What was new on STAR Site?

October, 2002

October 29, 2002
Early this month, Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies at MIPT held a seminar on de-alerting of Russian and US strategic forces. Leading Russian experts took part in the seminar. Summary of the meeting was published last week (in Russian).

October 23, the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly approved by consensus the draft resolution jointly introduced by Russia and the United States, "Bilateral strategic nuclear arms reductions and new strategic framework": Russian MFA Press Release "On the Approval by UN General Assembly First Committee of the Russia, US Joint Draft Resolution on Bilateral Strategic Nuclear Arms Reductions and New Strategic Framework," October 25, 2002.

Pravda.ru reports about Typhoon class strategic nuclear submarine that remains in service "Typhoon" Uncovers Secrets, - in Russian, (by Vitaliy Bratkov, Vladimir Berbenets, Andrey Mikhailov, Alexandr Shaurov, Pravda.ru, October 23, 2002)

In his recent speech Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said that withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-ballistic Missile Treaty put the US in a much better position to develop and deploy a ballistic missile defense system capable of protecting all 50 states:

Speaking after his consultations with US Under Secretary of State John Bolton, Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Georgy Mamedov said that G8 countries allocated $15 billion for the destruction of weapons of mass destruction and the materials which are used for their production:

The US concerned by the Russian-Iranian nuclear cooperation reportedly offered to lift restrictions on the Russian importation of US-controlled spent nuclear fuel in return for a Russian halt of this program:

October 21, the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly by 144 votes approved a resolution in support of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The resolution was cosponsored by 70 countries, including Russia: Russian MFA Press Release On the Adoption by 57th UNGA First Committee of a Resolution on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty, October 22, 2002

The United States, Japan and South Korea issued a joint statement calling on North Korea to dismantle its clandestine nuclear weapons program "in a prompt and verifiable manner":

Al Qaeda's secret nuclear stash is assumed to be somewhere in Afghanistan, although finding it is proving to be as hard as locating Osama bin Laden: Al Qaeda nukes are reality, intelligence says, (Neil Doyle, The Washington Times, October 28, 2002).

In view of terrorist act in Moscow, Minatom tightened security at nuclear facilities: Nuclear Industry On Alert, - in Russian, (by Andrey Vaganov, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, October 28, 2002)

American experts are divided in assessing the risk to the public from attacks on nuclear power plants. Russian scientists offer radical solution: underground plants.

Sergei Mossakovski, an expert on conversion of military enterprises, who worked for many years in Chelyabinsk-70 discusses the future of the closed city: Russian Nuclear Weapon Laboratories: Problems of Conversion, - in Russian, (by Andrey Lubenski, Pravda.Ru, October 29, 2002)

At the 40th anniversary of Cuban Crisis:

October 22, 2002
At the First Committee of the UN General Assembly Russia and the United States introduced for consideration a joint draft resolution entitled "Bilateral Strategic Nuclear Arms Reductions and New Strategic Framework." Parliamentary hearings on the Russia-USA Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty took place in the Federation Council International Affairs, and Defense and Security Committees on October 15.

"...Polemics unfolded about the recently signed Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions, resembles in many ways disputes among medieval Scholastics on how many devils can fit on a needle point. It is as captivating for experts and is as far from reality; in this particular case -- from the reality of Russian-US relations..." (How Many Devils Can Fit on a Needle Point or Does the Strategic Arms Control Have a Future?, - in Russian, (by Yuri Fyodorov, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, October 21, 2002)

The US Defense Department successfully tested a missile interceptor designed to be a component of a US Ground-based Midcourse Defense system. The Union of Concerned Scientists released a report that analyses goals of the experiment and concludes that Pentagon did not move any closer to the solution of a fundamental problem -- distinguishing between decoys and warheads.

See also: Congressional Negotiators Approve $7.4 Billion for Missile Defenses, (Global Security Newswire, Tuesday, October 15, 2002)

Coincidence of the US missile interceptor test and exercises of the Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces is not accidental, suggests Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye. Nuclear confrontation between Russia and the US did not become a thing of the past, although it is not as tense now: Through the Nuclear Sight, - in Russian, (by Sergey Sokut, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, October 18, 2002).

The United States has transferred the first of two Trident ballistic missile submarines to the West Coast to replace nuclear submarines that are being converted to carry conventional weapons: Trident sub Pennsylvania transfers to Bangor from Georgia, (by Mike Barber, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Friday, October 18, 2002)

Last week's most sensational event was North Koreas admission that it has an active nuclear weapons program in direct violation of the 1994 Agreed Framework with the United States. Official Spokesman of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejected allegations that Russia was helping the DPRK with the development of its nuclear program:

U.S. officials eager to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons privately offered a potentially lucrative economic deal to Russia in exchange for halting construction of an atomic reactor and other cooperation with Tehran, but Moscow has resisted the proposal: Russia Resists Ending Iran Project, (by Peter Baker, The Washington Post, Tuesday, October 22, 2002; Page A19).

