1. Spent nuclear fuel from liquid metal cooled reactor unloaded in Gremikha
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Spent nuclear fuel from the from Project 705 - Alfa class submarineï¿½s metal liquid cooled reactor was unloaded at the former navy base in Gremikha on the Kola Peninsula.
The operation required to heat the reactor therefore a powerful boiler-house was installed. The personnel engaged in the operation had to take a course and take exams arranged by the Russian Federal Nuclear Agency and the Defense Ministry officials.
The deputy director of Rosatom Sergey Antipov said to Minatom.ru that out of 11 nuclear submarines with metal liquid cooled reactor built in Russia one submarine with fuel expects dismantling, one reactor compartment should be unloaded and one sealed reactor needs treatment according to a special technology. The unloading operation took 2 months this summer in comparison with 8 months in 1991. Next summer apparently two metal liquid cooled reactors should be unloaded as well.
Gremikha (Iokanga) naval base is the second onshore storage site at the Kola Peninsula for spent nuclear fuel and radwaste from submarines. The base is the easternmost Northern Fleet base at the Kola Peninsula, located some 350 kilometers east of the mouth of the Murmansk fjord. The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development set Gremikha as priority project in the program of environmental rehabilitation. reported Interfax.
1. Russia pushes for quick approval of UN antiterrorism convention
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NEW YORK - Russia supports an early signing of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the United Nations Sunday. Addressing the 60th session of the UN General Assembly, Lavrov said: "We expect the UN General Assembly to contribute to the fight against terrorism and come to a quick agreement on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism."
The minister said multinational mechanisms and agreements were crucial for disarmament and the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, adding that Russian-drafted resolution 1540 on the Nonproliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, adopted by the UN GA, set up legal obstacles to the spread of WMD.
Lavrov highlighted the prevention of a space arms race, noting that Russia had pledged not to be the first to deploy arms in space, and called for other countries to join the move.
"It is time to take steps toward developing transparency and credibility in space," the minister said.
2. 44 countries sign global convention against terrorism
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UNITED NATIONS - A total of 44 countries signed the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism that was initiated by Russia, U.N. secretary-generalï¿½s spokesman Stephan Dujarric told journalists on Thursday.
The Convention was opened for signing on September 14. Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President George W. Bush were the first leaders who signed the document. On the same day it was signed by the prime ministers of France, Britain, Canada, Australia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Belgium; the presidents of Bulgarian, Switzerland, South Africa, Estonia, Belarus, Peru, Tajikistan, Argentine, Romania, Austria; and the vice-prime ministers and ministers of other states.
Ahead of the 60th jubilee session of the U.N. General Assembly a total of 63 states intend to sign the Convention.
The draft project was prepared by Russia in 1997. Seven years ago, the Russian Federation took the initiative to propose this important Convention, which addresses the particularly horrible consequences that acts of nuclear terrorism could entail. A number of other countries should also be recognised for proposing compromises and demonstrating the flexibility and creativity that is required to make consensus possible. In particular, we note the contributions of Egypt, Mexico and Pakistan.
President Bush and Russian President Putin called for early adoption of this Convention in their February 24 joint statement in Bratislava on Nuclear Security Cooperation, as did the Secretary-General in his March 21st report entitled "In Larger Freedom".
The Convention, the first international treaty on preventing nuclear terrorism, provides for civilian and military application of nuclear materials, the prevention of terrorist attacks involving homemade nuclear devices, and the prosecution of those responsible for terrorist attacks, either via extradition or by domestic courts. It is also the first U.N. anti-terrorist convention adopted after the September 11, 2001 events.
Under the U.N. procedure, the document comes into effect on the thirtieth day after the 22nd instrument of ratification has been handed over for keeping to the U.N. secretary-general.
1. Construction of reactor storage facility in Sayda bay behind schedule
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The date of start-up of the reactor storage facility in Sayda bay, Kola Peninsula, is postponed from September until November 18.
Such a decision was made at the meeting of the managing Russian-German Committee in August, Interfax reported.
