1. MOSCOW SURPRISINGLY COMPLACENT OVER NORTH KOREAN MISSILE THREATS
Eurasia Daily Monitor
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The growing furor over North Korea's preparations for a missile test has evoked only a tepid response in Moscow.
Beijing only weighed in publicly on June 21, with a typically restrained statement of its being very concerned about a possible test (Xinhua, Chinadaily.com, June 22). This statement came only one day after a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman stated that she had no specific details on North Korea's plans other than what was written in foreign news reports (China, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, June 20) Yet, as both Moscow and Beijing knew, high-level Sino-North Korean discussions were taking place at this very same time, as China's Chief of the General Staff was then visiting North Korea (Interfax, June 22).
Indeed, the Kremlin might even be described as displaying an amazing insouciance about this projected test. Its only complaint to date has been that nobody has formally notified it of any potential North Korean missile launch. However, there are no official documents regulating mutual notification of launches (Itar-Tass, June 16). Beyond that fact, Russian experts think that North Korea's visible preparations for a launch of the Taepodong-2 missile represent nothing more than the usual manifestation of political blackmail in order to secure economic advantages (Interfax, June 20). Another interpretation holds that North Korea is publicly flaunting its preparations for a test because it is jealous of the concessions that Iran appears to be gaining as well as Tehran's recent monopolization of the political limelight (Kommersant, June 14). Most significantly, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, even as he conceded legitimate grounds for concern by other countries, said that reports about a missile test are "purely speculative" (Interfax, June 22).
In other words, Moscow believes that this test -- or at least the diplomatic uproar it is causing -- is essentially the same old thing and nothing about which to become upset. Russian leaders continues to hold to this position even though officials and prominent political figures like Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Duma's International Affairs Committee and a figure sympathetic to North Korea, acknowledges that a test would have unpleasant political repercussions for Pyongyang in the international community (Interfax, June 19).
Indeed, Russian experts do not really believe -- or at least profess not to believe -- that Pyongyang has a compact nuclear warhead that it could use to equip an ICBM. They maintain that North Korea's nuclear program is based on weapons-grade plutonium and plutonium-based explosives that resist all forms of miniaturization (Kommersant, June 14). In so doing, of course, they either deny or depreciate the possibility that North Korea has a well-developed uranium program to accompany its more publicly acknowledged plutonium program. Certainly Washington believes that North Korea has a substantial and developing uranium program and has stated as much repeatedly. Even experts like General Viktor Yesin, vice president of the Academy for Security, Defense, and Law-Enforcement Problems, who believes that North Korea could develop a missile with a 6,000-kilometer range, denies that the North Koreans have a nuclear weapon. He even stated that although they claim to have such a weapon, it is most likely an explosive device, not a truly powerful nuclear weapon (Interfax, June 19).
Russian experts have long publicly maintained this posture; namely, that North Korea does not really have nuclear weapons. And Yesin even argues that because it left the Nonproliferation Treaty, North Korea is immune from any legal repercussions for exploding a tested nuclear missile (Interfax, June 19). Neither can experts agree as to whether or not North Korea even has a missile ready for testing, let alone deployment (Kommersant, June 14).
However, by far the most insouciant of Russian responses to a possible North Korean missile test came from Russian President Vladimir Putin's aide, Igor Shuvalov, in a recent briefing for the upcoming G-8 summit. Shuvalov stated that North Korea's recent actions were likely a psychological test. Based on his comments, the Russian news agency Novosti headlined its report on the topic by mentioning that Shuvalov had dismissed reports out of North Korea as being a "psychological test" (RIA-Novosti June 20). Indeed, Shuvalov replied to questions about Russia's reaction to a test as if he were daring Pyongyang to conduct a test. He stated, "Let them first launch it. Will it take off and where will it fly? Only then will it become clear who will make which statements in either unilateral or multilateral formats" (Itar-Tass, June 20). Obviously this Clint Eastwood-like attitude, daring North Korea to "make Moscow's day," indicates a widening sphere of discord with Washington over proliferation and Korean issues. It hardly augurs well for an effective response either to any possible test or to any other North Korean provocation in the future and suggests that Moscow now opposes Washington on principle, regardless of the strategic consequences to itself from future nuclear proliferation. Under these circumstances, it is reasonable to ask whose psyche needs testing: those who proliferate or those who remain in denial about proliferation's ultimate consequences for them and everyone else.
Late yesterday, June 22, Moscow seemed to finally be taking North Korea's threat seriously. The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned North Korean Ambassador Pak Ui Chun to make plain Moscow's concerns. According to a Foreign Ministry statement, "In particular, the undesirability was stressed of any actions which could negatively affect regional stability and complicate the search for a settlement to the Korean peninsula's nuclear problem" (Foreign Ministry Press Release, June 22).
2. No 'reliable' information on NKorea missile plans: Russia
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There is no "reliable information" on North Korea's plans to test a ballistic missile, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said Thursday, Interfax news agency reported.
"There is no reliable information about the plans to test the North Korean missile," he was quoted as saying during a visit to the Belarussian capital Minsk. "Assuming that such a launch is planned, we do not know what it is for: to deploy a satellite or simply to launch a ballistic missile."
Ivanov underlined that North Korea has not entered into international arms treaties and that "a number of countries are expressing concern about the possible launch of this rocket because of this."
A series of reports have said North Korea was prepared to launch a Taepodong-2, believed to have a range of up to 6,700 kilometers (4,200 miles), enough to hit Alaska and possibly Hawaii.
North Korea in 1998 fired a long-range Taepodong-1 missile over Japan into the Pacific Ocean and last year said it had nuclear weapons.
3. Russian ministry summons N.Korea envoy over missile reports
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North Korea's ambassador to Moscow was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry over reports that the country was allegedly preparing to test a long-range ballistic missile, the ministry said Thursday.
The Foreign Ministry set out its position on the matter before Pak Ui Chun: "We stressed the undesirability of any activities that could affect regional stability and hamper the search for ways to resolve the nuclear problem on the Korean peninsula," the ministry said.
Reports on North Korea's alleged preparations for testing a ballistic missile that could reach Alaska first appeared in the United States and Japan. They were based on satellite images featuring a missile launcher and a cistern apparently with fuel. The two governments suspect North Korea of plans to test a missile.
North Korea has refused to comment on the matter.
In August 1998, North Korea launched its first three-stage missile, which it said had put a satellite in orbit. The carrier rocket flew over Japan and fell into the Pacific. The U.S. and Japan accused North Korea of testing ballistic missiles at the time.
In September 1999, North Korea declared a moratorium on missile tests to be in effect throughout talks with the U.S. administration, but in 2003 the country withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and lifted the test moratorium in 2005 when the U.S. withdrew from the nuclear talks. The same year, North Korea announced it had nuclear weapons.
Russia, North and South Korea, the U.S., China, and Japan joined efforts in August 2003 in a bid to persuade North Korea to give up plans to develop nuclear weapons in return for economic and diplomatic incentives.
At the last round of six-nation talks in September 2005, North Korea agreed to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for aid and security guarantees, but later refused to rejoin the talks until Washington lifted financial sanctions imposed over its alleged involvement in counterfeiting and other illegal activities.
In early June, however, a Korean news agency reported that Pyongyang was inviting an American delegation to resume talks.
The Iranian leader has again turned the tables, or rather the table of the G8 July summit in St. Petersburg.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tehran would give the answer to the offer made by Russia, the United States, China, Britain, France and Germany (the 5+1 states) not by June 29, as the EU, China and Russia hoped and the U.S. demanded, but in late August. The Iranian leader made this statement in an address to his voters in Hamadan, a city in western Iran, which has strengthened his standing in his home country.
On June 29, the G8 foreign ministers will meet in Moscow to discuss primarily the Iranian issue. They should determine if there are enough reasons to resume talks, or the Iranian nuclear dossier should be left to the UN Security Council. The foreign ministers must know Tehran's stand on the 5+1 offer to make a decision on keeping the dossier in the UN or returning it to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Their decision is to be signed by the G8 leaders.
During their meeting in Vienna on June 1, the foreign ministers of the six states approved a package of offers designed to convince Iran to stop uranium enrichment. The six countries thought their offer was quite attractive to Iran, and hoped its acceptance would help resume talks.
What stands behind Ahmadinejad's statement? Surely not only the "heaps of ambiguities" in the offer, as Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in Italy. Tehran is most likely dissatisfied with the provision on freezing enrichment as an obligatory condition for resuming talks.
The Iranian authorities said that the provision distorted the essence of the forthcoming talks. In fact, it needs the talks primarily to discuss freezing uranium enrichment in response to western concessions.
It appears that Tehran's announcement was a response to the statement by President Bush, who promised Iran "progressively stronger political and economic sanctions" if Tehran refused to verifiably suspend its uranium enrichment program.
It may also be that Moscow had unwittingly prompted Tehran's negative decision. Russia's First Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Denisov, who led the Russian delegation to the session of the foreign ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Baku, Azerbaijan, said Russia would not support UN Security Council decisions sanctioning the use of military force against Iran.
The same day, Russian president's aide Igor Shuvalov told journalists Russia would also insist on the inadmissibility of economic sanctions against Iran even if its stand clashed with the position of the other participants in the G8 summit in St. Petersburg.
If this supposition is correct, it means that Tehran has again let Russia down.
Tehran most likely used the complicated Washington-EU relations over Iran (the White House wants Europe's undivided support over the Iranian nuclear fuel issue) to force its rules of the game on the partners.
And yet, why did the Tehran authorities come to this decision, especially if their initial reaction to the 5+1 offer was positive?
Some newspapers claim that Iran's spiritual leader Ayatollah Khamenei was initially against the six countries' offer, which he described as "weak and disappointing." Tehran may again use the tactic which Khamenei calls "subtle diplomacy," the art of acting in international relations in such a way as to protect and strengthen national interests to the utmost level, as Iranian journalist Parviz Esmaeili put it.
On the other hand, many analysts say Iran's political establishment was divided over the nuclear fuel program and the six countries' offer. The majority would like to accept the right to limited enrichment, but this group does not include Ayatollah Khamenei or President Ahmadinejad, who reject all and any restrictions. If this is true, this imbalance in the Iranian leadership is the main reason for postponing the answer until the end of August.
The world can wait for another "moment of truth" regarding Iran, but will Iran benefit or suffer from the delay? Events can now take any turn, including some that will run counter to the Russian and Chinese opinion.
2. Discussed in Talks Between Russian, Iranian Delegations: Appeal to Iran To Agree Proposed European Package
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Heading a high-level Russian delegation, Igor Ivanov, the secretary of the Russian National Security Council, arrived in Tehran to confer with Iranian officials on ways to resolve the nuclear issue. Ivanov, who has come to Tehran accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Kisilik, met with Ali Larijani, the secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council. He is expected to meet with Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki and the Atomic Energy Organization head Gholamreza Aqazadeh.
According to an official, the Russian delegation has come to discuss the European incentives to Iran, the uranium enrichment consortium on Russian soil and the revival of talks between Iran and the three European countries. The Russian plan for Iranian uranium enrichment on Russian territory is also on the agenda in these talks. The plan put forward by Russia to resolve these disagreements, meaning joint uranium enrichment with Iran on Russian soil, has not been agreed to by Tehran to date. However, Ivanov hopes to make Iranian officials accept this plan eventually. Sergey Kisilik, a fellow member of his delegation, has also said that in his talks with Iranian officials he will stress interests, which will win them over to the Russian plan.
In his talks with his Iranian counterpart, Ivanov, who last visited Iran in November 2005, will endeavor to bring Iranian officials around to accepting the proposed European package. Referring to the meeting held yesterday morning between Ivanov and Larijani, an official told ISNA (Iranian Student News Agency): "In these talks, Russia stressed the holding of talks between Iran and the three European countries." He remarked that a second round of talks will most probably take place in the near future, but did not say where and when these probable talks will take place.
