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"The Arms Control Association’s work is an important resource to legislators and policymakers when contemplating a new policy direction or decision."

– General John Shalikashvili
former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
January/February 2008
Edition Date: 
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Cover Image: 

2007 ACT Index

Author Key for ACT Staff


JA Jeff Abramson
DA Dan Arnaudo
WB Wade Boese
AB Alex Bollfrass
CIB C.I. Bosley
PC Peter Crail
AD Abby Doll

 

ZG Zachary Ginsburg
CH Caitlin Harrington
ZMH Zachary M. Hosford
DH David Houska
PK Paul Kerr
SK Scarlet Kim

DGK Daryl G. Kimball
PM Philip Maxon
OM Oliver Meier
MAP Miles A. Pomper
JR Justin Reed
JW Jim Wurst

 

Subjects

Additional Protocol: PK, “UN Security Council Sanctions Iran,” Jan./Feb., p. 23; PK, “Iran Continues Security Council Defiance,” June, p. 38; PK, “Iran Offers to Resolve Issues With IAEA,” July/Aug., p. 26; PC, “Iran Agrees on Work Plan With IAEA,” Sept., p. 34; PC, “UN Sanctions Push Thwarted for Now,” Oct., p. 29; Albright, David and Shire, Jacqueline, “A Witches’ Brew? Evaluating Iran’s Uranium-Enrichment Progress,” Nov., p. 6; Findlay, Trevor, “The Additional Protocol,” Nov., p. 47 (Letter to the Editor: Acton, James, “Detecting Clandestine Enrichment,” Dec., p. 52); PC, “IAEA Issues Mixed Findings on Iran,” Dec., p. 24.

Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty: WB, “Missile Defense Five Years After the ABM Treaty,” June, p. 30.

Australia: DA, “U.S., Australia Reach Defense Trade Pact,” Oct., p. 39.

Biological Weapons: OM, “States Strengthen Biological Weapons Convention,” Jan./Feb., p. 27; Littlewood, Jez, “Out of the Valley: Advancing the Biological Weapons Convention After the 2006 Review Conference,” March, p. 12; OM, “Experts Seek Measures to Control Bioweapons,” Oct., p. 43; AB, “GAO Issues Warning on Biodefense Research,” Nov., p. 36.

Book Reviews: Ward, Barclay, “Moving Nonproliferation Forward,” March, p. 50 (review of Bunn, George and Chyba, Christopher F., U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy: Confronting Today’s Threats); Roberts, Brad, “Nuclear Minimalism,” May, p. 40 (review of Lewis, Jeffrey G., The Minimum Means of Reprisal: China’s Search for Security in the Nuclear Age); Wulf, Norman A., “The Wisdom of Sharing the Peaceful Atom,” July/Aug., p. 45 (review of Pilat, Joseph F., Atoms for Peace: A Future after Fifty Years?); Sigal, Leon V., “Diplomacy Delayed Is Not Diplomacy Denied,” Oct., p. 49 (review of Pritchard, Charles L., Failed Diplomacy: The Tragic Story of How North Korea Got the Bomb); Newhouse, John, “A Somber Trip Down Memory Lane,” Dec., p. 46 (review of Rhodes, Richard, Arsenals of Folly: The Making of the Nuclear Arms Race).

Burma: PK, “Russia, Burma Sign Nuclear Agreement,” June, p. 40.

Chemical Weapons: Tucker, Jonathan B., “Verifying the Chemical Weapons Ban: Missing Elements,” Jan./Feb., p. 6; CH, “Chemical Weapons Deadlines Extended,” Jan./Feb., p. 29; OM, “The Chemical Weapons Convention at 10: An Interview With OPCW Director-General Rogelio Pfirter,” April, p. 14; DA, “Progress or Problems at CW Destruction Site?” May, p. 36; AB, “Iran-Iraq Chemical Warfare Aftershocks Persist,” July/Aug., p. 27; AB, “Libya Backs Out of CW Destruction Agreement,” July/Aug., p. 29; Ballard, Kyle M., “Convention in Peril? Riot Control Agents and the Chemical Weapons Ban,” Sept., p. 12; OM, “CWC Conference Boosts Treaty, Exposes Rifts,” Dec., p. 42.

China: PK, “China Updates Nuclear Export Regulations,” Jan./Feb., p. 40; WB, “Chinese Satellite Destruction Stirs Debate,” March, p. 27; SK, “Chinese Proud, Defensive About ASAT Test,” March, p. 29; Forden, Geoffrey, “After China’s Test: Time for a Limited Ban on Anti-Satellite Weapons,” April, p. 19 (Letter to the Editor: Gubrud, Mark Avrum, “Broader Space Arms Control Is Needed,” May, p. 44); WB, “Taiwan Buys U.S. Arms; U.S. Eyes China,” July/Aug., p. 43.

Cluster Munitions: WB, “Israeli Cluster Munitions Use Examined,” March, p. 37; WB, “Cluster Munitions Treaty Effort Moving Ahead,” April, p. 39; WB, “Cluster Munitions Control Efforts Make Gains,” July/Aug., p. 31; WB, “Cluster Munitions Negotiations Launched,” Dec., p. 41.

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty: DGK, “New Reasons to Reject New Warheads,” Jan./Feb., p. 3; DGK, “U.S. Funding for CTBTO Lags,” March, p. 44.

Conference on Disarmament: DGK, “Avoiding a Space Arms Race,” April, p. 3; WB, “Proposal Aims to End CD Gridlock,” April, p. 41; WB, “Conference on Disarmament Stalemate Persists,” June, p. 27; WB, “Negotiations Elude Disarmament Body Again,” Oct., p. 42; Meyer, Paul, “Is There Any Fizz Left in the Fissban? Prospects for a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty,” Dec., p. 18.

Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty: WB, “Russia, West Still Split Over Georgia, Moldova,” Jan./Feb., p. 31; WB, “Russia Casts Doubts on Conventional Arms Pact,” June, p. 36; WB, “Conventional Arms Treaty Dispute Persists,” July/Aug., p. 25; WB, “Arms Issues Divide U.S. and Russia,” Sept., p. 29; WB, “U.S., Russia Swap Arms Ideas,” Nov., p. 31; DGK, “The CFE Treaty and European Security,” Dec., p. 3; WB, “Europe Eager to Preserve CFE Treaty,” Dec., p. 38.

Conventional Arms Control: Anders, Holger, “The UN Process on Small Arms: All Is Not Lost,” March, p. 17; Schroeder, Matt, “Countering the MANPADS Threat: Strategies for Success,” Sept., p. 6.

Conventional Weapons Transfers: SK, “Sudan Accused of Violating UN Arms Embargo,” May, p. 27; WB, “Taiwan Buys U.S. Arms; U.S. Eyes China,” July/Aug., p. 43; ZG, “U.S. Renews Fighter Exports to Pakistan,” Sept., p. 27; DA, “U.S., UK Sign Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty,” Sept., p. 31; DH, “U.S. Plans Major Middle East Arms Sales,” Sept., p. 37; WB, “Arms Trade Dips but Still Brisk in 2006,” Sept., p. 45; DA, “U.S., Australia Reach Defense Trade Pact,” Oct., p. 39; WB, “U.S. Again Outsells Other Arms Suppliers,” Nov., p. 44; JA, “UN Register Reveals Small Arms Trade,” Nov., p. 46; WB, “U.S.-Pakistani Arms Pipeline Stays Open,” Dec., p. 29.

Czech Republic: WB, “U.S., Europe Anti-Missile Plans Upset Russia,” March, p. 48; WB, “U.S. Reaffirms Europe Anti-Missile Plan,” July/Aug., p. 23; Obering, Henry A., “European Missile Defense: The View From the Pentagon,” Oct., p. 6; Tauscher, Ellen, “European Missile Defense: A Congressional Perspective,” Oct., p. 9.

Defense Spending: WB, “Bush Seeks Budget Boost for Future Warhead,” March, p. 40; WB, “Missile Defense Remains Budget Priority,” March, p. 41; DA, “Bush Cuts Threat Reduction Budget,” March, p. 42; WB, “Lawmakers Sideline New U.S. Nuclear Warhead,” July/Aug., p. 35; WB, “Lawmakers Knock New Warhead Report,” Sept., p. 43.

Disarmament: JW, “UN Battles Over Disarmament Bureaucracy,” March, p. 47; SK, “Disarmament Forum Stalemate May End,” April, p. 40; PK, “North Korea Misses Disarmament Deadline,” May, p. 28.

European Union: OM, “Europeans Split Over U.S. Missile Defense Plans,” April, p. 36.

Export Controls: PK, “China Updates Nuclear Export Regulations,” Jan./Feb., p. 40; Hecker, Siegfried S. and Liou, William, “Dangerous Dealings: North Korea’s Nuclear Capabilities and the Threat of Export to Iran,” March, p. 6; PM, “Iran Receives Smuggled Surplus F-14 Parts,” March, p. 37; DA, “U.S., UK Sign Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty,” Sept., p. 31; DA, “U.S., Australia Reach Defense Trade Pact,” Oct., p. 39.

Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty: WB, “Proposal Aims to End CD Gridlock,” April, p. 41; WB, “Negotiations Elude Disarmament Body Again,” Oct., p. 42; Meyer, Paul, “Is There Any Fizz Left in the Fissban? Prospects for a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty,” Dec., p. 18.

France: AB, “France, Libya Sign Nuclear Desalination Deal,” Sept., p. 39.

G-8 Summit: Walker, Paul F., “Kananaskis at Five: Assessing the Global Partnership,” Sept., p. 47.

Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism: AD, “Anti-Nuclear Terrorism Strategies Discussed,” July/Aug., p. 33.

