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Nuclear News - 6/9/2005
RANSAC Nuclear News, June 9, 2005
Compiled By: Jeffrey Read


A.  WMD Scientists
    1. Last Word: Siberian Science Cleans Up, The Guardian (6/9/2005)
    2. Basket of Nuclear Mushrooms - You Need To Know More To Maintain the Reliability of These Weapons Than To Create Them, Rossiyskaya Gazeta (6/8/2005)
B.  Submarine Dismantlement
    1. Eight Retired Submarines to be Transported to Severodvinsk This Summer, Bellona Foundation (6/8/2005)
    2. Russia Urges G-8 to Spearhead Aid for Scrapping Nuclear Subs, ITAR-TASS (6/7/2005)
C.  Bioweapons
    1. Russian Investigators Probe Biological Weapons Link to Hepatitis Outbreak, MosNews (6/9/2005)
D.  G-8 Global Partnership
    1. Nuclear Experts from Around the World Meet in Japan to Discuss Global Partnership Progress, Nils B�hmer and Charles Digges, Bellona Foundation (6/8/2005)
    2. G8 Nations Should Spend More to Dismantle Russia's Nuclear Arsenals, Experts Say, Associated Press (6/7/2005)
    3. Russia Urges G8 Partners to Step Up Aid for Submarine Utilization, ITAR-TASS (6/7/2005)
E.  Cooperative Threat Reduction
    1. Nuclear Contradictions Between Senator Nunn and Minister Ivanov, Viktor Litovkin, RIA Novosti (6/8/2005)
F.  Nonproliferation Diplomacy
    1. Russian Academic Urges Creation of More Effective Nuclear Control Mechanisms, Nezavisimaya Gazeta (6/7/2005)
    2. Russian Arms Inspectors Meet Ukrainian Counterparts in Kiev, Interfax (6/7/2005)
G.  US-Russia
    1. Ex-Minister Adamov Re-Arrested in Switzerland on Russia's Request, Yekaterina Andrianova, RIA Novosti (6/9/2005)
H.  Russia-Iran
    1. Iranian Atomic Energy Org deputy Head Assadollah Saburi Ends Visit to Kalinin NPP, ITAR-TASS (6/9/2005)
    2. Moscow Set to Train Iraqis and Embraces Iran's Extending Uranium Moratorium, Russian Minister of Defense, RIA Novosti (6/9/2005)
I.  Nuclear Industry
    1. Chita Region's Uranium To Be Auctioned, Alexey Kopylov, Kommersant
J.  Nuclear Safety
    1. International Community to Help Russia Scrap Nuclear Legacy, ITAR-TASS (6/8/2005)
    2. Recent Probe at Russian Nuclear Plants Uncovers Numerous Security Violations, MosNews (6/7/2005)
    3. Tender Results for 50 Containers for Spent Nuclear Fuel to be Announced in June, Bellona Foundation (6/6/2005)
K.  Official Statements
    1. U.S. Leads Efforts To Prevent Spread of Dangerous Weapons, Department of State (6/6/2005)



A.  WMD Scientists

1.
Last Word: Siberian Science Cleans Up
The Guardian
6/9/2005
(for personal use only)


The past is another country. They do things differently there, and on a grand scale. Eduard Kruglyakov is deputy director of the Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics at Akademgorodok, the fabulous city of science built near Novosibirsk in Siberia in 1958 by the Soviet Union. The institute has 700 scientists and engineers, and 1,000 people in its machine shop. Want a free electron laser? A fusion experiment? A portable particle accelerator? No problem. Want to think of a new way of using it? They have the technology, says Kruglyakov.

In the old Soviet days, grain imported from the US and Australia tended to be infested with weevils by the time it arrived at Odessa on the Black Sea. The little beasts then consumed an estimated 6% of the people's bread. So physicists rigged electron laser beams at the docks and irradiated the grain as it came in. The treatment didn't kill the weevils, but it sterilised them: there was no second generation of larvae to continue the devastation. It was possible, he said, to blast 300 tonnes an hour.

Two accelerators totalling 100kW operated at Odessa for 20 years, and are still there. In all that time, he says, a cathode had to be changed, once.

Having saved the people's bread, the nuclear engineers then turned to the people's water. The aquifer below the city of Voronezh had been contaminated by synthetic rubber manufacture, he told a delegation from the British Council, the Royal Society and the British press. The water was unusable. High-energy radiation, notoriously, severs DNA, destroys proteins and disrupts life. So could the toxic molecules sluicing through the subsoil of Voronezh be rendered harmless by a blast of radiation?

"Budker proposed an idea: let's pump this water and irradiate it by the beam," he says. "It was a lake with a diameter of about 30km, and after 10 years of treatment . . . they have pure water underground."

A pamphlet celebrating 40 years of the institute calculates that two accelerators between them were irradiating up to 35,000 cubic metres of water a day.

Then there was the factory chimney in Warsaw: it pumped out vast quantities of sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide, the ingredients of acid rain. Other nations reduced their discharges. Soviet engineers irradiated them: two accelerators reduced the concentration of sulphur to a 20th of their original levels, and nitrogen oxides fourfold.

Lessons from Voronezh were deployed elsewhere. Water trapped by a new dam in the Nevsky inlet in the Gulf of Finland was judged ecologically unsafe - it contained discharges from St Petersburg and other cities - but massive chlorination seemed a bad idea, too. So electron beam accelerators were tested at the Petrodvorets municipal waste water plant, to kill off the E. coli cells and saprophytes, reduce chemical and biological oxygen demand, and neutralise biological detergents.

Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Budker engineers were in demand. In 1994 they embarked on a plan to clean up the waste waters of the city of Kirishi, and in particular an industrial plant discharging oil products, phenols, ammonia, nitrates and detergents, at the rate of 78,000 cubic metres a day, with five machines of 150kW each.

How expensive this technology was depended on the dollar-rouble exhange rate. The Soviet-era rouble exchanged for roughly a dollar. Then came the Russian Federation and "conditions of high economic instability". But the institute's scientists still have lateral solutions to enduring problems.

Take actinides, says Kruglyakov, some of the nastier byproducts of nuclear power: very heavy, very toxic, and very long-lived. "In this sense, they are very dangerous," he says "because if you have radioactive waste with a short time of life, after 100 years it will be absolutely decayed. Long-lived waste will exist practically a million years."

So, he says, blast them with a neutron beam, turn them into something else, accelerate their decay: there could even be a power bonus The 2MW beam could provide the source for a subcritical nuclear reactor - subcritical because nobody wants another Chernobyl - that could yield a gigawatt or even two. No machine for transmuting dangerous into safe and consumer into generator yet exists: it would, he says, be quite expensive to build.

To get to Novosibirsk from London you cross six time zones. When it is noon in Imperial College, it is 6pm in Akademgorodok. So the Siberians occupy the future. Who is to say their thinking is in the past?


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2.
Basket of Nuclear Mushrooms - You Need To Know More To Maintain the Reliability of These Weapons Than To Create Them
Rossiyskaya Gazeta
6/8/2005
(for personal use only)


Leading developers of nuclear weapons and the chiefs of national nuclear programs from Russia, the United States, Britain, France, and China will converge on the Ural city of Snezhinsk today.

