2
Introduction

TWO NONPROLIFERATION TOOLS: MPC&A AND EXPORT CONTROL

This study reviews the effectiveness of U.S. bilateral programs initiated in the early 1990s to support the efforts of Russia, Ukraine, Kazakstan, and Belarus in strengthening two important mechanisms for controlling the diffusion of militarily sensitive items.

The first set of bilateral programs addresses the need to upgrade the security of fissile material in the former Soviet Union (FSU) through adequate materials protection, control, and accountability (MPC&A) systems. Of special concern are the stocks of unirradiated uranium enriched to a level of 20 percent or greater (referred to herein as highly enriched uranium or HEU) and of separated plutonium of weapons grade or reactor grade (referred to herein as plutonium).1 Such

1  

The amount of material required for a nuclear weapon depends on many factors. A primitive weapon requires considerably more than modern designs. The figures traditionally quoted for HEU assume greater than 90 percent U-235; quantities required for a weapon using lower enrichments are much larger. The isotopic mix of plutonium isotopes also has a significant effect. Impurities and diluents rapidly increase the quantities needed. For the purposes herein it is sufficient to note that the quantities required are measured in kilograms.



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--> 2 Introduction TWO NONPROLIFERATION TOOLS: MPC&A AND EXPORT CONTROL This study reviews the effectiveness of U.S. bilateral programs initiated in the early 1990s to support the efforts of Russia, Ukraine, Kazakstan, and Belarus in strengthening two important mechanisms for controlling the diffusion of militarily sensitive items. The first set of bilateral programs addresses the need to upgrade the security of fissile material in the former Soviet Union (FSU) through adequate materials protection, control, and accountability (MPC&A) systems. Of special concern are the stocks of unirradiated uranium enriched to a level of 20 percent or greater (referred to herein as highly enriched uranium or HEU) and of separated plutonium of weapons grade or reactor grade (referred to herein as plutonium).1 Such 1   The amount of material required for a nuclear weapon depends on many factors. A primitive weapon requires considerably more than modern designs. The figures traditionally quoted for HEU assume greater than 90 percent U-235; quantities required for a weapon using lower enrichments are much larger. The isotopic mix of plutonium isotopes also has a significant effect. Impurities and diluents rapidly increase the quantities needed. For the purposes herein it is sufficient to note that the quantities required are measured in kilograms.

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--> material is located in hundreds of buildings at widely dispersed facilities.2 Most are located in Russia, but a few are in Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakstan.3 Because HEU and plutonium can be used in weapons without further enrichment or difficult chemical reprocessing, they are referred to as direct-use material. The problem of obtaining such direct-use material is a principal technical barrier preventing terrorists or countries of proliferation concern from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability. Many other commodities and technologies also are required to construct a weapon, but most of the items are probably more readily obtained than direct-use material.4 Thus, control of direct-use material is an essential aspect of preventing nuclear proliferation. The second set of programs is directed to the development of effective export control systems for limiting the transfer from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakstan of militarily sensitive commodities and technical data that have been identified by the international community as deserving concerted attention by all nations. Hundreds of enterprises and institutes developed and produced such commodities in the four successor countries, and some continue such production activities. Many facilities, as well as dozens of warehouse and trading organizations, currently have inventories of these commodities, together with technical information about their design and manufacture.5 The worldwide availability of much of the equipment and technical information necessary for design, construction, and delivery of weapons of mass destruction and advanced conventional weapons is increasing each year. Also, the number of scientists and engineers with training related to weapons design and development is growing in most countries of proliferation concern. However, some critical materials and components for weapons systems and a great deal of essential know-how are largely confined to a few industrialized countries. Steps to limit the international spread of selected items greatly complicate the task of nations and terrorist groups attempting to acquire such weapons. Although MPC&A and export control programs are intended to help prevent proliferation of advanced weapons and weapons systems, the characteristics of 2   In this report the term "facility" is used to denote a collection of buildings and/or structures that serve a common purpose. A facility may contain more than one building; in some cases, two or more facilities may be grouped at one site, such as Tomsk-7, which has at least six facilities. 3   Many of these sites are listed in Nuclear Sites of Russia and the Newly Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (Washington. D.C.: International Safeguards Division, U.S. Department of Energy, September 1995). 4   Modern nuclear weapons require thousands of components, and even crude weapons require hundreds of components made to strict specifications. Controls on these components or the capabilities to produce them are thus also targets of efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. 5   The Bureau of Export Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce has produced directories on the defense industries of Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakstan that list hundreds of enterprises, and these directories are clearly not exhaustive.

