Cover Image

PAPERBACK
$37.75



View/Hide Left Panel

Scientific and Technical Cooperation

Government-funded scientific and technical cooperation between the United States and Russia has been under way for decades at various levels of intensity. Some of the high points of that collaboration came at some of the darkest periods of the Cold War, such as when a Soviet cosmonaut and a U.S. astronaut shook hands through the joined hatches of their Soyuz and Apollo spacecrafts in 1975. There are a number of reasons why the United States and Russia (preceded by the Soviet Union) have found it useful to collaborate on science and technology and why it is important that they continue and expand that cooperation. First, each of the two countries has a significant pool of scientific and technical expertise on which to draw, as well as extensive research and development infrastructures that were established during their years of Cold War rivalry. Second, the personal and institutional relationships that are built in the course of scientific and technical cooperation help to strengthen the overall ties between the two nations and create a firm foundation for cooperative threat reduction. Third, as their relationship matures into a full partnership, U.S. and Russian collaboration on science and technology can contribute substantially to their joint efforts to promote nonproliferation goals around the world.

THE NATURE OF SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION

The first step toward understanding the potential roles of scientific cooperation and technical cooperation in the U.S.-Russian relationship is to understand the distinctions between them. For the purposes of this study, technical cooperation is defined as the mutual accomplishment of measures that enhance nonproliferation and that go beyond ordinary civil construction in their technical content. The personnel involved in technical cooperation are often engineers and technicians with specialized training. The technologies employed in technical cooperation may be off-the-shelf, or they may require some specialized engineering development; but they are technologies whose technical feasibility is not in doubt. The technologies appropriate for achieving specified goals are relatively easy to define at an early stage.

Scientific cooperation, by contrast, involves the development of new technologies or the establishment of technical feasibility for technologies that have not yet transitioned from the realm of basic and applied research to the realm of engineering development. The personnel involved in scientific cooperation are often scientists (generally applied scientists), with broad perspectives of multiple technologies that range from unproved laboratory ideas to off-the-shelf components. It is often not possible to specify the technological approach in all detail at an early stage; rather, iteration between goal-directed applied research and engineering development is necessary.

Scientific and technical cooperation go hand in hand, but different mixtures of the two are appropriate at different times and for accomplishing different purposes. It is interesting to turn to the very successful record of Russian-American cooperation in space for illustration: following on to the International Geophysical Year (1957-1958), the two countries initiated fruitful exchanges of the scientific data obtained from their exploration of space. Over time, the two space programs developed scientific collaborations based on this exchange of data, which naturally led to collaborations involving the development of joint, or in any case coordinated, instrumentation. What began in the realm of science moved over time into the realm of engineering, culminating today in Russia’s essential participation in the International Space Station and in deep and productive connections between the two countries’ space programs.1

1  

See also Means and Methods of Overcoming Barriers in Cooperation: Mindset Gap as a Legacy of the Cold War; Cooperation in Exploration and Utilization of Cosmic Space (Appendix K).



