BASHKORTOSTAN: FORMER SOVIET REPUBLIC REVIVING N-PLANT
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LEBED SOLDIERS ON WITH MISSING BOMB CLAIMS
Alexander Lebed, the former russian general and presidential hopeful, has been
broadcasting his claim over the past week that Russia has lost track of 100 nuclear bombs
the size of suitcases.
"A very through investigation is necessary," Lebed reiterated to reporters
Monday, September 8. "The state of nuclear security in Russia posses a danger to the
The general's alligations are roundly denied by Russian officials, who contend that all
the Russia's nuclear weapons are safely under control.
In his previous post as President Boris Yeltsin's top security adviser, Lebed might have
been in a position to know about such secrets. But the president fired him nearly a year
Now Lebed - who negotiated last year's peace accord with Chechnya - is a political
outsider who is trying to revive his career and build a base for a potential run at the
presidency in the year 2000, when Yeltsin must step down.
"How can a serious politician make such a sensational statement without the cheking
of facts first?" said Vladimir Uvatenko, chief spokesman for the Defence Ministry.
"This scandalous statement was clearly made by Alexander Lebed to get the attention
of the press and boost his waning political image and declaining popularity."
Despite the official denials, Lebed is pursuing his allegations undeterred. In an
interview with CBS television's "60 Minutes " aired Sunday, Lebed said the
suitcase bombs were ideal weapons for terrorists because they could be armed and detonated
by a single person within 30 minutes.
One of the one-kiloton bombs could kill 100,000 people, he said. Of 250 suitcases
devices made by the Soviet Union, he said, 100 are unaccounted for.
On Monday, Lebed was quoted by Interfax as saying he had learned of the existence of
the bombs 11 month ago when he was Yeltsin's security adviser. Since that time, he said,
he has been able to prove to his own satisfaction that the weapons were real.
Lebed said the suitcase bombs were deployed in special brigades in some of the empire's
remore regions. After the break-up of the Soviet state, many of the suitcases vanished in
what became independent republics, where they could fall into the hands of terrorists, he
In Washington, US officials say they have no information that any of Russia's nuclear
weapons, whatever their size, have been offered for sale on the world's black markets.
(Moscow Times, sept 10, by Richard C. Paddock (LA
FLOATING NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
Moscow, September 11 (AAP) - Russian government approved on september 10 the construction
of a floating nuclear power plant designed to supply cheap energy to a remote arctic
region, Itar-Tass and later Associated Press both reported. The plant is being built in
Pevek and will be provided with a reactors from a nuclear submarine. The energy it
provides will be distributed to the Chukotka region in the Far East. "Designers says
the energy from such plant is cheap but in fact a project cost would not be cheap if
expenses for a nuclear waste disposition and decommissioning are included," -Vladimir
Sliviak of Socio-Ecological Union said. "Instead of the solving of energy crisis the
people in the Far East will get leukemia and dead ocean because it looks like a nuclear
waste from a nuclear plant will be disposed in the ocean. Only in such case the expenses
for a nuclear waste disposition are not required," - he added.
EQUIPMENT CONTAINING PLUTONIUM IS STOLEN
Kaliningrad, August 26 (AAP) - Equipment for the protection from fire containing plutonium
is stolen from the territory of commercial bank "Energotransbank" in
Kaliningrad, russian city with 400 thousand population in the baltic sea region. Totally
15 apparatus of "RID-6M" type is stolen, reported regional newspaper
"Kaliningradskaya Pravda" on August 26. The territory of the bank was previously
owned by a pulp'n'paper company "AO SCBZ" and plutonium apparatus were
"forgotten" by this company. It's not clear if bankers knew about apparatus they
got on this territory, newspaper says.
KAZAKHSTAN PLANS TO INSTALL NUCLEAR REACTORS ... IN 2030
Moscow, September 14 (AAP)- The Kazakh government has approved a plan to install six
nuclear reactors at its first nuclear power plant by the year 2030, according to ITAR-TASS
report. The new Russian-made VVER reactors will be installed at a power plant on the
southern shore of Lake Balkhash. Kazakhstan is heavily dependent on Russian and Uzbek
supplies of energy and is deep in debt to both countries as a result. The project is
estimated to cost about $5 billion.
FORMER SOVIET REPUBLIC REVIVING NUCLEAR PLANT PROJECT ?
The head of state of Bashkortostan, an autonomous republic within the Russian Federation,
has announced that plans for the Bashkir nuclear power plant "abandoned six years
ago" could be put back on track.
The republic's president, Murtaza Rakhimov, said in a recent television interview that
Bashkortostan was interested in resuming construction of the nuclear station.
Work on the plant, consisting of two Soviet-design VVER-1000 pressurised water reactor
units, was stopped in 1991 as a result of local public pressure. In election campaigning
around that time, candidates used anti-nuclear arguments to gain popular support.
A new town, called Agidel, has sprung up close to the site of the planned nuclear station,
but an unemployment problem has developed among the population of more than 30 000.
Bashkortostan, formerly an autonomous Soviet republic, stretches along the South Urals and
adjacent plains, to the northwest of Kazakhstan, and has a population of over four
Used sources: RFE/RL Newsline, Moscow Times, NucNet
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Sidst opdateret 8. december 1997