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Strengthening Long-Term Nuclear Security: Protecting Weapon-Usable Material in Russia STRENGTHENING LONG-TERM NUCLEAR SECURITY PROTECTING WEAPON-USABLE MATERIAL IN RUSSIA Committee on Indigenization of Programs to Prevent Leakage of Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium from Russian Facilities Office for Central Europe and Eurasia Development, Security, and Cooperation Policy and Global Affairs NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES In cooperation with the Russian Academy of Sciences THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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Strengthening Long-Term Nuclear Security: Protecting Weapon-Usable Material in Russia THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Grant No. 6035 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-09705-3 A limited number of copies are available from the Office for Central Europe and Eurasia, National Research Council, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001; (202) 334-2644. Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, D.C. 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2006 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.
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Strengthening Long-Term Nuclear Security: Protecting Weapon-Usable Material in Russia THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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Strengthening Long-Term Nuclear Security: Protecting Weapon-Usable Material in Russia COMMITTEE ON INDIGENIZATION OF PROGRAMS TO PREVENT LEAKAGE OF PLUTONIUM AND HIGHLY ENRICHED URANIUM FROM RUSSIAN FACILITIES WILLIAM HAPPER, Princeton University, Chair JOHN F. AHEARNE, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society DEBORAH YARSIKE BALL, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory RICHARD A. MESERVE, Carnegie Institution of Washington MARK F. MULLEN, Los Alamos National Laboratory WILLIAM POTTER, Monterey Institute of International Studies Staff GLENN E. SCHWEITZER, Director RITA S. GUENTHER, Senior Program Associate
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Strengthening Long-Term Nuclear Security: Protecting Weapon-Usable Material in Russia Preface In 1997, the National Research Council (NRC) published a study funded by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) entitled Proliferation Concerns: Assessing U.S. Efforts to Help Contain Nuclear and Other Dangerous Materials and Technologies in the Former Soviet Union. In 1999, the NRC published a follow-on assessment funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) entitled Protecting Nuclear Weapons Materials in Russia. Both reports strongly supported the continuation of ongoing cooperative U.S.-Russian efforts to improve the protection, control, and accounting of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium in Russia that are suitable for use in nuclear weapons. The reports agreed that the DOE-funded materials protection, control, and accounting (MPC&A) program “represents an unusual and valuable opportunity to promote the interests of both countries.”1 These cooperative efforts have been implemented under the leadership of DOE working jointly with the Russian Federal Agency for Atomic Energy (Rosatom), its predecessor organization, the Ministry of Atomic Energy (Minatom), and other Russian entities. A series of agreements and protocols between the U.S. and Russian governments has provided the framework for this joint effort. Appendix A includes the text of the most recent DOE-Minatom agreement, which was signed in 1999. The program to protect nuclear materials 1 NRC. 1999. Protecting Nuclear Weapons Materials in Russia, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., p. 38.
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Strengthening Long-Term Nuclear Security: Protecting Weapon-Usable Material in Russia has been separate from the efforts of DOD, DOE, and Russian counterparts to address nuclear warheads. Therefore, this report, like the two previous reports, does not address DOE and DOD programs aimed at the security of nuclear warheads. Similarly excluded from consideration here are recent DOE activities to address the security of nuclear warheads at some Russian naval installations. Both previous NRC reports urged that higher priority be given to activities that facilitate the full transition of responsibility to Russia for securing material at Russian civilian facilities in an internationally acceptable manner.2 Maintaining adequate protection of fissile material must become the full technical and financial responsibility of Russian organizations as soon as possible.3 This transfer of responsibilities has been defined by the NRC committee responsible for this study as indigenization, with the desired result being an enhanced, self-sustaining Russian MPC&A system that will secure the vast stockpiles of Russian HEU and plutonium at a high level of security. The system should include a legal and regulatory framework that can be sustained in Russia, technical approaches that are consistent with that framework, effective enforcement mechanisms, and adequate human and financial resources to support the entire system. Clearly, the transition to a self-sustaining system will be greatly facilitated if indigenization objectives are incorporated into the cooperative efforts to upgrade MPC&A systems throughout Russia. ORIGIN OF THE STUDY In early 2002, the NRC and the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) identified the process of indigenizing MPC&A responsibilities in Russia as a priority topic of global significance that should be addressed through interacademy efforts. In view of the importance and urgency of the topic, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a private foundation, generously provided the funds for this study. In Moscow, Rosatom (then Minatom) joined the RAS in welcoming this assessment conducted by the NRC committee. The specific charge to the NRC committee responsible for this assessment was as follows: The National Academies will conduct consultations with United States and Rus- 2 The recommendations in the two previous NRC reports concerning indigenization are set forth in Appendix B. Unfortunately, some have not yet been implemented and they deserve continued attention in the United States and the Russian Federation. 3 While there is no agreed-upon international standard of adequate protection of fissile material, the International Atomic Energy Agency does provide standards and guidelines, which, if followed, may serve to increase confidence in the protection of materials in the Russian Federation and other countries.
