "This is what we are telling the Iranians and they are studying these materials with interest."

He added, however, that Iran has the right to develop its own nuclear fuel system. Such a cycle would require the extraction of uranium, its enrichment, turning it into nuclear fuel, using the fuel at nuclear power plants and then disposing of it.

"As for the decisions they make ... because they are members of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, nothing forbids them from developing their own cycle," Rumyantsev said.

He said Russia would participate in bidding to build six more nuclear reactors planned by Iran as well as reactors in Bulgaria, Slovakia and China.

Iran's efforts to enrich uranium so it can produce fuel on its own are a bigger concern in the international community than its buying fuel from abroad because the enrichment process can be taken further to be used for warheads.

"No doubt, having a whole cycle allows one to make an atomic bomb," said Alexei Yablokov, head of the Environmental Policies Center.

France, Britain and Germany are trying to secure an Iranian commitment to scrap the enrichment program in exchange for economic aid, technical support and backing for Tehran's efforts to join mainstream international organizations. Iran has suspended enrichment-related activities during the talks with the Europeans.

Rumyantsev said Monday that Russia would ship fuel for the Bushehr reactor "when it will be needed there," refusing to say when or how the fuel would be shipped.

He said the Iranian side would cover the costs of shipping the spent fuel back to Russia. The fuel will be sent back about 10 years after being shipped, he said, adding that all shipments of nuclear fuel are usually controlled by the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.


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F.  Nuclear Forces

1.
Russia to Start Testing New Sea-Based Ballistic Missile
BBC Monitoring and Itar-Tass
3/2/2005
(for personal use only)


Russia intends to start flight tests of the Bulava sea-based intercontinental ballistic missile, Russian Defence Minister Sergey Ivanov has said at a meeting with German and Italian journalists.

"Russia remains a large nuclear power. We are improving our nuclear triad, indeed. Incidentally, we are not going to produce missiles in large quantities, like cakes, as the case was in Soviet times. The Topol-M mobile missile system will be adopted by the armed forces. We are beginning flight tests of the Bulava sea-based intercontinental ballistic missile," the minister said. He did not mention any precise dates when the testing will be carried out.

According to the minister, the new missiles "will guarantee our sovereignty in any situation". "They are not targeted against anyone," he said. "Russia's territory stretches over 10 time zones. We have many neighbours, and not all of them are as civilized and predictable as Europeans."


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2.
Russia: No System Will Stop New Missiles
Steve Gutterman, Associated Press
3/1/2005
(for personal use only)


Russia will develop missiles impervious to any defense, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Tuesday in an apparent allusion the nascent U.S. missile defense system.

A year ago, President Vladimir Putin said Russia could build unrivaled new strategic weapons, and in November he said it is developing a new nuclear missile system unlike any weapon other countries have or could come up with in the near future.

Ivanov suggested the weapons would be based on the mobile version of the Russian Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missiles and on a new sea-based system, the Bulava, according to Interfax news agency.

"There is not and will not be any defense against these missiles," he said, according to Interfax.

The Topol-M can hit targets more than 6,000 miles away, and has been in silos since 1998, with about 40 on duty now, according to military officials. Military officials have said they plan to begin deploying the mobile version this year.

Ivanov said the missiles would be for defense and not be intended for use against any country, but he added that "Russia is stretched across 10 times zones, we have many neighbors, and not all of them are as predictable as European states," according to Interfax.

In December, Putin encouraged the Defense Ministry to keep up production of new strategic missile systems, a process slowed in the past by a shortage of funds.

"Russia will ... remain a major nuclear power," Ivanov said, according to Interfax. "But we will not bake missiles like pies. Their quantity should be such that it allows for the provision of our own security in any potential development of the international situation."

Russia opposed Washington's withdrawal in 2002 from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in order to deploy a national missile defense shield, saying the 30-year-old U.S.-Soviet pact was a key element of international security.

Russian officials subsequently tempered their criticism. Putin said it was a "mistake" that would hurt global security but not threaten Russia.

The ABM treaty banned missile defense systems on the assumption that the fear of retaliation would prevent each nation from launching a first strike � a strategy known as mutually assured destruction.

The Bush administration has said its prospective missile defense system would be aimed against potential missile threats from nations such as Iraq or North Korea, and would be unable to fend off a massive nuclear strike Russia is capable of launching.


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G.  Nuclear Industry

1.
Uranium Prices on the Rise, But Will Its Deficit Threaten Russia Nuke Market?
Vladislav Nikiforov
Bellona Foundation
3/3/2005
(for personal use only)


According to experts, the world market value of uranium may grow by 20 percent, according to predictions made in January by the International Nuclear, Inc consulting firm and confirmed by representatives of the Russian nuclear industry.