In Memoriam: ZG, “In Memoriam: Charles William Maynes Jr.,” July/Aug., p. 40; Keeny, Spurgeon M., “In Memoriam: Wolfgang K.H. Panofsky,” Nov., p. 51; DGK, “In Memoriam: Randall Caroline Forsberg,” Dec., p. 50.

India: WB, “Congress Exempts India From Nuclear Trade Rules,” Jan./Feb., p. 33; WB, “Slow Start in 2007 for U.S.-Indian Nuclear Deal,” March, p. 30; DGK, “U.S.-Indian Nuclear Deal: Round II,” May, p. 3; WB, “Indian Demands Slow U.S.-Indian Nuclear Deal,” May, p. 30; AB, “Tests, Arrests Draw Attention to Indian Missiles,” May, p. 31; WB, “U.S.-Indian Talks Fail to Move Nuclear Deal,” July/Aug., p. 42; DGK, “Fixing a Flawed Nuclear Deal,” Sept., p. 3; WB, “U.S.-Indian Nuclear Deal Advances,” Sept., p. 22; WB, “Indian Politics Stall U.S.-Indian Nuclear Deal,” Nov., p. 29; WB, “Revived U.S.-Indian Deal Heads to IAEA,” Dec., p. 30.

Intelligence: PK, “Doubts Rise on North Korea’s Uranium-Enrichment Program,” April, p. 27.

Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty: Gottemoeller, Rose, “The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty,” June, p. 41; WB, “U.S., Russia Swap Arms Ideas,” Nov., p. 31.

International Atomic Energy Agency: WB, “Slow Start in 2007 for U.S.-Indian Nuclear Deal,” March, p. 30; PK, “ElBaradei: Iran’s Nuclear Program Advances,” March, p. 33; Scheinman, Lawrence, “Equal Opportunity: Historical Challenges and Future Prospects of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle,” May, p. 18; PK, “Iran Advances Nuclear Program, Defies UN,” May, p. 24; PK, “Iran Continues Security Council Defiance,” June, p. 38; PK, “Iran Offers to Resolve Issues With IAEA,” July/Aug., p. 26; OM, MAP, “IAEA, Congress Tackle Nuclear Fuel Supply,” July/Aug., p. 30; PK, “ElBaradei: IAEA Budget Problems Dangerous,” July/Aug., p. 38; PK, “North Korea Reactor Shutdown Looms,” July/Aug., p. 41; Boureston, Jack and Lacey, Jennifer, “Nuclear Technical Cooperation: A Right or a Privilege?” Sept., p. 17; PC, “Iran Agrees on Work Plan With IAEA,” Sept., p. 34; MAP, “Russia Offers to Jump-Start IAEA Fuel Bank,” Oct., p. 41; WB, “Revived U.S.-Indian Deal Heads to IAEA,” Dec., p. 24; PC, “IAEA Issues Mixed Findings on Iran,” Dec., p. 24.

Iran: PK, “UN Security Council Sanctions Iran,” Jan./Feb., p. 23; PK, “Iran, North Korea Deepen Missile Cooperation,” Jan./Feb., p. 38; Hecker, Siegfried S. and Liou, William, “Dangerous Dealings: North Korea’s Nuclear Capabilities and the Threat of Export to Iran,” March, p. 6; PK, “Security Council Considers New Iran Sanctions,” March, p. 32; PK, “ElBaradei: Iran’s Nuclear Program Advances,” March, p. 33; WB, “U.S. Sanctions Iranian, Syrian Entities,” March, p. 36; PM, “Iran Receives Smuggled Surplus F-14 Parts,” March, p. 37; PK, “Security Council Broadens Iran Sanctions,” April, p. 30; PK, “Iran Advances Nuclear Program, Defies UN,” May, p. 24; PK, “UN Members Slow on Iranian, NK Sanctions,” May, p. 26; PK, “Iran Continues Security Council Defiance,” June, p. 38; PK, “Iran Offers to Resolve Issues With IAEA,” July/Aug., p. 26; AB, “Iran-Iraq Chemical Warfare Aftershocks Persist,” July/Aug., p. 27; PK, WB, “Sanctions on Iran Grow,” July/Aug., p. 36; PC, “Iran Agrees on Work Plan With IAEA,” Sept., p. 34; CIB, “Congress Moves to Impose Iran Sanctions,” Sept., p. 36; CIB, “Iran Allegedly Skirts Hezbollah Arms Ban,” Sept., p. 40; Mistry, Dinshaw, “European Missile Defense: Assessing Iran’s ICBM Capabilities,” Oct., p. 19; PC, “UN Sanctions Push Thwarted for Now,” Oct., p. 29; DGK, “Time to Rethink U.S. Strategy on Iran,” Nov., p. 3; Albright, David and Shire, Jacqueline, “A Witches’ Brew? Evaluating Iran’s Uranium-Enrichment Progress,” Nov., p. 6; PC, “UN Iran Sanctions Decision Awaits,” Nov., p. 40; PC, “Congress Takes Aim at Iran,” Nov., p. 42; PC, “IAEA Issues Mixed Findings on Iran,” Dec., p. 24.

Iraq: PK, “Security Council May Close Iraq Inspection Unit,” June, p. 27; AB, “Iran-Iraq Chemical Warfare Aftershocks Persist,” July/Aug., p. 27; PK, “Security Council Ends UNMOVIC,” Sept., p. 40; JA, “Small Arms Raising Concerns in Iraq,” Sept., p. 42.

Israel: WB, “Israeli Cluster Munitions Use Examined,” March, p. 37; Cohen, Avner, “Crossing the Threshold: The Untold Nuclear Dimension of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War and Its Contemporary Lessons,” June, p. 12 (Letter to the Editor: Myers, Henry, “The Real Source of Israel’s First Fissile Material,” Oct., p. 56); MAP, “Israel, Neighbors Mull Nuclear Power Programs,” Sept., p. 38.

Japan: Izumi, Hajime and Furukawa, Katsuhisa, “Not Going Nuclear: Japan’s Response to North Korea’s Nuclear Test,” June, p. 6.

Landmines: Herby, Peter and La Haye, Eve, “How Does It Stack Up? The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention at 10,” Dec., p. 6.

Libya: AB, “Libya Backs Out of CW Destruction Agreement,” July/Aug., p. 29; AB, “France, Libya Sign Nuclear Desalination Deal,” Sept., p. 39; AB, “Details Bedevil Libyan Grand Bargain,” Oct., p. 33.

Looking Back: Sidhu, Waheguru Pal Singh, “The Missile Technology Control Regime,” April, p. 45; Gottemoeller, Rose, “The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty,” June, p. 41; Walker, Paul F., “Kananaskis at Five: Assessing the Global Partnership,” Sept., p. 47; Findlay, Trevor, “The Additional Protocol,” Nov., p. 47 (Letter to the Editor: Acton, James, “Detecting Clandestine Enrichment,” Dec., p. 52).

Man-Portable Air Defense Systems: Schroeder, Matt, “Countering the MANPADS Threat: Strategies for Success,” Sept., p. 6.

Missile Defense: WB, “Missile Defense Under Scrutiny,” Jan./Feb., p. 35; DGK, “Déjà Vu All Over Again,” March, p. 3; WB, “Missile Defense Remains Budget Priority,” March, p. 41; WB, “U.S., Europe Anti-Missile Plans Upset Russia,” March, p. 48; OM, “Europeans Split Over U.S. Missile Defense Plans,” April, p. 36; WB, “U.S.-Russian Missile Center Faces Another Hurdle,” May, p. 34; WB, “Missile Defense Five Years After the ABM Treaty,” June, p. 30; DGK, “Missile Defense Collision Course,” July/Aug., p. 3; WB, “U.S. Reaffirms Europe Anti-Missile Plan,” July/Aug., p. 23; DGK, “Of Missiles and Missile Defenses,” Oct., p. 3; Obering, Henry A., “European Missile Defense: The View From the Pentagon,” Oct., p. 6; Tauscher, Ellen, “European Missile Defense: A Congressional Perspective,” Oct., p. 9; Lewis, George N. and Postol, Theodore A., “European Missile Defense: The Technological Basis of Russian Concerns,” Oct., p. 13; Mistry, Dinshaw, “European Missile Defense: Assessing Iran’s ICBM Capabilities,” Oct., p. 19; Mendelsohn, Jack, “European Missile Defense: Strategic Imperative or Politics as Usual?” Oct., p. 24; WB, “Report: No Progress on Missile Defense, Nukes,” Oct., p. 40; Speier, Richard, “Missile Nonproliferation and Missile Defense: Fitting Them Together,” Nov., p. 15; WB, “U.S., Russia Swap Arms Ideas,” Nov., p. 31; WB, “Pentagon Repeats Missile Defense Test Success,” Nov., p. 34.

Missile Programs: PK, “Iran, North Korea Deepen Missile Cooperation,” Jan./Feb., p. 38; WB, “Global Strike Still on Pentagon Wish List,” April, p. 43; AB, “Tests, Arrests Draw Attention to Indian Missiles,” May, p. 31; WB, “U.S. Poised to Cut Ballistic Missiles,” May, p. 38; WB, “Panel Endorses U.S. Global Strike Initiative,” June, p. 34; AD, “U.S. Begins Trimming ICBM Fleet,” Sept., p. 43; Mistry, Dinshaw, “European Missile Defense: Assessing Iran’s ICBM Capabilities,” Oct., p. 19.

Missile Technology Control Regime: Sidhu, Waheguru Pal Singh, “The Missile Technology Control Regime,” April, p. 45; Speier, Richard, “Missile Nonproliferation and Missile Defense: Fitting Them Together,” Nov., p. 15.

Missile Tests: WB, “Missile Defense Under Scrutiny,” Jan./Feb., p. 35; AB, “Tests, Arrests Draw Attention to Indian Missiles,” May, p. 31; WB, “Pentagon Repeats Missile Defense Test Success,” Nov., p. 34.

