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PROTECTING AGAINST THE SPREAD OF NUCLEAR, BIOLOGICAL, AND CHEMICAL WEAPONS

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PROTECTING AGAINST THE SPREAD OF NUCLEAR, BIOLOGICAL, AND CHEMICAL WEAPONS AN ACTION AGENDA FOR THE GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP Volume 2: The Challenges Project Directors Robert J. Einhorn Michèle A. Flournoy Principal
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PROTECTING AGAINST THE SPREAD OF NUCLEAR, BIOLOGICAL, AND CHEMICAL WEAPONS AN ACTION AGENDA FOR THE GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP Volume 2: The Challenges Project Directors Robert J. Einhorn Michèle A. Flournoy Principal Project Sponsor Nuclear Threat Initiative, Washington, D.C. January 2003 About CSIS For four decades, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has been dedicated to providing world leaders with strategic insights on and policy solutions to current and emerging global issues. CSIS is led by John J. Hamre, former U.S. deputy secretary of defense. It is guided by a board of trustees chaired by former U.S. senator Sam Nunn and consisting of prominent individuals from both the public and private sectors. The CSIS staff of 190 researchers and support staff focus primarily on three subject areas. First, CSIS addresses the full spectrum of new challenges to national and international security. Second, it maintains resident experts on all of the world s major geographical regions. Third, it is committed to helping to develop new methods of governance for the global age; to this end, CSIS has programs on technology and public policy, international trade and finance, and energy. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., CSIS is private, bipartisan, and tax-exempt. CSIS does not take specific policy positions; accordingly, all views expressed herein should be understood to be solely those of the author(s). This publication has been principally supported with funds from the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Its contents represent the views, findings, and opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Cover Photo Credit Globes Kenny Johnson/Gettyimages 2003 by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. All rights reserved. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Protecting against the spread of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons : an action agenda for the global partnership / project directors, Robert J. Einhorn, Michèle A. Flournoy. p. cm. (CSIS report) Includes bibliographical references. Contents: v. 1. Agenda for action v. 2. The challenges v. 3. International responses v. 4. Russian perspectives and priorities. ISBN (set : alk. paper) ISBN (v. 1 : alk. paper) ISBN X (v. 2 : alk. paper) ISBN (v. 3 : alk. paper) ISBN (v. 4 : alk. paper) 1. Arms control. 2. Weapons of mass destruction. I. Einhorn, Robert J. II. Flournoy, Michèle A. III. Center for Strategic and International Studies (Washington, D.C.) IV. Series. JZ5665.P '745 dc The CSIS Press Center for Strategic and International Studies 1800 K Street, N.W., Washington, D.C Telephone: (202) Fax: (202) Web site: Contents About the Project vii 1. The Brain Drain Problem 1 Victor Alessi United States Industry Coalition 2. From Co-option to Cooperation: Reducing the Threat of Biological Agents and Weapons 23 Derek Averre European Research Institute, University of Birmingham 3. Russian Chemical Weapons Demilitarization: Successes and Challenges 53 Paul F. Walker Global Green USA 4. Controlling Nuclear Materials in Russia 70 Jon B. Wolfsthal Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 5. Nuclear Weapons Dismantlement Assistance in Russia 90 Ian A. Woodcroft Center for Strategic and International Studies 6. Export Control Assistance to Russia and Other FSU States 128 Igor Khripunov Center for International Trade and Security, University of Georgia About the Contributors 156 v vi Protecting against the Spread of Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical About the Project Since the end of the Cold War, the United States, Europe, and others have worked with the successor states of the Soviet Union to account for, secure, and dismantle nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, agents, materials, and infrastructure, as well as to help former weapons scientists and specialists reintegrate into civilian work. In large part, these programs have been successful, but there is much unfinished business. In June 2002, leaders of the Group of Eight (G-8) nations announced a global partnership against the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction. In the words of former U.S. senator Sam Nunn, This global partnership represents a major step in the right direction in terms of how the United States and its partners and allies must work together to prevent dangerous groups from gaining control of the most dangerous materials materials that could be used to carry out catastrophic terrorism. The project Strengthening the Global Partnership: Protecting against the Spread of Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Weapons seeks to reinforce