NucNews - August 18, 2000

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-------- NUCLEAR (by country)

'Terrifying Hole' in Russian Sub

By Daniel Williams
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, August 18, 2000 ; A01;=A45155-2000Aug17


ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Aug. 17 -- As Russian rescuers failed again to lock on to an escape hatch of the sunken submarine Kursk, video images of the silent vessel today showed a gash in the hull far larger than had been previously described, suggesting to officials that the submarine plummeted to an uncontrolled collision with the sea floor that may have killed much of the crew.

Five days after the Kursk sank in the Barents Sea, and two days after Russian officials said they last heard signs of life aboard the 500-foot nuclear-powered vessel, Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov called the situation for the crew of 118 "close to catastrophic."

Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov told reporters there is a "terrifying hole" on its starboard side. Officials said images recorded by rescue teams showed severe damage from the bow of the sub to the conning tower, or sail, at the center of the deck. The tower contains the control room, meaning that the crew would have lost control of the vessel when disaster struck on Saturday. The extent of the damage suggested to submarine experts that many members of the crew may have died within minutes after the vessel plunged more than 350 feet to the seabed.

"If this damage is correct, then about 70 percent of the crew was killed right away," said Boris Kolyada, a recently retired Russian submarine commander familiar with the Kursk.

U.S. Navy experts in Washington said that more than 40 percent of the Kursk's pressure hull would have to flood for the vessel to sink. Flooding that extensive would destroy forward compartments containing living areas, food, the control room and communications equipment, the experts said. "Most of the crew would have been in those areas that flooded very quickly," a Navy official said.

Continued delays in reaching survivors and persistent contradictions about the cause of the disaster have inflamed Russian public opinion and are presenting President Vladimir Putin with the first major political crisis of his presidency. Citizens and media outlets accused Putin, on vacation at the Black Sea resort of Sochi, of being sluggish and secretive while the lives of Russian sailors hung in the balance.

Independent NTV television, which also has criticized Putin's handling of the war in Chechnya, broadcast a long report on his flag-waving appearance on a submarine last year and compared it with his absence during the Kursk crisis.

"Lies and fears are the features of Russian authority," declared the newspaper Izvestia. "When people's lives . . . are involved, admirals, generals and government officials should not lie, dodge and think about their own career--this is blasphemy."

After days of refusing outside help, Putin ordered the navy on Wednesday to accept offers of assistance from the West. Britain and Norway are sending rescue teams to the scene, but they are not scheduled to arrive until Saturday or Sunday. The British rescuers are ferrying a sophisticated LR5 mini-sub to the site, while Norway is sending a dozen civilian divers experienced in deep-sea work off oil rigs. The LR5 can hold as many as 16 passengers.

The government's credibility gap was nourished by evidence that the Russian navy was not straightforward in its accounts of what happened. While the Russians said the Kursk sank Sunday, U.S. defense officials said American vessels in the vicinity reported that the sinking occurred on Saturday. Russian officials were inconsistent about the cause of the disaster. At first, they ascribed it to a collision, the next day to an explosion, and the next to a collision and explosion. Even the prognosis for the survival of the crewmen changed. Adm. Vladimir Kuroyodev, the commander of the Russian navy, said Tuesday that surviving crewmen had enough oxygen to last three days; on Wednesday, he raised the estimate to nine days.

Today, Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev revived the theory that a collision had caused the sinking, saying that the submarine had struck an "object" that caused severe damage to its bow. "An increasing amount of evidence suggests that the submarine must have collided with an external object," he told reporters.

A Russian newspaper quoted a retired submarine commander as saying officials believe the object was a cargo ship being used as an ice breaker; the sinking occurred during a large naval exercise involving about 30 surface ships and submarines.

The video images of the Kursk described today were cited in Washington as supporting the theory that a massive explosion in the forward torpedo compartment sank the submarine. The fact that damage extends all the way to the sail is a significant indication of the size of the blast. U.S. surveillance vessels detected the sound of a large underwater blast from the area of Russian naval exercises Saturday morning, and this is now widely assumed to have been the explosion aboard the Kursk, U.S. defense officials said. A second explosion heard shortly after the first is also assumed to have occurred on the Kursk.

"After a blast that large, you have to question the structural integrity of the ship, and you have to worry that a great many people died as she was going down," a U.S. Navy official said.

U.S. officials said they have no independent knowledge of the nature of the explosion. The Pentagon says it expects to know more when two U.S. submarines that monitored the Russian exercises return to their bases and the sonar data they recorded is fully analyzed.

In this former Imperial seaport city, the cradle of the Russian navy, the mood among citizens, and especially former sailors was grim, almost bitter. The pileup of conflicting official statements, the suspicion that rescue efforts got underway late and the delay in inviting foreign assistance made for anger.

"It's become a form of theater," said Yevgeny Aznabayev, a retired submarine navigator. "This is a performance for the whole world."

"Of course, it hasn't looked good for days," remarked Kolyada, the retired sub commander. "As submariners, we are not supposed to lose hope. But this is a terrible test, and the way the rescue was handled made it worse."

The submarine crisis recalled for Russians the callous government secrecy of Soviet days. It has been common to hear people refer to the 1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, a disaster kept secret from the public until news of the crisis spread in the West. Also on the minds of many is the specter of slow death among survivors aboard the sub while the military needed days to get its best rescue equipment into action.

"I am confused, and I am sad," said Larisa Mikhailova, whose late husband served in Russian submarines. "It is like watching a slow-motion film. Everything took so long, and everyone kept saying everything would be alright."

Relatives of Kursk sailors continued to register complaints about scarce information, and many were coming together in the Barents Sea port of Murmansk, about 100 miles from the sinking site, to await news. In Kursk, the West Russian city that is the sub's namesake, seven mothers of crew members gathered to make a train trip to Murmansk, a journey financed by the Soldiers' Mothers Committee, an antiwar and civil rights group. Kursk officials tried to stop the women, saying they had to wait until rescue operations were ended, but the women decided to go anyway.

"We are indignant because our children are still there," said one mother. "Little has been done to rescue them."

Staff writer Roberto Suro in Washington contributed to this report.


British Vessel Heads to Sunken Sub

Washington Post
Friday, August 18, 2000 ; A38
By T.R. Reid Washington Post Foreign Service

LONDON, Aug. 17 -- British navy officers expressed confidence today that their deep-sea rescue vessel, the LR5, can dock with the sunken Russian submarine Kursk and take sailors off the stricken vessel--if anyone is still alive when the rescuers arrive.

The LR5, riding aboard an oil freighter hastily converted into a mother ship for the rescue team, steamed out of Trondheim, Norway, this morning for the three-day trip north and east around the Norwegian coast to the waters off the Russian port of Murmansk, where the Kursk sank on Saturday. A senior Russian admiral, Alexander Pobozhy, told reporters in Brussels that sailors in similar accidents have survived two or three weeks before being rescued.

Spokesmen at Britain's Ministry of Defense said their communications with the Russian navy suggest that the Kursk is in a situation that makes a rescue possible. The British said the submarine is lying at an angle of no more than 20 degrees from vertical on the floor of the Barents Sea, at a depth of about 356 feet.

Both the depth and the angle are not as great as earlier reported and well within the LR5's operating limits. Further, the LR5 has docked successfully in training drills with the escape hatch of a Polish sub that is said to be roughly similar in layout to the Kursk.

The Kursk, one of Russia's newest nuclear-powered cruise-missile submarines, sank during large-scale fleet maneuvers. British officials said they do not have detailed information about the cause of the accident, but there was evidently a large explosion in the ship's bow section that caused severe flooding.

In Moscow today, a state television correspondent reported "very serious damage" to a forward section of the Kursk after viewing video taken by a deep-sea rescue capsule.

Defense Ministry officials said they were told the rescue can only be made at the submarine's "aft escape hatch"--the one nearest the stern. There is another escape hatch on the conning tower, the control and navigation center of the sub. If that hatch was rendered useless by the accident, it could mean the explosion, or the flooding, damaged the entire front half of the vessel. Any sailors trapped ahead of watertight bulkheads that should have closed automatically with the flooding presumably would have drowned.

The submarine's 350-foot depth is a tough place to carry on a rescue--but not an impossible one. The North Sea oil industry regularly carries out maintenance work at deeper levels, British navy spokesmen said. A specially trained diver can work in depths of 350 feet or greater for extended periods. After such deep dives, the divers spend considerable time in a pressurized room so they can readjust to surface air pressure.

The Norwegian coast guard has dispatched 12 divers and equipment to Murmansk, and they should arrive Sunday or Monday. The LR5, the British rescue vehicle, can operate at depths of 1,300 feet.

Once the divers and the rescue team reach the site, the LR5 will descend to the Kursk. The British rescue vessel is a self-propelled craft, and thus should be more maneuverable, the navy officers said, than the Russian diving bell and tethered submersibles used earlier this week in an unsuccessful rescue effort. With the help of the divers, the LR5 should be able to position itself over the sub's rear escape hatch. A "skirt wedge" will be attached, if possible, to help equalize atmospheric pressure levels in the submarine and the rescue vessel.

Then the three crew members on the LR5 will open their vessel's escape hatch and unscrew the valve that holds the Kursk's escape hatch closed. With luck, any surviving sailors will emerge from the sub, pass through the joined hatches and ride the LR5 to safety.

The rescue vessel has a "cram capacity" of 16 people at a time, according to the British. If there are more than 16 survivors, the Russians have procedures to decide which 16 get to be the first off the sub.

The red-and-white LR5 rescue vehicle is 30 feet long by 13 feet wide. It is equipped with sonar, radio, three outside TV cameras and acrylic observation panels. It was flown to Norway on Wednesday; today, it was hoisted aboard the converted freighter Normand Pioneer for the 950-mile trip from Trondheim to the site of the sinking.



Federation of American Scientists has excellent site on Oscar-Class Submarine sunk off Norway:

Here's Jane's short site -

Displacement, tons: 13,900 surfaced; 18,300 dived
Dimensions, feet (metres): 505.2 � 59.7 � 29.5 (154 � 18.2 � 9)
Main machinery: Nuclear; 2 VM-5 PWR; 380 MW; 2 GT3A turbines; 98,000 hp(m) (72 MW); 2 shafts; 2 spinners
Speed, knots: 28 dived; 15 surfaced
Complement: 107 (48 officers)

Missiles: SSM: 24 Chelomey SS-N-19 Shipwreck (Granit)(improved SS-N-12 with lower flight profile); inertial with command update guidance; active radar homing to 20-550 km (10.8-300 n miles) at 1.6 Mach; warhead 750 kg HE or 500 kT nuclear. Novator Alfa SS-N-27 may be carried in due course. A/S: Novator SS-N-15 Starfish (Tsakra) fired from 53 cm tubes; inertial flight to 45 km (24.3 n miles); warhead nuclear 200 kT or Type 40 torpedo.

Novator SS-N-16 Stallion fired from 65 cm tubes; inertial flight to 100 km (54 n miles); payload nuclear 200 kT (Vodopad) or Type 40 torpedo (Veder). Torpedoes: 4-21 in (533 mm) and 2-26 in (650 mm) tubes. Combination of 65 and 53 cm torpedoes (see table at front of section). Total of 28 weapons including tube-launched A/S missiles.

Mines: 32 can be carried.

Countermeasures: ESM: Rim Hat; intercept.

Weapons control: Punch Bowl for third party targeting. Radars: Surface search: Snoop Pair or Snoop Half; I-band. Sonars: Shark Gill; hull-mounted; passive/active search and attack; low/medium frequency.

Shark Rib flank array; passive; low frequency. Mouse Roar; hull-mounted; active attack; high frequency. Pelamida towed array; passive search; very low frequency.

Programmes: There is some doubt whether K 530 will be completed. Name/Number attribution is still uncertain, and Omsk may have been renamed Petropavlosk Kamchatsky. Structure: SSM missile tubes are in banks of 12 either side and external to the 8.5 m diameter pressure hull; they are inclined at 40� with one hatch covering each pair, the whole resulting in the very large beam. The position of the missile tubes provides a large gap of some 4 m between the outer and inner hulls. Diving depth, 1,000 ft (300 m) although 2,000 ft (600 m) is claimed.

Operational: ELF/VLF communications buoy. All have a tube on the rudder fin as in Delta IV which is used for dispensing a thin line towed sonar array. Pert Spring SATCOM. K 173, K 410, K 266 and K 141 are based at Litsa South in the Northern Fleet and the remainder at Tarya Bay in the Pacific. In 1999 one Northern Fleet unit deployed for the first Russian SSGN patrol in the Mediterranean for ten years. At the same time a Pacific Fleet unit sailed to the western seaboard of the United States. The first three of the class K 148, K 132 and K 119 are laid up awaiting disposal . The only two Oscar Is are laid up in the Northern Fleet.

-------- australia

Australia Narrows Hunt For Nuclear Waste Site

August 18, 2000

CANBERRA, Australia, And then there were three: Australia has narrowed its shortlist of sites for a national low level radioactive waste repository.

Rush hour on the road to Woomera, a site shortlisted for a low level radioactive waste repository. (Photo courtesy CANGAROO - Collaboration of Australia and Nippon for a GAmma Ray Observatory in the Outback)

Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Nick Minchin announced this week that the three sites are in flat, stony desert country in the central north region of South Australia.

Australia currently stores its low level waste, which includes hospital, research and industry waste, at more than 50 sites around the country. The government believes it would be safer to dispose of this waste in one national repository.

Radioactive waste can be broadly categorized as either high level waste or low level to intermediate level waste. High level waste is the highly radioactive material, such as uranium and plutonium.

Low and intermediate level waste can be classified as materials which have come into contact with small amounts of high level waste. Each type is treated differently. Low level wastes are compacted and sent to shallow burial sites. High level wastes are stored in sealed containers and buried in deep geologic structures.

"Currently, waste producers have the responsibility of looking after the material in over 50 locations around Australia in circumstances which are not ideal, and where there is no guarantee of continuity of arrangements," said Minchin.

Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Nick Minchin. (Photo courtesy Ministry for Industry, Science and Resources)

But anti nuclear campaigner Dr Jim Green of Wollongong University believes the government's motives have nothing to do with the nation's best interests.

Green claims the waste repository plan has more to do with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization's (ANSTO) need to get rid of its waste stockpile. This, said Green, will allow it to minimize public opposition to the plan for a new reactor in the Sydney suburb of Lucas Heights.

Contracts for the construction of this replacement nuclear research reactor were signed July 13 between the ANSTO and the Argentine company INVAP S.E.

"The federal government understates ANSTO's contribution to the national waste stockpile, and plays with words and fiddles with figures to achieve that end," said Green.

"Yet Des Levins, director of ANSTO's radioactive-waste management division, has publicly acknowledged that there is 'no doubt' that 'the major fraction' of the waste sent to a national dump would arise from ANSTO's operations at Lucas Heights."

One of the three sites shortlisted is in the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA), and the other two are further east.

Occupying about 127,000 square kilometers, the WPA is made up of undulating plateaus, salt lakes and low vegetation. The area was used in a joint Australia-United Kingdom project as a long range weapons facility in the 1950s and 60s. Woomera is an aboriginal name for spear thrower.

Woomera's main launch site in the 1960s showing a fully-assembled Europa launch vehicle. (Photo by Max Ryan)

Minchin said that the national repository, which will consist of near level trenches, will be government owned and regulated. He insisted that the decision to create a central site did not mean Australia is about to accept nuclear waste from other countries.

"The government's position is based on the clear principle that countries deriving benefits from nuclear power should be expected to make their own arrangements to safely dispose of nuclear waste. I have restated this policy time and time again," he said.

Last year ENS reported on a plan to establish a global nuclear waste dump in the Western Australian outback.

The proposal pitched by a British Nuclear Fuels dominated consortium called Pangea has been stalled by legislative setbacks in both Commonwealth and state parliaments.

Pangea proposes that up to 20 percent of the global spent nuclear fuel inventory could be disposed of at the as yet undisclosed dumpsite.

Despite Minchin's assurances, the idea of a waste dump for low level waste generated in Australia is unpopular with the South Australian public. According to a poll commissioned by the environmental group Greenpeace, 86 percent of South Australians, Minchin's home state, oppose a low-level nuclear waste dump.

Map showing Woomera in relation to Australia's major cities. (Map courtesy CANGAROO)

Last week Minchin announced the government is looking for a national disposal site for the country's intermediate level waste.

"The search for a site will be a nationwide search and no state or territory will be ruled out," said Minchin.

The minister has been under growing pressure for Australia's nuclear policy and in particular, the Lucas Heights deal.

Today, Australia's federal opposition party attacked Minchin over allegations that the Argentinian company chosen to build the reactor is in debt and before Argentinian courts.

Minchin dismissed the claims as baseless.

-------- finland

Finnish nuclear power plant had minor water leaks


HELSINKI (Reuters) - A Finnish nuclear power station had a mildly radioactive water leak Friday morning, the second such minor incident at the plant in two days, the country's nuclear safety officials said.

The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) said that the leaks inside the Loviisa power plant, located about 45 miles east of Helsinki, had not posed any risk to the plant's personnel or the surrounding environment.

A STUK official told Reuters that the authority was still waiting for exact radiation measurements from Loviisa, but the recurrence of the problems prompted it to issue an ``INES 1,'' the lowest international radiation safety warning.

An operational error resulted in 10 cubic meters of ``mildly radioactive'' water leaking into the plant's containment building during tests on the fuel rod cooling system, officials said.

The mishap occurred after 20 cubic meters of radioactive water flowed onto the floor of one of the facility's buildings during testing of the same system Thursday, officials said.

Measures had been taken to reduce the likelihood of incidents caused by human error, the authority said.

The Loviisa plant is one of two nuclear power facilities in Finland, each with two power units.

The Loviisa plant's unit number 1, where the incidents happened, has been at a standstill since July because of annual safety checks and the closure will now be prolonged slightly, the STUK official said.

The second unit was operating normally and STUK did not expect the incident to affect power generation at Loviisa.

-------- india / pakistan


The Telegraph
18 August 2000

Hyderabad, Aug. 17 2000 - There is concern over a radioactive capsule which was lost from a hospital in the city. The capsule can cause environmental hazard, some experts feel. Administrators of the Mehdi Nawaj Jung Cancer Hospital here admitted a Caesium-137 spring with 73 millicurie of radioactivity was lost two months ago. The capsule was reportedly thrown away by a ward boy, hospital sources said.

Atomic scientists and hospital staff have been scouring municipal garbage bins and sewers for the capsule in vain over the past two months.

Municipal authorities were directed by Delhi to "sift through all garbage dumps" in the city as a precautionary measure. Hospital authorities are not sure whether the material is lying loose or in a cylinder. "The 16 mm x 3 mm cylinder is also reportedly lost along with the radioactive material," they said.

"Continuous exposure to the material for over a week or less might cause infection leading to leukaemia or dermatitis allergy," cardiologist Kakarla Subba Rao of the Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences here said.

"It may also cause burns. But if it has been submerged in water, it will not have any after-effect," he said.

The loss of the source is rated at level 2 in the International Nuclear Event Scale of the International Atomic Energy Agency, indicating it is an "incident" without major safety hazard.

The caesium spring is used for treatment of gynaecological cancers.

According to the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC), the hospital kept the loss under wraps since June fearing an outcry. The material had thrown away with other hospital waste. The missing caesium indicates a serious procedural lapse on the part of the hospital, said secretary of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board K.S. Parthasarathy.

The Nuclear Fuel Complex, which was approached by the hospital, failed to locate it.

The hospital tried to trace the garbage by following the municipal van which carried hospital waste. It also examined the Golconda garbage dump on the outskirts of the city. For nearly two weeks it poured water twice over the garbage everyday to dilute the material. Two teams of the BARC scientists, who investigated the entire episode, concluded that the radioactive material was "somewhere alive in Hyderabad". The rains in June disrupted the search.

The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board secretary visited Hyderabad last week on a fact-finding mission to the hospital. Following the finding of procedural lapses, the hospital's licence for procuring radioactive material was also suspended by the board. Some patients being treated for breast cancer were advised to shift to other institutions in the city.

Municipal authorities, however, denied that there was any panic search for the missing radioactive material. "The hospital and the Nuclear Fuel Complex reported the matter to the municipal corporation only at the end of July. We have begun the search since then. But you know how difficult it is to locate a cylinder as small as a bottle cork. Besides one is not sure whether the material was still in the cylinder," said a senior municipal engineer in charge of the operations.

All residents living close to drains have been advised to get preventive medicines against dermatitis allergy. BARC has advised health authorities and the municipal corporation to check the garbage points till the material is finally located.

"The inadequate precautions in hospitals against radioactive material is proverbial in Hyderabad. There should be a government depository of radioactive material which should be drawn and dispensed under strict vigilance of trained personnel," said Dr K. Purushottam Reddy, convenor of the Centre for Environment Concerns, an NGO.


Is the Pugwash movement ready for new challenges?

The Friday Times
18 August 2000

Ejaz Haider says the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs will have to redraw its strategy to face up to the new challenges to global security.

The 50th Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs titled, "Eliminating the Causes of War," met at Queens' College, Cambridge, UK from August 3-8. The annual conference was attended by over 150 participants from 45 countries around the world.

The Pugwash Conferences are eponymous with Pugwash, a small village in Nova Scotia, Canada, where the first meeting was held in July 1957. The meeting, which brought together 22 eminent scientists from 10 countries of the world, was hosted by an American philanthropist, Cyrus Eaton, who was born in the village of Pugwash. The stimulus for the meeting was the 1955 Russell-Einstein manifesto, signed at the time by nine other eminent scientists, including Nobel Laureate Sir Joseph Rotblat, who, according to Mike Moore, editor of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, today "embodies Pugwash". The Manifesto by Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell, known originally as "A Statement on Nuclear Weapons," was a response to the testing of thermonuclear devices by the United States and the Soviet Union. Since the first meeting at Pugwash, there have been over 250 Pugwash conferences, symposia and workshops and the number of living "Pugwashites" around the world stands close to 3000 (for more information, see

Interestingly, as Dr Zia Mian points out: "The...irony is that 'Pugwash' could actually have been 'Delhi'. The meeting set up after the Einstein-Russell manifesto was planned for Delhi, at the invitation of Homi Bhabha and [Jawaharlal] Nahru. Russell is said to have sent out the letters of invitation to Delhi. But then things came unstuck. Thus the meeting moved to Pugwash, with Eaton paying the bill."

When it began campaigning against the nuclear weapons and in favour of nuclear weapons arms control and disarmament in the late fifties, Pugwash brought together the finest expertise in the field despite opposition and criticism by policymakers and "realist" strategists. It provided the expertise and the alternative paradigm (which looked at security as a holistic concept not in terms of balance of terror but in terms of "humanity". As the Manifesto said: "Shall we instead, choose death, because we cannot forget our quarrels? Remember your humanity, and forget the rest...") when the developed world, especially the United States, began to think in terms of some kind of nuclear weapons arms control. This mindset was the basis of the breakthrough Pugwash got with the signing of the PTBT (Partial Test Ban Treaty) of 1963 within six years of the first meeting. The movement played a significant role in providing expertise and stimulus for the negotiations and signing of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1968, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) of 1972, the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) of 1972 and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) of 1993.

The work over four decades finally managed to create what has come to be known as the "nonproliferation norm". In 1995, at the NPT Review Conference, that norm was established when the RevCon extended the treaty indefinitely. The same year, in October, Joseph Rotblat, then President of Pugwash, and the Pugwash Conferences for Science and World Affairs, won the Nobel Prize for Peace in two equal parts. This was a great moment for Pugwash Conferences, not only for its ability to bring the best experts in the world together and campaign consistently against proliferation of nuclear weapons, but also because it had evolved as a forum which could speak on these matters from what has been described as the "policy-relevant" angle. The following year, 1996, saw negotiations on, and the signing of, the CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty). The treaty was to be ratified finally in September 1998. The norm Pugwash had helped establish, taking advantage of its own expertise, but more significantly of the changed mindset in the official circles which allowed it to bring that expertise to bear on policymaking, had finally crystallised.

It had everything going for it. And then the unimaginable happened with first India's and then Pakistan's nuclear tests. South Asia had cocked a snook at the developed world, especially the Club of Five, and the "norm". The going from thereon has been tough for Pugwash as was clear from the closing address of Sir Michael Atiyah, the President of Pugwash, at the recent annual conference. Among other problems, Atiyah listed the decision by the US Administration to carry on with the "highly controversial US missile defense program [which] raise[s] the grim prospect of a renewal of the nuclear arms race." "Other dangerous developments on the world scene include the failure of the US Senate to ratify the CTBT, certain changes in [the] Russian nuclear doctrine, further nuclear proliferation, and the latent danger of terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction, including biological and chemical."

Interestingly, Atiyah's closing address, which was in the Pugwash spirit, went against the presentations in a plenary session of the Russian and British speakers. While the British presenter listed the achievements of the United Kingdom in terms of reducing its stockpile of nuclear weapons, rely as the UK now does - since the Strategic Defence Review of 1998 - only on the four Trident submarines, he was clear about the need for a minimum deterrent. Moreover, he asserted that any further movement by the UK towards disarmament would depend on the other nuclear powers after they have reached the minimum level presently maintained by his country.