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 27
Strengthening U.S.-Russian Cooperation on Nuclear Nonproliferation: Recommendations for Action Scientific and Technical Cooperation Government-funded scientific and technical cooperation between the United States and Russia has been under way for decades at various levels of intensity. Some of the high points of that collaboration came at some of the darkest periods of the Cold War, such as when a Soviet cosmonaut and a U.S. astronaut shook hands through the joined hatches of their Soyuz and Apollo spacecrafts in 1975. There are a number of reasons why the United States and Russia (preceded by the Soviet Union) have found it useful to collaborate on science and technology and why it is important that they continue and expand that cooperation. First, each of the two countries has a significant pool of scientific and technical expertise on which to draw, as well as extensive research and development infrastructures that were established during their years of Cold War rivalry. Second, the personal and institutional relationships that are built in the course of scientific and technical cooperation help to strengthen the overall ties between the two nations and create a firm foundation for cooperative threat reduction. Third, as their relationship matures into a full partnership, U.S. and Russian collaboration on science and technology can contribute substantially to their joint efforts to promote nonproliferation goals around the world. THE NATURE OF SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION The first step toward understanding the potential roles of scientific cooperation and technical cooperation in the U.S.-Russian relationship is to understand the distinctions between them. For the purposes of this study, technical cooperation is defined as the mutual accomplishment of measures that enhance nonproliferation and that go beyond ordinary civil construction in their technical content. The personnel involved in technical cooperation are often engineers and technicians with specialized training. The technologies employed in technical cooperation may be off-the-shelf, or they may require some specialized engineering development; but they are technologies whose technical feasibility is not in doubt. The technologies appropriate for achieving specified goals are relatively easy to define at an early stage. Scientific cooperation, by contrast, involves the development of new technologies or the establishment of technical feasibility for technologies that have not yet transitioned from the realm of basic and applied research to the realm of engineering development. The personnel involved in scientific cooperation are often scientists (generally applied scientists), with broad perspectives of multiple technologies that range from unproved laboratory ideas to off-the-shelf components. It is often not possible to specify the technological approach in all detail at an early stage; rather, iteration between goal-directed applied research and engineering development is necessary. Scientific and technical cooperation go hand in hand, but different mixtures of the two are appropriate at different times and for accomplishing different purposes. It is interesting to turn to the very successful record of Russian-American cooperation in space for illustration: following on to the International Geophysical Year (1957-1958), the two countries initiated fruitful exchanges of the scientific data obtained from their exploration of space. Over time, the two space programs developed scientific collaborations based on this exchange of data, which naturally led to collaborations involving the development of joint, or in any case coordinated, instrumentation. What began in the realm of science moved over time into the realm of engineering, culminating today in Russia’s essential participation in the International Space Station and in deep and productive connections between the two countries’ space programs.1 1   See also Means and Methods of Overcoming Barriers in Cooperation: Mindset Gap as a Legacy of the Cold War; Cooperation in Exploration and Utilization of Cosmic Space (Appendix K).