and expand upon the objectives of the G-8 s Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, by advancing support in Europe, Asia, and North America for assistance programs aimed at reducing the threats posed by nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and materials. Over the last year, CSIS has led a consortium of 15 influential policy research organizations in Europe, North America, and Asia as part of a three-year project, sponsored by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), aimed at strengthening future threat reduction efforts. The consortium has concluded a major assessment, published here, that identifies shortfalls and lessons learned from existing threat reduction programs; recommends future programmatic objectives; and proposes how best to accomplish the remaining tasks. Based on the findings and recommendations of this study, during the second phase of the project, consortium partners will actively reach out to key constituencies government officials, parliamentarians, journalists, scholars, and other opinion leaders to promote governmental and public support for the goals outlined by the G-8 in June 2002 and, in particular, to ensure that the Global Partnership s ambitious funding target ($20 billion over 10 years) is met. This four volume set, entitled Protecting against the Spread of Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Weapons: An Action Agenda for the Global Partnership, is designed to assist the reader in assessing threat reduction programs to date and identifying priorities for the future. The assessment consists of four volumes: Volume 1: Agenda for Action Volume 2: The Challenges Volume 3: International Responses Volume 4: Russian Perspectives and Priorities vii viii Protecting against the Spread of Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Weapons For more information on the project, please visit our Web site at http:// Project Partners Canada Centre for Security and Defence Studies, Carleton University European Union EU Institute for Security Studies France Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique Germany Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik International Stockholm International Peace Research Institute International International Institute for Strategic Studies Italy Landau Network Centro Volta/Union Scienziati Per Il Disarmo Japan Japan Institute of International Affairs Netherlands Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael Norway Norwegian Institute of International Affairs Russia PIR Center for Policy Studies in Russia Russia Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) Sweden Swedish Institute of International Affairs United Kingdom Centre for Defence Studies, King s College London United States Center for Strategic and International Studies c h a p t e r 4 Controlling Nuclear Materials in Russia Jon B. Wolfsthal Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Overview Ten years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia s nuclear complex remains the vulnerable home to hundreds of tons of directly usable weapons-grade nuclear material. Considerable U.S. security assistance to Russia has helped improve the security and accountability of large amounts of this material, but security upgrades for the entire complex are taking considerable time to implement, and the scope and pace of current efforts are not adequate to address the immediate security risks. Moreover, there are growing problems associated with the long-term sustainability of security upgrades put in place that risk undermining the benefits of security assistance provided to date. A much larger, broader, more comprehensive and sustained effort is required to ensure that the Russian nuclear complex is secured, that security is sustainable for the long term, and that excess nuclear materials are eliminated the only step that can permanently reduce the proliferation risks the Russian nuclear complex poses. To date, the amount of assistance from countries other than the United States has been poorly coordinated, dwarfed by the size of the challenge, and unsuccessful in addressing the critical proliferation risks at hand. Assistance from Europe should be increased, along with U.S. assistance, and focused on supporting overall efforts to create a smaller, more-secure complex in Russia. In particular, assistance from individual European countries should focus on direct relationships between Russian and European facilities to develop lasting relationships with Russian organizations. European organizations such as Euratom, and industry groups such as Cogema and BNFL, should also develop more concrete programs with their Russian counterparts to buttress U.S. activities in more sensitive areas of the Russian complex. U.S. and European assistance to Russia s nuclear complex should seek to facilitate three goals: Establish a secure complex; Create a sustainable security culture for nuclear materials; and Reduce the scope of the fissile material problem. 