The Russian presenter not only defended his country's nuclear arsenal, but maintained that in view of the strategic asymmetry caused by the US missile defence programme, the growing inferiority of the Russian conventional force strength, the higher costs of maintaining greater conventional forces, NATO expansion and the US unilateralism - symbolised by NATO's war against Yugoslavia - the Russian Federation could not but rely on its nuclear forces. In fact, his entire presentation was an attempt to defend Moscow's official position, a far cry from the Pugwash agenda.

Atiyah's closing address was therefore a refreshing reminder of the Pugwash charter, symbolised by what the Russell-Einstein Manifesto said: "Shall we put an end to the human race or shall mankind renounce war?" Atiyah mentioned the need to take "bolder steps," calling upon the "nuclear powers to implement their 'unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenal' made at the Sixth Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in April 2000." That is the catch. While South Asia's nuclearisation might have broken the norm, South Asia never really provided the real challenge to Pugwash, though it has now, in conjunction with other factors, brought the challenge closer, and sooner, to Pugwash.

Let us put it this way: Even if India and Pakistan had not tested, or the US Senate had ratified the CTBT, or the US government had not embarked upon the missile defence programme, or even the Russian Federation had not announced its greater reliance on nuclear weapons by rejecting the so-called doctrine of no-first-use, the challenge to Pugwash would still have come - how to move from nonproliferation to disarmament. The added irritants have only complicated the situation and threatens to unwind the whole system at greater speed then if none of the above had happened. The Pugwash expertise and policy-relevant initiatives could work in an atmosphere where the leading countries came to appreciate the imperative of nuclear arms control. Given the gravity of the situation at the time - "the Cold War, marked by the Berlin Crisis, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the invasion of Czechoslovakia and the Vietnam War" - and the realisation by the Kennedy Administration to do something to contain horizontal proliferation and introduce bilateral arms control, the Pugwash could contribute to the effort. Having achieved the nonproliferation norm in a hypothetical situation in which all else would have stayed normal, the challenge would have been, as said, the movement from nonproliferation to disarmament.

That is where Pugwash would have largely lost its relevance to policymaking. The situation is now more complicated because our hypothetical situation does not exist and the nonproliferation agenda is today more threatened than ever before, notwithstanding the undertaking by the P-5 at the 2000 RevCon to move towards total disarmament. The question for Pugwash now is: Where does it go from here? This is not to say the Pugwash Conferences should pack up and disappear, but that it should redraw its strategy on how to regain its effectiveness in the present situation. As a movement against nuclear weapons and war in general it can live on, but the question relates to its relevance to policymaking. That is what made the Pugwash more prestigious and more prominent than other such efforts. That is what now threatens to reduce it to just one of the many fora that routinely point to the dangers of war and weapons of mass destruction without necessarily being able to do much to actually change the situation on the grund.

At his final presidential address to the 47th annual conference, Rotblat is reported to have said: "The questions that nag me are: Was there a need to have done more? Should we have done more? I cannot help feeling that the answer to both questions is yes. Yes, there was a need to have done more, and therefore, yes, we should have done more."

There is greater need today than when Rotblat spoke these words for the Pugwash to do more. The fight lies not so much in the domain of technology and science - though that is very significant - but in the domain of strategy: How can the world get rid of the theory of deterrence, or can it? Or should it? After all, wars happened, and are likely to happen, even if there are no nuclear weapons. And as experts working in conflict zones say statistically more people have been, and continue to be killed by small arms than weapons of mass destruction. These are difficult and complex questions and do not lend easily to Cartesian modes of analysis. It is a difficult task. Pugwash Conferences cannot do it alone or overnight. Its significance lay in being able to provide expertise and reach out to the policymakers. For any future progress, it will have to keep in mind the deteriorating security situation and come up with viable solutions. What made it different from other fora was its ability to translate its charter and its statements into achieved goals. It remains to be seen whether it can continue to do so in the present situation.

The author, News Editor at The Friday Times, attended the 50th Pugwash Conference


[The following release was sent out after the 9th August Hiroshima day event organised by activists working to highlight safety issues at at the Jadogoda uranium mine ]

Jharkhandi's Organisation Against Radiation (JOAR) , Jadugoda [Bihar, India]


On 6th August the uranium mining town of Jadugoda in Jharkhand India was connected to hundreds of demonstrations all over the world observing Hiroshima Day. The day started with a three-minuet silence remembering those killed and affected by the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US Air Force in 1945, even after Japan had surrendered.

A picture poster exhibition brought ghastly visions of how the people of these innocent towns suffered by the Bombing.

Hundreds of school children had assembled on the playgrounds of a Government School in the center of the town. Out of their innocent imagination they drew sketches that appealed to the world leaders for Peace and sanity. A nuclear disarmament and global peace cloth signature campaign was being conducted by the Pakistan Indian People's Forum for Peace and Democracy. Presently this campaign is going on in both countries.

Thousands of paper doves, symbols of peace, had arrived from all over the world, which were made by children to express their commitment towards a radiation free world. These doves were hung from trees on the school campus. Children present also made doves on the spot and offered them to the picture of Sadako, the Japanese girl affected due to radiation ten years after the Hiroshima bombing. She had dreamt of living forever by making one thousand paper doves. Sadako died before reaching the needed figure. But the children of Japan and other parts of the world are still carrying forward her campaign for nuclear disarmament. There could not be a stronger symbol of linkage between Jadugoda and Hiroshima.

About 60 children of the surrounding villages of Jadugoda whose mental and physical abilities have been affected in one way or the other due to radiation were also present. With crayons they too joined the school children doing paintings and made tiring but joyful efforts to express their feelings and emotions in sketches. It was quite obvious from what the children had drawn that there was lack of coordination between their different faculties.

For those who had seen the award winning Documentary "Buddha Weeps in Jadugoda" it was painful to feel the absence of most of the children in the documentary, they were no more.

In severe heat and humidity hundreds of children, adults and representatives of different organizations from India took out a rally through the streets of Jadugoda town and colony. The Uranium Corporation of India Ltd. Management a Government of India monopoly undertaking had given strict orders to the State Police and their security agencies to stop the rally, but it went on despite efforts of the Police to intimidate the children and Peace activists.

At a Public meeting later in the day, Peace activists of all ages and communities called for world peace and pleaded with the Government of India to stop the spread of radioactive waste in and Jadugoda. Dr Sangamitra who had the previous day taken the readings of radiation levels in Jadugoda with a Gaiga counter revealed to the audience that the readings in that very school premises was ten times more than what the radiation lobby call "acceptable levels" . To have this in the playground of a school, amounts to a criminal act she said.

The connection between Jadugoda and Hiroshima was further highlighted with the presence of Ghanshyam Birulee the Secretary of JOAR in Hiroshima that day. He together with Shri Prakash the Director of the documentary "Buddha Weeps in Jadugoda" were invited by Peace groups in Japan to participate in various programs in Japan for that whole week.

Jadugoda that continues to be one of the worst run and dangerous uranium mine in the world, has now become the active voice of the Peace movement in India. Undeterred by a Public Interest Litigation case in the Supreme Court the management continues to ignore all appeals of citizens all over the world to stop the dumping of radioactive waste within areas inhabited by the local Indigenous People.

The preparations for this programme at the National and International level was organised by National Alliance of People s Movement NAPM. Among the eminent people present were Sandeep Pande of NAPM, Dr Sangamitre Gadekar of ANUMUKTI, Dr Bhramanadan Mishra of Sasram, Prof N K Upadyaya, Mrs Mashima of Shantiniketan

JOAR wishes to express its gratitude to all organizations and individuals that extended support and sent special messages of solidarity on this occasion. This international solidarity is crucial for us as we take on an establishment that refuses to listen to our humble voice.

Dumka Murmu Secretary JOAR
Xavier Dias Spokesperson

JOAR P.O. BAG No. 3. # 27 Annexe - C H Area East Jamshedpur 831 001 Jharkhand (Bihar) India. Tel: 0657 22 02 66 Fax: 0657 22 90 23


The Case against the Rooppur Nuclear power project

Meghbarta (Bangladesh)
August 2000 issue
by Sylvia Mortoza

Ambitious programmes drawn up during the 70s when the supplier countries, represented by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) were promoting nuclear power as a cheap form of energy; a good vehicle for technology transfer; and a symbol of development, have since been abandoned for many reasons. This is why a high-pressure sales programme has been undertaken by the U.S. and other countries and why the IAEA has had to reduce its estimates of future installed nuclear capacity in developing countries from 167,000MW to only 17,000 MW - slightly more than 10 per cent of the original. Considering this, it is natural that suppliers have targeted the Third World for without the opening up of new markets, this is one industry that would have died a natural death.

Fortunately for the manufacturer/supplier, the persistent energy shortages in the developing countries made them all an "easy mark" and the initial response from these countries, particularly those in Asia, was so positive the industry drew in a new breath and gained a new lease on life. But of late, as the nuclear power plant manufacturers in America have intensified efforts to sell to such countries, we should be alarmed for can we really accept assurances they are safe when we all now know there is an inherent danger from water-cooled nuclear reactor technology?

Judging from recent events in Canada and Japan, the answer is a resounding "NO" for it would seem that promoting a good nuclear safety culture is beyond either. This view is reinforced by Japan's worst-ever nuclear mishap which took place at Tokaimura on September 30, 1999. Inspection of all these facilities found most of the violations were related to inadequate checks on radiation exposure. The ministry has since ordered those plants that failed inspection to improve their safety measures forthwith - and told them it would be making more frequent investigations in future. Furthermore a recent report by the Japanese Labour Ministry states 15 out of Japan's 17 top nuclear facilities have inadequate safety measures!

And Canada? "Ontario Hydro" owns 19 of Canada's 21 reactors. The company is owned by the provincial government and has a mandate to generate, supply and transmit all the electricity Ontario needs. But in 1994, investigators found operators playing computer games in a control room at Bruce and the following year workers carried out repairs on the wrong generating unit. The company later admitted it had secretly leaked tritium-laced heavy water - for 18 years. Not that Britain is any better for it has been dumping nuclear waste in the Thames for much longer.

In an official report, Ontario Hydro's nuclear operations were described as lacking a "strong safety culture" with an "excessive human error rate." This was followed by the "lay-up" (nuke talk for temporary closure, perhaps permanently) of seven of Ontario Hydro's 19 reactors - and the resignation of the firm's boss. During the lay-up, the longest in history - 4300 megawatts of power were lost - about a quarter of the province's normal supply. Four units in the Pickering site which were laid up in the 1980s for refits that took up to three years, are still idle. Three at Bruce will not open till 2003, if at all - and this in an "advanced" country. A report stated that Ontario Hydro's management was "slipshod, complacent and unaccountable." It also criticised the firm's maintenance and training. Overall the report assessed Ontario Hydro as "minimally acceptable;" the lowest rating that allows it to stay in business.

But, and here's the 'punch line" - Canada opened the last of its nuclear reactors in 1992 and reckons it has all that it needs with the result that the Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., owned by the federal government, stepped up its efforts to sell its locally designed reactors abroad and now has five under construction, two in South Korea, two in China and one in Romania - more than any other single exporter. But future sales could be in doubt for when a third of the country's reactors are being idled well short of their 40-year life span - and after years of deteriorating performance, sales team now have to work doubly hard to persuade foreigners to buy.

Apart from this, the amount of secrecy surrounding mishaps is enough to tell us there may be some we never hear about. The recent cover-up in Japan is a case in point. Even those living within the vicinity of a plant where a meltdown has occurred have not been told the extent of the danger yet research into known incidents have shown that, apart from the health problems exposure causes, there are many psychological and social costs too. But as there are still many who recommend the use of nuclear power in countries which are arguably technically backward, a crash course on the after-effects of radiation should be mandatory. Alternatively they should ask the women of Chernobyl why they are choosing to abort their foetuses rather than give birth to deformed infants. If this statement is in doubt, consult the statistics as the birth rate at Chernobyl is lower than in any place in the whole of the former USSR.

Considering the state of nuclear power programmes in advanced countries like Canada and Japan, are we not right to oppose it for Bangladesh? In fact it is more than time to question our presumed dependency on nuclear power to solve our energy shortage, especially if we have to sacrifice our safety to attain it for though INSAG has a comprehensive set of Basic Safety Principles for Nuclear Power Plants which include the fact hat existing nuclear power plants should have a probability of a severe accident not greater than one in 10,000 operating years - this is a goal considered achievable only if the industry has a "good safety management and safety culture." When we have had serious accidents at less complicated facilitiies which have resulted in a loss of lives (at NGFF in the 60s GFLL in the 70s) how do we have the courage to opt for a complicated industry like nuclear power? But apart from our ability or inability to operate a plant of this magnitude and dimension, we need to be aware that the decline in the sale of nuclear power plants in the west is not because they have all they need but because of the strong political opposition they evoke.

These are the social and practical difficulties but what of the technology? We know that nuclear power plants produce energy through a process called nuclear fission in which atoms are bombarded with neutrons, and this process releases the heat that can generate massive amounts of electricity, the fact that it also produces waste that stays radioactive for decades is of concern. It has as its essential components, fissionable fuel, moderator, shielding, control rods, and a coolant. During the process known as nuclear fission, atoms are bombarded with neutrons which releases the heat that can generate massive amounts of electricity. Fission itself means the splitting of a heavy nucleus into two roughly equal parts (which are nuclei of lighter elements), accompanied by the release of a relatively large amount of energy in the form of kinetic energy of the two parts and in the form of emission of neutrons and gamma rays. The nuclei formed by the fission of heavy elements are of medium atomic weight and almost all are radioactive. It is this factor that we fear and, although there is newer technology that does not use the trans uranium element called plutonium, known to be one of the deadliest substances found on earth and must be treated with great care due to the health and security risks involved because inhaling or swallowing even the smallest quantity causes cancer. Radioactivity is the spontaneous decay of disintegration of an unstable atomic nucleus accompanied by the emission of radiation. This is a perennial problem for an owner/operator of a nuclear power plant for there is still no solution to this problem and is still the foremost technical challenge facing the industry.

Experts say nuclear power plants are NOT suitable for energy-hungry economies short of cash and also warn that they require huge injections of capital long before the generation of electricity can begin. If for no other reason, taken from the point of view of cost, we should be wary of taking on this burden as projects of this type almost inevitably incur cost overruns. And the fact that the World Bank no longer gives money for nuclear power projects on the grounds they are "both uncompetitive and potentially unsafe" is a pointer. As we know there is no nuclear plant that can be made 100 percent fail-safe - is it too difficult for policy makers to understand the potential danger given the poor infrastructure?

So before we are taken in by all the promises made by nuclear plant manufacturers, governments should undertake a review of the nuclear industry from top to bottom as the promise of providing a "clean" power has never been fulfilled. Nor can it be substantiated that electricity produced in nuclear power plants is cheaper than in conventional power plants. Even if we disregard this, the fact that only those countries with a well-developed industrial base and capable of developing their own technology have been able to maintain their nuclear programmes should serve as warning. And as projects of this kind almost always incur cost overruns, the cost: benefit ratio may also not be to our liking always assuming the supplier delivers on time. And as the cost of generating electricity is "almost always higher than the costs of generating electricity from other fuel sources - particularly coal and hydro-power."

When it is clear the rest of the world, in particular the advanced world which has experience of nuclear power are cutting back on plans for building new nuclear power plants, it seems strange to hear people expounding its virtues. If we stop to consider the technology used in nuclear reactors for producing electrical energy is the same technology that was once used to produce the first atom bombs, we might better understand the need for caution for the U.S. Defense Department has admitted that the fall out from nuclear tests conducted in the Nevada Desert between 1951 and 1957 may have caused between 10,000 to 75,000 thyroid cancers - and that 70 per cent of them may not yet have been diagnosed!

A Nuclear Review undertaken in 1994 by the British Government should be made mandatory reading for it was this report that led the Government of Great Britain to reject further nuclear industry construction. So those who play down the potential danger are playing with the lives of our people for apart from the costs in health, those who are exposed to radiation will experience reproductive, psychological and social difficulties. Recent revelations that people living in close proximity to nuclear reactors have an increased incidence of death from breast cancer.

With so many arguments against nuclear power a far wiser route would be to take policy measures that stimulate energy conservation and encourage a greater use of renewable energy technologies such as solar energy, wind power and/or biogas.

Growth of population and industries have resulted in greater demand for energy worldwide. Most of this energy is derived from fossil fuel (coal, gas, oil and nuclear) will soon be depleted. In this context the need for developing renewable sources of energy was taken on a greater sense of urgency. Over the years significant technological advances have been made in the area of renewable energies, especially in the field of solar photovoltaics (PV), wind energy and bio-gas technology. In addition, for remote rural areas where there exits no infrastructure for conventional energy supply, these forms of decentralized alternative energy system will be far more adaptable and well suited.

The shortage of electrical power in Bangladesh is revealed by the fact that only 15% of the total population is served by the power generation authorities. The chances of reaching conventional power to the remaining 85% of the people may not likely to happen in near future. In this context, it would be of great benefit for the rural people to adopt the renewable energy to bridge the gap of energy need of the 85% people with clean, safe and environment friendly energy without depleting our precious natural gas reserve resources. Renewable energy can also bring considerable improvement in rural life through income generation and thus alleviating poverty. In addition, it can bring multiple positive results in terms of women's welfare, children's education, employment and income generation, fertility reduction, and curbing the urban migration.



The Asian Age
15 August 2000 Op-Ed.
By Ved Mehta

'I doubt if people would voluntarily ever call a halt to technology or invention.' The Concorde in Paris might have been brought down by nothing more extraordinary than pieces of its own tyre sucked into its engine.

Concorde, one of the greatest technological wonders of our age, may have been an anachronistic, uneconomic bauble from the day it was launched - it consumed more fuel, made more noise, carried fewer passengers than other jets, cost ten or 20 times the ordinary fare, so that the rich could cross the Atlantic in half the time of ordinary passengers - and yet still could keep flying only with the subsidies of the British and French governments.

Technology has been a great source of liberation for the human spirit. It has liberated us from slavery, from constraints of time and space, and made life immeasurably enjoyable for people who live in the industrial societies. But, as far as we know, it cannot improve on human beings whose wishes and fantasies seem to know no limits.

Indeed, the tragic conflagration of the Concorde in Paris should remind us that the more advanced technology is, the more anachronistic it might be, in the sense that it outstrips our current needs and means.

What with more and more people in the world wanting, as W.H. Auden put it in 1940, "a phonograph, a radio, a car and a frigidaire," can six, eight, or however many billion people there may be by the middle of the century, all have these necessities, to which we now also must add a telephone, a television and a computer, and electricity, oil and water to keep them, and us, running?

Since I left India, the country of my birth, some 50 years ago, the population has more than tripled. The standard of living has soared; there is more of everything for people who can afford it - more mobile phones, more televisions and television channels, more cars (so many of them in Delhi alone that it now has the distinction of being one of the three most polluted cities in the world).

When I was growing up, there wasn't one town or village, with the exception of Calcutta, where one couldn't turn on the tap and drink the water. Now, I doubt if there is any part of India where one can drink the water without filtering or boiling it. The government can't provide safe water, but it's busy building atomic bombs.

After 50 years of Independence, at most only 15 per cent of the population have lavatories; the rest must use streets, rivers, fields or railway tracks, and women with modesty must wait until it gets dark to relieve themselves. Our civilisation as a whole, in spite of all its great technological triumphs, while providing Auden's "necessities" in abundance, has failed to look to the most basic of amenities, like sanitation, as if human dignity and human decency were below its concern.

Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, has all but been forgotten in his own land in its headlong dash towards acquiring the latest symbols of progress and modernity. Yet I wonder whether the path of progress for a poor country will ultimately be lit more by the latest inventions like Concorde than by what Gandhi called "the constructive programme," his means for economic development and for a non-violent agrarian revolution in a poor country like India.

Through it, Gandhi wanted to provide Indians - and, by extension, other poor people in the world who were going naked and hungry - with food, clothing and useful occupation, so that they could live modestly but with dignity and decency.

He wanted people, instead of being a burden on society, to become self-sufficient: spin their own cloth; raise their own cattle so that they would have milk for nourishment, dung for fuel and bullocks for ploughs; keep beehives for honey; make their own pottery for utensils; make handmade paper for schoolbooks; promote universal elementary education through local work-and-study groups; run their own affairs through village assemblies; promote hygiene and sanitation by carrying a spade to the field and burying their own excrement; and so on.

Gandhi has been dismissed everywhere as a Luddite and a romantic visionary; but are we so sure that the Western way of life can be sustained even in the West, based as it is on faster and faster onsumption of the Earth's resources, and the pollution of our environment?

Many of my undergraduate friends and I at Oxford in the late Sixties would have spurned the spiritual side of Gandhi's socialism, but we were socialists of one stripe or another because we believed that governments could follow rational policies; we even imagined that we could get along without many worldly possessions ourselves. As we got jobs, got married, had families and acquired houses, we inevitably accumulated possessions.

Whatever our politics, we settled into the life of privilege and raised children as consumers with unlimited appetites. Along the way, we lost our ideals and became good, middle class gents and ladies. Now we find ourselves trapped, much as the world is trapped, by the accumulation of wealth and technology.

Even Gandhi found it difficult to renounce the benefits of civilisation - as one of his disciples, Sarojini Naidu, said, "It costs a great deal of money to keep Gandhiji living in poverty." I doubt if people would voluntarily ever call a halt to technology or invention. In doing so, we might forestall the invention round the corner that might save us; but, at the same time, we are not simply victims of blind market forces.

Surely governments can set priorities for things that are more necessary, say Gandhi's spades, than for atomic bombs? If not, the pace of technology will make them do it for us. Before the Paris crash, Concordes were kept flying only to satisfy the pride of British and French governments and the whims of a handful of the rich. Now, at least, those governments will have to reset their priorities.


Condemn the police brutality on anti-nuclear rally

9 August 2000

On 9 August 2000, Nagasaki Day, an anti-nuclear rally in Calcutta was attacked by the police. The rally was called jointly by about 100 organisations including the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) and People's Science Coordination Centre, West Bengal. Rallies are held traditionally in Calcutta on the Hiroshima Day (6 August) and the Nagasaki Day (9 August) against nuclear weapons. This year, in view of the state government's move to set up a nuclear power plant in the Sunderbans, the central slogan was `We don't want nuclear war, we don't want nuclear power'. A colourful procession was taken out from Sealdah railway station by activists of human rights, people's science, women's, workers, agricultural labourers', students' and other mass organisations. It also included a large number of children. Moving through main streets of central Calcutta, it reached its scheduled destination at Esplanade late in the afternoon, where a public meeting was to be held. Senior scientists, economists and social workers, who walked in the procession, were to address the meeting. As the march proceeded, police vans and trucks began to encirle it and police officers behaved provocatively. In spite of the police authorities and the home secretary having been informed in writing about the programme several days in advance, the police refused to allow the meeting. It was decided then that the procession would move on slowly, and the the speakers address from two open trucks carrying tableaux. In Calcutta, procession and street meetings are held regularly by political parties. However, even the peaceful mobile campaigning by anti-nuke activists was not tolerated. Police blocked their way near the crossing of Lindsay Street and Jawaharlal Nehru Road (opposite YMCA) and started abusing and beating them up. Banners and placards were torn and the vehicles and microphones seized. Sticks, kicks and blows rained on everybody. Sujato Bhadra, secretariat member of APDR, sustained a head injury. Anuradha Talwar of Sramajibi Mahila Samiti was beaten up by four policemen. The arrests were violent. Women were assaulted and arrested by male police, violating the law. Altogether 41 persons were arrested. There was no prohibitory order in force at the place. Even if the officer on duty had used his powers to impose prohibition on the spot, it was not announced on a public address system and the rallyists were not given any time to disperse. That the arrests were grossly illegal was evident from the subsequent action of the police. After being taken to the central lock-up at Lalbazar, the city police headquarters, the detainees were asked to sign a memo of arrest in which the actual time and spot of arrest were not mentioned. The detainees refused to sign this illegal memo and wanted to lodge a written complaint about this, which the officers present refused to accept. The arrested persons were released on personal recognition bonds late at night. Such uncivilised treatment of a totally non-violent protest against the dangers of nuclear war and nuclear power is unprecedented and unpardonable. It is a gross violation of human rights. It is more shocking because it came from a Leftist regime. Whoever indulges such practices paves the way for a nuclear police state. We appeal to all those who value human rights and are opposed to nuclear war and nuclear power to protest immediately. Please express your concern to 1. Mr Jyoti Basu Chief Minister of West Bengal Writers' Buildings Calcutta 700 001 India Fax: 91-33-221-5480 2. Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Minister of Home (Police), West Bengal Writers' Buildings Calcutta 700 001 Fax: 91-33-221-5495

Sending a copy of your protest letter/message of solidarity to us will strengthen our movement. In solidarity Association for Protection of Democratic Rights 18 Madan Baral Lane Calcutta 700 012. Email:

-------- israel

Israeli Paper Prints Reactor Photos

Associated Press
August 18, 2000

JERUSALEM (AP) - New satellite pictures of Israel's nuclear reactor were published on the front page of an Israeli mass-circulation newspaper Friday, a sign that the country's nuclear weapons capability is being discussed here with increasing openness after decades of silence.

