1. IAEA Expert Group Meeting on Nuclear Service Ships to be Held in Murmansk
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A meeting of IAEA expert-contact group will be held in Murmansk from May 24 to May 26, Interfax reported.
The representatives of the ten donor countries and three European organisations as well as Russian representatives from the Federal Nuclear Agency and Murmansk administration are expected to take part in the meeting. The main issue of the meeting is problems concerning nuclear service ships dismantling, deputy director of Atomflot Federal Company Mustafa Kashka said to the Interfax news agency. The common conception for service ships dismantling should be worked out. According to Kashka, the common conception for the retired nuclear submarines has been developed long time ago as well as the schedule for their dismantling while no such schemes have been developed for the nuclear service ships. This situation can explain the unsolved issue with ”the most radioactive dangerous object in Northern Europe and Russia” service ship Lepse, he added.
Russia has total 72 nuclear service ships. The Murmansk Shipping Company operates four nuclear service ships on the Kola Peninsula: Lotta, Imandra, Volodarsky and Lepse. Since 1998 Lotta has been engaged in shipping navy spent nuclear fuel from the retired submarines. 16 special trains with spent nuclear fuel onboard have been sent from the Kola Peninsula, 75 percent of the cargo belongs to the Northern Fleet. Imandra service ship receives annually more than 150 cubic meters of liquid radioactive waste from the marine reactors. Imandra started to accept spent nuclear fuel from the retired submarines in November 1999. Total from 1981 to 2001 Imandra unloaded 37 reactor cores and loaded 33 reactor cores on the civil marine nuclear reactors. Since 1996 Imandra has been used to ship spent nuclear fuel from the navy bases to the Atomflot base for its further shipment by railway for reprocessing in the South Ural.
Lepse service ship was used from 1972 to 1981 to reload spent nuclear fuel in the nuclear icebreakers Lenin, Arktika and Sibir. After Imandra was taken in service, Lepse has been used as a storage facility for radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. Volodarsky is also used now as a storage facility for solid radioactive waste, Interfax reported.
For a low-budget, made-for-TV thriller, "Last Best Chance" has a high-brow pedigree.
Former Sen. Fred Thompson, now of "Law and Order" fame, stars as the president of the U.S. The plot has a Tom Clancy feel, with al Qaeda terrorists stealing enough nuclear materials to incinerate London, New York and Washington. The film also has the backing of Ted Turner, former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn, Tom Brokaw, the heads of the 9/11 Commission and Warren Buffett, who at last weekend's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. annual meeting urged his 20,000 shareholders to order it.
Still, nuclear Armageddon isn't an easy sell.
The movie was the brainchild of Mr. Nunn, who has spent years pushing to keep nuclear arms from falling into the wrong hands. Even in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, he feared the government was moving too slowly to address the threat while the public was largely inured to it.
So Mr. Nunn, who isn't known for his left-coast sensibilities, decided to go Hollywood. He persuaded the bipartisan board of his advocacy group, the Nuclear Threat Initiative -- which he co-heads with Mr. Turner -- to spend $1 million on a made-for-TV movie dramatizing the clear and present danger of nuclear terrorism.
"We had to find a way to communicate the threat," Mr. Nunn says.
Mr. Nunn acknowledges that the movie was a "high risk" venture, especially with money tight at the NTI since Mr. Turner's original pledge of five million Time Warner Inc. shares shrank in value after the company's merger with America Online went south.
Whether a TV thriller can rally the nation to action against nuclear proliferation isn't clear. In fact, it isn't even clear that the film will ever make it to the small screen. One cable-network executive who has seen it found the language "kind of stilted," adding that "if we went with it, we'd want changes."
The 45-minute film starts with Russian mobsters trying to bribe a Russian Army guard to steal two small tactical nuclear warheads for their al Qaeda clients. The guard balks, and winds up dead in the trunk of a car. But the terrorists have other options.
An al Qaeda special-operations team steals highly enriched uranium fuel rods from a research reactor in Belarus while a South African scientist easily walks out of his nuclear research lab with a lead-lined bag filled with thin sheets of weapons-grade uranium. "I keep the books," he explains later when asked by his co-conspirators if the uranium will ever be missed.
What the terrorists manage to do next is even more chilling. Working in low-tech machine shops they turn their stolen uranium into three "gun type" nuclear weapons, similar to the one dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. "It's not true that the designs are on the Internet . . . . But a reasonably smart person with . . . maybe a master's in physics" and several months to spend in a library could figure it out, says Matthew Bunn, who heads Harvard University's "Managing the Atom" project and was the technical adviser for the movie.
The rest of the film's action focuses on the frantic and increasingly futile efforts of the Americans and Russians to find the weapons before they go off.
For a movie about the risks of nuclear annihilation, it's noticeably lacking in cool special effects. The film's writer and director, Ben Goddard, best known for the "Harry and Louise" commercials attacking the Clinton health-care plan, says his $1 million budget "wouldn't have paid for a fraction" of what was needed to plausibly blow up Washington or New York. Besides, both he and Mr. Nunn wanted to leave the audience with some sense of hope.
The film is the latest public-education effort by Mr. Nunn's group. In 2003, the NTI spent $1.5 million on issue ads for the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary that created a local buzz and whetted the group's appetite for a national audience. The rest of the time, the NTI tries to plug some of the holes in nonproliferation policy.
Three years ago, the group spent $5 million to help remove 100 pounds of weapons-grade uranium from a poorly guarded nuclear-research reactor in Serbia. The Serbs wouldn't let go of the fresh uranium -- enough for about two nuclear weapons -- unless they got help cleaning up their highly radioactive spent fuel, something the U.S. government wouldn't pay for.
Mr. Turner is so passionate about the nuclear threat that he keeps a small, typed card in his wallet bearing both his important phone numbers and the text of the disarmament section of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. In a rare moment of self-effacement, he says that when he first got involved in big-time philanthropy, pledging $1 billion to the United Nations in 1997, he never considered trying to do anything about weapons of mass destruction. "I thought it would be presumptuous for a private individual," or even a nongovernmental organization to take that on, he says. But "when I got into it I found . . . that governments were just letting it slip."
When Mr. Turner made his original pledge to set up the NTI, the stock was valued at $250 million, but ended up being worth only $70 million -- all of which has been spent. Mr. Buffett, who says he has worried about nuclear annihilation since Hiroshima, stepped in to bail out the group. He has donated $5 million a year for the past two years and has raised his contributions to $7 million a year through 2009.
As a sweetener for potential distributors, "Last Best Chance" comes with 15 minutes of Mr. Brokaw, the former NBC anchor, interviewing Mr. Nunn and Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, the godfathers of the Nunn-Lugar effort to lock up loose Russian nukes. Mr. Nunn also has persuaded some key members of the 9/11 Commission to go on the road to lead postfilm discussions.
The best marketing muscle, for now at least, may come from Mr. Buffett's plug to his shareholders. While explaining why Berkshire's insurance units exclude nuclear, chemical and biological attacks from their policies -- "We would regard ourselves vulnerable to extinction if we didn't" -- he urged them to order the film online from www.lastbestchance.org . In a telephone interview, Mr. Buffett says he has used past annual meetings to recommend books, and "they've shot way up on Amazon."
The NTI has ordered 20,000 DVDs of the film it plans to give away to people who request one on the Web site, which it scrambled to put up in time for Mr. Buffett's meeting. By late yesterday afternoon, it had received 3,945 requests. The DVDs are expected to be available by midmonth.
A key issue on the global agenda is how to stop international terrorists from gaining access to weapons of mass destruction and their components, including weapons-grade materials.
The UN General Assembly approved the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, proposed by Russia in 1998, on April 13 this year. It is the first legally binding document on international terrorism adopted after 9/11; it will be open for signing in September.
The convention represents a major step forward and answers many important questions. How can acts of nuclear terrorism be prevented? How can the consequences of acts that could not be precluded be dealt with? What is the mechanism for returning fissionable materials to the countries from which they were stolen?
Some people say that it is no use discussing a non-existent threat, that it can only fan fears and compound the effect of Chernobyl with the 9/11 effect. Terrorists effectively use conventional explosives, such people say, and civilian planes are their WMD.
Terrorists cannot and will not have to spend tens of millions of dollars and conduct complicated research and engineering projects, such people argue, when they can effectively blackmail states and public opinion at the cost of thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.
I do not agree with this view. Major terrorist networks want to stage attacks that will provoke disasters and are working on such plans. The "terrorism show" will not tolerate repetitions, and so their masters are working on new scenarios, trying to plot beyond the bounds of the imagination of countries and their security services, and possibly even Hollywood. And they want more fame than the Hollywood stars. The mass fear of the word "radiation" is a guarantee that a terrorist attack will be reported on CNN breaking news, which may be more important for the terrorists than the number of victims.
Russia and the other official nuclear powers, as well as India, securely protect their nuclear weapons against unsanctioned access. But there is at least one nuclear state, Pakistan, where the safety of nuclear weapons is questionable and questioned, at least by me.
The standards of the physical protection of nuclear power facilities, above all nuclear plants and warehouses of fissionable materials, are an issue of even more serious concern for dozens of states. The most attractive and potentially the easiest way for terrorists would be to occupy or try to blow up such a facility, using the assistance of local staff members, be they recruited or planted.
Members of the Russian state agencies write in their book, Superterrorism: A New Challenge of the New Century, that "subversive operations at nuclear facilities, the radioactive pollution of the air by aerosols, and radioactive contamination of water sources can result in numerous casualties and provoke an environmental catastrophe with lasting effects."
