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Nuclear News - 9/22/2005
RANSAC Nuclear News, September 22, 2005
Compiled By: Julia Myers


A.  Submarine Dismantlement
    1. Russia dismantled 121 nuclear submarines as of mid-2005 , RIA Novosti (9/22/2005)
B.  US-Russia
    1. Nuclear agency chief believes ex-nuclear minister must have his say , RosBusinessConsulting (9/22/2005)
    2. Russian Nuclear Materials Safe from Terrorists--Nuclear Chief, MosNews (9/22/2005)
C.  Russia-Iran
    1. Russia rejects new EU atomic draft on Iran-diplomat, Reuters (9/22/2005)
    2. Russia, Iran discuss expansion of cooperation in nuclear sphere - official , RIA Novosti (9/22/2005)
    3. Putin: Russia to complete Bushehr nuclear power station on time , Islamic Republic News Agency (9/21/2005)
    4. Bushehr Continues To Be Plagued By Mishaps , Middle East Newsline (9/19/2005)
D.  Nuclear Industry
    1. Russia's annual nuclear exports total $3.5 billion , RIA Novosti (9/22/2005)
    2. Rosenergoatom restructuring planned for next year , Nuclear Engineering International (9/21/2005)
E.  Nuclear Safety
    1. Russia Plays Down Chernobyl Threat, Says Ready to Participate in Reconstruction, MosNews (9/22/2005)
    2. IAEA experts inspected Abkhazia , Bellona Foundation (9/20/2005)
    3. Ignalina NPP closure costs $14.6 billion , Bellona Foundation (9/20/2005)
    4. Radioactive metal found at Su-27 crash site, Interfax (9/20/2005)
F.  Official Statements
    1. Remarks by Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Alexeyev at the Final Plenary Meeting of the Six-Party Talks on Resolving the Nuclear Problem of the Korean Peninsula , Alexander Alexeyev , Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (9/21/2005)
    2. Russian MFA Information and Press Department Commentary Regarding Questions from Interfax and Reuters Concerning the European Union's Resolution on the Iranian Nuclear Program Circulated at the IAEA Meeting , Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (9/21/2005)
    3. Transcript of Replies to Questions by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov at Press Conference Following Middle East Quartet Ministerial Meeting in New York on September 20, 2005 , Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (9/21/2005)
    4. PRESS RELEASE: On the Upcoming Conference to Facilitate the Entry Into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) , Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (9/20/2005)
G.  Items of Interest
    1. Megatons to Megawatts Eliminates Equivalent of 10,000 Nuclear Warheads; President Bush Cites Program as Model of U.S-Russian Cooperation; America's Utilities Operating Nuclear Power Plants Make the Program Successful , Business Wire (9/21/2005)
    2. Russia Assesses The North Korea Six-Party Agreement , Stephen Blank, Eurasia Daily Monitor (9/21/2005)
    3. Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1997-2004 (RL33051) , Richard F. Grimmett, Congressional Research Service (8/29/2005)



A.  Submarine Dismantlement

1.
Russia dismantled 121 nuclear submarines as of mid-2005
RIA Novosti
9/22/2005
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW - As of July 2005, Russia had already dismantled a total of 121 nuclear submarines, the head of the Federal Nuclear Energy Agency said Thursday.

Alexander Rumyantsev said, "So far, 195 nuclear submarines have been decommissioned, and by the middle of 2005, 121 nuclear submarines had been dismantled and 34 remained operational."

The process of dismantling nuclear submarines is coming to an end, he said.

Russia is dismantling its nuclear submarines at an annual rate of 20 vessels. Russia receives $70 million in foreign support for this process, and the government provides an additional $70 million, Rumyantsev said.