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--> the two programs are very different. MPC&A activities concentrate on a single item: direct-use nuclear material. They rely heavily on systems for limiting access to storage areas and for accounting of material. These systems are designed to assist security personnel in the prevention of theft or diversion of direct-use material at the facility level and in transit between facilities and, when such prevention fails, to ensure the prompt detection of such thefts or diversions. Export control activities, by contrast, refer to a far more diffuse effort, embracing many different types of materials, equipment, and technical data and involving many government agencies. They include establishment of a legal framework: a licensing procedure; enforcement mechanisms, including programs for finding and prosecuting violators of export control laws and regulations; and programs to inform exporters of their obligations under an export control system. Also of importance is integration of technical expertise into the export control infrastructure. Nonetheless, there is a linkage between the two types of programs. They are mutually reinforcing in helping to achieve the goal of a less-threatening world. FOCUS OF THE STUDY: THE U.S. RESPONSE FOR CONTAINING SENSITIVE ITEMS IN RUSSIA, UKRAINE, BELARUS, AND KAZAKSTAN The U.S. Policy Context For a number of years the United States has taken a variety of steps to reduce the likelihood that nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons, missile technologies, or technologically advanced armaments from any source would move freely in international commerce. Central to this effort has been strong support for the establishment and operation of international control regimes directed to international sales and other types of transfers of various categories of weapons and delivery systems. These regimes are designed to stimulate and coordinate restraint when appropriate by the member nations so as to prevent states of proliferation concern or terrorist groups from obtaining access to materials, equipment, or technical data that could enhance their capabilities to develop or use new weapons systems. The international spread of direct-use nuclear material is addressed specifically in the Treaty on NonProliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly referred to as the nuclear NonProliferation Treaty (NPT), and by associated groups of supplier nations.6 The related program of nuclear safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the agency's role in developing guidelines 6   See Article 3 of the NPT. Additional information on the Nuclear Suppliers Group can be found in International Atomic Energy Agency, "Information Circular: Communication Received from Certain Member States Regarding Guidelines for the Export of Nuclear Material, Equipment, and Technology," INFCIRC/254/Rev.2/Part 1, October 1995.

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--> on the physical protection of fissile material have been important in stimulating international interest in MPC&A systems. As shown by Table 1.1 in the Executive Summary, the system of export control is based on a series of interlocking control regimes. However, the framework for export controls is still evolving. The former Consultative Group and Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM), which had concentrated on limiting access of the FSU and its allies to western weapons and technologies, was dissolved in 1994. In its place the western countries established another international regime, the Wassenaar Arrangement, with an expanded membership that includes Russia, Ukraine, and several Central European countries. This regime addresses the proliferation aspects of conventional armaments and of dual-use technologies not encompassed in the other regimes.7 Within this framework of global regimes, the U.S. Government has gradually assumed international leadership to help prevent the diffusion of sensitive material and equipment, particularly direct-use nuclear material, from the successor states of the FSU. The U.S. Government has actively encouraged the key industrial countries of the region to conform their export control policies to the requirements of the international regimes. Also, the United States has mounted diplomatic efforts in the region to discourage proposed sales of certain sensitive items, even though such sales are not prohibited by the regimes (e.g., the Russian sale of nuclear reactors to Iran). Of great importance, the United States has initiated bilateral consultations and programs to upgrade MPC&A and export control systems in the FSU, as discussed below. Related efforts have included reductions of direct-use material stockpiles through American purchases of substantial quantities of HEU from Russia and Kazakstan, investigations of alternative sources of energy to the Russian plutonium production reactors in Tomsk and Krasnoyarsk, support for cooperative projects that diversify production activities at weapons-oriented enterprises into the civilian sector, and development of economic incentives for FSU weapons scientists and engineers to redirect their efforts to peaceful pursuits rather than be tempted to look abroad for customers for their weapons know-how. The range of programs reflects the significance of the underlying nonproliferation objectives. Bilateral Cooperation in Containment of Direct-Use Material and Export Control As a number of the foregoing efforts progressed on a cooperative basis from 1992 to 1994, the U.S. Government encountered many difficulties in developing 7   Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs Lynn E. Davis discussed this in detail in her speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Washington, D.C., January 23, 1996.