But I am worried about the illegal trade in nuclear materials, which has receded into the shadows of late. Statistics show that nuclear materials have been stolen by single agents or security services, which did it to provoke potential buyers. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the probability of a nuclear bomb being built from stolen materials is negligible: no more than 2% of the amount of uranium and plutonium necessary for creating a nuclear charge has been stolen in the past decade.
Indonesia's representative at the UN, Mr. Prayono Atiyanto, said quite correctly that the adoption of the Nuclear Terrorism Convention would reduce the risk of individual terrorists or terrorist groups trying to get hold of nuclear materials or facilities.
Yet the current text of the Convention is a result of many compromises, and it does not cover the issue of armed attacks against nuclear facilities. But the protection of peaceful nuclear facilities from an aggression in states that respect the provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty is becoming an increasingly important, though independent, issue.
2. Significant Hurdles Remain to U.S.-Russian Nuclear Security, Report States
Global Security Newswire
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Bureaucratic and political impediments continue to frustrate U.S.-Russian efforts to secure vulnerable weapon-usable nuclear materials, top experts said here today as they released a new report on preventing nuclear terrorism (see GSN, April 21).
Stronger presidential leadership is needed in both countries to overcome disagreements over site access, liability and other concerns, according to two Harvard University experts and former Senator Sam Nunn, now the chief executive officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative.
Nunn praised Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President George W. Bush for calling, at a summit this year in Bratislava, for better cooperation on safeguarding Russia’s nuclear stockpile and for joint global leadership on nuclear security. Nunn added, however, that the countries are “doing too little and moving much too slowly.”
“I think the issue is sustained, focused leadership at the presidential level,” Nunn said.
Bush and Putin made progress in Bratislava, Nunn said, but “they did not remove the obstacles” relating to liability concerns, site access and Group of Eight threat reduction funding — the “unfinished agenda” of the summit, he said. Nunn expressed hope that the Bush-Putin meeting next week in Russia could yield such progress.
In their report commissioned by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Harvard’s Matthew Bunn and Anthony Wier note, as examples of progress over the past year, U.N. Security Council Resolution 1540 on WMD security, the U.S. Energy Department’s launch of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative and the Bush-Putin summit in February.
“Translating last year’s pledges into the needed rapid action,” they write, “will require sustained leadership from both President Bush and President Putin and from the leaders of other key nuclear states.”
To maintain focus on the effort, they say, Bush should appoint a senior-level official to work solely on nuclear security and should be consistently available to the official in order to make needed decisions.
“Action from the highest levels is needed because difficult bureaucratic and political impediments persist that cut across agencies and departments and cannot be resolved by officials within any one agency,” write the authors. “Success will require not just occasional encouraging statements but in-depth, day-to-day engagement.”
The researchers call on Washington to pursue an “accelerated and strengthened partnership with Russia” to replace cooperation that is faltering and asymmetrical.
“To achieve both the top-level Russian commitment necessary to move nuclear security cooperation forward and the working-level Russian ‘buy-in’ essential to ensure that upgraded security systems will be sustained and improved over time, a shift from a donor-recipient relationship toward a true partnership will be essential,” according to the report. “In a real partnership, Russia would have to contribute more of its own resources, and the United States would have to pursue a truly joint approach, with Russian and U.S. experts involved in all stages of the conception, design, implementation and evaluation of these programs.”
Making such a shift, Nunn said repeatedly, would require the two countries to “change the psychology” of their relationship, including through Russian access to U.S. nuclear sites and Russian participation in designing the security and threat reduction programs. As for the Russians, he said, “They’ve got to step up not only with more funding themselves, but they’ve got to take on a global role.”
In addition to U.S.-Russian liability and access disagreements, the “unfinished agenda” to which Nunn referred included Group of Eight threat-reduction funding. “Nearly three years ago,” Nunn said, “the G-8 pledged to match U.S. Nunn-Lugar funding, but this G-8 effort is making glacial progress and needs focused leadership” (see GSN, Jan. 28).
Bunn said Russia and the United States should strive to obtain support from other countries by emphasizing the urgency of the problem, which he said is illustrated by continuing terrorist attacks around the globe and by al-Qaeda’s known desire to acquire a nuclear capability.
“The threat is urgent, and therefore so is the need for action,” Bunn said.
Wier presented the pair’s analysis of U.S. funding for threat-reduction programs and progress at Russian sites. The Bush administration’s fiscal 2006 budget request for the programs, although a 22-percent increase at $982 million, is still too little, Wier said. In particular, he said the Global Threat Reduction Initiative could use more money.
“Most programs are limited more by the level of cooperation that has been achieved with potential recipient states than by money,” the authors write, “but there are several areas where small increases in available funds could accelerate progress.”
“Probably the best available indicator” of progress in Russia, they say, is the percentage of buildings containing weapon-usable material that have undergone U.S.-funded security upgrades, which stands at 56 percent. The buildings figure corresponds to just 26 percent of weapon-usable nuclear material at Russian sites, however, and the researchers said a “dramatic acceleration” would be needed to bring the second figure to the U.S. Energy Department’s goal of 100 percent by 2008.
3. Concern Over US Increasing Control Over Russian Nuclear Facilities 'Exaggerated'
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Apprehensions that the U.S. may step up control over Russian nuclear facilities are considerably exaggerated, General Vladimir Dvorkin, ex-chief of the 4th Research and Development Institute of the Russian Defense Ministry, said on Wednesday.
"First and foremost, it is necessary to realize what nuclear facilities are meant. At the same time, it should be kept in mind that under the START-1 treaty of 1991, Russia and the U.S. have been inspecting each other's strategic offensive arms facilities for a long time," Drvokin told Interfax-Military News Agency, commenting on the statement of U.S. officials on the necessity of the U.S. control over Russian nuclear facilities.
U.S. State Secretary Condoleezza Rice said in the course of her recent visit to Moscow that Washington intended to make progress in inspections of Russian nuclear facilities.
According to Dvorkin, the U.S. has never proposed toughening control over strategic offensive arms facilities, since even the existing mutual control within the framework of ever expanding partnership is redundant. "Thus, toughening such control will be useless. All these fact should be kept in mind during hysteria, caused by discussing issues whether Russian nuclear sites should be inspected," he said.
Nuclear facilities cannot be discussed in general, since the term includes strategic missiles and missile launchers, nuclear submarines, strategic bombers, strategic offensive arms scrapping facilities, nuclear power stations, radioactive material dumps, etc., he said.
As far as military sites were concerned, Dvorking noted that the START-1 treaty in force until 2009 envisioned 16 kinds of various inspections.
"Strategic offensive arms facilities have been visited by dozens of inspection teams since 1991 on an annual basis," he said.
According to him, START-1 verification measures include ten types of provisions, containing 152 types of notifications.
Russia and the U.S. conduct demonstrations to verify characteristics of their ICBMs, and SSBNs, launcher, heavy bombers, cruise missiles, locations of strategic arms facilities.
"At the same time Russia's nuclear system goes on working and certainly contains facilities, which should be protected against possible information leaks. However, as is known, the U.S. does not insist on inspecting such facilities," he said.
The problem is that Russian nuclear facilities simultaneously develop cutting-edge nuclear weapon technologies, and process and scrap nuclear waste with the assistance of the U.S., Dvorkin noted. "However, the problem is quite successfully solved by the selective access approach," he said.
According to him, the U.S. intent to control the appropriate use of its financial assets is quite justified.
He also noted that the control directly depended on access to the facilities, sponsored by investors. "Thus, in fact it is not concessions, it is civilized cooperation. Of course, natural confidentiality requirements are taken into consideration," he said.
4. How Close Have American Inspectors Come to Russia's Nuclear Sites?
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U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said during her recent trip to Moscow that the Americans had secured better access to Russia's nuclear facilities, which was hardly music to Russian ears.
Nor did her "explanation" that she did not link the inspections with the issue of sovereignty go unnoticed. Rice, at the very least, timed her comments poorly: a country that paid 27 million lives for its independence 60 years ago does not deserve to have its sovereignty discussed on the eve of Victory Day.
How close have American inspectors come to Russian nuclear sites? In short, they have not got beyond the perimeters of these sites. The most sensitive spheres of the nuclear industry have always been closed and not merely to foreigners, as only a limited number of Russian specialists have access to these spheres.
The external or physical protection of nuclear sites is a different matter, as Russia maintains cooperation with the U.S., as well as with Germany, Britain and France, under agreements on the registration and control of the physical protection of nuclear materials (02.10.99). Vladimir Kuchinov, the head of the Department for International and Foreign Trade Cooperation at the Federal Agency for Nuclear Power, says, "Under this document America helps us financially and technically to improve the protection of our institutes, organizations, and enterprises, including closed nuclear cities. This assistance is the most important and successful component of the agreement."
According to the Agency, hundreds of American specialists visit Russian nuclear installations every year. But they obviously do not simply arrive and go where they want. They do not have access to sensitive facilities, where there are new elements and technologies. They can only visit the outer and inner perimeters but cannot go inside. Moreover, sensitive facilities are not even part of this cooperation. They are fully controlled by the Russian specialists.
The Agreement covers 24 nuclear-dangerous installations and 6 non-nuclear sites. Depots are also included and not only those where weapons-grade plutonium is stored, but also those which house waste from decommissioned nuclear submarines and spent fuel from nuclear power plants.
