What was new on STAR Site?

July, 2002

July 31, 2002
The US Congress continues hearings on the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions (SORT). The United States might not adhere to the terms of this Treaty if certain missile defense programs and other new initiatives are not funded or successful, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee:

See also our special section on Status of U.S.-Russian Negotiations on Strategic Arms Reduction

U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham and Undersecretary of State John Bolton arrived in Moscow yesterday to discuss a range of questions over Russian-American relations:

In testimony before the House International Relations Committee, Undersecretary for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs Alan Larson, said that the United States should consider swapping a portion of Russian debt for nonproliferation programs:

One of the most important issues to be discussed during negotiations is the prospects of Russian-Iranian nuclear cooperation. Last week Russia has outlined plans to build five more nuclear reactors in Iran over the next decade:

Recent issue of Yadernoye Rasprostraneniye (issue 42, January-March 2002) runs:

The July issue of US Foreign Policy Agenda (Vol.7, No 2, July, 2002) journal published by US Department of State, is devoted to the problem of forming a new format of US-Russian relations:

"... During negotiations on Strategic stability Russian side found itself captured by obsolete dogmata. First dogma: 1972 ABM treaty is a "cornerstone of strategic stability". Second dogma: US Missile Defense is aimed against Russia. Third dogma: Russia can restrain US from withdrawal from the ABM treaty using a threat to MIRV its missiles. All these dogmata are already part of the history. They turned out to be fallacies. However, Russian tradition doesn't have it to learn a lesson from the past. One more dogma is still alive by inertia: Russia must reply on US withdrawal from the 1972 ABM treaty by making a decision to build up its nuclear forces..." (Anti-Missile Fallacies, - in Russian, by Sergei Kreidin, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, July 26, 2002)

On the US NMD Deployement plans see also:

China recently test-fired a medium-range missile CSS-5 that contained numerous dummy warheads designed to defeat missile defenses, according to U.S. intelligence officials:

Calling missile defenses an inherently stabilizing concept, a senior U.S. defense official yesterday said the United States is considering allowing Israel to sell Arrow missile interceptors to India: Washington Considers Allowing Transfer of Arrow Interceptor, (by David Ruppe, Global Security Newswire, July 30, 2002)

Reportedly, the US Air Force's fleet of B-2 stealth bombers currently has a mission-capable rate of 42 percent:

On current state and prospects of the US strategic forces see also: US Strategic Nuclear Forces, - in Russian, (by Vyacheslav Baskakov, Alexandr Gorshkov, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, July 26, 2002)

The U.S. Defense Department is pursuing an assortment of weapons concepts in hope of introducing a new arsenal that can safely and effectively neutralize research and storage facilities for weapons of mass destruction, according to military officials and defense experts:

Iraq's government is trying to buy special equipment used in producing fuel for nuclear weapons. Procurement agents from Iraq's covert nuclear-arms program were detected as they tried to purchase stainless-steel tubing, uniquely used in gas centrifuges and a key component in making the material for nuclear bombs, from an unknown supplier, said administration officials familiar with intelligence reports:

DOE plans to build a "conversion demonstration facility" at the Mayak Chemical Combine, near Chelyabinsk, to show the physical and financial possibility of making MOX fuel a mixture of plutonium and uranium oxides: Plutonium Disposition Plan Narrowly Avoids Scrapping, But Still Has Many Critics, (by Charles Digges, Bellona, July 9, 2002 .). See also: Sealed Cities, - in Russian, (by Oleg Nekhaev, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, July 20, 2002)

Import of spent nuclear fuel for reprocessing still is a subject of heated debates in Russia:

President Bush formally approved Nevada's Yucca Mountain as the nation's high-level nuclear waste dump. However, a Senate subcommittee approved only two thirds of the money Bush sought for work at site for FY2003:

At the Russian START Forum: on modernization of the Typhoon submarine, and other topics.