NATO: OM, “Europeans Split Over U.S. Missile Defense Plans,” April, p. 36; WB, “Conventional Arms Treaty Dispute Persists,” July/Aug., p. 25; Tauscher, Ellen, “European Missile Defense: A Congressional Perspective,” Oct., p. 9; WB, “Europe Eager to Preserve CFE Treaty,” Dec., p. 38.

Nonproliferation: MAP, “House Approves Nonproliferation Initiatives,” March, p. 43; JR, “Budget Woes Haunt Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone,” April, p. 43; Valencia, Mark J., “The Proliferation Security Initiative: A Glass Half-Full,” June, p. 17; Boureston, Jack and Lacey, Jennifer, “Nuclear Technical Cooperation: A Right or a Privilege?” Sept., p. 17; CIB, “White House Nonproliferation Office Created,” Sept., p. 44.

North Korea: PK, “No Progress at North Korea Talks,” Jan./Feb., p. 37; PK, “Iran, North Korea Deepen Missile Cooperation,” Jan./Feb., p. 38; Kang, Jungmin, and von Hippel, Frank N. and Zhang, Hui, “The North Korean Test and the Limits of Nuclear Forensics,” Jan./Feb., p. 42; Hecker, Siegfried S. and Liou, William, “Dangerous Dealings: North Korea’s Nuclear Capabilities and the Threat of Export to Iran,” March, p. 6; PK, “Initial Pact Reached to End North Korean Nuclear Weapons Program,” March, p. 23; PK, “North Korea Talks Stalled by Banking Dispute,” April, p. 25; PK, “Doubts Rise on North Korea’s Uranium-Enrichment Program,” April, p. 27; PK, “UN Members Slow on Iranian, NK Sanctions,” May, p. 26; PK, “North Korea Misses Disarmament Deadline,” May, p. 28; Izumi, Hajime and Furukawa, Katsuhisa, “Not Going Nuclear: Japan’s Response to North Korea’s Nuclear Test,” June, p. 6; PK, “North Korea Reactor Shutdown Looms,” July/Aug., p. 41; PC, “NK Shuts Down Reactor; Talks Progress,” Sept., p. 25; PC, “NK-Syria Nuclear Connection Questionable,” Oct., p. 35; PC, “Yongbyon Facilities Disablement Considered,” Oct., p. 37; PC, “Deadline Set for Yongbyon Disablement,” Nov., p. 26; PC, “NK Continues Denial of Enrichment Program,” Dec., p. 27; PC, “Disablement Begins but Process Unclear,” Dec., p. 28.

Nuclear Forensics: Kang, Jungmin, and von Hippel, Frank N. and Zhang, Hui, “The North Korean Test and the Limits of Nuclear Forensics,” Jan./Feb., p. 42; Niemeyer, Sidney and Smith, David K., “Following the Clues: The Role of Forensics in Preventing Nuclear Terrorism,” July/Aug., p. 14.

Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Hecker, Siegfried S. and Liou, William, “Dangerous Dealings: North Korea’s Nuclear Capabilities and the Threat of Export to Iran,” March, p. 6; Squassoni, Sharon, “Risks and Realities: The ‘New Nuclear Energy Revival,’” May, p. 6 (Letter to the Editor: DeVolpi, Alex, “The U.S. Government Has Been Promoting Nuclear Proliferation,” July/Aug., p. 49; Author Response: July/Aug., p. 50); Feiveson, Harold A., “Faux Renaissance: Global Warming, Radioactive Waste Disposal, and the Nuclear Future,” May, p. 13; Scheinman, Lawrence, “Equal Opportunity: Historical Challenges and Future Prospects of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle,” May, p. 18; OM, MAP, “IAEA, Congress Tackle Nuclear Fuel Supply,” July/Aug., p. 30; PC, “U.S. and South Korea Reach Technology Pact,” Sept., p. 27; MAP, “Russia Offers to Jump-Start IAEA Fuel Bank,” Oct., p. 41; MAP, “Bush Nuclear Fuel-Cycle Program Suffers Blows,” Dec., p. 34; MAP, “U.S., Russia Recast Plutonium-Disposition Act,” Dec., p. 40.

Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty: DGK, “U.S.-Indian Nuclear Deal: Round II,” May, p. 3; Scheinman, Lawrence, “Equal Opportunity: Historical Challenges and Future Prospects of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle,” May, p. 18; OM, “NPT Preparatory Meeting Scores Some Success,” June, p. 23.

Nuclear Suppliers Group: DGK, “U.S.-Indian Nuclear Deal: Round II,” May, p. 3; Scheinman, Lawrence, “Equal Opportunity: Historical Challenges and Future Prospects of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle,” May, p. 18.

Pakistan: ZG, “U.S. Renews Fighter Exports to Pakistan,” Sept., p. 27; Luongo, Kenneth N. and Salik, Naeem, “Building Confidence in Pakistan’s Nuclear Security,” Dec., p. 11; WB, “U.S.-Pakistani Arms Pipeline Stays Open,” Dec., p. 29.

Poland: WB, “U.S., Europe Anti-Missile Plans Upset Russia,” March, p. 48; WB, “U.S.-Russian Missile Center Faces Another Hurdle,” May, p. 34; WB, “U.S. Reaffirms Europe Anti-Missile Plan,” July/Aug., p. 23; Obering, Henry A., “European Missile Defense: The View From the Pentagon,” Oct., p. 6; Tauscher, Ellen, “European Missile Defense: A Congressional Perspective,” Oct., p. 9.

Proliferation Security Initiative: Valencia, Mark J., “The Proliferation Security Initiative: A Glass Half-Full,” June, p. 17.

Russia: WB, “Russia, West Still Split Over Georgia, Moldova,” Jan./Feb., p. 31; DGK, “Déjà Vu All Over Again,” March, p. 3; WB, “The USSR’s Past Anti-Satellite Testing,” March, p. 28; Bunn, Matthew, “Troubled Disposition: Next Steps in Dealing With Excess Plutonium,” April, p. 6; WB, “U.S.-Russian Missile Center Faces Another Hurdle,” May, p. 34; WB, “U.S., Russia Exploring Post-START Options,” May, p. 34; DA, “Nuclear Material Security Agreement Reached,” May, p. 37; WB, “Russia Casts Doubts on Conventional Arms Pact,” June, p. 36; PK, “Russia, Burma Sign Nuclear Agreement,” June, p. 40; WB, “Arms Issues Divide U.S. and Russia,” Sept., p. 29; Lewis, George N. and Postol, Theodore A., “European Missile Defense: The Technological Basis of Russian Concerns,” Oct., p. 13; WB, “Report: No Progress on Missile Defense, Nukes,” Oct., p. 40; MAP, “Russia Offers to Jump-Start IAEA Fuel Bank,” Oct., p. 41; WB, “U.S., Russia Swap Arms Ideas,” Nov., p. 31; MAP, “U.S., Russia Recast Plutonium-Disposition Act,” Dec., p. 40.

Sanctions: PK, “UN Security Council Sanctions Iran,” Jan./Feb., p. 23; PK, “No Progress at North Korea Talks,” Jan./Feb., p. 37; PK, “Security Council Considers New Iran Sanctions,” March, p. 32; WB, “U.S. Sanctions Iranian, Syrian Entities,” March, p. 36; PK, “Security Council Broadens Iran Sanctions,” April, p. 30; PK, “UN Members Slow on Iranian, NK Sanctions,” May, p. 26; PK, WB, “Sanctions on Iran Grow,” July/Aug., p. 36; CIB, “Congress Moves to Impose Iran Sanctions,” Sept., p. 36; PC, “UN Sanctions Push Thwarted for Now,” Oct., p. 29; PC, “UN Iran Sanctions Decision Awaits,” Nov., p. 40.

Small Arms: Anders, Holger, “The UN Process on Small Arms: All Is Not Lost,” March, p. 17; Schroeder, Matt, “Countering the MANPADS Threat: Strategies for Success,” Sept., p. 6; JA, “Small Arms Raising Concerns in Iraq,” Sept., p. 42; JA, “UN Register Reveals Small Arms Trade,” Nov., p. 46.

South Africa: Lacey, Jennifer and Boureston, Jack, “Shoring Up a Crucial Bridge: South Africa’s Pressing Nuclear Choices,” Jan./Feb., p. 18.

South Korea: PC, “U.S. and South Korea Reach Technology Pact,” Sept., p. 27.

Space: WB, “Chinese Satellite Destruction Stirs Debate,” March, p. 27; WB, “The USSR’s Past Anti-Satellite Testing,” March, p. 28; SK, “Chinese Proud, Defensive About ASAT Test,” March, p. 29; DGK, “Avoiding a Space Arms Race,” April, p. 3; Forden, Geoffrey, “After China’s Test: Time for a Limited Ban on Anti-Satellite Weapons,” April, p. 19 (Letter to the Editor: Gubrud, Mark Avrum, “Broader Space Arms Control Is Needed,” May, p. 44).

Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty: WB, “U.S., Russia Exploring Post-START Options,” May, p. 34; DGK, “START-Over,” June, p. 3; WB, “Report: No Progress on Missile Defense, Nukes,” Oct., p. 40; WB, “U.S., Russia Swap Arms Ideas,” Nov., p. 31.

Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty: WB, “Arms Issues Divide U.S. and Russia,” Sept., p. 29.

Strategic Weapons: WB, “UK Nuclear Submarine Plan Wins Vote,” April, p. 34; WB, “U.S. Poised to Cut Ballistic Missiles,” May, p. 38; AD, “U.S. Begins Trimming ICBM Fleet,” Sept., p. 43; WB, “U.S. Nuke Dismantlement: Modest Uptick,” Oct., p. 46; ZMH, “Congress, Pentagon Probe Nuke Overflight,” Oct., p. 48; WB, “U.S. Nuke Dismantlement Tops Goal for Year,” Nov., p. 34; ZMH, “Nuke Overflight Probes Continue,” Nov., p. 38; WB, “Nuclear Weapons Alert Status Debated,” Dec., p. 44.