Although Russia needs U.S. assistance, this does not mean that its nuclear installations are poorly protected. This was emphasized in a joint statement made by Vladimir Putin and George Bush in Bratislava. They agreed that the level of the physical protection of nuclear sites in Russia and the U.S. corresponded to modern standards. Both presidents pointed out that the physical protection of nuclear sites should be permanently improved just like any other technology given new challenges and threats. And Russian-American cooperation continues moving in this direction.
The Americans have already provided hundreds of millions of dollars to improve the physical protection of Russia's nuclear facilities. This gesture is not prompted just by the desire to help Russia in the moment of need. The U.S. prefers to pay rather than see Russian nuclear arsenals go without proper servicing and control because of a lack of money and the brain drain. It is only natural that they want to see how the money is spent. Is there a new fence around a nuclear depot? Are there monitors at the entrance gate? Are the control posts well equipped? Any agreement has a clause on verifications and inspections. The American experts cross the ocean to carry them out.
The Agency for Nuclear Power has reported that all visits to Russian nuclear sites are strictly regulated: there are procedures for the presentation of documents, lists of visitors are agreed upon in advance, and even the duration of trips is specified.
The financial crisis that hit Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union forced it to cooperate with the Americans. "Now that the Russian economy is regaining strength, this cooperation is gradually acquiring a different dimension," said Kuchinov. "We are using less aid and counting more on equal cooperation."
The U.S. is not going to finance Russia forever. After all, it is the American taxpayer's money.
1. Senior Diplomat Says Russia Abides By Nonproliferation Commitments
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Russia adheres to its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and has been gradually reducing its nuclear arsenals, the Russian deputy foreign minister, Sergey Kislyak, said today.
Speaking at the NPT review conference at UN headquarters, he said that Russia was ahead of schedule in observing its obligations on the reduction of strategic offensive weapons under the START treaty. In five years - from 1 January 2000 to 1 January 2005 - the Russian Federation has reduced its strategic nuclear forces by 357 launch vehicles and 1,740 nuclear warheads. To date, Russia has reduced its nonategic nuclear forces by four times. In comparison with 1991 the total amount of nuclear combat stock was reduced by more than five times.
Sergey Kislyak said that the Russian-American Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty is "a new essential step in the cause of nuclear disarmament", which provides for mutual reduction of the overall total of strategic nuclear warheads by 1,700 - 2,200 units by both parties by 31 December 2012.
Russia's material input into securing the irreversibility of nuclear disarmament is great as well. This refers to the implementation of a program on converting 500 tonnes of highly enriched uranium into fuel for nuclear power stations, which had been extracted from Russian nuclear weapons. By autumn 2005, we will cross the quantitative "equator" - 250 tonnes of highly enriched uranium will have been converted, the deputy head of the Foreign Ministry said. This is the equivalent of many thousands of nuclear warheads, Sergey Kislyak said.
As troops march past and planes streak overhead, President Bush will assume his place in the reviewing stand on Red Square in front of Lenin's tomb, marking the 60th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany -- an event that also ushered in decades of totalitarianism for half of Europe.
For a president who has made it his mission to champion democracy around the world, Bush's trip to Europe starting Friday presents one of the trickiest diplomatic challenges of his young second term, an uncomfortable balancing act of honoring the enormous Russian sacrifice during World War II without condoning the repression that followed.
In a complex choreography to avoid sending the wrong signal, Bush will bracket his visit to Moscow with stops in two former Soviet republics that still resist Kremlin influence, Latvia and Georgia. Yet his attempt to prod Russian President Vladimir Putin into owning up to the dark side of the Soviet past evidently has failed. The Bush administration, U.S. sources said, privately tried to persuade Putin to use the occasion to renounce Stalin's agreement with Hitler dividing up Poland and permitting the Soviet Union to swallow up Latvia and its Baltic neighbors.
The dying Soviet Union finally disavowed the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop pact of 1939 under Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989, but Putin described it this year as merely an effort by Moscow "to ensure its interests and its security on its western borders," and the Kremlin told the Americans he saw no need to renounce it, the sources said. Then in his state of the nation address last week, Putin termed the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 that freed the Baltic states, Georgia and other republics "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century."
A senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Bush's team designed the trip "not to fall into the Russian trap about the past" and "go to a World War II commemoration on Red Square in front of Lenin's tomb celebrating something that was not liberation for a lot of Europe. A lot of people, not just the Balts, see it as trading one dictatorship for another." So "we tried to refine the trip to talk about important matters for the 21st century."
At a briefing yesterday, national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley deflected an in-depth discussion of the Soviet legacy. "While acknowledging the past, we ought to be talking about ways to move forward and advance those [democratic] principles not only in Europe but also beyond," he said.
Without mentioning the stymied private-channels U.S. lobbying, Hadley added that Moscow should renounce Molotov-Ribbentrop, as the Congress of People's Deputies did 16 years ago. "Obviously it would be an appropriate thing for Russia, now having emerged out of the Soviet Union, to do the same thing," he said.
The ceremony Monday will allow Putin to showcase his attempt to rebuild Russia into a great power as he hosts 56 world leaders, including German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, French President Jacques Chirac and probably British Prime Minister Tony Blair. For Russia, May 9 remains the most resonant holiday on the calendar as the nation commemorates 27 million killed in what it calls the Great Patriotic War.
President Bill Clinton faced a similar conundrum when he visited Moscow in 1995 for the 50th anniversary. He decided to boycott the military parade in protest of the brutal Russian war in Chechnya but attended ceremonies in the Kremlin with then-President Boris Yeltsin.
Bush, who will also stop in the Netherlands to visit a cemetery of U.S. soldiers, will balance his Moscow trip with visits to Latvia and Georgia. "In Western Europe, the end of World War II meant liberation," Bush wrote recently to the Latvian president. "In Central and Eastern Europe, the war also marked the Soviet occupation and annexation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and the imposition of communism."
In the Latvian capital of Riga before the Moscow ceremony, Bush will meet with the presidents of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania -- all recently inducted NATO members -- and visit a monument to Latvian independence from the Soviet Union. After leaving Moscow, he will fly to Tbilisi to meet with Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili, who led the bloodless Rose Revolution in 2003 that toppled a corrupt government and helped trigger similar uprisings in Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan.
In a nod to Russian sensibilities, Bush will deliver private messages to the Latvians and Georgians to work with Moscow, officials said. In Latvia, Bush will urge greater respect for its sizable Russian-speaking minority population; in Georgia, he will warn Saakashvili against provocative actions in the Moscow-aligned separatist region of South Ossetia.
"This is quite a test for sophisticated diplomacy here," said Fiona Hill, a scholar at the Brookings Institution. "I'd say hats off if they can pull this off."
While Bush pushed Putin on the Kremlin's moves to roll back democratic advances during a meeting in Slovakia in February, the president plans no public confrontation in Moscow. The Kremlin has taken over television, tamed parliament, jailed business tycoons and eliminated elections of regional governors. A court was scheduled to hand down a verdict last week in the trial of oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, but the ruling was postponed until after Bush leaves.
Instead, aides said, Bush will raise the matter during a private meeting and perhaps at a dinner at Putin's country house. Bush will also meet beleaguered human rights and civil society advocates in a symbolic show of support for those resisting Putin's monopoly of power.
Bush has come under pressure to do more to challenge Putin, whom he considers a friend. Reps. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) and Christopher Cox (R-Calif.) reintroduced a measure this week calling for Russia to be expelled from the Group of Eight industrialized nations, which Putin will host next year.
On the other side, Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), a leading advocate of closer ties with Russia, criticized Bush for not doing more to work with Moscow on issues such as missile defense and energy. "Shortsighted political fixes [and] sending letters to the New York Times tweaking Putin are not the answer," Weldon said during an angry, lectern-thumping speech yesterday. "To me, that's superficial, it's sophomoric."
During their brief meeting, aides said, Bush and Putin plan to discuss Iran, North Korea and Middle East peace as well as developments in the former Soviet Union. Bush wants to reassure Putin, who has been leery of recent revolutions in his neighborhood, that the United States is not trying to curtail Moscow's regional influence.
But Bush's visit to Moscow will bring no concrete agreements, officials said. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a strong push to resolve a years-long logjam over liability that has held up joint ventures such as the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium, officials said, but failed. Officials hope to reach an agreement by the time Bush and Putin meet at the G-8 meeting in July.
"The trip is to a large degree, particularly the Moscow stop, about symbolism, rather than deliverables," a senior administration official said. "It means a lot to Putin. [But] we're not sweeping under the rug what happened after the war."
Swiss authorities have arrested Russia's former nuclear energy minister after federal authorities in Pittsburgh accused him of defrauding U.S. aid programs intended to improve safety at Russian nuclear facilities.
Yevgeny Adamov, a nuclear physicist who owned two Pittsburgh companies, was arrested Monday in Bern, Switzerland. The U.S. Justice Department requested the arrest, based on a warrant issued by the federal court in Pittsburgh.
The warrant accuses Adamov, believed to be in his mid-60s, of diverting up to $9 million that the U.S. Energy Department provided for Russia and investing the money in various projects, including U.S. firms that he controls.
U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan said in a statement Wednesday that she will discuss the case at a news conference this afternoon.
The Justice Department in Washington referred all calls to Buchanan's office.
Russia's foreign ministry said the charges are not connected to Adamov's tenure in the Russian government. Adamov served as nuclear energy minister from 1998 to 2001.
"As far as we are aware, Adamov is facing charges in connection with his commercial activities in the early 1990s prior to his appointment as Russian atomic energy minister," Alexander Yakovenko, a spokesman for the ministry, told the Interfax news agency.