Cooperation with Iran, North Korea, Iraq's nuclear program and other issues have been also discussed in An Interview of Alexandr Rumyantsev, Head of the Ministry of Nuclear Energy of the Russian Federation, (Ekho Moskvy, October 21, 2002)

New analysis of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace compares several official assessments of Iraqs weapons of mass destruction programs: Iraq's WMD Programs: A Comparison of Assessments, (by Andrew Krepps, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Friday, October 11, 2002)

Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation released a report on Informing the Public about the Risks and Realities of Nuclear Terrorism: Communicating Nuclear Risk: Informing the Public about the Risks and Realities of Nuclear Terrorism, (by Tonya L. Putnam, CISAC Workshop Report, October 2002)

At the 40th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis:

Smuggling of "radioactive Osmium" from Siberia to Iraq -- a fact or product of morbid imagination? Baby-bomb. Terrorists Offer Jobs for Nuclear Scientists, - in Russian, (by Alexey Tarasov, Moskovskiye Novosti, October 17, 2002)

October 15, 2002
US and Russian officials expect the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions (SORT) to be ratified by the end of the year: Senate, Duma Hope to Pass Moscow Treaty This Year, (by David McGlinchey, Global Security Newswire, Friday, October 11, 2002)

Last Saturday, Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces conducted exercises, which involved launches of land-, sea- and air-based strategic nuclear missiles:

See also: Shield Full of Holes. Time to Take Up Nuclear Weapons Seriously, - in Russian, (by Andrei Uglanov, Argumenty i Fakty, October 9, 2002) - an interview with Evgueniy Adamov, former Minister of Atomic Energy.

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announced yesterday, it has successfully completed a flight test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) development program, intercepting an intercontinental ballistic missile target over the central Pacific Ocean in the Western Test Range:

UN General Assemblys First Committee on disarmament accused the US of undermining Arms Control: United States Criticized as Undermining Arms Control, (by Jim Wurst, Global Security Newswire, Tuesday, October 8, 2002)

Congressional leaders have reached a military budget compromise to fund feasibility studies on earth-penetrating nuclear weapons. Development of mini-nukes of new types used to be prohibited by the US law:

In his testimony Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week, John R. Bolton, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security underlined that the success of the "10 plus 10 over 10" initiative to secure former Soviet weapons, launched at the Kananaskis Summit in June depends on Russia's cessation of the cooperation programs with countries like Iran and Syria on nuclear and missile technologies:

Syria demanded an official explanation from the US about remarks made this week in Washington that Syria received Russian technology for its nuclear and missile programs:

The PIR Center issued a monograph on Dismantling the Cold War Heritage: International Programs Assisting Russias Disarmament & Nonproliferation Efforts (Yuri Fedorov, Ed.) devoted to the assessment of international nonproliferation assistance to Russia.

Last week, independent experts discussed prospects of inspections in Iraq and expected results at a panel in Washington: Disarming Iraq: How Weapons Inspections Can Work and What They Can Accomplish, (Arms Control Association Panel with Ambassador Robert Gallucci, Jessica T. Mathews, Jonathan B. Tucker and Daryl G. Kimball, Monday, October 7, 2002). See also:

Speaking before a conference on the 40th anniversary of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis in Havana, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, partly blamed Khrushchev for the missile crisis, he said Khrushchev made political mistakes in wanting to place missiles secretly in Cuba and then telling Kennedy they were only defensive weapons:

October 8, 2002
Last Friday, Hon. Alexei Arbatov, Deputy Chair of the State Duma Defense Committee, gave a lecture on "Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and Terrorism" at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. The lecture was the first one of Non-proliferation and Reduction of Weapons of Mass Destruction Regime and National Security, a course offered by our Center. The next lecture, Non-proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction -- an Urgent Problem of the Beginning of the Third Millennium will be given by Andrei Zobov (Russian MFA Counsellor, 1 class, Ret., Senior Consultant, Carnegie Moscow Center), on October 11, 2002 at 17:00 in the Room 239 of Novy Korpus Bldg., MIPT.

Thursday, October 3, Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies at MIPT held a seminar devoted to the problem of mutual de-alerting of U.S. and Russian strategic forces. Leading Russian experts including Vladimir Dvorkin, Viktor Koltunov, Alexei Ovcharenko, Pyotr Romashkin, Gennadiy Khromov and Center's staff members took part in the seminar.