OCR for page 27
Strengthening U.S.-Russian Cooperation on Nuclear Nonproliferation: Recommendations for Action Importantly, scientific cooperation continued and even increased as technical cooperation and the joint accomplishment of more practical engineering goals became more visible. This is a healthy situation and very likely a necessary prerequisite for the long-term stability of scientific and technical cooperation. Because its goals are both for the longer term and of world interest (as distinct from shorter-term goals of national or bilateral interest), scientific cooperation serves as a flywheel to smooth what are otherwise the potentially destructive starts and stops of a purely project-oriented technical cooperative relationship. Moreover, a relationship of scientific cooperation provides a framework for working-level discussions that can lead to new forms of technical cooperation and (importantly) to new technical concepts that can be the tools for advancing mutually beneficial national purposes. Sometimes, as suggested below, scientific cooperation can provide new frameworks and paths forward, ranging from universally agreed-upon technical principles (such as those of nuclear physics) to issues over which the two nations’ political positions seem irreconcilable. What are some of the required characteristics of robust, productive scientific cooperation? It is primarily directed science, with an appropriate smaller admixture of curiosity-driven science that balances the portfolio. The areas of discourse must be specified in advance, at a high level, by the governments of the two nations, according to their mutual interests. It is science and not engineering development. Within specified areas, it begins with working-level discussions. The selection of technologies for accomplishing goals is an output of the scientific process, not an input. It involves a peer relationship between scientists of the two nations. Working scientists from both sides are equally and mutually involved in agenda setting, exploratory research, project definition, and project execution. It is a partnership. It is reasonable to suppose that each side will contribute resources in support of the cooperation. It is not a one-sided assistance program (although it may have beneficial effects that have that result). UNDERVALUING OF SCIENTIFIC COOPERATION BY RECENT PROGRAMS Unfortunately, it appears that after an initial creative burst of laboratory-to-laboratory interactions in the early 1990s, scientific cooperation has rarely met the sustainable cooperation requirements outlined above, and there has been a significant cost in missed opportunities. Although the programmatic successes of the last decade have indubitably made the world a safer place than it might otherwise have been (see the next section), neither the Russian nor the American side has really succeeded in tapping, for the purposes of nonproliferation, that enormous brainpower assembled by each side for national security purposes during the Cold War. In the opinion of the joint committee, the administration of U.S.-Russian nonproliferation programs has been so inflexible as to generally preclude the kind of creative, midcourse scientific corrections that are necessary for sustainable success. The American scientists involved in these programs believe that their assignments are often little more than project management (financial, administrative, and so on) and that their scientific training and creative abilities are neither engaged nor valued. Russian scientists articulate the frustration of being on the receiving end of this project management, with little or no involvement in project definition phases and little or no flexibility in the execution of projects. They, too, believe that their creative abilities go unrecognized and that innovative possibilities are ignored. When U.S. or Russian scientists turn away from nonproliferation risks because of these frustrations, the cooperative nonproliferation effort loses not only their expertise but also their institutional memory and the continuity that stems from long-term working relationships. High rates of personnel turnover at the working level on the American side place existing and future programs at risk, in the view of Russian experts. American scientists find that assignments in the existing programs are so unrewarding scientifically (“numbingly bureaucratic”) and offer so little opportunity for creative scientific work that assignees seek other work at the earliest opportunity. At the same time, American scientists believe that their Russian colleagues, when they are dividing their time between U.S.-Russian cooperative projects and purely Russian institute work, exhibit a far greater degree of commitment to the latter. Even though there is nothing intrinsically wrong or unexpected about this, it does highlight the fact that existing cooperative programs are not considered desirable assignments for the best scientific talent of either country. Both Russian and American scientists are eager to tackle the hard technical issues that might genuinely advance the cause of nonproliferation, not only in a bilateral context but also internationally, if they could do so genuinely as scientists seeking innovative new technologies in an atmosphere of peer partnership. It is important that future programs be structured to take advantage of this talent pool before it becomes irretrievably lost to nonproliferation efforts, specifically, by providing the participants from both countries with an appropriate degree of flexibility and autonomy regarding technical decisions in both the project definition and the project execution phases. The joint committee recommends that in future projects agency leaders and project planners actively seek opportunities to incorporate appropriate scientific flexibility for participants from both countries so that the scientific expertise can be used as effectively as possible and so that such projects can be made more attractive to the best scientific talent in each country.