A statement from the federal Atomic Energy Agency said: "Yevgeny Adamov faces accusations in connection with a number of commercial contracts concluded between the Dollezhal Institute and various U.S. organizations in the early 1990s in the area of atomic energy security."
The Dollezhal Institute is a nuclear research group in Russia that has developed nuclear weapons and reactors.
Adamov owned two companies -- Energo Pool Inc. and Omeka Ltd., a consulting firm -- both of which had offices Downtown.
Adamov and business partner Mark Kaushansky, of Monroeville, formed Energo Pool in 1983 and filed papers with the Pennsylvania Department of State to dissolve the company in 1993. They founded Omeka in 1994, and listed Kaushansky's wife, Luba, as treasurer.
Kaushansky could not be reached for comment. Omeka's Downtown office is closed, and its phone has been disconnected.
Real estate records in Allegheny County show the Kaushanskys own a $300,000 home in Monroeville and two condominiums in Pittsburgh. No one answered the door at the Monroeville home yesterday evening.
Neighbors of the Kaushanskys on Trotwood Drive in Monroeville said the couple kept to themselves, and used to have a Dalmatian they took into nearby woods. The couple have two children, a boy and a girl, neighbors said.
Adamov headed the Dollezhal Institute following the Chernobyl cleanup in 1986 until he was appointed minister by President Boris Yeltsin in 1998.
During his tenure as minister, he came under increasing fire in connection with corruption allegations against him and his proposal to import nuclear waste to Russia for reprocessing.
He also angered American authorities when he shrugged off their objections to Russian help for Iran's civilian nuclear energy program. U.S. officials said the program aimed to build a nuclear weapon.
In 2001, the anti-corruption committee of Russia's State Duma -- its lower house of parliament -- accused Adamov of illegally setting up companies inside and outside of Russia, including Omeka. The anti-corruption committee said Adamov had re-established Energo Pool as a Delaware corporation in 1997.
Adamov was dismissed from his government post in March 2001 as part of a Cabinet reshuffle engineered by President Vladimir Putin a year after he took office. After leaving the post, Adamov rejoined the Dollezhal Institute and has worked on projects to improve safety at Russia's 11 Chernobyl-type reactors still in operation.
Adamov once was part of a U.S.-Russia partnership that was supposed to sell uranium taken from Russian nuclear weapons to the U.S. The uranium would be diluted and used in American nuclear power plants.
Omeka was hired by a Maryland firm, United States Enrichment Corp., as a consultant in January 2000 on a $12 billion, 20-year agreement negotiated by the two governments, according to the Russian American Nuclear Security Advisory Council.
Adamov, who is charged with several counts of fraud and money laundering, refused to accept quick extradition, said Falco Galli, a spokesman for the Swiss Federal Office of Justice.
That means the U.S. government has 40 days to file a formal extradition request, starting a process that could take many months before a final decision is reached on sending him to the United States,
Galli said Adamov had come to Switzerland to see his daughter. Irina Adamova told Swiss German television SF DRS that Swiss officials had lured her father to the country by saying they wanted to discuss her blocked bank account.
3. Russians Suspect U.S. Wants to Get Nuke Secrets From Arrested Ex-Minister
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Russian officials suspect former Russian atomic energy minister Yevgeny Adamov’s arrest and possible extradiction to the U.S. is linked to his knowledge of Russia’s nuclear weapons programs.
Russia must have Adamov back in Russia as soon as possible, because he knows too many of the state’s top secrets, including information on nuclear weapons, head of the State Duma committee for energy, transport and communications Valery Yazev said Tuesday.
“All the American accusations are artificial,” Yazev was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying. “The Americans have always disliked Adamov and the way he defended Russia’s interests in the Iranian nuclear programs,” he added.
Moreover, Yazev said the case was a political one and he thought it possible that the U.S. special services could take advantage of Adamov’s arrest and try to get state secrets from him.
“As an MP and head of the committee on energy, I hope the Russian government will take all possible measures to bring Adamov back to Russia,” Yazev added.
An unidentified source in the presidential administration was quoted by the Vedomosti newspaper Thursday as also expressing concern at Adamov’s knowledge.
“It is obvious that for the first time not just an ex-minister, but a bearer of all the state nuclear secrets has been arrested,” Vedomosti quoted the source as saying.
The source claims Adamov possesses all the information about Russia’s nuclear weapons industry and secret information about Russian nuclear activities abroad, such as the construction of Nuclear Power Plants in China, India and Iran.
“The Americans could try to force Adamov to testify to non-existent legal violations in the cooperation between Russia and Iran,” the source was quoted as saying.
However, the commander of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces, Colonel-General Nikolai Solovtsov, said Thursday Adamov had no access to secret information about Russia’s ballistic missiles, Itar Tass reports.
“Regarding the rocket forces, Adamov is of no special value,” Solovtsov said. He added though, that as a minister Adamov could have had access to a lot of secret information, Itar Tass reports.
Former Russian atomic energy minister Yevgeny Adamov was arrested in Switzerland on Monday on suspicion of stealing up to $9 million from U.S. Department of Energy funds allocated for improving nuclear safety in Russia.
4. US-Russia-G8, Lead Russia's Performance on Democracy Should Exclude it from G8
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Two US lawmakers introduced a bipartisan bill urging that Russia be suspended from the Group of 8 nations until, they said, it adheres to international norms and standards of democracy.
"Russia has failed to complete a successful transition from communism to free enterprise, and from a Soviet police state to a stable, securely democratic society. Vladimir Putin needs to show that his nation belongs in the same league with the other G-7 members," said Christopher Cox, a California Republican.
Democrat Tom Lantos of California added that : "The major industrialized democracies gave Russia a seat at the table after the Cold War's end, expecting that Russia's new-found respect for human rights, the rule of law and free expression would persist.
"But just six years later, Moscow has tossed aside this historic opportunity. Russia's leaders are making a mockery of the G8 by failing to live up to the basic norms of a democratic society, and shifting the blame for their crackdown on basic rights," Lantos charged.
Lantos noted that Russia has continued to court global opinion for its support in the war on terrorism while "dodging criticism for its human rights record," including postponing the verdict in the corruption trial of oil executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky, originally set for last week, until after President George W. Bush's visit to Moscow next week.
Cox is chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security. Lantos is the ranking Democratic member of the House International Relations Committee and is co-chair of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. Cox and Lantos co-chair the Russia Democracy Caucus.
The G8 refers to the wealthy highly industrialized Group of 7 nations -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States -- plus Russia.
1. Russian MP: North Korea is Not Bluffing Saying it Has Nuclear Weapons
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A senior Russian parliamentarian is positive that North Korea will conduct the tests of a "nuclear device" this June.
The countries that are party to talks on Korea's nuclear program have come to "a critical point."
On February 10, North Korea announced it had produced a nuclear weapon. "Thereby, it declared itself a nuclear state," Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the international affairs committee of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, said on Tuesday ahead of his visit to Pyongyang.
Kosachev denied facts that prove North Korea would conduct nuclear tests soon.
Kosachev said Russia urged the resumption of six-party talks on Korea's nuclear program, which were launched in Beijing in August 2003, but came to a deadlock after three rounds over differences between North Korea and the United States. Russia, China, South Korea, and Japan are the other parties to the dialogue.
Unlike the U.S., Russia "is prepared to support North Korea's peaceful nuclear energy program that would be implemented under strict international control," said Kosachev. The U.S., he recalled, on the contrary was opposed to any, even peaceful, nuclear programs for the country.
Kosachev said attempts to exert pressure on North Korea were counterproductive. He described the U.S.' proposal to submit "the North Korean file" for consideration at the UN Security Council as a last resort measure to be followed by imposing sanctions.
"This policy with respect to North Korea will not bring the result we want," he said. It can "drive North Korea out of the negotiating process for good."
Kosachev said when in Pyongyang that the State Duma delegation would discuss issues related to the development of the North's nuclear programs. "Under the circumstances it is extremely important to get North Korea engaged in the six-party talks again," said Kosachev. The MP said that was crucial for North Korea's relations with its neighbors, regional stability, and global security.
1. Satan Missile Stays with Russian Armed Forces Until 2016
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The Voyevoda (RS-20) heavy missile, or Satan (SS-18) according to a Western classification, will stay with the Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) until 2016, SMF commander Colonel-General Nikolai Solovtsov said at a news conference. There are two types in the group of heavy missiles - the old and more up-to-date ones. As for the latter, their service life may be prolonged until 2014-2016 or maybe more. The service life of older missiles is extended to 2007-2009, the SMF commander said.
Voyevoda is designed for carrying 10 nuclear MIRV warheads, up to 750 kilotons each. It is the most powerful among all intercontinental ballistic missiles.
At the same time, Russia may resume the manufacturing of Voyevodas, if necessary, Solovtsov added.
"If such a decision is made (to develop heavy missiles), they will be manufactured at Russian facilities," he said.
As of April 2005, Russia's strategic forces had 830 strategic rockets capable of carrying 3,494 nuclear warheads. According to some information, at present the Strategic Missile Forces are armed, among other missiles, with 85 heavy Satans.
2. Topol-M Mobile Complex to Enter on Combat Duty in 2006
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The first mobile complex Topol-M will enter on combat duty of the Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN) in 2006, the RVSN commander said. According to Nikolai Solovtsov, the silo-based Topol-M missile complexes are now in service in the Russian troops. "The RVSN retains the possibility to have both stationary and mobile Topol-M units in combat service," he said.
