Iran has no intercontinental ballistic missiles, Russia's defense minister said Friday.
"I would like to reassure the global community," said Sergei Ivanov, answering a question on Iran's tests of a new medium-range missile this week. "Iran only has medium-range missiles."
Concerns about Iran's missile capability have been growing since the Islamic Republic announced its intention to resume nuclear research in January and the country's hard-line president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, made a number of controversial remarks, including a call to wipe Israel "off the face of the map."
"Only two countries do not have and cannot have such [medium-range] missiles - these are Russia and the U.S.," Ivanov said referring to arms treaties between the two countries. "At the same time, the number of countries that can have medium-range missiles is growing."
A number of countries have expressed alarm over Iran's controversial nuclear programs and have pushed for the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on the country, as they suspect that Tehran is using its civilian-energy programs to disguise military projects.
Russia has been at the forefront of efforts to solve the escalating crisis diplomatically and as a permanent member of the UN Security Council could veto measures against Iran. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has already questioned the efficacy of sanctions on a number of occasions.
Moscow has offered to enrich Iranian uranium - a vital component in both civilian energy and military projects - in Russia. But Tehran said in March that it would enrich a small amount of the radioactive substance anyway, an announcement that was greeted with widespread condemnation.
Ivanov, a deputy prime minister as well as being responsible for the defense brief, said he hoped "the Iranian leadership will display more prudence."
2. Russia Profile Weekly Experts Panel: A New Round of Diplomacy Related to the Iranian Nuclear Program
Andrei Zagorski, Andrey Seregin, Andrey Lebedev, Anthony T. Salvia, Yury E. Fedorov and Nikolas Gvozdev
(for personal use only)
Last week, multilateral diplomacy within the UN Security Council on Iranian’s nuclear program yielded its first results. The Security Council passed a “presidential statement,” a non-binding declaration expressing the lowest level of agreement among council members.
The statement called on Iran to comply with the International Atomic Energry Agency’s (IAEA) request to suspend all enrichment-related activity and to return to negotiations. Tehran was given 30 days to respond, although it rejected the council's request for a suspension of uranium enrichment within hours.
The U.S. State Department proclaimed the Security Council statement an important diplomatic step that increased Iran’s isolation from the international community. The critics called the measure “toothless.”
On Sunday, an editorial in The Washington Post noted: “It took more than three weeks of concentrated effort by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other senior officials to produce a non-binding declaration that omits any hint of more serious action. Its issuance was accompanied by public statements from the Russian and Chinese foreign ministers and the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency explicitly opposing sanctions.”
Russia continues to push for its plan to create a joint venture with Iran on uranium enrichment on Russian territory, while Iran countered with an offer to set up such a joint venture with Russia, France and China, but only on Iranian soil. Iran continues to play for time while pursuing its experiments with uranium enrichment technologies.
Some in Washington seem to be willing to use the Iran issue to the maximum advantage in pressuring Russian President Vladimir Putin to side completely with the U.S. hard-line position on Iran ahead of this year’s G8 summit in St. Petersburg, or to face the consequences of a humiliating rebuff by at least some G8 members.
The Washington Post editorial last Sunday called for “First of all, greater cooperation from Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin so far has been the biggest winner in the diplomatic maneuvering. The Bush administration's hope that Putin will help explains why it has failed to react to Russian provocations in much of the rest of the world. So the first step toward a more effective Iran policy is to call Putin's bluff. If he does not share the interest of the other Group of Eight nations in punishing the Iranian leadership for its pursuit of nuclear weapons, then there should be no further reason to treat him as an ally. He should be asked for a decision before he hosts the G8 summit in St. Petersburg this summer. If Putin decides not to cooperate with the West, then the United States can still forge a coalition against Iran outside the Security Council. European governments that want to prevent an Iranian bomb – and want to create an alternative to military action by the United States or Israel – could be persuaded to agree on sanctions that target Iranian leaders and their assets, exports of materials that could be used in nuclear facilities, or new investment in Iran's oil industry. Even such a limited sanctions regime would be preferable to endless, empty discussions at the Security Council or the International Atomic Energy Agency.”
Western intelligence reports, as described in the Western media, caution that Iran might reciprocate against the U.S. military action to take out its nuclear facilities by unleashing a wave of terror attacks against U.S. targets worldwide.
Some experts predict that the diplomatic track will eventually succeed, with Iran accepting the Russian proposal after a serious of face-saving steps to demonstrate its ability to perform uranium enrichment experiments in Iranian laboratories. Iran will then have to put its existing enrichment equipment under the IAEA seal.
So what is going on here? Where is the multilateral diplomacy on Iran headed? What could be the shape of an acceptable compromise that would satisfy all parties concerned? Will U.S. President George W. Bush take the Post’s advice and lean hard on his friend, Vladimir Putin, threatening to embarrass him at the G8 summit if Moscow does not play ball on Iran? What is Russia’s game in this? Will Putin be amenable to Western pressure? Or would he go his own way on Iran, as Russian public opinion seems to be demanding of him? What are the next steps for the UN on Iran? Will there finally be a Chapter 7 resolution?
Andrei Zagorski, Associated Professor, MGIMO-University:
The UN Security Council compromise on Iran is definitely not a failure. Not yet. Although neither is it any assurance that the multilateral diplomacy will work this time. In the past, including the 15 years after the end of the Cold War, it has failed more often than it has succeeded.
The pattern is similar to many previous crises. The United States is stepping up the pressure on Iran. Sending the file to the Security Council is one step on this escalation path. There are more steps to go within the Council. Should all the steps ultimately fail, bypassing the Security Council would be an option, although not an easy one.
The European trio is now also playing hardball, although the British, French and Germans would diverge on the issue of how far this should go. Any coercive action outside the UN would be problematic for the Germans and the French.
China and, in particular, Russia have a different problem. They can neither afford for the United States to act outside the UN framework, nor would they like to endorse a Chapter 7 resolution that would give the Americans an excuse for further action.
This diverse picture leaves Tehran space for maneuvering. It has not yet given any indication as to how far it would go with a compromise. If the pressure from the Security Council is credible enough (which it is not, for the moment), there would be more incentives for Tehran to cooperate.
We don’t know what the ultimate deal could be. We even don’t know whether Tehran would find the pressure from the UN credible enough. However, if there is a negotiated deal, it will be finessed between Iran and the United States, bypassing Moscow. The more worrying development is that Washington is reluctant to engage Iran, outsourcing the job to the Europeans and Moscow, knowing that these paths can lead nowhere.
Iran is becoming the key issue for the G8 summit this summer and, thus, a test case for the Russian presidency, which has already faltered badly following Moscow’s moves to ruin its image as a reliable energy supplier over its gas dispute with Ukraine, and engaged in a dispute with other G8 members over controversial NGO legislation.
The evolution of the Russia’s policy on Iran could determine how Moscow’s presidency is seen in the long term, as well as the question of Russia’s continued participation in the group.
By siding with China against other G8 members in opposing credible pressure on Iran, Moscow risks a disastrous summit.
Today, Tehran’s tactics in multilateral diplomacy within and outside of the UN Security Council are rather clear – play your cards, and quit just before you start to lose. This traditional Middle Eastern dialogue pattern might well explain Tehran’s latest steps. Remember, Saddam Hussein was also playing for time, but crossed the line and lost miserably. So, the Iranians have quite an instructive example from which to learn, although they want to continue pursuing their experiments with uranium enrichment technologies.
The big problem with the Iranian policymakers seems to be the suicidal nature of Middle Eastern politics in general. Being heavily marred with ideological anti-Israeli and anti-Western perceptions, they are always prone to going beyond the point of no return. Compared to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hussein was a secular and relatively sober-minded bully, but he still failed to call his bets in at the most convenient moment. Today, the heated rhetoric of the Iranian president and consistent demonstrations of military capabilities leave virtually no room for the belief that a nuclear-armed Iran will be more likely to negotiate than an Iran without nukes. Isn’t this a logical ground for taking preventive action?
Bush is in his lame-duck period with his approval ratings at the lowest point in his presidency. He now has very few real opportunities left to secure his legacy, and stopping Iran’s nuclear threat might just provide him with such a chance. At this point, Bush seems to be nearly immune either to a further slide in the opinion polls or to the opinion of other Security Council members. Moreover, he’s constrained by nothing but this legacy – his only justification for heavy American casualties in Iraq is the simple fact that, for half a decade since 2001, there has been no major terrorist attack on American soil. So, the louder the talk of Iranian retaliation and threats from Tehran, the more likely is the drive for preemptive action in the White House.
According to the latest opinion polls (CNN/USA Today/Gallup, FoxNews, CBS News etc.), a clear majority of Americans are sure Iran will eventually get nuclear weapons and think Tehran should be contained – either by diplomatic means, or using military force (air strikes and ground troops). Still, diplomacy is the option favored today by more than twice as many respondents than those who favor military action. But if the Iraqi case is to be any guide, this opinion is subject to change – the more Tehran tries to go back and forth with Washington and its partners, the less likely American voters will opt for a peaceful solution to the problem.
Though some in Washington seem to be willing to use the Iran issue to press Putin ahead of the G8 summit, the current Russian stance in negotiations with Iran does not fit The Washington Post’s assertion that Putin has so far been the biggest winner in the diplomatic maneuvering. Whatever may be the economic outcome of the conflict over Iranian nuclear program, Russia is bound to loose politically – just the same way France did with Iraq: demonstrating neither political ability to press the peaceful option within the UN, nor it’s will to impose an internationally-agreed upon compromise on hardliners. So, the prospective final compromise might not bear any Russian imprint.
Russia has to start revising its policy towards Tehran to revitalize its mediator stance and make Iran more attentive to Russian proposals. A possible step could be stepping back a bit in the deal-making to let Iran again feel the need for Moscow’s partnership in negotiating with the West.
Andrey Lebedev, former political editor for Izvestia:
Washington seems to be in a no-win situation on this one. Standing almost no chance of persuading Teheran to give up its strategic dream, the United States is too outstretched to be able to support its position with anything besides half-baked diplomatic sanctions. Anything more could backfire. Besides, America hasn’t had leverage over Iran since Jimmy Carter froze Iranian assets in the United States and downsized the Iranian embassy in Washington to 2 employees.
So the Bush administration looks for a surrogate culprit and finds it in Moscow. Russia can’t try anything more effective against Tehran than the United States could, but Washington simply cannot afford to lose this battle, so they have designated someone else to be responsible for it.
So far, Russian foreign policy makers managed to stand their ground. If they continue to supply their Atlantic counterparts with solid evidence of trying their best to talk Iran out of its domestic- nuclear-enrichment scheme, there is good chance of avoiding anything more than harsh rhetoric before and during the G8 summit.
Moscow’s task is not complicated by the necessity to pretend. It is not in Russia’s best interest to encourage a fundamentalist Islamic state accused of supporting international terrorism going nuclear. On the other hand, it would be wrong to show that Russia has caved in under American pressure. So, the diplomatic war will go on until Russia exhausts its proposals towards Iran. And that might mean there is still a long way to go, covering the G8 summit as well. When it happens, though, and Tehran openly challenges the international community (as it most certainly will), Moscow might be willing to support harsh anti-Iranian measures.
Anthony T. Salvia, former director of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Moscow Programming Center:
Allow me to address mainly the matter of The Washington Post’s advice to Bush.
It might seem strange that, at a time when the United States faces a grave challenge in Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons, some in the United States – the Washington Post for instance –seem b
[The remainder of the discussion has not been posted.]
3. Russia, Germany Taking Every Effort to Prevent Iran Gaining Nuclear Weapons
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Russia and Germany are going to take all necessary diplomatic efforts to prevent Iran's manufacturing nuclear weapons, German Defence Minister Franz-Josef Jung said after his talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday.
Lavrov is in Berlin with a two-day visit.
The preservation of a nuclear-free Iran meets the interests of Russia and Germany, and the two countries are going to advocate in the UN Security Council the resolution of this problem the negotiating table, Jung said. He highly praised the Russian-German partner relations.
He expressed hope that the contacts at the Russia-NATO Council and cooperation in the implementation of the security strategy would get new development.
Jung also expressed satisfaction with successful cooperation with Russia in the multilateral project SALIS to transport NATO's military cargoes to "flash points" and areas of natural disasters.
The project involves Russia's military transport planes Ruslan that are permanently stationed at the Leipzig-Halle base in Saxony.
Russia also aids Germany in stabilisation in Afghanistan, the minister stressed, citing it as another example of fruitful cooperation.
4. Russia: Foreign Minister Offers Iran Nuclear Problem Solution Strategy
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The strategy of the solution of the Iranian nuclear programme "is to offer Iran a package of measures," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said here on Thursday addressing the German business and political communities.
"The first thing is a moratorium that should be in effect until the nature of the Iranian nuclear programme is clarified," the Russian foreign minister said. "The second - the provision of a modern civilian technology to Iran and the third - Teheran's participation in the regional dialogue," Lavrov pointed out. Unfortunately, the minister noted, the plan "was rejected by Iran's new President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. At talks with him, we were considering steps that should be taken in this situation," Lavrov indicated.
According to the minister, the purpose of the foreign ministers' meeting in Berlin last week was "to find ways of ensuring the fulfilment of these tasks." "Neither threats nor pressure can be applied in this case," Lavrov stressed. "However, the Iran's stance does not help to settle the problem," he added. "Russia from the very start supported the EU Troika efforts," the foreign minister said. "Besides, we offered to use our own possibilities in Iran," he added.
"It is necessary to rely on the professional analysis of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the agency should continue handling this process," Lavrov stressed. "However, the experience of cooperation in the settlement of the Iranian problem is a good illustration of how the leading powers are together analysing and choosing the tactics of actions on world problems," he pointed out.
The minister noted that the Russian proposal on the establishment of a JV for uranium enrichment for Iran on Russian soil remains in force. "At present the key task should be ensuring the fulfilment of the Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by Iran," the Russian foreign minister said.
5. Impasse at Russian-Iranian enrichment talks may be broken - Kosachyov
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The impasse in Russian-Iranian negotiations on the creation of a uranium enrichment joint venture may soon be broken, State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachyov told Interfax on Wednesday.
"At this stage the negotiations are in stalemate. Iran is not going to give up plans to enrich uranium on its territory. However, this does not mean that the stalemate will not be broken," Kosachyov said.
6. Iran Preparing Weapons for Retaliatory Strike Against United States and Israel
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On Monday (3 April), certain Russian and world media relayed some sensational news: Iran's armory includes around 250 Soviet-made nuclear charges that the former Ukrainian authorities are alleged to have transferred to this country.
Army General Yuriy Baluyevskiy, chief of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff, immediately rebutted this report. "I do not comment on such information," he stated to your Rossiyskaya Gazeta correspondent. "In any event, I can assure you that the Russian General Staff does not have at its disposal any data that Ukraine has sold or conveyed nuclear munitions to anyone, including Iran."
It is noteworthy that the release of such "explosive" information to the media came on the very same day that a secret conference was taking place in London, according to information in the.
At this conference, US and British military leaders were due to discuss possible targets for air strikes on Iranian territory. As the publication claims, Iranian nuclear facilities are to be the target of the attack. Furthermore, as anonymous sources at the UK Foreign Office report, an attack on Tehran looks inevitable unless the "ayatollahs' regime" implements the UN demands to freeze its uranium enrichment program. It is obvious that the Washington and London propaganda machine is gaining momentum. A logical explanation is being offered to the world community: Iran, it is argued, has Soviet-made nuclear warheads in its armory and thus threatens peace. After this, who is going to object to a military solution to the Iranian problem?
British Defence Ministry representatives believe that the operation against Iran will boil down to the launching of air strikes against targets on the country's territory. A ground operation is not being considered at the present time. As the experts are saying, if Tomahawk tactical cruise missiles are launched from the ships and submarines of the future anti-Iranian coalition in the Persian Gulf, they will strike Iran's air defense systems around the nuclear facilities.
This will enable B-2 bombers, capable of carrying satellite-guided BLU-28 bombs weighing up to 20 tonnes that are used to destroy underground bunkers, to hit targets in the Iran. Furthermore, the bombers could take off from Diego Garcia, the US Navy base in the Indian Ocean, the British base at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, or a US base in Missouri.
At the same time, the White House believes, and not without reason, that Iran will launch a retaliatory strike against Israel or the US troops stationed in the region. For example, at the Incirlik airbase in Turkey.
According to US special services information, there are at least eight facilities in Iran where nuclear materials are produced. However, the experts are presuming that there is a secret network of uranium enrichment installations in the country.
However, Tehran is playing its own "counter game." In response to the West's psychological and strong-arm pressure, the Iranian military are carrying out military maneuvers known as Muhammad -- Prophet of Allah (as published -- reference to Noble Prophet exercises) in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman -- these are the biggest maneuvers in the recent past. Around 18,000 servicemen, and thousands of units of naval combat equipment, aviation, and ground troops are taking part in them.
During these exercises, the "ayatollahs' regime" has clearly demonstrated its very latest military developments: The Iranian-produced Fajr-3 ballistic missile, which is invisible to radar and capable of hitting several targets at the same time, and also a super-speed torpedo.
As Morteza Safari, commander of the Iranian Navy, has confirmed, the "maneuvers are designed to counter the psychological war that has been unleashed against Iran and also to increase the Armed Forces' defense capability."
Comparative Tables of Iraqi and Iranian Armed Forces
Iraq (data for 2001)
Overall strength of country's Armed Forces (in thousands)
Ground troops (in thousands)
Artillery and mortars
Air Force (aircraft)
Armed Forces reserve (in thousands)
7 million (as published)
around 1 million
around 20 million
6 small surface craft
26 ships, 170 small surface craft, 3 submarines
40 Shahab-3 tactical missiles (range up to 2000 km)
7. Senior Russian MP Lashes Out at Iran Over “Flexing Muscles”
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The chairman of the Russian State Duma (lower chamber of parliament) International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachyov has said that the latest demonstration of military force by Iran was inappropriate, RIA Novosti reported.
“I think that such a demonstration of force by Tehran is not quite appropriate now, as nobody, not even the most radical opponents of Iran’s nuclear programme in the U.S., is discussing the use of force, even hypothetically,” Kosachyov said.
His comments followed the Iran’s testing of a new Fajr-3 missile during a military exercise in the Persian Gulf on April 2.
Such actions by Iran are counter-productive and do not create the necessary atmosphere of trust at consultations and talks about the Iranian nuclear programme, the parliamentarian said.
The technical and tactical characteristics of the Iranian missile remain unknown, Kosachyov indicated. “So far we have nothing except the assertion by the Iranian military and by politicians that it is superior to other similar missiles, but I see no reason to believe these statements,” he said.
Kosachyov believes that the missile test and the discussions on Iran’s nuclear programme by the international community are connected.
“It is obvious that Tehran is flexing its muscles to forestall any discussion of a possible use of force against Iran,” he said.
Kosachyov also thinks that Iran should give more attention to the negotiations on setting up a joint venture for uranium enrichment with Russia instead of demonstrating force.
“I would be happy if Tehran showed more flexibility on the well-known Russian offer of joint uranium enrichment instead of staking everything on the demonstration of new kinds of arms,” he said.
8. Ukrainian Defense Ministry Says No Nuclear Charges in Transfer to Russia
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Ukraine has fully met its international obligations concerning the handover of former Soviet nuclear charges to Russia, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry's press service said in a statement circulated on Monday.
The ministry refuted allegations that 250 charges had been lost while being transferred, which could have found their way to Iran or other countries.
"Not a single charge has been lost. This is proved by documents belonging to both the Russian and Ukrainian sides," the statement quotes Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and Chief of the General Staff Colonel-General Serhiy Kyrychenko as saying.
9. Russian Expert Denies Loss of Nuclear Warheads During Transition From Ukraine
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The allegations that several hundred nuclear warheads were forfeited during the transition of Ukraine's nuclear potential to Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union are nonsense, Retired Colonel General Yevgeny Maslin, ex-chief of 12th main directorate of the Russian Defense Ministry, told Interfax-Military News Agency Monday.
"This is patent nonsense explained by some journalists' striving for cheap sensations. All nukes stored in Ukraine as of the time when the USSR broke apart were removed to Russia," said the general, who was in charge of the directorate responsible for the security of Russian nuclear arsenals during that time.
According to him, the nuclear warheads were taken out from Ukraine under his personal authority. "We moved tactical nukes first, and then strategic charges," he said.
Maslin added that the U.S. was also involved in the process and made a tangible contribution to it, talking Ukraine into giving up its nuclear programs. "We joined forces with Americans then to persuade Ukraine to hand over its nuclear arsenals to Russia," he said.
According to him, there are documents and general deeds on nuclear warhead transfer available still now. "Presence of each and every nuclear munition was checked may times. It was not in our interests to lose even a single such warhead, because it would have poses a great danger for our country first of all," he said.
After the nukes were taken away from Ukraine, several air-launched Kh-55 missiles still remained there, Maslin noted. "As far as I know, the missiles were scrapped under U.S. supervision," he said.
On Monday some media outlets quoted a representative of the political faction headed by Yuliya Tymoshenko as saying the difference between the number of warheads the Ukraine handed over to Russia and the number of them accepted by Russia at that time is 250.
Head of the Federal Agency of Russia for Atomic Energy (or Rosatom) and Putin aide, Mr Sergei V. Kirienko, will seek to leverage the predictability in Indo-Russian strategic partnership when he holds talks with Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar on the possibility of Moscow bagging the orders for building four more nuclear reactors at Kudankulam.
Mr Kirienko will arrive in India on a five-day visit that will take him to Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram, Kudankulam nuclear power plants near Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu, New Delhi and a short sightseeing trip to Agra. His visit will come in sharp contrast to the prevailing uncertainty in the United States Congress about the nuclear deal with India.
As Washington battles a sceptical Congress, Anatoly Antonov, director of Russian foreign ministry's security and disarmament department, has said, "(India) is a rapidly developing country with a good non-proliferation record. We should probably make an exception in this case without adopting new norms that may erode the non-proliferation regime."
Russia has agreed to supply up to 60 tonnes of low-enriched uranium tablets as fuel for the first and second reactors of the Tarapur nuclear power plants. The first consignment has been delivered. In 2001, Russia had exported 58 tonnes of fuel to India. Two units of 1000 MW each at Kudankulam, which are under international safeguards, have been supplied by Russia.
Mr Kirienko's visit follows a tour by the officials from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The Russian official will arrive in Mumbai on Thursday (6 Apr) and travel to Thiruvananthapuram the next day for talks with Dr Kakodkar. He will visit the Kudankulam nuclear plants on Saturday (8 Apr) and reach Delhi on Sunday evening. He is expected to visit Agra.
Mr Kirienko will begin his visit a day after US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice has testified before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. She will testify before the House International Relations Committee on Thursday. Mr Kirienko's visit precedes the visits by the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Mr Dennis Hastert, and other Congressmen.
The head of Russia’s nuclear energy agency arrives here on Friday to see if Moscow can procure orders for four units of 1000 MW each to be built at the Kudankulam atomic power plant in Tamil Nadu.
Russia has supplied uranium fuel to India for the Tarapur nuclear power plant in defiance of a ban by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), and is also involved in the construction of the first two units of the Kudankulam plant. Atomic Energy Department Chairman Anil Kakodkar will take Rosatom chief Sirgei Kirienko, also a former Russian prime minister, to the Kudankulam plant, the first-ever visit to the site by a Russian atomic energy chief.
Like Tarapur, Kudankulam is under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards and so Russia can supply fuel to this power plant as well. Government sources say that Russia does not want to jump the gun and start supplies to India, but it does want to sign deals to seize the maximum business from India the moment the NSG ban on any country supplying nuclear material or equipment is lifted. They said India may even be able to get Russia to provide uranium ore from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, which are said to have the biggest uranium mines in the region.
After having supplied uranium fuel for the Tarapur atomic energy plant defying the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Russians are quickly moving into position. They are sniffing for future orders for nuclear power plants from India.
In an indication of Russia stepping up its interest to position itself as a future supplier of additional nuclear power reactors, the chief of Rosatom (Federal Nuclear Energy Agency), Sergei Kirienko, is scheduled to arrive in India on April 7.
Referred to as "Mr High Tech" in the Russian media, Kirienko is a liberal and has the reputation of being a good manager.
In the immediate future, Russia expects to get the orders for adding four more units--of 1000 mw (megawatts) each--to the Kudankulam atomic power plant in Tamil Nadu. This, the Russians believe, can happen once the doors for civilian nuclear co-operation with India are opened by the Nuclear Suppliers Group, made of countries that are entitled to sell technology and equipment to produce nuclear power.
Although that may take some time, Kirienko will visit Kudankulam on April 8. Kirienko, a former Prime Minister and a trusted lieutenant of President Vladimir Putin, was appointed the head of Rosatom in November 2005.
Kirienko was brought in to give a concrete shape to Russia's plans of expanding its civilian nuclear sector. Nuclear energy supplies 17 per cent of all electricity in Russia and this is expected to increase to 25 per cent by 2025.
Anil Kakodkar, the chairman of the Department of Atomic Energy, will accompany Kirienko to Kudankulam. This will be the first time a Russian atomic energy chief will be visiting the site which already has two power generating units of 1000 mw each supplied by Russia. Both are under international safeguards.
Four more nuclear power reactors are planned to be built at the Kudankulam site which has already been cleared for a total of six units of 1000 mw each. Since Russia is building two units, it expects that it will be approached for putting up the additional four units also.
According to reliable sources, Russia has larger ambitions of doing business in India in the nuclear sector but will concentrate on Kudankulam for the moment.
The Russians believe they are in an advantageous position there as the Department of Atomic Energy may not want more than one country to work at this site.
India is also looking at Russia as a facilitator--if not a provider--of uranium supplies for its future needs. Because of its large civilian nuclear energy programme, Russia is itself looking for securing future sources of uranium. However, it can also supply uranium ore to India should a country like Australia, for example, does not.
Kazakhstan is the biggest source of uranium in the region and the Russians have already moved in to tie up supplies from there and even Uzbekistan which also has deposits.
1. Limits on Russian nuclear fuel supplies to U.S. unprofitable
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Restrictions dating back 15 years on Russia's nuclear fuel supplies to the United States are unprofitable for both countries, a senior official with Russia's nuclear-technology exporter said Friday.
Lyudmila Zalimskaya, a deputy director of Technosnabexport, told RIA Novosti U.S.-based companies were unable to buy Russian-made centrifuge technologies because of a 1992 anti-dumping decision that had led to an unjustified rise in prices and market monopolization for U.S. enrichment companies.
Zalimskaya said the restrictions on U.S. imports of Russian low-enriched uranium "prevented American energy companies from acquiring access to centrifuge uranium enrichment technologies and Russian suppliers from exporting their products on competitive terms."