They will participate in the international meeting that is opening here on "The Role of Nuclear Weapons in the 21st Century," which is timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the All-Russia Research Institute of Technical Physics Russian Federal Nuclear Center. Ahead of the meeting the Center's Director Georgiy Rykovanov, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Yevgeniy Avrorin, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences and scientific chief of the All-Russia Research Institute of Technical Physics Russian Federal Nuclear Center, gave an exclusive interview to.

(Yemelyanenkov) A good many "products" with the epithet "the most" have emerged from within your Center -- the lightest warhead for strategic missiles and the smallest nuclear artillery shell, the most impact- and fire-resistant weapons, the most economical in terms of the expenditure of missile materials, and even the "cleanest" nuclear device for peaceful uses. But are there records and achievements that you have not yet publicized?

(Avrorin) Hmm! And you think we are going to tell you about this first?

(Yemelyanenkov) So are there, or not?

(Rykovanov) Yes, there are... Not only "new" ones -- some things are left from the previous baggage. Only the time has not yet come to talk about this.

(Yemelyanenkov) OK, let us leave secret matters aside. What special thing can the All-Russia Research Institute of Technical Physics say about itself in the sphere of civilian applications?

(Avrorin) In brief, there is our new-generation container for the transportation of nuclear fuel. There are fuel rods -- for the hydrogen energy program. There are light diodes and, I hope, laser diodes in the near future...

(Yemelyanenkov) How is the correlation changing, and in what direction, between the work being done at the institute in the military and civilian spheres?

(Rykovanov) At one time, a conversion program was adopted for the whole of the Atomic Energy Ministry. It was financed from funds received from the sale of uranium. The task set was to develop new avenues and technologies and create new products, in order ultimately to diversify the general field of our activity. Money was provided for the development of specific technologies, and then the proportion of work we were doing in the non-weapons sphere increased.

It is thanks to this program that the avenues that Yevgeniy Nikolayevich (Avrorin) was talking about have emerged. We also became involved in radiation medicine and developed a system for treating malignancies using neutron radiation. We developed and, at the beginning of this year, won certification at the Health Ministry for an x-ray computer tomograph. Now the task is to develop these avenues independently. Therefore it would be premature to talk about a dramatic change in the institute's budget in favor of non-weapons avenues.

(Yemelyanenkov) How important is the International Scientific and Technical Center supplement for your subordinates' pockets?

(Rykovanov) The Center's employees receive approximately $1.6 million a year in the form of grants. This is a small proportion of the total labor remuneration fund.

(Yemelyanenkov) Of course, you monitor all the noteworthy events, statements, and trends in the sphere of modern-day developments in connection with nuclear weapons. Is there not a feeling that any day now somebody will declare the intention of resuming real nuclear tests -- for experimental evaluation of these developments or to check the existing munitions?

(Avrorin) There is always talk about this, but there are no concrete plans yet. And see no grounds to assert that they will emerge in the near future. It is hard to predict what will happen in the distant future: After all, nobody knows how the situation might develop. If the Americans decide substantially to develop their nuclear forces or to modernize them radically, then of course nuclear tests will be required. Or if some problems emerge with extending the operational life, with reliability and safety. All the hypothetical possibilities are hard to predict. After all, there are lobbyists everywhere. And one day, maybe, they will manage to convince the right people that problems have arisen and nuclear tests must be resumed.

(Yemelyanenkov) But you do not expect such an initiative on our side?

(Avrorin) On our side, I think not.

(Yemelyanenkov) At one time you had plans to set up a center for the comprehensive study of the properties of materials jointly with the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. How is the work going?

(Rykovanov) This program is in its third year. At first the work was done using the equipment of the Ural Branch's Institute of the Physics of Metals. But in the past two years we ourselves have also become quite well equipped. We have acquired a modern x-ray diffractometer, a scanning electron microscope, and various accessories for determining the chemical composition of superficial impurities in the main material.

There is now a transmission microscope that makes it possible to obtain resolution at a level close to the atomic. At the moment this equipment is at the stage of running in and starting up. As soon as we start it up, this will be a center for collective use together with our colleagues from the Academy of Sciences Ural Branch. This costly equipment should not stand idle -- we will carry out our own tasks and do joint work on the materials whose properties and behavior particularly interest us.

(Yemelyanenkov) Interest you, as I understand it, from the viewpoint of maintaining the reliability of existing nuclear weapons?

(Rykovanov) First and foremost. And this is a crucial and multifaceted task. It involves the in-depth study of the properties of materials, more precise mathematical modeling, and new physical models that cannot just be conjured up. To do this, the initial information must be obtained...

(Yemelyanenkov) So it is important to know the properties and be able to predict the behavior of all the materials that are used in creating a nuclear weapon, and not only plutonium-239?

(Rykovanov) Of course.

(Avrorin) But about plutonium, specifically. This is a unique material -- it is "alive," it evolves, it does not keep an unchanged form. When it breaks down, helium is formed, and americium and other impurities appear...

(Yemelyanenkov) But these laws were known even before?

(Avrorin) They were poorly known and little studied. And now it is important for us to track, calculate, and analyze everything, to see how strongly these processes influence the properties of plutonium as a material for nuclear weapons.

(Yemelyanenkov) This is a sensitive question -- do you work in isolation from the Americans here too? Friendship is one thing, as the saying goes, but when it comes to business, does each one look after his own?

(Avrorin) Why? There is cooperation as regards fundamentally, purely scientific problems. We collaborate closely with Los Alamos in this sphere.

(Yemelyanenkov) So it is not a case of: You have your gunpowder and we have ours. And everyone decides for himself how to keep it dry...

(Rykovanov) Of course we ourselves will keep our powder dry. But in order to keep it dry, we need the tools. And the tools can be created together. Research, models, quantum mechanics calculations -- there is wide scope here for mutually useful cooperation.

(Avrorin) How precisely OUR (uppercase as published) plutonium in OUR weapons is changing, or has already changed -- that is certainly a question exclusively within OUR, internal, competence.

(Yemelyanenkov) But are "our" plutonium and "theirs" substantially different?

(Rykovanov) Let us put it like this: The manufacturing country is clearly identifiable.

(Yemelyanenkov) As I understand it, when your center for the study of materials was first planned, Academician Aleksandr Rumyantsev -- then minister (of atomic energy) and now head of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency -- intended to take it under his own scientific leadership...

(Rykovanov) He is indeed head of the center. And he helps us a lot. And not only in equipping the center with the necessary equipment, but also in the scientific sphere and I would even say the ideological sphere. He sets the tasks, helps with cadres -- he sends people to work with us...

(Yemelyanenkov) And do you have contact and an understanding with Academician Valeriy Chereshnev, chairman of the Russian Academy of Sciences Ural Branch?

(Rykovanov) Of course. There is nothing to come between us.

(Avrorin) In fact, we are lucky that Rumyantsev, even before, when he worked at the Kurchatov Institute, collaborated closely with the Ural Branch. He knows a lot of people there, maybe better than we do.

(Yemelyanenkov) At the memorable meeting between President Putin and the scientists at Baykalsk, where you were also present, Georgiy Nikolayevich (Rykovanov), there was talk of the attitude toward nuclear weapons and the trends that can be observed here. There was talk, in particular, of developments with regard to low- and ultra-low-yield weapons. Does this, in your view, not lead to a dangerous lowering of the threshold, an increase in the risk of the use of such weapons?