Solovtsov noted that six types of combat missile systems are now on combat duty in the Russian RVSN but in perspective it is planned to switch over to one type - the silo-based and mobile Topol-M.
Solovtsov said five regiments of the RVSN are now armed with silo-based Topol-M missile complexes.
Speaking of the mobile variant of the missile system, the RVSN commander noted that this complex is considered by the military to be highly promising, since it is fitted out with a more up-to-date missile and has higher technical characteristics.
The modernized missile complex Topol-M - the first missile complex made only by Russian enterprises - forms the nucleus of the whole grouping of the Strategic Missile Forces. The intercontinental strategic complex is a three-stage monounit solid-fuel rocket "packed" in a transport-launch container in which it can stay not less than for 15 years. The service life is more than 20 years.
In the past, nuclear suitcase bombs were made for the KGB, which means that the intelligence service had tactical nuclear weapons. In fact, they had 250 of them, but they no longer pose a threat because the service life of such bombs is very short, said Alexei Yablokov, president of Russia's Center of Ecological Policy, in an interview with a daily, Gazeta.
He assured the newspaper that not one theft of a nuclear weapon had been registered in Russia. Yablokov said that nuclear weapons were well guarded, but admitted that some radioactive materials had been stolen because production was not so secure.
The U.S. Congress claimed in 1996 that the Soviet Union had several suitcase bombs, all of which have been stolen. This claim was based on a misunderstanding. At that time, Yablokov was on the staff of Russia's Security Council. Following several reports about alleged nuclear suitcase bombs in Chechnya, the then secretary of the Security Council, General Alexander Lebed, ordered an inventory of these weapons. It showed that all such weapons were in safe storage, but Lebed's initiative was interpreted as proof that thefts had taken place.
The 250 bombs were stored in different depots. Nuclear charges should be regularly renewed and such weapons are never stored in one place for a long time. One can say how many nuclear weapons are on combat duty but it is difficult to say how many are stored because some weapons have been disassembled, Yablokov said.
Alexei Yablokov is a non-voting member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, vice-president of the World Conservation Union, environmental adviser to the Russian president (1991-1993), and organizer and head of the Russian Security Council's commission on environmental security (1993-1996).
Russia is secretly developing new generation of weapon systems and none of its partners and allies are to know about them until they are tested, Russian Defence Minister, Sergei Ivanov, said on Wednesday.
"Many countries are working over it, including ourselves, developing the modern weapon systems. Of course, none of our partners or allies are aware of this and would not know till it is tested," Ivanov told the Government daily Rossiskaya Gazeta in an interview.
Ivanov said that in comparison with the era of Cold War, the factor of unpredictability has "grown several times", including the factor of local religious and ethnic conflicts.
He said that Russia would remain militarily 'strong', thanks to technologies and modern weapons and not the mass of soldiers.
"With their help, we can feel secure to a significant degree," he said.
Ivanov said that the chances of a nuclear showdown were minimal at this juncture as compared to the past. He, however, added Russia's 'nuclear component' was not inferior to any one in the world.
"Although in number of (nuclear) weapons, we may be behind the US, but it is the quality, which matters in this case, as well as guaranteed capability of this weapon to justify itself," he said.
Ivanov, however, stressed that "living in the real world", Russia is not going to give up the development and improvement of its nuclear forces.
According to him, in the post-Soviet era, the number of Russian armed forces has shrunk from 3 million 300 thousand to 1 million 200 thousand men.
"But further cuts would jeopardise the national security," he said.
"Russia simply does not need the army the Soviet Union had. We don't want and will not be a scarecrow for the whole world. Army with enormous might, capable of reaching the English Channel or destroying the whole world - we don't need this," Ivanov said.
He, however, pointed that the realities convince that the world honours the force and respects the strong nation.
"I mean strong in the good sense - not aggressive, but mighty. Militarily, Russia remains and is doomed to be a strong nation, because we are the biggest country in the world from the point of view of territory spread over 10 time zones," Ivanov said.
He said that Russia is reforming its conventional forces, which were in a miserable shape at the start of Chechnya campaign.
According to Ivanov 40 units of the army, all of airborne troops and marines, which form the constant combat ready force, would be enlisted on contract basis and not on the compulsory military service.
1. Siberia Could Become the World's Atomic Waste Dump, Warn Greens
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Furious environmentalists have accused Russia of plotting to turn vast swaths of Siberia into a repository for the world's unwanted nuclear waste in a multi-billion-dollar plan that puts profit before safety.
Russian authorities have conceded that the idea is being actively examined and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohammed El Baradei, has already stated that he wants Russia to be the site of the world's first global atomic waste dump.
The idea, first floated last year, initially got a favourable response from the Russian government which said it was keen to import spent nuclear fuel for reprocessing and possible storage.
Rosatom, Russia's federal nuclear power agency, makes no secret of its desire to earn foreign currency through the plan. Last week Alexander Rumyantsev, Rosatom's head, suggested Russia take on the task of dismantling the world's nuclear submarines despite the fact that it still has more than 80rusting Soviet-era vessels to take apart and can only do so with large amounts of foreign aid.
Greenpeace Russia said it had information showing that the IAEA still had Russia in mind for a global waste dump and said the matter was likely to be discussed at a conference in New York this month and one in Moscow in June.
"In Russia there are already tens of thousands of tons of radioactive waste from domestic nuclear power plants, military reactors and naval bases," said Vladimir Chouprov of Greenpeace Russia.
Siberia has been mentioned as the likely location of any facility and specific mention has been made of the Krasnoyarsk region where one of the country's two main waste processing sites is located. According to Greenpeace the other, Mayak, in Chelyabinsk, western Siberia, should persuade the world that Russia cannot be trusted to look after radioactive waste.
Earlier this year Russian prosecutors started a criminal case against the Mayak plant's managers alleging that liquid nuclear waste had been pumped into the nearby Techa river since 1948, causing alarming rates of leukaemia among locals.
Greenpeace used last week's 19th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine to protest against the nuclear waste plan. Activists picketed Rosatom's headquarters in Moscow holding a banner which read: "Chernobyl is number one nuclear burial ground. Is Russia number two?"
The incentive for the Russian government to capitalise on its nuclear knowledge may, however, prove too tempting. Russia employs 337,000 people in its nuclear industry and the potential financial rewards are great.
One estimate is that Russia could earn $20bn over 10 years.
While Rosatom officials are anxious to stress that there is so far no definitive agreement for the processing centre, they have confirmed that the idea is being examined and that they see no drawbacks. They reject what they call emotive talk of Russia becoming "a dumping ground" and say the plan primarily envisages recycling nuclear waste so that it can be reused rather than simply buried.
Greenpeace Russia argues that promises to return recycled nuclear fuel have been consistently broken. "Spent nuclear fuel that nobody wants will be left in Russia," said Mr Chouprov. "This is already happening with fuel sent from nuclear plants in Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ukraine. All this waste had been imported for treatment and then forgotten."
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
(for personal use only)
On May 3 the Seventh Review Conference of the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) being held in New York was addressed by the leader of the Russian delegation, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Kislyak, who read out the greetings message of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to the participants in the forum. The message, in particular, notes that to Russia this Treaty, which has already proved its effectiveness, is an important component of the system of international security. It is on the basis of the Treaty that new threats to the nonproliferation regime, including nuclear black markets, can and should be neutralized. Particularly accentuated is the active participation of Russia in the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1540, called upon to prevent the transfer of dangerous materials to potential terrorists, and in the elaboration of the G8 Nonproliferation Action Plan. Russia's strict fulfillment of its obligations in the field of disarmament is emphasized.
In his statement the head of the Russian delegation also noted that the principal task of the Conference was for all the states parties to affirm the viability and relevance of the NPT, their adherence to fulfillment of their obligations under the Treaty and to elaborate on the basis of an objective and balanced analysis specific future steps for the NPT's reinforcement.
It was noted that Russia was actively using the right confirmed in the Treaty to peaceful uses of atomic energy and was cooperating with states parties to the NPT in the development of nuclear energy and in peaceful nuclear research and technology applications.
2. Non-Proliferation Treaty 'Cornerstone' of Global Security But Conference Must Narrow Gap Between Performance, Promise
UN News Centre
(for personal use only)
In 1945, the year that the United Nations was founded, our world entered the nuclear age with the horrific explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Soon after, the cold war was upon us, and the threat of nuclear annihilation hung over humankind. That dangerous epoch may have ended, but nuclear threats remain. Indeed, in the five years since you last met, the world has reawakened to nuclear dangers, both new and old.
I firmly believe that our generation can build a world of ever-expanding development, security and human rights -- a world “in larger freedom”. But I am equally aware that such a world could be put irrevocably beyond our reach by a nuclear catastrophe in one of our great cities.
In the chaos and confusion of the immediate aftermath, there might be many questions. Was this an act of terrorism? Was it an act of aggression by a State? Was it an accident? These may not be equally probable, but all are possible.
Imagine, just for a minute, what the consequences would be. Tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people would perish in an instant, and many more would die from exposure to radiation.
The global impact would also be grave. The attention of world leaders would be riveted on this existential threat. Carefully nurtured collective security mechanisms could be discredited. Hard-won freedoms and human rights could be compromised.
The sharing of nuclear technology for peaceful uses could halt. Resources for development would likely dwindle. And world financial markets, trade and transportation could be hard hit, with major economic consequences. This could drive millions of people in poor countries into deeper deprivation and suffering.