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--> significant bilateral efforts in MPC&A and export control, despite the availability of a mandate and funding from the U.S. Congress. Nonetheless, during this period, interested American experts from both the public and the private sectors took advantage of limited opportunities to acquaint officials of the region with western approaches in both fields. In time, administrative and political problems in Washington and the region diminished. Since the beginning of 1995, a number of U.S. government agencies and laboratories have been quite successful in participating in bilateral programs directed at these two core national security concerns. In these programs the U.S. agencies measure progress toward the goal of nonproliferation by (a) the amounts of direct-use material contained in secure MPC&A systems, and (b) the extent to which functioning export control regulatory systems, including enforcement mechanisms, have been established. The agencies realize that such measures do not adequately portray success since they do not indicate the seriousness of the remaining vulnerabilities in the systems. In addition, it is difficult to measure the precise impact of U.S. programs because of growing commitments by the countries themselves to nonproliferation goals. Still, the agencies consider the two measures useful indicators of program accomplishments. Multiple Motivations for Collaboration While the governments of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakstan have become increasingly sensitive to the potential for proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, other considerations also underlie their interests in bilateral cooperation in MPC&A and export control. For example, recognition as a responsible member of the IAEA is very important politically to each of the four governments because they rely on international support for a variety of activities in the nuclear field. These governments understand that reliable export control systems can help them gain reputations as acceptable trading partners, thereby enhancing access to western markets and technologies. In addition, Russia wants to be widely perceived as a world leader in the development and deployment of nuclear and aerospace technologies for peaceful purposes, and Ukraine seeks broad recognition for its achievements in developing technologies for applications in space programs. Conformance with international norms in relevant areas is important in gaining acceptance in international political arenas. The objectives of the four governments in bilateral cooperative programs extend beyond political benefits and technical improvements. In particular, they welcome opportunities for international travel and for obtaining additional financial resources for staff salaries and equipment purchases. They also seek improved physical protection systems in order to counter sabotage, espionage, and thefts of all types of valuable items at nuclear installations and other facilities of concern.

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--> These multiple objectives of the participants in joint efforts increase the need to have well-focused programs that still support activities of interest to all parties. SCOPE OF THE STUDY Materials and Equipment Emphasized in This Study MPC&A Activities Both the security of nuclear weapons in Russia and the containment of direct-use nuclear material there and in several other successor states are major concerns of the United States and other western governments. Significant U.S. programs are directed to strengthening Russia's control over nuclear weapons that are under the custody of the Russian Ministry of Defense. Control of these weapons has been addressed by others and is outside the scope of this study. In evaluating controls on direct-use material, the committee focused on the major U.S. bilateral programs, particularly those managed on the U.S. side by the Department of Energy (DOE). Because DOE had not yet begun work at the weapons assembly and dismantlement facilities at the time of the committee's visit to Russia, the committee did not consider the security of weapons components at these facilities or in transit to and from the facilities. The committee also did not address programs of the U.S. Department of Defense concerning direct-use material that is under the control of the Russian Ministry of Defense, material primarily in weapons, although the study did examine DOE activities directed to security of material used by the Russian navy and the icebreaker fleet. Direct-use material can exist in many forms; it may be a pure metal, a compound, or an alloy. It may also be in components that are to be incorporated into weapons, in fresh nuclear fuel rods, or in the form of powder in storage containers. It may be in scrap or off-specification material that has been set aside as waste. It may exist in various states in chemical processing facilities. All such forms were considered, but the committee did not consider safeguards of spent reactor fuel elements or other irradiated material because DOE gives them lower priority relative to the abundant, more readily accessible stocks of direct-use material. Export Control Export controls are aimed at controlling international commerce in a wide range of materials, equipment, and technical information with military applications to end users and countries of concern. Good starting points for identifying such items are the lists of controlled commodities associated with the international control regimes. Some regimes distinguish between items considered critical or sensitive and items of less concern. Table 2.1 sets forth examples of