70 Controlling Nuclear Materials in Russia 71 Introduction More than 10 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the state of Russia s nuclear complex continues to merit concern. In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., intense international attention has been focused on the possible acquisition and use by terrorists of nuclear weapons, as well as other weapons of mass destruction. Although the awareness of the threat may have changed, the nature of the threat and the manner in which hostile groups or state might acquire these capabilities is well understood. Russia remains the world s largest storehouse of nuclear weapons and materials lethal legacies of the Cold War rivalry with the United States and Western Europe. These assets, and the inadequate security system that protect them, present the most attractive and likely target for would-be nuclear terrorists. Today and for several years to come, the state of Russia s nuclear complex poses a serious risk of nuclear proliferation and an acute threat to international peace, security, and stability. A U.S. intelligence report to Congress in February 2002 confirmed: [W]eapons-grade and weapons-usable nuclear materials have been stolen from some Russian institutes. We assess that undetected smuggling has occurred, although we do not know the extent or magnitude of such thefts. 1 According to Viktor Yerastov, chief of the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy s (MINATOM) Nuclear Materials Accounting and Control Department in Russia, quite sufficient material to produce an atomic bomb was stolen from Chelyabinsk Oblast in Commenting on that theft to the Washington Post, a U.S. official said that given the known and suspected capabilities of the Russian mafia, it s perfectly plausible that Al Qaeda would have access to such material. 3 Documented thefts of weapons-usable nuclear materials demonstrate that the risk is real, and evidence both before and after the September 11 attacks shows that a number of countries and subnational groups are highly attracted to acquiring nuclear weapons and materials that could be use to produce atomic or radiological weapons. Evidence that these countries and subnational groups continue to target the insecure Russian complex makes clear the need to improve conditions in Russia. The prolonged and dangerous combination of nuclear ambitions by states and subnational groups on one hand and the nuclear insecurity of the Russian complex on the other poses a security risk to all countries and to the international security structure as a whole. Recognizing these risks, countries led by the United States have been cooperatively engaged with Russia to provide assistance to eliminate nuclear weapon launchers, secure and consolidate nuclear weapons and materials, and begin the long process of eliminating excess nuclear materials. Although the international response to this severe threat has helped reduce the security risks posed by these 1. National Intelligence Council, Annual Report to Congress on the Safety and Security of Russian Nuclear Facilities and Military Forces (Washington, D.C.: CIA, February 2002). 2. Ibid., p Barton Gellman, Fears Prompt U.S. to Beef Up Nuclear Terror Detection, Washington Post, March 3, 2002, p 1. 72 Protecting against the Spread of Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Weapons materials, the overall effort has been erratic and shrinks in comparison to the task at hand. Because of the assistance provided, security over several hundred tons of nuclear material has been improved, and 146 tons of nuclear weapons-grade uranium has been diluted and transferred to the United States for use as civilian nuclear power fuel. These successes hold important lessons for the future of these engagement programs lessons that should be drawn upon in developing future initiatives and in broadening support to other funding countries. But as a recent U.S. intelligence report to the Congress pointed out, Russia s nuclear security has been slowly improving over the last several years, but risks remain. 4 In the words of a bipartisan report delivered to the U.S. secretary of energy in January 2001, The most urgent unmet national security threat to the United States today is the danger that weapons of mass destruction or weapons-usable material in Russia could be stolen and sold to terrorists or hostile nation states and used against American troops abroad and citizens at home. 5 Work to address the remaining proliferation dangers posed by the Russian nuclear complex is proceeding in three central areas: Establishing a secure complex: Providing quick fix security upgrades and developing site and building-specific security systems, including physical protection and nuclear accounting. Programs to accomplish this goal include those run by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to securely transport and store nuclear weapons, and the larger program run by the Department of Energy (DOE) to improve security over loose nuclear materials in the Russian military and civilian nuclear complex. Creating a security culture for nuclear materials: Training personnel and creating incentives for the long-term operation of secure nuclear facilities. This program also includes developing a new generation of security-minded experts and nuclear personnel in