On the other hand, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation yesterday with American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Rice also conversed via telephone with the Chinese foreign minister on the Iranian nuclear issue. China and Russia are opposed to ratifying a harshly worded resolution against Iran at the United Nations Security Council.
The Arab world has also intensified its diplomatic activity regarding the Iranian nuclear issue. The Turkish daily reported that the secretary general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is due to pay an official visit to Iran on 31 May. According to a report by ISNA, during his official visit, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu will hold talks with Iranian officials concerning the OIC's likely role in preventing a confrontation between Iran and America over Tehran's nuclear program.
At the same time, stressing Iran's right to possess a nuclear program, the secretary general of the Arab League stated: "To date, no credible evidence has been found to prove that Iran's nuclear program is of a military nature."
Along with the Arabs, the Non-Aligned are also endeavoring to come up with a diplomatic solution to avert a conflict over Iran's nuclear program. Non-Aligned foreign ministers intend to support Iran's nuclear program. The foreign ministers of 114 member states of the Non-Aligned Movement hope to issue a special statement concerning the Iranian nuclear issue, which stresses that all countries have the right to conduct nuclear research and to produce and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. A draft version of this statement states that the Non-Aligned Movement calls for a moderate and impartial policy in regard to the Iranian nuclear issue, and condemns the threat made to attack this country's peaceful nuclear facilities.
3. OIC urges all sides to resume talks on Iran's nuclear problem
Sevidzh Abdullayeva and Viktor Shulman
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The Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) urges all sides to resume talks on Iran's nuclear programme without any preconditions.
``The only way to resolve Iran's nuclear problem is to resume the negotiating process without any preconditions and expand cooperation of all sides in compliance with the IAEA rules,'' according to a declaration adopted by the Council of OIC Foreign Ministers in Baku on Wednesday.
The declaration confirms the countries' right to producing and using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in order to assume obligations. The OIC ministers expressed confidence, ``All issues related to Iran's nuclear programme should be solved by peaceful methods in compliance with the IAEA obligations.''
The Organisation of the Islamic Conference recognises the right of all countries to using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said.
All countries should respect the IAEA rules and comply with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the OIC secretary-general told journalists. ``Within this framework we recognise Iran's right to carry out the peaceful nuclear programme,'' he said. Ihsanoglu stressed that the OIC favoured the solution of Iran's nuclear problem by peaceful means.
``As a whole, we seek the Middle East to be free of nuclear weapons,'' he added.
Visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said at a news conference on Tuesday Iran is ready to sit to negotiating table with international mediators without any preliminary conditions before it prepares a response to the six-mediators' package of incentives.
He pointed out that Iran has not yet set a concrete date when it may respond to the incentives.
At present, the Iranian experts are carefully studying the package, he said.
``It is a very serious process. As soon as it is over, we'll give an answer to our European friends,'' Mottaki said.
The package was worked out by the European Troika (Britain, France and Germany) and coordinated at the meeting of the foreign ministers of the six mediator-countries (five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany).
These incentives were submitted to Iran for consideration by EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana during his visit to Tehran on June 6.
This package includes different economic and political incentives in exchange for Iran's uranium enrichment suspension.
Mottaki pointed out that Iran hails support for states that seek the peaceful settlement of Iran's nuclear problem.
As for Washington's threats of imposing sanctions against Tehran, he said, ``some forget that the time of threats is already over.''
``The language of threats is inadmissible in the modern world,'' he said.
He believes that in the modern political world it is necessary to ensure the right to civil nuclear development on the basis of the countries' goodwill and to take serious steps to implement the non-proliferation programme.
4. Russian Political Expert Says Iran's Standing To Worsen After Delayed Response
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Iran's international standing will worsen following its decision to take a two- month-long period to respond to a plan to solve its nuclear problem proposed by the UN Security Council's permanent members and Germany, Politika Foundation President Vyacheslav Nikonov said.
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad recently said that Tehran would give its answer to the six's proposals by August 22.
"This statement is worsening Iran's standing and is increasing the chances of the UN Security Council coming up with new initiatives," Nikonov said.
"An answer like this will be taken negatively because the clock is ticking and the time left is measured by days, or weeks at best, he said.
"If it takes Tehran months to make up its mind, it will be one more mistake which will be seen as an attempt to drag out time and not to give any answer at all," he said.
"It would be painful for Russia, as well, since the promise to respond has been given to us but is being delayed," said Nikonov.
5. Russia: Ahmadinezhad Response on Nuclear Proposal Could Force Harsher Stance
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Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinezhad's statement that Iran will respond to proposals of the six mediators on the nuclear problem on August 22, could force Russia and China to adopt a harsher position on the Iranian nuclear dossier at the UN Security Council, head of the Federation Council's Defense and Security Committee Viktor Ozerov said.
The Russian position will in any case arise from the fact that one must seek compromises in the future too. However, the more tricks come from Tehran, the more difficult it will be to seek such compromises," Ozerov told Interfax on Wednesday.
The use of force against Iran would entail dangerous consequences and could ignite the situation across the whole Middle East region when coupled with the U.S. and its allies' presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said.
Iran should be given a chance to adopt a decision on the proposals made by the six before August 22, Head of the International Affairs Committee under the Federation Council Mikhail Margelov said.
"Dragging out the negotiations is counterproductive and will bring nothing," Margelov said.
The terms offered to Iran to study the proposals by the six was insufficient, and Tehran might need additional time, he said.
"It is known that Iranian diplomats are now having active consultations on the nuclear problem with representatives of Asian and European nations and, if following these consultations Iran is able to come to mutual understanding with the six, then this additional term would be justified."
"The proposals of the six do not infringe Tehran's right for peaceful nuclear energy, as is recognized by the Iranian leadership which positively appraises the package of proposals."
However, one should understand that this package is the maximum of what Europe and the U.S. can offer, he said.
1. Moscow Energy Security Conference Attended by Delegates from G8 Countries - "Council of the Energy Elite"
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The conference consisted of a main session on the conference topic and a roundtable discussion of the present and future of nuclear power engineering.
In his speech welcoming conference participants, RF Minister of Industry and Energy V. Khristenko first commented on the significance of the conference and then named the main threats to the energy security of humankind, including the growing disparity between the supply and demand of energy, the uneven distribution of energy sources, particularly hydrocarbons, and others. He said it would cost the world community $17 trillion to eliminate these threats. Khristenko said that the search for new sources of energy meeting strict environmental requirements and the broad-scale incorporation of nuclear energy are among the essential conditions for the avoidance of the impending world energy crisis. The challenges and risks to energy security are motivating countries to plan national energy policies, which differ considerably from one another, and this also gives rise to serious risks. That is the precise reason that energy dialogue is so important. The goal is to develop effective mechanisms of international power engineering, which would exclude the possibility of ruinous conflicts over sources, deliveries, and resources.
RF Foreign Minister S. Lavrov remarked that the energy elite of our planet was present at the conference and that the topics discussed at the conference were matters of concern to the broadest segments of society, because the safety of people and the conditions of their existence depend on energy. Russia, the foreign minister said, occupies a unique place in the world community, because the G8 countries are the main consumers of its crude resources, and Russia is one of the leading producers of energy. S. Lavrov stressed that nuclear power engineering has been an increasingly important component of energy security, and RF President V. Putin's recent statement about the creation of international centers for the enrichment of nuclear fuel paved the way for the safe development of nuclear power engineering. President G. Bush of the United States later made the same statement.
S. Kiriyenko, the head of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency, expressed a few other ideas during the discussion. "Today," he said, "electricity consumption is growing much more quickly than we expected. At any rate, the growth of electricity consumption in Russia in the last few years has exceeded the average projection in the country's energy strategy by 50 percent. Similar trends have been recorded in many other countries as well."
One of the main reasons is the increased consumption of electricity by people reaching the point at which they can afford to buy durable goods. These are air conditioners and refrigerators in the South and heaters in the North, and the result is the nonlinear growth of energy consumption by the population. The conclusion to be drawn from this is that access to energy resources is becoming the key to security and a guarantee of stable development for any country in the world and for the world in general.
"This growth of electricity consumption is certain to require changes in the structure of the fuel supply and fuel consumption in almost every country and in the world economy as a whole," S. Kiriyenko stressed. This is not strictly a market model, because the growth of demand will not lead automatically to the commensurate growth of the supply of energy resources, at least in the case of hydrocarbon resources. Raising the cost of those resources will lead to a reassessment of the economic advisability of resource extraction, of course, but it will not guarantee commensurate growth. As a result, the world will experience more and more shortages of hydrocarbon resources. Rosatom (Federal Atomic Energy Agency) estimates suggest that the failure to change the structure of fuel consumption will necessitate the discovery and development of 7-8 oil deposits, each equivalent to Saudi Arabia's output, by 2030 if energy consumption continues to grow at the present rate for the next 24-25 years. Judging by our present knowledge of existing oil reserves, this would be virtually impossible. A similar situation is taking shape with regard to gas. The only source of hydrocarbons in ample supply for the near future is coal, but this brings up the important issue of environmental impact and the need to develop environmentally clean technologies.
The conclusion to be drawn from this is that there is no alternative in the near future to the development of new sources of energy with no connection to hydrocarbons and with no greenhouse gas emissions. These are certain to include hydroelectric power engineering, solar and wind energy, the tides, and so forth. In the next 25-30 years, however, nuclear power engineering will be one of the main elements of the world's new energy structure. "This analysis," the head of Rosatom said, "has been conducted by almost all countries with the ability to develop nuclear power engineering, and you saw the parade of manifestos throughout the world today, mainly the announcements by countries fully capable of developing nuclear power engineering, on the reassessment of their strategy for the construction of nuclear power plants. India announced the construction of 40 gigawatts of nuclear power engineering facilities, China announced a figure of 100 gigawatts, and Ukraine said it would build 15-20 new power units. An outstanding example is the United States, which revised its nuclear power plant construction forecast from 50 gigawatts to 300 gigawatts by 2050. This means that all 300 will have to be built anew, because none of the operating plants in the United States will still be working in 2050."
Because of the Kyoto Protocol and its stricter environmental requirements, many countries will have to develop nuclear power engineering. For this reason, the right of any country to engage in the peaceful production of nuclear energy will have to be coordinated with the right of the countries of the nuclear club to monitor nonproliferation efforts. The international centers for the enrichment of nuclear fuel could provide an effective solution to this problem.
International efforts must be united in the search for new nuclear technologies, including fast reactors and thermonuclear reactors, meeting safety requirements and the requirements of nonproliferation. In this context, the invitation of Russia to participate in the Generation-4 (GIF) program is a positive sign.
The need for a new approach to world energy policy was discussed by representatives of various sectors and corporations. President V. Alekperov of the LUKOIL OAO (Open Joint-Stock Company), for example, presented a report on "Cooperation in the Interest of Global Energy Security" and said that "oil and gas companies are spending billions of dollars to maintain the current level of extraction. This now requires investments of about $200 billion each year. The need to revise the structure of fuel consumption has arrived."
During the two days of the conference, reports were presented on all aspects of the development of world power engineering, especially from the standpoint of economic and technological strategies. Understandably, issues connected with the gas and oil complex evoked the most discussion. The present and future of nuclear power engineering were discussed on the first day of the conference at a roundtable attended by representatives of the IAEA, Rosatom, the State Duma, the Rosenergoatom concern, the Tekhsnabeksport OAO, the OKBM imeni I.I. Afrikantov federal state unitary enterprise, and several others.
A draft message to the participants in the meeting of the G8 energy ministers was approved at the end of the conference.
1. G8 summit to have impact on energy sphere – NEA head
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The forthcoming G8 summit in St. Petersburg in July will have an important impact on developing international ties in the energy sphere, said Luis Echavarri, director general of the Nuclear Energy Agency. The Agency, which is part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), gave a positive response to Russia's proposal to set up a system of international centers to provide nuclear cycle services.