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B.  US-Russia

1.
Nuclear agency chief believes ex-nuclear minister must have his say
RosBusinessConsulting
9/22/2005
(for personal use only)


Moscow - Former nuclear industry minister Yevgeny Adamov has to be granted an opportunity to answer all the questions that the US and Russian justice authorities have to him, Russia's nuclear energy agency chief Alexander Rumyantsev has told journalists at a press conference today. Rumyantsev referred to the fact that Adamov had been kept in custody for five months as a deplorable one.

As reported earlier, Adamov was detained in Switzerland on May 2, 2005. The US justice authorities have charged him of diverting up to USD9m that the US had given to Russia to improve safety at its nuclear facilities. Soon after his arrest, Moscow and Washington demanded that Adamov be extradited, yet Russian authorities were the first to do this. Still, it's up to the Swiss court whether Adamov's case will be examined in Russia or the US.


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2.
Russian Nuclear Materials Safe from Terrorists--Nuclear Chief
MosNews
9/22/2005
(for personal use only)


Russia is set to diminish U.S. financial participation in nuclear objects safety project, the head of the Federal Agency for Nuclear Power Alexander Rumyantsev was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying Thursday. Meanwhile, Russian nuclear materials are totally safe from terrorists, he said.

"We are going to diminish U.S. participation for such programs," he said.

The U.S. keeps providing financial support for Russia to ensure safety and control over the nuclear materials in the country, but the nature of this support is changing, Rumyantsev added.

"The ideology U.S. assistance to Russia has changed. We are now working together at the devices that will allow to locate the fissile materials," he said.

At present, said the Rosatom chief, Russian nuclear materials are absolutely safe from terrorists.

"The way they are guarded, I cannot imagine such a thing. The nuclear materials could only be conquered in a full-scale battle," he was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

Many terrorism experts say al Qaeda and other terrorist groups have focused for years on lightly secured nuclear facilities in Russia and other states in the former Soviet Union as potential sources for equipment and material needed to assemble an atomic weapon. The commission that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks recommended that U.S. officials undertake a "maximum effort" to place Russian nuclear equipment off-limits to terrorists.


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C.  Russia-Iran

1.
Russia rejects new EU atomic draft on Iran-diplomat
Reuters
9/22/2005
(for personal use only)


VIENNA - Russia has rejected a new EU draft resolution on Iran that drops the threat of an immediate report to the U.N. Security Council over fears Tehran is developing atomic weapons, an EU diplomat said on Thursday.

"The Russians don't like it. They say it's a move in the right direction but not far enough," the European Union diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity on the sidelines of a weeklong IAEA board meeting.

"The Russian ambassador made it very clear that the new draft was not acceptable."

He said the Russians objected to the fact that even though the new draft does not call for an immediate Security Council referral, a report to the Council would be inevitable if the resolution is approved.

The Security Council, the United Nations' highest body, can impose economic sanctions.

Of the 35 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board members, Russia, China and at least a dozen others oppose the EU and U.S. effort to haul Iran before the Security Council for breaching international nuclear obligations.

EU diplomats say Russia's support is crucial to achieving their aim of getting consensus on an IAEA resolution. The EU had removed the demand for an immediate Council report from the text in the hope getting the backing of Russia and other opponents.

The diplomat said there was no reaction from China yet, though he expected Beijing's view would be similar to Moscow's.

Russia's Atomic Energy Agency, Alexander Rumyantsev, sounded more positive on the draft resolution. However, the Russian foreign ministry, not Rumyantsev's agency, gives instructions to its ambassador and negotiating team in Vienna.

"The draft resolution that was circulated by the EU3 today around midday includes the points previously voiced by the Russian Foreign Ministry," Rumyantsev said.

"I see this as a positive step and I express my satisfaction."


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2.
Russia, Iran discuss expansion of cooperation in nuclear sphere - official
RIA Novosti
9/22/2005
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, September 22 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and Iran are discussing the expansion of cooperation in the nuclear sphere, the head of the Federal Agency for Nuclear Power said Thursday.

"We are discussing opportunities but have no specific projects so far," Alexander Rumyantsev said.