Sudan: SK, “Sudan Accused of Violating UN Arms Embargo,” May, p. 27.

Syria: WB, “U.S. Sanctions Iranian, Syrian Entities,” March, p. 36; PC, “NK-Syria Nuclear Connection Questionable,” Oct., p. 35; PC, “Clues Emerge Surrounding Airstrike in Syria,” Nov., p. 43.

Taiwan: WB, “Taiwan Buys U.S. Arms; U.S. Eyes China,” July/Aug., p. 43.

Threat Reduction: DA, “Bush Cuts Threat Reduction Budget,” March, p. 42; SK, “GAO Calls for Security Prioritization Changes,” April, p. 44; DA, “Nuclear Material Security Agreement Reached,” May, p. 37; DA, “Senate Endorses Threat Reduction Action Plan,” Nov., p. 36.

UN Resolution 1540: Bunn, George, “Enforcing International Standards: Protecting Nuclear Materials From Terrorists Post-9/11,” Jan./Feb., p. 14; WB, “Progress on UN WMD Measure Mixed,” May, p. 33; Valencia, Mark J., “The Proliferation Security Initiative: A Glass Half-Full,” June, p. 17; MAP, PC, “Keeping WMD From Terrorists: An Interview With 1540 Committee Chairman Ambassador Peter Burian,” Nov., p. 21.

United Kingdom: WB, “Blair: Retain UK Nuclear Weapons,” Jan./Feb., p. 41; WB, “UK Nuclear Submarine Plan Wins Vote,” April, p. 34; DA, “U.S., UK Sign Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty,” Sept., p. 31.

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy: DGK, “New Reasons to Reject New Warheads,” Jan./Feb., p. 3; WB, “New Nuclear Designs, New Questions,” Jan./Feb., p. 32; Bunn, Matthew, “Troubled Disposition: Next Steps in Dealing With Excess Plutonium,” April, p. 6; WB, “U.S. Poised to Cut Ballistic Missiles,” May, p. 38; OM, “U.S. Cuts Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Europe,” Sept., p. 32; WB, “U.S. Nuke Dismantlement: Modest Uptick,” Oct., p. 46; MAP, “U.S. Pledges Cuts in Plutonium Stockpile,” Oct., p. 47; ZMH, “Congress, Pentagon Probe Nuke Overflight,” Oct., p. 48; ZMH, “Nuke Overflight Probes Continue,” Nov., p. 38; AB, “Nuclear Material Consolidation Schedule Lags,” Dec., p. 36; WB, “Nuclear Weapons Alert Status Debated,” Dec., p. 44.

U.S. Nuclear Weapons R&D and Testing: DGK, “New Reasons to Reject New Warheads,” Jan./Feb., p. 3; WB, “New Nuclear Designs, New Questions,” Jan./Feb., p. 32; WB, “Bush Seeks Budget Boost for Future Warhead,” March, p. 40; WB, “New U.S. Warhead Design Selected,” April, p. 42; WB, “Lawmakers Sideline New U.S. Nuclear Warhead,” July/Aug., p. 35; WB, “Lawmakers Knock New Warhead Report,” Sept., p. 43; WB, “Panel Questions Warhead Concept Plausibility,” Nov., p. 33.

U.S. Security Policy: MAP, “Major Policy Shifts Unlikely With Democratic Congress,” Jan./Feb., p. 34; DGK, “Déjà Vu All Over Again,” March, p. 3; WB, “Bush Seeks Budget Boost for Future Warhead,” March, p. 40; WB, “Missile Defense Remains Budget Priority,” March, p. 41; DA, “Bush Cuts Threat Reduction Budget,” March, p. 42; MAP, “House Approves Nonproliferation Initiatives,” March, p. 43; WB, “Panel Endorses U.S. Global Strike Initiative,” June, p. 34; Bunn, George and du Preez, Jean, “More Than Words: The Value of U.S. Non-Nuclear-Use Promises,” July/Aug., p. 16; CIB, “White House Nonproliferation Office Created,” Sept., p. 44; Mendelsohn, Jack, “European Missile Defense: Strategic Imperative or Politics as Usual?” Oct., p. 24; DGK, “Time to Rethink U.S. Strategy on Iran,” Nov., p. 3; AB, “GAO Issues Warning on Biodefense Research,” Nov., p. 36; DA, “Senate Endorses Threat Reduction Action Plan,” Nov., p. 36; PC, “Congress Takes Aim at Iran,” Nov., p. 42; ZMH, “The 2008 Presidential Primaries and Arms Control,” Dec., p. 31.

WMD Terrorism: Bunn, George, “Enforcing International Standards: Protecting Nuclear Materials From Terrorists Post-9/11,” Jan./Feb., p. 14; JR, “HEU Smuggling Sting Raises Security Concerns,” March, p. 49; WB, “Progress on UN WMD Measure Mixed,” May, p. 33; Ben Ouagrham-Gormley, Sonia, “An Unrealized Nexus? WMD-related Trafficking, Terrorism, and Organized Crime in the Former Soviet Union,” July/Aug., p. 6 (Letter to the Editor: Nelson, Daniel N. and Roslycky, Lada L., “Terrorists, Trafficking, and WMD Still the Greatest Danger,” Oct., p. 55; Author Response: Oct., p. 55); Niemeyer, Sidney and Smith, David K., “Following the Clues: The Role of Forensics in Preventing Nuclear Terrorism,” July/Aug., p. 14; AD, “Anti-Nuclear Terrorism Strategies Discussed,” July/Aug., p. 33; PC, “Reported Incidents of Trafficking Up in 2006,” Oct., p. 45; MAP, PC, “Keeping WMD From Terrorists: An Interview With 1540 Committee Chairman Ambassador Peter Burian,” Nov., p. 21.

More States Step Up Anti-Missile Work

As the United States struggles to establish a toehold for long-range ballistic missile interceptors in Europe, countries in other regions are showing greater interest in shorter-range anti-missile systems. Japan and India recently reported successful tests of separate systems, and two Persian Gulf states are on the verge of spending billions of dollars on U.S. systems. (Continue)

Wade Boese

As the United States struggles to establish a toehold for long-range ballistic missile interceptors in Europe, countries in other regions are showing greater interest in shorter-range anti-missile systems. Japan and India recently reported successful tests of separate systems, and two Persian Gulf states are on the verge of spending billions of dollars on U.S. systems.

On Dec. 17, Japan, which has partnered with the United States on missile defense research since 1999, carried out its first intercept of a ballistic missile target using the U.S.-developed Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system. Designed to counter ballistic missiles with ranges of less than 5,500 kilometers, the Aegis system involves a ship-fired interceptor that releases a kill vehicle meant to seek out and collide with a target. With Aegis, the United States has scored 11 hits in 13 test attempts, the most recent of which occurred last November.

In the December experiment, a Japanese destroyer, the JS KONGO, detected and tracked a target missile launched from Hawaii for about three minutes before firing a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptor. Approximately three minutes later, the interceptor’s kill vehicle struck the target roughly 160 kilometers above the Pacific Ocean. Rick Lehner, a spokesperson for the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency, told Arms Control Today Jan. 2 that another U.S.-Japanese intercept test could occur before the end of this year.

Japanese plans call for a fleet of four Aegis-armed destroyers, and Tokyo is currently teaming with Washington to develop a more powerful version of the SM-3 interceptor. (See ACT, April 2006.) Japan’s interest in anti-missile capabilities is primarily a reaction to North Korea’s ballistic missile developments, including an August 1998 missile flight over Japanese territory.

India also claimed a recent successful missile defense test. India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) reported Dec. 6 that a single-stage missile “intercepted” a ballistic missile target at an altitude of 15 kilometers. A video of the experiment, however, appears to show the interceptor and the target missile trajectories continuing after they crossed, suggesting the target was not destroyed.

Uzi Rubin, who headed Israel’s anti-missile program for several years, told Arms Control Today Jan. 8 that it appeared from the DRDO video that the test was a “flyby intercept, not a kill intercept.” He stated such practices are common early in developmental programs and that if the flyby was within “the designed miss distance” and generated data for the Indian program to continue, then it could be counted as a “success regardless of the nonkill of the target.”

The DRDO has not provided much information about the interceptor missile, such as whether it is a hit-to-kill system or carries a warhead of some type that explodes near its intended target. The interceptor reportedly was tested once previously against a simulated target.

India media reports quote V. K. Saraswat, the head of the anti-missile project, as predicting a fully operational system within four years. The system apparently would be intended to protect against short- and medium-range ballistic missile attacks by China or Pakistan. Pakistani officials have previously warned that India’s acquisition of missile defense capabilities would upset the military balance in the region. (See ACT, April 2003. )

Washington has engaged New Delhi in missile defense discussions for several years. As part of those talks, the United States unsuccessfully has urged India to acquire U.S. short- and medium-range Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) systems.

The United States has sold earlier Patriot models to Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and Taiwan. Last fall, the U.S. PAC-3 manufacturer, Lockheed Martin Corp., delivered its first batch of the interceptors to a foreign country, the Netherlands. Japan also is on tap to receive PAC-3 interceptors.

In addition, the Pentagon notified Congress in December of potential sales of PAC-3 systems to Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Lawmakers did not block the proposed deals during a 30-day review period. Therefore, Kuwait is now cleared for a $1.36 billion purchase of up to 80 PAC-3 missiles, and the UAE is slated to acquire up to 288 PAC-3 interceptors and nine firing units worth $9 billion.


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Conference Addresses Illicit Nuclear Trafficking

In late November, delegates from around the world convened in Edinburgh, Scotland, to address the dangers posed by the trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials. (Continue)

Zachary Hosford

In late November, delegates from around the world convened in Edinburgh, Scotland, to address the dangers posed by the trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials.

Organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and hosted by the United Kingdom, the conference entitled “Illicit Nuclear Trafficking: Collective Experience and the Way Forward” aimed to “take stock of global efforts” to impede black market trade as well as to consider measures that might thwart future smuggling attempts.

Included on the agenda was a discussion of the importance and continued development of the IAEA’s Illicit Trafficking Database (ITDB), a collection of recorded incidents of illegal trafficking. The objective of the database is to “facilitate exchange of authoritative information” on events involving nuclear and other radioactive materials and to analyze that information in order to identify any potential patterns.

As of Dec. 7, the ITDB had logged 1,266 incidents, including the Nov. 28 arrest of three men at a border crossing between Hungary and Slovakia who were attempting to sell more than 400 grams of powdered uranium.

In addition to agreeing on a continued focus on information tracking and sharing, the conference participants made several recommendations. First, they pledged to proceed with the development of new technologies for “hard-to-detect fissile materials,” which they agreed to share with states that currently lack more modern technological capabilities. Furthermore, the representatives concurred that they must “increase the sophistication of detection capabilities,” especially to address the long stretches of unguarded borders around the globe. Finally, the delegates agreed to improve intergovernmental communication and inform the general public more effectively on issues related to trafficking.

In all, about 300 delegates from more than 60 countries and 11 international organizations attended the four-day conference, which began Nov. 19. The group plans to convene another meeting in 2010 to assess progress in impeding illicit trafficking.


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BWC States Tackle National Implementation

Oliver Meier

A Dec. 10-14 meeting of member states of the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) offered rhetorical support for stepping up national implementation measures to bring domestic laws, administrative procedures, and regulations into conformity with the bioweapons ban. But the meeting also showcased transatlantic differences that have stymied attempts for more binding measures since the beginning of the Bush administration.

Following up on a meeting of experts last August (see ACT, October 2007 ), the final report from the meeting of states-parties agreed on the “fundamental importance” of national measures to implement the BWC. Such measures include controls on transfers of biological agents, biosafety and biosecurity regulations, and penal legislation. However, the meeting did not agree on any joint standards or collective measures.

The meeting’s chair, Pakistani Ambassador Masood Khan, pointed out in his opening statement that the task of the meeting was to “promote common understanding and effective action,” not to negotiate binding agreements.

Using a formula developed by Khan, the 95 states-parties present at the meeting also recognized the value of “moving from adjacency to synergy,” or increased cooperation, with international organizations, nongovernmental groups, and industry. In a novel development, the meeting included two roundtables with representatives from nongovernmental organizations and industry.

Khan had initiated the informal sessions to involve civil society stakeholders more directly in BWC meetings. In his closing remarks, Khan stated that the feedback he had received on those sessions “indicates that states-parties found this interaction highly relevant and useful” and encouraged future meetings to hold similar discussions.

Strengthening the ISU

Despite these successes, the meeting showed that continued strains exist between the European Union and the United States over the future direction of the BWC regime. Those differences were most apparent in 2001 when the Bush administration rejected a verification mechanism to monitor compliance with the BWC that the EU had supported.

Since then, the United States has consistently resisted efforts to create international institutions to supervise implementation of the BWC because it fears these might evolve into a new international bureaucracy.

In the December meeting, transatlantic disagreements surfaced during a debate between EU representatives and U.S. diplomats about the mandate and funding of the Implementation Support Unit (ISU). The United States had reluctantly agreed to the establishment of the ISU at the Sixth BWC Review Conference in December 2006 but insisted on limiting its mandate. The BWC secretariat now serves as a focal point for treaty implementation as well as a clearinghouse for various types of information exchanges under the BWC. (See ACT, January/February 2007. )

An EU working paper, prepared for the meeting by the Netherlands, stated that the EU “stands ready to provide additional financial assistance to support specific activities and projects of the ISU.” Specifically, European representatives suggested that activities to “generate confidence, stimulate universalization, and increase the capacity of the ISU to assist in the field of implementation of [confidence-building measures], cooperation and assistance” could receive additional funds through voluntary contributions by states-parties.

These issues are covered in the ISU’s mandate, to which the parties agreed at the December 2006 review conference.

Nevertheless, the proposal, which apparently had been outlined by European diplomats to their U.S. counterparts only shortly before the meeting, triggered a sharp rebuke from the United States. U.S. Ambassador Christina Rocca on Dec. 10 noted the United States’ “deep concern over recommendations encouraging support for increased responsibilities” for the ISU. Rocca warned that additional funds “should not seek to expand [the ISU’s] mandate into new, unauthorized areas” but should merely be used to help ISU staff to do its job.

After closed-door discussions between European and U.S. diplomats in the group of Western states, Dutch Ambassador Johannes Landman in a Dec. 11 statement clarified that additional funding could help the ISU to fulfill its core mandate, particularly because the secretariat only has a three-person staff.

Universality

The sixth review conference had decided that the chairman of annual meetings would also be in charge of coordinating efforts to convince more states to join the bioweapons ban. The BWC currently has 159 states-parties. Khan submitted to the meeting the first annual report on activities to promote universalization of the bioweapons ban. It contains a detailed listing of all 36 states remaining outside the BWC, including an assessment of prospects for joining the convention and reasons given by non-states-parties for not having acceded yet. It lists Burundi, Comoros, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Myanmar as those states most likely to join. Egypt and Syria, which are signatories, and Israel, which has not signed the BWC, are named as countries least likely to join in the near future.

The final report of the meeting of states-parties itself proved to be uncontroversial and was adopted ahead of time. Piers Millet, political affairs officer at the ISU, pointed out that the amount of text in the final report goes beyond similar agreements at previous BWC meetings.

“This is a positive development that reflects genuine common understandings amongst states-parties on issues of national implementation, despite the diverse national contexts from which these countries come,” he told Arms Control Today Jan. 7.

This year’s meetings of experts and states-parties will focus on biosafety and biosecurity as well as codes of conduct to prevent the misuse of biotechnology. They will be chaired by Ambassador Georgi Avramchev of Macedonia and will meet Aug. 18-22 and Dec. 1-5, respectively.

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Some Countries to Miss Mine Treaty Deadlines

Wade Boese

At a recent states-parties meeting of a pact outlawing anti-personnel landmines (APLs), some governments indicated they might or are likely to miss treaty deadlines to destroy stored mines or clear weapons planted in the ground. Reasons cited for the delays include technical obstacles and insufficient resources.

The Ottawa Convention, also known as the Mine Ban Treaty, prohibits its 156 states-parties from stockpiling, producing, using, or transferring APLs. The accord entered into force in March 1999, establishing a four-year deadline for disposing of stockpiled mines and a 10-year period for clearing deployed systems, which can be extended. These dual obligations take effect for a government when it becomes bound by the treaty.

Treaty states-parties gauge progress toward these goals at annual gatherings, the latest of which occurred Nov. 18-22 on the Dead Sea shore in Jordan. The 95 states-parties and signatories in attendance reported that approximately 40 million stockpiled mines have been destroyed under the treaty, but also noted that some states are not on pace to meet their treaty commitments.

Nine states-parties (Belarus, Burundi, Ethiopia, Greece, Indonesia, Iraq, Sudan, Turkey, and Ukraine) have or are believed to still retain stockpiles. Belarus and Ukraine, the two countries possessing the largest APL stockpiles, might exceed their permitted destruction timetables.

Minsk almost certainly will miss its March 1 deadline as it retains more than 3 million mines. Although Ukraine’s target completion date is not until June 1, 2010, Kyiv also must dispose of twice as many mines. The two states possess significant quantities of PFM-1 mines, which contain very toxic chemical agents, slowing destruction efforts.

On Nov. 19, Turkey, which still had some 2.9 million stockpiled APLs, projected that it will meet its March 1 destruction goal “unless unforeseen technical difficulties occur.” Turkey recently inaugurated a new disposal facility. Ankara has offered to consider requests from other countries to use the facility after it fulfills its own obligations.

Several other countries may not meet their 10-year mine clearance requirements. Indeed, 12 of the 19 states-parties with pending 2009 clearance deadlines already have stated or hinted they will seek extensions. Those dozen states are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chad, Croatia, Ecuador, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Peru, Senegal, Thailand, Venezuela, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.

Extensions, which can be requested for as long as 10 years, must win the approval of a majority of voting states-parties at an annual meeting or at a treaty review conference prior to the original deadlines. States seeking extensions are supposed to detail why they will be unable to meet their obligation and outline plans and new timelines for finishing the task. In one extreme case, Zimbabwe has declared that another 30 years are needed to eradicate mines on its territory.

Governments have cited many reasons for lagging behind their clearance schedules. Shortages of financial resources, trained personnel, and proper equipment are the most common explanations. Some states contend poor relations with neighbors or hostile rebel groups inside their borders impede demining activities. Several also point to poor infrastructure, severe weather, natural disasters, difficult terrain, or dense vegetation as complicating factors.

The nongovernmental International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), a network of some 1,400 groups in 90 countries that monitors implementation of the treaty, acknowledges that countries face many difficulties in carrying out clearance work. But in a Nov. 20 statement to the Dead Sea meeting, the network said that some states have failed to accurately identify and prioritize their mine-afflicted areas requiring clearing. It also charged that some governments “have simply not demonstrated sufficient will to meet their obligations.” Venezuela, for instance, has not initiated clearance operations around military bases because it claims the mines provide useful protection.

Another task that meeting attendees said required more attention was aiding people injured by mines. Markus Reiterer, co-chair of the treaty’s standing committee on victim assistance, noted Nov. 21 that, “unlike mine clearance and stockpile destruction, there are no deadlines for victim assistance.” Rather, he stated, such work lasts lifetimes.