(Rykovanov) That is not an easy question. And it cannot be answered in two words. But not because there are certain secrets and restrictions here too, only because the problem itself is far from simple. On the one hand, we understand that however small the energy emission, this is all the same a nuclear weapon in terms of its nature and destructive factors. Fragmentation activity, radiation traces -- there is no escaping this. On the other hand, the scale of the disaster, the area of contamination become entirely different and are not characteristic of nuclear weapons as previously understood.

If you look at it from this standpoint, the temptation to use them increases. But this is not our bailiwick, these are the responsibilities of the military or, let us say, the political leadership of the country -- whether or not to use such weapons in the event that they are developed. It is no secret that in terms of the general-purpose forces we are beginning to lag significantly behind the whole of our "surroundings." And in the near future there might simply be no other possibility of defending our borders, our sovereignty, and our energy resources than with nuclear weapons. After that, which weapons to use -- low-, ultra-low-, or high-yield -- will depend on the circumstances.

(Yemelyanenkov) And what do you think about that, Yevgeniy Nikolayevich?

(Avrorin) You see, when the Americans talk about ultra-low-yield weapons, they seem to cite as the main argument the cave in which Bin Ladin was hiding. There is no way of capturing it, they say, so you need nuclear weapons. This argument is, of course, disingenuous. Because if you are talking about ultra-low-yield weapons, then you need very precise intelligence data, precise localization of the potential target. And if you have that localization, who is stopping you from sending in a detachment of Marines? If you know that he actually is in that cave, then let them block it. I understand -- anything could be hidden at great depth, but all the same there must be exits and entrances, so block them...

(Rykovanov) You must agree that it is not always possible to send in the Marines. But I want to say something else: The US Congress has refused to appropriate funds for American laboratories to develop so-called low- and ultra-low-yield penetrating warheads. Refused for the time being. What happens next, we shall see. (Interview ends)


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B.  Submarine Dismantlement

1.
Eight Retired Submarines to be Transported to Severodvinsk This Summer
Bellona Foundation
6/8/2005
(for personal use only)


Four civil crews from Severodvinsk are preparing the submarines for transportation at the navy base in Vidyaevo.

Total eight nuclear submarines of 671RTM (Victor-III) project will be tugged from the Northern fleet bases to the Zvezdochka shipyard for scrapping in July and August, Interfax reported. Three subs located in the Ura Bay, two � in Zapadnaya Litsa, and three � in Vidyaevo.

The dismantling works will be sponsored by Canada, which promised to allocate $18m for this purpose. This Canadian initiative is the part of the one billion Canadian dollars obligation in the frames of the Global Partnership program adopted in 2002 at the G8 summit. The dismantling of the first multipurpose submarine sponsored by Canada, has been already completed. Scrapping of another two submarines is under way. Canada pledged to allocate $100m to finance dismantling of 12 multipurpose submarines at the Zvezdochka shipyard.

At the moment about 50 nuclear laid-up submarines are scattered around at the Northern fleet bases waiting for dismantling, most of them belong to the first and second generation nuclear submarines.


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2.
Russia Urges G-8 to Spearhead Aid for Scrapping Nuclear Subs
ITAR-TASS
6/7/2005
(for personal use only)


Russia has urged its partners from the Group of Eight to spearhead financial assistance for scrapping nuclear submarines decommissioned from the Russian Navy, Deputy chief of the Federal Nuclear Power Agency Sergei Antipov declared at a scientific seminar on global problems in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Approximately four billion dollars are needed for scrapping all the decommissioned submarines that number around eighty now, Antipov told Tass. Donor countries have promised around 2.5 billions dollars for that in the west of Russia. The chief goal of the Russian delegation is to draw the attention of all its partners in Global partnership to the Russian Far East, where the problem of submarine scrapping is no less serious, but much more moderate funds allocated, Antipov said.

The number of the submarines to be scrapped is approximately the same in the east and west; Japan is the only donor country to finance the project at the Pacific Fleet. Japan had promised 100 million dollars for the project, but merely six million dollars have been actually spent yet. Therefore, only one nuclear submarine has been scrapped there, Antipov said. Talks are underway with Japan on the Japanese aide to scrapping another five nuclear submarines. "But no agreement has been reached and no contracts signed. Words of promise are all we have at present," Antipov said.

At this seminar Russia set itself the task to spearhead the participation of Japan and other countries in scrapping nuclear submarines decommissioned in the Far Easts, Antipov said.


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C.  Bioweapons

1.
Russian Investigators Probe Biological Weapons Link to Hepatitis Outbreak
MosNews
6/9/2005
(for personal use only)


An investigation is checking whether the mass outbreak of hepatitis A in the Tver region near Moscow could be linked to the biological weapons sector. At the moment 363 people are in hospital, NewsRu.Com reported Thursday. Some newspapers have linked the outbreak to the recent murder of Russia�s leading specialist in bio weapons.

The outbreak began at the end of May in the Tver region and has now reached the neighboring region of Smolensk, agencies report. It was initially blamed on the local drinks industry, whose products revealed some colon bacillus.

The investigation is still considering several versions, among them biological weapons.

Some sources link Wednesday�s murder of Anti-Microbe Therapy Institute director Leonid Strachunsky, who specialized in creating microbes resistant to biological weapons, to the hepatitis outbreak, NewsRu.Com added.

Strachunsky was found dead in his hotel room in Moscow, where he came from Smolensk en route to the United States. He had been hit on the head with a champagne bottle, and some of his possessions were missing.

In spite of the seeming simplicity of the crime, the investigators are looking for a connection between the murder of the leading bio weapons researcher and the hepatitis outbreak in Tver, the Moskovsky Komsomolets paper reports.


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D.  G-8 Global Partnership

1.
Nuclear Experts from Around the World Meet in Japan to Discuss Global Partnership Progress
Nils B�hmer and Charles Digges
Bellona Foundation
6/8/2005
(for personal use only)


Wealthy Group of Eight (G-8) donor nations are coming up short on financial aid pledged for Russia to dismantle its Soviet-era nuclear stockpiles and help other countries keep nuclear material from falling into the hands of terrorists, experts said at an international weapons conference held here on Tuesday.

Weapons specialists from governments and think-tanks around the world gathered at the June 7th "Reviewing Global Partnership: Its Achievements for International Security and Cooperation" to evaluate progress in eliminating weapons of mass destruction and protecting stored nuclear waste in Russia.

Aid for these efforts was pledged by the G-8 in 2002 when it met in Kananaskis, Canada and promised at least $20 billion over 10 years toward dismantlement projects in Russia via the so-called Global Partnership Proramme.

Former US Senator Sam Nunn said the pledges of $17 billion so far fall short of the Kananaskis goal and he stressed that only a fraction of that amount had actually been spent and that the international community was not doing enough to meet its commitments. He urged delegates to consider the risks of inaction.

``Today [...] it is possible that a small group of terrorists could acquire nuclear weapons in one nation, launch a nuclear attack in another nation and stagger the security and the economy of every nation,'' said Nunn, according to the Associated Press.

Nunn is a Georgia democrat who in 1991 joined Indiana republican Richard Lugar to co-author the Nunn-Lugar, or CTR, agreement to dispose of Russia�s nuclear arsenal. Nunn is also co-chairman with media mogul Ted Turner of the Washington based Nuclear Threat Initiative, a non-proliferation NGO that co-sponsored the conference.

Other sponsors included the Centre For Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Japanese government.

