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What was new on STAR Site?

September, 2002

September 24, 2002
Federal Assembly will start hearings on the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions (SORT) October 1st. Last Friday, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye weekly published an article by our Center's experts: What To Do With The Treaty On Strategic Offensive Reductions?, - in Russian, (by Anatoli Diakov, Timur Kadyshev, Eugene Miasnikov, Pavel Podvig). See also:

See also our special section SORT Treaty: Status, Comments, Expert Opinions

White House sent to Congress a new 35-page document on The National Security Strategy of the United States, which calls for a reinterpretation of international law to allow for preemptive attacks against countries that do not appear to pose an imminent threat in the traditional sense. According to this document, the U.S. could also preemptively attack if the other country is developing weapons of mass destruction and is believed to be intent upon using them:

The U.S. Air Force test-fired an unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile:

In the case of a successful laser intercept of a nuclear-tipped ICBM launched at the US by a "rogue" state, potential damage may well be as disastrous, the difference would be that those who were killed would not be among those who had been targeted: Laser defenses: What if they work?, (by Geoffrey Forden, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, September/October 2002, Volume 58, No. 5, pp. 48-53)

The Senate Armed Services Committee has asked the Pentagon to test the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 missile against Scud missile targets before it is sent into the field. The Missile Defense Agency, however, said that Scud missiles cannot be fired at U.S. test ranges: Senate Wants to Test PAC-3 Against Scuds, (Global Security Newswire, Thursday, September 19, 2002).

Citing insufficient funds, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization cancelled a scheduled course intended to train personnel at nuclear test monitoring centers: Anti-Nuclear Test Organization Seeks Better Funding, (by David Ruppe, Global Security Newswire, Wednesday, September 18, 2002)

The Nevada Test Site will not be ready to resume full-scale testing of nuclear weapons within a target period of two to three years, the US Energy Department’s inspector general’s office recent report says:

Iraq's capability to develop nuclear weapons is the subject of heated debates among experts:

"We will not supply nuclear fuel to the Bushehr nuclear power plant until we sign an agreement on its return to Russia," Russian Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev said:

See also Mr. Rumyantsev's interview: Frying Pans from Minatom, - in Russian, (Irik Imamutdinov, Dan Medovnikov, Expert, September 23, 2002)

Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye published new details on the Chechen terrorists's attempt to purchase Osmium-187, one of the key ingredients of a miniature nuclear device: Atomic Bomb for Chechen Terrorists, - in Russian, (by Igor Korotchenko, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, September 20, 2002). On the threats of nuclear terrorism see also: Nuclear Dangers Beyond Iraq, (by Michael Levi, The New York Times, September 23, 2002).

Seeking to counter assertions that the US nuclear plants are vulnerable to attacks like the one on the World Trade Center, 19 prominent nuclear safety experts have concluded in a Science article that a reactor containment building could easily withstand the force of a jetliner crash:

September 17, 2002
Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies at MIPT offers a course on "Non-proliferation and Reduction of Weapons of Mass Destruction Regime and National Security" (in Russian) in the Fall term of 2002. The course consists of lectures and seminars for MIPT students and PhD students, as well as for anyone interested in the issues considered and intends to improve understanding of their technical and political aspects. The lectures will be presented by leading Russian arms control experts. The first one, on "Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and Terrorism" will be given by Hon. Alexei Arbatov, D.Sc., Deputy Chair of the State Duma Defense Committee on October 4, 2002 at 17:00 in auditorium 239 of Novy Korpus Bldg., MIPT.

September 12, State Duma International Affairs Committee held hearings on ratification of the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions (SORT). Russian MFA's official press release expressed a hope that ratification of the Treaty may be completed by the Russian Federal Assembly and the US Congress even by the end of the current year. "...Today, we turn from the logic of force and confrontation to the logic of interests and cooperation. The new treaty takes an important place in the US-Russian relations. From this point of view, the new SORT treaty can in fact become the last one in the series of traditional disarmament treaties. It takes on special significance in the context of many other recent important international events, Russia-NATO and Russia-EU summits in particular. Decisions made during this meetings allow us to start construction of a new system of collective security both in Euro-Asian region and in the World in general...", said Col. Gen. Yuriy Baluyevskiy, First Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff in his Izvestia article:

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

On September 14, Russia jointly with other countries - Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Hungary, Japan, Jordan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines, the Republic of South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom - adopted in New York a joint statement in support of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Last Thursday, three-day Russian-American consultations were completed in Moscow. American delegation was headed by John Bolton, US Under Secretary of State. The consultations were devoted to implementation of projects of the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Materials and Weapons of Mass Destruction, as established at the G8 summit at Kananaskis in June 2002.