OCR for page 27
Strengthening U.S.-Russian Cooperation on Nuclear Nonproliferation: Recommendations for Action SUCCESSES IN TECHNICAL COOPERATION Despite the somewhat negative assessment of scientific cooperation of today presented above, the legacy of early scientific cooperation, as well as the subsequent portfolio of technical cooperative efforts that it engendered, has enjoyed many important successes. A wide variety of cooperative science and technology programs on nonproliferation has evolved in the wake of the Cold War. These programs have contributed materially to both international security and scientific knowledge. Although it is not possible to provide an exhaustive discussion here, several key examples are provided below: The International Science and Technology Centers (ISTC) were established in 1992 by an agreement among the European Union, Japan, the Russian Federation, and the United States to support nonproliferation efforts. These centers provide funding to scientists from the former Soviet Union to pursue scientific research not related to weapons, thus reducing the risk that scientists with weapons expertise will be hired for that expertise by nonstate actors or states intending to develop their own nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. ISTC has been extremely successful and now boasts 13 member states. By the end of 2003, ISTC had funded more than 58,000 scientists in 765 research institutes.2 The Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention (IPP) program of the U.S. Department of Energy, which—like ISTC—works to reduce the risk that scientists from the Newly Independent States (NIS) will encourage the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by selling their weapons expertise. IPP facilitates partnerships between scientists and engineers from the NIS and U.S. national laboratories and private companies. The goal of the program is to develop commercially sustainable nondefense products and services that will use the expertise of scientists from the NIS and keep them employed in work not related to weapons.3 The Nuclear Cities Initiative (NCI) works to provide employment for nuclear weapons scientists and technicians in Russia’s closed nuclear cities who lost their jobs after the Soviet Union disintegrated. NCI also converts or shuts down buildings used for nuclear weapons production that are no longer needed. Thus, NCI actively works to reduce the size of the Russian nuclear weapons complex.4 Russian highly enriched uranium (HEU) is down-blended into low-enriched uranium, and the diluted nuclear material is exported to the United States for subsequent fabrication into fuel for nuclear power reactors (according to the U.S.-Russian HEU Purchase Agreement of 1993, also known as the Megatons to Megawatts agreement). Disposition of decommissioned Russian nuclear-powered submarines and other strategic offensive weapons systems (according to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty [START] of 1991). Activities within the framework of the Material Protection, Control, and Accounting (MPC&A) program, the Russian Transition Initiatives (which include the NCI and IPP programs), and the Warhead Safety and Security Exchange Agreement (WSSX) programs contribute substantially to nonproliferation goals.5 Some possible future cooperative activities, especially under the WSSX and MPC&A programs, are natural extensions of these successes and deserve serious consideration, even (or especially) in a refounded effort that is grounded more firmly in partnership. These include Construction of new storage facilities and refurbishment of existing storage facilities at Russia’s Minatom (now Rosatom) sites; Acceleration of the ongoing work to develop a federal information system for control and accounting (C&A) of nuclear materials; Improvement of instrumental, meteorological, and procedural support of activities related to C&A of nuclear materials; Extension of efforts to improve radio communications in support of improved physical protection at nuclear facilities; Bolstering of ongoing research to improve the safety of nuclear materials during transport; Establishment of training centers for internal guard forces; Implementation of internal control measures at Rosatom facilities; Promotion of the culture of nuclear safety among managers and employees of nuclear sites; and The considerable potential of the WSSX program for future opportunities in scientific and technical cooperation, including technologies useful to counterterrorism efforts. The joint committee recommends that mutually beneficial follow-ons to existing modes of technical cooperation be developed and implemented by the U.S. and the Russian governments. 2   The ISTC profile is available online at http://www.istc.ru/ISTC/sc.nsf/html/profile-profile.htm. Accessed April 27, 2005. 3   More information is available online at http://www.nti.org/e_research/cnwm/stabilizing/ipp.asp and at http://ipp.lanl.gov/. Accessed April 28, 2005. 4   See also http://www.nti.org/e_research/cnwm/stabilizing/nci.asp and http://www.nnsa.doe.gov/na-20/nci/index.shtml online. Accessed April 28, 2005. 5   Information about RTI is available online at http://www.nnsa.doe.gov/na-20/rti.shtml. Accessed April 30, 2005. Information about the WSSX program is available online at http://www.nnsa.doe.gov/na-20/docs/WSSA1294.pdf and http://www.nnsa.doe.gov/na-20/wfmt.shtml. Accessed April 30, 2005.