He also said that the nuclear power plant in Bushehr could start producing power in late 2006.


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3.
Putin: Russia to complete Bushehr nuclear power station on time
Islamic Republic News Agency
9/21/2005
(for personal use only)


Moscow -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that his country is committed to complete Bushehr nuclear power station on time (scheduled in 2006).

Iran's Ambassador to Moscow Gholamreza Ansari told IRNA that during his meeting with Putin, when he presented his credentials to the Russian president, he underlined that Moscow will continue nuclear cooperation with Iran within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Ansari added that the Russian Atomic Energy Organization is currently preparing shipment of the fuel required for Bushehr power station.

Both sides reiterated the need to broaden multifaceted ties between the two neighboring countries, given its effective role in the security of the region.

Meanwhile, in his remarks on Tuesday, Head of the Russian Atomic Energy Organization Alexander Rumyantsev said that the nuclear power station currently under construction in Bushehr by his country will be completed in the coming year and that the first cargo of nuclear fuel will be sent there either at the end of the year 2005 or early 2006.

"At present, the preparatory measures for supply and shipment of the atomic fuel for Bushehr nuclear power station are underway under the supervision of IAEA experts," he added.


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4.
Bushehr Continues To Be Plagued By Mishaps
Middle East Newsline
9/19/2005
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW -- Russia's effort to complete Iran's first nuclear plant continues to be hampered by technical difficulties.

Russian officials said that despite significant progress over the last year, the Bushehr nuclear reactor plant has encountered technical difficulties. They said the key difficulty has been adapting the construction of the nuclear reactor core to Iranian specifications.

"The Iranians have changed their specifications several times and this has been a key challenge in completing the reactor on schedule," an official said.

Russian Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev has acknowledged the difficulties in completing the Bushehr light-water reactor. Rumyantsev, chairman of the Iranian-Russian Joint Economic Cooperation Commission, has pledged not to allow the technical mishaps to postpone the deadline.


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D.  Nuclear Industry

1.
Russia's annual nuclear exports total $3.5 billion
RIA Novosti
9/22/2005
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW - Russia's annual nuclear exports amount to $3.5 billion, Alexander Rumyantsev, the head of the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency, told a Wednesday news conference at RIA Novosti.

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2.
Rosenergoatom restructuring planned for next year
Nuclear Engineering International
9/21/2005
(for personal use only)


Russian nuclear interest Rosenergoatom could be converted into a joint stock company as soon as 2006, according to comments attributed to Alexander Rumyantsev, the head of the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency, Rosatom.

Rosatom is said to be holding talks with the Economic Development and Trade Ministry on probable scenarios that would maintain state control over Rosenergoatom, as set out in the statute books, while allowing private investment and the influence of the market economy to yield results. A joint-stock corporation will enable state control over nuclear facilities while making it easier to raise long-term loans and investment, Rumyantsev reportedly said.

Meanwhile, in other Russian news, state-owned power giant UES plans to increase its stake in Power Machines, the largest manufacturer of equipment for hydro, thermal, and nuclear power plants.

UES plans to acquire 22.43% of Power Machines from major private investment firm Interros, bringing its holding to 25% plus one share, the company said. The UES board is expected to discuss the issue in late September.

UES has also reached a preliminary agreement with Interros on the remainder of its 30% holding in Power Machines in which the companies will run the block jointly. Power Machines accounts for more than 60% of the Russian market on steam turbines.


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E.  Nuclear Safety

1.
Russia Plays Down Chernobyl Threat, Says Ready to Participate in Reconstruction
MosNews
9/22/2005
(for personal use only)


Russia is ready to participate in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant protective sarcophagus reconstruction, Itar Tass reported Thursday quoting the Federal Atomic Energy Agency Head Alexander Rumyantsev.

In spite of Ukrainian present economy problems, the sarcophagus reconstruction works will hopefully continue, Rumyantsev said.

"Russia is constantly ready to get involved in the works and provide all the assistance that we can," he was quoted by Itar Tass as saying.