Restrictions were in place during the Cold War, but the collapse of the Soviet Union engendered more complications when Russia started to supply markets with naturally occurring uranium, which led to a fall in prices. The U.S. imposed trade restrictions and Russia can now only supply uranium through special mediator firms.
The U.S., Russia and the European Union are key players on the nuclear fuel market and use two uranium enrichment technologies: diffusion and centrifuge.
"The first is very expensive and inefficient, whereas Russia uses more progressive centrifuge uranium enrichment technology," Zalimskaya said.
Zalimskaya said the caps were not in the interests of either Russia or the U.S.
"Furthermore, these restrictions impede the normal, consistent advancement of our countries in cooperation on various civilian energy projects," Zalimskaya said.
2. Russia Aims To Fill 20-30 % Of Japan Low-enriched Uranium Market
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Russia intends to fill 20-30 percent of Japan's low-enriched uranium market, Vladimir Smirnov, the head of Tekhsnabeksport company that is one of the world's major suppliers of nuclear materials, told Itar-Tass here on Thursday.
He said the share of Russia, represented by Tekhsnabeksport, made up only ten percent, while the United States remains Japan's main partner in the area. "We proceed from the view that diversification of the supply will be of advantage to Japanese clients and are ready to have regard for their interests," Smirnov said.
Tekhsnabeksport presently has an office in Tokyo but has to operate through American companies in that market.
Ashiro Otsuka, representative of the Japanese Shimitomo Corporation, in an interview to Itar-Tass expressed the hope that cooperation between Japan and Russia in the sphere of nuclear energetics would expand. Japan is much in need of reliable suppliers of enriched uranium, such as Russia, Otsuka said. He was a delegate to the Global Nuclear Fuel Cycle 2006 international conference here.
3. Russia's Atomstroiexport Foreign Orders May Top $25 Billion
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Atomstroiexport orders for building nuclear power plants abroad may total $25 billion, First Vice-President Alexander Glukhov told a Thursday roundtable held on the sidelines of the forum of Russian Fuel and Energy Industry in the 21st Century.
The company's portfolio of orders exceeds $4.5 billion. Atomstroiexport is building nuclear power plants in India, China and Iran, and modernizing the Kozlodui nuclear power plant in Bulgaria.
"The possible portfolio of orders of Russian nuclear machine building plants may top $25 billion," he said. It is a matter of markets where Russia has been traditionally present since the Soviet period - Bulgaria, Hungary, China, India, Iran and Central and Southeast Asia. New markets may add to the portfolio, Glukhov said.
China is implementing a major nuclear power plant program, he said. "This is a colossal order and the world is short of companies to meet it, giving Russia a chance to build facilities in China," he said.
Russian nuclear technology is in international demand because its worth has been proven, Glukhov said.
Atomstroiexport is one of the world's leading contractors in the construction of nuclear power plants.
4. Techsnabexport Says Russia May Face Uranium Shortage By 2035
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Russia could face a uranium shortage by 2035 unless efforts are made in the near future to speed up exploration at new deposits, Vladimir Servetnik, the deputy general director of Russian nuclear materials exporter Techsnabexport, told a roundtable during the Russian Fuel and Energy in the 21st Century forum.
Servetnik said Russia's overall uranium resources were estimated at 615,000 tonnes and that probable resources were around 830,000 tonnes, but that Russia was only mining half the uranium it actually needs.
Russia's demand for uranium will run to approximately 8,300 tonnes in 2006 but this will soar to 18,000 tonnes by 2020, according to Techsnabexport. Russia's TVEL corporation is only mining just over 3,000 tonnes per year.
Servetnik said that nuclear agency Rosatom, subsoil agency Rosnedra and the Russian Natural Resources Ministry had created a commission which was working on a plan of action to increase Russian uranium output by 2020. He said the ministry had already decided to double financing for uranium exploration starting this year, and planned to sustain that level in the next few years.
Rosatom is drafting a mineral development strategy for the nuclear industry to the year 2020. Servetnik said he thought Russia should be looking to mine uranium abroad as well as in the country itself. He said the Zarechnoye joint venture between Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan would produce its first uranium as early as this year.
In addition, he said Russia should be doing more to locate new deposits. He said Yakutia (the Elkon deposit) and the Eastern Trans- Baikal could potentially yield 2,000 tonnes of uranium annually.
The wholly state-owned Techsnabexport is Russia's biggest exporter of nuclear materials and related services. The company has an estimated 40% of the world market.
Sergey Kiriyenko, the newly-installed head of the Russian government’s nuclear department Rosatom, explained some details of the country’s upcoming nuclear restructuring to the World Nuclear Fuel Cycle meeting on 5 April. The powerful leader wants to see a resurgence of nuclear build in Russia and a global nuclear fuel cycle with Russia at its very heart.
Speaking through an interpreter at the World Nuclear Fuel Cycle 2006 meeting (organised by the World Nuclear Association and the Nuclear Energy Institute) at the Hong Kong Sheraton hotel, Kiriyenko outlined the new Russian strategy, starting at home: Moscow planners have realised that earlier projections of the country’s electricity demand were inaccurate, and that arrangements should be made to increase power production at 1.5 times the previously anticipated rate. He said that would make necessary a “drastic restructuring” of Russia’s power industry.
Although Russia is rich in resources, Kiriyenko said that it would not be economic to keep the same supply mix, and that it is president Vladimir Putin’s “mission” to see nuclear’s share of generation increase from the current 16% to a level of 23-25% by 2020, and to 25% by 2030. That would require the construction of two 1000-1100MWe LWRs each year. The units would be expected to have an estimated lifespan of 60 years and a construction period of five years. He said the first projects of the new wave would begin in 2007.
A “serious reorganization” of the Russian nuclear sector is also planned, seeing more separation of civil and military nuclear facilities, with the creation of "shareholding companies" that would embrace all aspects of the fuel cycle and power generation. The new companies would operate to international standards of transparency.
Russia’s view of the fuel cycle has also been transformed from that of a national undertaking to an international one. Kiriyenko said that there is currently a major contradiction between the individual nature of most countries’ nuclear fuel capabilities and the international nature of other services, such as manufacturing and design. Isolated development of nuclear energy, Kiriyenko said, is the heritage of the Cold War and makes no sense in the modern business world. Nuclear cooperation between nations began during the nuclear boom of the 1970s, but was stymied by the lack of trust that existed then between nations. It is Russia’s view that those conditions have passed, and the industry must adapt to its new circumstances.
Putin’s Russia also wants to break down trade barriers. Rosatom considers it important to prepare and sign peaceful nuclear cooperation agreements (‘Section 123’ agreements) with countries with which it has not already done so, and open markets to Russian nuclear products. First on the list would be US antidumping controls; second, quotas that restrict Russian uranium products in Europe. Kiriyenko intends to solve these obstacles with market methods in line with legislation in the countries involved.
Russia will be working to promote cooperation, which Kiriyenko considers to be of “primary importance” during its presidency of the G8 groups of industrialised nations. It is his view that solving security of supply problems would be impossible without the consolidated efforts of the international community.
But as well as security of supply, the international community can do much to help international nuclear security through fuel cycle cooperation. The Rosatom head explained that as climate change concerns are acted upon in national policy, more and more countries will turn to nuclear energy, creating a serious non-proliferation challenge. Kiriyenko said that limiting nations’ nuclear development would slow the battle against energy poverty and instead proposed that two stages of the nuclear fuel cycle be taken into international hands: uranium enrichment and spent nuclear fuel management.
Russia would welcome international joint ventures that could supply nuclear fuel services. Kiriyenko believes that such “centres” would give secure supplies of fuel as well as provide the very best non-proliferation safeguards. He said that they could be operated under the IAEA, and that joint ventures on reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel and MOX fuel production would also be possible. Another possibility would be international pools of expertise allowing global legislation, design certification, licensing and training among other things.
His conclusion was that Russia is ready and confident that its expertise could be of great value to such projects: “Russia will be an active player and participate in designing the rules” of the new global fuel market.
Stephen Goldberg of the USA’s Argonne National Laboratory welcomed Kiriyenko’s words. He has drawn up a scheme whereby operators could purchase MWd from a “virtual fuel bank” and leave an international mechanism to supply the fuel itself. Goldberg told NEI that the international fuel cycle will be a reality one day soon, and although Russia’s plans differ from the USA’s Global Nuclear Energy Partnership the emergence of a political synergy between the two nations on this topic was a positive development.
Russia may scrap a five percent import tariff on natural and depleted uranium to breathe new life into its faltering uranium enrichment sector, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said Tuesday.
Russia holds a 40 percent global market share for uranium enrichment services. Despite large untapped uranium reserves, mining has been on the decline for lack of investment, and the country has relied on imports to maintain its market share.
The ministry said in a statement on its web site that officials from a state body responsible for drafting resolutions on customs tariffs recommended scrapping the duty at a meeting on Monday. (Reuters)
7. Russian Academy of Sciences To Take Part In Nuclear Industry Projects
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Researchers of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAN) will participate in all projects for the development of the Russian nuclear power industry, head of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) Sergei Kiriyenko told journalists on Friday after signing an agreement between Rosatom and RAN. According to Kiriyenko, "The three-year agreement is taking effect starting from today." The document creates the regulatory framework for cooperation between research institutes and laboratories of the RAN with Rosatom enterprises.
RAN President Yuri Osipov pointed out that "now it will be possible to conclude real agreements between the scientists and institutes of the RAN and Rosatom on the fulfilment of orders on the main spheres of activities and development of the country's nuclear power sector."
The Rosatom head said, "Cooperation between Rosatom and the RAN is several decades' old." He added, "At present there are some 50 RAN academicians working on a permanent basis in Rosatom enterprises and research institutes." Kiriyenko recalled that the Russian president "set the task to develop the country's nuclear power industry in an accelerated regime comparable to the USSR atomic project of the late 1940s." However, then "the country's military security was at stake and now - its energy security for this centenary," the Rosatom head emphasised.
8. Russian Official Says 20,000 Specialists Needed for New Nuclear Power Plants
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Deputy Director General of the Rosenergoatom concern Viktor Cherkasov has said a total of 20,000 specialists may be needed for work at Russia's new nuclear power plants that will be built within the framework of the nuclear power industry development programme. Cherkasov is here on a working trip.
According to the official, "Starting from 2010 Russia will be annually training for work at NPP at least 1,000 specialists." They will be trained by a holding created within the framework of Rosenergoatom. The holding will comprise two specialised educational-training centres at the Novovoronezh and Smolensk NPPs, similar facilities at other plants, as well as base institutes.
The establishment of the holding will make it possible to solve another problem - ageing of personnel. At present the average age of national nuclear energy specialists is 45 years, while in international practice 35 years is norm. Besides, the holding will engage in the training of foreign specialists for work at NPPs being built abroad with Russian assistance.
1. Expert: US Air Defense System Won't Weaken Russian Nuclear Forces Until 2020
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The U.S. air defense system will not be able to damage the effectiveness of Russia's strategic nuclear forces until the year 2020, Viktor Yesin, former head of the Russian Strategic Rocket Troops' Main Headquarters, said.
"The national air defense system being formed by the United States will have limited capabilities to intercept strategic missile warheads until at least the year 2020, nor will it be able to seriously weaken the effectiveness of Russia's strategic nuclear forces," Yesin told Interfax.
Most of the Russian armed forces' intercontinental ballistic missiles are fitted with powerful means to penetrate enemy air defenses, he said. New missile systems, including the Topol-M and Bulava, are based on technical solutions which actually render the air defense system being developed by the U.S. useless, he said.
2. A NUCLEAR STORM IN A TEACUP, The inclination to use force is not a cause for alarm in itself
What the Papers Say
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Major-General Pavel Zolotarev (reserve), Foreign and Defense Policy Council member, Military Sciences Academy professor
Russia ought to thank the authors of "The Rise of US Nuclear Primacy"; An article in the March issue of "Foreign Affairs," concerning the prospect of nuclear primacy for the United States, has drawn a completely inappropriate reaction from the Russian media. The article deserves our respect, not our condemnation.
An article in the March issue of "Foreign Affairs," concerning the prospect of nuclear primacy for the United States, has drawn a completely inappropriate reaction from the Russian media.
The direction of that article, written by two American political scientists, deserves our respect, not our condemnation. The authors are concerned about the fact that the United States has set itself the goal of entrenching its superiority in military might at the global level, and has a chance of securing primacy over Russia in nuclear weapons - which could disrupt the existing state of parity. China is not showing any signs of seeking to expand its nuclear arsenals signficantly.
Under the circumstances, unilateral superiority for the United States could coflict with Russia's security interests. What alarms the authors most is the prospect of the United States using its nuclear weapons to forcibly export democracy, prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, or prevent other countries from expanding their nuclear arsenals.
Are there any grounds for disagreeing with such assertions? Apparently not.
Striving for complete global dominance in military might: this goal is declared openly in the two latest editions of the National Security Strategy of the United States. The development prospects of strategic nuclear weapons, along with their role, place, and views on their use, are set out fairly thouroughly in the Nuclear Posture Review Report (January 8, 2002) and the Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations (March 15, 2006).
What is the basis for the assumptions made by the authors? Their conclusions are based on results of computer modeling with use of standard mathematical methods used for many decades. They modeled a situation of sudden strike at the strategic nuclear forces of Russia. The quantitative parameters of the military arsenals of both sides were based on data from the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty also taking into account the known plans of each of the parties regarding implementation of the treaty and development of its strategic nuclear forces. It was possible to presume that initial data for modeling and the range of their variation was set by the professors of political science sufficiently skillfully but it was absolutely incorrect to make presumptions and moreover to draw political conclusions about possible outcome of a surprise nuclear attack of one of the parties on the basis of such models. Research models have an absolutely different purpose. With their assistance it is possible to study influence on combat use of the composition of the group of strategic nuclear forces. It is also possible to evaluate the role of these or those parameters of delivery vehicles and warheads and efficiency of the means for penetration of missile defense. However, it is impossible to draw conclusions regarding a possible outcome of real combat operations on the basis of research models, mo matter how perfect are mathematical methods and computer modeling.
Is it correct to draw political conclusions on the basis of such data? Even if calculations show that probably of response actions is less than one-thousandth fraction this does not mean that it is possible to stake at delivery of such strike and at policy of harsh nuclear intimidation. It is possible that one-thousandth fraction of possibility of a successful counter strike will come true even in the first try and there will already be no other tries.
To the insufficiently correct statements it is possible to attribute the reference to inability of the early warning system to detect launches of missiles from seas and to readiness of the naval and aviation components of the strategic nuclear forces in evaluation of reaction of Russia to a surprise strike. Neither the naval nor the aviation component of the strategic nuclear forces of Russia or US is intended for use in a counter strike. They can normally participate only in a strike prepared beforehand or in a retaliatory strike. On the Strategic Missile Forces are capable of a counter strike. Moreover, their part located on mobile carriers can in unfavorable circumstances (untimely making of decision by the military political leaders of the country) can form the basis for a retaliatory strike. That is why readiness of the naval and aviation carriers does not influence the possibility of response actions of Russia in case of delivery of a surprise blow on the country and the Strategic Missile Forces are permanently in a condition of readiness for such situation. As to the early warning system, it is too early to bury it yet and, on the contrary, its capabilities are gradually growing.
According to the known documents, the strategic forces of the US are included into the new triad and the traditional nuclear triad consisting of ground-based intercontinental missiles, submarine-based missiles and airborne missiles re is only a component of the new triad. The functions of the new triad are laid on the strategic command. The areas of its activities include nuclear deterrence, space operations, information operations, integrated antimissile defense, global control, collection and analysis of information, global strikes and counteraction to proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Use of nuclear weapons is present in the field of nuclear deterrence and can be implied in planning of global strikes. It is planned to obtain new qualitative capabilities capable of influencing of efficiency of nuclear forces use in the course of development of possibilities of organization and performance of global strikes.
First of all, global strikes are implied for the scenarios of situation development when new unforeseen threats appear regardless of their geographic location. Preparation of global strikes should be done in real time when a threat appears and targets subject to destruction are detected. Characteristics of new targets should be determined in real time and if they are mobile the changing coordinates should be tracked. Bearing in mind that performance of global strikes may imply use of nuclear strikes it is possible to say that possibility of use of nuclear weapons against mobile targets may grow significantly. This will be a kind of nuclear reconnaissance and strike system. Possibilities of destruction of stationary protected goals will grow simultaneously due to appearance of special nuclear ammunition for destruction of subsurface targets.
Is it possible to say that appearance of these new qualities may break the strategic parity? I think it is not. Coordinates and main characteristics of the stationary objects of each of the parties have been known for a long time and there is an estimate of means necessary for their destruction. Appearance of new ammunition will not change the situation radically. As to the real-time tracking of mobile objects, very much will depend on the possibilities regarding the quantity of simultaneously tracked targets and quickness of correction of flight missions for their destruction.
Preparation of global strikes at new targets does not require a capability of simultaneous tracking of a big quantity of targets but requires a possibility of quick maneuvering of tactical reconnaissance means for quick detection of targets in any new region. It is impossible to hide the fact of buildup of the capabilities of the system for permanent tracking of mobile objects of the Russian nuclear forces. If such task is set counteraction methods will be found. In any case, detection of mobile objects can only reduce efficiency of a retaliatory strike but cannot influence efficiency of a counter strike.
Thus, it turns out that there are no grounds for concern about a prospect of breaching of the nuclear parity between Russia and the US. Especially since that parameters of such parity are absolutely different from those of the Cold War period. Speaking about new opportunities it is impossible to omit another important aspect. Russia and the US signed a memorandum a few years ago on opening of a joint center in Moscow for exchange of data from the early warning systems implying permanent duty of Russian and American crews. After its opening not only risk of incidental use of nuclear weapons but also a purely theoretical possibility of surprise blow will be ruled out.
Probably there is a grain of truth in Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov's suggestion that the article may have been written to order. However, most likely, its appearance incidentally coincided with President Putin's visit to China. It is possible that it has simply been a turn of the article in a queue for publication. Bearing in mind the real content of the article and not that voiced by Russian mass media it is possible to make another assumption. Is it possible that reaction to this article is deliberate too? Who needed this storm in a half-empty teacup? Probably someone wants to see the United States only as an enemy to "lobby" additional financing of defense programs or to achieve changing of priorities in financing of the existing programs?
In general, it is possible only to thank the authors of the article for their attention to the threats connected with significant superiority of the US in military power and inclination to actions from the positions of force. The wrong presumption about a possibility of destruction of Russian strategic nuclear forces by a surprise strike proved to be useful too. At this example it is seen which component of our strategic nuclear forces allows fulfillment of the task of nuclear deterrence and efficient fulfillment of tasks in circumstances of a counter strike and retaliatory strike at the minimum cost.
Source: Nezavisimoe Voennoe Obozrenie, No. 10, March 31, 2006, p. 2.
3. Russian designer outlines shape of future submarine fleet
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The creation of a balanced fleet of general-purpose submarines in the Russian navy should take account of the need and possibility for the complementary use of multi-purpose nuclear and non-nuclear submarines, Academician Igor Spasskiy, designer-general and head of the Rubin central design bureau, told Interfax-AVN today.
He noted that "the new non-nuclear submarine will have very little in common with the diesel-electric vessels which we are all long accustomed to". "The new generation non-nuclear submarines, which will be in service in the first half of the 21st century, will be a totally new type of submarine featuring substantially enhanced combat capabilities and costing relatively little," he said.
According to Spasskiy, the new submarines "should primarily be able to stay submerged throughout a tour of duty". "This feature coupled with the non-nuclear submarine's acoustic concealment will enable such vessels not only to operate offshore, which is now becoming more and more important, but also to move underneath ice when necessary," he said.
To ensure these new features in the submarines, various types of engines are being rapidly developed for them, Spasskiy stressed.
1. Canada allocates more money to scrap Russian nuclear subs
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Canada has allocated 25m dollars to the Zvezdochka defence shipyard in Severodvinsk to scrap Northern Fleet's nuclear submarines, Yelena Korostel, an employee of the shipyard's press service has told ITAR-TASS.
According to the spokeswoman, representatives of Canada and Zvezdochka signed all the necessary documents on the tranche. "This is already the third instalment paid by Canada which is funding the programme of dismantling Russia's Victor-class nuclear submarines, the spokeswoman said. Four Northern Fleet nuclear submarines have already been scrapped at Zvezdochka with Canadian money. "Another three decommissioned nuclear submarines will be delivered to the shipyard from the Polar region bases during the next navigation season," Korostel said.
Canada will finance the scrapping of a total of 12 Russian multirole nuclear submarines at Zvezdochka within the framework of the Global Partnership programme which was adopted at the G8 summit in 2002. It will allocate about 100m Canadian dollars for that purpose.
1. Eurasian, European Scientists Help Counter Threat of Bioterrorism, State Department sponsors nonproliferation BioIndistry Initiative
U.S. Department of State/Bureau of International Information Programs
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More than 50 leading scientists and biotechnology industry representatives from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan will participate in the Biotechnology Industry Organization's annual conference in Chicago April 9-12.
This is part of the BioIndustry Initiative (BII) that grew out of the 2001 commitment between President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin to pursue cooperation to counter the threat of bioterrorism.
The BII, a program of the State Department’s Office of Cooperative Threat Reduction, helps support the transformation to civilian functions of former Soviet biological research and production capacities.
The BII is working with the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) in Moscow and the Science and Technology Center of Ukraine (STCU) in Kiev to support the attendance of the Eurasian and European scientists at the conference, which is called BIO 2006. (See fact sheet).
Following is a State Department media note on BIO 2006:
U.S. Department of State Office of the Spokesman April 6, 2006
BIO 2006: EURASIAN AND EUROPEAN SCIENTISTS DEVELOP NOVEL TECHNOLOGIES TO COMBAT DISEASE AND BIOTERRORISM THROUGH THE BIOINDUSTRY INITIATIVE
The U.S. Department of State is sponsoring more than 50 leading scientists and biotechnology industry representatives from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan to participate in the Biotechnology Industry Organization's annual conference, BIO 2006, in Chicago, April 9-12.
The BioIndustry Initiative (BII) of the Office of Cooperative Threat Reduction of the U.S. Department of State is working with the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) in Moscow and the Science and Technology Center of Ukraine (STCU) in Kiev to support the Eurasian and European scientists.
The mission of the BII is to counter the threat of bioterrorism through targeted transformation to civilian functions of former Soviet biological research and production capacities. BII collaborators include the ISTC, STCU, Russian Bioconsortium, TEMPO - Center of Modern Medical Technology, and other implementation partners.
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Andrew Semmel, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, described the participation of the BII delegation in BIO 2006 as "a significant event for the State Department's Cooperative Threat Reduction programs and a model activity for the BII. As part of a long-term sustainability plan, BII helps to open the door for international business collaboration to researchers and institutes in the former Soviet Union. We feel confident that programs such as BII will not only reduce the threat of bioweapons proliferation but will also increase collaborative activities in areas such as drug and vaccine development."
Veteran scientists from some of the top-notch research and production facilities of the former Soviet Union will present their latest technologies, ranging from novel vaccines, drugs and diagnostics to opportunities in contract research and industrial-scale manufacturing available in this emerging biotechnology sector.
For further information, please contact: Kendra A. Bodnar, Ph.D., Deputy Director, BII, International Security and Nonproliferation - Office of Cooperative Threat Reduction (ISN/CTR), U.S. Department of State, Tel: 202-647-6294, Fax: 202-736-7698, E-mail: BodnarKA@state.gov
BII Web site: http://www.biistate.net/docs/bio2006.php; E-mail: EurasiaBio2006@biistate.net
The United States is aggressively pursuing ways to lessen the threat from weapons of mass destruction, the director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency said here last week. "Our goal is to combat weapons of mass destruction and protect Americans and U.S. forces, military infrastructure, bases and facilities against their use," Dr. James A. Tegnelia told American Forces Press Service March 31. "The United States has, in my view, a very aggressive program to secure fissile and WMD material."
The threat reduction agency's mission is to safeguard America and its allies from all types of weapons of mass destruction by providing capabilities to reduce, eliminate and counter the threat. Weapons include chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosives.
The agency works to achieve its goal in three distinct ways. The first is through nonproliferation agreements with countries that cooperate with the U.S. in trying to secure weapons and material that could be used to make them.
"We spend a lot of time overseas working with countries who cooperate with us to secure those weapons," Tegnelia said. Russia and former Soviet states are among agency's closest partners in this arena.
Tegnelia said the process to secure Russia's nuclear weapons following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 continues to this day, and has gone well for the most part. But "we have had some difficulties in negotiating protocols for working together to store and demilitarize weapons-grade nuclear material," he said. "It requires cooperation between the two organizations and can only move as fast as the parties decide they want to move."
Soviet weapons located in its former states, such as the Ukraine, are brought back to Russia for demilitarization, while the weapons-delivery systems are destroyed in place, he said.
The second area the agency focuses on is counterproliferation. This means working to counter weapons of mass destruction with people and nations that do not want to cooperate with the United States.
Through the Defense Department's International Counterproliferation Program the agency works to stop proliferation of WMD-related materials and technologies across international borders and through the independent states of the former Soviet Union, the Baltic region and Eastern Europe.
The program works with law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection, Tegnelia said, and involves techniques like boarding ships suspected of carrying weapons or material.
Another component of the agency's counterproliferation mission is its Hard Target Defeat program, which deals with eliminating enemy underground facilities that might be used for producing weapons of mass destruction. "It looks at ways of destroying those facilities without spreading material all over the world," the director said.
One weapon Tegnelia commented on is the HTD program's Massive Ordnance Penetrator, a multi-ton bomb. He stressed that it's a defensive, not offensive, weapon. He told AFPS that the MOP is a test article meant to understand the design principles on which a country might build a weapon to counter hard targets. "We are not in the process to convince anybody to field a large earth penetrator," he said.
The third prong of the agency's approach is to explore the best ways to respond if a weapon of mass destruction was set off. "We're concerned about how you would restore operations if one went off," he said. "Decontamination, protection of people, those kinds of things."
Also, the agency explores methods to defeat improvised explosive devices by researching and fielding technological solutions. It partners with the Joint IED Defeat Task Force in this venture.
Tegnelia said the U.S. faces multiple threats, but emphasized that his biggest concern is terrorists getting access to a nuclear weapon. "Nuclear weapons in the hands of a terrorist ... that to me is the most serious problem because of the damage it could do," he said.
New biological techniques, such as genetic modification, concern Tegnelia. For example, someone might take an anthrax spore and modify it genetically so vaccines no longer work.
