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U.S.-GERMAN COOPERATION IN THE ELIMINATION OF EXCESS WEAPONS PLUTONIUM
the United States, management of the ISTC has now been transferred from the Department of Defense to the Department of State.
The Clinton administration has developed a set of additional initiatives to help reduce the exposure of Russian fissile materials to diversion. Because of Russian concerns about intrusiveness, the Clinton administration decided to offer reciprocal measures applying to U.S. facilities. Under this new policy a government-to-government program has begun with an exchange of visits to inspect the physical-security arrangements at major plutonium-storage facilities in each country. In January 1995, DOE shipped demonstration equipment to the Mayak plutonium-storage facility to strengthen protection against threats of insider diversion. As a result, MINATOM agreed to extend the government-to-government program into a number of other facilities handling large quantities of weapons-usable plutonium and HEU. Currently, cooperative work is excluded only at locations holding fissile materials in classified shapes. The funding for these government-to-government activities is $30 million for FY 1995; $30 million has been requested for FY 1996.
In the spring of 1994, DOE authorized materials security experts at its national laboratories to approach their Russian counterparts to propose joint work on materials security, including the purchase of Russian services and equipment. This so-called “lab-to-lab” program received a very positive response from the Russian side. The Russians responded with a substantial proposal to begin with the installation of modern materials security systems in some of the major Russian nuclear materials processing and weapons dismantlement facilities. Work is designed to fix security problems where they appear most severe; some installations at the Kurchatov Institute are complete. So far, these activities take place only on a bilateral basis. The U.S. goal is to involve the IAEA at a later stage, but the Russians seem to resist all proposals that involve the IAEA at this time. The funding responsibility for the lab-to-lab program now resides with the Department of Energy. The funding for lab-to-lab activities is $15 million for FY 1995, and $40 million has been requested for FY 1996.
The congressional elections of 1994, which gave the Republican Party control of both houses, have thrown the future of the CTR and other assistance programs into doubt. The CTR appears to be vulnerable, since it covers a wide range of Russian military conversion programs. Some members of Congress are opposed to both specific provisions such as housing assistance for returning Russian soldiers, while others include CTR in a general distaste for foreign assistance. More broadly, assistance is becoming increasingly linked to debates about the future of U.S.-Russian relations and to charges about Russian noncompliance with its arms control commitments, such as the Biological Weapons Convention. The Clinton administration—and some important Republican and Democratic members of Congress—remain strongly committed to the CTR and other assistance programs for Russia, but their fate is hard to predict at this time.
2.1.2. European and Other Western Assistance
The Commission of the European Union (EU) also has ongoing activities to assist the former Soviet Union. The major actors are Euratom and its Joint Research Center (JRC). In the safeguards field the general objectives are to contribute to the improvement of the accounting and control systems in the former Soviet Union and other Eastern European states so that they comply with the safeguards requirements of the IAEA.