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Strengthening Long-Term Nuclear Security: Protecting Weapon-Usable Material in Russia sian officials and specialists and prepare a report that addresses the issue of indigenization of capabilities for protection, control, and accounting of nuclear materials during the phase-out, and after the completion, of DOE’s involvement in such programs in Russia. This project will identify approaches that will encourage the Russian government and Russian research institutes to ensure that upgraded MPC&A systems that have been installed, including systems installed through cooperative efforts with DOE, are operated in an effective manner for the indefinite future, taking into account the likelihood of continued financial shortfalls.4 As discussed throughout the report, the NRC committee recognized that fully indigenized MPC&A systems in Russia will include elements of DOE-installed upgrades, adjustments to those upgrades, and entirely new Russian-initiated elements. Therefore, the charge to the committee has been interpreted accordingly. SCOPE OF THE ASSESSMENT While this assessment has focused on indigenization, it is not possible to separate the initiation of indigenization efforts from current efforts to install MPC&A upgrades at Russian facilities. On the contrary, it is essential to integrate the process of indigenization into the design and implementation of current joint projects at both the national and facility levels in Russia. Therefore, the NRC committee gave considerable attention to past and current cooperative activities to install MPC&A upgrades (see Appendix D for: (1) the legislative basis for U.S.–Russian cooperation in this area; (2) U.S. legislation regarding transition to full Russian managment of MPC&A systems; and (3) a description of the DOE program). Several members of the NRC committee had participated in the two previous NRC studies. As part of these three projects, those members made three visits over a period of eight years to several Russian facilities involved in cooperative MPC&A activities and therefore have a good basis for assessing the program from the working level. This experience has better positioned them to comment on the process and effectiveness of past approaches, as well as to discuss current activities and future plans. Although indigenization is also important in other countries where efforts to improve existing MPC&A systems are proceeding, particularly countries of the former Soviet Union, this study focuses specifically on Russia. The committee believes, however, that many of the recommendations and observations in this study are also relevant to programs in other countries. Approximately 50 Russian entities currently participate in the cooperative 4 See Appendix C for the biographies of NRC committee members.
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Strengthening Long-Term Nuclear Security: Protecting Weapon-Usable Material in Russia MPC&A program. Some of these facilities are among the most sensitive in the Russian nuclear weapons research and development complex, and others are at sensitive Russian naval installations. A number of Russian facilities are located at distant locations where once few foreign visitors ventured and where Russian specialists had limited exposure to developments outside their own country. There are also facilities in large urban areas, including universities and civilian research centers, where nuclear safety and security are of critical importance to the nearby residents of the cities. This study addresses the control of material that is not incorporated in weapons. Although protection of weapons is of crucial importance, it raises issues that are distinct from those surrounding the security of weapon-usable material. Similarly, even though spent nuclear fuel with low burnup and/or long storage time may not be self-protecting and may also pose proliferation threats, spent fuel has not been considered. These types of materials deserve special attention in subsequent studies. Finally, the study does not address the protection of, and accounting for, material that could be used for radiological terrorism, such as ionizing radiation sources or radioactive waste. Such material could be packed into terrorist devices that use conventional explosives or are otherwise designed to release radioactivity into indoor or outdoor environments. This threat is being separately considered in studies by the NRC and other organizations. RELATED STUDIES BY OTHER ORGANIZATIONS Many Russian, United States, and international institutions have prepared reports that directly or indirectly address the MPC&A cooperative program. The most extensive reports on this topic have been prepared by DOE and Rosatom themselves. However, with a few exceptions, such as summary reports to Congress and reports at international meetings, they are not available to the public because they typically contain sensitive security-related information. As recent public reports by governmental and nongovernmental organizations indicate, there is an increasing interest in indigenization in Washington and Moscow. Some disagreement remains, however, about how best to identify and characterize this process. DOE has recently defined the term sustainability as “the assurance of effective long-term operations of MPC&A systems.”5 Further, as indicated in Appendix E, DOE has identified several characteristics of sustainability.6 There is concern among members of the committee that this term may suggest that U.S.-installed upgrades must be maintained as installed and that 5 Official definition provided by DOE to the committee in April 2004. 6 The committee does not necessarily endorse these characteristics, but rather offers them as one approach to the challenge of indigenization.