OCR for page 27
Strengthening U.S.-Russian Cooperation on Nuclear Nonproliferation: Recommendations for Action NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR SCIENTIFIC COOPERATION Opportunities for mutually beneficial scientific and technical cooperation are broader than the two historical core areas of space and of nonproliferation and arms control. With both Russian and American input, the joint committee identified three other areas that seem ripe for engagement at this time. They are (not in priority order) environmental remediation, counterterrorism science and technology, and nuclear energy. Each of these topics is introduced here, with further discussion of the last two continuing below. Environmental Remediation Each side has undertaken domestically a set of moral or legal obligations to remediate the environmental legacies of the Cold War in their countries. Although the problems that each side must address are not identical and one would not anticipate direct financial assistance by one side in the remediation of the purely domestic legacies of the other, many common technologies may be of use to both sides. The United States can bring to a cooperative effort its particular strengths in environmental simulation, digital mapping and databases, and instrumentation development, whereas Russia can brings its traditional strengths in areas that require fundamental ideas in physics and chemistry to be scaled into large engineering efforts. Environmental remediation requires the best of both approaches, and cooperation could be highly synergistic. Counterterrorism Science and Technology The United States and Russia have a strong mutual interest in counterterrorism, and cooperation is already under way. For example, the WSSX program develops scientific and technical approaches to countering terrorism in several areas, including radiation detection, detection of high explosives, nuclear threat studies, mitigation of threats from radioactivity dispersal devices, and the development of explosives-resistant containers. Additional cooperation in this area could involve the sharing of test facilities, with the possibility of joint scientific field exercises for the assessment and validation of various technologies. It might also include the development of an appropriate framework for engaging Russian laboratories on equal terms with American contractors in technology competitions. This cooperation could also support expanded efforts to address specific issues. Research is under way, for example, to develop technologies for the detection of HEU. There is definitely room for expansion in this important area, however, and the United States and Russia—with their considerable pools of expertise in nuclear materials—have the human resources needed to expand the effort. Furthermore, research to address the threat of radiological terrorism could benefit from additional U.S.-Russian scientific and technical cooperation. Potential avenues for cooperation on radiological terrorism are discussed below. Nuclear Energy Decisions made during the Cold War left both the United States and Russia with considerable expertise and vast physical infrastructures dedicated to nuclear energy. A separate section below considers the possibility that the two countries might pool these resources in support of global nonproliferation goals. The joint committee recommends that working groups, including government, laboratory, and industry representatives from both nations, be convened under the aegis of the Joint High-Level Commission described above for the initial exploration of possible cooperation in the areas of environmental remediation, counterterrorism science and technology, and nuclear energy. GROWING NEED FOR A NEW SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT From the Russian perspective, there is a growing need for a new formally recognized science and technology relationship. During discussions in Moscow, Russian experts whom the joint committee consulted argued that it would be desirable to sign a new, high-level framework agreement on collaboration in science and technology. They described two ways in which such a new agreement could be structured. One scenario is that the agreement would assign individual governmental agencies to negotiate subagreements for collaboration on specific issues. The individual agencies would then become the executive agents for the subagreements. The other option is that the specific areas of scientific and technical collaboration be negotiated and then defined within the agreement itself. Either way, according to the Russians, a much-needed new legal basis for cooperation would be created. The framework agreement would, at a minimum, cover issues generic to all areas of collaboration, including intellectual property and liability for damage. However, even the most expansive umbrella agreement could not possibly account for all of the nuances of collaboration in specific areas. Any collaboration is a “living, breathing” mechanism, so collaboration on new ideas would likely require modifications to the existing agreement or agreements. The Russian experts noted that a new high-level government-to-government agreement on science and technology would be difficult to pursue, because the process of building consensus for such an agreement, let alone negotiating it, can be very lengthy. They argued, however, that ongoing cooperative efforts could be allowed to continue during the negotiations, as could new efforts that are ripe to proceed.