"We support President Vladimir Putin's initiative," Echavarri said. "We view it as a very practical way to solve problems some countries are facing. It is a good model that can bring benefits of peaceful use of nuclear energy to everyone, without jeopardizing the non-proliferation regime."
He said he welcomed Russia's decision in the capacity of the G8 president to draw so much attention to problems of energy security on the summit's agenda. "The Russian Federation is a major player in the energy field," he said. "Its discussions on how to improve the global energy situation with its leading partners are very important."
The Agency has "a great interest in gradually expanding ties with Russia," the director general said. He has submitted "a set of practical measures on the issue to the Governing Board," he said. Russia should be able to participate in the Agency's activities as an equal, Echavarri said, adding that he had sent a proposal to hold talks on a special agreement to Sergei Kiriyenko, head of the Russian Federal Agency for Nuclear Power.
The first step in this area could be Russia's involvement in the work of the NEA technical committees, he said. "We are unanimous on this issue, because Russia is a valued partner."
The NEA has over 40 years of experience and unites 28 countries, he said.
It uses the services of 3,600 experts from members of the OECD, which is based in France. The Agency seeks to "encourage the development of scientific, technological and legal grounds for economical and environmentally safe peaceful use of nuclear energy." The European Commission is involved in its activities. The Agency also works with the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
1. Anti-WMD scheme seizes 12 illegal arms cargos: Polish official
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Around 12 illegal shipments have been seized in the past three years by countries that back an international scheme to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), a Polish official said Wednesday.
"There were around 12 international operations that ended with the seizure of illegal shipments" since the start of the Washington-backed Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) in 2003, said Tadeusz Chomicki, deputy director of Poland's security policy department.
"Not all involved nuclear materials," he added, pointing out that the scheme also targets chemical or biological arms. Chomicki did not say if fully assembled weapons or components were intercepted.
"The shipments were transported by sea and by land," Chomicki told a press briefing ahead of a meeting in Warsaw Friday of around 60 of the 70 countries that support the PSI initiative.
"It's hard to say how many people the shipments could have killed," he told reporters.
"But this whole effort is worth it if it contributes to stopping even one attack involving weapons of mass destruction. In such attacks, it's not just five or 10 people that die."
Chomicki added that one of the interceptions of WMD was carried out "near Poland."
Although some of the shipments may have been intercepted without the PSI, Chomicki said, the initiative "creates an exchange of information between countries that makes it significantly easier and quicker to undertake operations."
The Proliferation Security Initiative was launched by US President George W. Bush during an official visit to Poland in 2003.
It aims to increase international cooperation in halting shipments of WMD and to prevent such weapons falling into the hands of "terrorist groups and states suspected of supporting them."
Officials from some 60 countries at Friday's meeting are due to review the first three years of the PSI, debate its future and discuss ways of improving measures against trafficking in weapons of mass destruction.
1. Russia: Lavrov To Monitor Ratification of Convention Against Nuclear Terrorism
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President Vladimir Putin has appointed Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov his representative to the Federal Assembly for ratifying the Convention for the Suppression of Ats of Nuclear Terrorism.
The Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism was signed in New York on September 14, 2005, the Kremlin press service reported on Thursday.
In the United States leaders and politicians are divided into two categories. The first comprises foxes, who are cunning and capable of making unexpected maneuvers. The second category comprises hedgehogs, who move forward irrespective of obstacles. I would put Bush in the second group.
The incumbent President often makes bold decisions. But he always thinks about them carefully. He prefers to win a war and not to avoid it. To Bush, war is a question of prestige. That is why he makes risky decisions.
(Sorokina) Is a situation whereby Washington will start a war in Iran possible?
(Diebel) The US Administration is taking part in the talks within the framework of the UNSC, IAEA, and "group of six" to solve the Iranian nuclear problem by diplomatic means.
A war is not advantageous to Washington. The US Armed Forces are exhausted by grueling military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The country's budget has gone into deficit as a result of uncontrolled expenditure, and the savings that were available to the United States are currently at an extremely low level. The United States is now interested in strengthening its military presence in both Europe and Asia. While the wishes of the Europeans and Americans coincide, problems concerning the opening of NATO and US bases in Europe will not arise.
2. EU, US ready to cooperate with Russia in promoting of energy security
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The European Union and the United States are ready to cooperate with Russia in the promotion of energy security, strengthening of law and order, creation of independent judiciary system, protection of human rights, including the right to freedom of mass media and development of civic society.
They will also help settle frozen conflicts on the post-Soviet territory, says a joint declaration adopted upon the results of the EU-US summit in Vienna on Wednesday.
Among other most important spheres of cooperation with Russia, the declaration names such areas of mutual interest as strengthening the regime of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and fighting against terrorism.
The EU and US are going to use the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe as an important forum for promoting collective and comprehensive security, the declaration said.
3. Russian government paper criticizes current nonproliferation agreements
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The Russian government has published on its website the text of a so-called white paper. It concerns threats, assessments and ways of implementing the policy for nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The paper was produced with direct involvement of the Russian government's military-industrial commission, the governmental press service told ITAR-TASS today.
Existing international agreements and export control regimes "are often incapable of fully ensuring a reliable barrier in the way of transfer of modern technologies relating to the development of weapons of mass destruction", the paper says. Events of recent times are evidence of this. "Particular state and nonstate entities are relentless in their efforts to acquire goods and technologies relating to the development of weapons of mass destruction and means of delivery," the white paper said.
"In order to achieve these aims, efforts are being made to discover weak points in the laws of countries in the area of export control. Various circumvention techniques, options for procurement and delivery of goods and modern technologies are being worked out and put into practice," the paper's authors said.
This is why it remains topical to improve the international law on nonproliferation and the Russian Federation's law on export control for ensuring a more effective struggle against terrorism and for carrying out UN Security Council resolutions on nonproliferation, the Russian government's paper said.
There is considerable potential for solving nonproliferation tasks at the national level within the frame of the global partnership programme prepared and implemented by the G8, the paper said. Strengthening relations with countries in the near abroad, primarily the CIS, and further cooperation with partners in the Eurasian Economic Community and the single economic space are a principal component of Russia's national security.
The problem of nonproliferation of WMD and means of their delivery "is a priority activity for the Russian Federation", the paper said.
1. Russian Military Experts Propose Nuclear Nonproliferation 'Concept' for G8, UNSC
Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye
(for personal use only)
Article by Sergey Mikhaylovich Rogov, director of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of the United States of America and Canada and corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Viktor Ivanovich Yesin, colonel-general, retired, and first vice president of the Academy of Problems of Security and Law and Order; and Pavel Semenovich Zolotarev, deputy director of the Institute of the United States of America and Canada and major-general of the reserve: "Two Sixes in the Strategic Stability Wheel. Problems of Nuclear Arms Control in the 21st Century: Military Experts Propose Concept for UN Security Council and G8"
The nuclear threat to mankind arose in the mid-20th century. During those years the United States and the USSR unleashed a nuclear arms race, balancing on the brink of war. Since the end of the standoff that lasted many years, that danger has lessened, but has not totally disappeared. However, it is now questions of nuclear weapons proliferation and the prospect of a multilateral nuclear arms race that have come to the forefront. In addition, the start of the 21st century has been marked by the possibility of the use of nuclear weapons and other types of WMD by international terrorists.
A pressing need now exists to supplement the existing nuclear arms control system with new elements, taking into account the changes that have taken place in the world. A package of measures is proposed to promote the establishment and strengthening of a multilateral regime of verification in the nuclear sphere.
During the Cold War, the main criterion that was used to characterize military security was a "narrow" understanding of strategic stability that amounted to maintaining a stable nuclear missile equilibrium between the Soviet Union and the United States of America. However, it is no longer possible to confine ourselves to the former simplified interpretation of strategic stability. Today, strategic stability is multifaceted. It is determined by the probability of the nonuse of nuclear weapons and the prevention of inter-state wars and armed conflicts, and by the level of minimization of terrorist threats.
But first and foremost it is necessary to identify several groups of potential sources of challenges and threats. In our view, they are as follows:
-- the officially recognized nuclear states (the United States, Russia, France, Britain, and China);
-- the unrecognized nuclear states that have openly announced their possession of nuclear weapons (India and Pakistan);
-- states that possess nuclear weapons but do not officially acknowledge that fact (Israel);
-- states without nuclear status but which have the motivation to acquire nuclear weapons and the necessary scientific and technological potential to do so (the DPRK, Iran);
-- states that do not have nuclear status and that are capable of creating nuclear weapons, but are refraining, on the grounds of political and military inexpediency, from making the transition to the ranks of nuclear states -- the so-called "latent" nuclear states (Argentina, Brazil, the Republic of Korea, and others);
-- "nonstate players" (international and national terrorist organizations and groupings, extremists, and so forth).
In order to eliminate the challenges and threats that exist, it is necessary:
-- to create a new model of collaboration between Russia and the United States in the nuclear sphere;
-- to involve Britain, France, and the PRC in the nuclear arms control regime;
-- to make India, Pakistan, and Israel de facto participants in the nuclear arms control regime;
-- to prevent access to nuclear weapons by the DPRK and Iran;
-- to reduce the motivation of nonnuclear states to acquire nuclear weapons;
-- to prevent the use of nuclear weapons by terrorists and extremists.
It is currently necessary to strengthen strategic stability in several areas. The first priority in an effective strategy of preventing the proliferation of nuclear and radiological weapons should be to reduce the global "demand" for these types of weapon. The second priority should be global regulation of the "supply" of military nuclear technologies. It is necessary to reduce as far as possible the opportunities for both states and nonstate entities to acquire nuclear arms, as well as the materials and knowledge required for their production. This international regime should be based on coercive measures undertaken by, on the one hand, the UN Security Council, and on the other by sovereign states.
The following can be listed among the most important components of a regime of nuclear control and nonproliferation of nuclear weapons that accords with the threats and risks of the 21st century:
-- prevention of an uncontrolled multilateral nuclear arms race;
-- prevention of access to nuclear weapons by "latent" states, as well as the guaranteed nonuse of nuclear weapons against those countries by the nuclear powers;
-- the cessation of production of fissile materials suitable for the production of nuclear weapons;
-- renunciation of the buildup of existing arsenals of nuclear weapons by both official and unofficial nuclear powers;
-- quantitative reductions in the accumulated stockpiles of nuclear arms;
-- the implementation of confidence-building measures and other steps to reduce the risk of the use of nuclear weapons between nuclear states;
-- the safeguarding of security in the storage, stockpiling, and transportation of existing nuclear arms and materials that can be used in their production;
-- the safeguarding of the security of nonmilitary nuclear facilities and materials used in electricity generation and for scientific research;
-- an increase in the effectiveness of export controls, including national systems of accounting, monitoring, and physical protection of weapons-grade materials;
-- the prevention of the legal circulation of nuclear materials -- theft, secret sales, and so forth;
-- the cessation of the "brain drain" (that is, the uncontrolled movement of people possessing critical information and knowledge of military nuclear technologies), as well as the prevention of uncontrolled dissemination of "intangible technologies," including in electronic form;
-- the prevention of access by terrorists and extremists to nuclear facilities and weapons, including forcible preventive measures ("counterproliferation").
The majority of the developed states embarked back in the 1950s on research -- and, later, commercial -- nuclear programs. According to existing information, approximately 15 countries actually conducted research in the nuclear sphere. However, only in a few cases was this research brought to fruition (Israel, Sweden, South Africa, India, and also Pakistan). The majority of states that were carrying out military nuclear programs stopped (or mothballed) the development of nuclear weapons after signing the NPT (Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty).
South Africa and Sweden are a special case -- they admitted after the event that they had developed nuclear weapons, which were later totally dismantled.