As predicted by the American consulting firm International Nuclear, Inc. (iNi), mining companies are having difficulties meeting the increased demand for fuel by nuclear power plants, which produce approximately one sixth of the electricity used in the world today.

In the last two years, the contracted price at which energy companies purchase uranium has more than doubled�from $24.20 per kilogram to $55 per kilogram. The prices for long-term contracts in January of this year have already reached prices as high as $63 to 65 per kilogram. Consultants at iNi have predicted that uranium prices will hover between $50 and $75per kilogram until the year 2025.

�The prognosis for the contract price of uranium being set above $66 per kilogram isn�t without basis,� said iNi head Dustin Gerrow, according to the Bloomberg news agency.

Gerrow is certain that current fears about a potential deficit of uranium on world markets is a result of the projected plans for the construction of new reactors by China, India, and Russia. According to Gerrow�s evaluation, the deficit of uranium on world markets will become apparent beginning in 2006 and grow through 2010, as reported by the Russian Daily Kommersant. However it is necessary to point out that Gerrow ignored the fact that by 2010 a portion of the reactors operating in Europe and Russia will have been decommissioned.

Currently, at total of 439 nuclear reactors are operating worldwide in 31 countries. In the United States, nuclear energy provides for 20 percent of all electricity produced. France depends on 78 percent for its electricity and Russia, 16 percent. Western Russia, however, gets 40 percent of its electricity from nuclear power plants.

Another reason for elevated uranium demand, according to the iNi report, is the increase in the capacity of currently operating reactors after modernization�as has occurred in Spain, Finland, and Switzerland�and the increase in efficiency of the fuel cycle of reactors, both of which lead to increased uranium use.

The rift between uranium demand and supply

The rift between uranium mining and the needs of nuclear power plants has been stable for the last decade at around 40-45 percent. According to iNi data, between 1985 and 2003 commercial reserves of uranium in the world diminished by 50 percent. Only 55 percent of the uranium consumed in 2003 had been mined that year. However, uranium reserves�the primary reason that the deficit has gone unnoticed until now�are being depleted with every passing year.

At the same time, 87 percent of the world uranium supply is controlled by seven countries. More than half of the world�s uranium deposits are located in Canada and Australia, whereas Russia stands in fifth place after Kazakhstan and Niger. In order to keep its niche in the market, Russia needs to develop new uranium deposits.

According to experts, Russia currently supplies as much as 40 percent of the uranium on global markets. Excluding the Russian-American agreement on high and low enriched uranium�the so called �Megatons to Megawatts programme under which Russia supplies down-blended weapons-grade uranium to the US commercial nuclear power market�Russia supplies about 30 percent of the world�s uranium.

�Rosatom is currently analysing very seriously our uranium reserves and the potential locations of new deposits, and we are seeking with particular attention to ensure a decisive increase in output at currently known deposits and to conduct new geological surveys. The agency�s budget has set aside tens of millions of rubles for that purpose,� said Alexander Rumyantsev, the head of Russia�s Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom), to Kommersant.

�Russia may have to face the very real possibility of a deficit within 20 to 30 years if no new geological surveys are made now. In order to avert such problems, we are taking determined steps today.�

Stanislav Golovinsky, vice-president of Russia nuclear fuel production giant �TVEL,� argues that the uranium deficit does not threaten Russia.

�Today our supply is secured primarily by the Priargunsky production facility and two other firms. Plus, we use reserves that we have stored,� said Golovinsky in an interview with Kommersant.

�At the same time, we are increasing our reserves by discovering new deposits � having invested 51.5 million rubles in geological investigation in 2004, we mined 3.2 thousand tonnes of uranium and discovered new deposits amounting to 3.5 thousand tonnes. In our plans for 2005, we intend to investigate at least as intensively as in 2004. We are working in accordance with the rules, which demand that stored reserves increase at least much as what is mined.�

According to Golovinsky, �the concentration of uranium in Canadian underground mines is 100 times higher than the concentration at the Priargunsky facility. Accordingly, in order to get the same quantity of uranium, we have to mine 100 times more.�

Only in the case of a substantial increase of uranium prices can uranium production in Russia become economically viable. The sale of current uranium reserves, however, is a very profitable business, insofar as that uranium is left over from the Soviet Union, meaning that its production doesn�t cost the current nuclear industry a penny. But these reserves are limited.

Russia increases exports without considering the possibility of a uranium deficit

Apparently disregarding the possibility of a uranium deficit, Russia is increasing its export of uranium. On the whole, Russian uranium exports in 2004 increased by 5 percent over exports in 2003. Last year TekhSnabEksport�or Tenex, Russia�s nuclear fuel exporting giant�began shipping to Mexico and Brazil in partnership with the German company Nukem. Furthermore, Russia is continuing shipments to Japan�last year Tenex signed several more contracts with Japanese energy companies.