A key link of the Russian-American program to reduce enrichment of nuclear fuel for research reactors -- N.A. Dollezhal Research and Development Institute of Power Engineering -- turns 50 now, under sanctions imposed by the US administration, although Russian Prosecutor General put an end to the case of the Institute's cooperation with Iran: Price of Lifting Sanctions, in Russian, (by Alexandr Kuznetsov, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, September 12, 2002)

"...When we speak about the establishment of new regimes of the WMD non-proliferation and arms control we by no means renounce the existing regimes and agreements. They are our common protective mechanism - and a very reliable and time-tested one. Unjustified removal of the key elements of the international legal framework of non-proliferation can aggravate the international military and strategic situation and undermine global security...", (Address by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation I. Ivanov at the 57-th UN General Assembly, New York, September 13, 2002). See also: Bush Administration Rewrites Arms Control Rules, (by David Ruppe, Global Security Newswire, Tuesday, September 10, 2002)

In his Address to the United Nations General Assembly, president George W. Bush claimed that should Iraq acquire fissile material, it would be able to build a nuclear weapon within a year. Many independent analysts disagree:

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace published a new report, which proposes an alternative approach to going to war to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. The “coercive inspections” approach would return UN arms inspectors to Iraq, but they would be backed by a heavily armed and mobile US-led “implementation” force to ensure unimpeded access:

Russian politicians accused Kazakh entrepreneurs of illegal selling of nuclear weapons components, Osmium-187 in particular, to Chechen terrorists:

Director General Mohamed ElBaradei stated that the International Atomic Energy Agency has rapidly implemented the nuclear terrorism prevention plan that it developed soon after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks:

Security guards at nuclear power plants in the United States are unprepared for a terrorist attack, according to a report from "Project on Government Oversight" NGO:

A new FAS report finds that U.S. emergency response personnel lack the training necessary to deal with a terrorist attack involving weapons of mass destruction: Training Technology Against Terror: Using Advanced Technology to Prepare America’s Emergency Medical Personnel and First Responders for a Weapon of Mass Destruction Attack, (Federation of American Scientists, September 9, 2002)

On physical phenomena which can be allegedly used to build a perfect missile defense system see Will Nuclear Missile Kamikaze Attack America?, - in Russian, (by Pavel Poluyan, Pravda.ru, September 10, 2002)

"...Game of nuclear state and nuclear deterrence can, most likely, lead to losing everything -- confidence, economy, population, territory, independence, and state as a whole. Because ot this, one can clearly see the policy of certain major nuclear states aimed not only at rapid and drastic reductions of these useless weapons by all nuclear states, but also at their total elimination, although these processes develop now and will develop in the future not as fast as we would like them to..." (Nuclear Deterrence Flaws, - in Russian, by V. Slipchenko, Obozrevatel-Observer, July-August, 2002)

An international conference on "Handling of Spent Nuclear Fuel 2002: New Russian Initiatives" took place in Moscow last week. The conference was organized by Ministry of Atomic Energy (Minatom) and Tekhsnabexport JSC:

IzDAT Publishers released a "Creators of Nuclear Age" series volume devoted to Vitaliy Konovalov, who spent 45 years in nuclear industry: "Unclassified", - in Russian, (by Tatiana Vasilyeva, Wek, September 13-20, 2002)

September 10, 2002
In his interview with Krasnaya Zvezda Lt. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov, Strategic Rocket Forces Commander, said that personnel of the bases to be eliminated will have to be significantly reduced: People and Missiles: Social Aspect, in Russian, (by Alexandr Vovk and Alexandr Dolinin, Krasnaya Zvezda, September 5, 2002)

A new report by Jon B. Wolfsthal of Carnegie Endowment for Peace discusses prospects of the US and Russian nuclear arms reductions: US Nuclear Policy And The Future Of Arms Control, (by Jon B. Wolfsthal, Carnegie Endowment for Peace, Paper for STYX Conference Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, August 28, 2002)

According to Bellona, decommissioning of Typhoon submarines can be hindered by defuelling problems: Brand new US sponsored defuelling site unable to handle Typhoons, (by Igor Kudrik, Bellona, September 4, 2002)

In the September's issue of Arms Control Today:

The terrorist attacks, and a string of high-profile missile defense testing successes, appeared to be important factors in reducing political opposition. Two consequences were evident when the U.S. Congress approved the president’s substantially increased missile defense request for fiscal 2002 and the 2003 request, and did not block the U.S. withdrawal from Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty: Sept. 11 - One Year Later II: Bush Missile Defense Program Gains Political Strength, (by David Ruppe, Global Security Newswire, Monday, September 9, 2002)