The Yediot Ahronot daily said the high-resolution pictures came from the Federation of American Scientists Internet Web site. The pictures, taken July 4 by IKONOS, a civilian satellite, are sold on the Internet by Space Imaging Corp.

It has long been assumed that Israel manufactures nuclear weapons at the Dimona reactor in the southern Negev Desert, though Israel has never admitted it, sticking to a policy of nuclear ambiguity.

In 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, who worked as a technician at Dimona, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for giving pictures taken inside the reactor to The Sunday Times of London. Based on the photographs, experts said at the time that Israel had the world's sixth-largest stockpile of nuclear weapons.

In the photographs published Friday, the reactor's dome is clearly visible in the largest picture in the paper, along with the rest of the buildings in the complex. In a second photo spread, on an inside page, Yediot Ahronot provided a five-panel illustration entitled, ``How to make a bomb.''

Earlier this week, Israel television broadcast satellite photos of Dimona taken in 1968 and 1971, also provided by the Federation of American Scientists Web site. A report on the site said the new pictures show that the capacity of the reactor has not been increased.

Up to now, Israel's military censor has prevented local outlets from using pictures of the reactor. But the Internet cannot be controlled, said David Ronen of the censor's office in Jerusalem. ``If it's taken from the Internet, it can be printed, as long as the source is noted,'' Ronen said.

Israel's official policy about nuclear weapons is ``opacity,'' statements meant to leave all the possibilities open without admitting anything. There has been only sporadic debate about the issue, and the anti-nuclear lobby in Israel is tiny.


Israeli Nuclear Weapons Facility Revealed in New Satellite Imagery

US Newswire
18 Aug 9:48
To: National Desk, Science Reporter
Contact: John Pike of the Federation of American Scientists, 202-675-1023

WASHINGTON, August 18 /U.S. Newswire/ -- New high-resolution satellite imagery provides important new insights into Israel's nuclear weapons capabilities. The imagery of the Dimona nuclear reactor was acquired by Space Imaging Corporation's IKONOS satellite on July 4th 2000 on behalf of the Public Eye Project of the Federation of American Scientists. These new revelations, coincide with a debate in Israel over nuclear weapons policy, prompted by the June 2000 publication in Hebrew in Israel of Avner Cohen's book Israel and the Bomb. Israel is by now the only nuclear weapons state that does not acknowledge the fact that it possesses nuclear weapons.

The most significant finding derived from the new imagery is that Israel's nuclear weapons stockpile probably consists of between 100 and 200 nuclear weapons. Some previously published estimates had suggested that Israel might possess as many as 400 nuclear weapons. This does not appear to be the case.

The Dimona nuclear reactor, in operation since early 1965, is the source of plutonium for Israeli nuclear weapons. The number of nuclear weapons that could have been produced by Israel can be estimated on the basis of the power level of this reactor. Information made public in 1986 by Mordechai Vanunu, Frank Barnaby and other analysts suggested that the reactor might have a power level of at least 150 megawatts, about twice the power level at which is was believed to be operating around 1970. To accommodate this higher power level, analysts had suggested that Israel had constructed an enlarged cooling system.

An alternative interpretation of the information supplied by Vanunu was that the reactor's power level had remained at about 70 megawatts, as French sources had maintain (e.g. Pierre Pean), and that the production rate of plutonium in the early 1980s reflected a backlog of previously generated material.

The cooling towers associated with the Dimona reactor are clearly visible and identifiable in satellite imagery. Comparison of IKONOS imagery acquired in July 2000 with declassified American CORONA reconnaissance satellite imagery taken in the 1960's indicates that no new cooling towers were constructed in the years between 1971 and 2000. This strongly suggests that the reactor's power level has not been increased significantly during this period. Based on plausible upper and lower bounds of the operating practices at the reactor, Israel could have thus produced enough plutonium for at least 100 nuclear weapons, but probably not significantly more than 200 weapons.

The new satellite imagery also provides insights into other aspects of Israel's nuclear weapons capabilities. Israel could also use highly enriched uranium to build nuclear weapons, or to increase the yield of nuclear weapons using plutonium. Published reports suggest that beginning in the 1980's Israel began work on at least two different techniques for production of uranium for nuclear weapons; gas centrifuge and laser separation. Evaluation of several satellite images provides probable indication of which buildings at Dimona may be associated with such activities. The size of these buildings suggests, but cannot prove, that Israeli uranium enrichment activities remain at a relatively small scale. Israel does not appear to have built industrial-scale uranium enrichment at Dimona facility. Existing pilot-scale facilities would not appear to have the potential to substantially increase the total size of the Israeli nuclear weapons stockpile.

A number of other structures and areas are visible in the new imagery, though their functions are not entirely apparent. A probable nuclear waste disposal area is visible about a kilometer from the main facility, as suggested by previously published reports. It has long been reported that Dimona is defended from aerial attack by a battery of Hawk anti-aircraft missiles, and a complex possibly associated with such defenses is evident in the satellite imagery. A rather larger nearby complex, constructed sometime between 1986 and 2000, may possibly be associated with new defenses for Dimona, and may represent the future site of either a Patriot or Arrow anti-missile battery. As many as four Scud-derived missiles were fired towards the vicinity of Dimona by Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War.

A detailed analysis of the Dimona facility is available on the Website of the Federation of American Scientists at News media wishing to reproduce copyrighted imagery for publication or broadcast should contact Mark Brender at SpaceImaging at 703-558-0309 or Amy Opperman at 303-254-2078 to make the necessary licensing arrangements.


The Federation of American Scientists is a privately-funded policy organization whose Board of Sponsors includes over 50 American Nobel Laureates. FAS was founded in 1945 by members of the Manhattan Project who produced the first atomic bomb. The FAS Public Eye project is acquiring imagery of nuclear and missile facilities around the world. In January, it released imagery of a North Korean missile test facility. In March, it presented imagery of Pakistan's nuclear and missile facilities, and imagery of Area 51 was released in April.


Newspaper prints satellite photos of top-secret Israeli nuclear reactor

August 18, 2000

JERUSALEM (AP) -- New satellite pictures of Israel's nuclear reactor were published on the front page of an Israeli mass-circulation newspaper Friday, a sign that Israel's nuclear weapons capability is being discussed here with increasing openness after decades of silence.

The Yediot Ahronot daily said the high-resolution pictures came from the Federation of American Scientists Internet website. The pictures, taken on July 4 by IKONOS, a civilian satellite, are sold on the Internet by Space Imaging Corp.

It has long been assumed that Israel manufactures nuclear weapons at the Dimona reactor in the southern Negev Desert, though Israel has never admitted it, sticking to a policy of nuclear ambiguity.

In 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, who worked as a technician at Dimona, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for giving pictures taken inside the reactor to The Sunday Times of London. Based on the photographs, experts said at the time that Israel had the world's sixth-largest stockpile of nuclear weapons.

In the photographs published Friday, the reactor's dome is clearly visible in the largest picture in the paper, along with the rest of the buildings in the complex. In a second photo spread, on an inside page, Yediot Ahronot provided a five-panel illustration entitled, "How to make a bomb."

Earlier this week, Israel television broadcast satellite photos of Dimona taken in 1968 and 1971, also provided by the Federation of American Scientists website. A report on the site said the new pictures show that the capacity of the reactor has not been increased.

Up to now, Israel's military censor has prevented local outlets from using pictures of the reactor. But the Internet cannot be controlled, said David Ronen of the censor's office in Jerusalem. "If it's taken from the Internet, it can be printed, as long as the source is noted," Ronen said.

Israel's official policy about nuclear weapons is "opacity," statements meant to leave all the possibilities open without admitting anything. There has been only sporadic debate about the issue, and the antinuclear lobby in Israel is tiny.


Peres Praises China After Visit to Bolster Ties With Ex-Critic

New York Times
August 17, 2000

BEIJING, Aug. 17 -- Shimon Peres lavishly praised China today as he finished a two-day visit intended to bolster Israel's ties with this onetime adversary and shore up global support for continued peace talks.

"I feel China is a very friendly country with a very profound understanding of events in the Middle East," Mr. Peres, a former prime minister who is now Israel's minister for regional cooperation, told reporters.

"I have great respect for President Jiang Zemin's call for patience," he added, alluding to remarks by the Chinese leader on Monday, after a meeting with Yasir Arafat, and repeated to Mr. Peres by officials during his visit.

China's call for the Israelis and Palestinians to persist in a search for peace despite the breakdown of the Camp David talks last month, diplomats here said, was intended to dissuade Mr. Arafat from declaring a Palestinian state on Sept. 13, as he had said he would do. Such an act would be likely to provoke a strong reaction from Israel, hurting the chances for peace.

On Wednesday in Jakarta, Mr. Arafat said he was reconsidering the timing of declaring statehood after China and then Indonesia joined a long list of nations urging him to back off.

Today, Mr. Peres praised Mr. Arafat for his apparent caution, calling it "a wise step."

Israel has been delighted with China's moderate stance, which in Israeli eyes validates the courting of a country that until the late 1980's had championed Arab radicals.

For the record, Israeli officials said Mr. Peres's visit, part of a quick Asian tour that also included Tokyo and Jakarta, was simply intended to inform leaders about the status of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

But for Israel, the visit also offered a vital chance to shore up the budding friendship with China. Relations were jolted last month when Israel reneged on a $250 million contract to sell China's military an advanced airborne radar system after protests by the United States.

Chinese officials welcomed Mr. Peres's offer on Wednesday to promote new Israeli investment and agricultural aid in China's underdeveloped hinterlands.

And most important for Israel, China took a temperate line on the peace talks in successive meetings this week with Mr. Arafat and Mr. Peres, even as it reaffirmed support for eventual Palestinian statehood.

Especially since 1992, when China gave Israel formal diplomatic recognition, Israel has cultivated ties with China, secretly selling weapons and offering agricultural and other technical aid.

"The Israelis see enormous significance in their relations with China," said Michael Yahuda, professor of international relations at the London School of Economics. For one thing, he said, Israel sees friendly ties with this largest developing country as blunting the often hostile stance of much of the third world.

In the past, China has been known to sell arms to archenemies of Israel, like Iraq and Iran. China has halted most such sales, but according to American intelligence agencies, it has continued to provide missile technology to Iran and Pakistan.

Mr. Peres said he had raised the missile issue with China's foreign minister and had been assured that China would abide by international agreements to bar transfers of long-range missile technology and nuclear arms. China has given similar ambiguous assurances in the past.

-------- japan

Gensuikyo protests against U.S. nuclear test

Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 17:24:11 +0900
From: JPS -

TOKYO AUG 18 JPS -- Japanese peace activists on August 17 rushed to protest to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, just after the U.S. Department of Energy on August 16 (local time) announced that it will conduct its 12th subcritical nuclear test code-named "Oboe 5" at the Nevada Test Site on August 17 (local time).

Thirteen people from the Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Japan Gensuikyo), gathering in a hurry at the U.S. Embassy, put up photo-panels of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and chanted "Stop nuclear tests! No more Hiroshima! No more Nagasaki! Nuclear weapons be abolished!"

Gensuikyo representatives read out a protest letter to U.S. President Bill Clinton at the embassy gate. The letter said, "Nuclear tests to maintain a large number of nuclear warheads are an attack on people who want nuclear weapons to be abolished," and requested, "all participating nations in the NPT Review Conference have agreed on eliminating nuclear weapons, so the U.S. should end all kinds of nuclear tests and nuclear development programs." (end item)


Worker Fatally Injured at Tomari Nuclear Power Plant

Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 13:07:09 +0900
From: "Citizen's Nuclear Information Center" -

According to Asahi Newspaper, around 4:40 p.m. on 17 August 2000, Yoshitatsu Miyatani was fatally injured when he fell about one meter from a rope ladder attached to a sump. The sump has a diameter of 2 meters and is 3 meters high, and is located in a facility for low-level radioactive waste treatment at the Tomari Nuclear Power Plant site in Tomari Village, Hokkaido. Miyatani and a few other workers were cleaning the sump from the inside of it when one of the workers felt ill. Apparently, Miyatani fell to the bottom of the containment vessel sump while trying to lift up the ill worker using the rope ladder. The ill worker recovered his health after being lift out of the tank. However, Miyatani was unconscious after the fall and was taken to the hospital but died around 6 p.m. According to the Hokkaido Electric Power Co., a low amount of radiation was measured from Miyatani's body and thus he was treated for decontamination. Also, the company claimed that the ventilation system was operating in the facility and that the workers were checked for anoxia before they began the cleaning inside the sump. However, the physician responsible for Miyatani's treatment says that there is a possibility that he died of anoxia or gas-poisoning. The company is investing whether there were any poisonous materials in the sump.

Citizens' Nuclear Information Center 1-58-15-3F, Higashi-nakano, Nakano-ku,Tokyo, Japan Phone: +81-3-5330-9520 Fax: +81-3-5330-9530

-------- russia

CDI's "Briefing Room"

Defense Monitor,
August 18, 2000

Russia to Slash Nuclear Arsenal? -- The Interfax news agency is reporting that President Vladimir Putin has decided that Russia will unilaterally reduce its nuclear arsenal to 1,500 deployed warheads in order to shift scarce financial resources into the military's conventional forces. The decision came after a meeting last Friday, and would seemingly put to an end the increasingly bitter dispute between Chief of the General Staff Gen. Anatoly Kvashnin, who has favored cutting the nuclear arsenal in favor of conventional forces, and Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev, a former commander of nuclear missile troops, over military funding priorities.


Sinking a symptom of Russia's military malaise

August 18, 2000
By Douglas Herbert writer

LONDON (CNN) -- The sinking of the giant nuclear submarine Kursk in the icy waters of the Barents Sea, with 118 crew stranded aboard, is the latest in a litany of naval disasters that underscore the disarray in the former superpower's military, analysts say.

The simmering war in Chechnya -- Russia's second military showdown with the breakaway Republic in five years -- is draining funds from a military budget, which has plummeted by about 75 percent from Soviet-era spending levels, to around $4 billion.

At about $4 billion, the budget is less than 3 percent of the country's total gross domestic product.

The shriveling military budget, coupled with the inadequate training of conscripts, a flagging morale, and a traditional bias towards land-based ballistic missiles, has left the country's nuclear submarine fleet in a state of perilous disrepair, analysts contend.

At the same time, the rest of Russia's military has failed to reverse a steady, decade-long decline -- marked by soaring suicide rates in the army, rampant draft evasion and an alarming drop in the number of junior officers with battle expertise.

Graft and smuggling on rise

Many paratroopers are refusing to fight altogether - and getting away with it.

Meanwhile, cash-strapped officers and soldiers are increasingly moonlighting to supplement their meager salaries, according to Mark Galeotti, a Russian military analyst at Keele University in Britain.

Russian soldiers in Chechnya routinely have to cannibalize other vehicles for spare parts.

"What we are seeing is an across-the-board decay," said Galeotti. He believes it is misleading to say Russia's army consists of 1.2 million conscripts - down from 2.8 million in 1992 and around 5 million at the height of the Soviet period.

"What proportion of these soldiers can really fight?" he asks. "I think the Russian forces in reality are no more than 200,000 in terms of how we would genuinely assess (their battle preparedness). "

Russia suffered its worst submarine disaster in 1989, when the nuclear vessel Komsomolets caught fire off the coast of Norway after a series of electricity failures. Forty-two of the ship's 69 crew members lost their lives in that incident.

On many occasions before then -- and since - the Russian Navy's submarine fleet has suffered a series of embarrassing malfunctions, collisions, fires and explosions that have tarnished its image and provoked outcries from environmental watchdogs.

"They've never put as much emphasis (on the nuclear submarine force) as the U.S. has, and now it appears that it's getting even less attention," said David Gompert, the president of RAND Europe, a non-profit-making think tank.

"It's like the space program. When you see problems occur with the space program there's a powerful correlation between that and the level of funding and their ability to attract, and retain, exceptional talent."

Gompert acknowledged he was not familiar with the specific performance history of the Kursk, a 505-foot long behemoth weighing more than 14,000 tons that ranks as one of the largest submarines in the world.

Speaking generally, however, he said the Russian submarine forces had suffered dangerous neglect since the end of the Cold War -- as reflected in reduced operating times for vessels and diminished resources for maintenance.

'Welded to the pier'

"The length of time that these boats spend tied to the pier is much higher than it used to be for the Soviet Union.

"Any piece of machinery, including a submarine, really needs a certain level of operation to maintain. Nothing is worse for a ship than being welded to the pier."

There were no nuclear weapons on the Kursk, Russia's Defense Ministry said on Monday, noting that radiation levels on the stricken vessel were normal.

The submarine can remain submerged for up to four months, a point the Ministry invoked to suggest the crew is not in immediate danger.

Aleksandr Pekaev, a nuclear weapons analyst with the Carnegie Centre in Moscow, estimates that Russia currently allots roughly equal chunks of its 140-billion ruble ($4 billion) military budget to strategic and conventional forces.

But nuclear submarines get only about 15 percent of the total defence procurement, which Pekaev says is not enough to maintain them at a proper level of preparedness.

"Russia's armed forces are inadequately financed, but nuclear submarines are financed even worse," Pekaev said.

Alarmingly, he added, more than 100 nuclear submarines have been decommissioned in Russia since the Soviet collapse, though only a small proportion of those have been properly dismantled. In many cases, he said, the vessels still retain their nuclear reactor cores.

Galeotti said Monday's sinking of the Kursk is symptomatic of a wider malaise afflicting all four branches of the Russian military -- land, sea, air and strategic forces.

He estimates that Russian servicemen these days are getting only about 40 percent of the training time they would have received under the Soviet regime.

"A Russian soldier spends more time washing his barracks or just going out and getting his food," Galeotti said. "You have pilots who after six months should be getting out there and flying but who are instead still sitting in a classroom."

In recent days, Russian President Vladimir Putin, has stepped into the fray, upbraiding his defence minister and a top general over their failure to resolve an ongoing feud over military reform.

Defence Minister Igor Sergeyev, the former head of the Strategic Rocket Forces, is opposed to major cuts in Russia's missile arsenal and wants to unite the country's nuclear forces under a single command.

His rival, general staff chief Anatoly Kvashnin advocates a much-reduced role for the Strategic Forces -- perhaps even folding them into the air force as a means of procuring extra cash for conventional troops.

Putin has no patience with the squabble. He believes there are more pressing priorities.

"Are our armed forces, our whole military component, effective?" he asked, at the start of the talks with his military chiefs aimed at setting out a blueprint for military reform up to 2015. "Unfortunately, they are not," he concluded.

Gompert, at RAND Europe, sees a positive development in Putin's seeming preference for a further paring of Russia's strategic forces.

"One can only hope that what they're going to do is cut back drastically on the number of forces they are attempting to maintain in the nuclear area."


Blast at Russian sub site 'on Richter scale'

August 18, 2000

OSLO, Norway -- An explosion registering on the Richter scale was recorded on Saturday near the location where the stricken Russian submarine Kursk sank in the Barents Sea, it was revealed on Friday.

The report from a Norwegian seismic institute came as the latest attempt to reach the nuclear-powered submarine received a setback, with a Russian TV report from the scene saying both escape hatches are badly damaged.

Meanwhile, the United States has assembled a team of experts in under-sea operations to act as "consultants" to gain access to the stricken submarine.

U.S. Defense Secretary William S. Cohen made the offer in a letter to Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev, who "expressed appreciation for the offer of assistance and he asked that we work through NATO channels," Cohen said Friday in a briefing at the Pentagon.

Sub's hatches damaged

Though the sub's hatches are damaged, the man leading the British rescue bid said he was still "extremely hopeful" of finding survivors when the operation begins tomorrow.

Commander Alan Hoskins of the UK Royal Navy told CNN the mini-submarine LR5, which left Trondheim, Norway, on Thursday, is still on course to reach the site early on Saturday afternoon local time.

Frode Ringdal, scientific director of the Norwegian Seismic Array (NORSAR), said the first of the two explosions recorded last Saturday was the equivalent of less than 100 kg (220 pounds) of TNT, while the second was the equivalent of one or two tonnes.

Ringdal, who said the explosions were measured by seismic stations in several countries, added: "The larger explosion...had a magnitude of 3.5 on the Richter scale, corresponding to about one to two tons of explosive in water. A smaller explosion with a magnitude of 1.5 was recorded from the same location two minutes, 15 seconds earlier."

NORSAR's findings come after U.S. intelligence officials revealed that U.S. submarines monitoring last week's Russian naval exercise detected a small explosion followed by a larger one on Saturday.

Russian television said rescuers successfully docked with the Kursk on Friday, but the escape hatch could not be opened because the platform around it was damaged.

The other escape hatch, at the front of the vessel, is said to have been damaged beyond repair in the accident that caused the submarine to sink.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov told reporters there was a "terrifying hole" on the starboard side of the Kursk, where around half the crew were thought to be, hinting that they probably did not have time to escape what he called a "catastrophe that developed at lightning speed."

Rescuers exhausted

In an interview on Russian state television, Admiral Vyachevslav Popov, Commander of the Northern Fleet, said rescuers are exhausted and working in very difficult conditions but will not give up.

"The rescuers are too tired but they are going on because they understand their friends are deep beneath the water in the submarine," he said.

Popov also admitted that the air pressure inside the Kursk is "too high."

Video tape shot by the Russian Navy has confirmed that the front of the 505ft-long vessel was severely damaged from the bow to behind the first fins, including the area of the front escape hatch and the periscope area.

The Oscar-class sub, which sank during a naval exercise, is sitting at an angle 350ft (108 metres) below the surface. Attempts to reach it by Russian rescuers have all failed.

The international rescue effort is expected to be launched on Saturday, with the UK team saying their rescue mission could begin as soon as the extent of the damage to the rear escape hatch has been established.

British Ministry of Defence officials have seen the Russian video and say they are confident the LR5, which will carry a Russian doctor and two Russian technicians as well as its two-man crew, will be able to latch on to the sub.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has cut short his holiday in the Black Sea after being criticised for remaining silent on the accident, told Russian television on Friday that rescue attempts had been given only an "extremely small chance" of saving the crew.

The British rescuers are to be joined by a team of Norwegian divers on Sunday after the failure of the latest Russian attempt to reach the submarine. And CNN has learned that the U.S. is assembling a team of experts in undersea operations to act as "consultants" to Russian officials.

The experts, currently expected to remain at the U.S. Naval base in Norfolk, Virginia, could move to Brussels, Belgium to work face to face with the Russians.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.


Tragedy With Russian Sub Is No Accident
Friday, Aug. 18, 2000
Col. Stanislav Lunev

Over the past few days many of us have prayed for the Russian naval officers and sailors inside the nuclear attack submarine Kursk lying under 400 feet of Arctic water in the Barents Sea.

Many Russians are doing the same thing with hope in their hearts that these 118 sailors will see the sun after many days and nights trapped in the broken body of one of the world's largest (second only to the Russian ballistic-missile Typhoon-class subs) undersea combat ships.

We have followed reports about all the events connected with this tragedy as well as everything that was done and could be done to rescue the submarine's crew. And we have to know that the tragedy with this nuclear submarine is no accident.

It is, instead, the logical result of the Russian Federation (RF) leader's policies, which could lead to other more tragic events. Last week this submarine took part in the pursuit of the very ambitious military plans of President Vladimir Putin, described by him recently in the new, so-called Russian Navy Concept.

The nuclear attack submarine Kursk, with four torpedoes and 24 up-to-date cruise missiles capable of being armed with nuclear and conventional warheads, was participating in the largest Russian navy exercises in several years.

The exercises, called "Summer-X," began Aug. 8 and involved scores of warships and submarines that are part of Russia's Northern and Baltic Fleets, as well as troops from the Federal Border Guard Service, internal security RF police, and air defense units from Belarus.

According to the Russian press, exercises took place in waters near northern Russia, including the Barents and Baltic Seas, and involved more than 50 surface ships and submarines, 40 support vessels, and some 80 combat airplanes and helicopters.

The Russian navy was demonstrating most of its naval warfare expertise including anti-submarine warfare and missile and torpedo strikes, as well as air assault and amphibious landings.

"Summer-X" was planned as a demonstration of the power of Russia's navy, and Putin's intentions to restore the "old glory of the Russian armed forces," which traditionally were trained for a future war against the U.S. and her friends and allies. As usual, the recent exercises were designed to train naval personnel to defend Russia from "foreign threats and aggression," meaning against an American and NATO attack.

Moreover, "Summer-X" exercises were planned as a final stage of military training for Russia's combat ships, which have sailed to the Mediterranean Sea, where they will restore Russia's military presence in the area and, as an RF military official said, "perform the task of ensuring Russia's security and national interests."

The plan for these exercises and deployment was approved by Russia's supreme military commander-in-chief, Putin, who accordingly took upon himself all the responsibilities connected with them. At the same time Putin, whose military ambitions are very well known, knew exactly what is really going on in the armed forces he was so recklessly deploying.

He is very much aware, for example, that during last 10 years Russia's military budget was spent mostly for the development of the strategic nuclear arsenal, used by Kremlin leaders to extort money from the West.

Putin also knew that Russia's conventional forces are deteriorating because of lack of funds, especially in the navy, which has suffered from a permanent, long-time shortage of funds, spare parts, fuel, food, qualified and trained personnel, and just about everything else. He also knew that many of Russia's warships do not receive the regular servicing needed to keep them seaworthy. In other words, Putin authorized practically suicidal (for the Kursk submarine) exercises of combat ships, which are not ready not only to go to Mediterranean but cannot even safely leave their home ports.