Tenex General Director Vladimir Smirnov, said: �Our strategic goal for the next five years is to acquire 30 percent of the Japanese market share, which fully corresponds to the strategy of Japanese energy companies�they are currently seeking to diversify their supply base,� Smirnov said in an interview with Kommersant.

�We also began supplying to South Africa, where, truthfully, there is only one nuclear power plant. But South Africa fits in that category of markets where Russia�s presence is particularly important. The only such market that we have not penetrated is that of Taiwan, and that is for political reasons.�

Theoretically the problem of uranium shortage for production of fresh nuclear fuel could have been decided through the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel or through using MOX fuel, in which weapons grade plutonium oxide is mixed with uranium oxide. However, those solutions are expensive and present a danger to the environment as well as to Russian and western nonproliferation goals. Therefore, for the time being, Russia is counting on mining its existing uranium deposits, and on the less likely prospect of finding new ones.


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2.
Rosatom Calls Investors to Finance Floating Nuclear Plants
RIA Novosti
2/28/2005
(for personal use only)


The Rosatom, or Federal Nuclear Energy Agency, is vitally interested in capital investment in floating nuclear plant construction, says Alexander Rumyantsev, agency chief.

"We have thoroughly blueprinted a floating nuclear plant to base on Russian icebreaker reactors. We have spent a round sum on the endeavor, and we need 150 million US dollars to build the plant. The project is of tremendous interest, and we are looking for capital investors. We think we shall attract the banking world to it," he said to a Novosti news conference.

All coastal projects related to the prospective plant have been blueprinted down to the smallest detail. The plant, up to 100 megawatt, will have a 12 year ceiling service term. It can drop anchor in any point in the Pacific. To be federally owned, and manned by Russian nationals, the plant will arrange employment on long shifts.

The project offers such countries as Indonesia, Malaysia, China or India a fine chance to safely use nuclear power, with no undesirable persons to get hold of nuclear materials. "Our colleagues all over the Pacific region are asking us to show them the floating plant in action. When they see it, they will willingly purchase similar plants by series," added Mr. Rumyantsev.


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3.
Russian Company to Help Build Chinese NPPs
RIA Novosti
2/28/2005
(for personal use only)


Russia's Atomstroiexport company, which has filed a request here today, wants to take part in a tender for the construction of nuclear power plants in China's Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces. This NPP-construction tender also involves one French company and one US company.

Talking to Russian journalists here today, first Atomstroiexport vice-president Yevgeny Reshetnikov noted that Russia felt quite confident about taking part in this tender.

Our proposals are no worse than those of our rivals, Reshetnikov added. In his words, Atomstroiexport is feeling quite confident because it already boasts successful construction experience and that of technological cooperation with China.

Russia is building the really good Tianwan NPP in China, Reshetnikov noted. In his words, this NPP boasts the world's best safety standards.

According to Reshetnikov, nuclear fuel will be loaded inside the Tianwan NPP's first power unit May 25. And its second power unit will receive nuclear fuel in September 2005.

Specific deadlines for announcing the tender's winner are not known.

China plans to build four 1,000-mWt reactors within this project's framework. Two of them will be constructed in the city of Sanmen (Zhejiang province), and two more in Yangjiang (Guangdong province).


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H.  Nuclear Safety

1.
France to Finance Decontamination Stations in Gremikha
Bellona Foundation
2/28/2005
(for personal use only)


France will finance construction and delivery of the mobile decontamination stations for the former navy spent nuclear fuel storage facility in Gremikha base on the Kola Peninsula.

Decontamination stations will be constructed at the Severny Raid company in Severodvinsk. This company delivered such stations before to the former spent nuclear fuel facility in Andreyeva bay on the Kola Peninsula.

The mobile decontamination station is a 40-feet 10-tonns shipping container. It can accommodate 10 people at a time and is used for radiation control and decontamination of the personnel engaged in operations with the radioactive waste. The equipment for the stations will be delivered from France. At the next stage of the Gremikha rehabilitation project the specialists of the Kurchatov Institute will conduct a detailed radiation examination of the site.

The France takes part in the project in the frames of the agreement signed by France, European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, or EBRD, and TACIS program. The strategic master plan on the submarine dismantling presented by the EBRD stipulates funding of the nine first-priority projects in 2005, five of them are in Gremikha, and the France is the main ideological partner, Interfax reported.