The initial agreement signed in 2003 stipulated September 2005 as the completion date for the first part of the facility in sayda bay. However, after geological research on the site, it turned out that the site is more complicated and therefore demands more work and money, Interfax reported referring to the source at the Nerpa shipyard.
The General director of the Murmanskmorstroy company Aleksey Kudrenko said to the local TV channel Murman, that 80 percent of the project is completed and complained about the nonregular payments, which go through St Petersburg company Mostostroy no.6, and the bigger volumes of work, not mentioned in the initial contract. He is afraid the completion date can be postponed.
The first part of the facility should accommodate from 30 to 40 reactor compartments. The whole facility, which is to enter service in 2008, should contain 120 compartments as well as the waste from the nuclear service ships. The second part stipulates construction of the additional foundation for the remaining reactor compartments and the waste. Germany allocated 300m euro for both parts of the project.
The 300m euro expenditure is seen by Germany as part of its obligation to the framework of the "10 plus 10 over 10" plan agreed upon by the Group of Eight industrialised nations, or G-8, in 2002 at the groupï¿½s summit in Kananaskis, Canada. Under this agreement, seven of the G-8 member countries will contribute $10 billion toward solving nuclear dismantlement and security issues in Russia. A representative of the German Economics and Labour Ministry, who was interviewed by email by Bellona Web, confirmed that the 300m euro is just a start to what he said would be an overall 1.5 billion euro contribution within the "10 plus 10 over 10" framework. He added, though, that getting the current deal onto the table in a form that both sides could accept "was no easy task." He refused to elaborate. He did say that the remaining 1.2 billion euro commitment would help finance other radioactive waste storage projects as well, though the government had not yet decided what its next project will be.
1. Nuclear disputes top agenda at Bush's meeting with Russian president Putin
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WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush said Friday that he's confident that the international community will refer Iran to the UN Security Council if it does not account for what the United States contends is a record of nuclear deceit.
"I am confident that the world will see to it that Iran goes to the UN Security Council if it does not live up to its agreements," Bush said following a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "When that referral will happen is a matter of diplomacy and that's what we talked about. We talked about how to deal with this situation diplomatically."
Putin said he shared the U.S. goal of an Iran without nuclear arms, but offered no sign that he supported a referral to the Security Council. He also repeated the contention by Iranian leaders - disputed by the Bush administration - that Tehran has no ambitions for developing a nuclear weapon and instead wants its program for civilian energy use alone.
Putin said that Russia opposes Iran becoming "a nuclear power and will continue to do so in the future under any circumstances."
Working to strike a conciliatory note with Russia, Bush said the two countries generally agree on a need to avert nuclear proliferation by other countries, including North Korea.
"We understand the stakes - that people who kill in cold blood, if they have weapons of mass destruction will kill in cold blood on a massive scale," Bush said in the East Room of the White House.
The two, however, disagree over how to address Iran's nuclear programs and have long-running differences over the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the third member of what Bush called the "axis of evil."
Like Bush, Putin sought to show unity. He said there isn't a wide breech between the two countries about how to quell Iran and North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
"Our positions are very close with the American partners here," Putin said through a translator. "We will continue to co-ordinate our work."
Bush said he talked with Putin about co-operating in fighting terrorists and the U.S.-Russia economic relationship. He said he would help get negotiations completed to get Russia admitted to the World Trade Organization by the end of the year.
Bush and Putin called one another friend, and frequently used one another's first names. Their bond was forged largely after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when Russia delivered help in the fight against terrorism.
The political relationship has frayed with each passing year, in part because of U.S. concerns that Putin is consolidating power in the Kremlin and eroding democratic advances in post-Soviet Russia. Nuclear nonproliferation, however, has proved an area of considerable co-operation.
2. Transcript: Russian President Putin on 'FOX News Sunday'
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'FOX NEWS SUNDAY' HOST CHRIS WALLACE: And now our exclusive interview with the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin. He and President Bush seem to have a warm, personal relationship. But there are growing policy differences on key issues.