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--> TABLE 2.1 Examples of Controlled Itemsa   Sensitive Export and Dual-Use Items Lists Nuclear Materials The Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG) and Zangger trigger lists include source material and special fissionable material such as H plutonium, and thorium. The NSG dual-use list includes boron, beryllium, bismuth, zirconium, and magnesium. Nuclear Equipment and Facilities The NSG and Zangger trigger lists include reactors, reprocessing and fuel fabrication plants, and related equipment specially desi gned or prepared for such facilities. The NSG dual-use list includes items not especially designed or prepared for the above facilities but that can be used in them and also includes industrial items useful for the manufacture of nuclear weapons. such as implosio systems development equipment, explosives and related equipment, and nuclear testing equipment and components. Chemical Materials The Australia Group list currently contains 54 controlled chemicals (all precursors). The core list chemicals include thiodigly phosphoryl chloride, dimethyl methylphosphonate, methylphosphonyl difluoride, and methylphosphonyl dichloride. The rel chemical weapons agents are sulfur mustard, sesqui mustard, tabun, sarin, somon, and GF. Chemical Equipment The Australia Group dual-use chemical equipment list includes reaction vessels, reactors, agitators, storage tanks, containers, receivers, heat exchangers, condensers, distillation and absorption columns, filling equipment, valves, multi-walled piping, pumps, and incinerators. Biological Materials The Australia Group core and warning lists include bacteria, rickettsiae, viruses, toxins, and genetically modified microorganisms. The disease agents of concern include anthrax, plague, tularemia, cholera, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, Q fever, botulism, and staphylococcal enterotoxemia (food poisoning). Biological Equipment The Australia Group dual-use biological equipment includes complete containment facilities at P3 and P4 containment levels, fermenters, centrifugal separators, cross-flow filtration equipment, freeze-drying equipment, and aerosol inhalation chamber Missile-related Items The Missile Technology Control Regime Category I encompasses complete rocket systems (including ballistic missile systems launch vehicles intended to carry weapons of mass destruction, and sounding rockets) and unmanned air vehicle systems (including cruise missiles, target drones, and reconnaissance drones): individual rocket stages: reentry vehicles and equipment: solid- or liquid-propellant rocket engines: guidance sets: thrust vector control subsystems; and weapons and warhead safing. arming, fuzing, and firing mechanisms. Category II includes a wide range of missile components and subsystems. Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Technologies The Wassenaar Arrangement munitions list includes 22 categories of conventional armaments. ammunition, and related items. Wassenaar Arrangement list of dual-use goods and technologies includes advanced materials and materials processing equipment; electronics: computers: telecommunications; information security systems: and sensors and lasers for navigation, marine, and propulsion applications. a See Appendix A for a discussion of the international control regimes. Source: U.S. Department of State.

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--> controlled items, particularly critical items that are to receive priority consideration in developing export control systems. As can be seen, export control requirements encompass a much broader range of nuclear-related materials than only direct-use material. Also, many types of nuclear equipment are included on international control lists. Export control activities are frequently divided into the control of weapons (or "munitions") and the control of dual-use items. In Russia, two different review procedures are followed for the two types of items. In the other countries of interest, both categories of items are subjected to a single review procedure. Various different participants in the process adjust their roles depending on the type of item under consideration. As required by the terms of reference for this study, the committee gave special attention to controls on dual-use technologies. At the same time, it recognized that state-sanctioned sales of munitions or illicit trade in munitions can often present much greater threats to international security than international transfers of controlled dual-use items. Of special note, Russia inherited a large storehouse of facilities, equipment, and technology related to biological and chemical warfare that should be carefully controlled until they are destroyed or dismantled in accordance with international commitments. While the U.S. Government has undertaken limited efforts to help secure and eliminate such items, a detailed review of these activities was beyond the scope of this study. Countries of Interest The vast majority of the U.S. effort to help contain direct-use material in the FSU has concentrated on Russia, where most of the material is located. Important, but modest, activities have been under way in Ukraine, Kazakstan, and Belarus, where direct-use material remains at a few research centers and one breeder reactor in Kazakstan. Also, in Russia and Ukraine, upgrading the security of nuclear power stations is of high priority to the governments, which are concerned with sabotage; this interest intersects with their efforts in physical security enhancements for MPC&A purposes. The U.S. cooperative program with Russia in export control has emphasized exchange visits involving very important Russian specialists from government and industry. The U.S. program has also included limited technical cooperative programs at the laboratory-to-laboratory level. A more ambitious program would probably require a formal bilateral agreement between the U.S. Government and the Russian Government—a step that was not possible several years ago because of Russian concerns over U.S. auditing procedures.8 Cooperative programs in- 8   A Memorandum of Intent between the United States and Russia was signed in January 1994 that provides for export control exchanges and seminars.