Nunn singled out Japan as one of the most tight-pursed donors, pledging only $200 million compared to Washington's $10 billion contribution. As yet, however, Japan is the only nation that has taken any roll at all in dismantling submarines of the Russian Pacific Fleet�which Nunn failed to mention, AP reported.

Nunn went on to stress in his keynote speech to the conference of over 100 government and NGO nuclear experts from around the world that the stated goal of $20 billion should be the lower limit rather than ceiling for donations in realising concrete projects.

This view has been echoed several times by Nunn�s former Senate colleague Lugar, who now chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Nunn stressed that the G-8 efforts were a �race between cooperation and disaster.�

Alan Heyes, from the UK Department of Trade and Industry, stated that the UK was mainly focused on the issue of spent nuclear fuel.

He told the conference that and that the G-8 Global Partnership must not end up as a �scrap metal project, where you make the situation worse, because you focus too much on dismantlement of the submarines.�

Bellona�s views at the conference

The Bellona Foundation, which sat on the panel at the Tokyo conference, stressed the need for coordination among donor nations and a strategic nuclear dismantlement Master Plan for Russia.

Bellona also called on delegates to bring the population of Russia, which is most impacted by decisions made by donor counties, to encourage public participation there.

"Public participation in Russia is essential for the success of the implementation of concrete projects in Russia," said Bellona.

Despite Nunn�s criticism of Japan�s donation pledge, Japan has a well-developed culture of public consultation, noted the Bellona.

Japan�s contributions

Unlike other nations, Japan is also less likely to make broad pledging promises before it verifies the effectiveness of money it has already spent.

Russia and Japan also have slightly prickly relations that have been characterized by mutual accusations of espionage and have suffered from territorial disputes. Such tensions have led to lack of access for experts and hindered the process significantly.

Japan�s ambassador to Russia, Issei Nomura, told the conference that Japan is only now willing sign off on dismantling another five Russian submarines after it successfully dismantled a Russian Victor III class submarine, which was completed last December.

But before inking the deal on the five new subs, Japan and Russia will have to frame a liability agreement, as Japan is not a signatory of the 2003 Multilateral Nuclear Environmental Programme in the Russian Federation (MNEPR) agreement, Nomura said. He also called for more international funding to more rapidly dismantle Russian nuclear Pacific Fleet submarines. Of the $200m Japan has committed to the G-8 pledge, $100m is earmarked for sub dismantling.

Russian submarine dismantlement in the Russian Far East presents special challenges that dismantlement efforts in Russia�s Northwest do not. The Northwest is, by now, well covered territory thanks to efforts by the CTR programme, Norway, and other nations who have built a well developed infrastructure.

The Northern Fleet subs are also concentrated in a relatively small geographical area, whereas the Pacific Fleet�s ailing submarines stretch along thousands of kilometres of rough Pacific coastline. Developing an infrastructure in which these subs could be safely towed to dismantlement points near Vladivostok, or dismantled on site with yet to be designed equipment is likely to reach far an above what Japan is willing to offer financially.

Russia�s view

Russia urges its G-8 partners to step up as much as possible the allocation of aid for dismantling decommissioned nuclear submarines, said Sergei Antipov, deputy director of Russia�s Federal Agency for Atomic Energy (Rosatom), he said at the conference.

�Our goal here is to draw the attention of all the signatory nations of Global Partnership to the fact that the problem of decommissioned submarines is no less acute in Russia�s Far East than in western regions, while financing for the Far East is far scantier,� Antipov said, according to ITAR-Tass Russian newswire.

He said an approximately equal number of submarines await dismantlement in the Far East and in the west of Russia�40 per region.

Moscow had amassed a Cold War-era fleet of 250 nuclear-powered submarines, but since the 1980s, nearly 200 of them have been removed from active duty. Moscow has promised to dismantle its ageing fleet at ports in its Northwest and Far East and safely dispose of their nuclear reactors by 2010.

They will cost $4 billion to dismantle, said Antipov, but G-8 pledges have so far amounted to only half of that.

Antipov�s colleague, Victor Akhunov, also of Rosatom, maintained that the goal of Russia dismantling all the obsolete nuclear submarines by 2010 could be met. Russia itself can pay for six submarine dismantlements annually, and said international funding was required to dismantle another four to five per year to meet this goal.

Antipov agreed. ``Over the next 10 to 12 years, we can't achieve our goals without international help,'' he said, according to AP.


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2.
G8 Nations Should Spend More to Dismantle Russia's Nuclear Arsenals, Experts Say
Associated Press
6/7/2005
(for personal use only)


Rich donor nations should offer more financial aid for Russia to dismantle its Soviet-era nuclear and chemical weapons stockpiles and help other countries keep nuclear material from terrorists, experts said at an international weapons conference Tuesday.

Weapons specialists from governments and think-tanks around the world gathered in Tokyo to assess progress in eliminating weapons of mass destruction and protecting stored nuclear waste since 2002, when the Group of Eight wealthiest nations promised at least US$20 billion over 10 years for the effort.

But former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn said the pledges so far of US$17 billion fall short of that goal _ and stressed that only a fraction of that amount had actually been spent. He urged delegates to consider the risks of inaction.

"Today ... it is possible that a small group of terrorists could acquire nuclear weapons in one nation, launch a nuclear attack in another nation and stagger the security and the economy of every nation," said Nunn, co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a charity that co-sponsored the conference.

He singled out Japan as one of the stingiest donors, pledging only US$200 million compared to Washington's US$10 billion contribution.

Much of the discussions focused on Russia's weapons stockpiles, a legacy of the Soviet Union's arms buildup over decades.

Getting rid of those biological and chemical arms could cost US$8 billion, said Alexander Pikaev, director of Russia's Institute of World Economy and International Relations.

Others said converting the plutonium of Russian nuclear warheads into less-potent spent fuel would cost additional billions of dollars, and could take more than a decade.

"If you want to prevent these materials from getting into the hands of terrorists, you have to deal with the problem where it exists, and it exists in Russia," said Robert Einhorn, a security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which organized the conference.

Dismantling Russia's 250 Cold War-era nuclear-powered submarines was also a priority, experts said.

Since the 1980s, nearly 200 of the aging subs have been removed from active duty. Russia has promised to destroy the subs at ports in its northwest and far east regions _ and safely dispose of their nuclear reactors and other toxic wastes _ by 2010. But dozens of subs still await dismantling, mostly in the Pacific, and fuel-storage space is in short supply, officials said.

Sergey Antipov, deputy director of Russia's Federal Atomic Energy Agency, said the total cost could reach US$4 billion _ a sum Moscow can't afford on its own.

"Over the next 10 to 12 years, we can't achieve our goals without international help," said Antipov.

But critics said Moscow's reluctance to give experts greater access to information and military sites for on-site inspections was hobbling progress.

Besides Russia, 40 other nations have research reactors burning through enriched uranium, which can be used to build bombs, Nunn said. But much of the world's enriched uranium stores aren't protected from the possibility of theft, he added.

Einhorn, the CSIS expert, stressed that Russia remained the focus for now.

"If you look at the amount of material in Russia to the amount of material all of those 40 countries taken together, we're talking about thousands of times more stuff in Russia. It's obvious you've got to give your highest priority to securing materials in Russia," Einhorn said.

He also pointed to another potentially major security threat: North Korea, which has nuclear plants, and claims it has scientists at work on a nuclear weapons program.