However, the media is over-dramatic about the situation on the plant, Rumyantsev said.

"Even if more leaks appear and the sarcophagus is partly collapses, there may be serious social consequences. However according to the experts, there cannot be any serious radiation consequences," he said.

The temporary sarcophagus over the exploded Chernobyl NPP, designed to last five years, was built 20 years ago to contain the radioactive debris. There have been repeated calls from the environmentalists to repair the leaking shield, and plans to repair the shelter were underway for several years, but it was only recently, with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko elected in December, that the funding was found.


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2.
IAEA experts inspected Abkhazia
Bellona Foundation
9/20/2005
(for personal use only)


Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspected Abkhazia from September 7 to September 11.

The experts inspected how radioactive substances were kept at the Sukhumi Institute of Physical Engineering and the Research Institute of Experimental Pathology and Therapy. After a two-day inspection, the experts had talks with Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh, who told the IAEA experts to come more often, ITAR-TASS reported.

The experts got access to all the sites they wanted and discovered that all the materials remained intact and had not disappeared as some sources claimed. It will take a few months to get the complete report on the inspection trip.

IAEA experts have visited the republic twice before, in 1999 and 2002, in order to check how radioactive substances are kept. "All radioactive substances are stored properly, as the IAEA commission could see in 2002, and the terms of storage have not changed since then," the director of the Sukhumi Institute of Physical Engineering, Anatoly Markoly, said before the experts� visit. "The level of radiation at the institute and in Abkhazia does not exceed the norm," he said to ITAR-TASS.

Reuters reported earlier in June that the IAEA wanted to find any weapons-grade plutonium or highly enriched uranium that may have gone missing from a nuclear institute in Abkhazia. There are concerns that some 9 kg of plutonium may be missing, according to this report. But the authorities in the unrecognized republic denied this information.


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3.
Ignalina NPP closure costs $14.6 billion
Bellona Foundation
9/20/2005
(for personal use only)


The Lithuanian Parliament stated that Ignalina NPP closure ordered by the European Union would cost $14.6 billion.

The experts are afraid that Lithuania will not manage to fulfill its obligations concerning the plant�s shutdown due to the high costs. According to the experts' estimates $5 billion is required just to close the nuclear plant and accommodate the radioactive and nuclear waste. The rest $9.6 should cover the economical loss and social expenses. The Lithuanian government should also upgrade the existing electricity generation plants, build new and improve the system of electricity distribution in the republic, ITAR-TASS reported.

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4.
Radioactive metal found at Su-27 crash site
Interfax
9/20/2005
(for personal use only)


VILNIUS - Half of an air-to-air missile and about 2 kilos of radioactive metal were found at the scene where a Russian Su-27 fighter crashed in Lithuania last Thursday, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry's press service told Interfax.

"Specialists say the metal does not pose a direct danger to the people working at the crash site," the press service said.

The Russian Defense Ministry's flight security service chief Maj. Gen. Sergei Bainetov, who is involved in investigating the incident, earlier told the Lithuanian interagency investigative commission in writing that there were no substances dangerous to human health at the site.


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F.  Official Statements

1.
Remarks by Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Alexeyev at the Final Plenary Meeting of the Six-Party Talks on Resolving the Nuclear Problem of the Korean Peninsula
Alexander Alexeyev
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
9/21/2005
(for personal use only)


Beijing, September 19, 2005 -- First of all, I would like to join my colleague from the Republic of Korea and to express sincere appreciation to the Chinese side for its efforts undertaken to ensure the success of this round. What has been done today by our delegations is a significant step forward not only on the path to our common goal - the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula - but also a step forward to a future return to normalcy in the region that opens up possibilities for reaching political and economic solutions which can change the fate of this vast region.
We welcome the historic decision adopted by the DPRK to abandon nuclear weapons and all existing nuclear programs and to return, at an early date, to the NPT regime and the IAEA and regard it as a step that has ensured the success of this round. It is a wise and courageous decision.