Several of the developing countries (the DPRK, Iraq, Libya, Brazil, Argentina) continued secretly carrying out nuclear research of a military nature, exploiting loopholes in the system of international monitoring of their nuclear facilities.
Brazil, Argentina, and Libya announced that they had stopped this work, although Brazil is clearly seeking to preserve the possibility of future research.
Three countries that are not members of the NPT became possessors of nuclear weapons -- Israel, India, and Pakistan. Israel, however, does not officially have the status of a nuclear state, but it is generally accepted that it has a "bomb in the basement."
Today, the problems of nuclear proliferation are centered on the DPRK, which is the only state to have seceded from the NPT, and Iran.
After the Gulf War, Iraq was forced to wind up its nuclear program under UN and IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) monitoring. This example attests to the high degree of effectiveness of coercive international control of nuclear research.
In 2004, Libya admitted to the existence of a secret military nuclear program, and carried out a number of measures guaranteeing its nuclear-free status.
By virtue of several political and strategic factors, a number of latent states embarked on the creation of nuclear weapons. This step, in every case known to us, was chosen as a response to the superiority of a supposed adversary in both conventional and nuclear arms.
True, the Israel Defense Forces, for instance, undoubtedly surpass the armed forces of all the neighboring Arab countries in all the main qualitative indicators, while in quantitative terms, of course, they are many times superior. But the Israeli leadership preferred to be guided by the "worst-case scenario." certain role was played in Tel Aviv's nuclear policy by the existence of chemical weapons in a number of Arab countries. However, a special role in Israel's decision to become a possessor of nuclear weapons was also played by the so-called "Khrushchev ultimatum" at the time of the 1956 Suez War.
In effect, Israel regarded its nuclear weapons as a means of deterring the USSR in the 1967 and 1973 wars and preventing direct military intervention by the Soviet Union on the Arab side. This was also connected with the absence of official nuclear guarantees from Washington to Tel Aviv. Despite the extremely close US-Israeli ties in all spheres, the United States refrained from formal military commitments with regard to Israel. All this prompted Tel Aviv to rely on its own nuclear force.
Islamabad probably operated from considerations that were similar in some ways. In the course of a series of wars, the Pakistani leadership had become convinced of India's overwhelming superiority in the sphere of conventional armed forces. Pakistan was undoubtedly also well informed about the military nuclear program of its neighbor and adversary. Islamabad's quasi-allied relations with Washington did not give the Pakistani leadership nuclear guarantees against India, but did enable it to tackle certain serious technical problems in the nuclear sphere.
Pakistan's nuclear weapon, in Islamabad's view, should exert a deterrent influence on India. However, in reality a system of mutual nuclear deterrence between Pakistan and India has not become established.
India and Pakistan, unlike the USSR and the United States, are not divided by oceans. They can use conventional means of armed struggle against each other's strategic targets. The flight time of ballistic missiles is only a few minutes, and nuclear missile attack warning systems are absent. In a crisis situation, each side would have incentives to carry out a preemptive strike. The strategic balance between India and Pakistan is extremely unstable.
India's security interests are linked to Chinese-Indian relations to a considerable degree. The existence of nuclear weapons in the PRC was obviously one of the main reasons for Delhi's refusal to sign the NPT. It is China, and not Pakistan, that is the main factor in India's nuclear strategy. It can be assumed that in the long and, possibly, medium term Delhi will seek to achieve approximate nuclear missile parity with the PRC.
At the official level, the United States has practically ignored Israel's development of nuclear weapons and obstructs any serious discussion of Tel Aviv's role in resolving nuclear nonproliferation problems. A dangerous precedent, with far-reaching consequences, has thereby been created.
US sanctions against Pakistan and India were of a limited and short-term nature. In effect, Washington recognized the irreversible nature of these states' nuclear status. The 2006 US-Indian agreement on nuclear cooperation basically enshrined the White House's abandonment of opposition to the further buildup of Delhi's nuclear potential.
Russia has also not used sanctions against the three new members of the nuclear club.
As a result, it must be noted that neither the United States nor Russia, while assisting the buildup of India's nuclear potential in the peaceful sphere, is taking any political or other measures to restrict that country's military nuclear program. Nor is there any real opposition to the military nuclear programs of Pakistan and Israel.
Iran has for several decades now been in a state of confrontation with the United States. The military threat from Washington undoubtedly plays a special role in the development of the Iranian nuclear program. The Bush administration's proclamation of the objective of regime change in the Islamic Republic is regarded by its leadership as a substantive threat.
Official P'yongyang has for more than half a century regarded the United States as enemy number one. Meanwhile the military balance of forces on the Korean Peninsula continues to grow worse for the DPRK. So now the DPRK has resorted to a kind of "nuclear blackmail," apparently deliberately exaggerating its potential in the nuclear sphere. Probably in this way the North Korean leadership is trying to obtain from Washington some guarantees of its own preservation.
A peculiarity of the approach of the DPRK and Iran to the nuclear problem is their consent to talks with the aim of obtaining certain political and economic concessions in exchange for a promise not to create nuclear weapons. It cannot be ruled out that there is a chance of achieving political accords that would make it possible to preserve these countries' status as latent nuclear states.
It can be assumed that, in the future, the exacerbation of regional conflicts could lead to the creation of nuclear weapons by certain developing countries. Theoretically, a kind of "chain reaction" cannot be ruled out, whereby the appearance of nuclear weapons in one state would prompt a neighboring rival to make the same decision in the interests of deterring the potential enemy. This scenario is most likely in the Near and Middle East, where the example of Israel and Iran (if Iran becomes a nuclear state) could be followed by Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.
A similar "chain reaction" is possible in the Far East, where the consolidation of the DPRK's nuclear status (as well as a number of other factors connected with the policy of China and the United States) could lead to the appearance of nuclear weapons in South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan.
The "chain reaction" scenario looks less likely in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa (if Egypt is regarded as a Near Eastern country). This development of events is extremely doubtful in Europe, since that would require the disintegration of NATO and the European Union, the "renationalization" of Germany's defense policy, and so forth.
In general, there are grounds to conclude: Whereas at the present stage the greatest danger is presented by the transition of countries counted by the United States as belonging to the "axis of evil" to the status of nuclear states, at the next stage (if Iran and the DPRK develop nuclear weapons) a number of countries that are today Washington's allies and clients could turn into nuclear states. That is, the next stage of the transition of latent states to the ranks of nuclear states could take place in the event of a severe weakening of the convincingness of "extended nuclear deterrence" on the part of the United States.
As for Russia, the factor of "extended nuclear deterrence" on its part plays an insignificant role, since the probability of the creation of nuclear weapons by the member countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization is close to zero, and Russia has no other allies or clients.
In these conditions, preventing the creation of nuclear weapons by Iran and North Korea is of critical importance for preventing a "chain reaction" and preventing latent states from becoming nuclear. Of equally great importance is the settlement of regional conflicts and the prevention of a race for the new generation of conventional arms in various regions of the world, including Asia -- in the Near and Far East. A threat to the territorial integrity and even the very existence of a number of latent states from their more powerful neighbors that seek regional domination could spark a local nuclear arms race and even the use of nuclear weapons.
The peculiarity of the threat of nuclear terrorism lies in the fact that nuclear (or radiological) weapons could be used by a nonstate player. Terrorists are not restricted by legal standards, they "play without rules," and therefore it is impossible to counter nuclear terrorism by the militaryategic means that are used in inter-state relations.
Present-day terrorism is characterized by the use of armed violence not only against specific political and military figures, but also against the civilian population, that is, the killing of the maximum number of people belonging to the "enemy" ethnic and religious group. The capability for mass destruction of the population is inherent in nuclear weapons, which makes them potentially an effective means of mass murder for terrorists.
Nuclear terrorism could be carried out by three methods:
-- the use of nuclear weapons to carry out strikes against selected targets;
-- the carrying out of terrorist acts against nuclear facilities (reactors) with the aim of causing a nuclear explosion;
-- the use of industrial radioactive materials as radiological weapons.
Correspondingly, accords are necessary that would ideally cover all the nuclear and latent states and which would make provision for parallel measures with a view to countering terrorism by all the methods mentioned. Access to nuclear weapons or their components demands a high level of security for facilities where nuclear weapons are stored and also for nuclear delivery vehicles that are on alert status (first and foremost, ballistic missiles).
At the same time it should be borne in mind that information on these issues cannot be totally open, since it is undesirable for terrorists to possess information facilitating access to nuclear munitions and delivery vehicles. The observance of the necessary secrecy in this sphere is to some extent at odds with demands to widen transparency among the nuclear powers.
At the same time, it is expedient to discuss additional technical measures that would make it possible to exclude the unauthorized use of weapons, by means of physical measures among others. It would evidently be possible to hold confidential consultations on these issues at the level of experts. Furthermore, a reduction in the number of nuclear arms that are at a high level of combat readiness would help to limit the potential for terrorist attacks aimed at seizing these systems.
Special difficulties could arise in ensuring the security of wireless transmission of information concerning monitoring (nablyudeniye), early warning, and combat command and control. The penetration of communications and command and control systems by terrorists entails the risk of unauthorized use of nuclear weapons or of the political leadership making a decision on the basis of false information.
It is desirable that not only the United States and Russia, but also all the other nuclear states, including India and Pakistan, should participate in the operation of the system of exchange of information on missile launches.
Measures to ensure the security of nuclear reactors at commercial power stations and research institutes require substantial financial expenditure.
We believe that it is necessary to raise the question of the monitoring of all peaceful nuclear activity with a view to preventing significant quantities of fissile materials being diverted to military purposes.
Additional measures to ensure the security of peaceful nuclear reactors could require expenditure such that it would make nuclear power less competitive compared with other energy sources. At the same time, in an increasingly global world, there is as yet no system for ensuring the stability of the world energy market.
In addition, many developing countries that now place the emphasis on nuclear power stations do not have sufficiently qualified personnel for working in this sphere. As a result there is an unpublicized "brain drain" to these countries, and secret forms of inter-state cooperation on nuclear issues arise. However, this secrecy creates the possibility of the emergence of a "nuclear bazaar," an example of which was the secret commercial organization headed by Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, which operated for nearly 20 years.
All this promotes the emergence of favorable conditions for possible terrorist penetration of the "nuclear bazaar." Thus far, it is only states that have succeeded in creating nuclear weapons, and it is doubtful that this objective could be achieved in underground conditions "on your knee." Therefore the purchase of a nuclear weapon or its components remains, for a terrorist organization, the most tempting means of obtaining access to nuclear weapons.
The question of control of nuclear fuel, in order to avoid the accumulation of stockpiles of enriched uranium, is acute. A "dirty bomb" requires significantly less industrial potential than a "proper" nuclear warhead.
Evidently, as noted above, a solution to the problem of the terrorist threat in the sphere of the "peaceful atom" could be found within the framework of the creation of a global energy security system. This would make it possible to establish monitoring of all peaceful nuclear reactors and of the nuclear fuel circulation cycle. In this context, international funding could be made clearly conditional on consent to the adoption of rigorous standards in resolving the tasks of ensuring antiterrorist security.
At the same time it should be admitted that in the foreseeable future there is no possibility of a 100% guarantee of the prevention of all possible terrorist acts using nuclear weapons or other types of WMD.
For this reason, an accord on the formation of international rapid reaction forces to neutralize the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons or other types of WMD could be of great significance in the struggle against nuclear terrorism. The corresponding subunits that Russia and the United States have could form the basis of such forces.
The international legal basis for counterterrorist operations using special forces is of particular significance. It would also be possible to form a special committee under the auspices of the UN Security Council that would be responsible for studying questions connected with counterterrorist operations and drawing up a corresponding Security Council resolution establishing the rules for the conduct of security operations to prevent terrorist attacks using nuclear weapons and other types of WMD.