As shock gave way to anger and despair, the leaders of every nation represented here at this conference -- as well as those who are not here -- would have to ask: How did it come to this? Is my conscience clear? Could I have done more to reduce the risk by strengthening the regime designed to do so?
In our interconnected world, a threat to one is a threat to all, and we all share responsibility for each other’s security. If this is true of all threats, it is particularly true of the nuclear threat.
We are all vulnerable to the weakest link in nuclear security and safety and in our efforts to promote disarmament and prevent proliferation. And we all bear a heavy responsibility to build an efficient, effective, and equitable system that reduces nuclear threats.
Thirty-five years ago, our forebears found the wisdom to agree to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to prevent proliferation and advance disarmament while assuring the right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Ever since, it has been a cornerstone of global security, and has confounded the dire predictions of its critics.
Nuclear weapons have not spread to dozens of States. Indeed, more States have given up their ambitions for nuclear weapons than have acquired them. States have joined nuclear-weapon-free zones, and I welcome recent progress to establish a new one in Central Asia. The global non-proliferation norm has been firmly established -- and it has been reaffirmed in your last two review conferences.
A watchful eye has been kept on the supply of materials necessary to make [nuclear weapons]. Many States have been able to enjoy the benefits of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
We have also seen steps, such as the recent Moscow Treaty, to dismantle weapons and reduce stockpiles.
Important multilateral action has also been taken to reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism. In resolution 1540, the Security Council has affirmed the responsibility of all States to secure sensitive materials and control their export. And I am sure you take heart, as I do, from the decision of the General Assembly, last month, to adopt the Convention on Nuclear Terrorism.
But we cannot afford to be complacent. The plain fact is that the regime has not kept pace with the march of technology and globalization, and developments of many kinds in recent years have placed it under great stress.
International regimes do not fail because of one breach, however serious or unacceptable. They fail when many breaches pile one on top of the other, to the point where the gap between promise and performance becomes unbridgeable. As you meet to review the NPT, your urgent task is to narrow that gap.
I have no doubt that we will hear many truths about this conference.
Some will stress the need to prevent proliferation to the most volatile regions. Others will argue that we must make compliance with, and enforcement of, the NPT universal.
Some will say that the spread of nuclear fuel cycle technology poses an unacceptable proliferation threat. Others will counter that access to peaceful uses of nuclear technology must not be compromised.
Some will paint proliferation as a grave threat. Others will argue that existing nuclear arsenals are a deadly danger.
But I challenge each of you to recognize all these truths. I challenge you to accept that disarmament, non-proliferation and the right to peaceful uses are all vital. I challenge you to agree that they are all too important to be held hostage to the politics of the past. And I challenge you to acknowledge that they all impose responsibilities on all States.
If you are to rise to these challenges, action is required on many fronts.
First, you must strengthen confidence in the integrity of the treaty, particularly in the face of the first withdrawal announced by a State. Unless violations are directly addressed, the most basic collective reassurance on which the treaty rests will be called into question.
Second, you must ensure that measures for compliance are made more effective, to maintain confidence that States are living up to their obligations. For example, universalization of the Model Additional Protocol is long overdue. It has to be made the new standard for verifying compliance.
Third, you must act to reduce the threat of proliferation not only to States, but to non-State actors. As the dangers of such proliferation have become clear, so has the universal obligation for all States to establish effective national controls and enforcement measures.
Fourth, you must come to grips with the Janus-like character of nuclear energy. The regime will not be sustainable if scores of more States develop the most sensitive phases of the fuel cycle and are equipped with the technology to produce nuclear weapons on short notice -- and, of course, each individual State which does this only will leave others to feel that they must do the same. This would increase all the risks -- of nuclear accident, of trafficking, of terrorist use, and of use by States themselves.
To prevent that, you must find durable ways to reconcile the right to peaceful uses with the imperative of non-proliferation. States that wish to exercise their undoubted right to develop and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes must not insist that they can only do so by developing capacities that might be used to create nuclear weapons. But, equally, those same States should not be left to feel that the only route to enjoying the benefits of nuclear energy is a domestic fuel cycle capability.
A first step must be to expedite agreement to create incentives for States to voluntarily forego the development of fuel cycle facilities. I commend the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its Director-General, Mohamed ElBaradei, for working to advance consensus on this vital question, and I urge all States to do the same.
These steps would materially reduce the risk of the use of nuclear weapons. But, ultimately, the only guarantee that they will never be used is for our world to be free of such weapons.
If we are truly committed to a nuclear-weapon-free world, we must move beyond rhetorical flourish and political posturing, and start to think seriously how to get there.
Some of the initial steps are obvious. Prompt negotiation of a fissile material cut-off treaty for all States is vital and indispensable. All States should affirm their commitment to a moratorium on testing, and to early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. The High-Level Panel has also wisely endorsed the recommendation that all nuclear-weapon States should de-alert their existing weapons, and give negative security assurances to the non-nuclear weapon States.
But you must go further. Many States still live under a nuclear umbrella, whether of their own or an ally. Ways must be found to lessen, and ultimately overcome, their reliance on nuclear deterrence.
An important step would be for former cold war rivals to commit themselves -- irreversibly -- to further cuts in their arsenals, so that warheads number in the hundreds, not in the thousands. We can only hope to achieve such major reductions if every State has a clear and reliable picture of the fissile material holdings of every other State, and if every State is confident that this material in other States is secure.
The obligation therefore falls on all States -- nuclear and non-nuclear alike -- to increase transparency and security. Indeed, unless all States recognize that disarmament, like non-proliferation, requires action from everyone, the goal of general and complete disarmament will remain a distant dream.
We must, at the same time, take heed of the fact that the attitude of States to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is unavoidably linked to broader questions of national, regional and global security. The more we work to resolve regional conflicts, the less incentives States will have to go nuclear. The more confidence States have in our collective security system, the more prepared they will be to rely on a strengthened non-proliferation regime, rather than on deterrence. And thus, the nearer we will be to the vital goal of universal membership of the treaty.
In my report, “In larger freedom”, I have offered Member States a vision of a revitalized system of collective security for the twenty-first century. When world leaders meet here in September, they must take bold decisions and bring that vision closer to reality.
This is an ambitious agenda. But the consequences of failure are too great to aim for anything less. At the same time, the promise of success is plain for all to see: a world of reduced nuclear threat, and, ultimately, a world free of nuclear weapons.
Our world will not come close to this vision if you accept only some of the truths that will be uttered during this conference. As custodians of the NPT, you must come to terms with all the nuclear dangers that threaten humanity.
Indeed, the detonations at Hiroshima and Nagasaki long ago made your burden abundantly clear. As J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of the fathers of the first bomb, warned: “The peoples of this world must unite, or they will perish…The atomic bomb has spelled [this] out for all men to understand.”
3. Statement by Assistant Secretary Stephen Rademaker Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control 2005 NPT Review Conference
Stephen G. Rademaker
U.S. Department of State
(for personal use only)
Thank you, Mr. President:
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is a key legal barrier against the spread of nuclear weapons and material related to the production of such weapons. That we can meet today, 35 years after the Treaty entered into force, and not count 20 or more nuclear weapon states -- as some predicted in the 1960s -- is a sign of the Treaty’s success. NPT parties can be justly proud of the NPT’s contribution to global security.
Nearly 190 states are now party to the Treaty, the greatest number of parties to any multilateral security agreement, save the United Nations Charter. We are pleased that so many of the states party have gathered in this great hall for the Seventh Review Conference of the NPT.
The NPT is fundamentally a treaty for mutual security. It is clear that the security of all member states depends on unstinting adherence to the Treaty’s nonproliferation norms by all other parties. The Treaty’s principal beneficiaries are those member states that do not possess nuclear weapons because they can be assured that their neighbors also do not possess nuclear weapons. Strict compliance with nonproliferation obligations is essential to regional stability, to forestalling nuclear arms races, and to preventing resources needed for economic development from being squandered in a destabilizing and economically unproductive pursuit of weapons.
There has been important progress in advancing the NPT’s objectives. One clear success is the recent Libyan decision to abandon its clandestine nuclear weapons program, a program aided by the A. Q. Khan network. Libya should be commended for making the strategic decision to return to NPT compliance, to voluntarily give up its nuclear weapons program, and to cooperate with the IAEA and others. In doing so, it moved to end its damaging international isolation and paved the way for improved relations with the international community.
Libya has joined other states, including South Africa, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, that have wisely concluded that their security interests are best served by turning away from nuclear weapons and coming into full compliance with the NPT as non-nuclear weapon states. This demonstrates that, in a world of strong nonproliferation norms, it is never too late to make the decision to become a fully compliant NPT state. In all of these cases, including the most recent case of Libya, such a decision was amply rewarded.
We have also had success in designing new tools outside of the NPT that complement the Treaty. The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) is one such important new tool. First proposed by President Bush in Krakow, Poland on May 31, 2003, over 60 nations have now associated themselves with this effort against the international outlaws that traffic in deadly materials. We are pleased that the PSI was endorsed by Security Council Resolution 1540 and by the Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, and we reaffirm our determination not to shrink from using this important new tool.
We cannot simply celebrate these successes, however. While these successes are important, more must be done. Today, the Treaty is facing the most serious challenge in its history due to instances of noncompliance. Although the vast majority of member states have lived up to their NPT nonproliferation obligations that constitute the Treaty’s most important contribution to international peace and security, some have not.
Indeed, Mr. President, some continue to use the pretext of a peaceful nuclear program to pursue the goal of developing nuclear weapons. We must confront this challenge in order to ensure that the Treaty remains relevant. This Review Conference provides an opportunity for us to demonstrate our resolve in reaffirming our collective determination that noncompliance with the Treaty’s core nonproliferation norms is a clear threat to international peace and security.