"We're reasonably satisfied with where we are with regard to biologicals today, but very worried about what new advancements in biologic technology might bring us five or 10 years from now," he said.
The agency is also responsible for handling the military component of treaty verification for the federal government. This responsibility is divided into two categories.
"The first responsibility is to perform inspections (of foreign weapons facilities) where the Department of Defense is the inspecting organization," Tegnelia said. "The second one is to host people who have the right to inspect the United States because of treaty obligations."
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency came into existence in 1998 with the merger of several agencies. The agency was spread out in five separate locations until it consolidated into a new headquarters facility at Fort Belvoir, Va., in November.
3. U.S., RUSSIA CLOSING IN ON DEAL TO EXTEND COOPERATIVE THREAT REDUCTION
Inside the Pentagon
(for personal use only)
The United States and Russia are close to a deal that would extend their Cooperative Threat Reduction agreement for another seven years, officials from both countries tell Inside the Pentagon.
Negotiators are in the final stage of crafting language for the new agreement, which would have to be reviewed by several government agencies in Washington and Moscow before it is ready for signature by senior U.S. and Russian leaders, the sources say.
The current CTR arrangement, which covers programs that help destroy former Soviet stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction and delivery systems, expires in June, and this deadline has instilled a sense of urgency on both sides, the sources tell ITP.
The proposed extension would apply the existing agreement to all CTR projects already under way, and officials from both countries have been working since February to iron out remaining differences regarding the specifics of what falls into that category.
The Pentagon-run CTR program was created in 1991 after Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and then-Sen. Sam Nunn (D-GA) laid the groundwork for its approval in Congress. CTR is a cornerstone of U.S. nonproliferation efforts, and a primary goal is making sure dangerous material and weapons never fall into the hands of terrorists or hostile states.
Expected to be included in the CTR extension agreement are far-reaching liability protections for U.S. personnel working on nonproliferation projects in Russia.
For years, both countries disagreed on what limits should be placed on such protections. One of Moscow's concerns was the existing blanket liability agreement -- part of the original CTR deal -- would clear the United States and its citizens of any accountability should a U.S. worker intentionally cause harm.
Washington, for its part, was reluctant to submit U.S. personnel to the Russian court system, which could lead to "either political or economical harassment from either individuals in Russia or the Russian government," a State Department source told ITP last year (ITP, March 31, 2005, p1).
During last year, Russian officials insisted that Washington and Moscow first negotiate a new liability policy for the two countries' plutonium disposition agreement before moving forward on CTR extension, sources said. The idea was this policy could serve as a model to resolve disagreement on CTR liability protections.
In an agreement reached last summer, the United States gave up its push for blanket liability protection for plutonium disposition efforts in Russia, and the two countries set up a process for handling a situation in which an individual deliberately causes damage in the country in which he is working, sources told ITP last fall.
While the U.S. interagency had cleared this agreement for formal approval last August, the Russian review of the deal took more time. It took until December for the agreement to be forwarded to the office of Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov for final approval (ITP, Dec. 22, 2005, p2).
Early this year, however, Russian officials told Bush administration counterparts that the agreement had been sent back for further interagency review because it lacked key clearances, a Russian source confirmed this week. The source, though, declined to say which agencies or offices were left out during the initial interagency inspection.
Despite this development, Russian and U.S. sources are confident that the agreement will be signed as it was negotiated last year, calling the remaining review work a mere formality. Russia has assured the United States at "very, very high levels" that the deal will be approved, a Bush administration official told ITP March 28.
Once signed, the liability agreement is expected to be applied for new projects under the CTR umbrella, sources say.
Meanwhile, U.S. and Russian officials have rekindled talks on the stalled plutonium disposition program between the two countries, the administration source said.
Plutonium disposition plans were worked out by the Clinton administration with former Russian President Boris Yeltsin, and the planning continued after Vladimir Putin was elected (ITP, Sept. 27, 2001, p17). Those deliberations led to a U.S.-Russian agreement in which both countries pledged to eliminate 34 metric tons of plutonium each from their respective stockpiles, enough for thousands of nuclear weapons.
Under an agreement approved by President Clinton and Putin, the United States and Russia decided to build sizable infrastructures that would enable them to turn the plutonium into mixed oxide, or MOX, fuel, which can then be used in nuclear reactors for producing electricity.
Russian officials have always insisted that international donors pay for the new MOX fuel infrastructure in that country -- a price tag at one time estimated to be $2.7 billion. The United States and many other countries have pledged sizable funds, but they are wary of promising more given that Russia has not offered to put up any of its own money, U.S. sources said.
Since February, Russian and U.S. officials are exploring new options of using "future Russian reactors, whether they be fast reactors or gas reactors, in lieu of the light-water [reactor] MOX option," a U.S. official told ITP recently.
Officials in Washington are looking at paths to better mesh Russian energy policy with nonproliferation goals, another U.S. source said this week.
Russia has more of a long-term interest in fast neutron reactors for its energy planning, the source added, so there may be a possibility of devising a plutonium disposition program centered on the use of these kinds of systems.
Moscow already has a fast reactor, type BN-600, at Beloyarsk, which, by design, was a fast breeder reactor, meaning it produced more fissile material than it consumed. The facility was modified into a "burner," turning that balance the other way, the source explained.
Yet, the amount of plutonium actually disposed in the facility is too small to satisfy the requirements set out in the plutonium disposition agreement. By the end of the BN-600's expected life span in 2020, the reactor will only burn 4 to 5 metric tons of plutonium into material unusable for weapons, the source estimated.
Russia has plans to complete an additional fast reactor, type BN-800, at Beloyarsk, but insufficient funding for the project has slowed progress there.
U.S. officials stressed that no formal decisions have been made on using fast or other non-light-water reactors for plutonium disposition.
"We are in an interesting time in [plutonium] disposition. We can actually create something that has a lot more promise on the Russian side than what's been there today," one U.S. official said last week. "It's a key time. However it comes out, it will play out over the next few months."
4. West should close gaps against nuclear terrorism, Unstable regimes with nuclear technology could aid terrorists in future attacks.
Christian Science Monitor
(for personal use only)
Two events last week underline the reason for continuing concern about Iran's nuclear intentions.
One was the Iranian claim that it had successfully test-fired a missile not detectable by radar, which can use multiple warheads to hit several targets simultaneously. The Fajr-3 (which means "victory" in Farsi) is claimed by Iranian sources to have a range capable of reaching Israel and therefore American bases in the Middle East.
The second event, disclosed at a US congressional hearing, was that in a test by government investigators, they were able to smuggle into the country enough radioactive material to make two "dirty" bombs. In the test last December, the investigators managed to sneak small amounts of such material across US border crossing points in Washington State and Texas. Radiation alarms went off, but security inspectors were fooled by phony documents and allowed the material through. If the investigators could do it, terrorists might be able to.
The Iranian position is that it will pursue a nuclear energy program for peaceful purposes, but that it is not making nuclear weapons. Western nations do not believe that, especially as Iran has a long record of duplicity about its nuclear intentions.
The possibility that Iran, under an erratic regime, could build and possess a nuclear bomb is itself cause for concern. However, the possibility that such a weapon could fall into the hands of terrorists who have been supported by Iran is of much greater concern.
If rogue nations like Iran and North Korea should even think of using such a weapon themselves against the United States, its military forces, or allies such as Israel, they would have to confront the certainty of devastating US retaliation. The retaliation would likely be as awesome if it were clear that they had given the bomb to terrorists.
We know that terrorists like Al Qaeda have expressed interest in acquiring a nuclear bomb. To do so, their options are to steal it, to buy it, or to build it, perhaps with the know-how and cooperation of a nation like Iran, friendly to their ambitions.
In a new study of the threat of catastrophic nuclear terrorism and steps to prevent it, Charles Ferguson says that some 27,000 nuclear weapons presently exist in the arsenals of eight nations - Britain, China, France, India, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, and the US. All but about 1,000 of these are in Russia and the US.
Mr. Ferguson, a scientist expert on nuclear safety issues and a former nuclear engineering officer on a ballistic-missile submarine, carried out the study for the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), where he is presently a fellow.
His report says the existing nuclear weapons are generally securely guarded, hard to steal, and would be difficult to activate without access to sophisticated codes for arming and firing them. But there are concerns about the security of nuclear weapons in Pakistan, whose former leading nuclear weapons expert, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, sold nuclear weapons programs to Iran, Libya, and North Korea. And a coup in Pakistan might install officials sympathetic to terrorist causes. Also of concern are Russian tactical nuclear weapons, especially some that are relatively portable, that may not possess internal security mechanisms, and are not in secure central storage. Clearly, the development of nuclear weapons in Iran, with its longtime sponsorship of terrorism, would raise a host of similar questions.
If nuclear weapons are hard to steal or buy, the other alternative for terrorists is to build one. This requires the acquisition of highly enriched uranium or plutonium. Ferguson's report says at least one terrorist group has tried to enrich uranium, but the process is extremely challenging and it failed. Enriching uranium or making plutonium is currently beyond the capability of terrorists without state sponsorship.
That militant Islamic terrorists remain interested in making at least a radium dirty bomb, for which they do not need uranium, is evident from instructions carried recently on one of their websites. It gave instructions to distill radium from certain industrial products and to construct a detonation device to disperse the radioactive material. Whether this is feasible, or whether they have developed the capability to target US facilities with it, remains unclear.
The CFR report charges that major gaps remain in existing US and international programs to secure nuclear weapons. It suggests various measures to plug those gaps.
They should be heeded as Western nations continue their tortuous negotiations to limit danger from a new emerging nuclear power like Iran.
5. U.S. may help Ukraine fund disposal of solid rocket fuel
Russia & CIS Military Newswire
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The U.S. is ready to partially cover Ukrainian expenses on the scrapping of solid rocket fuel for RS-22 (SS-24) rockets at the Pavlohrad chemical plant (PKhZ) in the Dnipropetrovsk region after Ukraine launches the fuel destruction process.
An agreement to this effect was reached by the parties at talks in March, competent military sources told Interfax on Monday.
Solid rocket fuel destruction at the Pavlohrad plant is envisaged by a Ukrainian-U.S. accord signed in 1993. The U.S. assigned about $24 million for building a disposal facility for fuel for RS-22 (SS-24)
rockets in Ukraine in 2000. Tests of an experimental plant disposing of fuel with the help of the U.S. Thiokol company's technology started in Pavlohrad in 2002. The facility was supposed to start operating in 2007 and destroy 5,000 tonnes of solid rocket fuel before the end of 2009.
However, the U.S. stopped funding the project in 2003, instead offering destruction of the fuel by burning or blasting it.
This offer was not acceptable for environment protection reasons, and the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council decided in 2004 to use its own methods and its own funding for disposing of rocket fuel.
According to the state program of rocket fuel destruction at the Pavlohrad plant, approved by the government in August 2005, the deadline for completing Ukrainian fuel destruction has been shifted from 2009 to 2011.
The 2006 state budget allocates 94 million hrivnyas ($18.55 million) for this program.
Since stopping the provision of funds for the program, the U.S. has been providing money for storing 163 fully assembled bodies of RS-22 engines at Pavlohrad enterprises.
The U.S. is ready to partially cover Ukrainian expenses on the scrapping of solid rocket fuel for RS-22 (SS-24) rockets at the Pavlohrad chemical plant (PKhZ) in the Dnipropetrovsk region after Ukraine launches the fuel destruction process.
An agreement to this effect was reached by the parties at talks in March, competent military sources told Interfax on Monday.
Solid rocket fuel destruction at the Pavlohrad plant is envisaged by a Ukrainian-U.S. accord signed in 1993. The U.S. assigned about $24 million for building a disposal facility for fuel for RS-22 (SS-24)
rockets in Ukraine in 2000. Tests of an experimental plant disposing of fuel with the help of the U.S. Thiokol company's technology started in Pavlohrad in 2002. The facility was supposed to start operating in 2007 and destroy 5,000 tonnes of solid rocket fuel before the end of 2009.
However, the U.S. stopped funding the project in 2003, instead offering destruction of the fuel by burning or blasting it.
This offer was not acceptable for environment protection reasons, and the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council decided in 2004 to use its own methods and its own funding for disposing of rocket fuel.
According to the state program of rocket fuel destruction at the Pavlohrad plant, approved by the government in August 2005, the deadline for completing Ukrainian fuel destruction has been shifted from 2009 to 2011.
The 2006 state budget allocates 94 million hrivnyas ($18.55 million) for this program.
Since stopping the provision of funds for the program, the U.S. has been providing money for storing 163 fully assembled bodies of RS-22 engines at Pavlohrad enterprises.
1. Russia to complete third state of chemical weapons destruction by end 2009
BBC Monitoring International Reports
(for personal use only)
Russia is prepared to complete the third stage of chemical weapons destruction by 31 December 2009, says a report by the Information and Press Department of the Russian Federation [RF] Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the results of the latest session of the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
The session was held in The Hague on 14-17 March at OPCW headquarters.
"The main topic of discussion was the exact date to be set for Russia's completion of the third stage of chemical weapons destruction (the destruction of 45 per cent of the stockpile, or 18,000 tonnes of toxic agents). The Russian Federation suggested a deadline of 31 December 2009 and then accompanied this proposal with a detailed explanation and a draft of the pertinent resolution," the report says.
"We felt the need to take more drastic measures to guarantee the safety of the chemical disarmament process because of terrorist threats and our heightened concern about the environmental aspects of the destruction process," spokesmen for the RF Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained.
Foreign Ministry staffers remarked that "this date was also chosen with a view to unforeseen delays in the construction of several destruction facilities because foreign contributions do not match the amount of aid promised."
Officials in Moscow were pleased with the executive council's decision to recommend the approval of this deadline to the Conference of States Parties.
"We will continue working with foreign states to secure broader support and to enhance the effectiveness of the assistance we are given in the sphere of chemical disarmament," the report of the RF Ministry of Foreign Affairs says.
In accordance with the international convention, Russia must destroy 20 per cent of the chemical weapons it inherited from the USSR by 2007. All of the weapons must be destroyed by 2012.
Russia ratified the convention in 1997. According to the document, chemical weapons are to be destroyed in four stages: the destruction of 1 per cent of the stockpile in the first stage, 20 per cent in the second, 45 per cent in the third, and all remaining chemical weapons in the fourth.
In all, Russia has 40,000 tonnes of chemical weapons (chemical warfare agents) stored in seven depots: 15.9 per cent in Kambarka (Udmurtia), 2.9 per cent in Gornyy (Saratov Region), 14.2 per cent in the settlement of Kizner (Udmurt Republic), 17.4 per cent in the settlement of Maradykovskiy (Kirov Region), 18.8 per cent in the town of Pochep (Bryansk Region), 17.2 per cent in the settlement of Leonidovka (Penza Region), and 13.6 per cent in the town of Shchuchye (Kurgan Region).
THIS SEASON, the Fox TV hit series "24" revolves around the threat of chemical terrorism. Thus far, a gang of Russian separatists has stolen pressurized canisters from the U.S. military containing "Sentox" nerve gas (presumably sarin) and planted them in the ventilation systems of a shopping mall and the Los Angeles office of the (fictional U.S. government) Counter-Terrorist Unit. The gang then triggered them by remote control, killing several dozen people. Now the terrorists have stashed 17 canisters of Sentox in a natural gas distribution facility in downtown L.A. and are planning to kill thousands — unless "24's" hero, Special Agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), can foil the plot in time.
Beyond a few technical quibbles, such as the fact that U.S. nerve agents are not stored in pressurized canisters with cipher locks but rather in rockets, bombs and artillery shells, the show seems all too plausible. Osama bin Laden has openly declared Al Qaeda's intention to obtain weapons of mass destruction, of which chemical agents would be the easiest to acquire and use.
[FOR THE RECORD: Chemical weapons: An April 1 article said Congress should fund security upgrades at a nerve agent destruction facility in Kizner, Russia. It should have said that Congress should fund such a facility in Kizner.]
Nevertheless, the plot of "24" is misleading in one important respect: the source of the chemical weapons. The script has the terrorists stealing nerve-gas canisters that were secretly produced for the U.S. military and stored in an airport hangar. In fact, since 9/11, the Cold War stocks of chemical rockets, bombs and shells awaiting destruction at seven U.S. Army depots across the country have been well secured, most in heavily protected concrete bunkers.
At much greater risk of theft are chemicals in depots in Russia, which has the world's largest stockpile of chemical weapons — about 40,000 metric tons. And Russia is also far behind on the timetable for eliminating them under the Chemical Weapons Convention, which the United States and Russia have signed and ratified.
To date, the United States, Canada and European Union countries have committed about $2 billion to help Russia destroy its chemical weapons, but the program has suffered repeated delays. Although the Russian government claims that all of the weapons will be eliminated by 2012, that date is probably unrealistic.
Only the smallest of Russia's stockpiles — 1,143 metric tons of the blister agents lewisite and mustard at Gorny — has been destroyed. A second blister agent destruction facility at Kambarka began operation recently
Two other storage sites, at Shchuchye on the Kazakhstan border and at Kizner, about 650 miles east of Moscow, contain millions of munitions filled with nerve agents. Destruction of those chemical weapons won't begin until December 2008 at the earliest.
According to Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), some of the artillery shells stored at Shchuchye are small enough to smuggle out in a suitcase. Although the U.S. has spent $20 million on security upgrades at the two sites, it hasn't conducted routine follow-up inspections to ensure that they stay secure.
Security also used to be seriously inadequate at Russia's other depots, where about 28,000 tons of munitions filled with deadly blister and nerve agents were stored aboveground in decrepit warehouses with rusty perimeter fences. These weapons could be a bonanza for terrorists or criminal gangs.
Moscow says these problems have been corrected — but it hasn't let any Westerners in to verify that claim.
Helping Russia eliminate its vast chemical weapons stockpile is critical for U.S. homeland security and counterterrorism, yet Washington's commitment to the effort appears to be winding down, even though the job isn't done. Congress should spend more to fund security upgrades at Russia's vulnerable chemical weapons depots and at a nerve agent destruction facility in Kizner.
Viewers of "24" can rest assured that by the end of the series, Bauer will save L.A. from a devastating chemical attack.
In real life, however, the best way to make sure it doesn't happen here is to lock up Russia's chemical weapons stockpiles and destroy them as quickly and safely as possible.
The start of operations at the facility in Kambarka will help in strengthening security in Europe and the rest of the world. The deputies of the German Bundestag are fully aware of this, and that is why we all agree that Russia deserves our help.
Although the FRG budget is fairly strained and we have quite serious problems of our own, we all agree that funds must be allocated for the destruction of chemical weapons in Russia. Of course, we would also like German firms to take an active part in the destruction of the chemical weapons in your country.
A delegation from the Bundestag first visited the facility in Gornyy in 2000. We saw all of the complexity of the job to be done and we knew how sincerely the people in Russia wanted to do this job. That was also our first meeting with General Valeriy Kapashin, who impressed all of us greatly with his high professional standards and his absolutely sincere concern about the work he was doing. It was then that this Russian-German cooperation became more than a partnership, in my opinion, and became a heartfelt cause.
Our fathers were enemies in the World War II years. I am happy that chemical weapons -- those truly demonic weapons -- were never used in that war, and I am certain they will never be used again.
Like a beacon, the facility in Kambarka is showing us the way to the joint safeguarding of security. I hope German and Russian experts will work together even more effectively and productively in the future.
4. RUSSIAN TV REPORTS ON CHEMICAL WEAPONS DISPOSAL PLANT IN KAMBARKA
BBC Monitoring International Reports
(for personal use only)
Text of report by Russia TV "Vesti Udmurtia" website on 22 March
[Presenter] The second unit of the Kambarka plant for scrapping chemical weapons has been launched. The enterprise has started to work at full capacity. By now, over 30 tonnes of Lewisite has been destroyed. The information is not secret and the residents are kept informed about the developments on a daily basis. On the local administration building there is one-line display with running text and loudspeakers have been installed across the entire zone of protective measures. Liliya Khaziyeva reports from Kambarka.
[Correspondent] Lewisite has been stored in Kambarka for more than 50 years. Time has come to destroy it. In accordance with the convention on scrapping chemical weapons, the stockpiles of the dangerous substance should be destroyed by the first quarter of 2009. On 1 March of this year, the first module of detoxication was launched. By today, 30 tonnes and 155 kg of Lewisite have been destroyed. The second unit, which started work exactly 20 days later, will help to increase the volumes that will be processed. The launch of the modular station does not mean simply pushing a button. The specialists of the central control desk have to make the effort but the main responsibility lies with the operator.
Within about an hour, all systems were checked. There must be confidence that the full amount of alkaline solution is getting there and that the temperatures are not falling and that an air pocket is not being created. The launch of the second module, according to specialists, was not as complicated as the one 20 days ago, although people were still nervous. The computer, of course, is a precise technology but the factor of unpredictability is present. Nevertheless, everything went as planned and under professional supervision.
[Operator] Now, within an hour it will be working normally. The reactor is filling up. The level has not been reached yet, there is no point in mixing. In 15 minutes or so we will switch on the mixer. Reaction mass is still in another reactor. It is moving to the accepting section.
[Officer in uniform] Well, congratulations on a job well done.
[Correspondent] The plant started to work. The task of launching has been completed. Now the main task is to get the entire system working safely.
[Nikolay Kutyin, deputy head of the Federal Service for Ecological, Technological and Nuclear Oversight] This is the second class of danger. These are not poisonous substances and therefore there is no direct threat to the life and health to the citizens living in the area.
[Correspondent] The programme for scrapping chemical weapons in Kambarka has been scheduled for three years. After the last tonne of the dangerous substance is destroyed, a general clean-up will be carried out.
[Valeriy Kapashin, the head of the directorate for safe storage and destruction of chemical weapons] We will carry out a treatment of all the buildings, installations and of the metal that was in contact with poisonous substances. After the treatment and checks, we send scrap metal for scrapping and what we have scrapped we will bury in the storage field.
[Correspondent] Despite the fact that the second model of detoxication has already been launched, the plant is still not working at full capacity. At the moment all systems are being tuned and it will start at full capacity from 4 May.
Liliya Khaziyeva and Aleksandr Karpov, Vesti, Udmurtia
[video shows offices, diagrams on compute screens, equipment, interviews]
[The text of the report on the website added: "According to a federal programme, the plant and buildings will also be used after the stockpiles of Lewisite run out in Kambarka. There is a large number of unique installations. Already, three options for the conversion of the plant are being considered."]
Original source: RTR Russia TV website, Izhevsk, in Russian 1408 gmt 22 Mar 06; uploaded to BBC Monitoring International Reports on April 6, 2006.
1. Radioactive container found near power plant in Siberia
(for personal use only)
A radioactive container has been discovered in Barnaul, Altay Territory, at the No 2 heat and electric power plant, 500 m. from the location where a coal conveyer collapsed on 25 March killing a worker, the press service of (regional energy provider) Altayenergo told RIA today.
"A mysterious container with 'radiation' written on it has been found. The following was written on the container's cover: Iridium, 12 curie, 1977, 7 kg," the press service said.
The container was discovered near the plant's railway siding, not far from bulk material depots, Mikhail Molostov, head of the security department of Altayenergo, said.
"It is approximately 500 m. from the site where repairs are carried out," he added. The plant's workers say that in the morning the container was not there.
Experts from the Emergencies Ministry as well as the Main Interior Directorate and the Federal Security Service for Altay Territory have been called to the scene. The radiation level was checked with the Bella radiation survey meter. After that the container was placed in the air lock chamber at the civil defence protective facility.
"The container has nothing to do with the equipment of Altayenergo. Law-enforcement agencies are carrying out an investigation into the incident. Repairs (in relation to the conveyer) were not stopped after the container had been discovered," Molostov said.
New head of the Russian Federal Agency for Nuclear Power Sergei Kiriyenko has channeled his efforts into solving one of the most odious problems - the Techa Reservoir Cascade (TRC).
The reservoir has long been a symbol of radioactive contamination. For many years, ecologists and human rights champions have been lashing out at the Russian authorities for their inability to solve a package of problems related to the Techa River and its "daughter" - the man-made reservoir cascade, and the agency was particularly lambasted. Now, however, Kiriyenko seems to have decided to do something about it.
Kiriyenko's adviser, Igor Konyshev, has announced a program for dealing with the TRC's ecological problems. It provides for measures to strengthen the dam, which keeps the water inside the reservoir system; to build an industrial water reclamation facility and a combined sewage system; to monitor the condition of the ground, etc. This year, the agency has set aside 250 million rubles ($9.07 million) for this purpose and announced a tender for all types of work.
The powerful ecological project provides for an independent contest called Techa-2006 and is based on support for public initiatives. Konyshev said the agency is expecting to receive proposals on the social protection of the population in the contaminated areas, on ecological reports to the public, summer break and pediatric preventative medicine, and various public-awareness programs.
Here is some history on the dismal Techa problem. This beautiful river in the southern Urals, which flows into the Gulf of Ob, was unlucky. In the late 1940s the town of Ozersk, located on the river's bank, was chosen as a site for the first atomic plant - Mayak, which was supposed to produce weapons-grade plutonium. The Cold War was on and the U.S.S.R. was building up its military might in an effort to reach nuclear parity with the U.S.
To get plutonium, uranium fuel was exposed to radiation in nuclear plants, most of which had an open-loop cooling water system. The water to cool the plant was pumped in from the nearby source, stored for the decay of short-lived radioactive isotopes and discharged back into the water. Initially, plutonium production was accompanied by huge amounts of liquid radioactive waste. This was the case in all nuclear countries. The Americans dumped it into the Hudson, the Brits into the Irish Sea and the Russians into the Techa River. At that time, there was no other way of dealing with radioactive waste. Later on, the Russians invented a method of storing liquid waste deep underground where it was as harmless as an oil deposit.
But the Techa River was an ill-fated pioneer. When signs of heavy contamination became obvious in the late 1950s, the authorities decided to limit the flow of radioactive waste by building a cascade of water reservoirs, which would be separated from the riverbed by a dam. The local soil made it impossible to use the said method of underground nuclear waste disposal. Experts estimated that if Mayak were located 300 km away from where it was built, the Techa problem would not have been so sizeable. But today, they have to deal with the heavy radionuclides - strontium, cesium and others - that seeped into the riverbed and contaminated the river, mud and sand. The same happened in the cascade of reservoirs.
By the 1990s, all plutonium-producing plants were shut down one by one. But Mayak still has its nuclear waste disposal facility, the only one in Russia. It also requires water. Today, Mayak is reprocessing nuclear waste from domestic nuclear plants and from abroad, as well as the nuclear fuel of decommissioned nuclear powered submarines.