WALLACE: Putin was in the U.S. this week to speak to the U.N. and to meet with Mr. Bush. He also gave one interview, to "Fox News Sunday" just before returning to Russia. He clearly understands English well and used it for small talk but not for our conversation.
Back when you and President Bush first met in 2001, he famously said he looked you in the eye and he got a sense of your soul. Now, some U.S. officials complain that you have rolled back democratic reform. They say that you have differences with U.S. policy on Iraq, Iran and North Korea. You sell arms to Syria, to China, to President Chavez of Venezuela. Are you going back to the bad old days of the Kremlin?
PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIA (through translator): I reaffirm this is not the case. I will probably start with the fact that using our meeting today, I would like to express most sincere condolences regarding the most recent tragedy in Louisiana. We have very sincere grief with you American people regarding all those victims, and from the very heart we have our compassion to Americans. We are aware of the fact that the families who had their dearest one perish -- nothing will probably help. Still, we would like to express our solidarity and moral support.
Now, regarding our policies versus U.S. There will be no rolling back, at least from the part of Russia, to the past. We are not adversaries. We are partners in many areas of international activities, and I hope this is going to happen, and this is going to happen because the interests of our countries and peoples, to a large extent coincide. We're helping each other in economy. Just look at energy, for one. We cannot work efficiently and achieve positive results on key issues of international agenda.
You've mentioned a part of those, of course. These are the areas like Iraqi problem, Iranian nuclear problem, North Korean problem. There is another one you haven't mentioned, without participation of Russia and the U.S. it will not be possible to move forward, that's international security and disarmament dossier (ph). And here, we are partners number on in the world.
PUTIN (through translator): We've been moving forward quite efficiently, and I hope this is going to happen further.
WALLACE: Let's talk about some of the world's flashpoints. The U.S. and leading European nations want to take action against Iran's nuclear program. If the International Atomic Energy Agency votes on the issue of referring Iran to the U.N. Security Council, how will Russia vote?
PUTIN (through translator): Well, if you're aware of the provisions of international law, you should know that any member of Security Council can initiate any issue to be discussed at the Security Council level of the United Nations. And naturally, we'll be guided by the fact that this might happen. And there is another procedure used by IAEA, and if IAEA were to vote it in, then we'll have to work with our partners in the Security Council on it.
WALLACE: What would it take for Russia to agree to impose sanctions against Iran?
PUTIN (through translator): Well, you know, the tougher we're going to formulate our positions with you now, there will be more problems that we can probably reach a dead end. Today, the Iranian side is working sufficiently in cooperation with IAEA, and Mr. ElBaradei had told us so. So, let's proceed from the circumstances of today.
I've just met with the president of Iran in New York, and he assured me that the Iranian side wants to continue negotiations with the European three at least, and we're going to proceed from there. We stand ready to coordinate our activities, both with American and European partners, and I must say that our positions here are quite close.
At any rate, we have a joint position on one major issue: All of us categorically are against the proliferation of nuclear arms at the account of Iran.
WALLACE: But sir, the Iranians have lied for years about their nuclear program. Are you willing to trust the ayatollahs with the safety of the world?
PUTIN (through translator): Yes, Iran has erred several times in their relations with IAEA. Iran has directly stated that they have revealed, opened all their works, and now they are openly cooperating with the inspectors of IAEA.
Also, regarding the past record, and I hope this dynamics will continue.
3. Bush Asks Putin for Russia's Help in Nuclear Talks With Iran
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President George W. Bush asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to help the U.S. and European Union block Iran from gaining nuclear weapons technology.
``We agree that Iran should not have a nuclear weapons,'' Bush said at a news conference with Putin after the two leaders met at the White House in Washington. ``We talked about how to deal with that situation diplomatically.''
Bush is backing diplomatic efforts by France, Germany and the U.K. to convince Iranian leaders to stop enriching uranium for use in a nuclear power plant, a process that could lead to production of weapons-grade material. The president said Sept. 13 ``a rational approach'' is for Iran ``to have civilian nuclear power without learning how to make a bomb.''