We also welcome the joint decisions and statements of the other parties, as reflected in the outcome document, which we also regard as an important step forward to our common goal - the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. During the fourth round, the Russian delegation has repeatedly pledged its respect for the right of the DPRK to peaceful nuclear programs and consent to discuss at an appropriate time the subject of the provision of a light-water reactor to Pyongyang. We are satisfied with the fact that, owing to the efforts and good will of all the delegations, we have arrived at a compromise formula which guarantees the DPRK's future right to peaceful nuclear programs.

The Russian Federation will be ready, based on its national legislation and international obligations, to cooperate with all the participants of the six-party process in ensuring the success of these future programs.

The Russian side also notes the important provision of the joint document concerning the affirmation by the United States that it has no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and has no intention to attack or invade the DPRK with nuclear or conventional weapons. It is equally important that the United States and the DPRK have pledged respect for each other's sovereignty and their intention to coexist peacefully and to take steps to normalize relations in the context of existing political assumptions in the bilateral sphere. We believe that this is a very important part of the joint document. No less important is the fact that China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Russia have pledged their intention to give energy assistance to the DPRK and that the ROK has affirmed its willingness to supply the DPRK with 2 million kilowatts of electricity.

At the same time we understand that regardless of how important the step taken by us today is, we are still at the very beginning of the journey. We have to take a number of further important steps. We consider that we must seriously discuss the possibility of working out a roadmap clearly setting out the sequence of events envisaged by our joint statement and reflecting the principle of "action for action."

Much of what we have endorsed in this joint statement was considered impossible only a year and even a half-year ago. And yet, thanks to the efforts of all the delegations, the good will of the leaderships of our countries and the atmosphere of the compromise that has prevailed during the fourth round, we have managed to achieve success and work out the joint document. I am certain that if this atmosphere can possibly be preserved, then regardless of the complexity of the tasks that await us ahead, of how incredible or impossible they appear to us now, we shall find a way out of any situation and draw up a realistic roadmap which will lead us to our ultimate goal - the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Thank you.


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2.
Russian MFA Information and Press Department Commentary Regarding Questions from Interfax and Reuters Concerning the European Union's Resolution on the Iranian Nuclear Program Circulated at the IAEA Meeting
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
9/21/2005
(for personal use only)


Question: How could the Russian Foreign Ministry comment upon the European Union's resolution circulated at the IAEA meeting that calls on the IAEA to refer the question of the Iranian nuclear program to the Security Council of the United Nations?

Commentary: We presume that at the session of the Board of Governors (BG) of the IAEA (September 19-23) a thorough discussion will be held on all aspects of the situation around the Iranian nuclear program on the basis of the appropriate report of the Agency's Director General Mohamed ElBaradei of September 2.

We believe that this report creates a good basis for continuing quiet and depoliticized work within the IAEA on the soonest resolution of the problem. The report, as well as the Director General's remarks at the opening of the session of the Board of Governors on September 19 noted the good progress made regarding the rectification of Iran's past omissions in the implementation of the Safeguards Agreements and in the clarification of the questions still outstanding. Neither were any new facts of Iran's violation of its nonproliferation commitments unearthed. ElBaradei emphasized in his remarks that Teheran continues observing its obligations under the Safeguards Agreement and the Additional Protocol to it, providing in a timely manner access for the Agency's inspectors to nuclear materials and installations in Iran.

Of course, there remain a number of questions which require an additional investigation by the Agency. We are certain that with full and enterprising cooperation on the part of Iran they will all be resolved.

As to the Iran document submitted by the Europeans for the BG session, it is not yet about a draft of a resolution, but only about some of its elements, which have only just begun to be discussed.