"Should the regime ever crumble, what would happen there? We haven't thought enough about the tremendous risks associated with North Korea," Einhorn said. Finding ways to protect equipment and atomic isotopes from Pyongyang's nuclear programs "could, at some point, become a very urgent priority," and that's the reason South Korea was invited to the gathering, he added.

G8 members are the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia. Non-G8 nations South Korea and Australia also joined Tuesday's gathering.


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3.
Russia Urges G8 Partners to Step Up Aid for Submarine Utilization
ITAR-TASS
6/7/2005
(for personal use only)


Russia urges its partners in the Group of Eight Industrialized Nations to step up as much as possible the allocation of aid for utilizing nuclear submarines decommissioned by the Navy, Sergei Antipov, the deputy director of Russia�s Federal Atomic Energy Agency said at a seminar on the problems of Global Partnership.

Taking part in the seminar are representatives of all the countries that undersigned the initiative, put forward in 2002 at the G8 summit in Kananaskis, Canada.

It was partly aimed at giving Russia assistance in disassembling the nuclear submarines the Navy was writing off in the framework of nonproliferation.

As Antipov talked to Itar-Tass, he said the utilization of the submarines decommissioned to date requires 4 billion U.S. dollars, while donors have pledged the allocation of 2.5 billion U.S. dollars so far and most of the money is meant for disassembling submarines in western parts of Russia.

�Our goal here is to draw the attention of all the signatory nations of Global Partnership to the fact that the problem of decommissioned submarines is no less acute in Russia�s Far East than in western regions, while financing for the Far East is far scantier,� Antipov said.

He said an approximately equal number of submarines expect utilization in the Far East and in the west of Russia � 40 in each case.

The problem is that Japan is the only donor allocating money for utilizations in the Far East. The Japanese have promised to allocate a mere 100 million U.S. dollars, but so far the actual allocation has totaled 6 million U.S. dollars, which was enough to utilize just one submarine.

Antipov said talks were underway on signing and executive agreement on Japan�s aid for utilizing five more submarines.


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E.  Cooperative Threat Reduction

1.
Nuclear Contradictions Between Senator Nunn and Minister Ivanov
Viktor Litovkin
RIA Novosti
6/8/2005
(for personal use only)


US Senator Samuel Nunn has sharply criticized Russia for the absence of information about its tactical nuclear weapons and called on the U.S. administration to negotiate control of such weapons with Moscow.

In reply, Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said: "Let the Americans withdraw their tactical nuclear weapons from Europe and then we will discuss the issue."

Indeed, there is no international or bilateral control of tactical nuclear weapons. Why?

Mikhail Gorbachev, the first and only president of the Soviet Union, suggested discussing tactical nuclear arms control with the U.S. Washington did not need a formal treaty. However, the two countries agreed, on the basis of reciprocity, to make a number of unilateral commitments on September 28, 1991 and January 22, 1992, and on October 5, 1991 and January 29, 1992, respectively.

The U.S. decided to liquidate its ground-based tactical nuclear weapons, including nuclear warheads for tactical missiles and nuclear artillery munitions. It proclaimed readiness to remove for centralized storage all tactical nuclear weapons, in particular the warheads of cruise missiles of surface ships (including aircraft carriers), strike submarines and naval aircraft. It also committed itself to destroy a part of that arsenal.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the nonategic nuclear forces of the U.S. consist of 1,120 systems, including 800 B61 free-fall bombs of three modifications and 320 W80-0 warheads for the Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The Soviet Union (and subsequently Russia) pledged to liquidate all nuclear warheads of ground-based tactical missiles and nuclear artillery munitions, as well as all nuclear mines (the U.S. does not have any). It also promised to remove from combat units for centralized storage nuclear warheads of air-defense missiles and to destroy half of them (the U.S. does not have them). In addition, we pledged to remove for centralized storage all tactical nuclear weapons of warships, multirole submarines and naval aircraft, and to liquidate a third of that arsenal.

Moscow later announced the liquidation of a half of its air-launched tactical nuclear weapons.

According to SIPRI, Russia has 3,380 nonategic nuclear weapons, including AS-4 Kitchen and AS-16 Kickback air-to-surface bombs and warheads for sea-launched cruise missiles, anti-ship missiles and torpedoes.

Nobody can say if the SIPRI information is true and if the sides have fulfilled their obligations. Unilateral initiatives are not legally binding and do not envisage verification procedures. But the tragedy with the Kursk nuclear submarine showed that the sub had no nuclear warheads on its torpedoes or the Granit (SS-N-19 Shipwreck) cruise missiles.

It is a fact, though, that the U.S. has a tactical nuclear arsenal of 150 B61 free-fall bombs at its nine bases in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey and Britain (including 90 bombs at the Incirlik base in Turkey close to the Russian border). Against whom is it designed? Nuclear weapons cannot be applied against terrorists, right?

I can understand Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov's concern over these bombs. They are tactical nuclear weapons for the U.S. But they are a strategic threat to Russia because it takes a F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter, which can carry such bombs, only 15-20 minutes to fly from NATO bases to Smolensk in Central Russia.

When Russia and the new U.S. administration discussed the Strategic Offensive Reductions treaty, Moscow suggested including tactical nuclear weapons in it.

Why then did Senator Nunn, an expert on nuclear weapons, raised the issue of intransparency of the Russian nuclear arsenals and the danger of terrorist access to them? I see at least two explanations for this.

First, the Senate and the Congress are discussing the budget for the next fiscal year (which begins in July) and the Russian nuclear problem is a good argument for lobbying the interests of the defense industries and the Pentagon.

The second explanation is more serious. The Pentagon and its chief Donald Rumsfeld want the Senate to approve allocations for the creation of midget deep penetration nuclear bombs (the Senate blackballed the initiative several times). The American generals also demand the resumption of nuclear tests at the Nevada range for the creation of warheads to the anti-missiles of the Ballistic Missile Defense system (the U.S. did not ratify the nuclear test ban treaty). The BMD system will not be effective without nuclear warheads, and "Moscow's intransigence" is a powerful argument for the doubting Thomases.

In my opinion, Russia is ready to come to terms with the U.S. on the issue of tactical nuclear weapons, but only if these are honest agreements between equal partners.


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F.  Nonproliferation Diplomacy

1.
Russian Academic Urges Creation of More Effective Nuclear Control Mechanisms
Nezavisimaya Gazeta
6/7/2005
(for personal use only)


Who would think that North Korea could pose a threat to Russia's security? However, it can if Pyongyang really starts to carry out nuclear tests, which it announced for the whole world to hear. As recently as a year ago, Russia was all but the main instigator of setting up an informal albeit effective diplomatic coalition with China, South Korea and even Japan, which managed to persuade the United States to give up the idea of preemptive strikes against the DPRK's nuclear facilities. Apparently, North Korean politicians themselves are currently having a fit of "nuclear mental aberration." The DPRK's nuclear tests pose a threat to Russia's national security. Therefore, they are as inadmissible as strikes against North Korean nuclear facilities.

It is not easy to retain common sense amid discordant discussions on the obsoleteness of the nuclear nonproliferation regime, particularly since the UN secretary general himself openly speaks about this. The system for preventing the drain of nuclear materials, technologies, and specialists de facto never recovered from the strike delivered by the breakup of the USSR. Nevertheless, it is not a sufficient reason to destroy it completely. On the contrary, it is time we seriously started to develop and introduce more effective mechanisms for international control in the nuclear sphere to eliminate the gaps that appeared in it as a result of a complete change of the alignment of forces in the world, the appearance of omnipresent transnational networks, and the unthinkable intensification of global migration of information, technologies, and human resources.