Control of nuclear technologies is acquiring special significance at present. In this connection, the establishment of international control of the nuclear fuel cycle is acquiring special significance. A country's lack of a closed highly enriched uranium cycle should be considered an insuperable obstacle to receiving the raw material necessary for the production of nuclear weapons.
From this viewpoint, the most effective method would appear to be the creation of an international organization that would carry out deliveries of fuel for nuclear power stations and accept spent nuclear fuel for storage and reprocessing. This requires the resolution of a whole range of political, organizational, technical, commercial, and financial issues.
Obviously, the G8 could play a certain role in eliminating the aforesaid problems. In this respect the valuable experience acquired in the implementation of the Global Partnership program against the proliferation of WMD could come in useful.
One possibility for preventing the unauthorized use of spent nuclear fuel could be the setting up of an international center for handling spent nuclear fuel, specifically on the territory of the Russian Federation (Zheleznogorsk, Krasnoyarsk Kray).
In view of the commercial significance of nuclear power, the problem of the closed nuclear cycle could be examined within the framework of the formulation of a global energy security strategy. The resolution of the nonproliferation problem is impossible without taking into account the probable increase in the role of nuclear power.
We consider it possible, within the framework of the G8's consideration of global energy strategy, to link questions of the development of nuclear power to the nonproliferation problem. Technical and financial support from the members of the G8 for countries intending to build nuclear power stations should be conditional on strict compliance with the terms of the NPT, including the signing of the IAEA's Additional Protocol. It may be necessary to formulate and adopt some additional, even tougher control measures.
The immediate task is to promote the strengthening of the IAEA system of safeguards. To this end, there should be compulsory verification in accordance with the IAEA Additional Protocol to the Agreement on Safeguards for all states party to the NPT, and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) should be converted into an organization of states linked by an official treaty. This requires the adoption of a corresponding UN Security Council resolution. For its part, the IAEA Board of Governors could adopt a decision that assistance in the development of peaceful nuclear programs will be granted only to those NPT member countries that adhere to the Additional Protocol and ratify it.
This would achieve the goal of placing all nuclear activity in the member countries of the NPT that do not possess nuclear weapons under the all-embracing control of the IAEA.
The ratification by the official nuclear powers of the Additional Protocol would help to absolve them of accusations of "opting out" of the IAEA system of safeguards and thereby applying double standards to themselves (it is undoubtedly the case that in the official nuclear powers only civilian nuclear facilities are subject to IAEA safeguards). The IAEA Board of Governors should recognize the model Additional Protocol as the standard for IAEA safeguards.
The next task is to promote the completion, in the shortest acceptable time, of plans for the creation of an integrated system of IAEA safeguards and monitoring of fissile materials originating from weapons that are removed from military programs.
The UN Security Council should be prepared to adopt measures in cases where serious concern arises over noncompliance with standards with regard to nuclear proliferation. This would make it possible to makes the IAEA system of safeguards universal (comprehensive) in nature.
Although the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty grants the right to secede from it, states must be urged insistently not to do this. A country that has announced its secession from the treaty should be called to account for infringements committed while it was still a party to the NPT. Notification by a given state of its secession from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty should lead to immediate verification of its fulfillment of the provisions of the NPT.
The Security Council, acting in accordance with its Resolution 1540 (2004), could offer states model legislation with regard to ensuring security, tracking, and the establishment of criminal liability and export controls, and could formulate minimum standards for implementation by UN member states. The committee responsible for the implementation of Resolution 1540 (2004) should establish a permanent link with the IAEA and the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
A long-term task is to initiate the drafting of a Concept of Universal International Control of Atomic Energy, bearing in mind the ultimate objective of creating a multi-component mechanism for ensuring reliably monitored nuclear disarmament, a mechanism that would be under the sole oversight of the UN Security Council as the body that bears the main responsibility under the UN Charter for maintaining international peace and security.
The first step in this direction should be the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Production of Fissile Materials for Nuclear Weapons or Other Nuclear Explosive Devices. The deadlock at the talks taking place within the framework of the Disarmament Conference in Geneva must be broken. To this end it is necessary to overcome disagreements among the five official nuclear powers, first and foremost between the United States and China.
One option for resolving the financial problems connected with the control of nuclear fuel could be the adoption of a special program under the auspices of the World Bank. In particular, the World Bank would provide loans to give the developing countries access to the acquisition of nuclear fuel in compliance with specified rigorous conditions (first and foremost the return of spent nuclear fuel). Expenditure for this purpose could require the appropriation of $5-10 billion a year.
It is expedient to propose as another option the creation of a specialized international agency that would collaborate closely with the IAEA but would be responsible not for technical issues but for financial and economic issues.
The problem of accords among the five official nuclear powers is complicated by their patent reluctance to fulfill their commitments under the NPT, which require the adoption of concrete measures aimed at universal and complete nuclear disarmament. Today not one of these countries is expressing the intention or proposing the holding of talks on the complete renunciation of nuclear weapons (unless you count China's feeble propagandist statements on this subject). US-Russian talks on strategic offensive arms reduction have also come to a halt in recent years, although the START Treaty expires in 2012.
However, there are opportunities for breaking the deadlock in nuclear arms control. This applies first and foremost to Russian-US accords on the mutual reduction of nuclear risks and measures to reduce the dangers connected with the preservation of the "mutual (assured) nuclear destruction" model.
The unfreezing of the Russian-US talks process could create more favorable conditions for five-party consultations on reducing the nuclear threat, with the participation of all the official nuclear states.
The regular exchange of opinions among the five official nuclear powers and the holding of consultations could take place in various formats, such as under the auspices of meetings of the permanent members of the UN Security Council.
The objective of these multilateral consultations, we believe, might be not the conclusion of an official treaty or formal international legal commitments by the nuclear states, but the attainment of political accords that could result in coordinated parallel unilateral actions by the five nuclear powers to implement certain measures to reduce the threat of their using nuclear weapons.
First, a joint statement by the members of the "nuclear club" on the absence of any intention on their part to increase their existing nuclear forces quantitatively would be possible. This political declaration would not require verification and monitoring measures, with the exception of Russia and the United States, if they agreed to preserve in modified form the verification measures stipulated in the START-I Treaty after it expires in 2009.
This step would apparently be acceptable to the United States, Russia, Britain, and France. But it could provoke objections from China, which has embarked on the modernization of its nuclear forces.
The PRC's position on this question will be determined, on the one hand, by the pace of the buildup of the US missile defense system in the Pacific, and on the other by the quantitative and qualitative growth of India's nuclear forces. In any case, it can be assumed that China will not display readiness to limit its strategic-range nuclear forces to the level already achieved.
Second, a joint statement by the five nuclear powers on a reduction in their nuclear forces by 10-15% in the next 10 years (by 2015) would be possible. For the United States and Russia this would mean, for instance, confirming the operation of the START treaty after 2012, and at the "lower" level of 1,700 warheads, and not the "upper" level of 2,200 warheads.
An approach of this kind could be perfectly acceptable to France and Britain, but would probably prompt objections from China.
Third, the renunciation of the production of fissile materials in the interests of the production of nuclear weapons remains topical. For the reasons given above, China would obviously avoid adopting corresponding commitments. However, even the signing of an agreement with the participation of four nuclear powers would play a positive role.Fourth, the problem of aging nuclear weapons and their replacement with new ones could be the subject of consultations. In the context of the renunciation of nuclear tests, the problem of reliability could become very acute in just a few years' time, because of the lack of opportunities for testing new nuclear weapons. It cannot be ruled out that all five official nuclear states, including China, may show an interest in specifying the technical parameters for resolving this problem.
Given the continuing renunciation of nuclear tests, additional incentives for the quantitative reduction of nuclear arsenals could emerge. In particular, states possessing nuclear weapons could make a commitment to adopt practical measures with a view to reducing the danger of unintentionally unleashing a nuclear war.
Fifth, in the course of consultations all members of the "nuclear club" could discuss a mechanism for the exchange of information on nuclear issues, including the degree of transparency and openness in the provision of certain information on nuclear weapons issues to the world public, as well as possible confidential channels for the exchange of information that should not be made available to terrorists.
Sixth, all five official nuclear states could reach agreement on the adoption of collective measures to localize (reduce to a minimum) the consequences of the use by terrorists of nuclear weapons or other types of WMD against countries that are not members of the "nuclear club."
These measures should provide for the prompt allocation of the necessary personnel and equipment and of transport aviation for rapid response in the event of a terrorist attack using nuclear or radiological weapons or an attack by terrorists on civilian nuclear facilities (reactors and nuclear materials storage facilities). Russia and the United States could conclude a bilateral agreement on collaboration and invite the other nuclear powers to participate to the extent of their ability in the planning and implementation of joint operations.
Naturally, such measures ("services" on the part of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council) should also include help in eliminating the consequences of natural disasters and catastrophic accidents at civilian facilities (nuclear reactors, chemical enterprises, and so forth).
Seventh, it should be possible to achieve an agreement among the members of the "nuclear club" on prompt mutual notification of the use of dual-purpose systems (missiles and aviation) equipped with conventional warheads in counterterrorist operations. This applies first and foremost to ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as heavy bombers. The need for this agreement stems from the fact that a number of nuclear powers, in particular Russia and United States, possess the technical potential to reequip ICBMs and SLBMs with conventional warheads, which it is proposed to use in cases where the opportunity to eliminate particularly dangerous terrorists is restricted as to time. The use of these systems without notification could be interpreted as the start of a nuclear war.
In addition, it would be expedient to achieve an accord among the members of the nuclear club on not mounting nuclear warheads on "nontraditional" delivery vehicles, for instance unmanned air vehicles. The development of new technologies making it possible covertly to carry out a strike against ground-based targets over large distances could have a destabilizing effect on collaboration among the nuclear states.
Finally, the official nuclear states should take concrete steps to fulfill their commitments under Article 6 of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, advance along the path of disarmament, and be ready to take concrete measures to fulfill these commitments.
Progress in Russian-US relations on questions of arms control and nuclear nonproliferation as well as multilateral measures involving all five official nuclear states will create the prerequisites for involving the three unofficial nuclear states in the process.
The existence of nuclear weapons in Israel, India, and Pakistan is a political and military reality that cannot be ignored. Nor is it possible to "return" these states to "nonnuclear status." Consequently an effective multilateral nuclear control regime is impossible without these countries adopting certain "rules of conduct" in the nuclear sphere.
Since the example of these three states could in certain circumstances also encourage other countries to acquire nuclear weapons, the unofficial nuclear states cannot be allowed to gain substantial political advantages from the possession of nuclear weapons, in particular a rise in their international legal status to the level of the official members of the "nuclear club."
Therefore the format of "eight" nuclear states (5+3) for the adoption of joint nuclear arms control measures appears highly problematic, since it could be assessed by the international community as representing the collapse of the NPT.
A possible way out of this vicious circle would be the tacit recognition of India, Pakistan, and Israel as nuclear states in exchange for their adoption of certain commitments in the nuclear sphere. These commitments should de facto impose on the unofficial nuclear states approximately the same restrictions and rules of conduct as the official nuclear powers are prepared to assume.
It can be assumed that, out of the above-mentioned nuclear control measures for the "five" format, by no means all would be acceptable to the unofficial nuclear states. Particular difficulties are involved in getting Israel to sign up to these measures, given that it pursues a policy of the "bomb in the basement," neither confirming nor denying that it has nuclear weapons. Furthermore, the open recognition of Israel's nuclear status would have extremely unfavorable consequences, providing a pretext for a number of Arab states to secede from the NPT. From this viewpoint, the preservation of the status quo with regard to Israel appears the "lesser evil" compared with a nuclear arms race in the Near East.
India and Pakistan are also hardly likely to be willing to implement all the measures that might be agreed by the official nuclear powers. This applies first and foremost to transparency and the open provision of information on the nuclear arms in their possession and plans for their further increase. There is too high a level of mutual distrust and unpredictability in the sides' behavior for them to agree to make significant information on these issues available.
