Hovedmenu:
-Til velkomstside
-OOA
-Nyhedsbreve
-Atomkraft
-Barsebäck
-Energipolitik
-Drivhuseffekt
-Internationalt
-Links
about ooa About OOA

Internationale artikler:
-KORT NYT om
hændelser, ulykker

-I TJERNOBYLs
skygge

-AHAUS, Atom-affald
i Tyskland

-EU, EURATOM & atomkraft
-Expansion of French nuclear industry, report
-X-USSR, News
-HVIDERUSLAND

Energibevægelsen OOA
Organisationen til Oplysning om Atomkraft


Modtaget via OOAs e-mail: Date: Wed, 18 Feb 1998 From: ecodefense@glas.apc.org (V. Slivyak)

X-USSR antinuclear campaign' newsletter

* Dec'97 - Jan'98 * N10 *
Most important news from field of nuclear power and protests

Published bi-monthly by the Ex-USSR Antinuclear campaign.
Editor: Vladimir Sliviak


CONTENTS

  • Reactor construction in Russia
    TOMSK GOVERNOR CONTENT WITH LAST YEAR'S RESULTS. THE 4 NEW REACTORS FOR PLUTONIUM DISPOSITION' PROJECT IN TOMSK UNDER REVIEW OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • Reactor construction with Russia
    PREPARATIONS FOR BORIS ELTSIN'S VISIT TO INDIA UNDER WAY CZECH GOVERNMENT TO CONTINUE WITH TEMELIN CONSTRUCTION RUSSIA, CHINA SIGN NUCLEAR DEAL
  • Condemns
    DUMA CONDEMNS ELTSIN'S STATEMENT IN STOCKHOLM
  • Crisis
    DUMA WANTS HELP FOR NUCLEAR CENTERS
  • Foreign Policy
    PRIMAKOV ON NATO, IRAN, HIS OWN FUTURE
  • Special
    ARE RUSSIAN NUCLEAR SAFEGUARDS SAFE? by Paul Goble

  • [starten af x-ussr nr.10] [x-ussr hovedoversigt] [OOAs international emneside] [OOAs velkomstside]

    TOMSK GOVERNOR CONTENT WITH LAST YEAR'S RESULTS. THE 4 NEW REACTORS FOR PLUTONIUM DISPOSITION' PROJECT IN TOMSK UNDER REVIEW OF THE GOVERNMENT

    TOMSK, Jan 6 - Tomsk governor Viktor Kress has expressed satisfaction with the results of the past year. In a interview, he said that his region, unlike many others, paid

    out pensions in time during 1997 and settled all the regional budgetary arrears as far as wages and children's benefits are concerned before January 1, 1998. Tomsk is home town for one of russian plutonium producing facility. According to the Russian Ministry of Atomic Power (Minatom)' documents, leaked to the public in december of 1997, proposal for construction of 4 new nuclear reactors in Tomsk has been submitted to the government. Reactor design was developed by General Atomics (USA), Fuji Electric (Japan), Framatom (France) and Minatom - this is module high-temperature helium reactor with gas turbine. Minatom promote this reactor design as "extremely effective in plutonium disposition, cheapest Russia ever had and absolutely safe". But according to information of the World Information Service on Energy (WISE), an international network of safe-energy activists, number of industrialized countries rejected proposals for construction of such reactors in 1990s with two main reasons: high-temperature reactors are expensive and has serious technical errors in its design.

    Governor did not mention new reactor project but reported that the Tomsk region was the first in 1997 to embark on the implementation of regional energy-saving after concluding an agreement with the Ministry for Fuels and Power Industry. "We shall now act as a coordinator of the federal programme for power saving in the Siberian region," he noted.


    [starten af x-ussr nr.10] [x-ussr hovedoversigt] [OOAs international emneside] [OOAs velkomstside]

    PREPARATIONS FOR BORIS YELTSIN'S VISIT TO INDIA UNDER WAY, ALTHOUGH "NO OFFICIAL DATE OF HIS TRIP SET", SPOKESMAN OF FOREIGN MINISTRY SAYS

    MOSCOW, Jan 5 - The preparations for Boris Yeltsin's visit to India are underway, although "official dates of the trip are yet to be set". It was stated in december 1997 that Russian president will sign agreement on nuclear cooperation between Russia and India during his visit. Agreement is important for russian nuclear industry facing deep economical problems which stopped almost all the developments in reactor construction across Russia last years.