domestic industry for physical protection of nuclear materials. Reducing the scope of the fissile material problem: Facilitating the elimination of nuclear weapons, reducing the amount of fissile materials, and consolidating existing materials into fewer, better-secured facilities. These programs center on the elimination of excess plutonium and highly enriched uranium and the consolidation of the Russian nuclear complex. These three steps are being pursued simultaneously, with the current emphasis placed on securing nuclear materials in place. Achieving the second two goals will require longer-term, sustained, and more widespread action, but only by creating a security mind-set within the nuclear complex and reducing the size of the Russian nuclear complex to a sustainable level can the security risks that currently exist be effectively managed in the long run. 4. National Intelligence Council, Annual Report to Congress on the Safety and Security of Russian Nuclear Facilities and Military Forces. 5. U.S. Department of Energy, A Report Card on the Department of Energy s Non-Proliferation Programs with Russia, Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, January 10, 2001. Controlling Nuclear Materials in Russia 73 Creating a Secure Complex In Western countries, the physical protection of nuclear material relies on a multilayered system of security and accounting. At the heart of this concept are several layers of full-time and comprehensive physical barriers between the location of nuclear materials and the outside world. Each layer of protection is monitored by professional and well-motivated personnel and utilizes technical measures, such as nuclear material detection equipment and access controls, to ensure that nuclear materials are not removed without authorization or detection. In addition to physical barriers, this system relies on a series of checks to ensure the reliability of personnel with access to nuclear materials, including (in various cases) prohibiting anyone from being alone with sensitive nuclear materials, background checks including polygraph tests, routine assessments of financial statements, personal habits, etc. This system is designed to protect against outside infiltration as well as insider theft and diversion. The system also relies on graded categories of protection, designed to provide greater security for pure weapons-grade material than for less pure material. Soviet/Russian Material Protection, Control, and Accounting Unlike Western countries, the Soviet Union only geared its security for nuclear weapons and materials toward the threat of outsider infiltration and theft. Wellmaintained security forces and perimeter patrols were sufficient in the overall context of the Soviet police state. Outside infiltration of sensitive facilities was controlled by a well-maintained, armed security force, and internal safeguards were upheld through loyalty to and fear of the state. When the Soviet Union collapsed, so did the system of security over its nuclear materials. Security guards went months or years without pay and lacked even basic equipment (including boots and overcoats), to say nothing of reliable alarm and communication systems. Nuclear detection equipment to prevent unauthorized removal of nuclear materials was practically nonexistent and many facilities and buildings lacked even basic barriers to prevent access to nonapproved personal, including bars on windows, steel doors, or locks. Vast amounts of direct-use weapons material was left unprotected with poor accounting, creating a situation in which materials could be diverted without any means of detection even after the event took place. Moreover, as the economic problems in the Russian nuclear complex continued, the nature of the security threat shifted from one focused on outside concerns to the threat of insider diversion. Low pay, low morale, and poor working conditions within the nuclear complex, combined with the ongoing efforts of some countries to acquire nuclear materials, raised the alarming prospect that people responsible for the safe maintenance of the Russian nuclear complex might be driven financially or politically to steal and sell sensitive nuclear materials. The Russian system was simply unprepared to respond to this new insider threat, and years 74 Protecting against the Spread of Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Weapons after this reality became apparent, this is still the case for most materials and many facilities. Estimates on Production There is an inherent uncertainty in estimates of Soviet and Russia nuclear production, which itself is part of the security problem (discussed below). The U.S. government estimates that Russia possesses just over 1,300 tons of weapons-grade nuclear material, with 603 tons of nuclear materials outside of nuclear weapons, and perhaps another 700 tons of nuclear materials in weapons. 6 It is unclear whether this estimate has been adjusted to account for the 146 tons of highly enriched uranium (HEU) that has been down blended and shipped to

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Jul 23, 2017
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