Mayak directors had substantial funds to deal with the ecological repercussions, but they were not very enthusiastic. After the inspections conducted by the Federal Agency for Nuclear Power and the Prosecutor's Office Mayak's general director Vitaly Sadovnikov was dismissed. He was charged with violating the nature-protection clauses of the Criminal Code - rules on environmental protection and the handling ecologically hazardous substances.
Today, the Techa River is isolated by barbed wire entanglements and ridden with radiation warnings. Teachers tell children that they should not be swimming in the river. But forbidden fruit is always tempting and some bans are not always observed. Local residents undergo frequent medical check-ups. Konyshev quoted doctors as saying that the disease rates of the local people are not beyond the norm.
Resettlement of people from the Techa River area is a serious humanitarian operation with both material and psychological aspects. The terms of the Techa-2006 contest provide for a radical solution to the problem. It will be clear by April which projects are the most realistic ones to see through.
The full resettlement of people (up to 3,000) will take about 15 years. "We are ready to spend [the agency's] money for moving all those who wish to do so into ecologically clean areas, into new houses," Konyshev said. "But in each case we should have them legally renounce their old dwellings. Otherwise, some receive new housing and then return to the old place, saying that they are nostalgic or do not fit in."
1. Russian uranium enrichment offers to be submitted to govt. soon
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Russia's nuclear power agency and a nuclear materials exporter plan to submit proposals on the establishment of an international uranium enrichment center in Russia to the government in June 2006, the exporter said Thursday.
Tekhsnabexport's chief executive, Vladimir Smirnov, said: "Together with the Federal Nuclear Power Agency we are thoroughly analyzing the proposal to create an international uranium enrichment center in Russia. We plan to establish a detailed position on the proposals by June." Smirnov said there were a limited number of countries capable of housing such centers.
President Vladimir Putin said in January that global infrastructure should be established to give all interested countries access to nuclear energy with reliable guarantees that the nuclear non-proliferation regime would be observed.
Putin said Russia was ready to build an international center "to offer nuclear fuel cycle services, including [uranium] enrichment under the control of the IAEA."
2. Foreigners interested in enriching uranium in Russia
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Several countries have shown interest in a Russian proposal to open international centers to enrich uranium on its territory, a source with the country's nuclear-technology exporter said Wednesday.
"I can say that more than one country, including Asian nations, said they were interested," said the source in Techsnabexport, the state-controlled uranium supplier and provider of uranium enrichment services.
President Vladimir Putin said Russia was ready to open international uranium enrichment centers after Iran said it would resume uranium enrichment in January. The Russian leaders said the offer would be open on a non-discriminatory basis, under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN's nuclear watchdog.
Uranium enrichment is part of a nuclear cycle that can be used for generating energy and for creating bomb-grade material.
The source said foreign companies were willing to agree to Russia's main requirement to open the uranium enrichment centers on Russian territory.
"The countries concerned said they were ready to accept Russia's condition, which is part of its nuclear non-proliferation obligations assumed in the Group of Eight," the source said.
Russia holds the presidency of the club of the world's most industrialized nations this year and has made energy security one of the main points of the agenda.
However, the Techsnabexport official said consultations were only beginning, and commercial negotiations were still a long way off.
"Proposals to set up bilateral joint ventures are progressing faster than plans to open multilateral international centers under the control of the IAEA," he concluded.
1. Energy Dept. names Dennis Spurgeon assistant secretary for nuclear energy
(for personal use only)
The U.S. Department of Energy has named Dennis Spurgeon assistant secretary for nuclear energy, the first person to serve in that capacity in more than a decade. "Dennis´ leadership will be a valuable addition to the department as we work together to expand our country´s use of nuclear energy as a safe, environmentally friendly power source," Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said.
Spurgeon also leads the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, a strategy the federal government recently unveiled to accelerate the development of a more proliferation-resistant closed nuclear fuel cycle. The GNEP is part of President Bush´s Advanced Energy Initiative.
1. Hearing of the Energy Subcommittee of the House Science Committee - Global Nuclear Energy Partnership
Federal News Service
(for personal use only)
Statement of R. Shane Johnson Deputy Director, Office of Technology Office of Nuclear Energy
Chairman Biggert, Ranking Member Honda, and members of the Committee it is an honor for me to be here today before the House Science Subcommittee on Energy to discuss the Administration's proposed Global Nuclear Energy Partnership or GNEP. GNEP is the nuclear energy component of the President's Advanced Energy Initiative and it addresses the global issues of energy security, the environment, and nuclear proliferation. To support GNEP, the Department has proposed $250 million in fiscal year 2007 to accelerate efforts under the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI) to demonstrate technologies associated with spent nuclear fuel recycling. My testimony today focuses on the goals, schedule and anticipated costs of the technology development component of GNEP.
As you know, the President has stated a policy goal of promoting a significant expansion of nuclear power here in the United States and around the world. The reasons for this are clear - total world energy demand will double by 2050 and over the next twenty years, electricity demand alone will increase 75 percent over current levels. The safety and performance record of nuclear energy in the U.S. has been outstanding. It is a proven technology that can deliver large quantities of electricity that will be needed in the future, reliably, predictably, affordably and without producing harmful air emissions.
Building on the efforts of the Administration and because of Congress efforts in passing the Energy Policy Act of 2005, we are confident that there will be new plants built in the U.S. over the next 10 years. With more than 130 new nuclear plants under construction, planned or under consideration world-wide, many countries around the world are clearly moving forward with new nuclear plants.
As such, it is important for our own future that nuclear energy expands in a way that is safe and secure, in a way that will not result in nuclear materials or technologies used for non-peaceful purposes. But significant growth will not be possible unless we effectively address the fuel cycle and spent fuel management.
The U.S. operates a once-through fuel cycle, meaning that the fuel is used once and then disposed of without further processing. In the 1970's, the U.S. stopped the old form of reprocessing, principally because it could be used to produce separated quantities of plutonium, a nuclear proliferation concern. But the rest of the nuclear economies - France, Japan, Great Britain, Russia and others operate closed fuel cycles, in which spent fuel is processed and the plutonium and uranium are recovered from the spent fuel to be recycled back through reactors. As a result, the world today has a buildup of nearly 250 metric tons of separated civilian plutonium. The world also has vast amounts of spent fuel and we risk the continued spread of fuel cycle technologies. Furthermore, recent years have seen the unchecked spread of enrichment technology around the world. Opening Yucca Mountain remains a key priority of the Administration and is a necessity. We are committed to beginning operations at Yucca Mountain as soon as possible so we can begin to fulfill our obligation to dispose of the approximate 55,000 metric tons already generated and approximate 2,000 metric tons being generated annually. Whether we recycle or not we must have Yucca Mountain open as soon as possible. However, the statutory capacity of Yucca Mountain will be oversubscribed by 2010 and without GNEP simply maintaining existing nuclear generating capacity would require additional repositories in the U.S.
GNEP seeks to address the challenges of the expansion of nuclear power and limiting proliferation risk by developing technologies that can recycle the spent nuclear fuel from light water reactors in a more proliferation-resistant manner. In addition, GNEP supports a reordering of the global nuclear enterprise to encourage leasing of fuel from what we call fuel cycle states in a way that presents strong commercial incentives against new states building their own enrichment and reprocessing capabilities. For the U.S., transition to a closed fuel cycle would enable more efficient use of our nuclear fuel resources, would significantly reduce the nuclear waste that requires disposal in a geologic repository and would assure sufficient repository capacity through the end of the century.
To accomplish these objectives, the Department proposes to accelerate the development, demonstration, and deployment of new technologies to recycle spent fuel through the Office of Nuclear Energy's AFCI program. These are technologies that would not result in separated plutonium - a key proliferation concern presented by current generation reprocessing technologies. Moreover, these technologies would be deployed in partnership with other fuel supplier nations. As an initial step, the Department has requested $250 million in FY 2007.
By proceeding with the demonstrations of the separations, fuels and reactor technologies, we will learn the practicality of closing the fuel cycle in the U.S. We have had considerable success demonstrating the advanced separations technology, in particular, at the "laboratory scale." However, by demonstrating a closed fuel cycle at an "engineering scale," will enable us to optimize the design of a full-scale facility and reduce costs and time to deploy a full-scale facility. This will give us the information we need to design and deploy full- scale recycling facilities by the time they are needed decades from now. The U.S. would propose to work with international partners to conduct an engineeringscale demonstration of advanced separations technologies (e.g., a process called Uranium Extraction Plus or UREX+) that would separate the usable components in used commercial fuel from its waste components, without separating pure plutonium from other transuranic elements.
In addition, the Department would propose to demonstrate the ability to consume transuranic elements separated from the spent nuclear fuel in a fast reactor called the Advanced Burner Test Reactor (ABTR). In conjunction with this, DOE would propose an Advanced Fuel Cycle Facility (AFCF) to fabricate and test the actinide based fuels for the demonstration test reactor.
The Department has established a target of 2011 for initial operation of the advanced separations demonstration facility, 2014 for initial operation of the Advanced Burner Test Reactor using conventional fuels, and 2016 for the first modules of an AFCF. The first mission of the AFCF would be to produce actinide- based fuels for the ABTR. Early, pre-conceptual estimates of the ten-year cost to bring the engineering scale facilities to the point of initial operation range from $4 billion to $9 billion. As the project matures, we will develop more detailed and accurate baseline of cost and schedule estimates. The experience with the engineering scale demonstrations will inform the design, cost estimates and schedule for building full-scale recycling facilities. More accurate estimates of the demonstration phase will be available as the conceptual and preliminary design phases are completed.
The GNEP technology demonstration program is a phased program. Each phase would begin after a well defined decision on the results of the previous phase and an assessment of the risks associated with proceeding to the next phase. DOE would only proceed to detailed design and construction of these engineering scale demonstrations after the Department is confident that the cost and schedules are understood and after we have put in place the project management framework that will allow these projects to succeed. Presently, the Department's efforts are aimed at conducting the applied research, engineering and environmental studies needed over the next two years to inform a decision in 2008 on whether to proceed to detailed design and construction of the engineering scale demonstration facilities. The $250 million requested in FY 2007 is the Department's best assessment of the funding required for GNEP program technical development priorities and sequencing toward demonstration facilities.
This week, the Department approved the mission need for the demonstration facilities. The Department also issued an advance notice of intent, announcing plans to prepare an environmental impact statement for the GNEP technology demonstration program. The EIS effort is anticipated to be completed over the next two years. Also last month, the Department announced that it is seeking expressions of interest from the public and private sectors for hosting advanced recycling demonstration facilities and related activities. The Department anticipates issuing a Request for Proposals after consideration of the comments received and would anticipate contract awards for site evaluation studies later this year.
In FY 2006 and FY 2007, the Department would continue the applied research to refine the UREX+ technology, begin work on a conceptual design, acquisition strategy, functions and operating requirements and other analyses leading to the development of baseline costs and schedules for the UREX+ demonstration, the advanced burner test reactor, and the advanced fuel cycle facility by 2008. The Department would also propose to invest $25 million in FY 2007 on the advanced burner reactor technology, to initiate conceptual design studies and a series of extensive studies to establish cost and schedule baselines and determine the scope, safety, and health risks associated with fuel design, siting and acquisition options.
To guide this effort, the Office of Nuclear Energy has instituted a multi-lab process to develop a program plan and a five-year technology plan. The effort involves nine national laboratories. The overall effort also involves several program secretarial offices, including the National Nuclear Security Administration. For example, NNSA will provide key assistance in assuring that safeguards approaches and technologies are incorporated into the demonstration facilities early in the planning for the facilities. The five-year technology plan will establish the milestones, the work to be accomplished and establish applied research priorities over the next five years, subject to appropriations. The technology plan is anticipated to be completed by the end of May 2006. Execution would extend from the Department down to the multi-lab teams. In addition, while DOE currently sponsors university research grants through the Nuclear Energy Research Initiative, universities will be engaged through an embedded research and development program. Industry will also be engaged as the program progresses through the design process to provide specific expertise.
Demonstration of the key technologies demands that DOE carry out a variety of research; ranging from technology development for those processes initially identified (equipment, waste forms) to longer-term research and development on alternatives (equipment, processes) for risk reduction. In addition, the Office of Science is initiating a program of basic science in support of nuclear technology with three technical workshops in July 2006. Although not specific to GNEP, the results of this activity will help guide the longterm R&D agenda for closing the fuel cycle.
Furthermore, simulation is expected to play an important role in the development of this program. DOE organized a workshop on simulation for the nuclear industry at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory which was chaired by Argonne's Lab Director, Dr. Robert Rosner, and Dr. William Martin from the University of Michigan. We expect to see a greater role for simulation as a result, supported by both the Office of Science and the Office of Nuclear Energy.
Systems analysis forms an important part of the ongoing AFCI program and will have an increased role during the next two years. The systems analysis will investigate several key issues. One such issue is the required rate of introduction of burner reactors and separations facilities to avoid a second repository this century. Another would be a detailed study of the technical requirements for the facilities and how they relate to the top level goals of the program. The results of these analyses are essential to establishing the basis for each key decision in the accelerated AFCI program and will have a profound effect on GNEP program planning.
In closing, the U.S. can continue down the same path that we have been on for the last thirty years or we can lead a transformation to a new, safer, and more secure approach to nuclear energy, an approach that brings the benefits of nuclear energy to the world while reducing vulnerabilities from proliferation and nuclear waste. We are in a much stronger position to shape the nuclear future if we are part of it. This is an ambitious plan and the technology demonstrations will be a key challenge for U.S. and our partner nations. But it is an endeavor, which if successful, can ensure that nuclear energy is available, safe and secure for generations to come. We seek the advice and support of this committee and of Congress and I look forward to answering your questions.
2. Committee on House Armed Services Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities: Recommendations on how to combat Weapons of Mass Destruction
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Statement of Peter C.W. Flory Assistant Secretary, International Security Policy Department of Defense
Committee on House Armed Services Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities
April 5, 2006
Chairman Saxton, Congressman Meehan, Members of the Subcommittee, it is an honor to appear before you today to describe the Defense Department's efforts to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and our plan to implement recommendations outlined in the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) regarding WMD. My goal today is to share with you many of the Department's new approaches to stopping the proliferation of WMD, preventing its use, and enabling our warfighters to accomplish their missions in a WMD environment if necessary. This is not a new mission. Since December 2002, when the President set forth the National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction, the Department has taken a number of measures to enable us better to carry out this mission. At the same time, while adapting at the strategic level, we have been carrying out the day-to-day activities - some ongoing, some new, such as the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) - to implement our policies in the face of the global WMD challenge.
Our approach builds on the 2002 National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction. In particular, it states:
Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) - nuclear, biological, and chemical - in the possession of hostile states and terrorists represent one of the greatest security challenges facing the United States. We must pursue a comprehensive strategy to counter this threat in all of its dimensions. An effective strategy for countering WMD, including their use and further proliferation, is an integral component of the National Security Strategy of the United States of America.
The goal of this strategy was reinforced by President Bush in his January 20, 2004, State of the Union address when he stated, "America is committed to keeping the world's most dangerous weapons out of the hands of the most dangerous regimes."
Consistent with the President's guidance, preventing hostile states and non-state actors from acquiring or using WMD was one of the four priorities the Department identified in the QDR just issued by the Secretary. This is the first time a QDR has devoted such attention to the threat of WMD. Additionally, Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace issued the first-ever National Military Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction on February 13, 2006. Our strategic approach is built on the "three pillars" of combating WMD identified in the 2002 National Strategy to Combat WMD: nonproliferation, counterproliferation and consequence management. We define these terms as follows:
--Nonproliferation - Actions to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by dissuading or impeding access to, or distribution of, sensitive technologies, material, and expertise.
--Counterproliferation - Actions to defeat the threat and/or use of weapons of mass destruction against the United States, U.S. Armed Forces, its allies, and partners.
--WMD Consequence Management - Actions taken to mitigate the effects of a WMD attack, or event, and to restore essential operations and services at home and abroad.
At the next level, the National Military Strategy to Combat WMD identifies eight military mission areas that support the pillars in the National Strategy: offensive operations, elimination operations, interdiction operations, active defense, passive defense, WMD consequence management, security cooperation and partner activities, and threat reduction cooperation. This new strategic framework is the Department's vehicle for dividing the broad "combating WMD" mission into specific, definable military activities that we can address with better focus in the budget, training, doctrine and policy processes.
Organizing for the Combating WMD Mission
In addition to this new strategic framework, the Department of Defense has transformed our organizational structure to better combat WMD. On January 6, 2005, the Secretary of Defense designated the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) - commanded by General Cartwright - as the Department's lead for synchronizing and integrating combating WMD operational efforts in support of our Combatant Commanders. In this new role, STRATCOM supports other Combatant Commanders as they execute combating WMD operations. On January 31, 2006, the Secretary of Defense appointed the Director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) with an additional duty as the Director of STRATCOM's Combating WMD Center (SCC). This appointment was recommended by the QDR and designed to enhance STRATCOM's ability to synchronize and integrate the Department's combating WMD efforts. General Cartwright and his team, including Dr. Jim Tegnelia of DTRA, identify and advocate new combating WMD requirements and shepherd them through the budget process. The first two missions to be addressed in this manner are WMD elimination and interdiction, areas where we need to increase our capacities substantially.
Complementing this reorganization, all DoD components have been directed to realign themselves to improve execution of the combating WMD mission. Within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, for example, my own office realigned over the past six months to create a near-single point of contact for policy support of the combating WMD mission. My office is now responsible for seven of eight mission areas identified in the National Military Strategy to Combat WMD: offensive operations, elimination operations, interdiction operations, active defense, passive defense, security cooperation and partner activities and threat reduction cooperation. Organizing Policy's oversight of consequence management capabilities is something we are still working on.
To fulfill the President's commitment, the QDR directs that "national efforts to counter the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction must incorporate both preventive and responsive dimensions." Preventive activities include those that: build and expand global partnerships aimed at preventing proliferation; stop WMD-related trafficking; help friendly governments improve controls over existing WMD; and discredit WMD as an instrument of national power. If these preventive activities fail, DoD must be prepared to respond by locating, securing and destroying WMD.
Preventive Dimension of Combating WMD
The Toolkit for Preventive Activities. With respect to the preventive dimension, we have long viewed nonproliferation treaties and export control regimes as integral elements of our strategy for combating WMD. These treaties and regimes include the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Biological Weapons Convention, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Australia Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Missile Technology Control Regime. DoD brings significant policy and technical expertise to bear on enforcement of these regimes through the Office of Negotiations Policy and the Defense Technology Security Administration.
Interdiction. While these regimes are a first line of defense, not all countries are members of all regimes, and many countries that are members cheat. WMD programs in countries like Iran and North Korea have highlighted the need for additional measures such as interdiction. Interdiction is an essential component in our efforts to counter the proliferation activities of both suppliers and customers. Interdictions raise the costs for proliferators, but also can deter some suppliers from even getting in the business of prolferation. As part of this effort, DoD has taken steps to strenghten U.S. military capabilities to support interdiction. For example, in October 2005, the Naval War College organized the first government-wide, classified gaming exercise for all U.S. agencies involved in interdiction. In addition, the U.S. Navy has improved shipboarding and cargo assessment by validating its new Visit Board Search and Seizure team capability. Finally, the Defense Intelligence Agency established a new division for interdiction support to DoD policy makers.
The Proliferation Security Initiative. In addition to U.S. domestic efforts, we have worked closely with other governments since President Bush launched the PSI in May 2003. The PSI has been a forum for the United States and other countries to collaborate on how we will work together to interdict WMD-related shipments bound to and from states of concern, and to build national capabilities so that like-minded nations collectively have a more robust arsenal of WMD interdiction tools.
PSI partners define interdiction broadly to include military, law enforcement, intelligence, and diplomatic efforts to impede and stop proliferation-related shipments, and it can involve sea, air, land, or trans-modal shipments. Today more than 70 countries have indicated support for the PSI, and we continue to discuss the initiative with states that could contribute to PSI's mission.
PSI Builds National Capabilities. PSI partners are working together in the PSI Operational Experts Group (OEG) to improve their national interdiction capabilities. The OEG is an expanding network of military, law enforcement, intelligence, legal, and diplomatic experts. They develop new operational concepts for interdiction, organize a program of interdiction exercises, share information about national legal authorities, and pursue cooperation with industry sectors that can be helpful to the interdiction mission. Through these efforts, OEG participants raise the level of collective and national interdiction capabilities. The November 2005 OEG meeting was the first regionally focused OEG meeting and provided a venue for all European PSI participants to develop national and regional capabilities. The United States will host the next OEG meeting in April 2006, which for the first time will involve a South American participant, Argentina. DoD is responsible for leading the Operational Experts Group process, the locus of operational aspects of PSI. To date, nineteen PSI exercises involving a wide range of operational assets have been held. These have included air, maritime and ground assets and have been hosted by a range of countries. Table-top games and simulations in particular have helped participants work through interdiction scenarios, and have, in many cases, improved the way participating governments organize to conduct interdictions.
Cooperative Threat Reduction. Mr. Chairman, the Subcommittee is already familiar with the history and details of the Cooperative Threat Reduction program. CTR supports another two of the mission areas identified by the National Military Strategy to Combat WMD: threat reduction cooperation, and security cooperation/partner activities. The program continues to help eliminate WMD material and enhance security for WMD, particularly the legacy WMD of the former Soviet Union. I would like to touch on recent developments in CTR.
Fiscal years 2005 and 2006-to-date saw continued progress for CTR. This was the case both with respect to CTR's substantive mission, as well as with respect to the revised business practices implemented after problems arose several years ago. As the subcommittee knows, these new practices extended to both policy and implementation. They included changes in personnel, application of DoD acquisition processes, extensive reviews by the DoD Inspector General and GAO, conversion of informal understandings to binding legal agreements, and establishment of a formal "executive review" process, in which implementation and policy experts review all aspects of major projects semiannually with their Russian counterparts.
In this timeframe, CTR continued its WMD infrastructure elimination work in Russia, destroying intercontinental missiles, and continuing the rail- and road-mobile missile project that eliminates SS-24/25 missiles, as well as their launchers. CTR also continued work on the Chemical Weapons Destruction Facility at Shchuch'ye. The Shchuch'ye facility will provide Russia a capability to eliminate some 2.1 million artillery shells and rockets loaded with nerve agent - one of Russia's most dangerous chemical agents weaponized in the most proliferable form.
Also in Russia, CTR has continued its assistance to improve the security of nuclear warheads in storage. With the President's Bratislava Nuclear Security Cooperation Initiative, we are poised to complete our security work at Russian nuclear warhead storage sites by 2008. These storage sites contain both strategic and non- strategic nuclear weapons. Acceleration of the original schedule from a 2011 completion target to 2008 requires that additional funds be obligated during Fiscal Year 2006, and I want to thank the House for its inclusion of the Administration's request for $44.5 million in its markup of the FY2006 supplemental.
Let me be clear, the U.S. is not enhancing security of warheads attached to operational nuclear delivery systems; rather, we are supporting Russia in its responsibility to secure its extensive warhead inventory across its vast and often remote array of storage facilities. The U.S. will be able to say by 2008 that we have done all we can to bring security of Russia's nuclear weapons up to credible standards. That will be a significant achievement.
The past year has seen success in implementation of CTR's capability to consolidate dangerous pathogen strains in Central Asian and Caucasus states. The U.S. receives samples of each strain which are used to ensure the reagents used in the rapid diagnostic equipment will accurately determine whether a disease outbreak is naturally occurring or a potential bio-terror event. This work has been a key initiative for the Administration, and we believe it helps meet a significant, unfilled requirement for the U.S. to stay abreast of the global bio-terror threat.
During the past year, CTR also saw continued progress in its WMD border security project, known as the WMD-Proliferation Prevention Initiative (PPI). PPI looks beyond the traditional CTR mission of dealing with "WMD-in-place," and address the threat of "WMD-on-the-move." PPI focuses on willing Central Asian countries that lack resources to build detection and interdiction capabilities on their own. We are focusing on Central Asian countries because of their proximity to Russia in order to create a WMD "safety net." We believe WMD border security is an important element of the CTR mission, and we appreciate the interest of Armed Services staff in PPI and WMD border security.
The Department realizes the scope of U.S. international border security activities, and the need to enhance coordination of these border security programs. We can report that, as of January 2006, all international border security assistance related to nuclear detection activities is governed by guidelines promulgated and administered by the NSC's Proliferation Strategy Policy Coordinating Committee. These guidelines will be expanded to include a process whereby all types of U.S. international border security assistance, from proliferation prevention to counter-narcotics, will be synchronized and deconflicted as effectively in Washington, as they are currently in the field.
Responsive Dimension of Combating WMD
Investing for the Future. Revising our strategies, restructuring our organizations, and changing our daily activities will not have lasting impact without adequate funding of corresponding capabilities, technologies and mission areas. The Autumn 2005 program/budget review undertook a comprehensive review of combating WMD funding which was carried through the QDR. Beginning with the FY2006 budget submission, we added $2B to the previous $7.6B Fiscal Year 2006-2011 allocation for the Chemical Biological Defense Program and related infrastructure (an increase of almost 20%). While we have made recent advances in this specific area, our effort in combating WMD funding remains a work in progress. We look forward to working with STRATCOM as they identify and define additional requirements.
Joint Task Force for Elimination. One of the earliest lessons learned from our military operations in Iraq was that DoD needed a well organized, well trained force to be able to quickly and systematically locate, seize, secure, disable and safeguard an adversary's WMD program, including sites, laboratories, materials, and associated scientists and other personnel.
The Army's 20th Support Command, located north of Baltimore at the Edgewood Area of Aberdeen Proving Ground, was stood up as an Army headquarters tasked to provide technically qualified Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High Yield Explosives (CBRNE) response forces to support geographic Combatant Commanders. This unique organization includes the Army's Technical Escort Battalions as well as an Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Group. While the 20th was not established until after Operation Iraqi Freedom, many of its units participated in the search for WMD in Iraq.
The 20th Headquarters was activated in 2004. However, while the military units assigned to this headquarters are deployable, the headquarters itself cannot deploy today since nearly two-thirds of the staff is composed of government civilians or contractors. In the QDR process, DoD leadership approved a proposal to assign 20th Support Command the task of becoming a deployable headquarters that could command and control these types of operations. Establishing a joint task force for elimination is a key element of the Department's vision, as articulated by the QDR, to deal with all aspects of the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction.