October 1, State Duma held hearings on ratification of the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions (SORT). Reportedly, Russian parliament is not going to have open hearings on this issue:

CBO issued a report that estimates costs involved in different scenarios of implementation of the SORT treaty by the United States. According to the report, additional retirement of 150 Minuteman missiles and two oldest Trident submarines would save about $5 billion over the 2003-2012 period: Estimated Costs and Savings from Implementing the Moscow Treaty, (Congressional Budget Office, Letter to Honorable Joseph R. Biden Jr., September 2002)

The US Air Force began dismantling 50 Peacekeeper ICBMs stationed at Warren air base in Wyoming. US officials plan to use the warheads removed to replace older ones on Minuteman 3 ICBMs: Air Force Begins Peacekeeper ICBM Dismantlement, (Global Security Newswire, Friday, October 4, 2002).

Within the next few weeks, the U.S. Navy plans to begin converting the USS Ohio Trident submarine to carry conventionally armed long range cruise missiles. The Ohio will undergo the $900 million, 18-month conversion process in Bremerton:

In the discussion over break-out potential as the result of implementation of the SORT treaty, Washington often argues that Russia continues production of new nuclear weapons while the US has not produced a new nuclear weapon in a decade and would not be able to quickly resume production. Expert analysis shows however that the situation in fact is quite opposite:

See also our special section Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions. Status, Comments, Expert Opinions

One of the most prominent voices of the US arms control community has declared that the Bush administration and other proponents of developing a national missile defense have won politically, and that the 20-year debate over whether to pursue such a defense is over. Joseph Cirincione, director of the Nonproliferation Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said, that arms control community concerns about the negative implications of withdrawing from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, have turned out to be wrong. "Other treaties did not fall like dominoes. The world did not get destabilized. The ABM Treaty is dead and it turns out it doesnt really matter": Missile Debate Is Over and Bush Won, Prominent Critic Says, (by David Ruppe, Global Security Newswire, Friday, October 4, 2002). See also: Explaining Mr. Putin: Russia's New Nuclear Diplomacy, (by Andrew C. Kuchins, Arms Control Today, October 2002)

Israel is ready to deploy a new missile shield to protect Tel Aviv and other major cities if they come under fire from Iraq's arsenal of Scud missiles:

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov confirmed Russian firm commitment to prevention of placement of weapons in space: Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Igor Ivanov Answers a Question from Russian Media About Averting the Placement of Weapons in Space, October 2, 2002. See also:

More than 150 metric tons of Russian highly enriched uranium has been eliminated to date through the U.S.-Russian "Megatons to Megawatts" program. Since 1994, the program has provided enough fuel to power a city the size of Boston for about 230 years:

The Defense Department spent almost $100 million to build facilities to convert rocket fuel into commercially usable products, but officials learned in February that Russia had already used the fuel for its space program:

The new National Security Strategy of the USA continues to draw analysts' attention:

CIA issued a report on the Iraq's efforts to make weapons of mass destruction. Unlike British government's recent assessment, the US assessment is more conservative -- the report says Iraq would probably not be able to make a nuclear weapon until the last half of the decade:

See also:

U.S. intelligence agencies are concerned that terrorists are working hard to acquire small nuclear weapons and nuclear material for bombs from Russia: U.S. says al Qaeda exploring Russian market for weapons, (by Bill Gertz, The Washington Times, October 8, 2002). On the danger of nuclear terrorism and ways to cope with the problem see also:

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have agreed to a treaty declaring their region a nuclear weapons-free zone. The signing ceremony is expected to be held at Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan as early as this month:

Cuba has confirmed its intention to ratify two major nuclear arms treaties, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the Treaty of Tlatelolco, the pact banning nuclear weapons from all of Latin America:

A report by Victor Mikhailov, director of Minatom's Institute of Strategic Stability discusses the issues of non-proliferation, nuclear terrorism, and prospects of nuclear weapons reductions: Non-Proliferation Regime and Nuclear Threat Reduction, (by Victor Mikhailov, Report at the Conference "Prospects of Stability on Nuclear Subcontinent" in Bangalor, India, September 2-4, 2002)

The United Kingdom should immediately declare that it will abandon nuclear weapons once the Trident missile system reaches the end of its service life. Such a declaration would not endanger British national security and would increase pressure on other countries to also give up their nuclear weapons, according to a report prepared by the Pugwash group:

October 1, Moscow Carnegie Center held a seminar on "Security in South Asia". K. Santhanam, Director, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (Delhi) and Rose Gottemoeller, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, were the main speakers. See also: Deterrence or a Deadly Game? Nuclear Propaganda and Reality in South Asia, (by Achin Vanaik Disarmament Diplomacy, Issue No. 66, September 2002)

The October issue of Arms Control Today (October, 2002) includes:

In the recent issue of The Nonproliferation Review (Summer 2002, Volume 9, Number 2):

October 4, Russian Space Forces celebrated 45th anniversary of the first successful launch of Sputnik, an artificial satellite. Col. Gen. Anatoli Perminov, Commander-in-Chief of the Space Forces spoke on the problems and prospects of Russian military space:

At the eve of Space Forces' anniversary, "Space Weapons", the fifth volume of "Russian Weapons and Technologies. XXI Century" encyclopaedia was published: The Whole Military Space, - in Russian, (by Anatoli Dokuchayev, Krasnaya Zvezda, October 4, 2002)

Activists of the Krasnoyarsk environmental movement are not united over the import of spent nuclear fuel into Krasnoyarsk Region. Some flatly object import of any spent nuclear fuel, others have somewhat different opinion:

October 1, 2002
An article by our Center experts (in Russian) on the prospects of SORT Treaty ratification published recently by Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye draws experts' attention. Opinion section presents A Treaty for the Sake of a Treaty? -- a commentary by Gennadiy Khromov, who participated in development of INF, START-I and other arms control treaties, in Russian (September 27, 2002).

Russian foreign ministry has proposed that Russian-US working parties on missile defense and strategic offensive arms reduction hold their first meetings in Moscow in late October or early November:

Recent Issue of the INESAP Bulletin (N 20, August 2002) is devoted to prevention of space weaponization. The issue includes:

See also: A Sea of Peace or a Theater of War? Dealing with the Inevitable Conflict in Space, (by Col John E.Hyten,USAF, Air and Space Power Journal, Volume XVI, No.3, Fall 2002)

A new report by the US Army War Colleges Strategic Studies Institute claims that China has created a broad program to develop countermeasures to defeat a US missile defense system: New Report Details Chinese Missile Defense Countermeasures, (by Mike Nartker, Global Security Newswire, Wednesday, September 25, 2002)

Russian Foreign Ministry said that the report received from London via diplomatic channels concerning weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq contains no fresh weighty evidences to confirm the existence in Iraq of WMDs or programs for the development of prohibited military programs:

On the Iraq's nuclear program see also: A Clear, But Not Imminent Danger, (by Joseph Cirincione, The Globalist, Wednesday, September 18, 2002)

In testimony to the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, NGO experts argued for international community to expand critically important nuclear nonproliferation efforts to secure nuclear weapons materials across the globe:

There is a good reason to believe that the Soviet Union possessed so-called small atomic demolition munitions, commonly referred to as "suitcase nukes," and some of them might have been lost. However, they are not operational today since these devices apparently had a short shelf life and had to be serviced frequently, believes Nikolai Sokov, a former Russian diplomat and participant to the START I negotiations, currently senior research associate at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies: 'Suitcase Nukes' Pack Little Risk, (by Nikolai Sokov, Los Angeles Times, September 26, 2002)

A US-Russian program to develop fuel alternatives for small nuclear reactors fueled with weapon-grade uranium needs more political and economic support, according to a report released today by the Russian American Nuclear Security Advisory Council:

Turkish police seized about 15 kilograms of weapons-grade uranium, valued at $5 million, according to Turkey's Anatolian news agency Saturday. Turkish scientists said on Tuesday the substance at the center of a nuclear weapons scare was not uranium and that the material seized in the south of the country posed no threat.

Viktor Kuznetsov, Russia's former top nuclear safety inspector, urged Russia to suspend imports of spent nuclear fuel from abroad, saying the country must handle its own nuclear waste first:

Last Saturday was 25th anniversary of the Missile and Space Defense Army: At the Space Frontier, in Russian, (by Alexandr Dolinin, Krasnaya Zvezda, September 28, 2002). See also Pavel Podvig's report on the History and Current Status of the Russian Early Warning System, published last Summer.

40th anniversary of the end of Caribbean Crisis comes in October 2002. State Duma proposed to observe the anniversary as an event of significant international importance, and to arrange appropriate actions at the federal level: State Duma's Address to the President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Kasyanov in connection with 40th anniversary of Caribbean Crisis, September 18, 2002.

What Was New?

In 2002: January | February | March-May | June | July | August | September
In 2001: January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December
In 2000: January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December
In 1999: January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December
In 1998: January | February | March | April | May | June | July-September | October | November | December
In 1997: November | December

Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies at MIPT, 1999-2002

Search the STAR Site