PROTECTING NUCLEAR WEAPONS MATERIAL IN RUSSIA

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Protecting Nuclear Weapons Material in Russia PROTECTING NUCLEAR WEAPONS MATERIAL IN RUSSIA Office of International Affairs National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.

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Protecting Nuclear Weapons Material in Russia NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 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 competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. 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 Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts 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. William 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. Kenneth I. Shine 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. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William Wulf are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. This project was sponsored by Brookhaven National Laboratory. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organization or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-06547-X A limited number of copies of this report are available from: Division on Development, Security, and Cooperation National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. FO2060 Washington, D.C. 20418 Tel: (202) 334-2644 Copies of this report are available for sale from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Box 285 Washington, D.C. 20055 Tel: 1-800-624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan Area). Copyright 1999 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

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Protecting Nuclear Weapons Material in Russia COMMITTEE ON UPGRADING RUSSIAN CAPABILITIES TO SECURE PLUTONIUM AND HIGHLY ENRICHED URANIUM RICHARD A. MESERVE (Chairman), Covington and Burling JOHN F. AHEARNE, Duke University and Sigma Xi DON JEFFREY BOSTOCK, Lockheed Martin Energy Systems, Inc. (Ret.) WILLIAM C. POTTER, Monterey Institute of International Studies National Research Council Staff GLENN SCHWEITZER, Study Director and Director, Office for Central Europe and Eurasia STEPHEN DEETS, Program Associate CHRISTINA MAIERS, Program Assistant

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Protecting Nuclear Weapons Material in Russia CONTENTS     PREFACE         Origin of the Study   vii     Related Studies by Other Organizations   viii     Role of the NRC Committee for this Study   viii     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1 CHAPTER 1:   IMPORTANCE OF MODERN MPC&A SYSTEMS IN RUSSIA         Availability of Direct-Use Material   7     Russian Economic Crisis of 1998   11     Elements of a Modern MPC&A System   12     DOE's Cooperative Program in MPC&A   14 CHAPTER 2:   FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS         General Findings   17     National Security Imperative   17     Program Progress in Key Areas   18     Russian Interest in the Program   20     DOE's Management of the Program   21     Specific Findings and Recommendations   22     Sustain U.S. Commitment to the Program   22     Reassess Priorities to Address Important Vulnerabilities   25     Indigenize MPC&A Capabilities   28     Reduce Impediments to Effective Cooperation   30     Improve Management of U.S Personnel and Financial Resources   32     Expand Efforts to Understand the Full Dimensions of Critical Long-Term Problems   35     EPILOGUE   37     BIBLIOGRAPHY   39

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Protecting Nuclear Weapons Material in Russia     APPENDICES     A:   Recommendations of the 1997 Report   43 B:   Terms of Reference   45 C:   Biographies of Committee Members   47 D:   Site Visits and Meetings of the Committee   49 E:   MPC&A Program Guidelines   51

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Protecting Nuclear Weapons Material in Russia PREFACE ORIGIN OF THE STUDY In April 1997, the National Research Council (NRC) published Proliferation Concerns: Assessing U.S. Efforts to Help Contain Nuclear and Other Dangerous Materials and Technologies in the Former Soviet Union. One of the two sections of the report provided an assessment of the significance and effectiveness of cooperative programs of the Department of Energy (DOE) to upgrade material protection, control, and accountability (MPC&A) for "direct-use" material (defined to include unirradiated highly enriched uranium and separated plutonium) in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Belarus. The relevant recommendations of that report are set forth in Appendix A. In the spring of 1998, DOE requested an updated assessment of its MPC&A activities in Russia (see Appendix B for the Terms of Reference of the Study). DOE believed that the possibility of theft or diversion of direct-use material was more serious than estimated several years ago. Through on-the-ground experience, DOE had learned that direct-use material was dispersed in many more locations than previously estimated and that upgrading MPC&A capabilities was much more complicated than anticipated. Moreover, the expected improvement or at least stabilization of the Russian economy had not occurred; in fact, beginning in August 1998, there was a precipitous decline in economic conditions. DOE requested a focus on Russia because most of the material is located in that country, including much material that has not yet been brought into the DOE program; this situation is in contrast to DOE activities in the other three countries, which encompass all known direct-use material. In response to the request, the assessment began in September 1998, and the findings and recommendations are set forth in this report. In carrying out its work, the committee reviewed recent DOE activities related to the recommendations in Proliferation Concerns. In many cases, DOE had taken steps consistent with the recommendations, although implementation of these recommendations has been uneven. In any event, the committee has reiterated those recommendations that remain important and has provided up-to-date justifications for their implementation. Although building on the earlier report, this report is intended as a stand-alone assessment as of March 1, 1999.

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Protecting Nuclear Weapons Material in Russia RELATED STUDIES BY OTHER ORGANIZATIONS This study is a complement to an internal review of DOE's MPC&A activities in Russia being carried out by Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). Although the report of the internal review has not yet been published, there is considerable consistency between the preliminary recommendations released by the Brookhaven team and the recommendations in this report. However, this report is not intended to be a critique of the BNL recommendations, but rather it is an independent review of many of the same issues highlighted by the BNL study.1 A number of nongovernmental organizations have an interest in this topic. Among the most active organizations are Harvard University, the Monterey Institute of International Studies, Princeton University, the Russian-American Nuclear Security Advisory Committee, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. The views of individuals involved in their activities have been taken into account and have been quite helpful in preparing this report. ROLE OF THE NRC COMMITTEE FOR THIS STUDY In September 1998, the Chairman of the NRC appointed a four-person interdisciplinary committee to carry out this study. The members had served on the committee responsible for the earlier study and are identified in Appendix C. During the fall of 1998, committee members traveled to Moscow, the Moscow region, and Dmitrovgrad to observe completed projects and work in progress. Committee members also visited Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Sandia National Laboratories where many of the U.S. specialists who participate in the program are based. Representatives of DOE, BNL, and the Russian-American Nuclear Security Advisory Committee briefed the committee. Throughout the entire process, many officials and specialists in the United States and Russia took time to provide important information and insights to the committee. DOE was extraordinarily helpful in arranging visits and consultations. Appendix D identifies the formal meetings and visits. Of no less significance were the many informal discussions also arranged through numerous channels in the United States and abroad. Finally, DOE and other organizations provided the committee with a wealth of documents, and the most significant ones are listed in the Bibliography. 1   For the preliminary recommendations by BNL, see C. Ruth Kempf, "Russian Nuclear Material Protection, Control, and Accounting Program: Analysis and Prospect," Partnership for Nuclear Security (Washington, D.C.: Office of Nonproliferation and Arms Control, September 1998), pp. 40–44.

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Protecting Nuclear Weapons Material in Russia 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 such an independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the 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. I wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Harold Agnew (General Atomics, ret.), Gary Bertsch (University of Georgia), Matthew Bunn (Harvard University), Harold Forsen (Bechtel Corporation, ret.), William Hannum (Argonne National Laboratory), Kaye Lathrop (Stanford University, ret.), Albert Narath (Lockheed Martin, ret.), and Frank Parker (Vanderbilt University). These individuals have provided constructive comments and suggestions, but it must be emphasized that responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. Finally, the committee expresses its appreciation to the many individuals and institutions in the United States and Russia that assisted its efforts. It also is grateful for the exceptional assistance of the NRC staff. Richard A. Meserve, Chairman, Committee on Protection, Control, and Accountability of Nuclear Materials in Russia

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