Right now it could be very difficult to say what exactly happened to the Kursk nuclear sub, which pictures indicate that when torpedoes were launched one of these weapons exploded inside the ship. But it's even more difficult to say anything reasonable about the commander in chief's "activity" during these days.

Vacationing at the Black Sea resort of Sochi throughout all these days, Putin has been an oddly passive player in the first big crisis of his administration. The failure to rescue trapped crewmen in the submarine, the military's tight-lipped and contradictory response to the tragedy, and the Kremlin's own confused and very late calls for foreign assistance very clearly demonstrate that nothing has changed in a new Russian leadership.

Just as in the "old glorious days" of the former U.S.S.R., the person who was supposed to get things done is vacationing at the resort and has been barely seen. As the world watched the rescue drama unfold, Putin waited until Wednesday to make his first comment by saying that the situation with the nuclear sub is "serious, I would say critical."

The supreme military commander couldn't find anything else to say, and merely echoed the official line of the top Russian naval officials when he said that Russia "had all the necessary equipment" to rescue submarine's crew.

In the end. Putin finally requested Western help and assistance for the rescue operation but several most critical days were lost as a result of his failure to act quickly.

Currently the mainstream U.S. press is trying to convince the American people that Putin wasn't informed by his military aides about tragedy with the sub in time.. This idea is absolute nonsense. According to special military regulations Putin had to have been informed about the tragedy with a NUCLEAR SUBMARINE a few minutes after it happened and became known.

But the former KGB lieutenant colonel with dictatorial ambitious didn't have any knowledge, expertise or idea abut how to handle this problem and, as is usual for Kremlin leaders, put the responsibility for the disaster on his naval commanders. At the same time, in Putin's re-created totalitarian state, nobody from his assistants to people in admiral's uniforms, would take this responsibility personally and prefered to waste valuable time subordinating communications.

The re-establishment of Putin's so-called culture of fear, which existed widely in the former U.S.S.R., continues to play the key role in this tragedy. This "culture," cultivated by totalitarian states and their leaders, and exactly what Putin has been doing since his inauguration, sometimes turns about and strikes back at its creators.

There is no doubt that after the recent terrorist bomb explosion in the center of Moscow and the continuing tragedy with the nuclear submarine Kursk Putin's popularity will decrease dramatically. Of course, he will fire many people in navy uniforms, including some with admiral's stars, and put his own blame for the tragedy on his navy commanders.

But his "activity" during this crisis gives us a chance to suggest that he will not stop his drive towards a totalitarian regime. If it comes about, in the near future we will hear about more new tragedies with Russian nuclear submarines someplace where Putin will send these handicapped combat ships to realize his own ambitions.

Perhaps the next crisis would involve nuclear weapons or materials, or chemical and biological agents, or with other weapons of mass destruction. Compared to these potential tragedies the old and very well known Chernobyl's disaster will look like a mere accident.

But of course, while Putin drives Russia to a dictatorship nobody will show concern for the people who will have to sacrifice their lives for the realization of the ambitious intentions of their leader. And future tragedies could affect not only the Russian people because they could occur in a place near or inside America, Western Europe, Asia, Africa or Australia.


Sub Blast's Magnitude Like Quake

Associated Press
August 18, 2000

OSLO, Norway (AP) -- Seismic experts said Friday that an explosion detected near the Russian nuclear submarine when it sank had a magnitude of 3.5, equivalent to a small earthquake.

The Norwegian Seismic Array, or NORSAR, said it registered a smaller explosion followed by a much more powerful one Saturday in the Barents Sea, near where the Kursk sank with 118 sailors on board.

NORSAR's seismic monitors recorded an explosion with a magnitude of 1.5 near the stricken submarine Saturday morning and then the more powerful blast 2 minutes and 15 seconds later.

``What we found in our preliminary analysis was a small explosion followed by a larger one,'' NORSAR's Frode Ringdal said by telephone.

The Helsinki University Institute of Seismology in nearby Finland also said Friday that their sensors registered two explosions last Saturday. The stronger of the two had a magnitude of 3.1 on the scale also used to measure earthquakes.

Referring to Norway's stronger measurement of 3.5, Pekka Heikkinen, head of the Finnish institute, said such small discrepancies are common between seismographic stations.

Russian Adm. Vyacheslav Popov said Friday that the submarine suffered a violent explosion inside the hull but the cause was unclear. It could have been triggered by a collision with an unspecified object, he said.

Military experts have said one or several of the submarine's torpedoes could have exploded.

``If it was caused by an explosion, it must have been quite violent. The signal was registered at all seismographic stations in Finland,'' Heikkinen said.


Putin Defends Sub Crisis Handling

Associated Press
August 18, 2000

MOSCOW (AP) -- Responding to criticism over his handling of the Russian nuclear submarine sinking, President Vladimir Putin said Friday that rescue efforts swung into action almost immediately after the disaster occurred.

``It became clear that the military had an extraordinary situation on their hands,'' Putin said of the sequence of events when the submarine failed to appear on Aug. 12. ``At once, I would like to underline at once, immediately all the necessary measures were taken...''

``But of course the information about what had happened came to the mass media later,'' Putin told reporters in Yalta, Ukraine. ``You can criticize this if you like.''

Putin has been sharply criticized by many Russians for failing to cancel the vacation.

He made his first public statement only on Wednesday and stayed at the resort in Sochi until Friday. He then went to Yalta, Ukraine, for a meeting of heads of former Soviet republics. He cut short that meeting on Saturday and returned to Moscow.

Putin said his first impulse was to interrupt a vacation at the Black Sea and fly to a naval base on the Barents Sea, the waters where the submarine Kursk sank.

``I just restrained myself from doing this and I think I acted correctly because arrivals at the place of the accident of high-ranking officials and bureaucrats of various kinds ... doesn't help rescuing people and equipment and in many cases actually hinders,'' he said.

Before the accident, Putin had made high-profile appearances that bolstered his image as a tough leader well-disposed to the military -- including an overnight trip on a submarine. There was widespread surprise and disappointment that he did not head for the Northern Fleet's home base to personally monitor the Kursk rescue efforts.

Putin also said that when he first asked officials about the prospects of rescuing the trapped crew, he was told ``the chances are extremely low -- but they exist.''

The crisis was emotionally affecting, Putin said, especially because he knows the ship's commander, Gennady Petrovic.


British Sub On Way To Aid Russians

Associated Press
August 18, 2000;=763&date;=20000818

TRONDHEIM, Norway (AP) -- A British rescue team and a sophisticated mini-submarine were headed Thursday on a desperate journey to try to save 118 sailors trapped on a sunken Russian nuclear submarine, while Norwegian divers also en route faced delays.

The British team was expected to arrive Saturday afternoon and begin its first descent that evening, a week after the Russian submarine dropped 354 feet to the floor of the Barents Sea.

Meanwhile, a second ship with Norwegian deep-sea divers that was facing delays was expected to arrive early Sunday after Norwegian officials scrambled to speed up its journey.

``A 24-hour delay would not be a good thing in a situation like this,'' Foreign Ministry spokesman Karsten Klepsvik said.

The Russian navy said it has no idea of conditions inside the submarine Kursk, including whether anyone inside was still alive. A British military officer refused to give up hope.

``You cannot tell whether it is too late. No one can tell if they're out of oxygen,'' Royal Navy Cmdr. David Stanesby said in Trondheim, 280 miles north of Norway's capital, Oslo.

The white LR5 mini-sub was flown into the port Wednesday and loaded overnight onto a red Norwegian supply ship, which set off Thursday morning.

The Normand Pioneer was expected to take about 52 hours to travel some 920 miles to the site, arriving Saturday.

The mini-submarine -- operated by two pilots and a crew member in the rescue chamber that can hold 15 passengers, will take down a three-member Russian medical and technical team to assess the condition of the crew before any evacuation, British defense officials said.

Royal Navy Cmdr. Alan Hoskins said earlier that the LR5 also planned to carry oxygen, food and electricity on its first trip down.

The Norwegian Seaway Eagle, heading north with 12 deep-sea divers aboard, was slowed by a need for supplies and safety requirements. Its owner, the Stolt Offshore AS concern, had feared that the ship would not be able to complete the roughly 800 mile voyage to the scene until early Monday, Moscow time.

However, by Thursday evening, Norway's Northern Defense Command, which is coordinating rescue efforts, said it had arranged for legally required rescue equipment to be flown to the arctic Norwegian port of Tromsoe, where it could be loaded onto the ship.

``The earlier time estimate was based on bringing equipment by land,'' said Col. John Espen Lien, a spokesman for the northern command.

Lien declined to specify a time after a day in which the government had already been forced to push back its initial estimated time of arrival from Friday to Saturday.

``We don't want to make any time estimate other than the wee hours of Sunday morning. Anything earlier than that will be a bonus,'' he said.

British and Norwegian officials, meanwhile, rejected suggestions that the mini-submarine was flown to Norway instead of one of the Russian military bases much closer to the site because Russia was not eager for Western help.

Stanesby said loading the equipment in Trondheim was the quickest option because the ship was nearby and had all the facilities needed. He said he doubted the rescuers would have arrived faster even if the Russians had asked for help earlier.

Stanesby said if they had flown straight to Russian military bases closer to the scene, they might have had to wait two days for the Norwegian mother ship's arrival anyway.

The Norwegian ship was chosen because it has the capability to hold steady in rough seas, and because its crew was already trained for such operations.

The Kursk submarine is in international waters off the northwestern Russian coast and about 185 miles from Norwegian territory.

Russia initially refused foreign help but relented after days of frustrated attempts to lower rescue capsules to the submarine, and it turned to Norway and Britain, both members of NATO.

The head of the British operation said the LR5 submarine differed from the Russian escape vessels because it can operate independently of its control ship and can navigate with an accuracy within inches.

The British Ministry of Defense said Thursday the mini-submarine, designed to fit NATO submarines, should be able to hook up to the Kursk's escape hatch.

Hoskins said the mini-submarine has never been used in a live operation.


Russians Gripped by Submarine News

Associated Press
August 18, 2000

MOSCOW (AP) -- The fate of the sunken submarine Kursk has transfixed this sprawling nation: Russians are glued to TV news reports, their heads turn in supermarkets to catch stray radio dispatches and they count each painful hour that passes.

Although short on hard facts, news accounts of the disaster have been strikingly open for Russia. During Soviet times, disasters frequently were never reported. The first Soviet reports of the 1986 Chernobyl explosion and fire, the world's worst nuclear accident, came three days after it happened.

In contrast, television news has given hourly reports on attempts by rescue capsules to reach the Kursk.

And the country has hungrily tuned in, listening as anchors describe in desperate tones the failure to open an emergency hatch to reach any survivors among the 118 sailors trapped inside since the weekend.

Fear for the lives of the servicemen on the Kursk hits home for many families who have sons or husbands in the military, and the drama has overshadowed the country's other calamities, including the war in Chechnya.

``The whole country is on edge over this thing. It's terrible. Imagine dying that way,'' said Vladimir Solyunov, a security guard working in downtown Moscow.

Eager to help, dozens of amateur inventors across Russia have sent diagrams and letters to the North Fleet command in Severomorsk explaining original methods of raising the boat or rescuing the crew from underwater, a navy press official said. The command was studying the proposals, he said.

Some family members of men on the Kursk learned about the accident from television, and have remained gripped by the reports since.

The face of navy spokesman Capt. Igor Dygalo, who has appeared live on all three major networks' several broadcasts every day all week, is now familiar to millions of Russians.

``My heart is aching for those 118 people on board,'' said Konstantin Yablokov, a World War II veteran who served in the Soviet navy. ``I turn on the television a hundred times a day, I just don't know what can be done. I don't have words to express what I feel,'' he said.

Lacking detailed information on the cause of the accident, newspapers dedicated pages to competing theories about why the massive submarine crashed into the sea bottom above the Arctic Circle. Former submarine officers, submarine designers and diving experts have given countless interviews speculating on what happened and how the rescue effort is proceeding.

Other commentators search for meaning behind every official comment from the navy and speculate on how much longer the crew could stay alive -- or if they are already dead.

``The thread connecting the crew of the stricken submarine Kursk in the Barents Sea with the world is becoming ever thinner. Any moment it could tear,'' began an account of the accident in the popular Moscow daily Vremya.

Many wondered why the military waited several days before asking for help from Western countries.

Solyunov said he was shocked to learn a British mini-submarine left a harbor in Norway for the accident site only Thursday afternoon. The 33-foot-long submersible should arrive at the scene Sunday.

Solyunov, gazed at his watch and drew deeply on a cigarette. ``They left two hours ago. Another 50 hours to go,'' he said.


Rescuers May Be Able To Open Hatch

Asociated Press
August 18. 2000

LONDON (AP) -- Rescuers should be able to open an escape hatch on the stricken Russian submarine Kursk from the outside without assistance from any of the sub's crew, a British expert said Friday.

``It's a perfectly straightforward escape hatch system which can be opened from the inside and the outside,'' said Richard Sharpe, a retired Royal Navy nuclear submarine captain and editor of Jane's Fighting Ships, a respected publication on military equipment.

A rescue capsule reached one of the sub's escape hatches for the first time Friday but was unable to gain access because it was so badly damaged, a Russian navy official said.

There is another hatch, but so far the Russian navy has not commented on its condition. In an interview Friday with The Associated Press, Sharpe spoke about how rescuers could use the hatch if it is intact.

He said there are two doors which control access to each escape hatch. One is inside, allowing as many as four crew members at a time to move into the escape column. Once inside, they would close the inner door, then flood the column to equalize pressure with the outside while using special breathing devices.

When pressure was equalized, they would open the top door and swim out.

For a rescue craft, the procedure essentially would be reversed. Sharpe said he assumed that the interior door on the Kursk's escape hatch could be operated by someone entering from the outside, but ``that is pure guesswork on my behalf.''

Even if everything works, it is a high-risk operation, Sharpe said.

``No one has ever done it and lived from 350 feet,'' except under carefully controlled test conditions with expert divers, he said.


Russians Point to a Collision in Sub Sinking

New York Times
August 18, 2000

MOSCOW, Aug. 17 -- With growing evidence of catastrophic damage to the hull of the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk, Russian officials said today that "irrefutable data" pointed to a collision. They said the object or ship that collided with the Kursk has not been identified yet.

Any vessel that could cause the sort of damage described by the Russian officials would itself have suffered enormous damage, and no such vessel has been reported.

One school of speculation is that the Kursk collided with a Russian cargo ship. Adm. Eduard Baltin, a senior commander of submarine forces in the Pacific under the Soviet Union, said today in an interview that the Kursk was operating in a sea lane frequently used by cargo vessel traffic. "I think the only realistic version is that the sub collided with a cargo vessel because it is in an area where there is a recommended course for civil navigation," he said.

American military and intelligence officials have been dubious that a collision occurred. They say that American submarines that were reportedly monitoring the exercises in which the Kursk was taking part were not involved in the disaster, and have reported hearing large explosions underwater, which they said were distinct from a collision.

Russian rescue teams made several more unsuccessful efforts today to try to lock onto a rear escape hatch of the Kursk.

Even though there have been no signs of life for two days now from the 118 sailors and officers who went down with the submarine last weekend during training exercises in the Barents Sea, navy commanders met for eight hours with Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov at Severomorsk, headquarters of the Northern Fleet, and decided to continue the rescue efforts.

They said they would continue studying a plan to raise the vessel with pontoons and begin salvaging operations to recover two nuclear reactors that pose a long-term threat to the fisheries of the Arctic seas. After several days of stormy weather, sea conditions improved today.

Although the Russians initially insisted that they were capable of handling the emergency, they asked for foreign help on Wednesday, and the British provided a small rescue submarine, the LR5, which is rushing to the scene.

But it will not arrive until Saturday. If that is not too late, a British submarine commander, Alan Hoskins, offered greater hope today that the rescue vehicle would be able to latch onto the Kursk, having determined that the hatches on both vessels are compatible.

British authorities also said today that they had learned from Russian officials that the Kursk is not lying at such a precipitous angle as they had thought. It is at a 20-degree angle, not the 60 degrees the Russians had spoken of, and that would make it easier for a British vehicle to attach itself to the sub, or an American one if it had been rushed to the scene.

Russia's defense minister, Marshal Igor Sergeyev, said the evidence pointed to a collision of the Kursk and an unknown vessel; he did not elaborate on the nature of such evidence. The Russians originally suggested that the cause of the accident was a collision -- either with another submarine or an old mine -- then said it seemed likely that a torpedo had exploded aboard the Kursk.

The talk of a collision was evidently based at least in part on an underwater video that showed the Kursk's shattered bow section, cracked deck plates, shredded foredeck and battered conning tower, also known as the sail.

Late tonight, Mr. Klebanov, who is heading an investigation, said at a news conference in Murmansk that it appeared that the Kursk sank after a collision with "some external object of very large tonnage" that delivered "an extremely strong dynamic blow" to the forward section of the submarine, where a "terrible hole" was opened, causing forward compartments to flood.

The Kursk was operating at a depth of 60 feet at the time and may have been on an upward incline with its periscope extended in preparation to surface.

Though Russian officials have asserted that two American submarines were operating in seas adjoining the exercise area, no allegation has been made that an American vessel was involved in the collision. The area also straddles shipping lanes for cargo vessel traffic between Murmansk and the polar port of Dikson in Siberia.

In Moscow, Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov called the situation "next to catastrophic."

The growing prospect that the crew may be beyond rescue, making the sinking of the Kursk Russia's worst peacetime naval disaster, generated a wave of recriminations through the Russian news media, much of it aimed at the military, but also at President Vladimir V. Putin, who remained on vacation at the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Mr. Putin went forward today with plans to meet with leaders of former Soviet republics on Friday, the day when navy officials were expected to acknowledge that the Kursk crew will be out of air.

The Russian president has only appeared on television once since the Kursk disappeared on Saturday. On Wednesday he pronounced the situation "critical" and said everything was being done to save the crew. But later, after consulting with Western officials, including a 25-minute telephone conversation with President Clinton, Mr. Putin ordered the military to accept all offers of foreign assistance in the rescue operation. Many Russians now believe he waited too long.

The most poignant criticism was expressed on national television by the mother of Aleksei Nekrasov, a sailor from the city of Kursk who lies trapped inside the submarine. "We are indignant," she told a local official charged with arranging her transport to the far north. "We are indignant that our children are still there, and not enough has been done to get them out of there."

Meanwhile in Murmansk, where Russian naval officials had mobilized the hospital ship Svir, a sense of gloom set in.

"What can I know apart from that my husband is dying there," a tearful Galina Beleyeva, the wife of one crew member, told reporters as she arrived in Murmansk.

Irina Lyachina, the wife of the Kursk's commanding officer, Gennadi Lyachin, 45, told a Murmansk television station today that she was still holding out hope. "I will only listen to what is said officially," she said, her voice trembling. "I will not pester every day, asking what is going on. I think that when there is news, they will tell us."

Today, the Russian media questioned why the military and Mr. Putin failed to disclose to the nation that a tragedy had occurred last Saturday, when the first reports of underwater explosions rattled Western intelligence sensors in the region.

"The sailors on the Kursk fell silent yesterday," the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda stated in large red type, "Why has the president been silent? Why on earth did he think it was possible to keep mum for five days?"

Underwater video taken over several days and analyzed at navy headquarters today confirmed major structural damage to the forward compartments, including the compartment that contains the bridge directly beneath the conning tower, where Captain Lyachin and a number of senior officers of the Northern Fleet would have been stationed during the maneuvers.

Several officials referred to a large dent in the conning tower, another sign of collision.

"The accident happened so quickly we can say it was like a flash," said a navy spokesman, Igor Dygalo.

The Kursk, a 14,000-ton vessel, traveled through the shallows of the Barents Sea at a depth that several Russian naval officers regarded as dangerously shallow.

The Oscar II-class attack submarine, designed during the cold war to assault American aircraft carrier battle groups and prevent NATO from being reinforced by convoys from the United States, has an overall length of 490 feet. If it stood on end in the place where it sunk, a 100-foot section of the hull would rise above the surface. And, from the bottom of the keel to the top of its conning tower and periscope masts, the submarine measures more than 100 feet.

Operating submerged at such a shallow depth, a simple failure of a torpedo tube or a stuck diving plane could pull the submarine's nose down and send it crashing into the bottom, Western and Russian naval experts said.


Russia's Unsafe Nuclear Submarines

New York Times
August 18, 2000

The sinking of a Russian nuclear submarine in the Barents Sea is not just a tragedy for the sailors trapped aboard, it is a warning of the dangers of running a nuclear navy on the cheap -- the way an impoverished Russia must do everything these days. There is disagreement between American and Russian experts over whether the accident was caused by an explosion aboard the submarine or by a collision with another ship. But either way, the underlying cause may be more fundamental. Money is so short that submarines rarely put out to sea. They lack maintenance and the crews get little training. These problems, compounded by a longstanding disregard for safety, have caused accidents in the past and could have been contributing factors in this one.

These problems have also obstructed rescue efforts. Until five days after the accident, the Russians were using primitive diving bells and a mini-sub with batteries that sustained it for only three hours. Their more advanced rescue sub may not have been ready for rapid deployment. The Russian government has also shown a chilling indifference to the sailors' fate. President Vladimir Putin has continued his Black Sea vacation, and offers of foreign assistance were rebuffed for days.

The Russian Navy's deficiencies not only endanger its crew, they pose a risk to the local ocean environment. So far, Norwegian monitors have detected no radiation leakage from the downed submarine, the Kursk, but that could change if it breaks apart or if the reactors have not been completely shut down, as happened in a 1986 submarine accident despite official reassurances to the contrary.

An even greater contamination danger comes from some 120 decommissioned submarines rusting off the coastlines near Murmansk and Vladivostok. Most were mothballed when Russia simply ran out of money to operate them. Some of the submarines are no longer watertight and are in danger of sinking. Radioactive waste is slowly seeping into the surrounding water and air. Neighboring Norway is worried about a possible explosion from one of the reactors, which could contaminate local waters, kill fish and marine mammals and harm both nations' fishing industries.

The United States and Norway are helping Russia to design and build prototype facilities for storing the spent fuel. But Russia does not have the money to continue the efforts. One way to get it would be to expand a program championed by Senator Richard Lugar and former Senator Sam Nunn that pays to dismantle Russia's nuclear arsenal but does not cover most of the decommissioned submarines.

The chief responsibility is Russia's, however, and its performance so far has been troubling. Moscow has blocked American and Norwegian officials from seeing some of the sites they are trying to clean up, prosecuted a former naval officer who has written reports exposing the problem, and slowed progress with internal battles over financing and demands for taxes on donations. It may be a long time before Russia has the funds to operate and decommission its nuclear submarines safely, but it should at least refrain from compounding the risks.


Putin Heads Home to Confront Political Upheaval Over Sub Crisis

New York Times
August 18, 2000

MOSCOW, Aug. 18 -- President Vladimir V. Putin headed back to the capital today, facing biting criticism in the Russian press and from some leading political figures for continuing his vacation at a Black Sea resort while 118 officers and crewmen aboard the submarine were trapped 350 feet below the surface of the Barents Sea.

Mr. Putin said today that when he was informed of the accident on Saturday, he asked Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev what the chances were of rescuing the crew of the submarine Kursk.

Mr. Putin said Marshal Sergeyevindicated that "the chances the crew will survive are few, but they exist and specialists will do their utmost."

The Russian president has been criticized for making only a few public comments since the accident. Today he said he initially had wanted to fly to the scene, but decided against it.

"Of course, my first wish was to fly to the region, to the fleet base in order to study the situation on the spot," Mr. Putin told reporters before leaving Yalta. "But I decided against that, and I think I made the correct decision because the arrival in the disaster area of high-ranking officials who are not specialists" does not "help rescue either people or equipment."

Still, criticism was intense. The leader of Russia's liberal Union of Right Forces Party, Boris Nemtsov, said in a statement today that Mr. Putin, "as commander-in-chief" has "no right to vacation while his subordinates, Northern Fleet sailors, face this drama."

Mr. Nemtsov called the president's behavior "amoral" and added there was no "reasonable explanation why Putin did not agree to accept foreign help before Wednesday when much valuable time has been wasted."

The Russian leader said he also had been assured that "Russia has all the means for rescue work." When this proved not to be the case, Mr. Putin said active discussions were carried out with Western countries as soon as help was offered.

On Wednesday after consultations with Western officials, including a 25-minute telephone conversation with President Clinton, Mr. Putin ordered the military to accept all offers of foreign assistance in the rescue operation. Many Russians now believe he waited too long.

But Mr. Putin said it took time to learn what sort of aid could actually effectively assist in the rescue effort.

"In order to select the craft for this work, one had to find out which craft was suited for this job," he said, citing "different standards of military technology."

But he added that the basic problems with the rescue effort were the difficult underwater currents and a raging polar storm that hampered the first two days of rescue efforts.

Adm. Vyacheslav Popov, the commander of Russia's Northern Fleet, said today that the navy had located the submarine four hours after the accident on Saturday and immediately began efforts to rescue the crew. "From the very first hour we started the rescue operation," Admiral Popov said. "We concentrated all our efforts on saving the crew. The rescuers are tired but they continue their work."