Biodefense Initiative. Another key conclusion of the QDR was that the Department should focus on new defensive capabilities in anticipation of the continued evolution of WMD threats. In response, DoD has decided to reallocate funding within the Chem- Bio Defense program to invest over $1.5B over the next five years to develop broad-spectrum countermeasures against advanced biological threats. For example, rather than continuing the traditional approach to developing countermeasures - which in effect results in "one drug, one bug" -- DoD will conduct research to develop drugs that could each counter many pathogens. For example, we are going to conduct research to develop a single pharmaceutical to counter all types of viral hemorrhagic fevers (like Ebola and Marburg) as well as a single pharmaceutical for all "intracellular" pathogens, like the Plague, by leveraging molecular biotechnology cutting edge technologies currently available. While supporting our combating WMD effort, these initiatives also benefit our forces who may well be ordered to deploy to places where these fevers pose a risk. Having one drug that could counter many bugs would improve military effectiveness by getting forces into the theater more quickly, protect our forces more efficiently, and complicate an adversary's military calculus on their effect.
Building Partner Capacity. More than ever before, we need partners be to be prepared for operations with us in a CBRN world. In 2002, the Department proposed creation of a CBRN Defense Battalion for NATO. This U.S. concept was endorsed by NATO defense ministers during the 2002 Prague Summit, and elements of a fully operational CBRN Defense Battalion supported the 2004 Summer Olympics just over one year later. The battalion includes a CBRN joint assessment team and mobile chemical, biological and radiological laboratories; it has received personnel and capability support from seventeen NATO nations to date. The concept for the Battalion and the way it was quickly institutionalized were unprecedented at NATO. We continue to encourage strengthening of the Battalion's capabilities to help drive member nations to improve their own combating WMD capabilities. The Battalion will be a model for future collaboration as we expand our counterproliferation discussions with other nations.
We continue to develop bilateral discussions with international partners on counterproliferation issues ranging from policy and operational support to detailed technical cooperation. We have or are establishing such bilateral working groups with countries from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia that share our desire to prepare for defense against the WMD threat. A central goal of the bilateral working groups we establish is to ensure that U.S. and potential coalition partners can execute combined operations in a WMD environment. The challenge of interoperability is significant even in a "mere" conventional warfighting environment. However, a WMD situation raises many additional issues. For example, if our combat or transport aircraft are returning from an area where WMD has been employed, we need to know in advance what decontamination our allies will require in order to ensure ready access to important way stations and forward depots. Similar problems relate to the decontamination of forces - including potentially wounded personnel - who will require immediate evacuation and attention. We have launched discussions with our NATO allies as well as several key potential coalition partners on these and other issues we believe need to be resolved for combined operations in a WMD environment.
Building partner capacity takes many forms and can include building legal capacities. In 2005, Navy, Joint Staff, General Counsel and OSD-Policy representatives completed three years of activity to expand legal authority against maritime trafficking in WMD, and helped secure adoption of amendments to the Convention on Suppression of Unlawful Acts at Sea (SUA) Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation. These amendments established the first international criminal standard against shipment of WMD as well as a comprehensive boarding regime. Once the Amendment enters into force after ratification by 12 member-states, we will have a new vehicle to prosecute violators and press for greater vigilance against trafficking in WMD.
Mr. Chairman, DoD understands that combating the spread of weapons of mass destruction in a complex and uncertain world requires a new approach. This new approach is reflected in our new strategic guidance, realigned organizational structure, and in changes in our day-to-day activities. Our commitment to success in this endeavor is absolute. Failure is not an option. Congress is an essential partner in this fight, and we look forward to continuing our work together. Thank you again for the opportunity to testify.
3. Hearing of the Energy and Water Development and Related Activities Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee: FY 2007 Appropriations for the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration
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CHAIRED BY: REPRESENTATIVE DAVID L. HOBSON (R-OH)
WITNESS: LINTON BROOKS, ADMINISTRATOR, NATIONAL NUCLEAR SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
LOCATION: RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING, ROOM 2362-B WASHINGTON, D.C.
REP. HOBSON: That's all right.
Ambassador Brooks, we'll hear your testimony now.
MR. BROOKS: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss our programs, and I appreciate the historic strong support we've gotten from this committee.
Turning to nonproliferation, our request continues to demonstrate the president's commitment to prevent the proliferation of weapons- usable material, technology and expertise. Most of our programs are very similar to those of previous years and are described in my statement.
I'd like to highlight four areas.
First, we're on track to meet commitments agreed to last year between Presidents Bush and Putin and Bratislava. Security upgrades at Russian Rosatom, their federal atomic energy agency facilities and at the nuclear warhead storage sites of the strategic rocket forces in the Ministry of Defense will be completed by the end of 2008. Consistent with our attempts to move from a assistance to partnership, we're heavily engaged in information and best practices exchanges in the areas of security and emergency management.
Second, we're requesting a significant increase for our program to permanently shutdown the three remaining weapons-grade plutonium production reactors in Russia. Two of these reactors will be shutdown by December 2008. The final reactor located in Zheleznogorsk will shutdown December 2010, and the Russians are being exceptionally cooperative in this program, especially with regard to cost containment.
Third, we proposed an increase in funding for the Global Threat Reduction Initiative. That's an umbrella program that secures and reduces fissionable and radioactive material worldwide. Under the radiological threat reduction, we've completed security upgrades at over 340 facilities. We've established, as a result of the agreement of the presidents, a prioritized schedule for repatriating U.S.-origin and Russian-origin research reactor fuel.
Finally, under our plutonium disposition program, the department's largest nonproliferation effort, we expect to begin construction of the MOX fuel fabrication facility this fall. The United States and Russia have successfully completed negotiations on the liability protocol, and senior Russian government officials have repeatedly assured us this protocol will be signed in the near future. This year, we received authorization from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to begin construction of the MOX facility and began site preparation work. We implemented a number of improvements to strengthen the management of the project. We will have validated baseline costs and schedules in place before construction begins.
Approval of the entire administration request is going to be essential for continuing this work into fiscal 2007, which will be a peak construction year. With the liability issue resolved, high-level U.S.-Russian discussions are taking place to confirm the technical and financial details of the Russian construction program, and we're investigating an approach which will begin early elimination of at least some Russian plutonium.
REP. MICHAEL SIMPSON (R-ID): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Ambassador Brooks and Admiral Donald, thank you for being here today. I notice that -- I mean of the naval (fuel ?) reactors, you guys do a great job. I appreciate the working relationship that we've had, and I have a couple of questions for you that I'll have in a minute.
But talk to me, if you would, a little bit about -- I'm not going to mention anything about following congressional mandates. The chairman's done that -- (laughs) -- very well, and I'll let him continue in that effort. Well, I may join in a little bit. The more we talk about it, the more I get fired up.
But anyway, talk to me a little bit about the liability agreement with the Russians. You said in your testimony that that's a done deal, it's been resolved. Have the Russians signed off on the language?
MR. BROOKS: They've signed off on the language; they've not formally signed the protocol. I know the Congress is often frustrated by the executive branch bureaucracy, but we are a model of streamlined efficiency compared to our colleagues in the Russian Federation. And they have a very elaborate effort which involves a number of agencies that don't -- whose utility in the process I don't think we fully understand.
All I can tell you, sir, is we have reached agreement. We have been told by the foreign minister that there are no issues. We've been told by the head of the Federal Economic Energy Agency there's no issues. He's told me that personally, he's told my secretary that, and --
REP. SIMPSON: Who has to sign off on it?
MR. BROOKS: Apparently in the Russian -- I mean, it will actually be signed by a representative of the Foreign Ministry and probably Undersecretary Joseph from the Department of State. Who has to agree to it in the Russian Federation, as far as I can tell, is everybody. I'm a little frustrated that this isn't behind us, because I think it is, substantively, it's completely behind us, but it is obviously annoying that we have this loose end. But as far as I can tell -- I don't think you can always take everybody at their word; in this particular case I take at their word our interlocutors, who say that there are no --
REP. SIMPSON: So you don't think this will slow down the --
MR. BROOKS: No, sir.
REP. SIMPSON: -- (inaudible word) -- the MOX facility?
MR. BROOKS: No, sir.
REP. SIMPSON: What if it doesn't get signed?
MR. BROOKS: Then we'll figure out why and what to do about it. The whole issue is sort of ninth order, to be candid, and I think we'll work around it.
REP. SIMPSON: Okay. Okay.
MR. BROOKS: But I don't want to mislead you. There are -- there are areas in which we and the Russians have a lot of work left to go on plutonium disposition. I -- my current assessment is the liability, however, is not one of them.
REP. SIMPSON: Okay. What about the -- I've been concerned, as I've watched recently the relationship between the United States and Russia, and it seems to be deteriorating -- going in the wrong direction, if you want to put it that way, particularly in dealing with Iran and some other issues. How is that affecting our relationship and our ability to deal with Russia in terms of nonproliferation?
MR. BROOKS: It's been uneven. I think the United States -- I think the secretary of State has made clear that we are concerned by some of the internal trends in Russia. We're concerned, obviously, with some of the rollback of democracy, which is not in my area, but we're also concerned with the growing influence of the security services and their reluctance to provide information and access.
Thus far, we are working through those issues, but I am concerned that they make our work somewhat more cumbersome. In general, however, the Russians want to improve security -- they're at least as concerned about security as we are. And there are some good counter- trends. Under Bratislava we have begun discussion on security best practices and how you build a strong security culture, and we've also begun discussion on emergency management in the nuclear area. And particularly, the emergency management discussions have been less stilted than I had feared they might be. So I think there are some things back and forth.
REP. TOM LATHAM (R-IA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And I wanted to thank you for a chance to visit with you yesterday, and I appreciate that courtesy. I just have one question.
I don't think it's any secret some folks who want to do us great harm would love to get ahold of nuclear material, and from my understanding there's -- maybe you can tell me what the number is exactly -- but some reactors in foreign countries that are not secured, and -- or not secure -- and I would just ask, you know, what the status is as far as cooperation with those countries, what we need to do, if there's anything we can do here to be of assistance to you to get cooperation. But I think this is a very real threat, potentially.
MR. BROOKS: Yes, sir. It is a threat, and we address it on two approaches.
One is to look at the number of research reactors that use highly enriched uranium; that's what we're concerned about.
REP. LATHAM: Right.
MR. BROOKS: There are 173 of those worldwide. Seventy of them are in advanced countries like Canada and the United Kingdom, where they don't need our help. They have both the ability and the knowledge and the motivation. We've done upgrades to an additional 76, and we have security upgrades in process to six more. We think that there are another four -- I'd prefer not to get into specifics because obviously this is cooperative -- that we're working quietly to convince them that they ought to let us help. So that four out of 173 that we see left to go. And then there are a handful in countries where our ability is limited, and there are probably a dozen and a half there where I simply don't know. Now, that's one part of it.
The other part of it is that we wouldn't have to have this discussion if we could take these reactors and convert them to use low enriched uranium. We often use the term research reactors, but many of these reactors actually make medical isotopes. And so you need to keep them operating because the medical isotopes have limited life. But it is possible to convert them to use low enriched uranium, and then security is much less of a concern.
We do that under the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, for which we're asking a 10 percent increase this year. And we have 106 reactors we're targeting for conversion. We've assisted conversion in 43. We have another 40-some-odd that we're working to convert -- we know how to do it; it's just getting to it. There are about two dozen where we need to do further development work because we don't technically have a qualified fuel.
We are committed to have all of those conversions completed by 2014. That's the long-term fix. The short-term fix is the security upgrades that I talked about.
REP. LATHAM: Is the constraint money, or --
MR. BROOKS: No, it's mostly -- it's -- few program officials will come before you and say they have too much money, and I don't -- I don't want to break that tradition. (Laughter.)
We're putting resources to it, but the constraint on all these cooperative things are a combination of technology and the interaction with other countries. I don't think we are primarily constrained by money.
REP. LATHAM: Okay.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
REP. HOBSON: Mr. Visclosky.
REP. VISCLOSKY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Ambassador, this committee provided significantly increased funding for warhead dismantlement in FY '05 and '(0)6, and the president's '07 budget reflected the interest in increased dismantlement to $75 million, which was a doubling over the '06 request.
In your '07 future years nuclear security program, in the five- year program, the '08 dismantling budget is at $29 million. Can you explain why there is a drop?
MR. BROOKS: Yes. We are committed to dismantlement. We expect to do almost 50 percent more dismantlements in '07 than in '06.
The final long-term projection, we made some last minute adjustments to the '07 budget, which included the additional increase you mentioned, the dismantlement. And our out-year plans were not always -- we didn't always get that track through the out-years. I don't want to make commitments about what is, after all, the president's budget, but I would be very surprised if that is the number that is in the '08 budget when it is presented to you.
4. Hearing of the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee: U.S. Nonproliferation Strategy and the Roles and Missions of the Defense and Energy Departments in Nonproliferation in Review of the FY 2007 Defense Budget
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PARTICIPANTS: PETER FLORY, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY POLICY; MARINE CORPS GEN. JAMES CARTWRIGHT, COMMANDER, U.S. STRATEGIC COMMAND; JERRY PAUL, PRINCIPAL DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR, NATIONAL NUCLEAR SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, ENERGY DEPARTMENT
CHAIRED BY: SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX)
SEN. CORNYN: The Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities will come to order. Senator Reed, our ranking member, will be arriving momentarily. And we're pleased to have Senator Collins here with us, as well as each of our witnesses.
The committee meets today to receive testimony on U.S. nonproliferation strategy and the roles and missions of the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy in nonproliferation.
We welcome each of our witnesses: the honorable Peter C.W. Flory, assistant secretary of Defense for International Security Policy; General James E. Cartwright, United States Marine Corps, commander, U.S. Strategic Command; and the honorable Jerry Paul, principal deputy administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, National Nuclear Security Agency of the United States Department of Energy.
The honorable Robert G. Joseph, undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, could not be with us today due to a conflict with his testimony in the Foreign Relations Committee, but he has submitted a very helpful statement for the record.
The programs and missions for which each of you are responsible are critically important to the national security of the United States. In a major address on nonproliferation at the National Defense University on February 11th, 2004, President Bush stated, "The greatest threat before humanity today is the possibility of a secret and sudden attack with chemical or biological or radiological or nuclear weapons." He was referring, of course, to the threat of weapons of mass destruction getting into the hands of terrorists.
Appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee just one month ago, Ambassador John Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, testified that terrorism is the preeminent threat to the United States, and the key terrorist organizations remain interested in acquiring chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials or weapons to attack the United States, U.S. troops and United States interests worldwide.
Each of you have significant responsibilities for programs and missions that are aimed at reducing the proliferation threat and managing the consequences, should such weapons ever get into the wrong hands or even be used.
Assistant Secretary Flory, we look forward to your testimony on the administration's nonproliferation policy and strategy, the cooperative threat reduction program, the Department of Defense's role in the Proliferation Security Initiative, and your assessment of efforts underway at the Department of Defense to consolidate and integrate myriad department activities into a unified combating WMD mission.
With respect to the cooperative threat reduction program, the subcommittee is interested in your testimony on the progress of the Chemical Weapons Destruction Facility at -- I'm going to have a hard time pronouncing that here -- Shchuch'ye -- the prospects for using CTR funds to eliminate chemical weapons in Libya, and your vision of the future of the CTR program.
General Cartwright, we look forward to your testimony on your new responsibility for integrating the department's efforts to combat WMD. We understand this is a work in progress. We look forward to enhancing our understanding of what this mission encompasses and how you plan to carry out your responsibilities in this area and what role the Defense Threat Reduction Agency will play. We'll be interested to hear what milestones you have set to measure progress in integrating the Department of Defense's efforts to combat WMD.
Deputy Administrator Paul, we look forward to your testimony on the impressive and growing array of the Department of Energy's nonproliferation programs.
The Second Line of Defense, Megaports, the Global Threat Reduction Initiative and elimination of weapons-grade plutonium production programs, to name just a few, are making important contributions to U.S. nonproliferation objectives.
One program that I have concerns about is the MOX Plutonium Disposition Program, which seems to have an uncertain future on the Russian side, and it has experienced considerable cost growth and schedule delays on the U.S. side. We look forward to a dialogue with you about the way forward in this program.
In general, the fiscal year 2007 DOD and DOE budget request demonstrates the administration's continuing commitment to threat reduction and nonproliferation programs. I strongly share that commitment and believe that we must maintain and strengthen our support for these vital nonproliferation programs in the future.
The subcommittee looks forward to your testimony, and I thank each of you for your service to our nation and your presence here today to provide testimony.
We'll go ahead and hear the opening statements from each of the witnesses, and then we'll turn to a round of questions. And when Senator Reed arrives, we'll certainly give him a chance to make any opening statement he would care to make.
Secretary Flory, we'd be glad to hear from you first.
MR. FLORY: Chairman Cornyn, thank you, Senator Collins, Senator Nelson. It's an honor to have the opportunity to testify before the subcommittee today to describe the Department of Defense's efforts to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, or WMD, an acronym we'll be using through the course of the day.
I appreciate the opportunity to summarize my prepared remarks, which I request be included in the record in full.
SEN. CORNYN: Certainly, without objection, all written statements will be made part of the record.
MR. FLORY: Thank you.
My goal today is to share with you many of the new approaches, new initiatives the department is taking to stop the proliferation of WMD, to preventing its use, and to enabling our war-fighters to accomplish their missions in a WMD environment, if necessary.
This is not a new mission. It's something we've been focusing on particularly since the events of September 11th and the promulgation of a national strategy on combating WMD in 2002. The challenge was summed up particularly well by President Bush in his January 2004 State of the Union address when he said, "America is committed to keeping the world's most dangerous weapons out of the hands of the most dangerous regimes." I would add to that by, under regimes, we would also include terrorist groups and others who might want to use weapons of mass destruction against us.
There's a great deal that has happened since September 11th, since 2002, and even since January 2004. At the strategic level, the strategic-level guidance preventing hostile states and non-state actors from acquiring or using WMD is one of the four priorities for the Defense Department that were identified in the Quadrennial Defense Review that was issued by Secretary Rumsfeld last week -- excuse me, last month.
I would add that it also supports and is an element of the other priorities, which include defeating terrorist networks, defending the homeland (in-depth?) and shaping the choices of states at strategic crossroads. So all of these priority areas actually relate to and support each other. This is the first time that a Quadrennial Defense Review has devoted so much attention to the threat of WMD.
Also recently, and also at the strategic level, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Pace, issued the first-ever national military strategy to combat WMD on February 13th, 2006, last month. Our strategic approach is to build on the so-called three pillars of combating WMD, and these were identified in the 2002 national strategy, and those are nonproliferation, counterproliferation and consequence management.
We use those terms as follows. Nonproliferation refers to actions to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by dissuading or impeding access to or distribution of sensitive technologies, material and expertise.
Counterproliferation refers to actions to defeat the threat and/or the use of weapons of mass destruction against the United States, against our armed forces, against our allies or against our partners.
WMD consequence management refers to actions taken to mitigate the effects of a WMD attack or event and to restore essential operations and services at home or abroad.
The strategic framework and the more detailed functional requirements that flow to it is the department's vehicle for dividing the broad combating WMD mission into eight specific and definable military activities that we can address with better focus in the budget, training, doctrine and policy processes.
In addition to a new strategic framework, we have also revised our organizational structure to better position us to combat WMD. On January 6, 2005, the secretary of Defense designated the United States Strategic Command, STRATCOM, commanded by General Cartwright, who is here with me today, as the department's lead for synchronizing and focusing combating WMD operational efforts in support of our combatant commanders.
In this new role, STRATCOM supports the other combatant commanders as they execute combating WMD operations, and General Cartwright and his team, including Dr. Jim Pygnalia (ph) of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, now are the advocates for developing mission requirements and shepherding them through the budget process. Those are mission requirements relating to combating WMD.
The first two mission requirements to be addressed in this manner are WMD elimination and interdiction, two areas where we need to increase our capability substantially. Those are two of the eight mission areas that were identified.
In addition, all DOD components were directed to realign themselves to improve execution of the combating WMD mission. Within the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy -- the (Office of) Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, for example -- my own office, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for International Security Policy, is a near-single point of contact for policy support for the combating WMD mission, specifically covering seven of the eight mission areas. And we continue to refine our organization within the Office of the Undersecretary for Policy.
When we pursue these strategic and organizational changes, we continue to move ahead with day-to-day activities to combat WMD. Many of these activities were initiated around the time of the national strategy to combat WMD in 2002. Some actually were started earlier, and many are entirely new or certainly are things that were initiated in the last couple of years.
The QDR group these activities into preventive and responsive dimensions. With respect to the preventive end of things, nonproliferation treaties and export control regimes have been and remain integral elements of our strategy for combating WMD. These include the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Biological Weapons Convention, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Australia Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Missile Technology Control Regime.
The Department of Defense brings significant policy and technical expertise to bear on enforcement of these regimes, including, for a few examples within my office, our Office of Negotiations Policy and the Defense Technology Security Administration.
But while these regimes are an important first line of defense, not all countries are members of all regimes, and many countries that are members of regimes cheat.
Weapons of mass destruction programs in countries like Iran and North Korea, for example, have highlighted the need for additional measures. One of those in particular is interdiction. Interdiction is an essential component in our efforts to counter the proliferation activities of both suppliers and customers. Interdictions can raise the costs for proliferators. They can shine a bright light on their activities. They can also deter suppliers or potential suppliers from going into the proliferation business in the first place.
President Bush launched the Proliferation Security Imitative, or PSI, in May 2003 to help focus U.S. interdiction efforts and to build the interdiction capacity of like-minded governments around the world. PSI partners -- and now there are over 70 of them -- define interdiction broadly to include military, law enforcement, intelligence and diplomatic efforts to impede and stop proliferation of shipments. This can involve sea, air, land, or what we call transmodal shipments, shipments that go from sea to air or land to sea or whatever. Again, more than 70 countries have indicated support for the PSI and we continue to discuss the initiative with other potential supporters.
The Department of Defense is responsible for leading the PSI Operational Experts Group process, which is the main focus for the operational aspects of PSI. This is a group that brings together experts in military, intelligence, law enforcement, customs and other fields (and?) allows them to plan and conduct exercises, to share expertise -- to share expertise, for example, on how different countries' legal regimes can be used to support counterproliferation activities.
To date, we've had 19 PSI exercises with a number of countries, involving a wide range of operational assets, including air, maritime and ground assets, and these have been hosted by a number of different PSI countries.
Another DOD program that supports the preventive dimension of combating WMD is the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, or CTR, which, Chairman Cornyn, you mentioned earlier. The subcommittee is familiar with the history and the details of CTR, and we appreciate your support in the past.
My prepared statement addresses in detail the CTR's record over the past year and some of the issues and challenges we see in the year ahead. For now I'd like to highlight one of the CTR preventive activities in particular, which is one in which the administration needs Congress's help in the short term to help ensure success. And I'm referring to the Nuclear Security Cooperation Initiative announced by Presidents Bush and Putin at the February 2005 G8 summit in Bratislava.
A key element of this initiative is to accelerate U.S. security work at Russian nuclear warhead storage sites, to achieve completion by 2008. That would be four years ahead of the original planned schedule. If we're successful in doing this -- and we certainly intend to be successful -- we'll be able to say by 2008 that we will have done all that we can to bring the security of Russia's nuclear weapons up to credible standards. This will be a significant achievement, and we need your help to achieve this goal.
Acceleration of the original schedule to 2008 requires additional funds for obligations during fiscal year 2006. And I would respectfully urge subcommittee members to support the administration's request for $44.5 million in fiscal year 2006 supplemental appropriations for this project.
Mr. Chairman, if I could just quickly also address two of the specific issues you asked about in your statement, the Shchuch'ye project and the question of using CTR funds to Libya.
The Shchuch'ye project is a large project in which we've invested a great deal of money to construct a chemical demilitarization plant. We've had a delay in the project that is going to set us back, we think, somewhat over a year. The one subcontractor that entered a bid to carry out some of the work inside the facilities of actually putting in some of the equipment submitted a bid that is way too high. And both the U.S. government and our main contractor on the contract agreed that the bid was too high.
We have gone back. We have put the contract out for additional bids. We'll go through that process. We'll see what we emerge with and see if we can't get a better offer on the table this time. But we emphasize, for the committee's purposes, this means there will be a delay in the Shchuch'ye project.
The other matter you raised was the question of Libya, what CTR might do to contribute to the destruction of Libyan weapons. We had a team -- I think it was a State/DTRA team, with members from the State Department and our Defense Threat Reduction Agency -- that was in Libya in February. They have looked at the stocks involved. They've looked at the logistical and other issues involved.
We expect to get a report back from them with some options sometime next month, and I'm sure we'll have the opportunity to discuss that further with the committee. But that's the status on the couple of additional items that you raised.
Mr. Chairman, turning now to the responsive dimension of the combating WMD mission and what we have done to address the challenges here, the autumn 2005 program budget review undertook a comprehensive look at combating WMD funding that was carried on through the Quadrennial Defense Review.
Beginning with the 2006 budget submission, in fact, we added $2 billion to the previous $7.6 billion fiscal year 2006-2011 allocation for the Chemical-Biological Defense Program. This increase in the Chem-Bio Defense Program funding represents a down payment towards re- prioritization of and within the combating WMD mission. This process is not complete, and we look forward to working with STRATCOM and with the committee as we proceed with these initiatives.
Another element of the responsive dimension is the establishment of an Army headquarters tasked to provide technically qualified chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives, or CBRNE, response forces to support geographic combatant commanders.
The 20th Army Support Command has this job now, which includes capabilities to quickly and systematically locate, seize, secure, disable and safeguard an adversary's WMD program, including sites, laboratories, materials and associated scientists and other personnel.
The impetus for setting up this organization was the work that was done prior to the Iraq war to set up forces to deal with the WMD that we expected to find in Iraq. And, in fact, many of the elements of the current group actually did serve as part of the Iraq WMD effort.
Today this organization includes the Army's Technical Escort Battalions as well as an Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal, or EOD, group. The headquarters of the 20th was activated in 2004. The next step for this unit will be to make it -- will be to make the entire unit, including the headquarters, as deployable as its many operational components. As it stands right now, some of the headquarters is civilian, so they cannot be deployed in the same way that the military components can be. But that's something we're in the process of changing.
Another element of the responsive dimension is to anticipate the continued evolution of WMD threats. As an example of how we're doing this, we are reallocating $1.5 billion in Chem-Bio Defense Program funds to invest in broad-spectrum countermeasures against advanced bio-terror threats.
What we're trying to do is this. Currently the approach has been what somebody shorthanded as the "one drug, one bug" approach, whereby a particular vaccine or a particular remedy only worked against one particular pathogen. What we're trying to do now is develop broad- spectrum countermeasures that work against an entire class of threats.
We're also expanding our work with potential partner countries to improve response capabilities. In 2002, the department helped create a chem-bio-radiological-nuclear, or CBRN, defense battalion for NATO. Elements of this fully operational battalion were available just over a year later to support the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. This battalion has received personnel and capability support from 17 NATO nations to date.