Putin, for his part, said Russia stands behind non- proliferation treaties governing nuclear power. ``We are against Iran'' becoming a nuclear power.
Iran reopened uranium conversion facilities Aug. 8 at its plant in Isfahan, restarting a uranium enrichment program the oil- rich nation claims is needed for energy purposes.
The board of governors of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency meets in Vienna on Sept. 19 to decide whether to refer Iran to the UN Security Council for potential sanctions.
Bush asked China's President Hu Jintao for assistance with Iran when the U.S. and Chinese leaders met in New York on Tuesday. China holds a veto vote on the Security Council and is working with the U.S. in talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons.
Iran's new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is due to present the United Nations tomorrow with proposals to end the standoff with the EU and U.S. over Iran's enrichment activities at Isfahan. A UN report faulted Iran for failing to provide full details of its nuclear operations.
Ahmadinejad told reporters at a breakfast meeting in New York yesterday that nuclear energy ``is a blessing given by God; it is an opportunity given to all nations,'' the Washington Post reported today.
Russia is helping Iran build its nuclear program and Putin met with Ahmadinejad at the UN in New York yesterday.
``A powerful Russia is the best friend of Iran and a powerful Iran is one of the best partners for Russia,'' Ahmadinejad told Putin during a meeting at the UN.
Russia has an economic stake in developing Iranian nuclear power, because its atomic energy industry employs about 1 million people.
It's a ``state within a state,'' according to Anders Aslund, director of the Russian and Eurasian program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington D.C. ``This project has a strong business lobby in Russia.''
1. Adamov should get chance to return to Russia - official
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MOSCOW - Former Russian Atomic Energy Minister Yevgeny Adamov should be given an opportunity to return to Russia and answer questions of law enforcement agencies, head of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) Alexander Rumyantsev believes.
"I have known Yevgeny Olegovich for a long time and very well, we had close contacts in joint work over 30 years. He is a very skilled, effective and purposeful specialist," Rumyantsev said on Radio Mayak on Saturday. "It is necessary to return Adamov to Russia and give him an opportunity to answer all questions police want to ask him."
The former atomic energy minister was detained in Berne, Switzerland on May 2 at the request of the US authorities that accuse him of misappropriating a sum of nine million US dollars allocated by the United States for projects in the sphere of safety of Russian nuclear power plants.
In an interview with Russian journalists on September 6 Adamov called the charges brought against him "absurd." He believes his case is a link in a chain of the global intrigue aimed at "weakening of the state" and eventually at the "occupation of Russia."
The United States and Russia are seeking extradition of Adamov. The Swiss Federal Justice Department has already made a decision that Adamov may be extradited to Russia. Now the Justice Department is considering the issue of his possible extradition to the United States.
1. Russia hopes IAEA will not take Iranian case to Security Council
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MOSCOW -- The chief of the Russian atomic energy agency Rosatom, Alexander Rumyantsev hopes Iranï¿½s nuclear dossier will not be taken to the U.N. Security Council.
"The gist of Russiaï¿½s position is that at this point there is no need for regarding the Iranian nuclear issue as a very alarming one and for taking the discussion to a higher level, that of the U.N. Security Council," Rumyantsev told Tass in an interview.
However, the chief of the Russian atomic energy agency refrained from making any forecasts as to what decision the IAEA will eventually make. He merely expressed the hope the IAEA will turn an attentive ear to Russiaï¿½s arguments.
"Russia is a country that enjoys great respect in the IAEA," he said. "The IAEA carries out comprehensive monitoring of Iranï¿½s nuclear program and it fully copes with this mission."
Besides, "Iran is a signatory to the nuclear arms non-proliferation treaty and it has assumed additional commitments by signing the supplementary protocol," Rumyantsev said. He is certain that "Iran has the right to develop its civilian nuclear power industry."
"At the same time certain questions (regarding the Iranian atomic energy program) are still to be cleared up within the IAEA framework. The agency conducts highly professional and active work along these lines. This format should be preserved in the future," the Rosatom chief said. "At this moment, though, there are no reasons for taking the Iranian case to the U.N. Security Council, although there have been a number of proposals for this from various quarters."