July 18, 2002
U.S. State Secretary Colin Powell underscored in his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the hearings on Moscow Treaty, that the United States are going to count operationally deployed nuclear warheads. In yesterday's testimony Defense Minister Donald Rumsfeld made clear, that the U.S. side in not going to discuss verification procedures of the new treaty with Russian counterparts:

See also our special section on Status of U.S.-Russian Negotiations on Strategic Arms Reduction

The Pentagon report, called Defense Planning Guidance, calls for developing certain weapons and intelligence capabilities that would enhance the militarys ability to launch first strikes:

A U.S. General Accounting Office report says the airborne laser system intended to be a major component of U.S. missile defenses needs to be redesigned because it exceeds weight requirements:

On prospects of U.S. missile defense deployment see also:

In a collection of essays published by the Henry L. Stimson Center, several experts based in South Asia speculated how the three states would probably react to any U.S. deployment of national and theater missile defense systems and what effect their actions would have on regional security:

A Russian strategic submarine of Delta-3 class on Friday launched a prototype of a European-Russian inflatable space vehicle that could be used to bring payloads or people back to Earth from space:

A decision to provide with considerable funding for liquidation of Russian weapons of mass destruction was made recently at G-8 Summit in Canada. Hon. Alexei Arbatov, Deputy Chair of the State Duma Defense Committee presents his view on related problems and how could money be spent: Not A Charity, But A Sober-Minded Analysis, - in Russian, (by Salavat Suleymenov, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, July 12, 2002)

See also:

Russian Minister of Nuclear Power Alexander Rumyantsev announced that Russia would stop nuclear cooperation with Iran after finishing Bushehr nuclear power plant. The official admitted that such a decision is driven by a strong pressure from the U.S.:

In the next few years China will significantly upgrade its strategic missile forces to counter development of a U.S. missile defense system, according to a Pentagon report released recently:

"...Minatom never expected to return reprocessed fuel... Spent fuel is simply buried under the cover of reprocessing...", Sergei Mitrokhin, Deputy Chair of the State Duma Committee On Local Governing thinks: It Is Simply Buried, - in Russian, (by Natalia Friedman, Moskovskiye Novosti, July 17, 2002). See also:

Complete version of IV-th International Radio-Ecological Conference "Plutonium Disposal: Problems And Solutions", held in Krasnoyarsk on June 5-10, 2000 is published on-line.

"...Residents of other communities in the New York region that are near nuclear reactors the Indian Point plant in New York and Millstone in Connecticut have been moved to anxiety and activism by fears of terrorism. But the response has been noticeably muted in New Jersey, which has four nuclear plants...": In New Jersey, Nuclear Fears Have to Stand in Line, (by Richard Lezin Jones, The New York Times, July 17, 2002). See also:

The state of Nevada filed a petition with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Friday in an attempt to strengthen the licensing rule for the planned nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain:

July 9, 2002
The US Senate opens hearings Tuesday on the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions. Washington Post published an article with some details of the US-Russian negotiations before the Moscow summit: Ambitious Nuclear Arms Pact Faces a Senate Examination, (by Peter Slevin, The Washington Post, Sunday, July 7, 2002; Page A08). See also:

See also our special section on Status of U.S.-Russian Negotiations on Strategic Arms Reduction

Alexander Yakovenko, the official spokesman of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in an interview with Interfax news agency that "...the task is to draw the world community's attention to the problem of preventing the placement of weapons in space, and stimulating the early start of substantive discussions on this theme at the Conference on Disarmament...":

"...Under growing threat of terrorism and sabotage, it is important as never before to protect nuclear weapons. And taking into account aging missiles and special weapons (when their service life is significantly extended), strengthening of continuous control over its condition is of urgent importance..." (Combat Tasks of Particular Importance, - in Russian, by Sergei Khutortsev, Krasnaya Zvezda, July 3, 2002). The author is Lt. Gen., Chief of Staff, Strategic Rocket Forces.