The treaty’s main aim is to prevent mine casualties, and the number of victims has been declining annually. The ICBL reported that the 2006 total of 5,751 casualties marked the lowest number since the treaty entered into force. Cambodia claimed its mine casualties dropped from an average of 845 victims between 2000 and 2005 to 450 in 2006.

Still, in a Nov. 18 statement delivered to the Dead Sea meeting, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon cautioned that APLs “continue to kill and maim in great numbers” and urged all countries to join the accord. Many of the world’s largest APL possessors, such as China, India, Pakistan, Russia, and the United States, which is the largest contributor to demining activities worldwide, remain outside the agreement. The ICBL only identified Myanmar and Russia, however, as recently planting new mines.

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Europe Anti-Missile Plan Faces Hard Sell

Wade Boese

The Bush administration had envisioned 2008 as the year construction would begin on U.S. long-range anti-ballistic missile bases in Europe, but it still must convince others to go along with its plan. Moscow vigorously opposes the move and recently accused Washington of backsliding on proposals to ease Russia’s concerns, Warsaw and Prague have yet to agree to host sites, and Congress recently denied funding to start building the potential bases.

Although the United States engaged in missile defense cooperation discussions with the Polish and Czech governments as early as 2004 (see ACT, July/August 2004 ), official negotiations on the initiative, as well as intense scrutiny of it, did not begin until early last year. Russia immediately denounced the proposal, 10 interceptors in Poland coupled with a precision tracking radar in the Czech Republic, as targeting its missiles.

The Bush administration claims that the system is designed to counter what it says is a growing ballistic missile threat from Iran. It further contends the proposed defense poses no threat to Russia and last November presented the Kremlin with proposals that the administration said were intended to alleviate Russian anxieties. The offers followed on October talks involving Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and their Russian counterparts. (See ACT, November 2007. )

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov charged Dec. 5, however, that the written proposals fell short of what had been previously discussed. He told reporters, “[U]nfortunately, a serious rollback from what we had been told occurred.”

Lavrov argued that the United States reneged on an idea not to operate the radar or install interceptors in their silos until a threat materialized. He also contended the United States balked on permitting a permanent Russian presence at the European sites and backed off a commitment that Russia would have input on activating the system.

A U.S. government official knowledgeable of the talks and the draft proposals told Arms Control Today Dec. 21 that Russian officials appeared to have “overly interpreted” the earlier remarks of Rice and Gates. The official noted that both secretaries personally approved the document delivered to Russia.

The U.S. official contended that Rice and Gates talked about stationing U.S. and Russian personnel at each other’s sites related to missile defense, but made clear that any Russian visits or presence at European bases would depend on a host nation’s consent. Lieutenant General Henry Obering, head of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency (MDA), made this point publicly several times last year.

Obering, Rice, and other senior officials also repeatedly have declared that Russia would not be given a veto over U.S. missile defense plans. Indeed, shortly after Rice and Gates visited Moscow last October, Reuters quoted Daniel Fried, assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasian affairs, as explaining, “[W]e will not ask Russia’s permission to turn [the system] on.”

Gates, however, volunteered to Russia that the United States might postpone activation of a system until there is clear evidence of a threat. U.S. and Russian officials further agreed to discuss their separate criteria for assessing potential dangers. But the U.S. official said it was never suggested that there had to be consensus on the criteria or on the existence of a threat for either side to act.

U.S. and Russian officials met again Dec. 13 in Budapest without resolution. The U.S. official said the two sides plan to continue talking early this year but that no date has been set.

The Bush administration has emphasized that it will move forward without the Kremlin’s consent if negotiations with the Czech Republic and Poland are completed. Early last year, U.S. officials suggested talks with the two potential host countries might take a matter of months, but they have lagged longer.

Moreover, October parliamentary elections in Poland resulted in a new government that is taking a fresh look at the proposed project. Led by Prime Minister Donald Tusk, the government has made improving relations with Russia a goal and will meet in late January with Russian officials to discuss a variety of issues, including missile defense. The next formal round of U.S.-Polish missile defense talks has not been scheduled, but the new Polish defense minister, Bogdan Klich, is scheduled to visit Gates in mid-January, when the topic is expected to come up.

Radek Sikorski, the new Polish foreign minister, previously has criticized the U.S. approach as clumsy and insufficient, suggesting that Poland should receive additional benefits and weapon systems for hosting a site that might anger Russia. Writing March 21, 2007, in The Washington Post, Sikorski argued the proposed system could “generate a new security partnership with the countries of the region” or “provoke a spiral of misunderstanding, weaken NATO, deepen Russian paranoia and cost the United States some of its last friends on the continent.”

Similar concerns have nagged some U.S. lawmakers. Indeed, the defense appropriations act, signed into law by President George W. Bush Nov. 13, 2007 (see page 36 ), cuts $85 million from the administration’s original $310 million request for work on the system during fiscal year 2008, which began Oct. 1, 2007. The cut funds had been allocated to construction activities in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Pending host-nation agreements, MDA spokesperson Rick Lehner told Arms Control Today Dec. 18 that construction on the two sites could begin in early 2009. The goal, he said, would be to put the first interceptor in its silo in 2011.

Before any interceptors are emplaced, however, Congress maintains they must be proven “through successful, operationally realistic flight testing.” MDA has yet to flight-test the proposed European interceptor, which is a modified version of the 24 U.S. long-range interceptors currently deployed in Alaska and California.

As part of the defense authorization bill, which Bush and Congress are still contesting, legislators have included a provision calling for a $1 million independent study of the missile threat to Europe and an analysis of alternative or complimentary anti-missile systems to the administration’s proposed defense. The report would be due within 180 days after the legislation becomes law.

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Russia Suspends CFE Treaty Implementation

Wade Boese

Russia followed through on its earlier threat to suspend implementation of a treaty limiting conventional weapons deployments in Europe by not providing a required year-end accounting of its forces. Yet, Moscow did not sever all ties to the pact as Russia continued to participate in the treaty’s governing body.

Russian President Vladimir Putin last July 14 initiated the countdown on his country’s break with the 1990 Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, decreeing implementation of the accord would cease in 150 days if treaty limits on Russia and NATO were not altered to Moscow’s satisfaction. Russian lawmakers endorsed Putin’s plan in November, and Russia’s Foreign Ministry formally announced the suspension Dec. 12.

In its statement, the ministry declared Russia would no longer provide information on or host inspections of its treaty-limited weapons: tanks, armored combat vehicles, heavy artillery, attack helicopters, and combat aircraft. The Foreign Ministry further stated Russia would not be “bound” by the treaty’s arms ceilings and deployment restrictions. The statement, however, noted that Russia currently has “no plans” for a “massive buildup” of its forces.

Russia proclaimed its readiness to continue talks with other governments about the treaty and held out the possibility of reversing the suspension in “a fairly short space of time” if events warranted. The treaty does not contain a provision for suspension, only withdrawal.

The United States, which withdrew from the U.S.-Russian Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002, condemned Russia’s action in a Dec. 12 statement from Department of State spokesperson Sean McCormack. Calling the suspension “the wrong decision,” McCormack urged Russia to undo its move.

That same day, the 26-member NATO alliance also criticized Russia’s suspension as “particularly disappointing.” Still, the alliance said its 22 members belonging to the treaty would not “respond in kind at this stage” and would continue to fulfill their treaty obligations, including a year-end weapons data exchange scheduled for that week.

In the first demonstration of its suspension, Russia did not participate in that data exchange. CFE Treaty states-parties use that data to help determine inspection quotas over the coming year. Russia has hosted roughly 50 total inspections annually.

Meanwhile, Moscow volunteered a separate report on its military forces to the 55 other members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which includes all CFE Treaty states-parties. That report, however, is less precise in accounting for weapons and their location than the CFE Treaty data exchange.

Despite its CFE Treaty suspension, Russia attended the Joint Consultative Group (JCG) through its routine Dec. 18 closure. That Vienna-based body is where CFE Treaty states-parties discuss all treaty-related matters. Russian officials apparently gave no indication that they would not return to the JCG when it resumes in mid-January.

There is typically a lull in CFE Treaty activities during January and February until a new inspection season starts in March. NATO countries will likely test Russia’s suspension then by requesting inspections of its military forces.

Moscow has specified steps that NATO can take to end the suspension. These include alliance members cutting their arms allotments and further restricting temporary weapons deployments on each NATO member’s territory. Russia also wants constraints eliminated on how many forces it can deploy in its southern and northern flanks. Moreover, the Kremlin is pressing NATO members to ratify a 1999 updated version of the accord, known as the Adapted CFE Treaty, and demanding that the four alliance members outside the original treaty, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Slovenia, join it.

NATO members say they share the goal of bringing the adapted accord into effect as soon as possible, but had maintained collectively that they would not ratify the agreement until Russia fulfilled commitments to withdraw military forces from Georgia and Moldova. Russia made those pledges in conjunction with the adapted treaty’s completion, and many NATO governments saw them as prerequisites for concluding the adapted treaty. (See ACT, November 1999. ) Notwithstanding the lingering presence of Russian forces in Moldova and Georgia, NATO recently suggested that some of its members might soon begin their ratification processes on the adapted treaty.

All 30 original CFE Treaty states-parties must ratify the adapted agreement in order for it to replace its predecessor. Only Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine have done so, although Ukraine has not deposited its instrument of ratification. Once the adapted agreement enters into force, the four non-CFE Treaty NATO members say they will join the accord, which unlike the older version has an accession option.