1. Official says Russia may build nuclear power plant in North Korea
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MOSCOW - Director of Russiaï¿½s Federal Agency for Atomic Energy, Alexander Rumyantsev said Monday Russia might build a nuclear power plant in North Korea.
"Russia is ready to join the project anytime, because it has enough potential and willingness for it," Rumyantsev said in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass.
He hailed a statement the parties to the six-partite talks on the North Korean nuclear problem and endorsed earlier in the day in Beijing.
"I support diplomatic solutions to all issues at those talks," Rumyantsev said.
North Korea has pledged to renounce its nuclear weapons program and to revert to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty format.
Other participants in the consultations -- South Korea, China, Russia, Japan and the U.S. -- said they were ready to provide assistance in the energy sector to Pyongyang.
Rumyantsev believes that assistance could be given in the form of building a nuclear plant in North Korea.
"Weï¿½ve built a number of nuclear plants abroad, and a project of the same type might be organized there, too," he indicated.
Rumyantsev warned, however, the parties to the consultations might first decide on what kind of energy assistance North Korea was entitled to.
"Letï¿½s first come to terms on how weï¿½ll act," he said. "If the diplomats reach agreement, weï¿½ll get the necessary instructions for action, in which weï¿½re highly interested."
Rumyantsev urged the sides to take a decision as early as possible, since "the problem of a shortage of electric power in North Korea is commonly known."
He declined to specify technical aspects of a possible plant project.
"Our relations with North Korea were suspended more than a decade ago, and North Koreans didnï¿½t give us access to technical details of their plans," Rumyantsev indicated.
"We didnï¿½t cooperate with them, and the only way for us to get information was through reports at research conferences," he said.
"I donï¿½t know if itï¿½s worthwhile completing a plant under the KEDO project or building a new one," Rumyantsev said.
The KEDO project was launched by the U.S., South Korea and Japan, but its construction was not completed.
Rumyantsev recalled that the participating sides were supposed to supply energy resources to North Korea during the construction period, and it was procrastination with the works that caused the current conflict around the North Korean nuclear program.
MOSCOW -- Russia welcomes the results of the fourth round of the six-party talks on the Korean nuclear issue, saying the joint document gives hope for the ultimate goal of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.
The talks on the Korean nuclear issue, which involved China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, South Korea, Russia and Japan, concluded on Monday in Beijing after adopting a common statement that established a framework for a package solution to the issue.
The results of the talks give hope for a successful continuation of the six-party negotiation process toward fulfilling the ultimate goal of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"The most important part of this document is Pyongyang's commitment to abandon nuclear weapons, all existing nuclear programs and return, at an early date, to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and to the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency," the ministry said.
In the document, the DPRK says it has the right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Other parties have expressed their respect and agreed to discuss, at an appropriate time, the provision of light-water reactors to the DPRK.
The six parties agreed to hold the fifth round of talks in Beijing in early November.
3. New document allows North Korea to develop peaceful nuclear programs
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BEIJING - North Korea's right to develop peaceful nuclear programs and build a light-water nuclear reactor has been included in the draft of a joint agreement on the principles of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, a Russian diplomat said Friday.
"In our opinion, it is a balanced document, and the text that has been proposed by China satisfies all the participants in the [six-party] talks," Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Alexeyev, who is leading the Russian delegation at the fourth round of multilateral talks on the Korean Peninsula's nuclear problem, told a news conference in Beijing.
Since 2002 when the United States said North Korea had admitted to pursuing a secret weapons program, U.S. officials have demanded that the communist nation end its program and allow inspectors into the country for verification. North Korea at first denied the claim but later said it did possess weapons.
The fourth round of negotiations between China, Russia, Japan, South and North Korea and the United States ended in deadlock in early August and resumed Tuesday.
Alexeyev said China had requested all the participants in the talks to say if they agreed to a compromise document by September 17.
