material is located in hundreds of buildings at widely dispersed facilities.2 Most are located in Russia, but a few are in Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakstan.3

Because HEU and plutonium can be used in weapons without further enrichment or difficult chemical reprocessing, they are referred to as direct-use material. The problem of obtaining such direct-use material is a principal technical barrier preventing terrorists or countries of proliferation concern from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability. Many other commodities and technologies also are required to construct a weapon, but most of the items are probably more readily obtained than direct-use material.4 Thus, control of direct-use material is an essential aspect of preventing nuclear proliferation.

The second set of programs is directed to the development of effective export control systems for limiting the transfer from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakstan of militarily sensitive commodities and technical data that have been identified by the international community as deserving concerted attention by all nations. Hundreds of enterprises and institutes developed and produced such commodities in the four successor countries, and some continue such production activities. Many facilities, as well as dozens of warehouse and trading organizations, currently have inventories of these commodities, together with technical information about their design and manufacture.5

The worldwide availability of much of the equipment and technical information necessary for design, construction, and delivery of weapons of mass destruction and advanced conventional weapons is increasing each year. Also, the number of scientists and engineers with training related to weapons design and development is growing in most countries of proliferation concern. However, some critical materials and components for weapons systems and a great deal of essential know-how are largely confined to a few industrialized countries. Steps to limit the international spread of selected items greatly complicate the task of nations and terrorist groups attempting to acquire such weapons.

Although MPC&A and export control programs are intended to help prevent proliferation of advanced weapons and weapons systems, the characteristics of

2  

In this report the term "facility" is used to denote a collection of buildings and/or structures that serve a common purpose. A facility may contain more than one building; in some cases, two or more facilities may be grouped at one site, such as Tomsk-7, which has at least six facilities.

3  

Many of these sites are listed in Nuclear Sites of Russia and the Newly Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (Washington. D.C.: International Safeguards Division, U.S. Department of Energy, September 1995).

4  

Modern nuclear weapons require thousands of components, and even crude weapons require hundreds of components made to strict specifications. Controls on these components or the capabilities to produce them are thus also targets of efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

5  

The Bureau of Export Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce has produced directories on the defense industries of Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakstan that list hundreds of enterprises, and these directories are clearly not exhaustive.



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