The essence of the old system of control was cynical albeit rational. It was openly oligarchic and served the strengthening of the monopoly on the possession of nuclear arms by only those few countries that were the first to make a breakthrough to them. According to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty signed in 1968, the remaining countries were proposed to either remain nuclear-free forever or else to stealthily sneak toward nuclear arms and violate the restrictions imposed by the nuclear powers on the transfer of atomic secrets and fissile material.

This status quo persisted for 30 years. However, in 1998, India and Pakistan carried out atomic bomb tests, perhaps, to discredit the 1968 treaty, which they never joined anyway. This blatant violation of the nonproliferation regime remained unpunished: Serious sanctions were not imposed on the violators. The old nuclear powers, the "aristocracy" of the security sphere, limited their reaction to refusal to admit India's and Pakistan's nuclear status, as a result of which the two countries officially remained illegal owners of nuclear arms. South Asia's corrupting example encouraged other countries eager to achieve a higher international status to follow their example. Libya, Iran, and North Korea declared their intentions more openly that other countries for which, in essence, they were declared pariahs.

The US war on Iraq had a dual effect on the situation in the nuclear sphere. On the one hand, it scared Libya which, encouraged by promises from the EU, unexpectedly announced that it was giving up its nuclear ambitions and agreed to international monitoring of its atomic facilities. On the other hand, North Korea, which was as frightened as Libya, on the contrary, sharply stepped up its efforts to develop nuclear arms and stated at the beginning of 2005 that it already possesses an atomic bomb, but did not produce any evidence to prove this. Iran, watching Libya's and North Korea's mutually exclusive standpoints, started to dash from side to side: Tehran is holding negotiations with the EU on the curtailment of its atomic program, but at the same time the Iranian leaders express their firm intention to continue its implementation.

For a long time Russia reacted skeptically to accusations leveled at potential violators of the nonproliferation regime, particularly since the leaders of the first Bush administration themselves provoked Pyongyang's and Tehran's attempts to break through to nuclear arms with their aggressive and openly threatening statements. However, US diplomats have been acting more carefully for around half a year now. They still occasionally allow harsh statements, but refrain from open threats.

However, Washington's new style does not impress anybody. Iran continues to bargain stubbornly, whereas the DPRK itself is trying to provoke the Americans and de facto also Russia. Pyongyang's threat to conduct a nuclear test in June 2005 forced Russia to send a representative legislative delegation to the DPRK. Apparently, however, the Russian lawmakers did not hear any consoling statements in Pyongyang.

Therefore, it would be only logical to expect the toughening of Russia's stance on nonproliferation issues. During his visit to Jerusalem in April 2005, President Putin firmly opposed the creation of a complete cycle for the processing of nuclear material in Iran for the first time and spoke about the need to ensure the transparency of Iran's nuclear plans. Apparently, Pyongyang failed to realize the global sense of this statement and erroneously decided that it did not apply to North Korea. The DPRK risks losing the advantages it enjoyed thanks to Moscow's diplomatic and political support. No matter how negligible the damage done by a hypothetical nuclear test in North Korea could be, the test will affect Russian territory along the border with the DPRK. Korea needs a status quo in the military sphere based on which an agreement should be reached on the solving of the country's chronic problems.

In a broader sense, serious international negotiations should be urgently held to elaborate nonstandard decisions on the threshold countries (both those with evil intentions and decent ones) as well as on the officially illegal owners of nuclear arms. Naturally, relevant Russian-US discussions should be regarded as the key element of work in this field.


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2.
Russian Arms Inspectors Meet Ukrainian Counterparts in Kiev
Interfax
6/7/2005
(for personal use only)


A Russian military delegation headed by the chief of Russia's National Centre for Nuclear Threat Reduction, Nikolay Artyukhin, is in Kiev.

The Ukrainian Defence Ministry press service said on Tuesday (7 June) that the aim of the visit by Russian verification structures was to hold consultations with their Ukrainian counterparts on working together in implementing international treaties, particularly on arms control and strengthening security.

The Ukrainian side at the consultations is headed by the deputy head of the General Staff's verification directorate, Anatoliy Loyshyn.

The visit will last until 10 June.


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G.  US-Russia

1.
Ex-Minister Adamov Re-Arrested in Switzerland on Russia's Request
Yekaterina Andrianova
RIA Novosti
6/9/2005
(for personal use only)


The former nuclear power minister, Yevgeny Adamov, who was arrested in early May in Switzerland at the U.S. request, has been re-arrested at Russia's extradition request, the Russian embassy in Bern reports.

According to Igor Petrov, the spokesman for the embassy, the Russian embassy received a notification to the effect from the Swiss Department of Justice and Police.

"We received a letter saying that Adamov is now formally arrested at our request," said Petrov.

"It does not change anything. The decision of the Bellinzona court will be critical," he said.

The criminal court in Bellinzona, Switzerland, is considering the complaint of Adamov's lawyers questioning the legality of his arrest in Switzerland at the U.S. request.

The lawyers filed the complaint on May 17 against the Justice Department of Switzerland, which issued the arrest warrant in Bern.

The lawyers insist that Adamov's arrest violated the Swiss and international law. If it is proved, he will be released from custody and will be able to return to Russia as a free person.

Now that Adamov has been formally arrested at Russia's request, the situation may change. If the Bellinzona court finds Adamov's arrest at the U.S. request illegal, he will remain in custody but in accordance with Russia's request.

Adamov, 66, Russia's nuclear power minister in 1998-2001, was detained on May 2 in Bern at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice. The U.S. has not yet filed a formal extradition request. The deadline for the request is June 30, 2005.

Switzerland received Russia's request to Adamov's extradition on May 17 after the Basmanny court of Moscow issued an arrest warrant on May 14. The Russian Prosecutor General's Office opened a case against Adamov on the charges of fraud and abuse of power.

The decision on Adamov's extradition is due after the U.S. files a formal extradition request. Then the Swiss Department of Justice will have to decide which of the two requests is of higher priority.

The U.S. accuses Adamov and his business partner, U.S. citizen Mark Kaushansky, of misappropriating $9 million allocated for Russia's nuclear security projects.

If extradited to the U.S., Adamov will face up to 60 years in prison and a fine of $1.75 million.


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H.  Russia-Iran

1.
Iranian Atomic Energy Org deputy Head Assadollah Saburi Ends Visit to Kalinin NPP
ITAR-TASS
6/9/2005
(for personal use only)


Vice President of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation (IAEO) Assadollah Saburi and his delegation have ended a two-day visit to the Kalinin nuclear power plant in Russia, the NPP sources told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

During the visit the sides agreed to establish a joint group on the preparation of programmes for training Iranian specialists, which will become a part of a contract concluded between Russia�s Rosenergoatom state-owned nuclear enterprise and IAEO.

The Kalinin NPP information department said the Iranian guests familiarised themselves with the training centre of the plant, saw power generating units, including the third, which is in pilot operation. It has been working at 100-percent capacity since May 8.

The third power unit is one of the most advanced generation units in the Russian nuclear sector where all the best technologies for the reactor are applied.