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--> volving Ukraine, Kazakstan, and Belarus are based on formal agreements and have been much more extensive, touching almost every aspect of export control. In the other successor states, the U.S. Government has begun to involve key officials in regional seminars and group visits to the United States. Overall, this study emphasized activities in Russia, where the greatest threats to nonproliferation exist, and to a lesser extent Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakstan. The presence of small amounts of direct-use material at research sites in Latvia, Uzbekistan, and Georgia, which is subject to IAEA safeguards, has been recognized. Some eventually may be returned to Russia; but, in any event, its presence opens still other opportunities for smuggling. These and neighboring countries of the region are potential routes for smuggling other sensitive items as well and for transshipments of controlled items. Thus, the weaknesses in their efforts to counter proliferation cannot be ignored. Countries in Central Europe also are of concern because of both smuggling and transshipments of controlled items. In a few cases they produce controlled commodities. However, recent efforts by the U.S. Government to cooperate with Central European countries in MPC&A and export control were beyond the scope of this study. Also, there have been a number of reports of smuggling of nuclear items in Germany that were believed to have originated in the FSU; but the security environments in the western countries of Europe are quite different from the situation in the former Soviet Union, and interdiction procedures in Western Europe were also beyond the scope of this study. COMMITTEE'S APPROACH TO REVIEWING PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS The committee recognized from the outset that there were no good quantitative measures of the effectiveness of U.S. programs in supporting efforts in the four successor countries to upgrade their controls on sensitive items. First, there was great uncertainty as to the effectiveness of existing controls, the security conditions at production and research facilities, and the capabilities of personnel at both the national and the facility levels in the four countries at the time the U.S. programs were initiated. Hence, there was not a good baseline against which to measure progress. Second, it was not possible to separate the contributions of American participation from the progress that would have been made without U.S. involvement. Finally, there are no reliable data concerning legal transfers of sensitive items out of the region, let alone contraband goods which may not even be known to national authorities, complicating assessments of the impact of upgrades on proliferation. The committee thus relied on qualitative assessments of whether U.S. agencies were effectively using opportunities to stimulate action by counterparts to upgrade their regulatory and security systems. In assessing reductions in the likelihood that sensitive items would reach countries or subnational groups of

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--> concern, the committee relied on the same surrogate indicators of progress cited by the U.S. government agencies involved—the coverage and effectiveness of functioning components of MPC&A and export control systems. Of course, the well-developed approaches in MPC&A and export control that are practiced in the United States and many other western countries provided starting points for reviewing the efforts of the four successor countries in these fields and of the programs of the U.S. agencies. However, the physical infrastructure, financial conditions, local security and law enforcement capabilities, and many other social and economic factors in the region differ significantly from conditions in the United States and even vary considerably among the four countries. Thus, the committee gave considerable attention to opportunities for adapting American experience in different environments. Also, a number of years are needed for the countries to have fully developed systems for containing sensitive material, equipment, and information. The committee therefore considered interim approaches that could help contain leakages in the immediate future. Throughout this report, footnotes provide the reader with background and source information. Where absent, the statements are based on committee site visits and discussions with FSU officials. ORGANIZATION OF THE REPORT The present report is divided into five chapters, including the Executive Summary and this Introduction. Supporting documentation is included in the appendices and identified in the footnotes. Chapter 3 describes the environment in the FSU, particularly in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakstan. In setting the stage for the remainder of the report, the chapter reviews recent developments in the successor states that have a bearing on the need for and character of MPC&A and export control systems. The changing political scene, the economic problems, the growth of crime, the commodities and technologies of concern in the successor states, and the interests of countries of proliferation concern are considered. Chapter 4 addresses MPC&A. The vast size and security conditions of the Soviet nuclear complex are described, and the types of potential threats to nuclear facilities are discussed. Steps being taken by the governments of the region to upgrade MPC&A systems, as well as the organizational and budgetary issues faced by both the Russian and the U.S. Governments, are described. Comments are offered on the adequacy of the programs in addressing threats and the appropriateness of the focus and priorities of the programs. Specific findings as to the effectiveness of U.S. programs and recommendations on how the programs can be made still more important are presented. Chapter 5 addresses export control. The types of products and facilities of the former Soviet military-industrial complex are discussed. The various elements of western-style export control systems are presented, along with a discus-

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--> sion of the state of development of such systems in the region. Enforcement difficulties and the possibility of providing a new emphasis on controls at the source are underscored. A review of U.S. efforts and recommendations for refining the U.S. approach are presented. In summary, the report concentrates on its two principal tasks: (a) to assess the effectiveness of current U.S. efforts to cooperate with Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakstan as they seek higher standards of security for direct-use nuclear material and to recommend possible new directions, and (b) to assess U.S. cooperative activities that address potential transfers from the four successor states of a wide range of other sensitive materials and technologies and to recommend additional steps to address this proliferation problem.