I want to take a few minutes to outline the major issues facing the NPT.
By secretly pursuing reprocessing and enrichment capabilities in order to produce nuclear weapons, North Korea violated both its safeguards obligations and its nonproliferation obligations under the NPT before announcing its intention to withdraw from the Treaty in 2003. In recent months, it has claimed to possess nuclear weapons.
For almost two decades Iran has conducted a clandestine nuclear weapons program, aided by the illicit network of A. Q. Khan. After two and a half years of investigation by the IAEA and adoption of no fewer than seven decisions by the IAEA Board of Governors calling on Iran to cooperate fully with the IAEA in resolving outstanding issues with its nuclear program, many questions remain unanswered. Even today, Iran persists in not cooperating fully. Iran has made clear its determination to retain the nuclear infrastructure it secretly built in violation of its NPT safeguards obligations, and is continuing to develop its nuclear capabilities around the margins of the suspension it agreed to last November, for example, by continuing construction of the heavy water reactor at Arak, along with supporting infrastructure.
Pursuit of nuclear weapons by noncompliant states is not the only threat to the NPT. New challenges have emerged from non-state actors.
One category of problematic non-state actors consists of individuals acting in their own self-interest who have helped facilitate proliferation. For many years the A. Q. Khan nuclear smuggling network provided nuclear technology and materials -- even weapon designs -- to NPT violators through a widespread, illicit procurement network. While this network has been disbanded, we are still uncovering and repairing the damage it has wrought upon the nuclear nonproliferation regime. It is imperative that no other networks take its place.
A second category of problematic non-state actors consists of terrorist organizations who magnify the threat of proliferation by potentially placing nuclear weapons in the hands of those determined to use them. It is no secret that terrorists want to acquire weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. The consequences if they succeed would be catastrophic. We must take every possible step to thwart their efforts. This means improving the security of nuclear materials, stopping illicit nuclear trafficking, strengthening safeguards, establishing and enforcing effective export controls, and acting decisively to dismantle terrorist networks everywhere.
Last year, President Bush proposed an action plan to prevent further nuclear proliferation and to address each of these needs. This plan included seven specific initiatives, including the need to criminalize proliferation-related activities. In response, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1540, which requires states to: criminalize proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery by non-state actors; enact and enforce effective export controls; and secure proliferation-sensitive equipment. This is an essential step in reducing the dangers of illicit proliferation networks and of terrorist efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction.
The United States continues to work with others to advance other elements of the President’s action plan, including:
-Universalizing adherence to the Additional Protocol and making it a condition of nuclear supply, which will strengthen the means to verify NPT compliance;
-Restricting the export of sensitive technologies, particularly the spread of enrichment and reprocessing technology, which will close a key loophole in the NPT;
-Creating a special safeguards committee of the IAEA Board of Governors, which will focus the attention of the Board on issues central to the purpose of the Treaty;
engthening the Proliferation Security Initiative to intercept and prevent illicit shipments of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, and related materials, which is a critical adjunct to the work of the Treaty undertaken by nations acting to defeat proliferation threats; and
-Expanding the "Global Partnership" to eliminate and secure sensitive materials, including weapons of mass destruction, which broadens U.S. and Russian efforts aimed at cooperative threat reduction.
Although most of these activities call for action outside the formal framework of the NPT, they are grounded on the norms and principles of nuclear nonproliferation laid down by the Treaty. If adopted, they will each answer directly real threats to the vitality of the Treaty. Accordingly, we hope the deliberations at this Conference will lend political support to these initiatives, and we encourage all states participating in this Conference to join us in supporting these steps.
U.S. support for the NPT extends far beyond our determined efforts to reinforce the Treaty’s core nonproliferation norms. The benefits of peaceful nuclear cooperation comprise an important element of the NPT. Through substantial funding and technical cooperation, the United States fully supports peaceful nuclear development in many states, bilaterally and through the IAEA. But the language of Article IV is explicit and unambiguous: states asserting their right to receive the benefits of peaceful nuclear development must be in compliance with their nonproliferation obligations under Articles I and II of the NPT. No state in violation of Articles I or II should receive the benefits of Article IV. All nuclear assistance to such a state, bilaterally or through the IAEA, should cease. Again, we hope the deliberations at this Review Conference will endorse this proposition.
Which brings us back to the compliance challenges of North Korea and Iran. On North Korea, we are attempting to bring together the regional players in the Six-Party Talks to convince Pyongyang that its only viable option is to negotiate an end to its nuclear ambitions. We have tabled a proposal that addresses the North’s stated concerns and also provides for the complete, verifiable, and irreversible elimination of North Korean nuclear programs.
As to Iran, Britain, France, and Germany, with our support, are seeking to reach a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear problem, a solution that given the history of clandestine nuclear weapons work in that country, must include permanent cessation of Iran’s enrichment and reprocessing efforts, as well as dismantlement of equipment and facilities related to such activity. Iran must provide such objective and verifiable guarantees in order to demonstrate that it is not using a purportedly peaceful nuclear program to hide a nuclear weapons program or to conduct additional clandestine nuclear work elsewhere in the country.
Handling the proliferation challenges we face requires a robust IAEA safeguards system that not only helps to protect our common security against nuclear proliferation, but also builds confidence that peaceful nuclear development is not being abused. Safeguards are therefore essential to facilitating peaceful nuclear programs. As President Bush stated last year, "we must ensure the IAEA has all the tools it needs to fulfill its essential mandate." Making the Additional Protocol the verification standard and establishing a special safeguards committee of the IAEA Board of Governors are two key ways to strengthen international safeguards and provide the IAEA with much needed support and access.
An effective, transparent export control regime also helps build confidence among states that assistance provided for peaceful nuclear development will not be diverted to illegal weapons purposes. Yet, recent developments and revelations are troubling. The spread of enrichment and reprocessing technology poses a particularly dangerous risk. Collectively, we need to address urgently the very real security implications of the further spread of these technologies. Some countries, such as Iran, are seeking these facilities, either secretly or with explanations that cannot withstand scrutiny. We dare not look the other way. As President Bush has proposed, tighter controls should be adopted on enrichment and reprocessing technologies. We must close the loopholes in the Treaty that allow the unnecessary spread of such technologies. This can be accomplished without compromising truly peaceful nuclear programs, and in a manner which ensures that NPT parties that have no such facilities and are in full compliance with the Treaty are able to acquire nuclear fuel at a reasonable price.
The United States remains fully committed to fulfilling our obligations under Article VI. Since the last review conference the United States and the Russian Federation concluded our implementation of START I reductions, and signed and brought into force the Moscow Treaty of 2002. Under the Moscow Treaty, we have agreed to reduce our operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,700-2,200, about a third of the 2002 levels, and less than a quarter of the level at the end of the Cold War. When this Treaty is fully implemented by the end of 2012, the United States will have reduced the number of strategic nuclear warheads it had deployed in 1990 by about 80%. In addition, we have reduced our nonategic nuclear weapons by 90% since the end of the Cold War, dismantling over 3,000 such weapons pursuant to the Presidential Nuclear Initiatives of 1991 and 1992. We have also reduced the role of nuclear weapons in our deterrence strategy and are cutting our nuclear stockpile almost in half, to the lowest level in decades.
Mr. President and fellow delegates, we have eliminated thousands of nuclear weapons, eliminated an entire class of intermediate-range ballistic missiles, taken B-1 bombers out of nuclear service, reduced the number of ballistic missile submarines, drastically reduced our nuclear weapons-related domestic infrastructure, and are now eliminating our most modern and sophisticated land-based ballistic missile. We have also spent billions of dollars, through programs such as Nunn-Lugar, to help other countries control and eliminate their nuclear materials. We are proud to have played a leading role in reducing nuclear arsenals.
More can be done, of course. For example, we have called upon the Conference on Disarmament to initiate negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT). We believe that an FMCT would help to promote nuclear nonproliferation by establishing the universal norm that no state should produce fissile material for weapons. For its part, the United States ceased production of fissile material for weapons purposes nearly two decades ago. Today we reiterate the call we issued last year at the Conference on Disarmament for all nations committed to the FMCT to join us in declaring a moratorium on fissile material production for weapons purposes until a binding FMCT has been concluded and entered into force.
We intend to provide much more detailed information about the steps we have taken in accordance with Article VI at a later point during this Conference. The full record will leave no doubt about the commitment of the United States to fulfillment of its Article VI obligations.
In conclusion, Mr. President, the NPT is a critical tool in the global struggle against proliferation. The United States remains committed to universal adherence to the NPT, and we hope that countries still outside will join the Treaty, which they can do only as non-nuclear weapon states. However, we must remain mindful that the Treaty will not continue to advance our security in the future if we do not successfully confront the current proliferation challenges. Our common obligation is clear. This Conference offers us the opportunity to expand our understanding of these critical challenges and to seek common ground on ways to respond. In the interest of world peace and security, let us work together to preserve and strengthen the NPT. Thank you, Mr. President.
4. United States Initiatives to Prevent Proliferation (excerpted)
Department of State
(for personal use only)
The United States leads the world in efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. To combat the spread of these weapons, the U.S. is undertaking many multilateral initiatives with its partners in the global war against terrorism, with its traditional allies, and in the United Nations. The United States believes that proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by rogue states and terrorist organizations represents one of the greatest threats not only to U.S. security, but to the security of all. Preventing proliferation through proactive efforts is a primary focus of U.S. global strategy.