Yevgeny Velikhov, director of the Russian Research Center Kurchatov Institute, proposed that the United States and Russia should consider jointly developing nuclear warhead-tipped missile interceptors as a component of a missile defense system: U.S. Plans I: Russian Suggests Joint Effort on Nuclear-Armed Interceptor, (Global Security Newswire, July 8, 2002)

Alexei Arbatov, Deputy Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee for Defense, said that there is little chance that Russia and the United States will cooperatively develop any missile defense system: U.S.-Russia: Joint Missile Defense Program Unlikely, Russian Official Says, (by Kerry Boyd, Global Security Newswire, July 2, 2002). See also: U.S. Plans:Ground-Based Midcourse System Faces Rigorous Testing, (Global Security Newswire, July 3, 2002)

Pugwash meeting began yesterday in the building of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow: Einstein, Jolio-Curie and Igor Sergeyev, - in Russian, (by Dmitri Safronov, Izvestia, July 9, 2002)

Recent issue of Arms Control Today (July-August, 2002) runs:

In the recent issue of Yaderny Kontrol (July-August 2002):

Media and experts on the G8 Heads of State and Government Meeting in Kananaskis, Canada:

Nuclear terrorism remains in the media spotlight:

One of these days will mark one year since president Putin signed a bill that allows in principle import of foreign spent nuclear fuel into Russia. However, little depends on Russia on this matter: most of foreign spent nuclear fuel is under US control: Nuclear Summer, - in Russian, (by Mikhail Rybyanov, Konstantin Getmanski, Izvestia, July 5, 2002). See also:

July 2, 2002
Recent issue of Science & Global Security features an article Russian Early Warning System: Past and Present, by Pavel Podvig, an expert with our Center (Vol. 10, No. 1, 2002, pp. 2160).

Last week, at the Conference on Disarmament delegations of Russia, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Belarus, Zimbabve and Syria presented a working paper on Possible Elements for a Future International Legal Agreement on the Prevention of the Deployment of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force Against Outer Space Objects:

The U.S. Senate passed a major defense spending bill without several nuclear weapons policy measures the administration had sought. In a concession to President George W. Bush, however, the Senate approved the presidents full request for missile defense, but recommended that part of it be used to fight terrorism:

Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish, the director of the Missile Defense Agency spoke on the nearest testing plans at a special briefing:

See also our special section US Missile Defense Programs (in Russian)

The launch of a Typhoon strategic nuclear submarine after maintenance and modernization work completed by Sevmashpredpiyatie last week, remains in the Russian media spotlight. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov took part in the launch ceremony. Docking and running tests will be conducted during next several years. The missile carrier is planned to enter service in 2005.

See also: Nuclear Notebook: Russian nuclear forces, 2002, (The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, July-August 2002)

During his visit to the Northern Fleet, Russian defense minister also went to the nuclear test ground at Novaya Zemlya. He said that although Russian has no intention to resume testing, a decision was made at the top level not only to maintain the ground in working condition, but also to develop its infrastructure:

The Pentagon is taking initial steps to develop a conventional submarine-launched ballistic missile that could penetrate hardened underground targets:

See also for more details on US programs on development of conventional precision-guided penetrator weapons - in Russian,

World leaders at the Group of Eight summit in Canada agreed yesterday to a new $20bn package to secure nuclear materials in Russia and the former Soviet bloc:

Some Western analysts believe, that yielding to Western pressure Russian president decided to end Russian involvement in Iranian reactor program: Russia Ending Involvement in Iranian Reactor, (Stratfor, 28 June 2002)

If terrorists were to explode a nuclear weapon, the United States does not have the capabilities in place to identify the source of the weapon or to respond sufficiently to such a disaster, according to a report on counterterrorism released by the National Academy of Sciences:

A new GAO report criticises US efforts to control the smuggling of nuclear and radioactive material in foreign countries: U.S. Efforts to Help Other Countries Combat Nuclear Smuggling Need Strengthened Coordination and Planning, (General Accounting Office, May, 2002)

Last Wednesday, US Senate approved an amendment to address the risk that terrorists could acquire radioactive materials for a dirty bomb:

On the radiological terror threat see also:

At the Russian START Forum: on the Typhoon weapons systems, role of the launch on warning, and other topics.

What Was New?

In 2002: January | February | March-May | June
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 START Web Site