    Under Russian-Indian agreement includes building of two VVER reactors in India. To provide this agreement with funds Russian government promise to offer India US$ 2,6 billion credit.

    It was already mentioned that Moscow and Delhi had agreed that the Russian president would come to India in January 1998. At the same time some mass media bodies stressed that it would be inexpedient for the Russian president to come to India before the parliamentary election.

    The Russian scientific circles, however, exclude a possibility of any serious changes in both the political and economic course of the official Delhi after a new cabinet was elected there. "Of course, there can be some minor corrections to the course, but I do not expect any radical changes", Professor Gennady Chufrin and current corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of Russia told RIA Novosti. He believes that it will be unwise to postpone the visit "since there exist a number of Russo-Indian issues which need to be discussed without delay and require an official consideration in high places".

    Still nuclear agreement depends on real ability of Russia to offer financial help to India and so provide own industry with new contract. Such ability is not confirmed yet by facts - 1998 budget of Russia includes very small amount of expenses for nuclear subsidies and Ministry of Atomic Power is currently restructuring the civil nuclear industry. In mid-december of 1997 the ministry officials made public statement about the process of industrial restructurization. In this statement it's proposed that nuclear plants will manage own finances (payment for electricity bills) more independently from the national budget. As exchange to this offer of the government nuclear plants will be responsible for providing of 93% of own expenses needed for the current "on-site" activity. 7% supposed to come from the very poor national budget. Activity of russian nuclear industry on the international level would also put India rather to apathy than to hope. For example, contract of Iran and Russia started only after Iranians provided russian Minatom with funds for it.


    CZECH GOVERNMENT TO CONTINUE WITH CONSTRUCTION OF TEMELIN.

    Industry and Trade Minister Karel Kuhnl on 6 January said the government is still set on completing the controversial Temelin nuclear power plant, despite delays and rising costs. Neighboring Austria strongly objects to the plant, which it claims poses a risk to the environment. The facility was originally scheduled to be completed by 1995. The earliest completion date is now late 1999, and it is estimated costs could exceed $2 billion.


    RUSSIA, CHINA SIGN NUCLEAR DEAL. Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov departed China on 30 December, one day after attending the signing ceremony of a nuclear power facility deal worth an estimated $3 billion. Russia will provide two VVER-1000 reactors for the Lianyungang nuclear facility in eastern China. Russian Atomic Energy Minister Viktor Mikhailov, also at the signing ceremony, had called the deal "the contract of the century," according to a 28 December report from ITAR-TASS. Mikhailov noted after the signing that Russia's victory in the tender for the project proved the country's ability to compete on the world market. ITAR-TASS also reported that the Lianyungang plant will require another four reactors, possibly offering Russia further opportunities to sell reactors and other equipment to China.


    [starten af x-ussr nr.10] [x-ussr hovedoversigt] [OOAs international emneside] [OOAs velkomstside]

    DUMA CONDEMNS YELTSIN'S STATEMENTS IN STOCKHOLM - on 18 December, the Duma passed a resolution condemning statements made by Yeltsin in Stockholm as "irresponsible" and "inconsistent with Russian laws." While in Sweden, Yeltsin said Russia would unilaterally reduce its nuclear stockpile and cut its troops in northwestern Russia by 40 percent. Other officials confirmed Yeltsin's statement on the troop reductions but clarified his remarks on the nuclear arsenal, saying the president was only talking about making reductions "in parity" with U.S. disarmament. Presidential spokesman Yastrzhembskii on 18 December accused some Duma deputies of distorting the meaning of Yeltsin's statements.


    [starten af x-ussr nr.10] [x-ussr hovedoversigt] [OOAs international emneside] [OOAs velkomstside]

    DUMA WANTS HELP FOR NUCLEAR CENTERS... The Duma on 19 December passed a resolution asking Yeltsin to intervene to help solve the problems of nuclear weapons producers, ITAR-TASS reported. The resolution cited wage arrears to nuclear arms designers and a federal debt of 175 billion rubles ($29 million) to the Federal Nuclear Center in Arzamas-16 (also known as Sarov, Nizhnii Novgorod Oblast). Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin visited Sarov in July, shortly before a gubernatorial election in Nizhnii Novgorod, and promised that the government would support the nuclear research center.