We continue to encourage strengthening the battalion's capabilities to help drive member nations to improve their own combating WMD capabilities, as well as to improve the collective capabilities of the unit. This battalion will be a model for future collaboration as we expand our counterproliferation discussions with other nations.
In addition, we continue to develop bilateral discussions with international partners on counterproliferation issues ranging from policy and operational support to detailed technical cooperation. And we have or we are establishing such bilateral working groups with a number of countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia that share our concern about and our desire to prepare to deal with the WMD threat.
I would just add, as a general point here, one of the key themes in the Quadrennial Defense Review is the idea of developing partnership capacity. And both the initiatives that I just mentioned, as well as a number of things that we are undertaking, are designed to support that goal.
We can't do everything. We shouldn't have to do everything. And in a number of cases, arguably it's better if somebody else does it. So the idea of developing capabilities and developing capabilities of partner nations is something that runs throughout our entire approach here.
SEN. CORNYN: Secretary Flory, you're providing the committee with a lot of very good information. But in the interest of getting to the other witnesses, if you wouldn't mind summing up, and then, of course, we'll come back with some questions and answers.
MR. FLORY: Mr. Chairman, I can sum up very briefly and simply say we understand at the Department of Defense that combating the threat of WMD in a complex and uncertain world, a world that continues to surprise us, and often in unpleasant manners, requires a new approach. This approach is reflected in our strategic guidance, in our realigned operational structure and in the way we carry out our day-to-day activities. Our commitment to success is absolute. Failure is not an option.
I look forward to having the opportunity later to answer your questions. Thank you.
SEN. CORNYN: Thank you very much.
General Cartwright, we'd be glad to hear your opening statement.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I think most of it has been covered. And I'll just hit on a couple of questions that you brought up in your initial statement, just to make sure we've got that as a starting point.
The threat really has been covered; the pillars, the national and the military strategy here. STRATCOM, in January of 2005, was assigned the mission. And key to the mission definition here, our role was that of synchronizing and integrating all of the mission areas that heretofore had been spread across the department.
And so we see ourselves in a position of advocating for the doctrine, the organization, the material solutions, the tactics, techniques and procedures that will serve and benefit the regional combatant commanders.
In August of 2005, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency was assigned as our lead combat support agency. And what they brought to the table for us was the technical expertise. They are recognized within the department as having the technical expertise and the relationships cross-government to allow us to affect this mission area in a way that we need to do it.
In the January time frame of this year, 2006, we stood up the initial operating capability of what we call the Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction. STRATCOM is organized with joint functional components. But given that the Defense Threat Reduction Agency is, in fact, an agency rather than a military organization, and has a director at its head versus a commander, we chose to call this a center to clearly identify the fact that it was led by a civilian.
We have assigned to that organization a flag officer who gets up every day worrying about what it is that we need to do to bring closer the military capabilities and the technical expertise that DTRA brings to the table. Mar 29, 2006 12:12 ET .EOF
So there is a core element inside of DTRA at their headquarters in Fort Belvoir in Virginia that is assigned to bring closer together the technical expertise that resides there and the operational planning and execution functions that we're going to have to carry out in this mission area across all three pillars.
We also, as was discussed here in the opening statement, have a joint task force for elimination that we are standing up with the 20th Support Group of the Army -- a major effort and a major capability need that we have to get going and get going quickly. We're in the functional need-assessment phase of standing that organization up to make it deployable, make it responsive to the combatant commanders.
The objective here is to give the regional combatant commanders the capability all the way from what we call phase zero, which is where engagement activities within the theater, through combat operations and, if necessary, through the consequence management or the cleanup of activities at the end of a conflict. And to have one coherent organization looking across all those phases in support of the regional combatant commanders, that's where we want to end up. We intend to get there and get there as quickly as we can.
The next major milestone for us is at the end of this year to have that component -- that JTF for elimination -- up and running with a needs assessment and understanding of the requirements, the resources, both in manpower and dollars, that are going to be necessary, and the authorities for that organization to be effective. And I'll leave it at that and open to your questions.
SEN. SESSIONS: Thank you.
MR. PAUL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Nelson. Thank you for creating this opportunity to raise the level of attention and for your leadership on these paramount issues associated with nuclear weapons of mass destruction. It is indeed a pleasure to be here today to discuss nonproliferation activities of the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.
Acquisition of nuclear weapons -- weapons of mass destruction -- capabilities, technologies and expertise by rogue states and terrorists pose the greatest threat to our national security, as the chairman eloquently pointed out. Pursuit of these capabilities by terrorists and the states of concern underscores the importance of our threat reduction, detection and interdiction programs. The mission of the Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation within NNSA is to detect, prevent and reverse the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Our programs are structured to support multiple layers of defense against nuclear terrorism and state-sponsored nuclear proliferation. We work with more than 70 countries to secure dangerous nuclear and radiological materials and to dispose of surplus weapons-usable material. We also work closely with multinational and multilateral institutions, including the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency, at the United Nations in our offices in Vienna and with the Nuclear Suppliers Group as well to strengthen international nuclear safeguard regimes and to improve the nuclear export control regulatory infrastructure in other countries. This multilayered approach is intended to identify and address potential vulnerabilities within the international nonproliferation regimes and to limit terrorist access to deadly weapons and materials themselves.
Since September 11th, 2001, the Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation within the National Nuclear Security Administration has accelerated and expanded its implementation of a six-pronged defense in-depth strategy to deny terrorists and states of concern to the materials, the technology and the expertise needed to develop nuclear and radiological weapons. Our programs fall into those six broad categories.
First element of that strategy is to account for and secure nuclear materials in Russia and the former Soviet Union. To date, we've secured over 80 percent of the sites where these materials are stored and we are on course to finish all of our security upgrades by 2008 -- a full two years ahead of schedule.
Second prong is to detect and prevent the movement or trafficking of weapons-usable technologies and nuclear materials. We have installed radiation detection equipment at more than 50 border crossings in Russia and the former Soviet Union and European countries. The Megaports Initiative is currently operational in Greece, the Bahamas, Sri Lanka, Spain, Netherlands, and is at various stages of implementation in nine other countries, and there are many more on the list that we are driving towards implementing.
The third prong is to stop the production of new fissile material in Russia. We are working with Russia to expedite the closure of its remaining three plutonium production reactors in the formerly closed cities of Seversk and Zheleznogorsk.
Fourth, to eliminate existing weapons-usable material in Russia and former Soviet states through our Megatons to Megawatts program. More than 260 metric tons of Russian highly enriched uranium that is bomb-grade uranium from dismantled weapons have been down-blended to low-enriched uranium that is nonbomb-grade uranium, nonweapons-grade material for use in commercial nuclear power reactors.
As we speak, Mr. Chairman, Senator Nelson, 10 percent of all electricity consumed by Americans in this country comes from low- enriched uranium that formerly was a part of highly enriched uranium from Soviet nuclear weapons. This program ultimately will be responsible for disposing of approximately 20,000 nuclear warheads worth of material, and we're a little more than half way through that now.
We're also working with the Russian Federation to eliminate 34 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium in each country and that's for over 17,000 nuclear weapons.
This, in part -- the MOX program that the chairman mentioned, and I look forward to taking some questions on both the Russian and the domestic progress on MOX.
Fifth prong is to eliminate or consolidate the remaining weapons- usable nuclear and radiological materials that exist throughout the remainder of the world.
Our Global Threat Reduction Initiative formed two years ago has converted 43 research reactors to use low-enriched uranium and plans to convert all 106 targeted research reactors by 2014.
GTRI, the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, has repatriated 145 kilograms of Russian origin highly enriched uranium from Russian supplied research reactors and approximately 1,200 kilograms of U.S.- origin highly enriched uranium in spent fuel assembly from U.S. supplied research reactors.
The U.S. Radiological Threat Reduction Program has recovered more than 12,000 radioactive radiological sources in the U.S. and the International Radiological Threat Reduction Program has completed security upgrades at 373 sites to date.
And our sixth prong is to support our U.S. diplomatic initiatives. The Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration through our national laboratories are playing a vital role in our nation's broader effort to challenge proliferation in Iran, prepare the groundwork for verifying any North Korean nuclear declaration in the context of the six-party talks, to promote universal implementations of the antiproliferation measures outlined in the United Nations Security Council resolution 1540, to update the Nuclear Suppliers Group guidelines, and strengthen international safeguards -- and of course assist Libya in the dismantlement of its former WMD program.
We also perform critical research and development. We manage a vigorous nonproliferation R&D program, and it is the technical base that provides our policy programs and operational agencies, including the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and the intelligence community, with the innovative systems and technologies to meet their nonproliferation, counterproliferation and counterterrorism missions responsibilities.
A brief word -- Bratislava -- as you know, many of these programs have new, accelerated completion dates as a result of the joint statement that the general and Secretary Flory referred to at the G8 summit on Bratislava. We have made great progress because of this momentum that has been given to us by this joint statement between President Bush and President Putin. We've established a bilateral senior working group co-chaired by the U.S. secretary of Energy, Bodman, and the Russian Federal Atomic Agency director, Sergei Kiriyenko. Together, they oversee enhanced nuclear and security cooperation in five areas -- emergency response, best practices, security culture, research reactors, material protection, control and accounting.
While the NNSA has been working with our Russian counterparts in many of these areas for several years, the Bratislava initiative truly did elevate our dialogue to a national level and has moved the cooperation to one of a shared partnership. One example would be our cooperation on physical protection of sensitive nuclear sites in Russia. That has been accelerated and will allow us to complete those by the end of 2008.
And I want to also make a brief comment while we're talking about nonproliferation on the importance of energy, nuclear energy and nuclear nonproliferation.
Last month, the president announced the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership. GNEP is a comprehensive strategy to supply the projected doubling of the world's demand for nuclear energy in the next four decades. We do this by using the science of the atom to provide clean, safe nuclear energy for decades to come in a way that reduces air emissions, advances nonproliferation goals, helps to resolve nuclear waste disposal issues and develops advanced safeguards and technologies. It is through GNEP that we can create a new model of nonproliferation both globally and domestically.
Under the administration's proposal, countries with secure advanced nuclear fuel cycle capabilities would offer commercially competitive and reliable access to nuclear fuel services to those countries who agree to forgo the development of indigenous fuel cycle enrichment and reprocessing technology.
On the budget, let me just say we thank the Congress very much for helping us to elevate the level of attention to nonproliferation issues. We ask for your continued support. This administration has more than doubled the funding for nuclear nonproliferation since its first budget in 2001. The request this year of almost $2 billion supports the NNSA nonproliferation programs and represents almost a 7 percent increase over the budget for comparable '06 activities in a budget-constrained environment.
I have submitted a more detailed budget justification and statistical appendix for the record, and I'd like to take just a quick moment to run through a couple of those key items.
The activities that fall under the Bratislava Initiative -- our budget request will support the completion of upgrades of nine additional 12th Main Directorate sites by the end of 2008, acceleration of the Russian Research Reactor Fuel Return program and continued development and execution of specialized emergency management training for monitoring and assessing nuclear and radiological events. High among our priorities, it will also help us increase the sustainability activities to support transfer of the material protection and control and accounting activities to Russia by 2013. In other words, it's one thing to go in and secure a facility; you have to also then train the host country to maintain the capability and operate that equipment -- the sustainability function that we continue to try to transfer to the Russians.
The request also fulfills DOE's commitment to roughly 675 million to the G8's Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction. This is a program, of course, that Senator Domenici highlighted very eloquently yesterday during the hearing with Senator Collins. It also supports six-party talks with North Korea and the scientist engagement in Russia, the former Soviet Union, Libya and Iraq.
In conclusion, I just again want to thank you for this opportunity to speak about some of the programs that we are engaged in that Congress has been so supportive of, and we ask for your continued support and certainly look forward to an opportunity to answer some of your questions. Thank you.
SEN. CORNYN: Well, thank you very much. We'll now proceed to a round of questions. And each of you have provided extensive opening statements, which, rather than interrupt and truncate, I thought have been very helpful in sort of laying out the overall groundwork that are necessary to understanding our nonproliferation and counterproliferation and counterterrorism efforts.
But I would like to just ask -- maybe start with Secretary Flory. I understand General Cartwright's mission within the Department of Defense when it comes to synchronizing and integrating the department's efforts on counterproliferation, but I'd like to get your comment on the overall -- who is responsible government-wide across agencies for coordinating and integrating our efforts when it comes to counterproliferation and nonproliferation? And my understanding is the ultimate responsibility stops at the National Security Council and then, obviously, the president. But I'd like for you to give us some sense of your confidence level that things are going well, that we are filling the gaps and anticipating departmental differences in our approach so that we can have some understanding about how we're handling these important missions government-wide.
MR. FLORY: Senator, you're right; we have focused primarily on what we do within the Defense Department and how we organize internally. The focal point -- I mean, as you say, ultimately the responsibility is with the president and the president has the National Security Council and the National Security Council staff. I would say the focal point for most of our efforts is the director for proliferation strategy (postat ?) office and the NSC staff where there's a senior director who is the -- sort of the person who pulls together the different departments on many of these issues. I think you've seen an evolution on a lot of fronts since the administration took office, particularly since September 11th, that have been manifested in the strategic -- in the first strategy for combating WMD in 2002 and the succession of additional documents that I cited to you earlier -- most recently, the most recent National Security Strategy.
I think that -- I would say that I think we have made a lot of progress in organizing for a new type of threat, a threat that in many ways is more diffuse and more complex certainly than the Cold War threat and even arguably than the way we've perceived the threats in the 1990s. I think that what one always -- the nature of the threat is such that one would never want to say one was totally confident because of the uncertainties involved; because of the effort of proliferators, both countries that want to sell things and countries that want to get a hold of things; the extraordinary denial and deception measures that they use, the large amounts of money that they spend in doing the things they're trying to do.
This remains a very hard target and a very complex target, and this is one of the reasons that in the QDR and many of our other documents we emphasize the theme of uncertainty. We've been surprised before. We were surprised at the time of the first Iraq war at the extent to which the Iraqi nuclear problem had advanced as well as later on as we found the extent of biological and chemical weapons that Saddam Hussein at that point had managed to amass. We were surprised when we went into Iraq in 2003 because we expected to find weapons there. We were focused for a number of years on Libya's chemical weapons program. The nuclear program there came to our attention and that was an unpleasant surprise.
So the basic point I would say is that yes, we've made a great deal of progress in the way we have organized and the guidance we have developed to deal with this threat. On the other hand, this is a very adaptive threat. It's a threat where people are watching what we're doing and trying to find ways to get around what we're doing.
I would ask my colleagues -- they might want to add on that. I know General Cartwright sees this on a day-to-day basis as well as Mr. Paul, so I would --
SEN. CORNYN: Let me put another little fine point on the question, and then I'll ask General Cartwright and Mr. Paul to comment. But it seems to me that all of the wonderful work that's occurring that each of you and people working with you are doing to reduce the threat from proliferation of weapons and to prepare ourselves to counterproliferation of weapons can essentially be defeated in an A.Q. Khan or somebody like him sees that nuclear materials get in the hands of people that shouldn't have them. And I just want to make sure and give you an opportunity to express yourselves on whether you believe that we are prioritizing measures appropriately and whether you believe that we are doing -- since resources are not limitless, that we are putting our money and our resources and our personnel on the issues in a priority way that are most likely to cause us harm.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Mr. Chairman, I think that's a good question. It gets really at the heart of the issue.
As you start -- for STRATCOM -- as we start to enter into this mission area, the objective is not to invent a whole new organizational construct, go out and buy all new equipment, et cetera, but to leverage what is there, understand where the gaps in our capability are and how can they be quickly filled. A key part of this mission area is our interfaces with our eight interagency partners as well as our allies. And so where we can, we're taking advantage of those existing relationships clearly between DOE and STRATCOM, NNSA and STRATCOM, a long heritage of sharing on the technical side and being able to leverage our technical capabilities (to ?) the nuclear world, et cetera.
So we're trying leverage off of those capabilities.
Within the Strategic Command's portfolio are the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance skills that will be so critical to doing some of the things that you alluded to in trying to find these weapons, fix them, and then, if necessary, go out and take them, destroy them, whatever is necessary. Those skills are within the portfolio.
What we're trying to understand now, as we stand this organization up, is, how well will they scale up to the size and how quickly will they be able to respond to an ever changing adversary? And do we have the right organizational constructs? Do we have the right relationships set up to be efficient at the doing that? And not to react to the adversary, but to get in front of the adversary; to basically be determinate of where they're going rather than the other way around.
And I'll tell you that this is a work in progress. I'll tell you that the organizations are coming together and issues of turf are not really getting in the way. And at the agency level, without stepping on checks and balances, we're creating relationships that are inside the decision cycles of the adversary, which to me is the key attribute. We can have wonderful studies and decisions, but if they occur and they're not actionable because they occur after the adversary's already acted, it's of no value.
And so to us, it's critical to make sure that whatever we set in place has to be able to make the adversary react to you, get in front of their decision cycle and change the calculus in their minds. So to me, that will be the litmus test of how well these organizations actually perform.
SEN. CORNYN: Thank you.
Mr. Paul, do you have a brief response?
MR. PAUL: Briefly, Mr. Chairman.
It's an excellent question. You know, nothing binds men together more than a common challenge. And just as nuclear proliferation and the threat of nuclear terrorism has bound members together in Congress in a bipartisan way to provide extraordinary attention and support and resources for this, so too within the interagency. It binds us together. The working relationships are really fantastic.
I'm not going to tell you that there aren't difficulties with the interagency at times. There's supposed to be a certain amount of tension, which is healthy. But in this arena, when we're focused on keeping people with evil in their hearts who would harm innocent people from doing so on American soil, that tends to bind us together in our organizations. Mr. Flory and General Cartwright and Undersecretary Joseph and DHS and National Nuclear Security Administration I think work very well in this regard.
Is there progress to be made? Absolutely. Every day we worry about whether we have the right construct, for example, the right organization in order to get our work done. But there is strong agreement on the need to develop the right technology, to deploy that technology to ensure that we have the management structure and the focus and the attention on getting this job done because it's so important.
SEN. CORNYN: Thank you very much.
MR. FLORY: Senator, if I could just add one small point. General Cartwright made the point very well about resources. In the Defense Department, we already get from the Congress and the American people a substantial budget, and we use it to cover our needs, and we allocate in what we think is an intelligent way.
One of the ways in which we can improve our capability is in some cases using a relatively small amount of money differently. For example, in terms of interdiction, the Navy is -- and this is one of the items -- one of the eight mission areas that General Cartwright is tackling as a priority -- the Navy has done a good job of using relatively small amounts of money to increase its organic interdiction capabilities on ships deployed. The approach earlier was more an approach that -- the idea that you had to have some specialized operators to come in and do an interdiction. In most cases, you actually don't.
So what the Navy has done -- again, without spending a whole lot more money -- has developed more deployed organic capabilities that can carry out interdiction. So it's not just a question of resources; it's a question of using the resources we have intelligently and getting -- in ways that give us that extra bit of leverage.
SEN. CORNYN: Thank you.
SEN. JACK REED (D-RI): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And thank you for your consideration this morning with my schedule particularly.
And I have an opening statement, which I'd like to put in the record, and at this time yield to Senator Nelson, who has been attentive throughout the hearing.
SEN. BEN NELSON (D-NE): Well, thank you very much, Senator Reed. I appreciate the courtesy.
General Cartwright, you mention in your written testimony that STRATCOM has developed a Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction, and that there are going to be former Soviet scientists and others who have expertise in this area, and they want to turn over their knowledge on access to weapons-grade plutonium and other very valuable information. Can you give us maybe some specifics as to how this would work?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: The Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction had its initial operating capability declaration on the 1st of January this year. It is headed -- it is housed inside of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency at Fort Belvoir. Dr. Jim Tegnelia, who is here with me today, is the lead of that agency.
We have several programs that are of record and are in execution to try to help to both retrain people and take these skills and make them usable in other disciplines, use these skills in a way that's synergistic with our aims in things like -- not necessarily for the Russians, but you know, proliferation security initiatives and other types of activities.
We also have another activity in Omaha with STRATCOM that seeks to create partnerships in the civilian sector and reach out through that area to try to find ways to address many of these problems -- particularly as we start to get to the heart of problems in the future of biological agents and chemical agents -- to try to find ways to address these problems that are probably nonstandard, but take advantage of all of the expertise that lives in the academic world -- not only in the United States, but abroad -- and in the business world.
And that agency, coupled with this Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction, we hope to see some synergy that grows out of that, that starts to change the mind-set and offer a path forward that is positive in nature versus the one that we're on, which is -- in many cases is just continue building the next generation of an agent, whether it be nuclear, biological or radiological.
SEN. NELSON: Thank you.
Secretary Flory and Mr. Paul, when I hear words like uncertainty and surprise, those are words that are not comforting. But after all the effort is made and with and expectation of success in 2008, how certain, on a scale of one to 100, will we be that we've identified all the nuclear arsenal, secured it, and have kept it out of the hands of those who would misuse it?
MR. PAUL: Senator, one thing we are certain of to a 100 percent degree is that the threat is real, and that those persons with evil in their hearts will continue to try. And it's our job to make sure that they fail every day, all day. It's our job to ensure that our certainty about whether we're doing everything possible is at its peak as well.
I can't give you an exact number. What I can tell you is, is that if we have in the NNSA 37,000 committed federal, military and civilian patriots who work every single day, 15-hour days, trying to make sure that this threat doesn't ultimately succeed on our soil. I have a high degree of certainty that the American people are safe and can be confident in knowing that we are doing absolutely all that we can do every single day.
SEN. NELSON: What if we were to relate it to just the former Soviet Union and the Russian stockpiles? Is that a -- is there a possibility of identifying some degree of certainty there?
MR. PAUL: We have historically recognized that that is an area globally of greatest threat. That's where the material is. After the fall of the Soviet Union, security -- we found out that security to them, quite frankly, had been a ring of soldiers, many of whom simply went home shortly after. And there were very little physical protection. All of the material protection and control and accounting systems that exist there today are U.S. origin that we put there and that we manage every single day. And we are very close to wrapping up that work.
In the former Soviet Union, for example, we've completed 41 of 51 material sites. That's 80 percent where we've completed all of those upgrades. Forty-seven of the 73 warhead sites; that's 64 percent. And we will have all of those completely secured by the end of '08. We risk-based those, we prioritized them in order to increase our certainty, if you will. We're making great progress. The Congress has been very supportive.
It takes time, though. Access is one issue. And of course, it's obvious that these are facilities that exist in a country that has to cooperate with us in order to let us get in there and do our work. Once we get access, we have high degree of certainty that by leveraging the extraordinary technology of our laboratories -- Sandia National Lab, Los Alamos Lab, Livermore Lab and so many others -- that we can do the job, do it quickly and do it well.
SEN. NELSON: When we identified those 50-plus sites, have we been able to do any kind of accounting or inventory, based on what was expected to be there versus what we found?
MR. NELSON: Yes, and in -- well, in the '90s -- late '80s, early '90s -- there were predictions about how much material would be in those sites. And of course, they were merely predictions. And as time went by, as we got better and better intelligence, as we were able to put our technical experts inside with access, we learned that those predictions weren't always accurate. And each time we get a new piece of intelligence, a new piece of data, we feed that into the calculus in making that risk-based determination of what equipment to put in where and at what time. But certainly, it is a work in progress truing up our decade-and-a-half old predictions.
SEN. NELSON: Well, the final question is, is it reasonable to expect that not everything was there that had originally been there? In other words, are there missing items that we're aware are missing as -- what do you know that we know versus what we don't know?
MR. PAUL: I think the question and the point is, is that you never know what you don't know. And we do take that point. That is something that we build into our --
SEN. NELSON: I understand. What I'm trying to say is, do we have any information that would indicate that we expected something to be there that isn't there --
MR. PAUL: No.
SEN. NELSON: -- or wasn't there, with some degree of reliability to where we would be concerned that there is something missing, putting it that way?
MR. PAUL: No.
SEN. NELSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: I would just add, though, I mean, you don't want a false positive.
SEN. NELSON: Well, that's what I'm trying to get to.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: And that ought to keep us awake at night. I mean, we can't assume that we do, in fact, have full accounting of what exists today. And certainly, the way technology is moving, building fissile material is a relatively complicated process. But as we move to the future and worry about the next generation of weapons of mass destruction -- may it be bio or some other -- those production requirements are not the same and can easily be disguised. And we should worry about what we don't know.
SEN. NELSON: Well, General Cartwright, with you worrying about it at night, I think I'll sleep better at night. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. CORNYN: Thank you, Senator Nelson.
SEN. REED: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, gentlemen, for your testimony today. And let me follow up with a question regarding Senator Nelson's topic.
And that is, we know very little about the tactical nuclear weapons that the Soviet Union had and now that are in the hands of Russian and successor states. Last year we proposed an amendment on the committee to try to get a better handle on that. Can you give us, Mr. Flory -- or Secretary Flory -- a notion of what we're doing to initiate discussions and really try to determine the status of their tactical nuclear weapons and what we can do to put them into controlled circumstances?
MR. FLORY: Senator Reed, as you point out, the status of those tactical weapons has been a concern from the beginning. I don't want to say we've got a handle, but we've got processes in place to deal with the strategic and, as we mentioned specifically, accelerating the improvements in the security on the stored, nondeployed weapons.
I would have to get back to you specifically with respect to any discussions. Secretary Paul may have something that he can add to that, but if I could back to you on the record.
SEN. REED: Surely, Mr. Secretary. Yeah.
MR. PAUL: Together, we will.
SEN. REED: Okay. I mean, one of the obvious things -- and you might want to comment, General Cartwright -- is that some of these weapons are rather mobile and small, and ideal if you had a shopping list as a terrorist -- it'd be on that shopping list and we've got to be concerned, absolutely concerned.
Let me raise another issue with Secretary Flory and Secretary Paul. And that is, the 9/11 commission evaluated many of our national security efforts, and this commission is one of the most respected voices today on a bipartisan basis. And they gave the administration a D with respect to securing radiological and nuclear materials in the Soviet Union.
And I presume -- correct me if I'm wrong -- that this is agreed by all to be a high national security priority in the United States. Essentially, what they've done is challenged the administration and Congress to speed up these efforts and be more proactive and more effective.
What's the reasonable timeline? The 9/11 commission said it would take us 14 years at the current rate to secure these materials. I note that DOE and NNSA are talking about securing all materials by 2013. There seems to be a gap, first of all, in the perception of what the process is, how fast it's going. But the bottom line here is, what do we have to do to accelerate the securing of these materials? Secretary Flory and Secretary Paul.