Russian Naval Official Asserts Explosion Struck Submarine

New York Times
August 18, 2000

MOSCOW, Aug. 18 -- A Russian naval officer acknowledged today for the first time that an explosion had caused much of the damage to the wrecked submarine Kursk, and officials said the navy would persist with rescue efforts after an attempt this morning failed.

The Navy said that after days of trying, rescuers finally succeeded this morning in docking a rescue vehicle on the spine of the Kursk, but reported that they found the deck area around a rear escape hatch so deformed that a water-tight connection could not be established to permit opening the hatch.

As Russian rescuers worked, President Vladimir V. Putin rushed back to Moscow from his vacation at a Black Sea resort.

The political and media pressure on him to return added to the drama surrounding the sea disaster that has much of the country riveted to television and radio, wondering if any of the 118 crew members survived the Saturday crash and if so, whether sufficient air remained to keep them alive 350 feet below the surface.

Mr. Putin defended the delay in his return, saying that the first assessment he received of the sea disaster from the defense minister indicated that "the chances the crew will survive are few, but they exist and specialists will do their utmost."

Navy officials said their best hope for success now was the British submersible en route to the scene. The British submarine is equipped with a more flexible docking mechanism and may be able to succeed where the Russian capsule failed. But there were reports today that bad weather was delaying the sub, which had been expected to arrive on Saturday night.

Because the precise extent of the damage to the emergency hatch and rear deck of the Kursk is unknown, however, it is unclear if the British submarine will have any better luck at making an airtight seal.

The United States bolstered its offer of help today by assembling a team of engineers, divers and doctors ready to reach the accident scene within 24 hours to assist the rescue efforts, Defense Secretary William S. Cohen said in a news conference.

Mr. Cohen said Igor Sergeyev, the Russian Defense Minister, had asked that outside help be coordinated by NATO, but that no request for United States assistance had come. American, Russian and NATO officials planned to discuss any further assistance on Saturday morning, Mr. Cohen said.

"I would like to make it clear that the Defense Department remains ready, willing and able to provide whatever assistance we can to the Russian authorities that they would find helpful," he told reporters at the Pentagon.

The submarine incident, cloaked in mystery and contradictory information from the beginning, became even less clear today as theories multiplied about precisely what happened to the submarine and its crew.

The commander of Russia's Northern Fleet, Adm. Vyacheslav Popov, said in a television interview today that a large internal explosion had, indeed, devastated the Kursk before it went down. Western intelligence reports have said that a high-energy underwater explosion was detected last Saturday, but Admiral Popov was the first Russian official to confirm that assessment.

The explosion rattled one seismic station in Norway more than 150 miles away with the power of an earthquake measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale.

Admiral Popov added that the investigation into what had triggered the explosion was centered on "outside impact, for example a collision" or "something inside." He did not elaborate on the second possibility, or address how an internal cause would square with external signs of collision that senior Russian officials highlighted in statements on Thursday.

Some United States defense officials in Washington conceded today that it was "conceivable" that a collision preceded the large explosion aboard the Kursk. Other officials said they believed any collision between the Kursk and another ship or sub would have been heard by Western intelligence sensors monitoring the Russian naval exercises in the Barents Sea. Inflaming the mystery were numerous unconfirmed reports and theories spun out in the Russian press, several of them asserting that the Russian navy suspected that one of the two American submarines alleged to have been operating in the area might have been involved in a collision with the Kursk and then sought refuge at a Norwegian port.

These reports were only fanned by the arrival in Moscow of George Tenet, the United States Director of Central Intelligence. Mr. Tenet's agenda was not clear, but Russian officials said that his visit had been planned before the Kursk tragedy.

American officials have said repeatedly, and Mr. Cohen again emphasized today, that no American vessel had been involved in a collision with the Kursk.

One theory circulating among American defense officials today was that the Kursk was in the process of firing an anti-submarine rocket from one of its forward weapons tubes when the rocket jammed in the tube, with its warhead outside the hull still attached to the rocket body and flaming engine, triggering fire and an explosion, the first of two monitored by Western intelligence sensors.

After two minutes and 15 seconds of trying to free the flaming missile from its tube and extinguish the fire, the missile's warhead of high-yield conventional explosive could have detonated with the force of one to two tons of TNT, causing extensive damage to deck structures in the forward section and near the conning tower.

The American analysts estimated that the high-yield warhead and the shock wave from the explosion could have destroyed an estimated 40 percent of the submarine, splitting and deforming parts of the hull. This may have given the appearance that the ship had been pummeled by the glancing blow of another ship and opened a gaping hole in the hull.

Russian navy officials have been saying that sounds of the crew beating on the hull of the submarine were last heard on Tuesday, but today Admiral Popov said that the stricken submarine fell silent on Monday.

Over the last five days the Russian Navy has tried repeatedly -- and vainly -- to make the sort of connection rescuers made today with the submarine's rescue hatch. After the connection was made, rescuers tried several times to make a seal between the submarine and the capsule, but as soon as they pumped out water, more rushed in. The rescuers in the capsule kept working until its batteries ran low and they were forced to return to the surface. Despite that failure, officials said they would continue to try to use their capsules to rescue the crew.

"All the energy of our fleet has been concentrated on one task, to save people, to save people, to save our sailors," Admiral Popov said. "Now we are continuing work at an intensive rate."

Admiral Popov said today he still had some hope of a successful rescue but that the air pressure in the sub was higher than normal atmospheric pressure, meaning that naval officials might have overestimated how long the crew could survive on the ocean bottom.

"I am very worried that according to our calculations the pressure in the submarine is higher than the normal atmosphere," Admiral Popov told RTR state television. "The situation is very grave."

There have been a number of estimates as to when oxygen would run out for surviving crewmen.

Earlier in the week, Adm. Vladimir Kuroyedov, the navy commander, said he would remain optimistic "until Aug. 18." Other navy experts have suggested that any surviving crew members already have run out of oxygen and that the majority of the 86 officers and 31 enlisted men perished in the first minutes after the accident ruptured the hull and destroyed the watertight containment of the ship. One unidentified civilian was also reported on board.

As the hourglass seemed to empty for the crew, an intense investigation was also under way to determine what made the Kursk sink. A Norwegian seismic institute said today that it had detected two underwater explosions in the area where the Kursk went down, a little more than two minutes apart.

The explosion sent powerful shock waves through the water that could be detected by seismic equipment on Norway's northern coast, near where American intelligence sensors aboard submarines operating in the Arctic sea area also detected the powerful explosions.

And early today, the Russian navy said it was looking for a Russian cargo vessel, the Arkhangelsk Mechanic Yartsev, because it was reported to have passed through the waters where the Kursk went down on Aug. 12. The company that operates the vessel, reached by telephone, reported that the ship had indeed passed through the area, but on Aug. 10.

"What the navy people are saying is absurd," said Aleksandr V. Kononenko, deputy general director of Northern Shipline in a telephone interview.

"A cargo ship's bottom plating is only millimeters thick, where as the sub's main hull is centimeters thick," he said. "So if there had been a collision with our cargo vessel, we would already be lighting the candles for the souls of our crew and our ship would be on the bottom."


Comrades in the Deep
As Russian Sub Crisis Wears On, U.S. Sailors Keep a Sorrowful Watch

Washington Post
Friday, August 18, 2000; Page B01
By Steve Vogel Washington Post Staff Writer

Guiding his U.S. Navy bathyscaph down through black water 8,200 feet below the surface of the sea, Brad Mooney was puzzled when the deep-sea submersible refused to sink the final few feet to the ocean bottom.

It took Mooney and his two crew members a few moments to realize that they were sitting atop the object of their hunt--the hull of the USS Thresher, the Navy nuclear submarine--and its crew of 129--that had been lost in the Atlantic Ocean the previous year.

Despite the triumph, a find that would help the Navy build safer submarines, Mooney's overwhelming sensation at that moment in 1964 was one of sadness. Many of the crew members lost on the Thresher had been his friends, including men with whom he'd served on other submarines and a classmate from the Naval Academy in Annapolis.

"It's one of those moments that will wrench your gut," said Mooney, 69, now a retired rear admiral living in Crystal City. "I don't think I've coughed it out of my gut yet."

It's a moment that Mooney has relived many times this week as desperate attempts are made to save the 118 crew members of the Russian submarine Kursk stranded on the bottom of the Barents Sea.

Like many other members of the tight-knit network of submariners living in this area, Mooney has been absorbed by the drama since he heard the news Monday morning.

"All submariners have a camaraderie, regardless of what nationality they are," he said. "We'd all like to help."

Al Friedrich, an Alexandria resident who spent 31 years as a submariner before retiring from the Navy in 1977, said: "You have empathy for these people, real empathy. I don't know any American submariner who wouldn't have a real empathy. You know what they're going through, even though they're another navy and a navy we had a Cold War with for many, many years."

For Friedrich, seeing photographs of Russian crew members has been a jolt, with their faces reminding him of the young sailors with whom he served over the years.

"These are kids, 18 or 19 years old," he said. "Especially when you look at their faces--take their uniforms off and put them in American uniforms, and you wouldn't know the difference."

Through years of drills aimed at preparing for an emergency just like the one that faces the Kursk, Friedrich has an idea of what may be happening in the stricken submarine, and the knowledge is no comfort.

"You know what they're going through--the lack of air, the cold," he said, his voice dropping. "I don't know, it's sad to say, but I don't think they're going to succeed."

In dramatic fashion, the Kursk incident has brought to the public eye a reality that submariners never forget--the ever-present dangers of the silent service.

Carl Wootten learned that lesson quickly. The sub he was assigned to sank the day after Wootten reported aboard for duty in 1958. The USS Stickleback collided with a U.S. Navy destroyer during a training exercise in the Pacific. Wootten managed to escape through a hatch, along with all other crew members.

"I was beginning to think: Wait a minute, do I really want to be in submarines?" said Wootten, now a businessman in Sterling. The quality of the men drawn to the all-volunteer service persuaded him to stay, he said.

"You can depend on the people, for sure," Wootten said.

In Annapolis, retired Navy Capt. Frank Andrews, who served with Mooney on the operation to find the Thresher, has also been remembering the lost U.S. sub in recent days.

Like the Kursk, the Thresher was a vaunted new ship, the $45 million lead ship of a new class of attack submarines. During a test dive in 1963 off the coast of New Hampshire, the Thresher lost propulsion and sank to depths where it was crushed by water pressure and fell to the ocean floor, breaking into large pieces. The crew apparently died almost instantly under the intense water pressure, which reached 3,663 pounds per square inch at a depth of 8,200 feet.

The fate of those aboard the Kursk may be worse than those who were aboard the doomed U.S. sub, Andrews said. "These guys are going through a turmoil different than Thresher," he said. "Once that boat went through crush depth, that was the end of everybody. Whereas these guys are sitting at 350 feet."

Mooney's involvement with the Kursk drama has been direct. Senior Navy officials have consulted in recent days with Mooney, who retired in 1987 as chief of naval research. "We're sort of brainstorming on what can be done," he said.

Mooney's entire career has been focused on underwater recovery. He coordinated the retrieval of a U.S. hydrogen bomb lost in the Mediterranean Sea in 1966, and as a staff officer at the Pentagon he coordinated the search for the Scorpion, a Norfolk-based submarine lost in the Atlantic in 1969 with a crew of 99.

"This has been my life," said Mooney, who retains the flinty look of a lifelong submariner and boasts of smelling of diesel fuel. After the Thresher disaster, Mooney was placed in charge of a Navy effort to develop a deep-water rescue vehicle that could be used to save crew members from stricken submarines.

"After Thresher was lost, we searched our souls to see if we had adequate equipment to do whatever would be possible if a boat went down," he said. "The conclusion was we didn't."

The result was the Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle, a mini-submarine that is still used by the Navy and could be deployed if requested to assist the Russians, who have asked for help from British and Norwegian rescue teams.

Even if the U.S. rescue equipment were sent, the steep angle at which the Kursk is reported to be listing would probably prevent an American team from successfully docking and saving the Russian crew, Mooney said.

Nonetheless, he added, "I'd love to see it tried, though I recognize its limitations. If lives are involved, you have to try."


Sub's Nose Damaged

Washington Times
Friday, August 18, 2000; Page C11
TODAY'S News From staff and wire reports

* Hope for saving the stranded Russian sub crew dimmed yesterday, with the news the Kursk's front section is severely damaged.

A reporter from the official Russian television network who saw video pictures shot by a rescue vessel concluded that some of the crew might have died last weekend when the sub sank after an accident.

"Water flooded the front in a flash and . . . the hull was destroyed in a moment," the correspondent said from a ship on the Barents Sea. "When so much water gets into the sub, it is impossible to avoid casualties."

The Russians have tried repeatedly to save the crew, but have so far failed, because of the stormy weather and murky Arctic water. A British rescue team was not expected to arrive until tomorrow and a Norwegian ship cannot make it before Monday.

The Russian authorities, meanwhile, have been criticized for not doing enough to rescue the crew. Many Russians think the government should have tried sooner to send a rescue vehicle and should have asked for more help from other countries. The Russian navy has had a long history of nuclear submarine accidents. In all, 507 Russian submariners have died in accidents, including fires and radiation leaks.


Russian Sub Has 'Terrifying Hole'
Friday, Aug. 18, 2000

MURMANSK, Russia - Russian rescue teams intensified efforts Thursday to rescue the trapped crew of the nuclear submarine Kursk, and a rescue ship carrying a British mini-sub sailed to the site.

Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov revealed dramatic details of the disaster. He said the sub had a "terrifying hole'' on its starboard side.

Klebanov, who heads the government commission investigating the disaster, appeared to be preparing Russia for the worst, releasing new information on the tragedy that was the first indirect acknowledgment by a top-level Russian official that lives had been lost aboard the Kursk.

Klebanov, after having led a lengthy meeting with the navy brass to discuss the possible cause of the accident, the estimated extent of internal damage to the sub and the remaining rescue options for crew members still alive, told reporters in the northern port city of Murmansk late Thursday that most of the vessel's 118-man crew were probably in the forward compartments of the sub when disaster struck.

"A majority of the crew was most likely in the part of the vessel that was hit by a sudden catastrophe," Klebanov said.

He said navy experts and the ship's designers believed most of the crew "should have had enough time to evacuate to safe compartments," but it was clear that significant casualties among the crew could not be ruled out.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov described the situation as "close to catastrophic," telling Cabinet members that there had been no progress in the rescue operation.

Videotape of the sunken sub taken by a member of the rescue operation showed that the Kursk's periscope was up, leading analysts to suggest that the captain's bridge and the compartment holding the command post were flooded.

The analysts explained that the water pressure at such a depth, at least 324 feet below the surface, would have pushed the periscope down.

Naval experts believe that at least two, and possibly as many as four, of the submarine's 10 compartments were flooded during the accident.

"There may no longer be a captain or senior commanding officers alive on that sub," a senior naval officer, who asked to remain anonymous, told United Press International.

The submarine had taken just two minutes to sink to the bottom of the Barents Sea on Saturday, sustaining further damage as it hit the ocean floor.

Naval officials said a collision with a large vessel was likely to have taken place, as the submarine sank at a spot where its route crossed a busy commercial shipping line.

One official, trying to reconstruct a possible collision based on evidence of damage to the sub on its starboard, or right-hand, side, said a huge cargo vessel reinforced to work as an icebreaker might have rammed the Kursk's titanium hull, bounced off slightly and then scraped along the side of the sub, causing further damage as the ship continued moving ahead.

Experts said the submarine had suffered extensive damage caused either by a collision or an explosion, and that the only usable escape hatch was the small emergency hatch at the rear of the vessel, where any surviving crew members would be located.

Naval experts and the submarine's designers, still baffled by what could have sunk Russia's most modern submarine, built to be virtually unsinkable, are not excluding an explosion of a torpedo inside a torpedo hatch, but even such an explosion would have caused less damage than what the Kursk apparently has sustained.

The submarine sank so fast that it was unable to send a distress signal or float a buoy.

Klebanov said the severity of the damage and the impact of the sub with the seabed may have damaged or destroyed oxygen equipment, admitting that there had been no signs of life from the sub's crew for "some time."

Earlier, naval officials said the crew had been pounding an SOS on the inside of the hull to let rescue teams know there were sailors trapped alive in the wreck of the submarine. But there had been no record of any sign of life since Wednesday, and the navy's senior spokesman, Capt. Igor Dygalo, dismissed reports that the SOS signals had resumed as incorrect.

Dygalo said that improved weather conditions had allowed the rescue operation to be intensified, but that visibility on the seabed was poor and undersea currents were still strong, shifting rescue pods off course.

Rescue teams are trying to attach, in turn, any one of four Russian-made pods to the sub's escape hatch. One of them was almost successfully attached but ran out of power, forcing it to be lifted to the surface.

Dygalo said that the 500-foot-long submarine had begun to settle in the mud on the bottom of the sea, but that this had not significantly hampered the rescue operation.

Many believe Britain's unique LR-5 mini-sub, which is capable of working in strong currents and attaching itself to a submarine hatch at 60-degree angles, is the Russian crew's last hope, but the mini-sub will reach the site of the disaster by midday Saturday at the earliest.

On Thursday, NATO and Russian military officials expressed new confidence in the upcoming joint rescue effort, British Broadcasting Corp. reported. BBC said both sides appeared satisfied that the British mini-sub would be able to connect with the Kursk and equalize the pressure between the two vessels, before opening the hatch from the outside to allow rescuers into the Russian sub.

The arrivals of two ships from Norway carrying scuba divers and the British mini-sub are expected Saturday evening or Sunday, Russia's Itar-Tass news agency reported. The 21-ton LR-5, said to be the only one of its kind in the world, was flown from Scotland to Norway aboard a Russian-made Antonov-124 cargo plane. A 20-member team of military experts is accompanying the mini-sub.

Russian newspapers and the private NTV television network have questioned the navy's decision to ignore international aid offers for so long, before caving in and accepting Britain and Norway's help on Wednesday.

The domestic media have blasted President Vladimir Putin for inaction and his decision to remain on vacation at the Black Sea resort of Sochi instead of taking personal command of the rescue operation and accepting all international aid right after the extent of the tragedy had become clear.

Many found it incomprehensible that the president and commander in chief would remain silent and distant while 118 sailors were suffering a slow, horrible death at the bottom of the sea.

Russia took two days to admit that the Kursk had sunk, and some believe the navy took almost 24 hours to inform Putin of the tragedy.

Many relatives of the crew reported being unable to obtain any information on the disaster or the rescue efforts until Wednesday, with some not even sure whether their husbands, sons, brothers or fathers were among the crew.

The Russian navy, which frequently shuffles submarine crews, bringing in replacements on very short notice, has refused to release a list of names of those aboard the Kursk, but it has set up a hotline to tell families if their loved one is or isn't among the trapped crew.

In an odd twist, it became known Thursday that the navy had long planned to hold a training exercise in the same area of the Barents Sea, involving a sunken submarine, and a test rescue operation that would have used the same rescue pods now being deployed.

The navy announced back in May that it would hold an exercise involving the location and evacuation of a submarine's crew during July or August.

Military reporters at a leading Russian news agency said Thursday that the Kursk's rapid descent to the seabed would have fit perfectly with the textbook rescue simulation, and suggested that some in the navy might have first believed last week's exercises had been extended to include a submarine rescue mission, before realizing that the tragedy was real.

The reporters said that even the navy's top admirals, concerned that the sub had not made any radio contact, were hoping the crew would float to safety in a specially designed escape pod that is part of the sub's equipment, and allowed the vessel simply to sit on the ocean floor for nearly three days before launching a full-blown rescue effort on Tuesday.

Naval sources told the well-informed Russian military news agency AVN that the crew of the Kursk, trapped and with no indication any rescue activity was on the way, released trash through an emergency hatch, which floated to the surface, allowing the navy to pinpoint the location of the sub.

Russia insists that the Kursk poses no environmental hazard, as the sub's two nuclear reactors have been shut down. Russia says the sub was not carrying nuclear weapons at the time of the accident, which took place at the end of extensive military exercises.


'Terrifying hole' observed in Russian sub

Washington Times
August 18, 2000

A Russian reporter on the scene of the sunken submarine Kursk said Thursday that the 13,000-ton vessel suffered massive front-end damage before crashing to the floor of the Barents Sea in Russia's frigid north.

The British Defense Ministry, which dispatched a minisubmarine Wednesday in a belated, last-ditch effort to rescue any survivors, partly corroborated the account, saying that a "high-energy explosion" tore through the 500-foot-long attack submarine.

A Russian official who saw a video of the foundering ship spoke of a "terrifying hole" in the hull.

The additional details raised new questions about whether the Kursk's hull remains inhabitable and further dampened hopes that the 118 crewmen will be found alive. Navy spokesmen said no signs of life were detected for the second straight day after Morse code tapping picked up by sonar ceased.

A reporter for state RTR television delivered the first independent news report from aboard a salvage ship battling a two-day arctic storm in the area.

The reporter said he had viewed video scenes of the damaged hull captured by a submersible vessel.

"The submarine, we can say now, has suffered severe damage, very serious damage in the front section. Water flooded the front in a flash and the command center, I mean the hull, was destroyed in a moment," the correspondent said, according to Agence France-Presse news service.

"This is tragic news. When so much water gets into the sub, it is impossible to avoid casualties. But the rescuers still hope that there are some people alive aboard."

Speculation has centered on an explosion of one or more of the submarine's 1,000-pound torpedoes during a major Russian naval exercise on Saturday morning.

Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov, who is heading the government's accident investigation, said navy analysts now believe the Kursk hit some foreign object, but not another vessel.

"We are increasingly coming to the conclusion that it was a very powerful impact, most probably from outside," AFP quoted him as saying, after he met with commanders at the Severemorsk naval base.

"There was a collision between the nuclear submarine and some other object with a large tonnage. A majority of the crew was most likely in the part of the vessel which was hit by a sudden catastrophe," Mr. Klebanov told a news conference.

"But according to navy experts and constructors [of the submarine] they should have had enough time to evacuate to safe compartments," he said.

The Kursk sank during an exercise that included five submarines firing ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and torpedoes. Two U.S. nuclear submarines monitoring the "Summer X" war games detected the sound of two underwater explosions that morning.

The Russian navy announced that a ninth attempt yesterday to rescue the men with a submersible ended, again, in failure. Spokesmen said the tethered diving bells and minisubs have been tossed back and forth in murky, swift waters as they tried the delicate mating with the Kursk's escape hatch 354 feet below the surface.

Rescuers used the Bester, Russia's front-line rescue vehicle, for the first time yesterday.

The spokesman also reported a new problem: the listing submarine is starting to slowly sink in the mud.

The British minisub LR5 is not scheduled to arrive until tomorrow night. The timing means the Kursk's crew will have spent a week inside a frigid, badly damaged hull whose oxygen supply is scarce at best. Russian spokesman say the ship has enough oxygen to sustain life until Aug. 26, - roughly two weeks after the sinking - but do not explain how the calculation was made.

A U.S. Navy source told The Washington Times on Wednesday that at least half the ship is flooded.

Russia has refused offers of assistance from President Clinton and Defense Secretary William S. Cohen. President Vladimir Putin finally accepted British offers on Wednesday when his own navy could not carry off a rescue.

The U.S. Navy maintains two deep-water submersibles similar in scale and ability to the British LR5. It has a crew of three - two pilots and a diver - and can accommodate 16 survivors per trip.

Once the LR5 arrives, the crew must coordinate the operations with Russian technicians, a process that will take "hours, not days," a British spokesman said.

The LR5 has successfully rescued sailors in realistic exercises, but never in an actual accident.

The British rescheduled for today a drill whereby an LR5 hatch ring will be tested on an Oscar II-class sub, like the Kursk, near Murmansk.

Russian navy and government officials have provided conflicting statements on what they think happened. At first, Adm. Vladimir Kuroyedov, the navy commander, said the Kursk collided with a foreign vessel. Later, spokesmen dumped that theory and said an explosion in the front torpedo compartment likely caused the sinking.

The ship's two nuclear reactors are shut down. Norway, which is monitoring for any radioactive leaks, has reported none.


U.S., Russia End Arms Talks Round

Associated Press
August 18, 2000 Filed at 9:44 p.m. EDT

GENEVA (AP) -- Top U.S. and Russian arms negotiators Friday ended a round of talks aimed at making further cuts in nuclear arsenals and improving safeguards against triggering a nuclear war, officials said.

Officials from both sides said the three days of talks ended as scheduled at midday, but declined to say whether any progress had been made.

A key goal of the session was to build on commitments by President Clinton and Russian leader Vladimir Putin to cooperate on strategic stability, U.S. officials said.

Clinton and Putin said in Okinawa, Japan, last month that they planned within a year to set up a joint U.S.-Russia center to exchange data from early warning systems in the event of a missile launch.

The Geneva session was to work on implementing the commitment, U.S. officials said.

Also on the agenda was a second project, proposed by the Clinton administration, on ways to advise each other that a test missile or a space rocket has been launched without setting off alarm bells in the other capital.

The talks were the latest in a series that began a year ago and have evolved into work on a third Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START III, to cut down on long-range nuclear warheads.