1. Russian Atomic Chief Restates Points on Iran, USA, Outlines Industry Plans
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Russian nuclear chief Aleksandr Rumyantsev has said that since Iran complies with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, there are no obstacles for that country to be helped with its own civilian nuclear power industry. Rumyantsev, now 60, appeared in Russian Mayak radio's "People and Power" interview slot on 17 September, ahead of the professional holiday of Russian nuclear sector workers which will also mark the industry's 60th anniversary in Russia on 28 September, for the first time ever (in line with a Putin decree).
Quizzed by his host, Yuliy Semenov, about Iran ("What can you say about how real Iran's intention to acquire nuclear weapons is, how great that danger is and whether we can in any way influence what turn the events will take"), Rumyantsev, head of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency and academician, refrained from forecasts about it in his answer. He said about Russia's role in Iran:
"Like many other states, Iran has signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty. And as a member state of the International Atomic Energy Agency and as a nation that has signed that treaty, Iran, in line with the IAEA Charter, is entitled to create a civilian atomic energy industry. As for the states that possess these technologies, they are not just entitled but, in line with the IAEA's regulations, obliged to help a state which complies with the Non-Proliferation Treaty in its efforts to build a civilian atomic energy industry. That is precisely what Russia has been doing - helping build the first nuclear unit, rated at 1,000 MW, at the nuclear plant of Bushehr. Its construction is now nearing completion.
"And the joint statement by the two presidents reflects quite specifically the fact that Russia and the United States respect the Non-Proliferation Treaty, that they support it and they consider it to be the guarantee against the proliferation of nuclear arms worldwide, as the convention [UN convention on the suppression of nuclear terrorism] mentioned in your previous question provides for. That is what the efforts of all the world's nations are aimed at."
As regards the UN convention, he said it would help prevent such terrorism, which were it to happen could "seal the world's fate".
The potential accumulated in the Soviet era helps Russia remain at the forefront of the industry, Rumyantsev said. In particular, Russian capacities account for more than a third of the world's nuclear fuel enrichment services for nuclear power plants. Russian reactors are also in demand, as exemplified by the Bushehr, Chinese (two units) and Indian (two units) projects. And Russian nuclear scientists are, as ever, the creme de la creme.
In response to a question in a phone-in as part of the programme, Rumyantsev defended the track record of the RBMK reactors (Reaktor Bolshoy Moshchnosti Kanalnyy, or High-Powered Channel Reactor), despite the Chernobyl disaster. The type is still in operation at Leningrad, Smolensk and Kursk nuclear power plants. Since Chernobyl, he said, they have been modified, their safety systems enhanced, and have now been in use for almost 20 years.
He admitted, however, that there was "quite an acute problem" with the construction of the next generation unit at the Kursk plant, to do with changes in the design of an RBMK-type reactor proposed for installation there.
"Changes have been made to the Kursk nuclear plant's next unit," he explained. "It has a different metal-to-graphite ratio, which, indeed, requires comprehensive scientific substantiation. In large measure, that has been done. And, in large measure, it is self-evident for the scientists that that will enhance their safety even more. But the situation is nevertheless different to that with the other units in operation, where experimental experience has been accumulated. That is why the issue is at the stage of discussion.
"Furthermore, if in the foreseeable future we complete its construction at an accelerated rate, the situation then will be that it will operate on its own for some 30 years, with all the other units of the type decommissioned. And the fact is that we don't intend to build any more units of the type."
Russia, he said, will continue to build nuclear power plants. "By all means," was his answer to that question. "Financially, there has already been an invigoration," he added. Work will be done for new capacity to be brought on stream and for the life span of older plants to be extended. In the former category, he named the Volgodonsk plant's first unit, Kalinin's third, then Volgodonsk's second, Balakovo's fifth and Kalinin's fourth.
On another point, he denied Russia had agreed to US inspections of its nuclear facilities. "There is no such agreement. I mean that there are no such documents. It is not based on fact. It is something that, from time to time, is inflated by unscrupulous media."