The US will deploy a modern and powerful 3D air surveillance radar TPS-117 in Latvia near Russian border by the end of this year. Experts believe that the radar will endanger North-Western Europe, and Russia in particular:

Seeking to break a four-year deadlock in the Conference on Disarmament, five ambassadors presented a plan for a program of work that would treat four key disarmament issues equally, thus avoiding a debate over which issue should dominate the conference’s agenda: Five-Country Initiative Seeks to Break CD Deadlock, (by Jim Wurst, Global Security Newswire, Wednesday, September 4, 2002)

According to al-Jazeera, al Qaeda considered striking U.S. nuclear facilities last year on Sept. 11 and has not ruled out such attacks in the future: Al Qaeda Is Said to Have Weighed Nuclear Targets, (by Alaa Shahine, The Washington Post, Monday, September 9, 2002; Page A13)

US and Russian nuclear security officers are planning a joint operation with Uzbek officials to remove a large amount of enriched uranium from a reactor site in Uzbekistan:

On the world's nuclear reactors are used for research and training see a report on: Research Reactors, (Uranium Information Centre Nuclear Issues Briefing Paper # 66, August 2002)

Examining satellite photographs, weapons inspectors have identified several nuclear-related sites in Iraq that have undergone new construction or other unexplained changes since they were last visited by international inspectors nearly four years ago:

On Iraq's nuclear program see also:

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said Libya is likely to be the first Arab state to develop nuclear weapons:

Now that spent nuclear fuel import bills have been passed, it is clear that Russia will not earn $20 billion since the prices used by Minatom in its calculations are unlikely to be given: Nuclear Wastes and Nuclear Bankrupts, - in Russian, (Antiatom.ru, September 6, 2002). See also:

Rosenergoatom plans to put four new nuclear reactors on line in the next several years: Russia Plans Four New Reactors, (by Vladimir Isachenkov, The Associated Press, Thursday, September 5, 2002; 4:11 PM)

According to an article in Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Greenpeace activity is driven by interests other than environmental ones: No Peace in Greenpeace, in Russian, (by Sergey Melnikov, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, September 4, 2002)

Last Wednesday was the 55th anniversary of the creation of the 12th Main Directorate of the Russian Defense Ministry, which is responsible for operation of the Russian nuclear complex: Linked with Atom, in Russian, (by Anatoli Antipov, Krasnaya Zvezda, September 4, 2002)

At the Russian START Forum: on telemetry exchange under START I, the role of launch on warning in nuclear doctrine, and other topics.

September 3, 2002
Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye continues the discussion on which leg of the Russian nuclear triad should be put an emphasis on. An author of the article, published in Friday thinks that priorities should be shifted toward sea based forces: Survivable and Efficient, - in Russian, (by Vladimir Zaborski, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, August 30, 2002)

U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, one of the architects of the decade-old U.S. campaign to safeguard the former Soviet Union's arsenal, appealed for Russian and U.S. officials not to get bogged down by bureaucracy in their bid to reduce the threat of weapons of mass destruction:

Defense Science Board has urged the Bush administration to narrow the focus of its missile defense program and concentrate on just two experimental approaches for guarding the nation against ballistic missile attack: Missile Defense Choices Sought, (by Bradley Graham, The Washington Post, Tuesday, September 3, 2002; Page A01)

The scientific fathers of "Brilliant Pebbles" say the Bush administration is considering a revival of their Cold War-era plan for sending swarms of missile-killing minisatellites into Earth orbit -- and perhaps sharing control of the defense with Russia and the rest of the free world: Orbital satellite missile defense plan may return, (by Ian Hoffman, Tree Valley Herald, Sunday, September 1, 2002)

Some 600 Russian specialists began work Sunday on a key phase of a $800 million project to build a nuclear reactor in Iran:

"...There are more than 300 civilian research facilities like Vinca around the world fueled with HEU, which is the easiest material for terrorists to make into a nuclear bomb. Many of these sites do not have enough HEU to pose a serious security threat. But there are others like Vinca: poorly secured and with enough material for a nuclear bomb..." (A nuclear weapon just waiting to happen, by Matthew Bunn, Los Angeles Times, August 29, 2002). See also: Too Loose Nukes, (by Gordon Prather, The Washington Times, August 28, 2002)

History and prospects of "Darjal" (Pechora) early warning radar, located in Azerbaijan, is presented in the article published in Krasnaya Zvezda: A Station Near Gabala, - in Russian, (by Aleksandr Tikhonov, Krasnaya Zvezda, August 30, 2002)

At the Russian STAR Forum: telemetry information shared within the frames of START Treaty and other topics.

What Was New?

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