The United States also is trying to persuade Russia to amend the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty to permit deployment of a shield against limited missile launches by ``rogue'' nations.

The Russians have been reluctant to change the ABM treaty on grounds that it is a keystone of the global effort to reduce the risk of nuclear war.

-------- u.s. nuc facilities

US nuke regulators criticized for false safety methods

USA: August 18, 2000
Planet Ark

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission was charged yesterday with using faulty risk assessment methods in determining the safety of the nation's nuclear power plants, putting cost containment ahead of safety, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

In a strongly worded report, the activist group detailed how in its opinion, NRC risk assessments ignore common sense and allow nuclear operators to use so-called "don't worry, be happy" methodologies that cloud the actual risks of plant failures.

"The NRC is cutting safety margins based on counterfeit safety studies," said David Lochbaum, nuclear safety engineer at the Union of Concerned Scientists and author of the report, entitled "Nuclear Plant Risk Studies: Failing the Grade."

"The agency is acting irresponsibly, increasing the risk to millions of people living near nuclear plants," he said.

Nuclear power provides 20 percent of the country's energy needs, and is seen by the industry as a safe, and emissions free method to meet increasing demand for electricity.

A spokesman for the NRC said the report was not given to them until Yesterday , leaving the NRC no time to comment on the specifics of the 25-page study.

The agency had asked for the report last week, but now will have to wait until Friday to review the charges in detail.

In general though, a NRC spokesman said the agency takes it safety charge "seriously" and does not risk public health.

"Our principle mission is to protect the public health and safety," said William Beecher, NRC director of public affairs.

Using data from as early as 1982 to the present, the activists' report says the advent of deregulation in the electric power industry has spurred cost cutting at nuclear plants, resulting in an erosion of risk protections.

"An accident at a U.S. nuclear power plant could kill more people than were killed by the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki," Lochbaum said. "Yet, the NRC fails to establish minimum standards for plant owners to follow when calculating the probability of an accident."

Some of the faults include assumptions in NRC risk assessments that nuclear plants always conform with safety requirements. "Yet each year more than a thousand violations are reported," the report said.

Other factors ignored include no factoring in for the ageing of plants, reactor pressure vessel failures, plant worker mistakes and health hazards of irradiated fuel in spent fuel pool on-sight at the nation's 103 operating commercial plants.

The Union of Concerned Scientists want the NRC to halt current risk assessments, and establish minimum standards for all plants for public consumption.

"Congress should then provide the NRC with the resources necessary to calculate the risks and fix any shortfalls," the report said.


Federal Nuclear Agency Underestimates Risk at Reactors
By Cat Lazaroff
August 18, 2000 (ENS)

WASHINGTON, DC, The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is increasing the likelihood of a serious nuclear plant accident by falsifying risk assessments, which allows dangerous plants to continue operating and sound plants to weaken safety requirements, charges a new report released Thursday.

Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania, site of the nation's worst nuclear accident (All photos courtesy NRC)

"The NRC is cutting safety margins based on counterfeit safety studies," said David Lochbaum, nuclear safety engineer at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and author of "Nuclear Plant Risk Studies: Failing the Grade."

"The agency is acting irresponsibly, increasing the risk to millions of people living near nuclear plants," said Lochbaum.

The risk of a nuclear plant accident depends on the probability of it occurring and the consequences if it were to occur. Current NRC risk assessments only look at the probability of an event. When consequences are very high, as they are from nuclear plant accidents, prudent risk management dictates that probabilities be kept very low, UCS argues.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) attempts to limit the risk to the public from nuclear plant operation to less than one percent of the risk the public faces from other accidents.

UCS examined how nuclear plant risk assessments are performed and how their results are used. The group concluded that the risk assessments are "seriously flawed and their results are being used inappropriately to increase - not reduce - the threat to the American public," the report says.

The Davis-Besse plant in Ohio

NRC risk assessments rely on assumptions that contradict actual operating experience, UCS charges. For example, the NRC presumes nuclear plants always conform with safety requirements, yet each year more than a thousand violations are reported.

Nuclear plants are also assumed to have no design problems, even though hundreds are reported every year. Aging is assumed to result in no damage. Reactor pressure vessels are assumed to be fail proof, though deterioration has already forced the Yankee Rowe nuclear plant to shut down.

Plant workers are assumed to be less likely to make mistakes than actual operating experience demonstrates. The risk assessments consider only the threat from damage to the reactor core despite the fact that irradiated fuel in the spent fuel pools represents a serious health hazard.

"The results from these unrealistic calculations are therefore overly optimistic," concludes the report.

"An accident at a US nuclear power plant could kill more people than were killed by the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki," said Lochbaum. "Yet, the NRC fails to establish minimum standards for plant owners to follow when calculating the probability of an accident. As a result, unrealistic assumptions proliferate in risk studies."

Watts Bar Unit 1 in Tennessee

The UCS report concludes that current risk studies make it impossible to know which plants are safe and which are not. "When the Watts Bar plant's risk was calculated at 300 percent higher than the NRC's safety goal, the Tennessee Valley Authority waved its magic wand - or pencil eraser - until the risk dropped below the safety goal," Lochbaum said. "The real risk never changed."

The NRC is allowing plant owners to further increase risks by cutting back on tests and inspections of safety equipment. The NRC approves these reductions based on the results from incomplete and inaccurate accident probability assessments, UCS charges.

As a first step to protect public safety, UCS recommends that unrealistic nuclear plant risk assessments be halted. Minimum standards should be established, required, verified and made public, the group advises. Congress should then provide the NRC with the resources necessary to calculate the true risks and fix any shortfalls.

William Beecher, director of public affairs for the NRC, said the agency has not yet had a chance to review the full report. The agency had requested a copy of the report from UCS last week, but Beecher said they did not receive it until Thursday.

"Our principle mission is to protect the public health and safety," said Beecher.


Nuclear Physicist

Washington Post
Friday, August 18, 2000; Page B07

John H. Buck, 87, a nuclear physicist who had worked for the Atomic Energy Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from 1969 to 1984, died Aug. 16 at the Casey House Montgomery Hospice in Rockville. He had Alzheimer's disease.

Dr. Buck, who lived in Gaithersburg, came to the Washington area in 1969. He retired from the regulatory commission as vice chairman of its appeals panel.

From 1984 until retiring altogether in 1994, he was an independent nuclear energy consultant.

He was a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan in his native Canada. He came to this country in the mid-1930s and received a doctorate in nuclear physics from the University of Rochester. During World War II, he was a government consultant on radar. He worked in private industry before coming to the Washington area in 1969.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Carolyn, of Gaithersburg; a son, John A., of Columbia; a daughter, Barbara C. Buck of Warner, N.H.; and five grandchildren.

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FBI Agent Recants Testimony

Yahoo News
Friday August 18
Associated Press Writer

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - An FBI agent has recanted testimony that was key to a judge's decision to deny bail last December to a fired nuclear weapons scientist accused of downloading restricted files.

The testimony last year from Agent Robert Messemer had portrayed Wen Ho Lee as guileful when the jailed Los Alamos lab physicist supposedly told a colleague he wanted to use that scientist's computer to print a resume.

At a bail review hearing Thursday, Messemer acknowledged that Lee had told the other scientist he wished to download files.

``My testimony was incorrect,'' Messemer told U.S. District Judge James Parker.

The judge had cited Lee's ``deeply troubling'' deceptions in denying him bail in December.

The FBI agent said Thursday he did not intentionally attempt to mislead the judge and said he did not believe it was a serious error.

The hearing, the defense's third effort to get Lee released on bail, was scheduled to continue Friday with more questioning of Messemer.

Lee, 60, is charged with 59 counts involving downloading files from Los Alamos National Laboratory to unsecured computers and tape. The Taiwan-born American citizen could face life in prison if convicted at trial, scheduled to begin Nov. 6.

During Messemer's testimony Thursday, the FBI agent also acknowledged Lee disclosed contacts with scientists from the People's Republic of China in a report to the lab about a 1986 conference he attended.

Messemer insisted, however, that under questioning by authorities Lee did not disclose the full scope of those contacts.

Messemer testified last year Lee initially told authorities only about a Christmas card he had gotten from one Chinese scientist. He acknowledged that Parker could have inferred from that testimony Lee was lying.

He also said he wanted to correct a ``minor point'' in which he said Lee sent letters seeking an overseas job. Messemer said Thursday the FBI had no evidence one way or the other whether the letters were sent.

Los Alamos scientist Richard Krajcik, deputy director of a top-secret nuclear weapons division at the lab, testified that he stood by earlier statements about the seriousness of the downloaded documents.

``It represents the crown jewels of nuclear design assessment capability of the United States,'' Krajcik said.

Krajcik conceded the information was not classified as secret when Lee allegedly took it, but said only scientists with security clearances could access it.

At the time, the information had not been reviewed for classification. The information has since been classified as confidential restricted data and secret restricted data, but not top secret.

Defense attorney John Cline read descriptions of classification levels, which define top-secret information as vital to national security and whose dissemination would cause ``exceptionally great damage.'' Secret information does not reveal critical features.


Defense Tries For Lee's Release

Yahoo News
Friday August 18
Associated Press Writer

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - An FBI agent whose testimony last December was a key in denying bail to a fired nuclear scientist accused of downloading restricted files has acknowledged that some of his testimony was incorrect.

Attorney Mark Holscher, representing jailed scientist Los Alamos nuclear weapons lab scientists Wen Ho Lee, questioned the credibility of Agent Robert Messemer's earlier testimony.

Messemer testified on two separate occasions last year that Lee told another scientist he wanted to use that scientist's computer to print a resume. He acknowledged Thursday that Lee had told the other scientist he wished to download files.

``My testimony was incorrect,'' Messemer said.

He told U.S. District Judge James Parker he did not intentionally attempt to mislead the judge and said he did not believe it was a serious error. The hearing is scheduled to resume Friday with more questioning of Messemer and is the defense's third effort to get Lee released on bail.

Lee, 60, has been jailed since December. He is charged with 59 counts involving downloading files from Los Alamos National Laboratory to unsecured computers and tape. The Taiwan-born American citizen could face life in prison if convicted at trial, scheduled to begin Nov. 6.

During Messemer's testimony Thursday, the FBI agent also acknowledged Lee disclosed contacts with scientists from the People's Republic of China in a report to the lab about a 1986 conference he attended.

Messemer insisted, however, that under questioning by authorities Lee did not disclose the full scope of those contacts.

Messemer testified last year Lee initially told authorities only about a Christmas card he had gotten from one Chinese scientist. He acknowledged that Parker could have inferred from that testimony Lee was lying.

He also said he wanted to correct a ``minor point'' in which he said Lee sent letters seeking an overseas job. Messemer said Thursday the FBI had no evidence one way or the other whether the letters were sent.

Los Alamos scientist Richard Krajcik, deputy director of a top-secret nuclear weapons division at the lab, testified that he stood by earlier statements about the seriousness of the downloaded documents.

``It represents the crown jewels of nuclear design assessment capability of the United States,'' Krajcik said.

Krajcik conceded the information was not classified as secret when Lee allegedly took it, but said only scientists with security clearances could access it.

At the time, the information had not been reviewed for classification. The information has since been classified as confidential restricted data and secret restricted data, but not top secret.

Defense attorney John Cline read descriptions of classification levels, which define top-secret information as vital to national security and whose dissemination would cause ``exceptionally great damage.'' Secret information does not reveal critical features.


Agent Concedes Faulty Testimony in Secrets Case

New York Times
August 18, 2000

ALBUQUERQUE, Aug. 17 -- An F.B.I. agent admitted in federal court here today that he had provided inaccurate testimony last December on a critical point that made a Los Alamos scientist accused of mishandling nuclear weapons secrets appear deceptive when he had not been.

The issue is crucial because the government has successfully argued since last December that the scientist, Wen Ho Lee, be held without bail in part because his pattern of deceptions, along with the fact that computer tapes containing a vast amount of nuclear secrets remain unaccounted for, suggested he was a major threat to national security.

In his written decision denying bail last December, the federal judge, James A. Parker, cited Dr. Lee's "deeply troubling" deceptions. Dr. Lee is trying for bail a third time, and the government is now acknowledging what amounts to misleading testimony.

Dr. Lee is the first person to be accused under the specific atomic energy statute cited in his 59-count indictment, and a growing number of Asian-Americans and civil rights advocates have rallied to his side, saying he was singled out at least in part because of his Chinese ancestry.

Robert A. Messemer, an F.B.I. supervisory special agent, had said under oath last December that when Dr. Lee improperly downloaded weapons secrets six years ago onto portable computer tapes he lied to a colleague, Kuok-Mee Ling, in order to get permission to use Dr. Ling's computer. Mr. Messemer testified that Dr. Lee told Dr. Ling that he was just going to download a r�sum�, which was not true.

But since then, Dr. Lee's defense lawyers have gained access to Dr. Ling's previous grand jury testimony, and it does not mention Dr. Lee speaking of a r�sum�.

Mr. Messemer today acknowledged that he had made "an honest error" on this critical point in his December testimony.

"At no time did I intentionally provide false testimony," he said. "I made a simple inadvertent error."

Mr. Messemer insisted that, in other areas, Dr. Lee had indeed been deceptive.

There were, however, several other instances in which the defense appeared to show that the government had misled the judge in describing Dr. Lee's supposed deceptions.

Mr. Messemer had testified at the December bail hearing that Dr. Lee had not disclosed certain contacts with Chinese scientists during officially sanctioned, professional visits to Beijing in the 1980's. But the defense lawyers have since obtained a report Dr. Lee filed after a 1986 trip in which he listed seven Chinese scientists with whom he had spoken.

Mr. Messemer also acknowledged that, though Dr. Lee had clearly disclosed the contacts, he was never subsequently questioned about them. Mr. Messemer also disclosed that he had never consulted Dr. Lee's trip report before testifying in December. He still maintained that Dr. Lee had been deceptive because he had not been open about "the full nature and scope" of his contacts.

The government contends that until Dr. Lee faced questioning a year ago, he failed to report a highly suspicious meeting with a Chinese scientist in his hotel room in a 1988 visit. The government also insists that Dr. Lee's downloading of the huge library of weapons secrets was itself a deliberate act of deception that took more than 40 hours of computer time and that he had knowingly violated rules on the handling of classified data.

None of the statements in court here today or yesterday appeared decisive. The government presented weapons experts who insisted that Dr. Lee's downloading was unprecedented and a grave threat to national security because the data, in hostile hands, could alter the global balance of power.

The defense offered its own experts who insisted that most of the information was already public and that its usefulness to another country was extremely limited.

In one tense exchange, Paul Robinson, the president of the Sandia National Laboratories and a witness for the prosecution, said that one defense expert, Harold M. Agnew, a former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, had simply not understood the information Dr. Lee downloaded or had not understood the threat posed by Dr. Lee's actions.

Dr. Agnew fired off a written affidavit to the court yesterday in response to that testimony, saying, "What Paul said is a bunch of bull," and then rebuted parts of Dr. Robinson's testimony.

In two other areas today, defense lawyers tried to show that government witnesses had provided misleading evidence in December. Mr. Messemer had said Dr. Lee failed to disclose correspondence with some Chinese scientists, saying he had only exchanged Christmas cards.

Today, one of Dr. Lee's lawyers, Mark Holscher, produced a transcript of an interview with Dr. Lee and the F.B.I. on March 5, 1999, in which Dr. Lee did discuss correspondence with the Chinese scientists.

In addition, Mr. Messemer said in December that in the search of Dr. Lee's home, the F.B.I. had found letters that Dr. Lee had sent to several foreign scientific institutes seeking a job. The prosecution has said in previous filings that they believe the principal reason Dr. Lee improperly downloaded the nuclear secrets was to enhance his job prospects with the foreign institutes.

But under questioning, Mr. Messemer acknowledged today that the F.B.I. had found some letters but had no evidence they were either mailed or received by the foreign institutions, which were in countries like Australia, France, Singapore and Switzerland.

The bail hearing will resume on Friday. Judge Parker has allowed the examinations and cross-examinations of the witnesses, much of it in closed sessions because it involved classified information, to go on far longer than is usual at bail hearings.

-------- new york

Power Plant Proposals

New York Times
August 18, 2000

To the Editor:

As a Rockland County resident, I read both "Promise and Peril in New York Power Plants" (front page, Aug. 14) and "A Small Case of Identity Crisis" (news article, Aug. 14) with interest.

According to the numbers you give, Rockland's 284,022 residents are facing four power plant proposals, which works out to approximately one for every 71,000 people.

By comparison, New York City's 7.4 million residents face only 13 power plant proposals, or roughly one for every 570,000 people.

Under the circumstances, I would not characterize Rockland's proliferation of protests, town meetings, civic actions and lawn signs as a quaint identity crisis over preserving the vestiges of rural life. Rather, it seems a legitimate effort to have a voice in shaping what is built in our communities instead of accepting at face value the plans floated by distant corporations.

VERA ARONOW Nyack, N.Y., Aug. 15, 2000

-------- us nuc politics

A Power Play: From Rabble-Rouser to Boss

New York Times
August 18, 2000

IF the lights even flicker, much less flicker out, everybody blames Richie (oh, the stress of burnout by blackout). If the hurricane comes, everybody will blame, even hate, poor Richie (oh, the nightmares he has). And if the electric rates go up, everybody on Long Island gets to blame, perhaps even picket, our man Richie (oh, he says, the irony).

It's the payback Richard M. Kessel, 50, gets for abandoning his niche as Nassau County's first and fiercest consumer advocate -- the Long Island Railroad, Lilco and the dastardly Shoreham nuclear plant all succumbed, in degrees, to his rabble-rousing charms -- so that he could squeeze into the top management position at the Long Island Power Authority. The shoe is on the other foot, and sometimes the advocate-turned-energy-czar hollers "Ouch."

And for this, the burly baby boomer who runs the third largest municipal utility company in the nation pockets a piddling $125,000 per year (he keeps reminding his doubtful dad that it sure beats last year's $88,000), no stock options included. There is no stock, are no dividends, and, according to Mr. Kessel, there are no secrets at the publicly owned LIPA, the $2 billion firm that drove a stake into the heart of the hated Lilco three years ago and took over as power supplier to more than a million customers. Good thing he banked those bar mitzvah savings bonds.

"I haven't got a portfolio; I am my portfolio," says the corpulent Mr. Kessel. A sports nut, he invests his salary in season tickets for the Knicks and Giants, not dot-com schemes; would rather listen to the ranters on WFAN than noodle around with Nasdaq. He's got no kids, just four cats to keep in kibble at his new house (centrally air-conditioned but pool-less) in his hometown, Merrick.

What he does have is the responsibility ("Awesome!") of keeping Long Island, and the energy guzzlers, himself included, who live on it, plugged in and tuned in to a harsh fact of life: unless they wise up and endorse LIPA's attempts to expand (new power plants and pipelines) and innovate (windmills, fuel cells, solar panels), something very unpleasant may happen when they switch on their air-conditioners next summer, or the one after that. As in, nothing will happen.

Mr. Kessel, a kinetic guy despite his Santa-size heft, actually bounces in his chair as he tells it like is: "We're gonna need to add some new power plants and some new transmission lines to Long Island in the next three or four years or we're gonna go dark, no question about it."

He insists that's not an idle threat but in the cards for consumers who take energy -- whether the bills come from LIPA or Con Ed -- for granted. And everybody, blurts Mr. Kessel, does: "Anyone you ask says they want to be energy efficient, but no one really does it! No one wants a power plant, no one wants a windmill, no one wants a fuel cell, but we all want our pools and computers and air conditioners," he scolds. "You can't have it both ways."

Come on, people. He's got to have those three windmills at Montauk Point ("They're symbolic!"), that pair of underwater transmission cables from New England to the Island, maybe even a nice, normal power plant next door to the shell that was Shoreham. He's doing it for you! And doing it because his boss, the governor (Mr. Kessel switched allegiance from his mentor, Mario Cuomo, to George E. Pataki when the political winds blew that way) calls it the appropriate thing to do.

Those nonfossil fuel alternatives? He and the governor "love 'em." If invested in now, they could supply 10 to 15 percent of the Island's energy within 10 years, trust him on this.

Whew. Mr. Kessel (call him Richie, everybody does) takes this job seriously. You don't help kill a $5.5 billion plant like Shoreham and just walk away. "Shoreham made my career," he concedes. "Shoreham was Lilco's Titanic. When Hurricane Gloria hit, the people of Long Island said, 'Holy crapola! If they can't deal with a hurricane, how the heck are they gonna deal with a nuclear accident?' " And if a major hurricane hits during Mr. Kessel's tenure? "Boy-oh-boy, are we not prepared. But there's a part of me that wants to take us through the emergency."

He doesn't always take himself so seriously: check out that photograph of him supplying backup vocals for the Beach Boys on "Barbara Ann" at Jones Beach. Or crooning away with Jay and The Americans on "Cara Mia"(Richie, you're dating yourself here) at the Westbury Music Fair.

Time for a cookie break. "I'm a chocaholic," he explains. And a workaholic? On call 24 hours a day, seven days a week; afraid to vacation out-of-state for fear the hurricane, the heat wave, the whatever, will violate his turf (and reputation) the minute he leaves.

Mr. Kessel, an only child whose mother's death from cancer in 1972 "floored" him and caused him to scrap law school for politics, made a State Senate run in 1974. His platform was "Say No To Lilco." He lost, but refused to quit badgering Lilco.

He says he never imagined that LIPA, once it decommissioned Shoreham, would paint its initials over Lilco's trucks, never imagined a boisterous consumer advocate would land the CEO seat. A sellout? His ruddy face looks hurt.

"I don't see this as being a utility executive," he says. "I'm a public official. Being the chairman of LIPA is like being the county executive of both counties. I think it's one of the most important jobs on Long Island. Because hey, without electricity, nothing works."

-------- u.s. nuc weapons

Feds Say Laser Project Cost Soars

Associated Press
August 18, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Soaring development costs for the world's most powerful laser could threaten a Clinton administration plan to ensure the readiness of U.S. nuclear weapons in the absence of actual testing, lawmakers said Thursday.

Congressional investigators reported that the laser project at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will cost more than $2.8 billion, nearly triple the original price from five years ago.

The Energy Department has told Congress the project will now cost at least $2.2 billion, which is 50 percent higher than its estimate only six months ago, according to a report by the General Accounting Office.

``These new findings significantly heighten congressional concerns about ... the viability of the stockpile stewardship program,'' said Rep. Floyd Spence, R-S.C., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

The project is now expected to be completed in 2008, six years later than the original target date.

The laser, the most powerful and sophisticated ever built, has 192 laser beams focusing energy on a single target, allowing nuclear scientists to simulate in a laboratory conditions in a thermonuclear explosion.

Aided by super computers and other technology, nuclear weapons scientists will be able to assure the reliability of America's nuclear warheads without detonating nuclear devices. Nuclear bomb testing was halted in 1993 with assurances that data needed to assure weapon readiness eventually would be simulated in the laboratory.

Madelyn Creedon, deputy administrator the DOE's nuclear weapons agency, said that the laser project will ``go ahead as planned,'' but that its management team has been replaced and the DOE has established a separate office to oversee the program. She said the department would release firm cost figures next month.

``The DOE has the job of maintaining the (nuclear weapons) stockpile in the absence of nuclear testing ... and (the laser project) is an integral part of the program,'' she said in a conference call with reporters to discuss the GAO findings.

The report by GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, concluded that Lawrence Livermore has mismanaged the project, formally known as the National Ignition Facility. The report also said that technical problems, unexpected expenses and scheduling delays were withheld from outside reviewers and the department.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., chairman of the House Science Committee, which requested the report, said the cost escalation was ``alarming.'' He added, ``The fact that DOE's own independent reviews masked the cost overruns is even more disturbing.''

The department learned only last summer that the laser program was having problems, but officials have insisted that there are major technical troubles.

Still, some lawmakers have questioned whether the program should continue. An attempt to scuttle it fell short in the House this summer.

Spence said the rising cost was ``extremely disquieting'' and that the report ``raises legitimate questions about the ability of the DOE's science-based approach'' as a substitute to nuclear testing.

The GAO attributed the cost overruns to an unrealistic original budget, poor management at Lawrence Livermore and ``an absence of effective independent reviews'' and department oversight.

Investigators also found that senior managers of the laser project withheld their concerns about the technical and management problems from the department and the director of the Livermore Lab, which is operated by the University of California.


U.S. May Increase Submarine Fleet

Associated Press
August 18, 2000 Filed at 1:40 p.m. EDT;=763&date;=20000818

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Cold War threat of all-out nuclear war has long since faded. Submarine operations remain potentially hazardous. Does the United States really need more submarines lurking beneath the surface of the world's oceans?

The Navy says yes, but not because it expects to use them to launch nuclear missiles across the globe.

The role of submarines like the Russian vessel that sank in the Barents Sea is changing, largely to take advantage of their inherent ``stealth'' in avoiding detection while playing the role of silent and unseen spy.

Skeptics say the subs are Cold War relics in search of a mission.

``They don't even attempt to justify it on the basis of a war-fighting capability,'' said Eugene Carroll of the private Center for Defense Information.

A retired Navy admiral and frequent critic of the service, Carroll is contemptuous of the argument that a bigger submarine fleet is needed for intelligence purposes.