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Concerns Raised as South Korea Joins GNEP

Miles A. Pomper

South Korea Dec. 11 joined the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP), a step that could bring fresh controversy to the contested Bush administration program. South Korea’s participation comes as it plans to move forward with a technology that some say could help it develop nuclear weapons or violate a 1992 denuclearization agreement between it and North Korea. It also takes place as Washington presses Pyongyang to follow through on a 2007 commitment to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

Initiated by President George W. Bush in 2006, GNEP seeks to develop new nuclear technologies, particularly for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel, and new international nuclear fuel arrangements. Administration officials claim that these efforts will reduce nuclear waste and decrease the risk that an anticipated growth in the use of nuclear energy worldwide could spur nuclear proliferation. Critics on Capitol Hill and elsewhere assert that the administration’s course would exacerbate the proliferation risks posed by the spread of spent fuel reprocessing technologies, be prohibitively expensive, fail to ease waste disposal challenges significantly, and lack any certainty that the claimed technologies will ever be developed. Congress recently slashed funds for the program.

Nonetheless, GNEP continues winning international adherents. South Korea, the world’s sixth-largest nuclear energy producer, is the group’s 19th member. These members have taken steps to craft a common agenda, holding their first steering committee meeting Dec. 19 to lay out the group’s course for 2008.

South Korea’s membership in GNEP has raised eyebrows because of South Korea’s decade-old research and development of a form of spent fuel reprocessing called pyroprocessing. South Korea claims it is interested in the technology to help cope with growing piles of spent fuel. In a December 2007 atomic energy road map paper, Seoul said that it aims to have a pilot pyroprocessing facility completed by 2012 and a semi-commercial facility in place by 2025.

The South Korean approach, called the Advanced Spent Fuel Conditioning Process (ACP), involves taking spent fuel from nuclear reactors, turning it into a metal, and dissolving it into molten salt. Using electrolysis, part of this material is then separated from some of the longest-lived fission products and reformed into a new fuel. The resultant product contains not only plutonium but also uranium and other materials, including some with significant radioactivity. In this way, the process differs from current reprocessing techniques, such as the PUREX process used in France, that use acid and organic solvents to separate relatively pure plutonium from other elements in the spent fuel.

According to some Bush administration officials, the differences mean that pyroprocessing is not as prone to diversion to a nuclear weapons program as conventional spent fuel reprocessing. Those conventional methods have provided the plutonium that has been used in many of the world’s nuclear explosives, including that of North Korea. In particular, the fact that pyroprocessing produces a fuel containing considerably radioactive fission products is seen to make it less valuable for weapons and a deterrent to seizure by terrorists. By comparison, plutonium alone lacks sufficient radioactivity to be considered as “self-protecting” by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“Pyropocessing is not reprocessing because it does not produce pure plutonium,” one U.S. official told Arms Control Today Jan. 3. Another official said Jan. 4 that the Departments of Energy and State had formally agreed in 2002 and in 2007 that pyroprocessing should not be considered as reprocessing under U.S. regulations, statutes, and agreements, which ban U.S. assistance to foreign reprocessing efforts.

Some independent studies, however, have said that the product of pyroprocessing would fall short of the IAEA self-protection standard. Moreover, outside analysts and previous U.S. government reports have said that although the technology itself may mark an improvement over current reprocessing methods, such a system would have other problems that could lead to weapons proliferation.

For example, they have said a program would train experts in plutonium chemistry and metallurgy and the use of hot cells and other appropriate facilities that could be used to recover plutonium for weapons. The system could also be reconfigured for more standard reprocessing.

A 1992 study for the Energy and State Departments said that appropriate safeguards had yet to be designed for such facilities and that it would be even more difficult to account for nuclear materials in them than in current reprocessing facilities. But an Energy Department official demurred from that judgment, telling Arms Control Today Jan. 4 that “we don’t agree that you can’t safeguard that technology.” The official said that “we are not in a position to dictate what they [South Korean officials] do” but that “we are not aiding and abetting” any problems.

South Korea has been negotiating with the United States and the IAEA over a safeguards agreement for a partially constructed, pilot pyroprocessing facility but has yet to conclude a pact. Despite regular pleas from South Korean officials at semi-annual meetings, U.S. officials have maintained significant restrictions on Seoul’s ability to test the ACP fully. They have only allowed South Korean scientists to participate on a case-by-case basis in joint pyroprocessing experiments at U.S. laboratories. In South Korea, scientists have been restricted to using fresh fuel, which does not contain plutonium, or to the step of the process that turns spent fuel into metal, so as not to gain access to means of separating plutonium. Under a nuclear cooperation agreement between Seoul and Washington, the United States must approve any use of the low-enriched uranium it supplies as fuel to South Korean nuclear reactors.

Moreover, another Energy Department official said that a significant guarantee that South Korea would not separate pure plutonium was its signing of the GNEP statement of principles. Under these, participants agree to refrain from separating pure plutonium.

“This is a further reaffirmation by South Korea that they will be in strict compliance with their international obligations,” the official told Arms Control Today Jan. 4. “It’s the power of voluntary affirmation.”

Still, the issue of whether pyroprocessing should be treated as akin to traditional reprocessing is far from settled in the U.S. government. One U.S. official acknowledged that some colleagues are “wringing their hands over whether or not this constitutes reprocessing” and said the issue is unlikely to be tackled head-on until Washington and Seoul begin negotiating a new nuclear cooperation agreement, likely later this year. The current agreement is set to expire in 2014.

Some U.S. officials fear that the pyroprocessing program could make it easier for Seoul to develop nuclear weapons. South Korea had a nuclear weapons program during the 1970s but discontinued it later that decade under U.S. pressure. (See ACT, October 2004. ) In 2004, Seoul also admitted that two decades earlier it had conducted experiments in separating plutonium from spent nuclear fuel. (See ACT, December 2004. )

Some officials also worry that the program could represent a setback to the 1992 North-South denuclearization agreement at a sensitive time in the effort to end North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. The 1992 pact says that the two Koreas “shall not possess nuclear reprocessing and uranium enrichment facilities.” Although North Korea has violated the agreement, Seoul has claimed to continue to adhere to it in hopes that Pyongyang will later abide by its strictures.

More broadly, South Korea’s admission to GNEP has raised further questions about whether the program is adhering to its initial goals. The Bush administration launched GNEP in February 2006, portraying it in part as a practical means of reinforcing the president’s call two years earlier to halt the spread of uranium-enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing facilities to new countries. Like spent fuel reprocessing facilities, enrichment facilities can provide either fuel for nuclear power or fissile material for nuclear weapons.

Yet, the September 2007 statement of principles appeared to move away from that stance, indicating that countries who joined GNEP “would not give up any rights” to enrichment or reprocessing and that the initiative intended to “develop and demonstrate, inter alia, advanced technologies for recycling spent fuel for deployment in facilities that do not separate pure plutonium.” (See ACT, October 2007. )

GNEP partners held their first steering committee meeting Dec. 19, adopting a work plan calling for two more such meetings this year and a ministerial-level executive committee meeting late this year. The meetings would be timed so that the ministerial-level gathering would be presented with the initial results of two working groups, which will be studying issues of nuclear infrastructure and reliable fuel services. The steering committee named Edward McGinnis, a U.S. deputy assistant energy secretary, as chairman of the group, along with vice chairmen from China, France, and Japan.

Corrected online August 29, 2008. See explanation.

 


 

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U.S.-NK Clash on Nuclear Deadline

Peter Crail

North Korea missed Dec. 31 deadlines to disable its nuclear reactor complex and declare all of its nuclear programs, albeit for different reasons. The disablement process is nearly complete, but was held up primarily for technical reasons as one of the final steps involves a months-long process of removing and cooling the spent fuel in the Yongbyon reactor. In regard to the declaration, however, the United States asserts that North Korea has not provided a full accounting of all of its programs while Pyongyang alleges that a declaration was provided in November.

Declaration Delayed, Declaration Denied

One of the key components of an Oct. 3 six-party talks agreement involving China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea, and the United States was North Korea’s obligation to provide a “complete and correct declaration of all its nuclear programs—including clarification regarding the uranium issue—by the end of the year.” (See ACT, November 2007. ) North Korea asserts that it provided a declaration as required in November 2007. The official Korean Central News Agency released a North Korean Foreign Ministry statement Jan. 4 that declared that North Korea “worked out a report on the nuclear declaration in November last year and notified the U.S. side of its contents.”

When asked by reporters if North Korea had provided a declaration, Christopher Hill, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, explained that “they discussed what elements should be in a declaration, and it was clearly not a complete and correct declaration.” He added that any formal declaration would have to be provided to the Chinese, the coordinator of the six-party process. Hill traveled to the region and Moscow to meet with his Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and South Korean counterparts in early January.

“The uranium issue,” as referenced in the Oct. 3 statement, is chief among U.S. concerns about the declaration. Pyongyang is suspected to have pursued a program to produce highly enriched uranium (HEU) for nuclear weapons. U.S. intelligence reports suggest that Pyongyang has acquired or attempted to acquire a variety of materials and components related to a uranium-enrichment program. Moreover, in his 2006 autobiography, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf stated that a proliferation network run by Pakistani nuclear official Abdul Qadeer Khan provided North Korea with about 20 gas centrifuges used in the uranium-enrichment process during the mid- to late-1990s.

North Korea continues to deny that it pursued a uranium-enrichment capability and sought to convince U.S. officials last November that materials it imported that may be used for an enrichment facility were intended for other purposes. (See ACT, December 2007. ) The materials shown to the U.S. officials did not include the centrifuges provided by the Khan network.

Since North Korea’s failure to meet the year-end deadline for providing its declaration, U.S. officials have emphasized that what matters is the content of the declaration, rather than the timing. Department of State spokesperson Sean McCormack told reporters Jan. 3 that Pyongyang “can produce it at any time, and we’re going to encourage them to do so as soon as possible, but also they should not sacrifice completeness for speed.” Speaking to reporters Jan. 10, however, Hill stated that “it would be desirable” if the declaration and disablement were completed by the end of February when South Korean President-elect Lee Myung-bak takes office.

Beijing reacted to the missed deadlines by underlining that some delay was to be expected. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu told reporters Jan. 3 that “[t]he pace is faster in some areas and slower in some areas,” adding that “this is natural.”