Gremikha is the second land storage facility of the Northern fleet and is the biggest site for the laid-up nuclear submarines, mostly first generation. The base is situated approximately 350km from the Murmansk harbour and cannot be reached by land transport. The connection is only by sea or air. The base is accommodating 800 rods with spent nuclear fuel and six active zones from the reactors with liquid coolant of Alfa class submarines, project 705. Besides, 19 submarines and 38 reactors with unloaded spent nuclear fuel are also stored at the site. In 2001, the navy on-shore facilities in Gremikha and Andreyeva bay were handed over to the �Northern Federal Company on handling with radioactive waste�, or SevRAO, which was established by Russia to create infrastructure on nuclear submarines dismantling, handling of the nuclear spent fuel and radioactive waste, rehabilitation of the nuclear sites in the North of Russia, reported Interfax.


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I.  Official Statements

1.
Transcript of Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov's Press Conference Following International Meeting on Supporting PNA and Quartet Session in London (excerpted)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
3/1/2005
(for personal use only)


Question: How could you comment on the talks held today with the EU Troika on the Iranian problem?

Foreign Minister Lavrov: We are maintaining contact with the European Troika, who are negotiating with Teheran on the modalities of implementation of the accords reached in connection with the decision of the IAEA Board of Governors. According to these decisions, it is important to continue the nonresumption of the Iranian program of uranium enrichment in exchange for the discussion of guarantees for the peaceful development of nuclear power in Iran, solution of a number of economic problems existing in the country and consideration of Iran's participation in regional political processes. The United States is also attaching great importance to this problem. Today in the course of the conversations we discussed how further to carry on this line, considering that the European Troika plays a leading role and that the Russian Federation is also developing cooperation with Iran in the light of our bilateral arrangements, which includes the construction of the nuclear power plant in Bushehr in full accordance with the requirements of the IAEA and under its control. As you know, an agreement was signed a few days ago that the fuel to be supplied in due course for the station will, after it has been spent, be returned to the Russian Federation.

[�]


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2.
Press Briefing (excerpted)
Scott McClellan
Office of the Press Secretary, The White House
2/28/2005
(for personal use only)


[�]

Q Is the administration concerned or anxious that Russian -- the Russian deal with Iran on the fuel and -- nuclear fuel and Russia's sale of missiles to Syria is hampering western efforts to put pressure on both countries?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, in terms of the agreement with Iran on the nuclear fuel that would be provided to the Bushehr reactor, we're still waiting to learn about the details of that agreement. That's why I pointed out earlier today that Russia had provided assurances to us about how they would go about that agreement. And I think that's important to note when we're talking about this issue. But you can understand our skepticism when it comes to Iran's nuclear program, because Iran has vast amounts of oil. And we don't see a need for Iran to develop such a broad civilian nuclear program. That's why we are concerned that they are trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of that civilian nuclear program.

Q So there is a concern, then, that the fuel deal could, in some way, inhibit --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, but Russia talked about the protections that would be built into the agreement, that -- and that's why I said that fuel being taken back to Russia is important to providing protections against that fuel being used for purposes other than what it's intended for.

[�]


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3.
Transcript of Remarks by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov at Press Conference Following Talks with European Union Troika, Luxembourg (excerpted)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
2/28/2005
(for personal use only)


[�]

Question: What did you mean by saying that the US can play a positive role in the context of Iranian problems?

Foreign Minister Lavrov: We have established close cooperation with the EU Troika so as to be certain that the Iranian program bears a peaceful character and that the resolution, adopted last November by the IAEA Board of Governors, is fully complied with. We have repeatedly welcomed the statements of Washington, including the statements of George Bush, that the US would want a peaceful and diplomatic resolution of the Iranian problem. I think that the EU Troika's involvement in the direct talks with Iran, the involvement of Russia in its own cooperation with Iran, which is being coordinated with the EU Troika's efforts, the exchange of views, and the elaboration of steps which will help everybody move in this direction, coupled with the participation of the US, will be useful.

Question: How did you succeed in convincing the European representatives of the peaceful character of cooperation with Iran?

Foreign Minister Lavrov: I did not have to convince anyone. They, in fact, don't need any such convincing. They know what we are doing together with Iran. This completely fits into the framework of the IAEA resolutions. Our cooperation with Iran in nuclear power is proceeding under IAEA control. And there is no need to convince anyone of its peaceful character.

[�]


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J.  Links of Interest

1.
Cooperative Threat Reduction Beyond Russia
Rose Gottemoeller
The Washington Quarterly
3/1/2005
(for personal use only)
http://www.twq.com/05spring/docs/05spring_gottemoeller.pdf


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2.
Cooperative Threat Reduction Annual Report to Congress FY2006
Department of Defense
2/28/2005
(for personal use only)
http://www.216.119.87.134/documents/fy06_ctr_annual_report_to_congress.pdf


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

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