Other points included social support for the "thousands" of those made redundant in the nuclear weapons sector during the 1990s, where he said more had to be done; Russia's participation in international thermonuclear projects, in the EU and Japan, which he confirmed; ex-Atomic Energy Minister Yevgeniy Adamov's detention in Switzerland, on which he said Adamov should be returned to Russia where an investigation should take place; contamination from nuclear power plants, notably Leningrad, which he denied; and how secure Russia's nuclear power plants were against terrorism, where he saw room for improvement but thought that the danger should not be exaggerated. No nuclear plant can withstand impact from a large aircraft, for example, but no nuclear contamination would arise. Overall, their security is as good as it gets, he summed up.
He predicted the emergence of a thermonuclear energy industry within 100 years.
The date to be marked, 28 September, relates to a State Defence Committee resolution in 1942 which ordered an analytical report to be presented to the Soviet authorities by 1 April on the feasibility of the nuclear bomb. Academician Ioffe was in charge. Then, in 1945, the First Chief Directorate was created, which oversaw all work on the bomb.
Today, Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher joined Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer to offer the "Democratic National Security Strategy for the 21st Century." The plan includes recommendations on a number of Tauscherï¿½s signature issues, including right-sizing the military, winning the war in Iraq, safeguarding nuclear weapons and technology, and expanding nonproliferation programs. Rep. Tauscher joined Reps. Hoyer, Ike Skelton (MO), Jane Harman (CA), and John Spratt (SC) to announce the strategy.
"Our troops are overstretched, overcommitted, and in desperate need of relief. Back-to-back deployments, demoralizing stop-loss orders, and unpredictable missions have led to alarming problems in recruitment and threaten to break our volunteer military. During wartime, we are still operating with the same pre-war size of military, and catastrophes like Katrina further demonstrate the strain our troops are under," said Rep. Tauscher, member of the House Armed Services Committee. "Democrats have long recognized this problem and know we must act immediately to relieve the burden placed on so few soldiers."
Rep. Tauscher has led the charge in the House to increase the size of the military. This year, she authored legislation with Senators Lieberman, Clinton, Reed, and Salazar, and Rep. Mark Udall, to raise the cap on the size of the Army to 582,000. The Democratic National Security proposal endorses this increase.
"The Administration failed to build a broad coalition of the capable to shoulder the burden in Iraq. It didnï¿½t supply our troops with the resources they need and isnï¿½t getting the job done to secure the country or train Iraqis to replace our soldiers one-for-one. Until we get these steps right, we wonï¿½t be able to extricate our troops and leave behind any sort of a stable state," said Rep. Tauscher, who has taken four trips to the Middle East since the outset of the war. "Our Democratic strategy calls for a political solution in Iraq, which is the only way to create real stability."
Rep. Tauscher has been vocal about solutions to the situation in Iraq, focusing on the size of our forces and the training of Iraqi security forces. In her capacity as co-chair of the Congressional Iraqi Womenï¿½s Caucus, she met women running for office in Iraq prior to the January elections. Most recently, she sought female representation on Iraqï¿½s constitution-drafting committee, and raised alarm about fundamentalist Sharia law in Iraqï¿½s new constitution, which would turn back the clock on womenï¿½s rights in Iraq.
"At a time when we read daily about the threats posed by North Korea and Iran, we must do all we can to affirm Americaï¿½s leadership on nonproliferation issues. Itï¿½s essential that we make the necessary investments to keep the worldï¿½s most dangerous weapons out of the worldï¿½s most dangerous hands while also fulfilling our own commitments under the Nonproliferation Treaty," said Rep. Tauscher.
As an advocate of arms control efforts, Rep. Tauscher has supported stronger measures to bring nuclear weapons under control, through programs like Nunn-Lugar. She joined fellow HASC colleagues John Spratt of South Carolina and Marty Meehan of Massachusetts in introducing legislation which would implement the 9/11 Commissionï¿½s nonproliferation recommendations, expand the U.S. cooperative threat reduction programs and urge the Administration to improve accountability and funding for nonproliferation programs.
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