We are ready to work with all interested countries on a draft IAEA BG resolution which would in a well-balanced manner assess the situation and facilitate a search for negotiated solutions concerning reliable safeguards for the peaceful orientation of Iran's nuclear program. We regard the proposals for a UN Security Council referral as being counterproductive and not conducive to the search of a solution to the Iranian problem by politico-diplomatic methods.


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3.
Transcript of Replies to Questions by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov at Press Conference Following Middle East Quartet Ministerial Meeting in New York on September 20, 2005
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
9/21/2005
(for personal use only)


Question: How do you evaluate prospects for the proclamation of the Middle East as a nuclear weapons free zone in view of the Egyptian initiative? And don't you think that with regard to this issue as it pertains to various states in the region that what we're doing here is applying a double standard?

Foreign Minister Lavrov: Russia supports the proposal of declaring the Middle East a zone free of weapons of mass destruction. This, by the way, is the position of the Security Council of the United Nations as well because this support was contained in a resolution which took stock of the war in Iraq back in 1991, and Resolution 687, which clearly states that it is in support of the idea of proclaiming the Middle East a zone which is free of nuclear weapons.

I agree with my American colleague, Secretary of State of the United States, that in order to achieve this initiative, of course we have to build up trust in the region and only in that context would be able to advance along the road to a comprehensive Middle East settlement. And I think that for all the complexities of conditions in the Middle East, we should not overdramatize the situation, for if we consistently make progress in the direction of a settlement we shall achieve our goal. I would also like to emphasize that good additional conditions for all this work are created by the well-known Arab initiative for normalizing relations between the Arabs and Israel. And of course, in this context it will be possible to talk in practical terms about implementing the proposal to establish in the Middle East the area free of weapons of mass destruction.

Question: Just one day after North Korea, during six-party talks, agreed to suspend and eventually dismantle its nuclear program, it's coming out and saying that it expects to get the light-water reactor for a civil nuclear program first. Does this mean that the deal is sort of null and void as it stands right now? Do you have to start from scratch?

Foreign Minister Lavrov: We have to be guided by the text of the agreement (the Beijing Declaration - note). The text was very carefully agreed upon and it was the subject of very difficult compromises, but it clearly sets forth the consecutiveness of the steps to be taken so that we might talk about assistance in the development of nuclear energy in North Korea. I do not think that we should rely on oral statements that could be misinterpreted, but we do need to rely on the text of the agreement itself. The most important thing now is to see to it that this agreement start to be implemented in practice, for which purpose there is a lot of work to do and we hope that it will begin soon.


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4.
PRESS RELEASE: On the Upcoming Conference to Facilitate the Entry Into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
9/20/2005
(for personal use only)


The Fourth Conference of the States Parties to the CTBT will take place in New York on September 21-23. The previous conferences were held in Vienna (1999 and 2003) and New York (2001).

The principal tasks of the upcoming forum are to facilitate the entry into force of the CTBT, and to impart to it a universal character, as well as to mobilize world public opinion in support of the Treaty as an important and necessary step along the road to further nuclear arms limitation and reduction and the strengthening of the nonproliferation regime.

The Conference will have to consider the quandary in which the Treaty has found itself, and to approve the measures directed towards the speediest entry into force of the CTBT.

The Russian delegation at the forum has the instruction to help its successful holding in every way.


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G.  Items of Interest

1.
Megatons to Megawatts Eliminates Equivalent of 10,000 Nuclear Warheads; President Bush Cites Program as Model of U.S-Russian Cooperation; America's Utilities Operating Nuclear Power Plants Make the Program Successful
Business Wire
9/21/2005
(for personal use only)
http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_vie..


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2.
Russia Assesses The North Korea Six-Party Agreement
Stephen Blank
Eurasia Daily Monitor
9/21/2005
(for personal use only)
http://jamestown.org/edm/article.php?article_id=2370242


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3.
Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1997-2004 (RL33051)
Richard F. Grimmett
Congressional Research Service
8/29/2005
(for personal use only)
http://fas.org/asmp/resources/govern/109th/CRSRL33051.pdf


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

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