OCR for page 27
Strengthening U.S.-Russian Cooperation on Nuclear Nonproliferation: Recommendations for Action The Russians suggested that science and technology collaboration in the field of nuclear nonproliferation might especially benefit from such an agreement, because it is a sensitive subject with certain constraints on both sides. Cooperative efforts in this area have thus far relied on two agreements, the first signed in 1990 with the Ministry of Atomic Energy as the Russian executive agent and the second signed in 1993 with the Ministry of Science as the executive agent. Both agreements have expired, which is another argument in favor of considering a new agreement. Given this clearly expressed Russian perspective, the joint committee recommends a U.S.-Russian review of currently operative agreements and an assessment of the nature and the scope of any new agreements that might be needed. THE SPECIAL CASE OF COOPERATION ON NUCLEAR ENERGY Russian scientists and engineers strongly believe that bilateral cooperation in nuclear energy is a natural vehicle for capitalizing on the investments in people and facilities made by both sides during the Cold War and, therefore, an obvious subject for nonproliferation discussions. Opinion on the American side is more divided, for what seems to be two distinct reasons. First, although the attitude of the U.S. public is measurably more supportive of nuclear power than it has been in the past, specific proposed initiatives in the United States are generally at the early stages of development, both technically and politically. Second, and more germane to this report, is the issue of whether it is possible to build a civilian nuclear power infrastructure in potential proliferator states without significantly encouraging and enabling those states’ ambitions toward nuclear weapons development. In the context of U.S.-Russia diplomacy, this issue is frequently oversimplified to a single word: Iran. The joint committee, both in its fact finding with outside experts and in its internal deliberations, was struck by how rapidly an initial discussion of technical principles could be leaped over and replaced by emotional doctrinal assertions by both sides. However, the joint committee, including both its American and Russian members, has come to believe that there are in fact serious unanswered technical questions regarding the nonproliferation potential of various nuclear technologies and proposed economic regimens and that progress in answering these technical questions may well be essential if one wants to move the U.S.-Russian political dialogue from the single-word level to a more nuanced discussion. Russia sees the export of civilian nuclear technology and services as an industry essential to its plans for economic growth. In the short run, it proposes to meet its nonproliferation responsibilities through the details of how it structures its export deals, that is, by a combination of surveillance, inspection, international controls, limitations on spent fuel inventory, and so forth. In the longer run, however, Russian experts intend to turn to science and technology to support Russia’s nonproliferation efforts. Current civilian nuclear energy technologies are derived from and are closely tied to nuclear weapons production technologies. There is a risk that states that have either reprocessing or uranium enrichment technologies for nuclear energy production may use them to support a clandestine nuclear weapons program. Russian experts believe that it will eventually be possible to develop civilian nuclear technologies that are sufficiently different from the present technologies that the proliferation concerns of these new technologies will be significantly lessened. American experts are divided on whether, in fact, it is possible to cut the cord that has historically joined nuclear power and nuclear weapons. Even if the nuclear fuel cycle were radically changed, certain core technologies and certain vital areas of personnel know-how may remain common to civilian and military programs. How important are these technologies and this know-how? What kinds of technical mitigations, if any, are possible? Can one make quantitative estimates of the extent by which the barriers to a proliferator’s ability to produce nuclear weapons are decreased (in cost or time) by various levels of imported or indigenous civilian nuclear technologies, the numbers of trained personnel in various fields, and other verifiable variables? The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty stipulates that nonnuclear-weapons states (NNWS) have a right to assistance with peaceful applications of nuclear technologies, as long as that assistance is not used to support clandestine nuclear weapons programs. Unfortunately, there is no exhaustive set of requirements (as there is no full-fledged verification mechanism) that countries must satisfy if they do not possess nuclear weapons but are developing nuclear power for civilian uses. This opens the door for the application of double standards: some NNWS are permitted full access to a complete range of nuclear power technologies, whereas others receive intense scrutiny as they develop these technologies. Perhaps an ultimate solution could be achieved through internationalization of the nuclear power industry in the spirit of U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” speech. Achieving that goal, however, will require a long and complex process. Russia and the United States, as the world’s leading nuclear powers, could take the initiative and work with IAEA to strengthen its role—particularly in the implementation of the Additional Protocol6—to develop 6   IAEA member states have the option to supplement their existing safeguards agreements with the IAEA by adopting an additional protocol to those agreements. These are based on a standard “model additional protocol.” The Additional Protocol was developed to improve the access of safeguards inspectors to member states’ facilities and to increase the amount of information provided by the member states to the IAEA. This makes it much more difficult for a member state with a fully-functioning Additional Protocol in place to carry out covert nuclear activities. More information is available online at http://www.iaea.org/OurWork/SV/Safeguards/safeg_system.pdf. Accessed May 13, 2005.