MR. FLORY: I would just make one point. One of the things we're trying to do to secure in particular the so-called stored warheads is the Bratislava initiative announced by President Bush and President Putin. And in fact, we have a supplemental request before the Congress now for $44 million. That will certainly help because that's one area where we recognize that there was a need to move faster on that. We worked with the Russians because, frankly, it wasn't easy to get the level of transparency and understanding and agreement on that side to let us know the things we needed to know in order to help them to solve this problem.
And I think that brings us to an important point here: the Russians continue to have the primary responsibility there, and it's something we need to keep as part of the context. We can do with them what they are willing to do with us. And they have been, over time, willing to do more things, but the fact of the matter, at the end of the day, they are ultimately responsible.
SEN. REED: Secretary Paul?
MR. PAUL: It's an excellent question. As I said on the MPC&A upgrades, we firmly believe that we will have this complete, 100 percent, by the end of '08, a full two years ahead of schedule. What has given us a lot of momentum is Bratislava, and President Bush and President Putin coming together and making that clear, joint statement.
But what's also given us a lot of -- a lot of momentum is the broad, bipartisan support from Congress and the funding. And as we talked about before, this administration has doubled the amount of funding that has gone to nonproliferation and addressing this threat. We continue to make progress. We don't slow down. We look for ways to accelerate as much as we can. We have accelerated a lot.
We've gotten more and more access into the Russian facilities, but it's not just Russia. It's outside the Soviet Union states, and that's really the next chapter. And what we've been working on for several years is broadening it out throughout Europe, reducing the enrichment of those research reactors under the six remaining research reactors, downblending, putting in security measures at those reactors, repatriating Russian-origin spent nuclear fuel and fresh nuclear fuel, all of which is highly enriched uranium, and repatriating the fuel that had as it's origin America's -- American/U.S. fuel origin.
We continue to look for ways to accelerate that. I take your point. We'll continue to do that.
SEN. REED: Let me -- a quick follow-up question.
Secretary Flory points out that there's a supplemental request, which I think is very important, which we have to recognize. Do you have sufficient funds, Secretary Paul, to meet this 2013 goal of securing these materials?
Or do you need incremental funds going forward and we should be -- either through supplementals or enhanced budget authority now give you these additional resources?
MR. PAUL: The president's 2007 request provides for -- as reflected -- provides for the adequate funds to meet these --
SEN. REED: And these are 2013?
MR. PAUL: Yes, sir.
SEN. REED: Okay.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. CORNYN: Senator Clinton.
SEN. CLINTON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Well, obviously, Mr. Paul, this is a matter of great concern to us, especially in light of Linton Brooks' comments in a recent USA Today article saying that one-third of the world's 130 civil nuclear research reactors lack security upgrades needed to prevent terrorists from stealing material that would enable them to make a nuclear device, including even atomic bombs. We just need to know as precisely as you and others can lay out how to make good on the priority that the president expressed during the 2004 election and which many people agree with, that, you know, preventing rogue states and terrorists from acquiring the materials necessary for a nuclear weapon has to be our top priority.
Why aren't these reactors secure? And you know, are people refusing our assistance? Are we not offering our assistance? Is there no international mechanism capable of coming in and trying to help secure these reactors?
MR. PAUL: Well, first of all, to correct one part, I think the article could be read, could be interpreted the way that you have stated. It's actually not -- would not be completely accurate. Administrator Brooks did not say that there were all these reactors that were without security upgrades. Through our Global Threat Reduction Initiative and through NA-21, (within ?) nonproliferation organization, we have a very effective program for providing the security of those reactors, both through this administration and the previous administration, who placed attention on this as well.
We originally identified 173 research reactors throughout the world that had highly enriched uranium in them. We started working down that list as to those that already had security upgrades, with countries such as France and Canada who take care of their own security. And what we came up with was a list of about 106 that needed additional security upgrades and down-blending from highly enriched uranium to low-enriched uranium. What we're -- and we have performed those upgrades at a total of 76 sites.
Of the remaining 27 research reactors upgrading -- there's currently upgrading of six of these that we're working on -- two in Chile, one in Mexico, Russia, Vietnam and Peru. And of the remaining 21, we have identified four new sites where security is not adequate, but we work on access.
As you know, this requires cooperation, and it's -- this committee -- this subcommittee and the committee have helped us in highlighting the focus and attention on that, and that helps us get some access. But it's hard to get into some of these sites.
But I can assure you that we are on top of these sites where -- we have made security upgrades in most of them. We have a program in place to down-blend the uranium in them. And as to the small number of sites that we believe need security upgrades and that we don't have access on, we are working very hard to get that access through the international regime and through other contacts and through the IAEA.
Thank you for the question.
SEN. CLINTON: Well, I appreciate the update on that, and obviously, as you said, this subcommittee and then the full committee are very concerned and focused on this, so any additional authority, any additional resources, I hope that you will let us know. Obviously, that has to remain one of our top priorities.
MR. PAUL: By the way, on the small list of other sites where we don't have access, we could provide you, in a different setting, some information on those.
SEN. CLINTON: Thank you very much. Mr. Paul, I want to follow up on some questions that I asked Secretary Bodman back in February when he testified before the full committee and we had a chance to discuss the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership. During that hearing, the secretary said he would get back to me with answers to some of my questions. I haven't yet heard back, so I'll ask similar questions to you and I hope that I will hear back from one or both.
Now I believe that, you know, GNEP is a well-intentioned proposal to help meet the energy needs of our country and our allies and be part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. But I have some serious concerns about the program, which would create a global system of nuclear reactors and U.S. reprocessing plants over the course of decades that could cost tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars. And I am concerned about independent research that contradicts the administration's underlying claims that provide the rationale for GNEP. And I have two questions.
First, studies by the National Academy of Sciences, MIT, and even the Department of Energy itself, have pointed out worrisome risks with the program. First, we know reprocessing spent fuel creates plutonium, which can be used not only in civil nuclear energy reactors, as laid out in the plan, but also to make nuclear weapons. The U.S. has consistently opposed reprocessing, even for allies such as France. And while we focus on how to deal with Iran's quest to develop nuclear weapons and what to do about a nuclear-armed North Korea, a country which, as you know, does use plutonium in its nuclear weapons, I would ask first, how do you respond to the questions and the risks laid out by the independent analysts? And do you see a contradiction between GNEP and our global nonproliferation goals?
MR. PAUL: Not only is there not a contradiction, the two are absolutely critical for the success of each. It is certain that the world will supply the more than doubling of the demand for nuclear power globally over the next four decades through the use of the science of the atom. The rest of the world has concluded that. That's no longer a decision for America to make, quite frankly. And the rest of the world, in order to do this, will continue to make use of the nuclear fuel cycle and will continue to recycle fuel. We no longer in America have a decision on whether that will occur.
What the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership does do, however, is provide a narrow window of opportunity where, through leadership, America can guide that in a way that improves our nonproliferation regime globally and improves the proliferation resistance of those fuel cycle processes themselves.
It is through our research and development and technology and support that we've been able to provide some enhancement to the current PUREX processes that is the current methodology whereby the fuel cycle states reprocess fuel now. GNEP proposes a form of recycling that gives enhanced proliferation protections -- does not separate plutonium. Current recycling separates plutonium into a pure stream.
What GNEP is proposing is a different model whereby plutonium is not separated into a pure stream; it continues to have these other actinides and lanthanides connected to it.
On a global setting, as I said, the rest of the world has come to the conclusion that nuclear power will be an important part of providing energy supply, not just to America and to allies but also to those countries who aren't our allies, who want the peaceful use of the atom.
GNEP is an opportunity to allow the peaceful use of the atom, the use of nuclear energy for energy purposes, but do it in a way so that you bring together a partnership of countries whereby those who don't have a fuel cycle can access the energy without accessing the capability that can be converted into a military threat. That is a notion that is as old as President Eisenhower's speech in 1953 before the U.N. assembly. And we have made some progress on it. GNEP puts together all of these pieces. And we've been very encouraged by the support that we're getting from the global community, not only from the potential supplier states -- Russia, China, Japan, France, the U.K. -- and the IAEA secretary, ElBaradei, but also from potential recipient states, those states who might say that if we had a mechanism to access nuclear energy without developing a recycling capability in-house, we might go in that direction; let's sit down and talk. Very encouraging.
SEN. CLINTON: Could I just have a follow up on that? Because as I understand the critique from various nonproliferation experts, including the MIT study that I mentioned earlier, the so-called proliferation resistance reprocessing system that GNEP claims it would promote is proliferation-resistant only in comparison to other methods of reprocessing, not as compared to the original spent fuel. The spent fuel itself is actually far more proliferation-resistant than GNEP-reprocessed plutonium, because it's too radioactive to be handled safely by terrorists.
So in other words, the experts claim that the GNEP program would actually make it easier for terrorists to steal dangerous materiel to use in an attack. And you know, we're about to embark on an undertaking that could very well cost hundreds of billions of dollars, and I'm well aware of the desire on the part of many countries, including the administration here at home, to promote nuclear civilian use for energy purposes, but I'm just worried about the trade-off. I mean, if we spent hundreds of billions of dollars refining coal gasification, we would provide clean coal without providing, you know, spent plutonium as a potential terrorist attack. So how do you make that trade-off?
MR. PAUL: Fair question.
First of all, the purpose of these countries in accessing the science of the atom to provide energy is not to develop or promote nuclear power. It's to have electricity for hospitals or first responders and for schools.
SEN. CLINTON: Well, it's nuclear power to fuel electricity.
MR. PAUL: It's to have electricity and to find a way to provide that electricity in the cleanest, safest way. And they have come to nuclear power as the one zero-emissions method for doing that.
Now, the question is, can America provide the leadership to help that new partnership be crafted globally so that it is more proliferation-resistant? Now, I think we share common concerns and goals. We may not share all the same conclusions -- (chuckles) -- as to the, quote-unquote, "proliferation resistance" of one chemical process as opposed to another, based upon a spent-fuel standard. First of all, that process that you are talking about already exists. It's what all of those countries are currently using. So to go back and say, well, let's compare it to not doing recycling at all -- quite frankly, we don't have that opportunity any more. The rest of the world is recycling fuel and will continue to recycle spent fuel. The question is, can we come up with a way that's even better, and can we be a player by asserting leadership? And we think that we can. And the global partners that we've spoken to also think that through this partnership we can show leadership to provide a more proliferation- resistant process.
Some of the studies that you're referring to, or some of the comments, have as their predicates certain assumptions that are not necessarily -- don't necessarily apply. You can design a recycle process through UREX to have whatever radiation level protection that you want, if that's the sole way that you're going to define proliferation resistance.
But proliferation is something -- nonproliferation is something that's far greater than a mere radiation dose level at 100 rad or rem per hour, or an 80-to-100 spent fuel standard. You can have UREX that is at that standard, if that is your goal. But the safeguards technologies that America has developed can help these other countries to deploy even on their PUREX processes has moved far beyond these earlier standards.
We have the opportunity to shift them to a more proliferation- resistant process that does not separate out plutonium and that provides safeguards and securities, verification technologies, mass accounting that is available with this process that is not available with others. Remember that when you keep that plutonium entrained with other isotopes, the lanthanides and the other transuranics, you have signals, signatures, additional tools that a nuclear engineer can use to ensure that there is not diversion -- tools that I do not have available to me with PUREX.
SEN. CLINTON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. CORNYN: Thank you, Senator Clinton. You raise some very serious concerns, and certainly most members of Congress aren't nuclear physicists, and we need the best information we can possibly get when determining what the policy of this government should be in so many of these areas. So we'd encourage you to continue to supply us with that best thinking and the best sciences out there so we can answer some of these questions, at least as satisfactorily as humanly possible.
Mr. Paul, the Fissile Material Disposition Program under which the United States and Russia committed to dispose of 34 metric tons of surplus weapons-grade plutonium is, of course, laudable in intent, but it's been plagued by numerous problems. There's been a two-year delay in the program due to an inability to agree on liability issues for U.S. contractors. And now there's an agreement, but it awaits Russian signatures and ratification by the Duma.
The impasse over liability caused the United States to postpone construction of the U.S. MOX fuel fabrication facility in South Carolina, in order to maintain parallelism between the Russian and the U.S. programs. In 2005, the DOE inspector general report criticized the management of the U.S. program and assessed that the cost of the U.S. MOX facility will be $3.5 billion, $2.5 billion more than the original DOE estimate in 2002.
The FY 2007 budget request for the program is $638 million, nearly one-third of the total DOE nonproliferation request for that year, and now it appears that the Russians are no longer committed to the program as originally conceived. Would you give us your view of the status of that program and where you believe the future leads?
MR. PAUL: Yes, Mr. Chairman.
The plutonium disposition model -- the goal of disposing of 34 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium, both from Russia and 34 metric tons from surplus materiel stockpile of the United States -- is a goal that is shared by both this administration and the previous administration. The previous administration put in place a plutonium disposition agreement in 2000 with the Russians for the disposition on the Russian side and the U.S. side.
On the U.S. side is our MOX program -- that is, mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility and pit disassembly conversion facility -- to take that plutonium from our stockpiles, convert it into a mixed-oxide fuel that can then be irradiated in light water reactors, power reactors that produce electricity for us. On the Russian side, the Russians have never particularly supported the notion of consuming that plutonium in light water reactors. Their preferred method is through fast reactors, and it is true that we have not made as much progress on the Russian side. They have started site preparation two years ago on their MOX facility, as we started site preparation this past fall on ours.
The challenges, the difficulties with this are, for one, again, the Russians would prefer to go in the fast-reactor direction. Two, the liability dispute, the question about what liability protection would apply with U.S. workers in the Soviet Union, significantly delayed the progress on both sides, had a significant impact on the project costs. As you delay a project, a multibillion-dollar project, the long-lead procurement costs increase more and more and more. There has been uncertainty because of those delays that has, to some extent, affected appropriations, and it has resulted logical questions that would be asked from the legislative branch about --
SEN. CORNYN: Well, let me ask you this, Mr. Paul. Do you believe that Russia is still committed to disposing of excess plutonium through the MOX program and, if not, what are the costs and benefits and risks to the United States going down another disposition path?
MR. PAUL: As confirmed by recent communications between the director of Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko, and Secretary Bodman, they are still committed to the disposition of 34 metric tons, although their preference is not for light water reactors; their preference is for the fast reactors. What they have said, which is pretty consistent with what they said from the beginning, is that unless the international community provides all the money to do it, they're -- they're saying that they are supportive of doing it if the international community provides all of the money to use light water reactors. If instead of using light water reactors they can use their BN600 and move towards an upgrade of that, a BN800, a fast-reactor model, then they are saying that they would put in a significant amount of the money themselves.
So we are currently considering some discussions with them to figure out what would it take to get them to dispose of their plutonium in parallel with our disposition of plutonium, pursuant to the commitment that this administration and the previous administration have made to developing this MOX facility now in South Carolina.
Senator Graham has been a strong leader on these issues, both as to the facility itself, but also as to the importance of reducing the plutonium footprint worldwide.
SEN. CORNYN: If we were to delink the U.S. and Russian plutonium disposition programs, what would be the likely impact on the Russian program and on the U.S. program?
MR. PAUL: I think it could have a significant impact on the extent to which the international community would be willing to contribute. Now, the State Department has advised that they think that the probability is lower and lower that the international community is going to support this with funding at a greater and greater level. That's a lot of qualifiers.
There's still an opportunity here for the international community to provide significant support. I think if you de-link it right now, you probably send a strong message to those contributors that causes them to be even less receptive.
SEN. CORNYN: Well, if Russia decides to head down a different path, should the U.S. disposition program be considered a nonproliferation program or simply a program of disposing of excess U.S. material that should be considered in a wider context of DOE nuclear material disposition and cleanup?
MR. PAUL: We think both. This administration and the previous administration both thought that it was important to not only reduce, condense, consolidate the amount of fissile material in this country and its locations, and also for the worldwide nonproliferation effort to reduce the threat of people getting their hands on that material that can be used to make a nuclear device. For both of those reasons we continue to be committed to disposing of that material.
SEN. CORNYN: Secretary Flory, two years ago Libya declared its intention to renounce all WMD programs and made a full declaration of its considerable chemical weapons stockpile as a first step toward elimination. The United States has offered to help Libya in that connection, and I understand the administration is currently considering which agency of the U.S. government will be charged with carrying out that assistance.
It would seem that the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program is the most logical candidate. CTR is aimed at eliminating WMD threats. The Congress has provided authority to use CTR funds for activities outside of the former Soviet Union, with the specific example of Libya in mind. And CTR has the experience and expertise to undertake this activity based upon its experience in Russia and now in Albania.
Do you support the use of CTR funds for chemical weapons elimination in Libya? And what factors is the administration considering as it weighs this decision? And then let me ask you, when you're answering those questions, to answer one more. What is the estimated cost and timeline for carrying out the chemical weapons elimination program in Libya? So do you support the use of CTR funds? What factors is the administration considering as it weighs its decision? And what's the estimated cost and timeline?
MR. FLORY: Senator, the -- there was a team, a joint team -- I think it was State and DTRA team -- that was there in February at the site. They looked at the site and the surrounding area. It's a pretty remote site. I think it's about 600 kilometers away from Tripoli. The team that went there is supposed to present options in sometime next month. So given where we are in the month, pretty soon. I'll be in a better position to get back to you after that.
I think some of the factors that we would -- we would look at, and I think these will be incorporated in the options that are presented, are what is the conditions of the munitions? What is the proliferation risk we believe they pose? What are the technical aspects? For example, one part of the problem I think is going to be transportation. The -- where these things are now does not have any water, and chemical demill is a very water-intensive process. So there are a number -- a number of issues to be looked at, both in terms of the threat, in terms of the technical aspects of how we do it. And once we've had a chance to look at the options that are presented, we will be back to the Congress I'm sure.
The question is, there is the State Department nonproliferation money that's available, there's also the CTR money, and that's I think the sort of choice you referred to up front. If we could back to you when we know a little bit more about the scope of the problem, that would be -- we'd be pleased to do so.
In terms of the cost, because of some of the factors I just described, including the distances involved, the lack of water, the weather -- I understand that it's 140 degrees during the day for most months of the year there -- it's going to be fairly expensive. I haven't seen any, you know, figures we have a high degree of confidence in. I do think there's a good chance it will be over $100 million, and in that case we have to consider what are the opportunity costs of doing that particular bit of work compared to other work CTR or any other program is doing in the former Soviet Union, in Central Asia, or in any of the other places we're working.
But we will be able to -- we'll be able to talk more -- with more definition when we have a report back from the team.
SEN. CORNYN: Well, thank you. We look forward to you getting back with us on that.
And here again, I guess you raise in your answer the point that I was inquiring about initially. And given not limitless resources, how do we prioritize and focus? And as you say, the opportunity costs of participating or funding one program at perhaps the expense of others, and that continues to be a concern, and I know you are working hard on that. But that certainly is a concern I have, and one that I want to continue to stay in touch with you on.
General Cartwright, let me just ask you quickly, you noted that STRATCOM's focused on improving DOD capacity and increasing resources for WDMD -- WMD elimination and mitigation efforts, but I want to make sure that you have all the capabilities in terms of authorization for the department to carry out your mission. And where in future years do you see your budget requests going in terms of fulfilling that mission?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
My sense is that we have the resources and the authorities that we need to move forward on this mission, and move forward aggressively. If there is a point in the future that I would use a crystal ball to say where do I think maybe things are going to change, the area that probably is most vexsome right now technically is standoff detection, knowing what's coming to your border and being able to detect that in a technical sense with a degree of fidelity that you're not chasing false alarms on a regular basis, and that you can have a level of monitoring that is globally to understand what's going on in a global sense in these different processes.
The technical solutions right now tend to be point solutions. We can tell what's in this room, but 100 miles we don't have good capability of forecasting its movement. I think that's an area that we will come back to you and better understand the technical challenge, and where we ought to apply our dollars and cents to go after that challenge.
SEN. CORNYN: Thank you, General Cartwright. And I guess in light of recent events, we need to not only make sure we have the detection capability, but perhaps good identification so we know if people are indeed authorized to transport radioactive materials, for example.
SEN. REED: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Let me follow up that line of questioning, General Cartwright, with respect to the combating WMD mission. You responded to Senator Nelson that the Defense Threat Reduction Agency is the component commander. Could you elaborate? Do they report to you directly? And do they retain planning, budgeting and command-and-control responsibilities? How does it work?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Sir, they are by, by designation, a combat support agency within the Department of Defense, which creates a relationship between the chairman and the organization. And they have a charter and a set of missions. All of those missions are not necessarily associated with the mission of combating weapons of mass destruction. So in the department we have set up an arrangement that we've used for a lot of years where we take the director, in this case, and give him what we call dual hatting; in other words, he has two responsibilities.
So in the sense of combating weapons of mass destruction, he operates as a component for Strategic Command to provide those services in our charter to all of the regional combatant commanders as they need them, and to turn to me when there is competition for resources as the first level of let's see how we should prioritize resources, and then also to advocate for additional resources where it's appropriate. So that tends to be the relationship.SEN-DOD-DOE-NONPROLIF PAGE 43 03/29/2002 .STX
Inside the organization what we've tried to do is insert an element of military planning capability that was not there before to bring closer the skill set that's already resident in the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and the skills necessary to service the regional combatant commanders in a timely fashion.
So there is a good articulation, and we don't have a separation. Oftentimes your ability to ask the right question is the key in crisis to know what's out there to help you. By bringing the planning skills into the organization, we get closer and draw that relationship closer, and that's at the heart of what we're trying to get accomplished.
SEN. REED: But you're still -- it's a work in progress?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: It is.
SEN. REED: You're also -- on a day-to-day basis, they're responding to both CINCs, the chairman and yourself, and you're trying to get that more synchronized. Is that fair?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: That's fair. In the synchronization or the integration of the process, a lot of what we're trying to do by bringing them into the STRATCOM portfolio, so to speak, is to avail them of a very direct and close relationship with things like intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance so that, again, the partnership is much tighter to the extent that it's appropriate -- the information operations that we're responsible for, the missile defense operations -- so that you get a more holistic look at choices. And as customers, so to speak, the regional combatant commanders come in the door, they can expect not only a direct answer to maybe the wrong question, but the opportunity to find the right question and the right set of answers.
SEN. REED: What's STRATCOM's role in the Proliferation Security Initiative?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: We work closely through DTRA and through the operational forces -- and again, this is why the planners are so critical -- along with our -- really our lead agency, State Department, to one, set the environment; and two, to provide when necessary the operational planning and execution skills that are necessary for a particular action.
SEN. REED: Have you exercised this function yet?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: We have in the planning, and we have in the seminars and the objective setting and the training activities that go broadly across the world.
SEN. REED: But you have a -- what's the next step in exercising?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: The next step in exercising, we have a set of exercises that are international in scope, led by State, that go through this summer and into next year, that are scheduled. And we are a key participant in providing those and interfacing with not only State, but with the other governments and their military organizations to ensure -- for instance, we talked about a Navy capability -- to ensure that that matches up so that if we arrive at a juncture where we are trying to interdict something, that we have all of the right rules, we know how to operate together, we know who's to talk to who. All of that gets laid out. That's part of the exercise and planning activity that we're trying to do.
SEN. REED: Special Operations Command, in the QDR, has been given similar responsibilities, at least closely allied. Can you talk about your link up with Special Operations Command, particularly going forward?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Yes, sir.
There is a very tight relationship between Special Operations Command and Strategic Command, particularly in the areas of the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; in the area of combating weapons of mass destruction; the teams that we put together that have -- that have been called render safe, but have the skills of the explosive ordnance disposal people; the skills that are brought to the table by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency; bringing those together in a way that we can deploy those in a timeline that is appropriate, that we can figure out what the size and availability of those and know how many of these teams do we need, how robust do they have to be. All of those things seem to be growing over time. Where do we want to take these teams?
Those are the types of things that General Brown and I work on on a regular basis. Our staffs are linked both virtually and physically. And we come together at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in that planning cell, and in the technical expertise that Dr. Tegnelia and his organization bring.
So it is a very close relationship. I will tell you that SOCOM is probably more focused on the execution side of this activity. We're trying to prepare the battlespace, make sure that they have the tools necessary, as we do for each of the regional combatant commanders.
SEN. REED: Can you comment briefly on the mission of the Global Innovation and Strategy Center?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Talked a little bit about that with Senator Nelson's question, but the idea here is that there are -- there emerge questions for which we often don't have answers. And in order to get the answers and get inside the decision cycles of an adversary who would operate with some limited knowledge of working our seams, we have established an opportunity to reach out to the commercial sector, both U.S. and abroad, and to the academic sector. And the idea here is, if I have a problem, is to grab the smartest and brightest people in the world and get them into -- my phrase -- a hot, sweaty pile, and not let them out until we have a potential answer.
SEN. REED: That's good enough. (Laughter.) We don't want to go any further with that -- (laughter).
Final point, question, Dr. Cartwright. In your testimony, you describe one of your key initiatives as improve and expand U.S. forces capabilities to locate, track and tag shipments of WMD. Could you provide some amplification there about what you're doing? And do you need additional resources to do this?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: This is another very close partnership with Special Operations Command, because they work in this area and have worked in this area for a lot of years.
The acknowledgement here is that the finding and fixing part of this cycle is probably broader than just radiological activities; that this find-and-fixed activity and tag it, so you know where it is and you can keep track of it, probably expands to other vexing problems like mobile threats that we have, missiles, et cetera. And so the intent here is to broaden the activity, not to diminish or dilute what SOCOM is trying to accomplish, but to start to broaden it out and make it available to the other regional combatant commanders for a broader set of targets.
SEN. REED: And just a final point, and maybe just a very quick response. It seems to me that this function is intimately involved with the national intelligence capability. And what's your general sort of satisfaction level with the integration, with the new regime of intelligence in the United States?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: I will tell you that what we are trying to do on the Department of Defense side is focus through STRATCOM to the director of National Intelligence and his organization a single portal, so to speak, where the needs are coming from one voice and one place that are aggregated from all the regions, not to cut anybody out but to get them correlated and collated in a way that the intelligence community can respond.
That is starting to create synergies that we were unable to realize before, because once we understand the problem and we can work at it together, many of these threats that we deal with today and we anticipate we'll deal with in the future operate in the seams of authorities.
And so, by having that single portal and being able to get it very tight and very close -- and essentially we will open a center here in the next month at Bolling Air Force Base in the DIA spaces that bring the DNI's capabilities, along with DOD's capabilities, at least to a common floor for operations so that we can see each others' problems, look at the opportunities to solve them in a way that creates synergy rather than the old construct of need to know. And so, if you don't know the right question to ask, you don't necessarily get what you need.