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Strengthening Long-Term Nuclear Security: Protecting Weapon-Usable Material in Russia the draft laws and regulations prepared under DOE auspices must be adopted nearly verbatim, providing little opportunity for Russian adaptations. Moreover, use of the term sustainability may raise the expectation among some Russian leaders that a continuing flow of U.S. funds will be available to maintain systems. This discussion of terminology underscores the need for a jointly conceived and implemented MPC&A indigenization plan.7 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The RAS played a critically important role in facilitating this assessment. Several senior RAS officials provided valuable insights concerning the importance and effectiveness of the cooperative program. NRC committee visits and consultations in Russia would not have been possible without the active support of the RAS. Special appreciation is extended to the RAS officials who took the initiative to invite the committee to visit their nuclear research facility in Gatchina near St. Petersburg and to consult with their security experts in Moscow even though these activities were not on the initial list of requested visits. Appreciation is also extended to officials of Rosatom and the Federal Service for Environmental, Technological, and Nuclear Oversight (Rostekhnadzor, formerly known as Gosatomnadzor), specialists at seven Russian institutes, and specialists from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other organizations in Russia who shared their insights with the NRC committee. In the United States, many officials and specialists devoted considerable time and effort to supporting this study, and appreciation is also expressed to them. (Appendix F includes a list of the organizations that arranged visits and consultations for the committee.) This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review was to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: 7 DOE and Rosatom have held workshops on sustainability. The purpose of these workshops was to exchange ideas, concepts, and best practices on how to sustain MPC&A systems installed by the joint program. Materials from the workshops were provided to the committee and are available through the National Academies’ public access file.
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Strengthening Long-Term Nuclear Security: Protecting Weapon-Usable Material in Russia Evgenii Nikolaevich Avrorin, All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Technical Physics; Gary Bertsch, University of Georgia; Matthew Bunn, Harvard University; Rose Gottemoeller, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Siegfried Hecker, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Valentin Ivanov, Russian State Duma; Igor Khripunov, University of Georgia; Kenneth Luongo, Russian-American Nuclear Security Advisory Council; Gennady Pshakin, Institute of Physics and Power Engineering; Lars van Dassen, the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate; and Frank von Hippel, Princeton University. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Robert Frosch, Harvard University, and John White, Harvard University. Appointed by the NRC, they were responsible for ensuring that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. William Happer Chair Committee on Indigenization of Programs to Prevent Leakage of Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium from Russian Facilities Glenn E. Schweitzer Director Office for Central Europe and Eurasia
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Strengthening Long-Term Nuclear Security: Protecting Weapon-Usable Material in Russia Contents SUMMARY 1 1 RESPONDING TO THE THREAT OF NUCLEAR TERRORISM 11 2 THE NEED FOR RUSSIAN CHAMPIONS OF MPC&A 27 3 FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF MPC&A ACTIVITIES 31 4 IMPROVED APPROACHES TO FACILITATE INDIGENIZATION 39 EPILOGUE 47 Appendixes A Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Russian Federation Regarding Cooperation in the Area of Nuclear Material Physical Protection, Control, and Accounting 51 B Specific Recommendations from Two Previous National Research Council Reports Concerning Indigenization of MPC&A 57 C Committee Biographies 59
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Strengthening Long-Term Nuclear Security: Protecting Weapon-Usable Material in Russia D U.S. Legislative Basis for DOE MPC&A Activities in Russia and DOE MPC&A Program Description 63 E The U.S. Department of Energy’s Approach to Materials Protection, Control, and Accounting Sustainability in Russia 71 F List of Consultations and Site Visits by the Committee 75 G Timeline of the U.S. Department of Energy-Ministry of Atomic Energy Cooperation 77 H U.S. Congressional Appropriations and Funding Projections for MPC&A Cooperative Program with the Russian Federation 81 I Russian Facilities Participating in the Cooperative MPC&A Program as of June 2005 85 J Russian Federal Target Program on Nuclear and Radiation Safety in Russia for 2000–2006 87