    [starten af x-ussr nr.10] [x-ussr hovedoversigt] [OOAs international emneside] [OOAs velkomstside]

    PRIMAKOV ON NATO, IRAN, HIS OWN FUTURE. In an extensive interview published in "Nezavisimaya gazeta" on 30 December, Russian Foreign Minister Yevgenii Primakov complained of "a tendency to turn the Russia-NATO Council into a debating club" rather than a forum for resolving disagreement and achieving the maximum degree of rapprochement. He again expressed his opposition to NATO membership for the Baltic states, stressing that Russia's objections are not so much strategic as "moral-political", given that the Russian population would find it difficult to accept the use by another military bloc of the infrastructure created by the USSR. Primakov again insisted that the Russian government is not supplying Iran with nuclear technology, but conceded that he could not "totally exclude" the possibility of individual scientists supplying such technology clandestinely. Lastly, Primakov again rejected persistent rumors of his imminent resignation, affirming that Yeltsin trusts him.


    [starten af x-ussr nr.10] [x-ussr hovedoversigt] [OOAs international emneside] [OOAs velkomstside]

    ARE RUSSIAN NUCLEAR SAFEGUARDS SAFE?
    By Paul Goble (OMRI)

    The American intelligence community has concluded that the Russian government currently has reasonably effective control over its stockpile of nuclear warheads and missiles.

    But at the same time, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency said, Washington is "very concerned" about the status of Russian safeguards against the illegal sale of the components needed to manufacture such weapons.

    In a report released in early December by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, George Tenet said that he did not believe that Moscow had lost control over any warheads or nuclear missiles, although the reason he gave for that is not entirely encouraging.

    "We do not believe that Russian ICBMs are as vulnerable to theft or sales as missile components," Tenet said. "A conspiracy of many government officials would be necessary to purloin an entire ICBM."

    Instead, Tenet said his institution feared that Russia might be losing control over the components needed to make a bomb, including large and widely dispersed stores of plutonium and highly enriched uranium.

    Tenet argued in the report that Russia's "continuing social and economic difficulties, corruption in the military and the potential activities of organized crime groups" put government control of these materials at risk.

    And he pointed out that "Russia's ability to enforce export controls remains problematic because of resource shortages, weak customs enforcement and corruption."

    Tenet's report is likely to trigger a new debate on how to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons after the Cold War. At the very least, it seems certain to introduce a new clarity into just what the problem is.

    Since the collapse of the Soviet Union six years ago, Western analysts and governments have debated whether Moscow has been able to control the nuclear weapons and materials on its territory.

    In general, that discussion has focused on the question of whether the Russian government has control of nuclear weapons rather than on whether it has control of the nuclear materials needed to make weapons.

    That debate flared anew most recently when Aleksandr Lebed, a former Russian general and aide to Boris Yeltsin, made a dramatic suggestion that Moscow might have lost track of dozens of "suitcase- sized" nuclear weapons.

    Tenet's report suggests that Lebed's claims are almost certainly untrue. But if that conclusion is reassuring, Tenet's discussion of Moscow's gradual loss of certain control over the components of nuclear weapons is frightening in the extreme.

    The CIA report notes that there are some 1,200 tons of highly enriched uranium and 200 tons of plutonium stored in a large number of sites spread across the Russian Federation.

    Because producing such materials is the hardest part of building a bomb and because only a few pounds of either substance are needed to make one, any loss of control over even a small part of such stockpiles could quickly lead to disaster.

    Obviously, both Russia and the entire world have a vested interest in making sure that the Russian authorities maintain effective control over such materials. But how that is to be done remains very much an open question.

    In contrast to nuclear weapons and their delivery vehicles, the movement of such materials is far more difficult to monitor and thus extraordinarily difficult to prevent -- especially in a country as troubled as Russia now is.

    Tenet's report may now prompt both Moscow and the West to explore some new means of making sure that the safeguards over nuclear materials are just as effective as those over nuclear weapons.

    If that does not happen, his report strongly implies, the dangers of future proliferation of weapons of mass destruction will only increase.


    Sources: OMRI, RIA Novosti

    [starten af x-ussr nr.10] [x-ussr hovedoversigt] [OOAs international emneside] [OOAs velkomstside]


    OOA, Ryesgade 19, 2200 Kbh. N.
    Tlf: 35 35 55 07, Fax: 35 35 65 45

    E-mail: ooa@email.dk

    Sidst opdateret 9. september 1997