SEN. REED: Thank you, General.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. CORNYN: Senator Clinton.
SEN. CLINTON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to follow up on the line of questioning first by the chairman and then by Senator Reed. Mr. Paul, with respect to the cost of the U.S.-Russian disposal program, what is the approximate cost? What are we talking about when you say that the Russians won't do it the way we would prefer unless they're paid for it, and the international community may not want to bear the cost? What are we talking about in terms of dollars?
MR. PAUL: For the Russian program --
SEN. CLINTON: Right.
MR. PAUL: -- or the Russian side? I'm hesitant to quote an exact price from their recent validated base line. I think -- I'm thinking $2.7 billion is what they're saying.
SEN. CLINTON: So we're talking about $2.7 billion.
MR. PAUL: I believe so.
SEN. CLINTON: And where is the source of that money, if it comes internationally? I mean, who contributes to that $2.7 billion?
MR. PAUL: I believe that France has made a pledge of a few hundred million dollars. I don't know the exact number. I can get --
SEN. CLINTON: Yeah, I'd like --
MR. PAUL: -- that to you. It's a few hundred million dollars, because the MOX technology is of French origin. I shouldn't say that's why, but there is a connection there. They actually have that technology. So France has made a commitment, if the fuel were MOX.
There are a few others who have not made firm commitments, I believe, but have said that if the project is -- if it goes forward, they would be interested in making discussions. I don't know exactly how much money has been firmly committed by the international community. It's something that I will get you.
(Consults staff.) It turns out I do know how much. (Laughter.)
SEN. CLINTON: Thank goodness for those people who sit behind us.
MR. PAUL: It turns out I'm told that we have pledges totaling $844 million.
SEN. CLINTON: Will this be an issue for the president to raise at the G-8?
MR. PAUL: I think that it is. It's something that we've discussed anyway about having that be mentioned. And it is a matter -- nonproliferation cooperation is something that the president has mentioned in international fora in the past. I think this is an issue that the Russians will -- I don't know about MOX specifically, but nonproliferation efforts is something that I believe that Russia, as chair, will raise as well.
SEN. CLINTON: We might want to emphasize that, Mr. Chairman, because I think, you know, your questions really go to the heart of whether the single biggest threat, the one that we were most interested in trying to address over the last several years, will be addressed and finalized at some point. So maybe we could follow up on that.
MR. PAUL: I appreciate that thought, too, on the G-8 summit. I'll follow up with that. I'll also get you a breakdown of the $844 (million) to tell you which countries have made those pledges.
SEN. CLINTON: I appreciate that, Mr. Paul.
Let me follow up on the line of questioning by Senator Reed. You know, when the panel describes the various entities that are now part of our threat reduction/nonproliferation strategy, it really does sound like alphabet soup. I mean, it sounds like there are lots and lots of cooks in the kitchen. And when everybody's in charge, nobody's in charge.
And I'm concerned about duplication. I'm concerned about gaps. And I think it would be useful to get a matrix that actually lays out who is responsible for what, how they interact, what shared lines of command there may or may not be. I very much appreciate the work that everyone is doing on this.
But, for example, Mr. Paul, not to pick on you, but the Department of Energy's global initiatives for proliferation prevent program is incredibly important to assure that WMD experts from various countries are redirected to peaceful jobs, don't end up in Iran or you name it at this point.
However, I'm also aware there's a Department of State program that is focused on the similar objective. Are these programs duplicative? Are they complementary? What mechanism is in place to ensure proper coordination? And this is just a tiny example of what I see as a very, you know, sort of broadly dispersed responsibility on the biggest threat we face.
MR. PAUL: That's a good question and a good point. They are complementary. But if you weren't on top of them day in and day out and making sure that you have good coordination and communication, they could stumble over themselves.
The programs for proliferation prevention and the complementary State program is something that this administration and the previous administration both supported, and it has been very successful. But there is the potential for them to stumble over each other. That hasn't happened. We've worked very well together using the State Department's centers, if you will, for collecting the technical capabilities.
And our piece, which is more deploying into the nuclear weapons facilities -- we reach out and we look for scientists, whether it be Russian scientists, former Soviet Union scientists, Libyan, Iraqi scientists, and we go out and try to link them up with peaceful uses, as I know you're familiar with this program. The State Department kind of maintains a clearing house of that.
But, quite frankly, you are making a very good point, that if you didn't communicate, if we didn't have such good relationship between our program and theirs, it could be difficult to manage.
SEN. CLINTON: I really appreciate that. And, as I say, maybe, Mr. Chairman, our staff could work with our witnesses and others to put forth that kind of matrix, because, you know, everyone gives lip service to the fact that this is the most dangerous threat we face. And there are lots of those cooks in the kitchen, and I just want to know who the chef is and sort of who the point person is. And, you know, it's in DOD. It's in State. It's on DOE. So it would be helpful, at least to me, if we could try to sort that out.
My final question -- it really would go to each of you, which is to add a layer of further complexity on this -- we do have the International Atomic Energy Agency. And the IAEA, you know, is responsible for promoting peaceful uses of nuclear technology and then ensuring, insofar as possible, that those technologies are not used to develop nuclear weapons. And it does so largely in its role as a watchdog.
Increasingly, the IAEA is playing a major international role. It frankly has credibility that sometimes we and our allies lack. It has access, as it now does, for example, to Iranian nuclear sites that, you know, we could only dream of. And I worry that we're not doing enough to bolster and support the IAEA and that there developed a kind of antagonistic relationship, for all the reasons we know.
So let me ask each of you, starting with Secretary Flory, is there more we could do to help bolster the IAEA by, for example, sending more U.S. personnel to Vienna or helping to provide technology or working better to coordinate with them? Because I think increasingly we're going to need an agency like that, given what is, I think, the appropriate warning or caution that Mr. Paul gave that we're on a fast march toward nuclear proliferation. And I wish we could do more to rein it in.
I think there are some things we could do. It may or may not be inevitable, but the fact is it's happening. So what do we do to really bolster the IAEA as a necessary component of our efforts to try to, you know, watch that and prevent it insofar as possible?
MR. FLORY: Senator, you raise a very good point. The IAEA plays an extremely important role. And after decades when it was there and frankly didn't get a lot of attention because things were kind of moving along, it came into world view first after the first Iraq war where it was learned how much Iraq had been able to accomplish while under IAEA scrutiny. And that led to the development of stronger safeguards by the IAEA, and most recently in the case of Iran.
In terms of resources and things like that, I think -- I don't know if I'm allowed to do this, but I could take your question for the record vicariously on behalf of Bob Joseph, who was unable to be here.
SEN. CLINTON: (Laughs.)
MR. FLORY: I'm sure he'll appreciate my doing this. But State is the lead, and we'll obviously be happy to contribute to answering that question in any way we can. But since it's a diplomatic mission, they probably are the best people to pull together an answer on that.
I think what is tremendously important is that -- and this is, again, something where the State Department is in the lead for us -- is that the matter of Iran be handled successfully. And the IAEA has grappled with this under the leadership, for much of that time, of a particular group of members. But as you've mentioned, it's focused attention on the IAEA. And I think it's important for the overall -- for the internationally established safeguard network that the international system that we're working with be able to solve this problem.
SEN. CLINTON: Thank you.
General, do you have anything to add to that?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: I would just say that there are certainly things that we can do in partnership. The obvious ones are training, standards, technical experts, and making sure that we're on a common sheet of music, so to speak, in advocating for those standards and, once they're accepted, then advocating globally for them.
Those are our critical pieces. There are also pieces that would probably, in another session, we ought to sit down and talk a little bit about what we could do to assist them in setting the conditions for their ability to do their job.
SEN. CLINTON: That would be very helpful. I'm sure that you've given thought to that, and it might be something that we could look at.
MR. PAUL: That's actually something that the president has focused on quite a bit -- increasing the funding for the IAEA, continuing to provide the technical basis and support that the IAEA and Secretary ElBaradei need.
Every one of the more than 200 nuclear weapons inspectors at the IAEA were trained at Los Alamos National Laboratory here in America, here within the National Nuclear Security Administration. We're very proud to continue to fund that training. They come here to learn how to do what they do to keep the world safe.
We've led the way to strengthen the agency's ability to detect nuclear proliferation. We instituted a successful effort to increase the safeguards budget. The United States of America is the single largest contributor to the budget of the IAEA. In fact, we are even a larger contributor by a percentage basis to the IAEA than we are to the U.N.
We provide a quarter -- there's 128 members of the International Atomic Energy Agency. We provide one-quarter of all the funding. We also provide a lot of -- on a rotational basis, a lot of our technical experts from our national laboratories.
And with Ambassador Greg Schulte, recently sworn-in ambassador to the UNVIE, the U.N. mission there, along with our office, our DOE office there, we have engaged in an effort to increase the number of U.S.-origin persons and experts that go to the IAEA and work internally. It's something that I've spoken personally with Director ElBaradei about.
I have one deputy director general on his board who is American, who's actually the deputy director general for management for the IAEA, and I am in the process right now of increasing the number of technical experts that we send over there.
These are excellent points, and they're something -- they're things that we are working on on a day-to-day basis. And I think that it's a good testament to the leadership of the president, the leadership of Director ElBaradei. We've made some progress, but we can do more.
SEN. CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you very much, gentlemen.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. CORNYN: Thank you, Senator Clinton.
I, too, think it would be interesting to see that wire diagram.
SEN. CLINTON: Yeah.
SEN. CORNYN: It may be instructive for all of us.
Mr. Paul, the Megaports program is a Department of Energy nonproliferation program to install nuclear-detection equipment at major international seaports. Last Friday, March the 24th, a couple of newspapers ran articles alleging that, through the Megaports program, the United States was contracting with foreign companies to scan cargo for nuclear materials.
Could you please explain to us what the Megaports program is and how it operates in international seaports? If you would also tell us, what will be the role of private contractors in the Philippines, in the Bahamas and other countries where the Megaports program is being conducted? And finally, who will actually operate the radiation detection equipment, and how confident can we be that it will not be tampered with?
MR. PAUL: You can be very confident that the equipment and the material, the data stream that we get from it and the analysis of it, will not be tampered with.
Let me tell you a little bit about the Megaports program. It's a fantastic program. It's an opportunity for us to have an additional layer of defense and protection in order to detect the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological material through some of the major ports with the most through-put outside the United States, ports through which cargo would travel before it ultimately comes to a U.S. port.
We are currently up and running with our radiation detector equipment that we deploy in four ports. We have 10 this year that we are in construction mode. We have another 35, 40 that we're in negotiations with right now. It's a program that works very much in tandem with the Department of Homeland Security's CSI or Container Security Initiative.
CSI has U.S. federal Customs agents on site at foreign ports who, through profiles, review manifests of cargo to identify containers, for example, that should have further review inspection and detector inspection.
What we do is we put equipment in these foreign ports. We train the operators. These are foreign port federal government operators. So, for example, we go into the Port of Bahamas and we train their customs officials, because it's their port, to operate and analyze the data that comes from a radiation detector, a gamma-ray detector and a neutron detector, that is in that port.
If a cargo container were to come through that portal and an alarm were to sound, that data goes to a central alarm station that is manned by a government official. It is a customs official from the host government, because obviously these are in foreign governments' ports.
I think what was stated in a newspaper, not exactly correctly, was there are contractors --
SEN. CORNYN: That would surprise me.
MR. PAUL: Yeah, I know. It's -- well, just to set the record straight, in the Bahamas and in all other Megaports ports, and in all future Megaports ports, the data is -- the equipment and the data collection is operated by a federal government agent from the host country.
Now, obviously we have to work out agreements with the port on the logistics and how the ports themselves are operated, so that, for example, if a port -- excuse me -- if a terminal is owned by a private company, we can't change the fact that a private company operates it. But our radiation detection equipment in there is not operated by that private company. It's not touched by that private company -- cannot be tampered with by that private company.
If it is tampered with, we get an immediate alarm, a signal. If it's defeated so that there is a break in the signal, we get an immediate alarm. We also have technologies that allow us to be very vigilant in this setting. I'll say that.SEN-DOD-DOE-NONPROLIF PAGE 56 03/29/2002 .STX
SEN. CORNYN: And could you tell us just -- and I would just note that we just got word that there is a 15-minute vote on the floor so we're going to be wrapping up here rather quickly. What is the role that U.S. government personnel play at those foreign ports?
MR. PAUL: In most of those foreign ports, the CSI program is already in place -- the Container Security Initiative -- where there is a U.S. federal customs official reviewing manifests. We typically go into a port with Megaports and add the detector capability at a port where there is already CSI and, therefore, already a U.S. federal customs official. In those instances, which is most all of them, if a Megaports alarm were to sound and a government official from the foreign port got that alarm, it is common that he would -- that person would contact his counterpart, the U.S. federal customs official, there, but it's not a requirement. In the absence of a U.S. federal customs official, these -- they go straight to the embassy and then the embassy calls me or calls our office. But under no circumstances is a private company in control of that data, nor can they tamper with it.
SEN. CORNYN: Thank you.
Mr. Flory, this is my last question -- then I'll turn it over to Senator Reed -- has to do with the Cooperative Threat Reduction program. And notwithstanding the success that that has program has enjoyed, we see the CTR budget declining this year and it looks like CTR budget's slated to remain flat or even decline further over the five-year defense plan. This strikes me as kind of odd because we also have a request for a $44.5 million supplemental for the Cooperative Threat Reduction program to fund accelerated security improvements at Russian warhead sites agreed to by President Bush and President Putin at the Bratislava summit, as has already been testified to.
Could you explain that? And in particular, there's been some discussion -- as I know you know -- about the use of supplementals to fund ongoing operations of the Department of Defense and why a supplemental is the appropriate way to go here as opposed to putting it in the baseline of the Department of Defense budget.
MR. FLORY: Mr. Chairman, in terms of the supplemental request, I don't know precisely the answer as to why that request came in as a supplemental. I suspect that it had to do with -- and this is a problem we have in many cases -- where the budget cycle is such a long, drawn-out process that sometimes things have changed and requirements have changed over time. We do -- we need the money to spend now in fiscal year '06. That's what's driving -- and the fact that it's part of a program that is specifically designed to accelerate a preexisting program that was supposed to have taken until 2012 and is now supposed to have taken until 2008.
With respect to this year's budget specifically -- you're right. Last year, it was, I think, about $409 million. This year, we go down to 372 (million dollars). That reflected actually the program expectations at the time and, in particular, the fact that the assumptions driving the budget at the time the budget was put together assumed that there was going to be a drop off in funding for Shchuchye. Now, as I told you earlier, we have a delay in the Shchuchye project. We do not assume that that delay is going to transform into an additional financial requirement. Right now, we only know that it's going to take more time. If it were to turn out that more funding were required, we'd have to come back, but it's a function of the budget having been developed about a year ago and some of the problems only becoming manifest now.
SEN. CORNYN: Thank you.
SEN. REED: I just want to quickly follow up. You've mentioned Shchuchye, but I have a series of specific questions about delay, about potential budget authorities that might be necessary in the future and, you know, when live-agent production will be -- destruction I should say, not production; destruction. We're destroying; we're not producing. And let me send those questions to you, Secretary Flory.
MR. FLORY: Absolutely.
SEN. REED: Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. CORNYN: Well, gentlemen, thank you very much for your testimony. As you can see, there's a lot of interest in what you do and in our country's security when it comes to proliferation, nonproliferation and counterproliferation and counterterrorism efforts. And we very much appreciate your service to our nation and your willingness to take on this challenge. We want to be supportive of those efforts. We want to know what resources and authority that you need in order to do your job even better.
The hearing will now conclude. But we'll leave the record open for 48 hours in case there are other members of this committee who would like to submit additional requests for information in writing.
1. Nuclear dynamics - Dalia El-Sheikh conducts an exclusive interview with IAEA Director-General Mohamed El-Baradei
(for personal use only)
The IAEA opted for a diplomatic solution as far as the North Korean nuclear crisis is concerned, so why does it insist on sending the Iranian file to the Security Council?
In fact, in the case of both Iran and North Korea, the IAEA Board of Governors decided it was necessary to involve the United Nations Security Council. And in both cases, the aim was to have the Security Council put its weight into efforts to find a diplomatic solution. We should not forget that one of the Security Council's main functions is to settle disputes, through peaceful means.
Regarding North Korea, in December 2002, North Korea asked the IAEA to remove its surveillance cameras and inspectors from the country. By February 2003, the IAEA board had met in emergency session and reported the North Korean case to the Security Council. Since that time, the agency has not carried out any verification activities in the country, and thus cannot provide any assurance about its nuclear activities. The IAEA has not been involved in the subsequent diplomatic process (the six-party talks) to find a solution to this issue.
Regarding Iran, the decision of the Board of Governors to convey the Iran file to the Security Council does not equate with a failure of diplomacy and of the IAEA. Many member states continue to emphasise that the IAEA is the sole competent authority for verification, and they call on the agency to continue its work to resolve outstanding questions about Iran's nuclear programme. And even while the Security Council considers the matter of Iran, the IAEA and concerned member states will continue to search for a diplomatic solution to the Iran nuclear situation.
For my part, I will continue to pursue every means possible to maintain the dialogue between Iran and the IAEA, to urge continued dialogue between Iran and other concerned countries, and to work towards a diplomatic solution.
Some believe that signing the NPT is akin to a punishment because if North Korea or Iran hadn't signed it, they wouldn't have been treated in such a way. Is this a fair assessment?
The NPT is a voluntary agreement that 189 states have joined in order the make the world a safer place, to reduce the possibilities of nuclear proliferation. Nuclear-Weapon States (NWSs) have agreed to pursue disarmament; Non-Nuclear-Weapon States (NNWSs) have agreed not to purse nuclear weapons and to place any significant nuclear facility and nuclear material under IAEA safeguards. In agreeing to these conditions, the NNWSs are then eligible to receive assistance on their peaceful nuclear programmes, including technical cooperation from the IAEA.
It is true that some countries over the years have chosen to remain outside the NPT, based on their individual security perceptions. Today, however, all countries with the exception of India, Pakistan and Israel have decided that it was in their interest to join the NPT.
In the cases of North Korea and Iran (or, for that matter, the previous cases of Libya and Iraq), these countries made a legally binding commitment, under the NPT, to conduct all nuclear activities under international safeguards -- but then decided to pursue some nuclear activities in secret. In the cases of North Korea, Libya and Iraq, that secret activity included the pursuit of nuclear weapons (Iran is an ongoing case, and no conclusion has been reached). It is natural that the international community takes this pursuit of nuclear weapons -- by countries who have agreed not to -- as a very serious matter.
But your question is a valid one. Until we see serious movement towards nuclear disarmament by the nuclear weapon states and a security system that does not rely on nuclear deterrence, there will continue to be a sense of double standards. As I have said before, a world of nuclear "haves and have- nots" is not sustainable. Eventually, some countries -- particularly those in areas of conflict -- will start to ask whether they are better off leaving the NPT. This would be a terrible development, because a world with more nuclear-weapon states is a much more dangerous world. What we need is to move away from nuclear weapons and not to increase the number of those who have them. This could be the beginning of the end of our world.
Will countries such as India, Pakistan and Israel eventually join the NPT?
India, Pakistan and Israel could only join the NPT as non-nuclear- weapon states. Unfortunately I do not see this happening without new initiatives and approaches.
But I have every confidence that, if the five NPT nuclear weapon states revive their actions -- in accordance with their commitments -- to make meaningful progress towards nuclear disarmament, India and Pakistan will join in this process, reducing and hopefully eventually eliminating their arsenals. In the case of Israel, I believe progress could be achieved through the initiation of security dialogue in the Middle East -- which would go hand-in-hand with the peace process in the region and which aims to establish a new security structure in the region.
You said that the Arab countries are dealing with the Israeli nuclear programme in an inappropriate manner. How should they deal with the issue?
As I mentioned above, the direction to pursue on the Israeli arms issue is to include it as a core issue of the peace process in the Middle East because of its intimate linkage with that process. This has not been done so far. I firmly believe there will be no lasting peace in the Middle East without a balanced security regime to support and consolidate that peace. And equally true, no party in the region will feel secure without a comprehensive peace.
A great deal of rhetoric has been expended over making the Middle East a region free from weapons of mass destruction. The establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region has been the subject of United Nations resolutions for 30 years. Yet little concrete work has been done and a feeling of frustration continues to prevail in the Arab world.
The only time the countries of the Middle East have sat together to discuss the issue was in the arms control working group that arose out of the Madrid peace process -- and early disagreements aborted that effort.
What is needed is a renewed security dialogue that covers all topics relevant to security in the region -- a dialogue that deals with the present security imbalance, a dialogue that proceeds in parallel with the peace process and with the participation of all parties concerned. This dialogue should have the objective, inter alia, of freeing the region of all weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. It should also be directed at limiting conventional weapons and putting in place effective confidence-building measures.
The United States and India have signed a treaty concerning nuclear cooperation. Does this treaty represent another threat to the NPT -- especially given that India is not a member of the NPT?
India already has nuclear weapons, and is not likely to renounce those weapons and join the NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon state until the security situation changes. So I do not see this as a new NPT threat. The agreement does not change the proliferation situation.
The new United States-India agreement would be an important step, however, towards ensuring the safety and security of India's nuclear power plants, including especially those plants that are still to be built as part of India's ambitious nuclear energy programme. The agreement is also a first step towards bringing India closer as a partner in the non- proliferation and arms control regime -- a step that I hope will build confidence and lead to further progress. Properly implemented, this agreement should serve the interests of both India and the international community.
You have proposed the establishment of an international fuel bank. What is the significance of such a bank?
The control of access to sensitive nuclear technology has grown increasingly problematic in recent years. Far more countries have sophisticated engineering and industrial capacity. Six decades of research have created broad diversity in nuclear technology, making it more difficult to track procurement and sales. And electronic communication has simplified the transmission of component designs and the exchange of operating expertise.
This creates a markedly different situation than that anticipated by the founders of the NPT in 1970. Under NPT rules, there is nothing illegal about any state having enrichment or reprocessing technology -- processes that are basic to the production and recycling of nuclear reactor fuel -- even though these operations can also produce the high enriched uranium or plutonium that can be used in a nuclear weapon.
An increasing number of countries have sought to master these parts of the 'nuclear fuel cycle', both for economic reasons and, in some cases, as a good insurance policy for a rainy day -- a situation that would enable them to develop at least a crude nuclear weapon in a short span of time, should their security outlook change. Whatever the reason, this know-how essentially transforms them into a 'latent' nuclear-weapon state. That is, regardless of their peaceful intentions, they have now the capability to create weapon-usable nuclear material, which experts consider to be the most difficult step towards manufacture of a nuclear weapon. In today's environment, this margin of security is simply untenable.
The good news is that there may be a solution on the horizon. In 2004, I asked a group of experts to explore options for better control over these aspects of the fuel cycle. Their report, which was tabled in February 2005, as well as the ideas of others, have helped to shape my thinking on how such controls might be put in place.
This could occur through a series of measures. First, to provide assurance of supply of reactor technology and nuclear fuel. Second, to accept a time- limited moratorium (of perhaps five to 10 years) on new uranium enrichment and plutonium separation facilities -- at the very least for countries that do not currently have such technologies. Third, to establish a framework for multilateral management and control of the "back end" of the fuel cycle (for example spent fuel reprocessing and waste disposal). And, fourth, to create a similar framework for multilateral management and control of the "front end" of the fuel cycle (i.e. enrichment and fuel production).
Much attention is already being given to the first measure -- the assurance of supply. The importance of this measure is that, by providing reliable access to reactors and fuel, we remove the incentive or justification for countries to develop indigenous fuel cycle capabilities. In so doing, we could go a long way towards addressing current concerns about the dissemination of such capabilities. For this assurance of supply mechanism to be credible, it must be based on apolitical, objective, non-proliferation criteria. The key feature of such an arrangement is not simply availability, but reliability. Under the IAEA statute, the agency could act as the facilitator and guarantor of this assurance of supply mechanism.
I am encouraged by the range of supportive reactions to this initiative. Last summer a conference in Moscow discussed, among other multilateral approaches, the feasibility of fuel leasing. The uranium industry and the World Nuclear Association have set up a working group to explore strategies for fuel assurances.
The US announced that it would make available enough fuel for 10 reactor cores, to be used under an assurance of supply scheme. Russia has also recently indicated that it intends to make fuel available to the IAEA, to be used as part of an agency fuel bank. Given the rising expectation for the expanded use of nuclear energy in many countries, these multilateral approaches could offer clear advantages -- not just in terms of non-proliferation, but also in terms of safety, security and economics.
It has been mentioned that there are certain documents that may prove that Al-Qaeda seeks possession of mass destruction weapons. Do you believe that a terrorist group is capable of acquiring such weapons? And what about the so-called "dirty bomb"?
The IAEA maintains an "Illicit Trafficking Database" that tracks reported incidents of efforts to smuggle nuclear or radiological material. In the past decade, we have recorded more than 650 cases that involve efforts to smuggle such material. I am pleased to say that only a relatively small number of these cases have involved the nuclear material that could be used to make nuclear weapons (that is, high enriched uranium or plutonium).
But this gives me little comfort. The sheer volume of activity makes it clear that such a marketplace exists. Extremist groups have grown increasingly sophisticated, both in their approach to technology and their ability to carry out complex missions -- and have expressed a clear desire to acquire nuclear weapons. We must assume that, if an extremist group were to acquire nuclear or radiological material, they would not hesitate to use it.
This is why I consider that it is a critical part of the job of the IAEA to help countries to prevent this scenario from happening. That not only means securing all nuclear material of the type that could be used to construct a nuclear weapon, but also controlling the other types of nuclear material and radioactive sources that could be used to produce a "dirty bomb".
Most experts believe that it would be very difficult for a sub-national terrorist group to construct a nuclear weapon in secret, because of the sophisticated laboratory equipment and engineering skill required. On the other hand, the theft or illicit purchase of a nuclear weapon is a possibility, however unlikely.
What is perhaps more likely is the ability of a terrorist group to construct a "dirty bomb" -- a far less powerful device, but one which could still use normal explosives to spread radioactive contamination, and certainly to cause mass havoc and considerable financial damage.
In late 2001, the IAEA launched an ambitious worldwide campaign to assist countries in enhancing the security of all of these types of material. In the years since, other international and regional groups -- as well as some private organisations -- have also taken a leading role in this effort. Work is ongoing on every continent -- and over the past four years, experts estimate that perhaps 50 per cent of this work has been completed. But the vulnerability remains -- there is far more to be done.
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