The September 11, 2001, attacks and subsequent anthrax attacks revealed the determination and resources of terrorist organizations such as al-Qaida, and reinforced the importance of efforts to prevent the proliferation of WMD. To combat the WMD threat more effectively, President Bush has put forth a number of initiatives to increase resources for nonproliferation assistance programs, to disrupt the trade in proliferation-related materials and technologies, and to improve the effectiveness of the nuclear nonproliferation regime.
UNITED NATIONS RESOLUTION 1540
As the illicit activities of the network run by former head of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program A.Q. Khan demonstrated, proliferators have become adept at circumventing export controls through falsification of end-use information, end-user documentation, or cargo manifests. Illicit suppliers and shippers often collude and use transport routes and transshipment points in countries that lack strong controls and enforcement mechanisms.
To respond to this concern, President Bush proposed, and the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted, Resolution 1540 in April 2004. The Resolution requires states to enact and enforce effective legal and regulatory measures to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, their delivery systems, and related materials. Resolution 1540 also requires that all states "shall take and enforce effective measures to establish domestic controls to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons and their means of delivery, including by establishing appropriate controls over related materials." The Resolution calls on states to submit a report outlining steps they have taken or intend to take in implementing the resolution. Resolution 1540 marks the first time that the Security Council mandated specific actions by U.N. members to address WMD proliferation.
Over 115 countries have submitted reports required by the Resolution. More work needs to be done, and the United States looks forward to working with all nations to achieve full implementation of the Resolution and stands ready to provide assistance where possible in helping states fulfill their obligations.
NONPROLIFERATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS: BUILDING ON THE NUNN-LUGAR/COOPERATIVE THREAT REDUCTION PROGRAMS
To address the WMD threat in the former Soviet Union, the United States has invested heavily in the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program and other related, critically important cooperative efforts. Since enactment in late 1991, these programs have provided American technical expertise and over $9 billion for cooperative projects to safeguard and destroy WMD and related materials, technology, and infrastructure and to prevent the proliferation of WMD expertise. In FY2005, the U.S. government will commit an additional $1 billion and has requested a similar amount for FY2006. To date, the weapons systems deactivated or destroyed by the United States under these programs include:
-- Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan are nuclear weapons free as a result of cooperative efforts under the Nunn-Lugar program.
Last year Congress approved the Nunn-Lugar Expansion Act, which permits the President to use up to $50 million in Nunn-Lugar funds for activities outside the former Soviet Union. President Bush has signed the authorization for Nunn-Lugar work in Albania.
In addition to the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program under Nunn-Lugar, President Bush has expanded and accelerated the proliferation prevention programs of the Departments of Energy and State. Through these efforts, the U.S. has:
-- Upgraded the security of 260 tons of fissile material;
-- Enhanced the security at approximately 60 nuclear warhead storage sites;
-- Blended down to Low Enriched Uranium approximately 208 metric tons of Highly Enriched Uranium;
-- Improved the security of 35 percent of Russia's chemical weapons facilities, and the U.S. is funding construction of a facility that will destroy nerve agent munitions, which are most vulnerable to proliferation threats;
-- Conducted peaceful joint U.S.-Russian research at 49 former biological weapons facilities, and security improvements are underway at 4 biological weapons sites;
-- Through the International Science and Technology Center and the Science and Technology Center Ukraine, of which the United States is the leading sponsor, have engaged 58,000 former weapons scientists in peaceful work;
-- Through the Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention Program, funded 750 projects involving 14,000 former weapons scientists and created some 580 new peaceful high-tech jobs;
THE G-8 GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP AGAINST THE SPREAD OF WEAPONS AND MATERIALS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
The Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, proposed by President Bush, was launched by G-8 leaders at the June 2002 Kananaskis Summit. The goal of this Partnership is to prevent terrorists or states that support them from acquiring or developing weapons of mass destruction. To support Global Partnership projects, the G-8 leaders committed to raise up to $20 billion over 10 years. In response to the U.S. pledge to contribute half of the $20-billion target, the other G-7 countries and the European Union (EU) have pledged about $7 billion to date, and Russia pledged to contribute $2 billion. The United States is on track to meet this commitment, with contributions of about $1 billion annually since Kananaskis.
Thirteen additional countries have joined the Global Partnership as donors since Kananaskis. Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, and Sweden joined in 2003; Australia, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ireland, the Republic of Korea, and New Zealand joined in 2004. Together they have pledged more than $250 million to Global Partnership projects. The G-8 formally recognized Ukraine as a new recipient of Global Partnership cooperation in September 2004, and other states of the former Soviet Union are currently seeking such recognition.
EXPORT CONTROL AND RELATED BORDER SECURITY ASSISTANCE
A key tool in countering the proliferation of WMD, their delivery systems, and related technologies is effective export and border controls. To meet this objective, the U.S. works to ensure that potential suppliers have proper controls on export of munitions, dual-use goods, and related technologies. It also works to ensure that countries with well-trafficked transit and transshipment points have the tools to interdict illicit shipments crossing their territories and implement controls to prevent diversions.
The Department of State-coordinated Export Control and Related Border Security Assistance (EXBS) program is the United States' primary vehicle for assisting foreign governments to establish and implement effective export and border controls that meet international standards. In addition, under the Department of Defense/Customs program, the U.S. has signed numerous WMD agreements and are providing technical assistance throughout Europe and Eurasia.
The assistance provided by the EXBS program directly supports the objectives of UNSCR 1540 and helps countries fulfill their commitments in other areas, such as those related to participation in, or adherence to, the multilateral nonproliferation regimes and participation in the Proliferation Security Initiative.
Drawing on the expertise from the Departments of State, Homeland Security, Commerce, Energy, and Defense, and the private sector, the EXBS program has helped countries around the world improve their ability to prevent and interdict shipments of dangerous items and technology by providing a wide variety of practical assistance tailored to each individual country's needs. The EXBS program assists governments to strengthen their export controls by improving their legal and regulatory frameworks, licensing processes, border control and investigative capabilities, outreach to industry, and interagency coordination.
Taking into account the global nature of the proliferation threat, the U.S. has significantly broadened the EXBS program's focus from potential WMD source countries of the Former Soviet Union to include potential source countries in South Asia, as well as key producers of controlled items and key transit and transshipment countries in Southeastern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa.
5. Idaho National Laboratory Scientist Securing Highly Enriched Uranium Abroad
Department of Energy
(for personal use only)
For five years, Idaho National Laboratory senior scientist Igor Bolshinsky has assisted the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration in its efforts to recover and return Russian-origin highly enriched uranium to Russia. His support has resulted in the successful return of more than 100 kg (220 pounds) of Russian-origin highly enriched uranium (HEU) under the Russian Research Reactor Fuel Return Program (RRRFR), a key component of DOE’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI).
Bolshinsky led five of the last six missions that repatriated HEU to Russia -- returning 57 kg (125 pounds) of fresh uranium fuel from Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Libya, and Uzbekistan to Russia. The successful Uzbekistan mission and Bolshinsky’s role were recently featured in a CBS 60 Minutes segment that examined the threat of proliferation of nuclear materials.
Last September, Bolshinsky and a team of DOE/NNSA experts provided technical support to a secret one-day operation that airlifted 11 kg (24 pounds) of highly enriched uranium fuel from Uzbekistan to a highly- secure facility in Russia for down-blending into low enriched uranium. This joint effort of the United States, the Russian Federation, the government of Uzbekistan and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) marked the first time a representative of the media had been embedded in one of these highly secure operations. During the one-day operation, IAEA safeguards inspectors and DOE experts monitored the process of loading fuel into specially supplied Russian shipping containers.
He provided technical support for an August 2002 joint DOE-United States State Department mission that returned 48 kg (105 pounds) of HEU from a research reactor near Belgrade, Serbia, to Russia. In each of these instances, the fresh uranium was originally provided by the Soviet Union for Soviet-designed research reactors operating in those countries.
Bolshinsky also was a major contributor to the U.S. cooperation with Libya to eliminate its nuclear weapons programs.
“We are very proud of the work that Dr. Bolshinsky and his colleagues are doing to secure weapons of mass destruction materials,” said INL Director John Grossenbacher. “This is a key example of how the lab’s capabilities in reactor and fuel cycle technologies can help the nation meet its critically important nonproliferation objectives.”
Early last year, Bolshinsky and his colleagues received high praise in a letter from Condoleeza Rice, then-National Security Advisor to the President, for their efforts to assist Libya in eliminating its nuclear weapons programs. NNSA Administrator Linton Brooks echoed his appreciation, recognizing Bolshinsky’s important efforts to secure weapons of mass destruction materials, technology and expertise.
The mission of the RRRFR program is to repatriate to Russia nuclear fuels of Russian origin – both spent and fresh. This program is a key element in the GTRI that was launched by the Administration last year to secure and remove vulnerable nuclear and radiological materials throughout the world as expeditiously as possible.
Bolshinsky was born and educated in Ukraine. He received his Ph.D. in mining engineering in 1983 at the Institute of Complex Development of Mineral Resources, Russian Academy of Sciences. After immigrating to the United States in 1991, he joined Argonne National Laboratory, working on Russian projects, and later, the former ANL-West site, where he served as a project manager on the shutdown of the BN-350 Reactor in Russia. As part of the new INL, he serves as a senior scientist on assignment to DOE in Washington, D.C. In 1999, Bolshinsky was awarded U.S. citizenship.
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