``It's contrived,'' he said.

The Pentagon is considering a 20 percent increase in the submarine fleet -- from 56 attack subs today to 68 by the year 2015 -- and it is spending tens of billions of dollars on a new generation of attack subs, called the Virginia-class submarine. This commitment comes a decade after Congress halted the Navy's building of new Seawolf attack submarines at three instead of the planned 29.

The Virginia-class subs will play a variety of roles, with special emphasis on intelligence gathering and ``special operations'' such as search and rescue, reconnaissance, sabotage and diversionary attacks.

The Russian sub fleet, once the largest in the world, has not evolved so much as it has eroded. Its numbers have dropped from about 200 during the Cold War to about 20 today, including 11 Oscar II-class submarines of the type that sank in the Barents Sea.

Because of a lack of resources for training, maintenance and modernization, Russian submarines spend far more time in port than they do at sea.

The United States has pared its submarine fleet in the past decade as it has reduced the overall military. The Navy now is pushing to reverse that peacetime trend by arguing that intelligence-collection demands have grown far beyond what the current fleet of 56 nuclear-powered attack subs can handle.

The U.S. Navy also has 18 Trident submarines armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles. These behemoths, based at Bangor, Wash., and King's Bay, Ga., form one leg of the U.S. ``triad'' of strategic nuclear weapons, along with long-range bombers and ICBMs based in underground silos.

The Navy is considering converting four Tridents from their strategic nuclear role to a specialized combination of missions: firing non-nuclear cruise missiles like the Tomahawks used in last year's Kosovo air war; transporting Navy SEAL commandos, and possibly launching unmanned surveillance aircraft. It is the intelligence mission, however, that the Navy sees as the main argument for rebuilding the sub force.

Adm. Frank L. Bowman, director of naval nuclear propulsion, said in a recent interview with Pentagon reporters that the number of ``intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance'' missions -- essentially spy missions -- has doubled over the past 10 years while the number of submarines has been cut almost in half.

``I don't think we will ever be able to make do with fewer subs'' than currently planned, Bowman said.

The number of U.S. attack subs has declined from 93 in 1991, the year the Soviet Union dissolved, to 56 today, with an additional seven Los Angeles-class attack subs scheduled to be decommissioned. Bowman said the Navy is leaning toward retaining four of those seven by refueling their reactors.

Submarines still have a war-fighting mission, and that was the role the Russian sub Kursk was practicing when it sank last weekend during a major exercise with a Russian aircraft carrier and other ships.

Not coincidentally, two American submarines were nearby, watching the exercise from the icy waters of the Barents Sea, a major thoroughfare from the big Russian naval port at Murmansk on the Kola Peninsula.

During the Cold War, the main purpose of shadowing Soviet submarines was to watch for indications of preparations for starting World War III. The same was true of Soviet subs monitoring the U.S. coasts. Warning of surprise attack was a precious commodity, and subs were a critical part of that effort.

But with fear of a global nuclear conflict almost gone, navies have not lost their love of submarines. A growing number of nations are acquiring subs -- powered by diesel and electric power, rather than nuclear power like those of the American and Russian boats -- to flex muscle in or near their home waters.

Israel, for example, has contracted with Germany to buy three Dolphin diesel-powered subs. The first was delivered last year. Iran has a small submarine force, which U.S. military officials have said provides a mine-laying capability in the Gulf that worries them. One of Iran's main suppliers has been Russia, which also has sold diesel-electric Kilo-class submarines to China in recent years and has sold sub salvage to North Korea.

The Pentagon estimates there are about 600 submarines in the world's waters today.


Compaq expected to win supercomputer bid
August 18, 2000,
By Stephen Shankland Staff Writer, CNET

The Department of Energy is expected to announce next week that Compaq Computer has won a bid for a nuclear weapons simulation supercomputer.

The contract, worth more than $150 million by industry estimates, will fund a computer with thousands of Alpha processors that will be built in 2002 at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), sources familiar with the plan said. The machine, part of DOE's Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI), is expected to be able to perform 30 trillion calculations per second, or 30 teraflops.

Representatives of DOE, LANL and Compaq declined to comment. "It's premature to comment on any potential future contracts," said Compaq spokesman Jim Finlaw.

Compaq beat out competitors Sun Microsystems, which had bid on the system as part of its new expansion into supercomputers, and SGI, which had hoped its incumbent status would help it win again. SGI built the 4-teraflop Blue Mountain computer currently at LANL.

But the real competition in the future looks to be IBM, according to Jesse Lipcon, vice president of Compaq's Alpha technology group, while discussing Compaq's recent contract for a $36 million, 2,728-processor academic supercomputer.

IBM has won bids for a 4-teraflop Blue Pacific machine and its successor, the 10-teraflop ASCI White at LANL's sister lab, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

IBM also has plans for a 1,000-teraflop supercomputer called Blue Gene to be used for biomolecular research.

IBM didn't bid for the LANL machine, representatives have said.

Cray, acquired in March by Tera Computer from SGI, has a long history of supercomputing partnerships with LANL.

The new Compaq computer will take up the better part of a 43,500-square-foot room--more than nine basketball courts in area. By contrast, ASCI White takes up a space the size of two courts. It will fit inside a three-story building called the Strategic Computing Complex being built now at LANL.

LANL has designed the building so it also can house the 100-teraflop machine, but it's not yet clear where DOE will decide to build the later machine.

DOE is considering upgrading the 30-teraflop machine to 50-teraflop performance as an intermediate step to the 100-teraflop machine, according to a DOE environmental assessment on the LANL supercomputing facility.

The computer is a key part of DOE's plan to simulate nuclear weapons tests in the absence of actual explosions. The more powerful computers are designed to model explosions in three dimensions, a far more complex task than the two-dimensional models used in weapons design years ago.

Aging of nuclear weapons materials such as plutonium spheres and high explosives causes deformations that aren't conveniently regular, requiring the use of three-dimensional models, LANL officials have said.

The United States conducted its last actual nuclear test in September 1992. In September 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, but the treaty was rejected by the Senate.


U.S. Navy Is About to Retire One of Two Top Rescue Subs

New York Times
August 18, 2000

Although the tragedy with Russia's Kursk submarine has placed an urgent spotlight on the need for rescue craft, the United States Navy is planning to retire one of its two best undersea rescue vehicles at the end of August in a cost-cutting move that could make it harder to save stricken American submariners, military officials said yesterday.

The deep-diving craft are among the vessels that the United States offered to send this week to try to save any Kursk sailors still trapped under 350 feet of arctic water.

Defense experts say that if the Russian Navy had accepted the offer, it would have had a much greater chance -- though no guarantee -- of saving any survivors than it has had with its own equipment.

Rear Adm. Craig R. Quigley, a Pentagon spokesman, confirmed that one of the minisubmarines, the Avalon, is to be retired at the end of this month. The decision was made long before the Kursk sank last weekend, and Navy officials said they had no plans to reconsider.

The Navy plans to build a new generation of rescue vehicles in the next five years. The officials said they could get help from other Western nations if a crisis taxed their other rescue capabilities.

But critics said there could be pressure from Congress to keep the Avalon in use until the new equipment is ready. After the Kursk disaster, Norman Polmar, an independent Navy analyst, said, "I think the decision demands a re-evaluation."

The Avalon and its sister craft, the Mystic, have been based in San Diego for nearly 30 years but have never been needed for a rescue operation. The United States has lost only two nuclear-powered submarines, the Thresher and the Scorpion. Both sank in the 1960's in such deep waters that there was no chance of saving anyone.

As a result, even many submariners take little comfort in the idea that the vehicles were available. The Avalon and the Mystic theoretically can rescue 24 men at a time at depths of up to 2,000 feet, while in most areas of the oceans, a stricken submarine would plunge tens of thousands of feet, disintegrating along the way.

Both craft operate under their own battery power and can maneuver themselves onto the hatches of sunken submarines to rescue the crew.

The Russians have relied on less-advanced gear, including diving bells that dangle from a surface ship and are hard to guide.

If the Russians had asked for help immediately after the Kursk sank, United States officials said, either the Avalon or the Mystic could have been flown to a Russian port by Monday and carried to the Kursk by a Russian cargo ship.

One concern was whether the hatches on the American craft would have fit tightly enough with the hatches on the Russian submarine. Another was whether the Kursk was leaning too far toward one side for the rescue craft to connect to it.

But after Russian officials finally requested international help on Wednesday, Great Britain dispatched a smaller rescue submarine. It is expected to reach the Kursk on Saturday. And though that could be too late to save any crew members who survived the submarine's plunge to the seabed, British authorities said yesterday that their hatches should match up with the Kursk's.

They also quoted Russian officials as saying that the Kursk is listing only 20 degrees, and not 60 degrees, as previously announced. That raises the possibility that either the Avalon or the Mystic, which were designed to work at angles of up to 45 percent, could have carried out a rescue.

Under the Pentagon's plan, the Mystic will remain in use until 2005, when the next rescue devices are scheduled to be completed.

But the rescue craft require periodic overhauls, and critics worry about what might happen if a submarine were to sink when the Mystic is not available. The Navy's backup would be two old diving bells similar to some tested by the Russians this week, though American officials say they could also seek help from Britain and other countries.

Some Navy veterans also fear that the next generation of rescue equipment may be less capable in some ways. No one questions that the Avalon and the Mystic are aging and need to be replaced.

But while they theoretically could carry 24 submariners to safety at a time, the replacement systems will be centered around diving bells that might be able to rescue only 12 men on each descent.

The bells would be far more sophisticated and manueverable than current ones, Navy officials said, adding that they also could be transported more easily and quickly to rescue sites. And their efforts would be augmented by deep-sea divers, who would be able to aid rescue efforts at much greater depths. Navy officials said they are buying four high-tech diving suits, at $1.5 million each, that will allow divers to go as far underwater as 2,000 feet.


Under Studies: U.S. Subs And Seamen

Washington Post
Friday, August 18, 2000; Page N54
By Hank Burchard Washington Post Staff Writer

THEY RUN SILENT and they run deep. They run fast and far and fearsome. United States nuclear submarines first went to sea in 1955, and for nearly 40 years their crews fought and won a war in which never a shot was fired. Many of the subs still are on patrol, because this still is a world full of armed and angry nations, but the Cold War is over. The Soviet Union is gone.

There was no victory parade, and even retired submariners still are forbidden to say much about their undersea campaigns, even to their wives. But at least and at last they're getting a little public recognition in an impressive exhibition at the National Museum of American History.

"Fast Attacks and Boomers: Submarines in the Cold War" is full of the bright stuff: gleaming hardware, video screens and interactive computer terminals. It was heavily subsidized by the Navy and defense contractors, seeking recruits and public support for a submarine program that's been cut back sharply, a victim of its own success. The fast attack submarine fleet, whose missions include reconnaissance, intelligence gathering and monitoring the surface and undersea vessels of potential enemies, is being downsized from 98 to 50. Many of the Soviet subs they used to shadow are rusting away in nautical boneyards.

America's 18 Ohio-class "boomers," the huge fleet of ballistic missile submarines whose nickname belies their awesome destructive power, will remain in service for some decades. Each carries 24 Trident missiles capable of reaching any country on Earth, and each missile carries independently targetable nuclear warheads capable of destroying up to eight different cities.

A half-dozen or more boomers are always at sea, remaining hidden 1,000 or more feet below the surface for months at a time. They move in randomized patterns throughout the world's oceans, where they can't be detected and are always ready to retaliate against a nuclear attack on the United States or its allies.

While the exhibition also is cast as a celebration of the centennial of the U.S. submarine service--the USS Holland (SS-1) was commissioned in October 1900--it has an inescapably elegaic air. Among the exhibits is scrapyard salvage from once-proud subsea vessels, some decomissioned before their time because victory made them redundant. Here are the maneuvering room controls from USS Sand Lance (SSN-660); the periscope platform, ship control panel, weapons hatch and alarms from USS Trepang (SSN-674); and bits and pieces of USS Pogy (SSN-647), USS Hawksbill (SSN-666) and USS James K. Polk (SSBN-645).

Submariners who were happily anticipating the planned deployment of 29 Sea Wolf class submarines, the fastest, deepest-diving, most formidable--and at about $2.5 billion each, formidably expensive--of all fast attacks, were dismayed when the class was reduced to three vessels. The next fast attack generation will be the $1.8 billion Virginia class, scheduled to enter service in 2004. The projected lower cost comes from standardization through the use of modular components and weapons systems. Virginias will be multi-mission vessels designed to operate in coastal shallows as well as open ocean depths.

They'll also be the first modern subs without periscopes; instead of complex, expensive and leak-prone optical tubes passing through the pressure hull, Virginias will mount broad-spectrum, high-resolution video cams. Other electronic innovations will include sensitive antennas to intercept enemy radio signals and wraparound sonar, eliminating blind spots common to earlier subs. Besides their four conventional torpedo tubes Virginias will be fitted with 12 vertical launch tubes for long-range Tomahawk cruise missiles. They'll also be capable of operating unmanned aerial or underwater search and research vehicles and will piggyback mini-subs designed to sneak SEAL commando teams ashore. All operations will be carried out while submerged.

The exhibition is heavily salted with gee-whizzers such as videos of a sub surreptitiously monitoring a Soviet seaborne missile launch and a re-creation of the feat of USS Batfish, which for 50 straight days trailed a Soviet Yankee-class sub cruising off the east coast of North America without ever giving herself away.

But the homely details of life under the sea are just as vivid. Nuclear submarines are spacious and spotless compared to the old diesel-electric "pigboats," but even so a seaman might not even have a bunk to call his own. Two or even three men may have to share a tiny, cramped berth turn and turn about, a literal hot-bunk system. Toilets in the claustrophobically close "head" must flush "uphill" against enormous pressure; trash must be compressed, packaged and weighted before ejection to make sure it doesn't rise to the surface and reveal a sub's passage (and no plastic may be jettisoned; it must be stored and brought back to port for recycling).

The strains on domestic life caused by extended cruises are all the greater for submariners because, unlike "skimmers" (surface sailors), they can't communicate with their families during a typical 77-day mission. Occasional brief messages from home are permitted, but outgoing transmissions could betray a sub's position. As the exhibit confesses, the Navy was slow to deal with this problem and had a much higher turnover rate of expensively trained submariners (who are all volunteers) before it developed a family support program. But it clearly requires an extraordinary woman to endure the loneliness and shoulder the responsibility of being a submariner's wife.

Beyond its excellent layout and clear explanations, the exhibit has a refreshing intellectual independence that's unusual in heavily sponsored Smithsonian shows. The exhibit doubles to $2 trillion the Navy's official estimate of the total Cold War cost of the nuclear submarine program, and states frankly that the top submerged speed of the subs is 40-plus mph and that their maximum operating depth is around 1,500 feet, far faster and deeper than the Navy admits. The wonder is that, in a fleet that's been running so long and far and fast and deep, only two U.S. nuclear subs have been lost: USS Thresher (SSN-593) in 1963 and USS Scorpion (SSN-589) in 1968.

An exchange between a boy and his father who went through the exhibition on a recent afternoon probably sums up the reaction of many visitors. "Ick," the boy said, looking at the cramped triple-tier bunks. "I'm glad I don't have to live in a boat like this."

"Me too," said his father. "But I'm awful glad these guys are willing to do it."

FAST ATTACKS AND BOOMERS: SUBMARINES IN THE COLD WAR -- On permanent exhibition at the National Museum of American History, 14th and Constitution NW (Metro: Federal Triangle or Smithsonian). 202/357-2700 (TDD: 202/357-1729). Smithsonian Web site:; U.S. Navy Web site: Open 10 to 5:30 daily.


Washington Post
Friday, August 18, 2000; Page N55




"Modern Carrier Aviation: Seapower in a Changing World"; Pershing II and SS-20 missiles.


"Fast Attacks and Boomers: Submarines in the Cold War," through April 2003.

-------- MILITARY (by country)

Lockheed Martin NE&SS-Moorestown; Gets First Payment For Five Frigate Systems, Marks Norway Day

NewsEdge Corporation
August 18, 2000

MOORESTOWN, N.J., Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ via NewsEdge Corporation - Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems (NE&SS;)-Moorestown today received its first subcontract payment from a Spanish shipbuilder for five integrated weapon systems (IWS) for the Royal Norwegian Navy's new frigate program at a multi- cultural event at its facility heralded as "Norway Day."

Separately, NE&SS-Surface; Systems President Fred P. Moosally and U.S. Congressman Jim Saxton were pronounced ceremonial Vikings by way of their honorary induction into the Leif Ericson Society International.

Rafael Rey, Combat Systems Lead representing Empresa Nacional Bazan (E.N. Bazan) of Spain, presented Moosally with a check for more than $22 million as the first payment on a 10-year contract for five integrated weapon systems for the advanced frigates. The Bazan/Lockheed Martin team was awarded the contract for five frigates by the Royal Norwegian Navy in June of this year. Bazan, the program's prime contractor, will build the frigates designed to protect Norway against subsurface, surface and air threats. Approximately 200 engineers and manufacturing personnel are expected to be involved with the program at the plant, which employs more than 3,500.

The overall value of the program is approximately 12 billion Norwegian krone (approximately $1.5 billion U.S.), with Lockheed Martin receiving about a third of that amount. Norwegian industry will provide key elements of the IWS and will participate in the shipbuilding effort. Other Norwegian companies on the program include Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KDA), NERA, Mjellum & Karlsen, among others.

"We gather here today to celebrate the beginning of an exciting international partnership -- a partnership that will provide the people of Norway with a new, state-of-the-art frigate. A partnership that will provide the members of our team with the pride that comes from knowing Norwegian sailors and citizens will be protected by the best integrated weapon system in the world," said Moosally.

"Today, we pay tribute to Norway, its beauty, its culture, and foremost its people, whose contributions to and dedicated support of international operations have become significant factors in the development of worldwide stability and democracy," said New Jersey's Congressman from the Third Congressional District Jim Saxton. "In particular, I would like to specifically highlight Norway's exemplary commitment to international peacekeeping operations, military volunteer support and participation in various multilateral economic and humanitarian programs.

"I also believe that the Norwegian New Frigate with its resultant transatlantic defense and industrial ties, significantly contributes to international security -- and the stability of our local economy and the future of high-tech workers at Lockheed Martin," Saxton added.

Lockheed Martin NE&SS-Moorestown; employees had the opportunity to experience a "Taste of Norway," sampling Norwegian cuisine, viewing exhibits of Norwegian culture and lore -- including a 40-foot replica of a Viking ship that was provided for the day's activities by the Leif Ericson Society International. Two lucky employees also won trips to Norway to experience the country first hand.

E.N. Bazan was established in 1742 as a shipyard devoted to the Royal Spanish Navy and is now fully dedicated to design and construction of vessels for both the Spanish Navy and the international market. E.N. Bazan employs more than 5,000 people in three facilities. Last month, officials from Lockheed Martin and Bazan marked the completion of the first of four integrated weapon system for Spain's new F-100 class of frigates at the plant with a "pull-the-plug" ceremony attended by employees, and representatives of Spanish and U.S. Navies and Spanish industry.

Lockheed Martin NE&SS-Moorestown;, headquartered in Moorestown, New Jersey, is one of five major lines of business comprising the Lockheed Martin NE&SS; business segment. NE&SS; provides surface ship and submarine combat systems, antisubmarine warfare and ocean surveillance systems, missile launching systems, radar and sensor systems, ship systems integration services and other advanced systems and services to customers worldwide. NE&SS; is an operating segment of the Lockheed Martin Systems Integration business area.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin Systems Integration is one of four principal business areas within the Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT). The other business areas are aeronautics, space and technology services.

-------- bosnia-herzegovina

Mine expert killed in Bosnia

Washington Times
August 18, 2000
World Scene Combined dispatches and staff reports

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina - Three persons, including a Swedish mines expert, were killed yesterday in Bosnia as they tried to move the bodies of two fishermen killed in a minefield earlier this week, the United Nations said. U.N. spokesman Douglas Coffman told Reuters the United Nations had been informed that the victims were a Swedish member of a demining team, a Bosnian Serb member of a demining team and a local policeman. A language assistant was seriously injured.

-------- canada

Canada will buy 28 military helicopters

August 18, 2000

OTTAWA (AP) via NewsEdge Corporation - Defense Minister Art Eggleton announced Thursday that Canada intended to buy 28 shipborne helicopters to replace its aging fleet of Sea Kings.

Eggleton said the helicopters would cost an estimated dlrs 2 billion over eight years, with the first delivery in 2005. Meanwhile, the military would spend dlrs 34 million to upgrade the Sea Kings, known for mechanical problems in recent years, he added.

The Liberal Party government has been criticized by conservative parties for holding back military spending in the 1990s. Eggleton said the plans to purchase replacements for the Sea Kings showed ``the government's commitment to equip its forces for the future.''

Contenders for the Canadian contract include a Cormorant-type model from EH Industries, Sikorsky's Maplehawk and a Eurocopter naval chopper.

Sea Kings, which fly off Canadian warships, were considered state-of-the-art when purchased in the 1960s. Today they need expensive maintenance to keep them flying, and the equipment is outdated.

-------- drug war

Drug pact ratified

Washington Times
August 18, 2000
Embassy Row James Morrison
News and dispatches from the diplomatic corridor.

Honduras yesterday ratified an anti-drug agreement with the United States to allow American forces to patrol in Honduran airspace and territorial waters.

Ramon Villeda, chairman of the Honduran congressional foreign affairs committee, told reporters that the pact will allow the U.S. Coast Guard to board ships suspected of smuggling drugs in Honduran waters.

It also provides for joint air and land patrols, he said.

The United States has similar agreements with Aruba, Curacao, Ecuador and El Salvador.

Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the White House anti-drug czar, has said the agreements "plug the last hole" in the Caribbean and Latin America to fight drug smuggling of Colombian cocaine heading to the United States.

To contact James Morrison, call 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail

-------- india

Indian Navy brings home new Russian-built submarine

August 18, 2000

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) via NewsEdge Corporation - A new diesel-electric Russian submarine purchased by India's navy left St. Petersburg on Thursday for India, a news report said.

The Kilo-class submarine set out from the shipyard where it was built, the ITAR-Tass news agency said. India's navy took possession of the ship last month.

The Sindhushastra, of the 877EKM series, was the 10th submarine to be built for India in Russia. According to Jane's Fighting Ships, Russia has sold the same model of submarine to Poland, Romania, Algeria, Iran and China. (adc/jh)


New York Times

Kashmir 'Cease-Fire'

August 18, 2000

To the Editor:

Re "A New Surge in Violence Kills 16 in Embattled Kashmir" (news article, Aug. 14): It was evident from the start that last month's offer by the largest of the Muslim rebel groups in Kashmir, the Hizbul Mujahedeen, of a three-month unilateral cease-fire was a sham.

When Hizbul's call for "unconditional" negotiations was accepted by the Indian government, two caveats were then quickly attached to the offer: that India must negotiate outside the framework of the Indian Constitution, which prohibits permitting Kashmir's secession from India, and that Pakistan must be included in the talks.

India has long maintained that it would do neither. Its refusal to do so now should not be construed as intransigence. The militants and their Pakistani backers should realize that the costs of war in Kashmir are too high to play with the prospects of peace.

CAMERON C. HUDSON Washington, Aug. 15, 2000

-------- ireland

Facing Overhaul, Northern Ireland Police End Era

New York Times
August 18, 2000

BELFAST, Northern Ireland, Aug. 17 -- An era in Northern Irish policing ended today when the contentious Royal Ulster Constabulary held its last graduation parade before a shake-up brought on by the province's peace effort.

Thirty-six cadets graduated as new officers in the Protestant-dominated R.U.C., which is soon to lose its name and insignia in an overhaul aimed at shaping a police force capable of winning support from the Roman Catholic minority.

"We will cherish the best of the past while we embrace a new future," Sir Ronnie Flanagan, the commander of the R.U.C., told the cadets and their families at a training center in Belfast.

He said he was confident about a bright future, but sounded a note of regret at the closing of a chapter in the life of the 78-year-old force.

"We are not without a certain sense of sadness that this is the last passing-out parade in the form we have known," he said.

Britain is to rename the force The Police Service of Northern Ireland under a reform package that has aroused deep emotions in the British province.

Policing methods and the challenge of building a force acceptable to all factions have been among the most divisive issues among communities riven by guerrilla and sectarian strife until truces pointed the way to an edgy peace.

If guerrilla cease-fires continue to hold, the R.U.C.'s total numbers will be drastically slashed, in line with reform package proposals of the Patten Commission which was established as part of the 1998 Good Friday peace accord.

Britain hopes that a new name, a new image and other structural changes will help attract recruits among Catholics, who have traditionally regarded the R.U.C as a tool of Protestant domination.

The next group of cadets will not begin training until autumn 2001 and will probably graduate by January 2002, an R.U.C. spokesman said.

But Protestant and Catholic politicians are at loggerheads over the plans for the new force.

Protestants say that the axing of the "royal" title -- which they cherish as a badge of British identity -- is a slap in the face to a police force that suffered grievously in a three-decade onslaught by guerrillas of the predominantly Catholic Irish Republican Army.

The R.U.C., which has some 13,000 members including reservists, lost 302 officers in the conflict, which also involved Protestant "loyalist" militias. Thousands were wounded.