Saburi said that its automated system of control over technological processes is close to that being implemented by Russian specialists at the Bushehr NPP in Iran.

�We came here to see the working unit, study cooperation prospects,� the IAEO vice president said. Saburi stressed he was especially impressed by �the openness of the leadership and specialists of the Kalinin NPP, their competence and level of knowledge.�

The first power generating unit is planned to be put into operation in Iran in October 2006.


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2.
Moscow Set to Train Iraqis and Embraces Iran's Extending Uranium Moratorium, Russian Minister of Defense
RIA Novosti
6/9/2005
(for personal use only)


Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Ivanov stated that Russia was ready to train Iraq's security forces on Russian territory and supported Iran's extending the moratorium on uranium enrichment.

"We can train Iraq's security forces only on our territory. We can also provide weapons for Iraq, but only in exchange for freely convertible currency," the minister told journalists in Brussels.

At the same time, the minister doubts that such supplies are possible at just prices.

"New members of NATO are certain to deliver Soviet-made weapons that they have in abundance to Iraq for free," the minister said.

He also stressed that NATO countries were interested in another aspect of Russia's peace-keeping activity, a peace-keeping brigade "that our country is forming". "I repeat that we are forming this brigade for our own good, first of all. NATO is a leftover principle," the official said.

Ivanov claimed that Russia embraced Iran's extending the moratorium on uranium enrichment.

"The extension of the moratorium on the enrichment of uranium is a constructive step," the minister said.

Ivanov said he hoped that after such measure on the part of Iran the European Union represented by the UK, Germany and France would carry on constructive talks on the Iraqi nuclear problem.

Joschka Fischer, German Foreign Minister, said after his meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Washington that Russia made a great contribution to talks between the European trio and Iran.

"These talks are difficult," the official said.

He said he hoped that in close coordination with the US and Russia representatives of Germany, France and the UK would manage to achieve progress in the talks.

"It is very important that Russia contributes much for the process to be a success," Fischer underlined.

"Common position of the world community on Iran is very significant for the latter to understand it is necessary to comply with its international commitments," US Secretary of State Rice said in her turn.


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I.  Nuclear Industry

1.
Chita Region's Uranium To Be Auctioned
Alexey Kopylov
Kommersant
(for personal use only)


The Russian Natural Resources Ministry�s Federal Resource Management Agency announced bidding for the right to exploit the Zherlovskoye, the Pyatiletneye and the Argunskoye uranium deposits in Chita Region, Kommersant learnt. The region�s administration reported the auction would be held in early September. It is for the first time in the last ten years that the state puts out uranium assets of the Eastern Siberia to tender. However, there would be virtually no competition for the deposits. State-owned TVEL corporation is considered the only candidate to exploit them.

The Zherlovskoye, the Pyatiletneye and Argunskoye deposits are situated in the Krasnokamensky district of Chita Region. All of them were explored in early 90s. The resources of the Argunskoye deposit are 4,800 tons of uranium, the resources of the Zherlovskoye� 3,000 tons, the resources of the Pyatiletneye � 1,300 tons.

The state has not put out Eastern Siberia�s uranium deposits to tender for the last ten years preferring to keep them in reserve. It became known yesterday that the Federal Resource Management Agency had announced three auctions for uranium deposits in Chita Region. The agency estimated the tenant right on the Argunskoye deposit at 9 million rubles on the Zherlovskoye � at 900,000 rubles, on the Pyatiletneye � at 760,000 rubles, the Chita Region�s Department for the Management of Fuel and Energy Complex and Natural Resources told Kommersant. The tenders are scheduled for early September. The right would be granted for the company who would present the best technical and economic grounds of the projects. Sources in the region�s administration call state-owned TVEL corporation the only one contender for the Chita�s deposits.

OAO TVEL is 100-percent-state owned, belonging to Russia�s Property Ministry. TVEL manages federal packages of stocks of major Russian enterprises that extract and process uranium and produce nuclear fuel. The state company embraces 15 plans dealing with the extraction of uranium and the procession of nuclear fuel for Russian and overseas nuclear power-stations, research reactors and transport settings of Russia�s marine. TVEL�s earnings amounted to $1 billion in 2004, the net profit exceeding $150 million.

TVEL owns the Priargunskoye manufacturing mining-chemical association in the same region (Transbaikalia). It explores the Streletskoye ore deposit that accounts for 28.4 percent of the established uranium resources and 94 percent of the uranium reserves of the country (some 50,000 tons). The resource of the deposits is considered to be gradually depleting. Experts estimate them to last for some more 30 years.

TVEL�s press serviced confirmed to Kommersant yesterday that they would bid for the right to explore the uranium deposits. They also specified that they were conducting geological surveys at the Streletskoye ore field and adjacent deposits. Analysts are sure that TVEL will bid for the deposits. �This state corporation needs new uranium resources suitable for industrial exploration, since now they have to buy uranium for the processing and the production of fuel assemblies in Ukraine and Kazakhstan,� Marina Alekseyenkova, analyst with Renaissance Capital investment company, says. She is convinced that more uranium will be required since TVEL not only produces fuel for Russian power-station, but it also exports uranium fuel to Ukraine, China, India and other countries, where the demand for uranium �will continue to rise since new nuclear power-stations are due to be placed in operation there�. As Finam investment company�s analyst Natalya Kocheshkova estimates, �the current uranium demand, including exports, amounts to some 10,000 tons a year�, with some 3,500 tons being extracted in this country. She expects the demand for uranium to reach 17,000 tons a year within the next decade, considering export as well.


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J.  Nuclear Safety

1.
International Community to Help Russia Scrap Nuclear Legacy
ITAR-TASS
6/8/2005
(for personal use only)


The international community will help Russia liquidate its nuclear legacy in its northwestern regions.

A final consultative meeting on an international ecological programme opened in Severodvinsk on Wednesday.

The conference is called to solve problems of radiation safety in northwestern Russia.

One of organisers of the meeting was the military shipyard Zvyozdochka.

Its press secretary Nadezhda Shcherbinina, told Itar-Tass that a "master plan developed by the Institute of Safe Development of Atomic Energy has been presented for discussion."

The plan includes the scrapping of decommissioned nuclear-powered submarines and surface ships, as well as environmental rehabilitation of coast facilities.

It is complete with priority measures for prevention or reduction of risk of nuclear accidents.

"In order to ascertain attitudes of the public to the project and the need for making adjustments to it, consultative meetings are being held with the population in Murmansk, Severodvinsk and Moscow," Shcherbinina said.

She said Zvyozdochka came to the meeting with its own problems - the reconstruction of a bridge across the Nikolskoye Estuary through which spent nuclear fuel from submarines is transported, the scrapping of the Admiral Ushakov cruiser and designing an automated system of radiation level control in the northern Arkhangelsk region.

Representatives of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, British company NCC and the Institute of Safe Development of Atomic Energy of the Russian Academy of Sciences attend the meeting.

The Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership pools efforts of donor countries, the European Union, Russia and international financial institutions, Shcherbinina said.

"A main danger to the human health and the environment from nuclear materials in the Murmansk and Arkhangelk regions is related to a possibility of accidental release of radioactivity," says a draft report on strategic ecological assessment prepared by the International Centre of Ecological Safety.

The Federal Agency of Atomic Agency is in charge of the assessment on the Russian side.