Nonetheless, we believe that, given certain incentives, India and Pakistan could follow the example of the official members of the "nuclear club," in particular the United States and the USSR, which agreed to accept certain limitations at a certain stage in the nuclear arms race.
First, India and Pakistan could announce that they would not increase their existing nuclear arms. This step could be possible if these countries had reached a quantitative level and range of nuclear weapons determined by them. However, it must be borne in mind that any decision by Delhi not to increase its nuclear arms will be correlated with the PRC's position on this issue, rather than Pakistan's. If the Indian leadership sets the objective of achieving nuclear parity with China, and China does not adopt the corresponding commitments, India's self-limitation of its own nuclear arsenal will be unlikely.
Second, India and Pakistan could adhere to accords on ceasing the production of fissile materials for military purposes if such accords are reached at international level. However, in this case too, the decisive role for India will be played by the position of China, which links this step to the US renunciation of the deployment of strike systems in space.
Third, India and Pakistan could, like the official nuclear countries as well as Israel, sign the CTBT (Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty). This will be possible only in the event that the United States and China ratify the CTBT. The states that are not party to the NPT, that is, Israel, India, Pakistan, and the DPRK, should declare their commitment to nonproliferation and disarmament, demonstrating that commitment by ratifying the CTBT.
Fourth, India and Pakistan could also follow the members of the "nuclear club" in announcing that they will not mount nuclear warheads on unmanned air vehicles. The use of unmanned air vehicles as delivery vehicles for nuclear weapons represents a particular danger for these two countries, particularly in view of the terrorism factor.
Fifth, India and Pakistan could adhere to an agreement among the official nuclear states on the adoption of collective measures to localize (reduce to a minimum) the consequences of the use by terrorists of nuclear weapons or other types of WMD, if such an agreement is open for adherence by other states. It cannot be ruled out that Israel could also adhere to this agreement.
Cooperation in combating so-called "catastrophic terrorism" is important not only in itself but also as a means of encouraging the unofficial nuclear states to adopt certain rules of conduct in the nuclear sphere. Such a decision would enable India, Pakistan, and Israel to participate officially in the work of the "nuclear club" without a formal rise in their status to the level of the official nuclear powers. That would create a precedent that would make it possible to have some degree of influence on these states' nuclear policy.
The "counterterrorist" format could also be used to get India and Pakistan to adopt measures to ensure security in the storage, stockpiling, and transportation of nuclear arms and materials that can be used for their production, as well as nonmilitary nuclear facilities and materials. This would promote the effectiveness of export controls and the creation of national systems of accounting, monitoring, and physical protection of weapons-grade materials.
In addition, questions of ensuring security could play a useful role in convincing India and particularly Pakistan not to deploy nuclear arms, that is, to keep their nuclear munitions in well-protected depots and not to install warheads on the delivery vehicles. This would help to reduce significantly the risk of nuclear war between these two countries and the seizure of their nuclear systems by terrorists.
India, Pakistan, the DPRK, Iran, and Israel could also join the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and could also adhere to the Missile Technology Control Regime.
It is also important that peace efforts in the Near East and South Asia should include the start of talks on nuclear disarmament, which could lead to the creation of nuclear-weapons-free zones in these regions along the lines of similar zones that have been created in other parts of the world.
In general, however, the above-mentioned nuclear control measures for the three unofficial states, linked to a multilateral regime, are hardly feasible in the immediate future, since no such regime exists at present. Only after the corresponding accords have been reached among the official nuclear powers will it be possible to start operating in the 5+3 or 5+2 format.
Therefore, in present conditions, it is more sensible to operate in the format of bilateral dialogue, making use of the allied or partnership relations that have grown up: the United States with Israel, Pakistan, and recently India too; Russia with India; China with Pakistan, and so forth. At the same time, within the framework of the G8, it is necessary to initiate the geographical expansion of the Global Partnership against WMD proliferation and to include India, Pakistan, and possibly Israel in its programs as recipient countries. The most promising projects are the strengthening of the physical protection of nuclear facilities and the improvement of export controls.
Attempts to resolve the Iran and Korea problems by diplomatic means show that Washington's desire to change the political regimes in Tehran and P'yongyang is an insuperable obstacle to the diplomatic resolution of the crisis situations provoked by the nuclear programs of Iran and the DPRK. The United States should decide which is more important to it: regime change in these states, or preventing their access to nuclear weapons. Only if nonproliferation is given a higher priority than US ideological slogans will it be possible to resolve the Iran and Korea problems.
A new negotiations format within the framework of the "six" has emerged recently.
The group of "six" on the North Korea problem includes China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and the United States on the one hand, and the DPRK on the other. Let us note that three (Russia, the United States, and China) of the six parties to the talks are official nuclear powers (and permanent members of the UN Security Council), while South Korea and particularly Japan are technically capable of developing nuclear arms quickly.
A similar negotiating format is currently emerging for talks on the Iran problem. The new group of "six" includes Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States on the one hand, and Iran on the other. Four of the six parties to the talks (Russia, the United States, Britain, and friends) are official nuclear powers (and permanent members of the UN Security Council), while Germany is technically capable of developing nuclear arms quickly. Time will tell whether the new group of "six" achieves more success in resolving the Iranian nuclear problem than the "six" conducting talks on the North Korea problem.
Thus, a new informal political mechanism has emerged for resolving the most acute problems in the sphere of nuclear weapons proliferation. The participants include all five permanent members of the UN Security Council, which are at the same time official nuclear powers, and two great powers that aspire to places as permanent members of the Security Council but which remain nonnuclear states. Each of these "sixes" can be regarded as a kind of "off-site commission" of the UN Security Council that includes several prominent members of the Security Council as well as other leading states capable of playing a positive role in maintaining strategic stability in the two most explosive regions of the world.
We believe that the permanent members of the Security Council should present regular reports on the work done within the framework of these "sixes" to the UN Security Council. In the event that real accords are reached on the Iranian and North Korean problems, the Security Council could confirm these accords with special resolutions. Or conversely, in the event that the talks fail and a threat to peace arises, it could adopt the necessary measures in accordance with the UN Charter.
At the same time, the two "sixes" include six of the eight countries belonging to the G8. This prestigious international forum is devoting increasing attention, in its work, to reducing the nuclear threat. Particular mention should be made of the importance of the Global Partnership, which could be used to provide financial and technical assistance to the DPRK and Iran in the event of a diplomatic solution to the crisis situations provoked by their nuclear programs.
At the same time, the new negotiating format objectively helps to increase the status of Germany and Japan in the world hierarchy, showing that the possession of nuclear weapons is not an essential condition of participation in resolving such key international security problems as preventing nuclear weapons proliferation.
It should be stressed particularly that only two countries are involved in both "sixes" -- the United States and Russia. We believe that this fact reflects the special responsibility of the two nuclear superpowers in maintaining strategic stability and preventing an increase in the nuclear threat throughout the world. It can be concluded without exaggeration that the resolution of the Iran and Korea problems is hardly possible without positive Russian-US collaboration. This fact, in our opinion, should promote the institutionalization of the mechanism of strategic partnership between Russia and the United States with the aim of overcoming the legacy of the Cold War (mutual nuclear deterrence) and strengthening international security in the 21st century.
1. Threat of biological, chemical terrorist attacks growing - White Book
Russia & CIS Military Newswire
(for personal use only)
Several terrorist organizations consider staging attacks with the use of biological weapons, reads the White Book on WMD nonproliferation problems published on the Russian government's website.
"Terrorism with the use of dangerous biological agents poses a growing threat. There is information that several terrorist organizations, in particular, al Qaeda, consider procurement of such materials," reads the document.
"The 2001 events in the U.S. related to anthrax spore mail circulation confirm the reality of using biological agents by terrorists. The use of the smallpox virus in biological attacks poses a no smaller danger. As most countries have stopped vaccination against this infection, this may have catastrophic consequences," the book says.
The document also mentions the growing threat of terrorist attacks involving dangerous chemicals and against chemical industry enterprises.
"There is a big risk of the use of toxic industrial chemicals by terrorists and of subversive attacks against chemical facilities. The effects will be comparable with the man-made disaster at the Union Carbide plant in India. Collective efforts are needed to ensure security of such facilities, including their protection against terrorists," the book reads.
There is no trustworthy data at the moment confirming that development of bacteriological weapons has fully stopped around the world. "In this connection, and due to non-readiness of a large number of countries to join the Biological Convention, the threat of using bacteriological weapons in an interstate conflicts can be considered real," the document concludes.
1. Kyrgyzstan asks Eurasec, Russia for help with uranium facilities
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Kyrgyzstan's leader asked Friday member states of a post-Soviet regional organization and particularly Russia to help in rebuild uranium waste storage facilities in the country.
President Kurmanbek Bakiyev told fellow member countries of the Eurasian Economic Community - Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Belarus - a third of the 60 storage facilities for uranium in his country needed urgent repairs.
"We would greatly appreciate it if [Eurasec] member states and primarily Russia would provide us a practical assistance in rebuilding these storages, particularly using the possibilities of Russia's Kurchatov Institute research center," he said.
He added that in 1940s Kyrgyzstan, now one of the poorest former Soviet republics, had a large-scale production of uranium, but since then many storage facilities had been damaged by the elements.
Kyrgyzstan produced uranium and processed significant amounts for modern-day Russia and Kazakhstan until the collapse of the Soviet Union, but production has since stopped. Tailing sites have raised health concerns since then because they are often sited close to populated areas.
A new concept of nuclear energy development spells out creation of a nuclear giant, Rosatomprom (Russian Atomic Industrial Co.), on the assets of Rosatom (Federal Atomic Energy Agency) next spring or summer. So, the nuclear industry follows the route of gas and railway industries. But it does it 15 years after Gazprom and three years after Russian Railways (RZD).
President Vladimir Putin has sealed a concept for nuclear industry’s development and a program of priority actions, a source close to Rosatom said yesterday on condition of anonymity.
By spring of 2007, the concept says, Rosatom and nuclear enterprises will launch creation of a joint stock company, Rosatomprom.
The concept specifies a new layout for the industry. It will be split into four units, including nuclear armory complex, nuclear and radiation safety, energy block and scientific block, each of which having a separate federal program.
No private companies may count on the interest in Rosatomprom, as all 100-percent of the latter will be in federal ownership. But the private business will be allowed to have stakes in joint ventures of some divisions of the future giant, though the access to uranium production or nuclear generation is hardly possible.
It is interesting that Rosatom won’t be wound up and maintain all management functions over the industry's enterprises, but its chief, Sergey Kiriyenko, is likely to leave the office in favor of Rosatomprom.
3. Russian, French companies discuss nuclear cooperation
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Officials from Rosenergoatom and French electricity giant EDF discussed nuclear cooperation during a visit to a major Russian power plant Friday, Russia's nuclear power generating monopoly said in a news release.
The EDF delegation visited the Beloyarsk nuclear power plant, in the Urals region, to study its fast-breeder reactor, the larger of the world's two such reactors currently in operation. The other is based in the ex-Soviet republic of Kazakhstan.
With 76% of its electricity generated by nuclear plants, France shows a keen interest in breeder technology, which is believed to make more efficient use of nuclear fuel than conventional light-water reactors. It has so far developed only a test version of a fast-breeder reactor.
4. Foreign Companies Ready to Invest in Uranium Production in Russia — Expert
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Foreign companies are ready to invest money in uranium production in Russia as soon as the necessary legal base is established for these kinds of activities. This statement was made on Thursday, June 22, by Kreig Lindsay, a well-known energy expert and president of Canadian company Magnum Uranium. Lindsay gave an interview to RIA Novosti agency.