OCR for page 27
Strengthening U.S.-Russian Cooperation on Nuclear Nonproliferation: Recommendations for Action additional requirements and a verification mechanism capable of ensuring, at least for the foreseeable future, that a country developing a nuclear power industry will not be applying nuclear technologies for military purposes. As a key step in this process, the joint committee believes that a U.S.-Russian joint technical working group composed of technical experts from each country’s national laboratories and universities could, as a minimum, provide significant clarification of these issues to the two governments and, as a maximum, suggest new technical paths forward. This working group may well argue for interaction and cooperation between two major international research efforts that are under way in this area: the Generation IV International Forum and the International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles. Such a working group could also develop procedures that could serve as a paradigm for increased scientific cooperation in other areas. The charter of the working group should not specify the case of Iran uniquely (although that situation may be a useful case study) but should require a more general study of nonproliferation risk assessment and mitigation in multinational nuclear energy projects. The working group should use adversarial teams and other mechanisms to ensure a critical look at the assertions of the various views represented. The joint committee recommends the establishment of a joint technical working group on risk assessment and mitigation relating to nuclear energy projects in nonnuclear-weapons states under the charter of the Joint High-Level Commission. OPPORTUNITIES FOR COLLABORATION AGAINST RADIOLOGICAL TERRORISM THREATS7 Although the scale of death and destruction that would result from the use of a radiological weapon, or “dirty bomb,” would be dramatically less than that caused by a nuclear explosive device, the long-term effects of a radiological attack on public health, the environment, and the local economy could be significant. In the earlier section on legal issues, the joint committee considered the legal steps that the United States and Russia could take against this threat. This section examines the ways in which U.S.-Russian cooperation on science and technology may be able to help address the complex threats of radiological terrorism: The actual damage that would result from a radiological attack would vary considerably, depending on the design of the weapon and the circumstances of its use. Scientists could work together to select common criteria for prioritizing potential hazards and response measures, as well as designing specialized computer software that could help to optimize the response to an attack. Joint scientific research could contribute to ongoing work on radiological monitoring systems to warn of an attack and to assess the progress of cleanup efforts and protective measures that either prevent or reduce human exposure to radiation. Scientists could play an important educational role so that policy makers, emergency and medical personnel, and the general public have the information that they need to respond appropriately in the event of an attack. Scientific collaboration could inform the development of information management systems designed to reduce the risk that nuclear material will be stolen. In the joint committee’s view, there is much that cooperation between U.S. and Russian scientists and technical experts can contribute to the two nations’ efforts to reduce the threat of radiological terrorism and reduce the damage that occurs in the event of such an attack. In addition to the previous recommendations regarding information exchange on legal issues and a new government-to-government agreement on cooperation against radiological terrorism threats, the joint committee recommends the establishment of a bilateral scientific and technical working group on combating radiological terrorism under the charter of the Joint High-Level Commission to guide this cooperative effort. CONCLUSION The United States and Russia have much to gain by enhancing their ongoing cooperation on scientific and technical issues. This collaboration contributes to scientific knowledge and technical acumen; strengthens national and international security; and builds personal, institutional, and governmental relationships between the two countries. Most importantly in the context of this study, expanded cooperation between U.S. and Russian scientists and technical experts can provide a firm foundation on which to transform the bilateral relationship into a true partnership that strives to improve nuclear security and bolster nuclear nonproliferation efforts both within and beyond the borders of the United States and the former Soviet Union. 7   The material in this section draws heavily on the paper Radiological Terrorism in the Context of Nonproliferation (Appendix L).