"Most of nuclear materials have piled up a former coast technical base in the Andreyev Bay, and 800 fuel rods from nuclear-powered first generation submarines stay at an open site in Gremikha in containers and jackets, most of which are strongly damaged," the report says.

"The radiation background near old storage facilities of spent nuclear fuel in the Andreyev Bay and Gremikha many times exceeds a natural one, and special access there is required for preventing excessive irradiation of personnel."

The reports says "Russia has built more that 450 naval nuclear reactors with a total power comparable to power of Russia's all nuclear power plants. Two-thirds of them are in the northwest of the country, which is 20 percent of the total number of nuclear reactors in the world".

Russia has built 248 nuclear-powered submarines, five warships with nuclear energy plants, eight nuclear-powered icebreakers and one transport ship.

There were 127 nuclear-powered ships in northwestern Russia as of January of the past year.


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2.
Recent Probe at Russian Nuclear Plants Uncovers Numerous Security Violations
MosNews
6/7/2005
(for personal use only)


A probe launched by the Russian Prosecutor General�s Office into the work of the country�s nuclear power plants has revealed numerous violations of security, the Prime-Tass news agency reported, quoting the head of the agency, Vladimir Kolesnikov.

The prosecutor general, speaking at the parliamentary session on Tuesday said that 19 criminal cases had been instigated into the wrongdoings and over 100 employees had received official warnings.

The Russian Federation is entering a period of man-made disasters, the official said, adding that the wear and tear of the equipment is extreme and accidents at Russian enterprises are becoming more frequent.

The prosecutor general also said that the state had partially lost control over security at major enterprises in Russia. He stressed that this control must be tightened and the laws in this sphere had to be amended.


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3.
Tender Results for 50 Containers for Spent Nuclear Fuel to be Announced in June
Bellona Foundation
6/6/2005
(for personal use only)


TUK-120 transport packing containers should accommodate icebreakers� spent nuclear fuel stored currently onboard service ship Lotta.

The containers should be further placed at the storage facility at the nuclear icebreakers� base Atomflot in Murmansk. Atomflot�s Deputy Director Mustafa Kashka said the results of the tender and the winner would be announced by the end of June. Four companies are taking part in the tender: Barrikada from Volgograd, Sevmash from Severodvinsk, EnergoTEKS from Kurchatov and Izhora plants from St Petersburg. According to Kashka, they will look at the following criteria: project cost, licence for work, time frame, and quality guarantee, Interfax reported.

The UK sponsors the containers� construction in the frames of the Global Partnership program. It was planned originally to announce tender back in November 2004, but due to the lack of the agreement with the British partners, the tender was postponed. At the moment �the money issue is solved�, Kashka said.

Thanks to this project Lotta will get place for 14 additional reactor zones from the laid-up submarines, what should significantly increase the rate of the nuclear submarines dismantling.


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K.  Official Statements

1.
U.S. Leads Efforts To Prevent Spread of Dangerous Weapons
Department of State
6/6/2005
(for personal use only)


The United States leads the world in efforts to prevent the spread of the world's most dangerous weapons, according to a recent released State Department electronic publication.

United States Initiatives to Prevent Proliferation, published by the Bureau of Nonproliferation, compiles information about ongoing U.S. arms-control activities designed to combat the spread of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Many of these initiatives are multilateral, especially those related to counterterrorism.

U.S. strategy has been built upon the concept of proactively preventing proliferation and the new brochure highlights efforts to implement U.N. Security Council Resolution 1540; expand the Proliferation Security Initiative; fulfill nonproliferation assistance program commitments; carry out the G-8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction (WMD); shut down the A.Q. Khan proliferation network; eliminate Libya's WMD programs; and strengthen export control and related border security assistance.

U.N. RESOLUTION 1540

U.N. Security Council Resolution 1540, adopted in April 2004, requires national governments to enact and enforce legal and regulatory measures -- including domestic -- to prevent the spread of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, their delivery systems and related materials. It marks the first time that the Security Council mandated specific actions by U.N. members to address the proliferation of these dangerous weapons.

PROLIFERATION SECURITY INITIATIVE

The Proliferation Security Initiative builds on existing treaties, agreements and export-control regimes within the international community to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems and related materials worldwide. Participation in the PSI is voluntary, and activities undertaken in connection with the initiative are based on national and international legal authorities.

More than 60 countries have expressed their support for the initiative. Its statement of principles identifies specific steps to interdict shipments of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and to prevent weapons proliferators from engaging in illegal trafficking at sea, on land, and in the air. Since September 2003, dozens of countries have participated in or observed at least one of the PSI interdiction exercises.

NONPROLIFERATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

The United States has invested over $9 billion in the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program and other related assistance programs that seek to reduce the possibility of the theft or sale of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons or related substances in the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Since 1991, the programs have provided funding and U.S. technical expertise in cooperative efforts to safeguard and destroy these dangerous weapons and related materials, technology, and infrastructure, as well as to prevent rogue states and terrorists from access to the scientific expertise to make such weapons.

THE G8 GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP AGAINST PROLIFERATION

The Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction was launched by leaders from the Group of Eight (G8) nations in June 2002. The purpose is to prevent terrorists or states that support them from acquiring or developing weapons of mass destruction. The G8 leaders pledged up to $20 billion over 10 years, with the United States pledged to contribute $10 billion.

The G8 includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and Russia.

Thirteen other governments have joined the G8 as donors since it was launched. They have collectively pledged more than $250 million to Global Partnership projects. The G8 has designated Ukraine as a recipient of Global Partnership cooperation, and other countries of the former Soviet Union are expected to follow a similar path.

SHUTTING DOWN THE A.Q. KHAN PROLIFERATION NETWORK

The United States and the United Kingdom uncovered the extensive activities of the A.Q. Khan proliferation network over the course of several years and three continents. Acting on shared intelligence, Italian authorities stopped the commercial cargo ship BBC China as it was heading for Libya in December 2003, seizing a number of containers of sophisticated centrifuge parts manufactured in Malaysia, as part of the Khan network.

"Shutting down such proliferation networks, ensuring that they are not reconstituted, and preventing the formation of other similar networks is imperative to the security of the international community," the document states.

ELIMINATING LIBYA'S WMD PROGRAMS

In December 2003, Libya made a clear commitment to eliminate all of its WMD and longer-range missile programs. Since then, Libya has worked to meet its commitments in partnership with the United States, United Kingdom, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Libya permitted the United States to remove large quantities of sensitive weapons-related material, including nuclear weapon design documents provided by the A.Q. Khan network, over 1,000 metric tons of nuclear equipment, and Scud-C missiles and launchers. In addition, the United States arranged the removal of more than 15 kilograms of fresh high-enriched uranium reactor fuel to Russia. Libya also destroyed over 3,000 chemical munitions and consolidated and secured its stocks of chemical weapons agent and precursors.

During the course of this cooperative elimination project, the Libyan experience established a new model for the return of an isolated state to the broader international community through the verifiable elimination of illicit WMD and longer-range missile programs.

EXPORT CONTROL, RELATED BORDER SECURITY ASSISTANCE

Effective export and border controls can be key tools in countering the proliferation of dangerous weapons, their delivery systems and related technologies. The United States tries to ensure that potential suppliers have proper controls on export of munitions, dual-use goods and related technologies, and "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 Export Control and Related Border Security Assistance (EXBS) program is the primary U.S. means to help foreign governments establish and implement effective export and border controls meeting international standards.


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