“Foreign investors are ready to invest in Russia’s uranium industry, if Moscow wants this to happen and establishes a necessary legal base,” Lindsay said. “I believe that Russia is one of the most promising directions for this kind of investments, it is an undeveloped market, full of opportunities. My company will be the first to come to Russia, if the necessary conditions are created,” he added.
Speaking to the members of Hong Kong’s Club of foreign correspondents, Lindsay said that in the coming decades uranium may become the “oil of the future”. “I am confident that nuclear power generation has a bright future and that it will crowd out other kinds of power generation,” he said.
At the same time he noted that at present time there is a certain shortage of uranium, which is set to become more acute by 2013. “In 2013 the fixed-price agreement for deliveries of uranium fuel from Russian to the U.S. will run out and this will create an increase in this fuel’s deficit,” Lindsay said. At present time Russian supplies account for 40 percent of total uranium needs in the United States.
5. Reactor Design Director Gabarayev on Plans for Russian Nuclear Power Engineering
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Interview with B.A. Gabarayev, general director of NIKIET imeni N.A. Dollezhal Federal State Unitary Enterprise, by unidentified correspondent; place and date not given: "There Is Hope"
() What has changed at the institute since 2004?
(Gabarayev) The institute was still working on a broad range of projects in 2004. In the area of nuclear power plants with RBMK reactors, these included the modernization and remodeling of power units and the extension of their service life. The remodeling of Unit No 1 at the Kursk nuclear power plant was completed, for example, and the earlier restrictions on the first two units at the Kursk plant were eliminated, which increased the plant's capacity to 600 megawatts. An international scientific and technical conference on "Channel Reactors: Problems and Solutions" was held and was attended by more than 270 specialists from 13 countries.
Remodeling and the extension of service life continued at nuclear power plants with RBMK reactors in 2005. Feasibility studies were conducted for the augmentation of the capacity of the RBMK, which would be tantamount in the maximum to the incorporation of another unit with an RBMK-1000 reactor for a moderate cost. The TACIS project for the development of accident analysis software for RBMK reactors in Russia was completed. A team of Russian and Italian specialists working on this project gave the RBMK positive safety ratings, confirming the RBMK developers' theory of the localization of accidents with coolant losses and revealing the impossibility of a single rupture of the RBMK technological channel leading to more ruptures. Those were two important findings for the RBMK, and it will not be surprising if the European Commission reacts with displeasure, because it was expecting negative results.
The work on shipboard nuclear power engineering continued according to earlier plans in 2005. As for the innovative BREST power engineering technology and the nuclear generation of heat, the year was another phase in the continued deterioration of project funding in these cases. NIKIET (Scientific Research and Design Institute of Power Engineering) continued working on those projects with its partners, however, striving to do as much as possible.
An international scientific and technical conference, "Nuclear Power Engineering in Space -- 2005," was held at NIKIET in March 2005 and revealed the growing interest in space nuclear power engineering and the existence of development projects putting Russia 10-15 years in the lead. Another conference, "Xenon and Xenon-Saving Technology in Medicine -- 2005," was held in December 2005 to review the use of xenon in therapy and anesthesia.
Going back to the original question, I want to say that the main changes, or at least the hope of these changes, were connected with the events of the last two months of 2005 and the first few months of 2006. The arrival of the new sectorial leadership, which virtually coincided with RF President V.V. Putin's new initiatives in the sphere of nuclear power engineering, gave us the hope that we could stop doing routine work and move on to intense activity.
Judging by the results of 2005 and the plans for 2006-2008, the Rosatom (Federal Atomic Energy Agency) leadership is living up to these expectations. A detailed analysis of various options for the development of nuclear power engineering in Russia revealed the absence of any real alternative to the intensive construction of Russian nuclear power plants in Russia and abroad. The main goals and the means of their attainment were defined. There is no question that 2006 will be radically different from 2005, not to mention 2004, for our institute and for the rest of the sector. The important thing is to adhere to the Hippocratic principle: "Do no harm."
() Is there a personnel shortage at the institute?
(Gabarayev) It is unlikely that any collective in our sector today is not experiencing a shortage. NIKIET is no exception to the rule, even though we have more than 20 doctors of sciences and 100 candidates of sciences on our staff.
The aging of our personnel is our biggest problem. The average age of institute personnel is 50, whereas the optimal average age for the personnel of a scientific research organization is 43-45. In virtually all of our leading departments, 25 percent of the staff is over 60.
The new initiatives announced by RF President V.V. Putin gave us the hope of new and interesting projects offering young specialists good prospects. The young specialists at NIKIET take an active part in Russian and international scientific conferences. We regularly hold competitions for young specialists, encourage them to participate in the institute's international projects, and send them abroad on work assignments, giving them an opportunity to master foreign codes, procedures, and so forth more effectively.
The institute has had its own post-graduate program for many years, but it has run into a problem that is not confined to NIKIET. As time goes by, we lose more and more of the already meager benefits we could have offered candidates and doctors of sciences involved in the planning of institute projects. If this trend continues, these benefits will be available only in purely scientific organizations like the academy institutes. This ultimately will reduce the competition for post-graduate slots at the institute and possibly lower the scientific level of our projects. This is something for the Rosatom Personnel Service to consider.
An anonymous survey of the institute's young specialists, conducted by the Rosatom Personnel Service, revealed some quite intriguing facts. I will start by telling you some of the negative comments. More than 70 percent of the respondents were dissatisfied with their salaries, although 80 percent of the young specialists earn far more than the national average. Almost 60 percent of the respondents feel that the development of their creative potential is being deterred by the institute's lack of prospects. I think both of these problems will be eliminated during the implementation of the ambitious program for the intensive development of Russian nuclear power engineering, when the institute will receive many orders for high-tech projects with guaranteed funding.
Now we can move on to the positive results of the survey of NIKIET's young specialists. These results indicate that young specialists are highly attached to their collective: 80 percent have no wish to change their place of employment, 82 percent are pleased with the nature of their work, the same number mentioned the friendly atmosphere in their subdivisions, and a slightly lower number (78 percent) appreciate the respect with which their superiors treat them.
Although I must confirm the existence of a personnel shortage at NIKIET, I believe the solutions can be found in the recommendations most frequently made in the questionnaires the young specialists filled out: "a stable and high salary plus the opportunity to realize scientific potential in meaningful projects" and "participation in sweeping projects with a strong scientific thrust."
() Russia has three outstanding design organizations in the sphere of reactor engineering -- OKBM, NIKIET, and Gidropress. Do you feel there is enough work in the country for all of them?
(Gabarayev) I have the highest respect for the OKBM and Gidropress collectives and the highest appreciation for their work standards. Along with NIKIET, these organizations represent an important component of the scientific and technical potential Russia inherited from the great Soviet Union. The existence of three equally strong, world-class design organizations is a guarantee of high standards in Russia's reactor engineering sector. They are self-sufficient (as far as their design work is concerned), each designing its own reactors, so their competition with one another keeps them from "resting on their laurels." On the other hand, these organizations supplement one another to a certain extent, because each has its own relative advantages. This is the reason they can work together successfully in the development of the same reactor. NIKIET and Gidropress, for example, concluded an agreement on the joint development of the VK-300 reactor, and the possibility of NIKIET's involvement in the development of VVER reactors is being discussed.
The role of nuclear power engineering is now being reassessed in Russia and in several other countries. The construction of nuclear power engineering facilities at an unprecedented rate in Russia and abroad is already being planned for the next decade. Intensive design work in the field of evolutionary and innovative projects will be required.
In view of these developments and in view of the need to act on RF President V.V. Putin's recommendations for international nuclear centers, there is certain to be more than enough work for the OKBM, NIKIET, and Gidropress.
() What do you think of the issue of developing a new technological platform, which was discussed this January at the seminar in Kolontayevo?
(Gabarayev) I had the good fortune of participating in the work of that seminar. Despite its somewhat unconventional format, it was extremely useful and is still having a beneficial impact. In light of the extraordinary growth of electricity consumption, which far exceeds the growth of generating capacities, the danger of an energy crisis in our country is quite evident.
We cannot expect our existing baggage to serve as the basis for the intensive development of nuclear power engineering in Russia. The initial advances probably will be made possible by our work with VVER reactors. A genuine breakthrough, however, will require a genuinely new technological platform (NTP) with a comprehensive approach to all links of the nuclear fuel cycle -- from uranium mining to the final disposal of radioactive waste.
I am worried that mistakes might be made in the choice of priorities and guidelines for the development of the Russian nuclear power-engineering sector at a time of scarce funding (despite the protracted boom in oil prices). Everyone says, for example, that the future of nuclear power engineering lies in economical and safe fast-neutron reactors, but the BN-800 reactor, which is being promoted so insistently at this time, is unlikely to meet these requirements, although the public is being told that fast-neutron reactors are on the way and can solve all of the problems in the nuclear power-engineering sector.
Many specialists objectively admit that power engineering technology based on a reactor with a heavy liquid metal coolant is a far preferable option, but they justify the choice of reactors with a sodium coolant because of supposed time constraints. Although I admit the possibility of basing some elements of the NTP on the BN-800 reactor and the need to support the Beloyarsk nuclear power plant, I can only agree with the plans to build this reactor if they do not serve as an excuse for the essential cessation of projects for the development of more promising and innovative nuclear power engineering technology with reactors with a heavy liquid metal coolant.
I am also worried that today's NTP -- the new technological platform -- might suffer the same fate as another plan with the same abbreviation -- scientific and technical progress (NTP). We all remember how popular this term was in the old Soviet days, but it remained only a slogan. To prevent this from happening, we will need coordinated work on all levels of our sector, with the appropriate support of the Russian public and the state leadership.
() When we talk about NIKIET, we cannot avoid the subject of Ye.O. Adamov....
(Gabarayev) First of all, I want to say that Yevgeniy Olegovich Adamov headed the institute during the most difficult time, namely the fall of 1986, soon after the serious accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. This was a time when the completely understandable wish to find the causes of the accident and the people responsible for it sometimes degenerated into a "witch hunt." Ye.O. Adamov managed to prevent the ruin of the institute at that time and was even able to vindicate several unjustly accused NIKIET associates.
During the subsequent period of the breakup of the USSR and the exceptionally severe economic crisis, Ye.O. Adamov kept the institute afloat and preserved and expanded the subject matter of its work. NIKIET, in contrast to many other institutes, was not leased out to trade, banking, and other commercial organizations.
We also must not forget that Ye.O. Adamov must be given the credit for turning the West's original plan to force Russia to shut down all of its RBMK power units into a broad-scale international program for the enhancement of the safety of these units. As a result, nuclear power plants with RBMK reactors have been generating half of Russia's "atomic" energy for 15 years now and have earned, according to the most conservative estimates, $7-12 billion in that time.
The NIKIET associates' feelings about the arrest of Ye.O. Adamov in Switzerland were formulated accurately in the "Stance of the NIKIET Collective..." on our Internet site, which says precisely the following: "...Adamov has to be given most of the credit for saving the institute and keeping its collective intact." This is the reason that the collective feels so very grateful to this extraordinary man.
() Do you get satisfaction from your work?
(Gabarayev) My answer to this question will be quite concise. I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from my work. Otherwise, I would not have been working at NIKIET for my entire career -- 35 years, and the last 8 as the director of the institute. It would be wrong, however, to pretend that my work gives me nothing but satisfaction. It gives me all sorts of emotions, including anxiety, disappointment, surprise, and so on and so forth.
() On what do the institute's prospects primarily depend?