Although North Korea insisted that it was adhering to its own commitments, Pyongyang alleged that the commitments made by the other parties were not being completed on schedule. The North Korean Foreign Ministry statement asserted that the energy assistance that it was to receive “was being steadily delayed.”

China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea pledged to provide North Korea with 900,000 tons of heavy fuel oil or its equivalent as part of the Oct. 3 agreement. In order to accommodate the limited amount of fuel oil North Korea could import during a given month, the parties agreed that Russia and the United States would continue to deliver the fuel oil while China and South Korea provided other forms of energy-related assistance.

Although no deadline was stipulated for the completion of the energy assistance to North Korea, Hill told reporters Oct. 3 that the intention was to complete the process by the end of the year. (See ACT, November 2007. ) Since the October agreement, North Korea has received 50,000 tons of fuel oil from the United States. Following a delay in Russia’s delivery of fuel oil to North Korea in December, Moscow indicated that it intends to complete its shipment of 50,000 tons of fuel oil by Jan. 21.

At the end of December, Beijing, Pyongyang, and Seoul began making arrangements regarding the types of energy assistance China and South Korea would provide for North Korea as part of the six-party agreement. A diplomatic source told Arms Control Today Jan. 9 that, although preparations were being made to carry out this assistance, the discussions are still ongoing.

North Korea also accused the United States of failing to honor its commitments to remove the country from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism and to stop punishing it under the Trading with the Enemy Act. In February 2007, Washington agreed to begin the process of carrying out both of these actions. During a Dec. 13 briefing, a State Department official indicated that the United States remains committed to finalizing these steps, but only when a complete declaration has been received and disablement has been completed.

U.S. Looks to Disablement Completion, Next Steps

Disabling the nuclear reactor complex at Yongbyon was the second task to be completed by the end of the year. This process, which entailed a series of 11 steps to make the facilities inoperable for at least a year, is largely being carried out by U.S. technicians with North Korean assistance. The reason behind the missed deadline is largely technical because one of the final steps, unloading the spent fuel rods from the reactor, is estimated to take about 100 days. The process of unloading the fuel rods began in mid-December.

Unlike the delay in receiving the North Korean declaration, U.S. officials have welcomed the progress made on disablement. Hill told reporters Jan. 7 that “some 75 percent” of the disablement steps have been completed, adding that “the disabling has gone pretty well and continues to go on.”

In the Oct. 3 agreement, the United States agreed to lead the disablement activities and provide for their initial funding. As of the start of 2008, nearly the entire cost of the process has been borne by Washington. There has been some consideration, however, of potential burden-sharing arrangements with the other parties. (See ACT, December 2007. ) In this regard, a Department of Energy official told Arms Control Today Dec. 12 that “it would make the most sense, in the context of cooperation, for another party which can use the plutonium in the spent fuel to bear the cost of removing it and taking it out of the country.” The official also noted that this is also the highest-cost endeavor of the disablement steps.

In spite of the U.S. commitment to continuing the disablement process, legal impediments may slow or halt Washington’s ability to continue to fund and carry out the work. It may also hinder its ability to dismantle the North Korean facilities should there be an agreement on such an effort.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio) in 1994 prohibits the United States from providing nonhumanitarian assistance to states that have detonated a nuclear weapon and are not nuclear-weapon states under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. North Korea tested a nuclear device in October 2006. Due to this restriction, the only funding source that may be used for North Korean disablement activities is the State Department’s Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund (NDF).

Although NDF funds are not restricted under the Glenn amendment, there are other limitations on its long-term use for disablement and dismantlement in North Korea. In a Dec. 17 interview, the Energy Department official explained a number of these constraints, in particular, the fact that the cost of the work in North Korea is likely to exceed the NDF annual budget, which was $38 million in fiscal year 2007. Moreover, the official indicated that the NDF was designed to respond to emergency nonproliferation needs. Now that disablement and the six-party process has been going on for sometime, “the process has become institutionalized,” the official said, reducing the justification for the use of NDF funding.

In order to get around such constraints, the Energy Department has been holding discussions with Congress in order to carve out an exception to the application of the Glenn amendment specifically for disablement and dismantlement activities in North Korea. Congress has taken some steps to address the funding concerns. A $10 million earmark for Energy Department nuclear disablement activities in North Korea was included in the omnibus appropriations legislation that was signed into law in December.

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Congress Alters Bush’s Fuel Cycle Plans

Miles A. Pomper

Lawmakers in December approved legislation that would sharply scale back the Bush administration’s proposed Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) and cut money for an unrelated facility meant to dispose of surplus weapons-grade plutonium. At the same time, the annual funding measure includes $50 million toward efforts to establish an international nuclear fuel bank under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The provisions were included in a fiscal year 2008 omnibus spending bill that Congress approved in mid-December. President George W. Bush signed the legislation Dec. 26.

GNEP, Fuel Disposal, and Reprocessing

GNEP seeks to develop new nuclear technologies, particularly for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel, and new international nuclear fuel arrangements. Administration officials claim that these efforts will reduce nuclear waste and decrease the risk that an anticipated growth in the use of nuclear energy worldwide could spur nuclear proliferation. Critics on Capitol Hill and elsewhere assert that the administration’s course would exacerbate the proliferation risks posed by the spread of spent fuel reprocessing technologies, be prohibitively expensive, fail to ease waste disposal challenges significantly, and lack any certainty that the claimed technologies will ever be developed.

GNEP’s critics were bolstered by an October report from a National Research Council (NRC) panel, commissioned by the Department of Energy, that concluded that the department should “not move forward” with the program, particularly efforts to develop new commercial-scale facilities for reprocessing and for burning a new type of nuclear fuel. (See ACT, December 2007. )

The funding bill provides money for research but blocks any expenditures for constructing commercial facilities or technology demonstration projects. Rather than providing the $395 million Bush had requested for the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI) with nearly all of the funds going for GNEP, lawmakers allocated only $181 million for AFCI.

The measure also falls significantly short of the Bush administration’s request for funds for a new facility at Savannah River, South Carolina, that will mix weapons-grade plutonium with depleted uranium to make new mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel for nuclear reactors.

Under a 2000 agreement, the United States and Russia each agreed to dispose of 34 metric tons of such plutonium but have not yet disposed of any. The Bush administration had pushed construction of the Savannah River facility as its means of meeting that goal, but ground was broken there only a few months ago. Funding for the project has trickled out for years as some lawmakers, particularly in the House of Representatives, have said other strategies should be employed because of the project’s costs, safety concerns, and potential proliferation risks and the failure of Russia to move forward on its end of the deal. (See ACT, April 2007. )

Indicating continued concerns, lawmakers approved $100 million less than the $334 million the administration had requested for construction of the facility. They cut Bush’s request for funding for other project costs at the facility from $97.5 million to $47.5 million, and they added a requirement that the Government Accountability Office monitor the facility’s construction and provide reports every three months on the progress of construction and associated scope, costs, and schedules.

Lawmakers also made clear that a recent administration effort to restructure the 2000 U.S.-Russian agreement in a fashion more to Russia’s liking had done little to ease their belief that Russia was not upholding its end of the bargain. (See ACT, December 2007. ) The legislation redirects all of the $208 million in funds that Congress had previously set aside to meet a $400 million U.S. pledge to help Russia meet its commitment under the deal.

Nuclear Fuel Bank

Congress authorized and appropriated $50 million toward the establishment of an international nuclear fuel bank under IAEA auspices. Such a fuel supply reserve would be aimed at countries that “have made the sovereign choice to develop their civilian nuclear energy industry based on foreign sources of nuclear fuel and therefore have no requirement to develop an indigenous nuclear fuel enrichment capability.”

Conferees on the fiscal 2008 defense authorization bill that provided the policy guidance for this contribution noted that “additional work will be required in order to provide appropriate guidance to the executive branch regarding criteria for access by foreign countries to any fuel bank established at the IAEA with materials or funds provided by the United States.”

IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei and the United States and other nuclear fuel producers have urged the creation of such a fuel bank in order to deter additional countries from establishing facilities to produce nuclear fuel. They worry that such facilities could lead to additional nuclear weapons proliferation because many of the same facilities used to produce nuclear fuel can also provide the fissile material (highly enriched uranium and plutonium) used in nuclear weapons.

The U.S. contribution would add to $300 million worth of low-enriched uranium (LEU) that Russia pledged last year to a potential fuel bank. (See ACT, October 2007. ) These donations are intended to jump-start an effort by ElBaradei and the private Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) to establish such a fuel bank in order to guarantee that states without fuel-making facilities can turn to the international body if their supplies are cut off for reasons other than commercial disputes or nonproliferation violations. In 2006, U.S. billionaire Warren Buffet offered to donate $50 million through the NTI to establish an LEU stockpile owned and managed by the IAEA under two conditions: that, within two years, one or several IAEA member states contributed an additional $100 million and that the agency took the necessary steps to establish it. (See ACT, November 2006. )

Russia has said that it is in the process of establishing such a facility at Angarsk in Siberia, where it would maintain control of the enrichment technology but allow other countries to participate as investors. It has already signed up Kazakhstan as a participant and is in the middle of negotiating such an agreement with Armenia.

Nikolay Spasskiy, the deputy head of Russia’s nuclear agency, told the Russian news agency RIA Novisti Dec. 11 that “[a]n agreement with the IAEA to establish guaranteed nuclear fuel reserves at the international uranium center in is almost ready and we hope to sign it in the first months of next year.”

Given the movement toward the establishment of such a facility, U.S. lawmakers chose to broaden the potential use of a separate fuel reserve of 17 tons of LEU that the United States had established in 2005, said then to be worth more than $500 million. (See ACT, November 2005. ) Under the legislation, U.S. companies would also be permitted to purchase the fuel in the event of a supply disruption. Previously, the reserve was limited to countries that forgo enrichment and reprocessing.

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