(Gabarayev) The institute's immediate prospects depend primarily on the decision to be made on the future of Unit No 5 at the Kursk nuclear power plant and the events surrounding the Arkhangelsk nuclear heat and power plant. As you know, the plans for that unit of the Kursk plant include all of the best achievements in enhancing the safety and cutting the operating costs of the RBMK reactor. The advisability of completing this construction project was once questioned by the sector's leadership because of the large amount of funding that had been requested and because it would be operating "in haughty solitude" for a long time after all of the other units with RBMK reactors would have been shut down. Now the request for funding is being reviewed and reduced on the instructions of the sector's new leadership. Because of this, and in view of the possibility of extending the service life of the other power units with RBMK reactors and using up their remaining fuel in Unit No 5 of the Kursk nuclear power plant, the need to finish building it in the near future would seem to be obvious.
I hesitate to sound too optimistic, but I think it would be an economically sound policy to build a sixth power unit with an RBMK reactor at the Kursk plant, because the infrastructure for Unit No 5 was planned and built to serve two units at once. This would lower the cost of Unit No 5, which now "carries the burden" of all of the expenditures on the combined infrastructure.
The problem of providing Arkhangelsk Oblast with heat cannot be put off any longer either, and there is no sensible alternative to the construction of a nuclear heat and power plant to serve Arkhangelsk, Severodvinsk, and Novodvinsk. To a considerable extent, the start of practical steps has been postponed allegedly because the choice between the competing designs of the VK-300 and VBER-300 reactors has not been made yet. The degree of completion of the two designs is not the same, however, and "putting the brakes" on the more advanced VK-300 design could cause our sector to lose the site for the Arkhangelsk plant and, in general, could cause the public to lose interest in nuclear sources of heat.
The institute's more distant prospects will depend on the development of the innovative BREST nuclear power engineering technology with the complete nuclear fuel cycle on the grounds of the plant and with a complex for processing radioactive waste. I have some hope for the intensification of work in space-based nuclear power engineering, especially in view of the unconcealed interest the United States and China have displayed in Russia's achievements in this field. It would be an unforgivable blunder to lose Russia's "lead" of 10-15 years.
Of course, the institute's immediate and more distant prospects also depend largely on the demand for shipboard nuclear power engineering equipment.
() You are known to have made certain statements about Russia's main national ideal. Can you sum them up for us?
(Gabarayev) As you know, President Boris Yeltsin of Russia once asked the Russian public to find a common national ideal capable of consolidating the Russians and delivering the country from crisis. I believe that Russia's national security could easily serve as that ideal.
It is true that the definition of national security in the "National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation" presupposes a balance of the interests of the individual, the society, and the state. It presupposes military, economic, environmental, social, and other types of security. Any segment of the Russian population will find that its interests are protected by various aspects of the Russian Federation's national security strategy.
Nuclear energy would make a substantial contribution to our national security. The confirmation of this theory can be found in the military, economic, environmental, and other components of national security.
Nuclear energy has been assigned the key role, for example, in the plans of our national leadership and sectorial leadership for the prevention of the approaching energy crisis. A program is being drawn up for the intensive development of Russian nuclear power engineering, covering all elements of the nuclear fuel cycle, from uranium mining to the final disposal of radioactive waste.
I feel certain that our institute will be entrusted with exceptionally important functions in the work on this crucial program, and we will perform them successfully. Along with our work in other areas, this will represent the important contribution of the NIKIET imeni Dollezhal Federal State Unitary Enterprise to the realization of the main Russian national ideal, namely the safeguarding of Russian national security.
7. International Symposium on the Minimisation of HEU (High-Enriched Uranium) in the Civilian Nuclear Sector
Jonas Gahr Støre
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(for personal use only)
Talking points - Check against delivery
Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a pleasure to welcome you all to Oslo, and it is a privilege for the Norwegian Government to host this symposium in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency – the IAEA. It is particularly fitting to be hosting an event with the IAEA at the Nobel Peace Center this year. I would like to take the opportunity once again to congratulate the Agency staff and its Director-General, Dr ElBaradei, for their outstanding efforts, which earned them the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.
The present situation
The issues being discussed today are major issues, issues of survival. We could easily respond to the present situation with a gesture of despair (But we shouldn’t). Because in the area of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, we have been locked in stalemate for too long. All of you here today are steeped in the challenges confronting our multilateral nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, and we hear about them in the news every day: from flashpoints on the Korean peninsula and Iran to illicit networks trading in nuclear technology from the risks of nuclear terrorism to the threat of a nuclear arms race in the 21st century. Meanwhile, the multilateral forums designed to address such challenges find themselves in deadlock. Narrow perspectives on the range of challenges we are facing have created a climate of distrust. We have witnessed last year’s Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the September 2005 World Summit, where states were unable to reach agreement on a single meaningful sentence related to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. However, this could have been achieved. It is a matter of politics. But we cannot allow the stalemate that has become the norm of the disarmament and non-proliferation regime to parade as stability or sustainability. On the contrary, this stalemate is upholding the risks posed by existing nuclear arsenals. It is increasing the risk of proliferation and illicit networks. And it amounts to a criminal neglect of the real and grave risk of nuclear terrorism. The present obstacles to addressing these challenges through international cooperation reveal deep-seated disagreement about what aspects of non-proliferation and disarmament are most important. Multilateralism is a facilitator, not a substitute, for consensus and cooperation. There is common ground. And we must seize it. This is the perspective of the Norwegian Government. Bridges must be built between science and politics, and between scientists and politicians. We need to bring politicians on board. [Example: seminar on climate change in Washington D.C. last week].
The seven-country initiative
Last year, as many of you are aware, Norway [ – and I would like to honour my predecessor Mr Jan Petersen and his team for their work – ] joined with six other countries – Australia, Chile, Indonesia, Romania, South Africa and the United Kingdom – in agreeing to a comprehensive agenda on non-proliferation and disarmament. The deadlock at the 2005 World Summit could, however, not be broken. But the support for our seven-country initiative is noteworthy. So, too, is the fact that the initiative is the first of its kind to reach across country groupings – including the nuclear and non-nuclear weapon state divide – and agree on common principles and priorities. Therefore we are continuing our efforts. And I would like to commend the courage of my colleagues. We are standing by our original declaration and continuing to support the initiative. The Government – and I personally – am strongly committed to it. My colleagues have distributed the political declaration to all of you. The premise of the seven-country initiative is simple: Firstly, a comprehensive approach is needed to the challenges we face. Secondly, we must address the totality; all three pillars of the non-proliferation and disarmament regime – disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses – are equally important. We cannot, need not, and should not pick and choose. Recent visit to the US. Talks in Washington D.C. one this issue.
Steps to be taken
Unfortunately, this is not yet the predominant view. But despite the current constraints, important steps could be taken in both bilateral and multilateral forums. Such steps could prove worthwhile in themselves, and they could also help to shake us out of our current inability to act. First, we must work towards an international consensus on how to promote peaceful nuclear cooperation without increasing proliferation risks. There are efforts in Vienna and numerous other capitals to advance such a consensus that merit our full support, as do investments in proliferation-resistant fuel cycle technologies. Second, we must improve efforts to secure nuclear materials from non-state actors as well as rogue state actors. Both are important here. Many states have such controls in place, and others are establishing them in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 1540 and the revised Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. It is also imperative to help the IAEA consolidate its verification capacity. This means encouraging all states that have not yet done so to conclude and implement relevant Safeguards Agreements and Additional Protocols without delay. Support to the IAEA.
Third, it is essential to expand the ratification and entry into force of nuclear weapons free zones agreements, including their protocols. States must maintain moratoria on nuclear testing. One of the most vital and urgent measures on this front is to prevent a nuclear arms race in the 21st century. This means negotiating and concluding a fissile material cut-off treaty without preconditions, and without further delay. Collectively, these measures will help to reduce the salience of nuclear weapons in states’ security policies.
The IAEA has a vital role to play in many of these areas. The Nobel Peace Prize gave momentum, platform, focus. Through verification and technical cooperation, the Agency helps to facilitate adherence to many international agreements. Verification is obviously essential for monitoring safeguards obligations under the NPT, including the Additional Protocol. Technical cooperation helps states to adhere to these obligations. The relationship of trust and expertise which the Agency has built with member states means it is in a position to assist states with their obligations under UN Security Council resolution 1540. The IAEA also contributes to disarmament efforts. Some 50 years ago, US President Eisenhower saw the Agency as an appropriate recipient for fissile materials decommissioned from weapons under international control. He placed trust in the IAEA. Recently, the Trilateral Initiative has renewed this vision to some extent. But more broadly, the Agency’s activities bolster international confidence in the commitment of states to non-proliferation, and they promote accountability regarding the uses of nuclear technology. These efforts are building up the foundation needed for disarmament to proceed. International confidence – and accountability. The Agency also plays a role in poverty alleviation, which is at the core of Norway’s international development policy – and foreign policy. Technical cooperation can foster social and economic development in recipient countries, by helping the public and private sectors to utilise peaceful applications of nuclear technology in the health, agriculture, water management and environment sectors. Technical cooperation is most effective in partnerships, where the Agency strengthens cooperation with recipient countries, and recipient countries mobilise domestic resources for clearly defined priorities.
The HEU agenda
Now, to the agenda [Re: also the article in the Financial Times the other day – which is more “my language” used to discuss these complicated issues]: The goal of minimising trade in, stocks and use of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) is not merely a non-proliferation concern. Neither should it be seen only in the context of disarmament. Nor does it relate only to peaceful applications of nuclear energy. There is a balance to strike. The HEU agenda relates to all these areas, and it is in this broader context that the Norwegian Government sees the task before us. Let me emphasise that this does not mean that HEU minimisation should be held hostage to the current deadlock. Rather it presents an opportunity to chip away at this deadlock – and move further. Globally there are nearly 1900 tonnes of HEU, between 50 and 100 tonnes of which are civil stocks. Most of the world’s HEU is for military use. The quantities on the civilian side are much smaller, but still sufficient to constitute a threat, especially where security is poor. Nearly 100 civilian facilities around the world operate with weapon-grade HEU, and nearly 30 countries possess substantial quantities of weapon-usable material. It is noteworthy that, while we have guidelines for plutonium management, none have yet been adopted for HEU. This is worrying. We know that HEU is the material of choice for improvised nuclear devices and, therefore, for nuclear terrorism. And our global interdependence means that we are all vulnerable to the weakest link in nuclear security. From a disarmament perspective, we also know that successful minimisation of HEU and a growing market for low-enriched uranium (LEU) in the civilian sector could spur further down-blending of military stocks. And from the perspective of peaceful uses, we know that minimising HEU could advance international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, by making progress towards a fuel cycle that is proliferation resistant in all its aspects – from production and transportation to storage and repositing. There is a growing consensus for a wider HEU minimisation agenda – one which is non-discriminatory, timely and practical. In essence, we wish to facilitate the peaceful uses of nuclear energy while preserving security interests of all states. I believe there is also widespread recognition that a fissile material cut-off treaty is urgently needed. This should be on our agenda. There are, of course, technical, political and economic challenges, and that is precisely why you are here today, to address these challenges: Firstly, as regards knowledge. The states, academic institutions, industries and international organisations represented here – you all have unique roles to play and insights to share in our efforts to resolve these challenges. We need the knowledge, and the knowledge needs to be spread – including to the politicians – as “yes-able” propositions. Secondly, regarding exchange of information and views, I am confident that this symposium will be a forum for a lively exchange of wide-ranging national and international experience. Thirdly, I also hope that this symposium will foster useful discussion on the potential of multinational research programmes to give all states equal opportunity to enjoy the commercial and technological dividends of cutting-edge scientific inquiry. Finally, I hope that you will remain mindful in your discussions of the larger context of the non-proliferation and disarmament challenges which we all face today.
This symposium will be a success if you start working towards a convergence of views, and if you help to identify the best frameworks – public, private, multilateral, bilateral and otherwise – at our disposal for guiding our collaboration for further progress in HEU minimisation. And finally, I hope that this setting – here at the Nobel Peace Center – will inspire and encourage you! [Perhaps there are future prize winners among you here today?!] Thank you for coming here to take part in this symposium.
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