Catholic politicians say a new name alone will not change the R.U.C. in their eyes, and they have accused Britain of foot-dragging on carrying out the full range of the Patten Commission's proposals.

Britain denies deviating from the proposals of the group, which was headed by Chris Patten, Britain's last governor of Hong Kong, in new policing legislation for the province, which is currently going through the national parliament in London.


Protestants seek halt in N. Ireland attacks

Washington Times
August 18, 2000
World Scene Combined dispatches and staff reports

BELFAST - A political party linked to Protestant guerrillas in Northern Ireland called for an end to tit-for-tat sectarian violence yesterday after three homes came under attack in a Roman Catholic area.

Windows were smashed and paint splattered at three houses in an Irish nationalist part of Belfast in the latest round of nightly violence that has raised Protestant-Catholic tensions in the British province.

Gary McMichael of the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP), which is close to the Ulster Defense Association and Ulster Freedom Fighters Protestant guerrilla bands, said the violence must end.

-------- kosovo

Serb killings 'exaggerated' by west
Claims of up to 100,000 ethnic Albanians massacred in Kosovo revised to under 3,000 as exhumations near end

Special report: Kosovo
Jonathan Steele Guardian
Friday August 18, 2000,4273,4052755,00.htm

The final toll of civilians confirmed massacred by Yugoslav forces in Kosovo is likely to be under 3,000, far short of the numbers claimed by Nato governments during last year's controversial air strikes on Yugoslavia.

As war crimes experts from Britain and other countries prepare to wind down the exhumation of hundreds of graves in Kosovo on behalf of the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague, officials concede they have not borne out the worst wartime reports. These were given by refugees and repeated by western government spokesmen during the campaign. They talked of indiscriminate killings and as many as 100,000 civilians missing or taken out of refugee columns by the Serbs.

The fact that far fewer Kosovo Albanians were massacred than suggested by Nato will raise sharp questions about the organisation's handling of the media and its information strategy.

However, commentators yesterday stressed that the new details should not obscure the fact that the major war crime in the tribunal's indictment of the Yugoslav president, Slobodan Milosevic, and four other Serb officials is the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo and forced deportation of hundreds of thousands of people.

"The point is did we successfully pre-empt or not," Mark Laity, the acting Nato spokesman, said last night. "I think the evidence shows we did. We would rather be criticised for overestimating the numbers who died than for failing to pre-empt. Any objective analysis would say there was a clear crisis. There was indiscriminate killing. There were attempts to clear hundreds of thousands of people out of their homes."

When Yugoslav forces withdrew from Kosovo in June last year, Nato spokesmen estimated that the Serbs had killed at least 10,000 civilians. While the bombing was under way William Cohen, the US defence secretary, announced that 100,000 Kosovo Albanian men of military age were missing after being taken from columns of families being deported to Albania and Macedonia. "They may have been murdered," he said. The fear was they might share the fate of the men who were separated from their wives and children and executed when Serb forces overran the town of Srebrenica in Bosnia.

But while some 7,000 Bosnian Muslims died in the week-long Srebrenica massacre in 1995, less than 3,000 Kosovo Albanian murder victims have been discovered in the whole of Kosovo. "The final number of bodies uncovered will be less than 10,000 and probably more accurately determined as between two and three thousand," Paul Risley, the Hague tribunal's press spokesman, said yesterday.

In three months of digging this summer, the tribunal's international forensic experts found 680 bodies at 150 sites. This was in addition to the 2,108 bodies found at 195 sites last year before exhumations were called off because of winter frosts. "By October we expect to have enough evidence to end the exhumations by foreign teams, and they will not be necessary next year," Mr Risley added.

Although the tribunal has received reports of another 350 suspected grave sites, it believes the cost and effort of uncovering them would not be justified. Some suspicious mounds or patches of rough earth in fields where villagers reported a foul stench turned out to contain dead animals or to be empty.

When the tribunal's teams reached Kosovo last summer, shortly after the international peacekeepers, they were given reports of 11,334 people in mass graves, but the results of its exhumations fall well short of that number. In a few cases, such as the Trepca mine where hundreds of bodies were alleged to have been flung down shafts or incinerated, they found nothing at all.

The tribunal's indictment of President Milosevic includes the charge that during Nato's bombing campaign Serb police shot 105 ethnic Albanian men and boys near the village of Mala Krusa in western Kosovo. Witnesses claimed hay was piled on the bodies and set alight. Tribunal experts believe the remains may have been tampered with later, since the bones of only a few people were found.

Motives questioned

The exhumation of less than 3,000 bodies is sure to add fuel to those who say Nato's intervention against Yugoslavia was not "humanitarian" and that it had other motives such as maintaining its credibility in a post-cold war world. Others say Nato's air strikes revealed a grotesque double standard since western governments did nothing when hundreds of thousands were being massacred in Rwanda.

Carla del Ponte, the tribunal's chief prosecutor, told the UN security council: "Our task is not to prepare a complete list of war casualties. Our primary task is to gather evidence relevant to criminal charges."

Evidence of the forced deportation of hundreds of thousands of people was overwhelming before the tribunal gained access to Kosovo but the exhumations are aimed at finding evidence for the charges of mass murder.

"Their benefit is to link forensic evidence to particular units of the police and army operating in particular parts of Kosovo. It wasn't a case of rogue units. The Serbian police state was fully involved," Mr Risley said. But officials will not say how many of the 2,788 bodies exhumed show clear signs of being victims of summary execution such as being shot in the head from close range.

No Nato government has sought to produce a definitive total of murdered ethnic Albanian civilians since the Serb offensives began in March 1998, a year before the bombing. "No one is interested," complained a senior international official in Kosovo involved in helping victims' families. "Nato doesn't want to admit the damage wasn't as extensive as it said. Local Albanian politicians have the same motive. If you don't have the true figure, you can exploit the issue."

-------- russia

Biography of Colonel Stanislav Lunev

Colonel Stanislav Lunev is the highest-ranking military officer ever to defect from Russia to the United States.

Col. Lunev defected in 1992, after Boris Yeltsin came to power. Lunev's information to the CIA, DIA, FBI and other national security agencies was deemed so vital he was placed - and remains in -- the FBI's Witness Protection Program.

As one of Russia's top GRU agents in America, Lunev was involved in making Russian war plans against America, as well as ferreting out American military secrets. Some of Lunev's information was revealed in the 1997 bestseller "Through the Eyes of the Enemy" (Regnery). Among many revelations, Lunev reported that Russia's military -despite the end of the Cold War, continues to prepare for a war with the U.S.

Lunev's credentials are impeccable. He was born in Leningrad in 1946 to the family of a Soviet Army listed officer.

As a youth, Lunev was recruited for an elite military academy, the Suvharov Military School in Vladikavkaz, Northern Caucasus.

In 1964, Lunev began studies at the Joint Arms High Command Military Academy, the Soviet equivalent of the U.S. Army West Point Academy, with civilian specialization in math and physics.

As a young officer, Lunev was selected for the GRU, Russia's elite spy agency.

As his first field assignment in the GRU, Lunev was sent in 1978 to Singapore under civilian cover as a student at Nanyang University, University of Southern Seas.

In 1979 he returned to Moscow as a GRU Operational Officer. In 1980 he was reassigned to China as one of Russia's top spies there posing as a TASS journalist.

In 1988 Col. Lunev was assigned to the GRU Field Office in Washington, D.C. as a GRU Intelligence Officer. In 1992 he defected to U.S. authorities.since then he has served as a consultant to the FBI, CIA and many defense agencies and private corporations.

-------- space

This week on America's Defense Monitor: "The Next Space Race"

August 18, 2000

Pursuing a vision of U.S. "control and dominance" in outer space, the United States military is developing to technologies to make outer space the battlefield of the future. Meanwhile, the international community is working to ensure that outer space is used only for peaceful purposes, and prevent a war in the heavens. In a race to the ultimate high ground, who will get there first?

Airs in Washington, DC on Sunday, August 20 at 10:30 a.m. on Channel 32. Airs in NYC on Friday, August 25 on Channel 25 at 7:30 p.m., and on Saturday, August 26 at 7:00 a.m. on Channel 13.

WEBSITE: Visit this site for transcripts, CDI resources, RealVideo, and related links.


Washington Post
Friday, August 18, 2000; Page N55



"Where Next, Columbus?," about human settlement of other planets.


"We Are Not Alone: Angels and Other Aliens," through Sept. 3. Changing exhibitions of works by self-taught, "outsider" artists. Open Tuesday-Sunday 10 to 6. $6; seniors, students and children $4. 800 Key Hwy., Baltimore. 410/244-1900.

-------- u.n.

U.N. Rights Body Calls for Lifting Iraq Embargo

August 19, 2000 Filed at 11:07 a.m. ET

GENEVA (Reuters) - A U.N. human rights body called on Friday for the lifting of 10-year-old sanctions on Iraq, saying they had ``condemned an innocent people to hunger, disease, ignorance and even death.''

The United Nations Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights also adopted a separate resolution urging states to reconsider their support for economic sanctions in general if they failed to bring about the desired changes in policy.

The sub-commission, composed of 26 human rights experts named by their respective governments to serve in a personal capacity, adopted the two resolutions without a vote on the final day of their annual three-week meeting in Geneva.

It was the fourth year in a row that the body dealt with the controversial issue of Iraqi sanctions.

This week's debate became heated after Belgian's member called the sanctions ``unequivocally illegal'' which had caused a humanitarian disaster ``comparable to the worst catastrophes of the past decades.''

The resolution proposed by Morocco's representative urged all governments, including that of Iraq's President Saddam Hussein, to alleviate the Iraqi people's suffering by facilitating the delivery of food and medical supplies.

Iraq has been under an international economic and trade embargo since its August 1990 invasion of oil-rich Kuwait.


The text said statistics issued by the U.N. oil-for-food program, which since December 1996 has allowed Iraq to sell limited quantities of oil to buy food, medicine and other essentials, showed the deal was meeting ``only part of the vital needs of the population.''

It noted with concern that ``the standard of living, nutrition and health of the population were continuing to deteriorate and that all economic activities were seriously affected, particularly in the areas of drinking water supply, electricity and agriculture.''

The Iraq resolution invoked the 1949 Geneva Conventions which it said ``prohibit the starving of civilian populations and the destruction of what is indispensable to their survival.''

In the second resolution, put forward by Norway's member, the Sub-Commission urged states to reconsider their support for sanctions ``even when legitimate goals pursued have not yet been achieved, if, after a reasonable period, the measures have not brought about the desired changes in policy.''

It urged states to seek ``prompt termination of all aspects of sanctions regimes that adversely affect human rights.''

On Thursday, the United States hit out angrily at the Belgian's report. George Moose, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, told the forum that his claim that the sanctions were illegal was ``incorrect, biased and inflammatory.''

``The United States has worked hard to ensure that the welfare of the Iraqi people is protected, in stark contrast to the appalling behavior of an Iraqi regime which has shown itself to be completely insensitive to the suffering of its own people,'' Moose told the Sub-Commission.

The United States strongly opposes any lifting of the sanctions which have now entered their 11th year, and maintains that Saddam is responsible for the suffering of his people.

-------- u.s.

Harris Corporation Awarded $67 Million Avionics Contract for U.S. Army`s RAH-66 Comanche Helicopter

August 18, 2000;=782&date;=20000818

MELBOURNE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 17, 2000 via NewsEdge Corporation - Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) was recently awarded a $67 million engineering, manufacture, and development (EMD) contract by The Boeing Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for avionics equipment supporting the U.S. Army's RAH-66 Comanche helicopter. The new contract runs through February 2005 and is a follow-on to the original contract that Harris won in 1991, bringing the overall value of the program for Harris to $230 million.

The EMD phase calls for Harris to provide design updates, eliminate parts obsolescence, and deliver various avionics equipment including cockpit displays, display generator module sets, memory storage units, and fiber optic interface modules for 13 of the stealth helicopters.

Several important technical enhancements are also included in this effort. The use of standard fibre channel-compatible interfaces in the place of earlier proprietary equipment is being incorporated into the design to reduce overall costs and promote extensive use of commercial components while providing an open system architecture. Another feature of the new design is the incorporation of commercial, ruggedized LCD's into the aircraft's cockpit displays.

In addition, a Harris-developed Memory Storage Unit (MSU) Video Recorder, functions as an on-board bulk loading and storage device that provides Comanche aircrews with the capability of reading and writing portable, PC card-based, solid-state memory cards. The MSU makes it possible to enter and retrieve selected data to and from aircraft subsystems for all modes of aircraft operation, including the recording and playback of video and audio data.

"We're very pleased to continue providing innovative avionics solutions to the Comanche team, where performance is absolutely critical and core to the success of the 21st Century Army and its soldiers," said Bob Henry, president, Harris' Government Communications Systems Division.

The RAH-66 Comanche helicopter is part of the U.S. Army's Force XXI modernization program to upgrade various weapons systems for the battlefield demands of the new century. The Comanche is designed to replace some 3,000 technologically obsolete aircraft. Most of the new aircraft will replace aging helicopters at Army installations in the United States and Far East, with some slated to be based in Europe.

The Boeing Company and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation are the prime contractors for the RAH-66 Comanche program, with Harris' Government Communications Systems Division providing avionics support expertise.

The Government Communications Systems Division of Harris Corporation conducts advanced research studies, develops prototypes, and produces state-of-the-art airborne, spaceborne, and terrestrial communications and information processing systems for military and government agencies, their prime contractors, and the company's commercial businesses, as well as select commercial organizations worldwide.

Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) is an international communications company focused on providing product, system and service solutions that take its customers to the next level. The company provides a wide range of products and services for wireless, broadcast, network support, and government markets. The company has sales and service facilities in 90 countries. Additional information about Harris Corporation is available at

CONTACT: Harris Corporation, Melbourne | Sleighton Meyer, Government Communications Systems Div. | 321/727-6514 | E-mail: | or | Tom Hausman, Corporate Headquarters | 321/727-9131 | E-mail:


Nortel Networks Becomes First Company to Receive Defense Information Systems Agency GSCR Certification

August 18, 2000;=139950&date;=20000818

MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--August 17, 2000 via NewsEdge Corporation - Nortel Networks, a global leader in telephony, data, wireless and wireline solutions for the Enterprise and Service Provider markets, announced today that it has received full critical interoperability certification from the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) for the Meridian SL-100 Digital Switching System.

This certification is significant in that Nortel Networks is currently the only vendor in the world with a switching product that meets DISA's Generic Switching Center Requirements.

Under DISA's Generic Switching Center Requirements (GSCR), all vendors who provide a communication interface that connects to the Defense Switched Network (DSN) must meet a complete set of critical interoperability requirements, as verified through a comprehensive testing process. This testing process is based on the Generic Switching Test Plan issued and controlled by DISA's Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) in Fort Huachuca, AZ.

GSCR testing was conducted over several months at the JITC's Network Engineering Integration Laboratory (NEIL) and Strategic Switching Laboratory (SSL), as well as Nortel Networks' Richardson, TX, Meridian Test Lab. During this process, Nortel Networks' Meridian SL-100 Digital Switching System with Software Release MSL11 was able to provide both end office (EO) and multi-function switching throughout the global Defense Switched Network. The Meridian SL-100 with Software Release MSL11 was also able to connect seamlessly to multiple North American and European vendor switching interfaces including T1, E1 PRI, CCS7 and PTS circuits, while maintaining support for mission critical applications such as Multi-Level Precedence and Preemption (MLPP).

By achieving GSCR certification, Nortel Networks has become the recognized technology leader for any new voice switching system deployment or software upgrade that involves direct connection to the worldwide Defense Switched Network. Further, Nortel Networks is now the only vendor with a switching system certified for joint use by all branches of the armed forces for connecting to the Defense Information System Network (DISN).

The Defense Information System Network (DISN) connects all Department of Defense installations around the world, providing secure voice, data and video connections to more than 500 locations. DISN capabilities such as integrated voice, imagery and data transmission facilitate the management of information resources by warfighters and are critical to the U.S. military's ability to rapidly respond to national security and defense needs, anytime, anywhere.

"Being the first and only company to receive critical interoperability certification from the Defense Information Systems Agency is a significant accomplishment," said Gene Merson, Nortel Networks' Vice President of Federal Sales. "This achievement exemplifies Nortel Networks' commitment to meet the unique needs of government agencies by effectively leveraging the key elements of our High Performance Network Architecture - flexibility, scalability and reliability."

About Nortel Networks:

Nortel Networks is a global Internet and communications leader with capabilities spanning Optical, Wireless, Local Internet and eBusiness. The Company had 1999 U.S. GAAP revenues of US $21.3 billion and serves carrier, service provider and enterprise customers globally. Today, Nortel Networks is creating a high-performance Internet that is more reliable and faster than ever before. It is redefining the economics and quality of networking and the Internet, promising a new era of collaboration, communications and commerce. Visit us at

*Meridian SL-100, Nortel Networks, the Nortel Networks logo and the Globemark are trademarks of Nortel Networks.


Litton Indus unit in $50 mln Defense info assurance pact

August 18, 2000;=139950&date;=20000818

New York--Aug. 17--Litton Industries's unit TASC Inc., an information management company, received a contract--an I-Assure contract--to provide its information assurance and security tools to the Defense Information Systems Agency, defense department groups, and federal agencies internationally. The contract's estimated value to Litton is $50 million.

--Daniel Garrett, BridgeNews

The following is the text of today's announcement with emphasis added by BridgeNews. BridgeStation links to company data have been inserted at the end:

Litton Wins Role on $1.5 Billion Information Assurance Contract With Defense Information Systems Agency

Program Will Provide Information Assurance Support for Department of Defense and Other Federal Agencies

ARLINGTON, Va.--Aug. 17, 2000--Litton Industries (NYSE:LIT) today announced that its TASC Inc. subsidiary has been awarded one of the prime contracts to provide information assurance and security solutions to the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Department of Defense organizations and federal agencies worldwide.

The Information Assurance/Information Technologies Capabilities contract, also known as "I-Assure," is an indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity (ID/IQ), multiple-award contract with a $1.5 billion ceiling over seven years.

The potential value of the contract to Litton is estimated to be $50 million.



"The I-Assure win solidifies Litton's place among the nation's top cyber security providers to federal government," said James H. Frey, Litton vice president and TASC president.

"Coupled with the launching of TASC's new Enterprise Security Strategic Business Unit, this contract will serve as a foundation for extending our information assurance solutions to an even wider array of federal and military clients."

DISA's I-Assure contract offers government agencies a means to contract easily for information assurance and security support, including policy planning, architecture engineering and integration, installation and operations, education, training and certification.

"The I-Assure contract is an obvious reflection of the government's long-term commitment to information and network security," said John Casciano, vice president and director of the new Litton TASC Enterprise Security Strategic Business Unit.

"By bringing in outside contractors, they're getting the best of both worlds -- the government's Defense Information Security Agency, combined with some of the leading information security firms in private industry today."

Since 1996, Litton TASC has helped the U.S. Army's Land Information Warfare Activity carry out their information operations mission. From sites around the world, Litton TASC supplies security design and technical consultation to commanders and Army Computer Emergency Response Teams working to detect, assess, analyze and respond to network intrusions.

Litton TASC also is a key partner of U.S. Space Command, Air Force Space Command and the Space Warfare Center, supporting their emerging missions in computer network defense.

TASC is one of the world's premier providers of information management and systems engineering solutions for government and industry in such areas as enterprise security, federal services, information management, signals intelligence and space systems. Founded in 1966, the company has more than 25 offices throughout the United States. More about Litton TASC can be found at

Litton is the nation's largest builder of non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and designs, builds and overhauls surface ships for government and commercial customers worldwide. The company is a leading information technology (IT) contractor to the U.S. government and provides specialized IT services to commercial customers and government customers in local/foreign jurisdictions.

Litton is a leading provider of defense and commercial electronics technology, components and materials for customers worldwide. With headquarters in Woodland Hills, Calif., Litton has more than 40,000 employees and $5 billion in annual revenue. For more information, visit Litton's Web site at

CONTACT: Litton Industries Inc.
Randy Belote, 703/413-1521


New Pilot-Training Concept Adds Realism, Subtracts Costs for Lockheed Martin JSF Program

August 18, 2000;=139498&date;=20000818

FORT WORTH, Texas, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ via NewsEdge Corporation - An American-Dutch industrial partnership today successfully demonstrated a new technology that will enable Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) pilots to conduct complex training simulations while flying their own aircraft.

Embedded Training (ET) promises more realism than ground-based simulations and erases the cost of supplying extra aircraft for training missions.

"When we look at the cost of the JSF program over its entire life, we see that embedded training offers a double advantage," said Frank J. Cappuccio, vice president and program manager for the Lockheed Martin JSF. "It reduces training expenses through the years while dramatically improving the training experience."

The Lockheed Martin JSF team, in partnership with Fokker Space and the Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory-NLR, conducted a proof-of-concept demonstration at the NLR's National Simulation Facility (NSF) in Amsterdam. U.S. and Dutch government representatives attended the demonstration.

The embedded training concept allows the pilot to engage a "training mode" during flight, presenting a training simulation on cockpit displays. Compared to ground-based training simulators, ET increases training fidelity since the pilot experiences the actual stresses and environment of flight maneuvers.

A safety module stands ready to terminate the simulation in case of flight hazards or equipment failure that could jeopardize the pilot, the aircraft or the surrounding environment.

"Embedded training on-board a fighter aircraft poses a significant technical challenge," said Anne Marie Schipper, NLR's Embedded Training Program manager. "Imposing a virtual world on the pilot in flight requires the addition of software to ensure flight safety, where the simulation is turned off automatically if hazardous situations occur. An embedded training session can be started only when all safety criteria are satisfied."

The demonstration consisted of several simulated air combat engagements in which a Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 pilot detects and engages simulated targets using air-to-air missiles. During a simulated equipment failure, the safety module engaged and successfully terminated the training mode. After the mission a debriefing function replayed the scenario, allowing a "post-flight" assessment of the pilot's performance and movement -- a feature that will reduce reliance on highly instrumented training ranges.

Embedded training enhances future JSF affordability because simulations replace real targets and aircraft. The concept lessens dependence on training ranges by enabling mission simulations to be conducted in any suitable airspace. Future helmet-mounted-display versions may include within-visual- range functionality, permitting a pilot to train for a low-altitude land attack mission while actually flying high over the sea, far from populated areas.

The Netherlands government, Fokker Space and Lockheed Martin jointly funded the development and demonstration of the embedded training concept. ET is but one example of high-technology research and development under way between the Lockheed Martin JSF team and the Netherlands.

"Lockheed Martin has a long history of successful cooperation with Dutch industry and NLR beginning with the F-16 program," said Mike Kelley, manager of International Programs for the Lockheed Martin JSF. "Working together on JSF-related projects such as embedded training is the next logical step."

The Dutch government is considering the JSF as a candidate to replace the air force's existing F-16 fleet. Lockheed Martin received one of two JSF Concept Demonstration contracts awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense in November 1996. The Lockheed Martin JSF team includes Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) and BAE SYSTEMS. Flight evaluation of the demonstrator aircraft is scheduled to take place in 2000, with government selection of a single contractor for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase set for 2001.

Fokker Space is headquartered in Leiden, the Netherlands, and is the main Dutch player in the European space industry. Over the last 30 years Fokker Space has built up a comprehensive package of expertise, including real-time simulation, and engineering and training simulators.

The National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) in Amsterdam is the central institute in the Netherlands for aeronautics and space research and technology-development activities. NLR maintains a wide range of expertise in a variety of disciplines to cover all requirements of the aerospace sector.


Boeing Selects Martin-Baker to Produce JSF Ejection Seat

August 18, 2000;=139498&date;=20000818

SEATTLE, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ via NewsEdge Corporation - Boeing has selected Martin-Baker to produce the ejection seat design for the operational Boeing Joint Strike Fighter. JSF One Team member Martin-Baker currently provides the ejection seats for the Boeing JSF X-32A and X-32B concept demonstrator aircraft.

"We chose the Martin-Baker seat for our production JSF because it's the lowest risk, best-value design for our JSF customer," said Frank Statkus, Boeing vice president and JSF general manager. "Martin-Baker's Mk-16 design will increase the safety and survivability of future JSF pilots."

The JSF seat will be a derivative of the Mk-16 series seat already used on the T-6 Texan II trainer, Eurofighter, Rafale and other aircraft. It will accommodate pilots ranging from 103-245 pounds, which is a JSF requirement.

Boeing and Martin-Baker now will begin detailed planning for the next phase of the program -- engineering and manufacturing development.

"Our emphasis will be on full integration of the ejection seat into the Boeing JSF cockpit, canopy and life-support system designs," said Stan Kasprzyk, Boeing JSF cockpit manager. "We have an outstanding relationship with Martin-Baker, and our team is eager to move into the next phase of the program and build on the outstanding success we had on the X-32 ejection seat test program."

Boeing, the world's largest producer of fighter aircraft, is competing to build the JSF under a four-year U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps concept demonstration phase contract, while also defining the design for the operational JSF. A winner is scheduled to be selected in 2001.

SOURCE The Boeing Company
CONTACT: Chick Ramey, 206-662-0949, or Randolph Harrison, 206-655-8655,
Company News On-Call: or fax, 800-758-5804, ext. 109119
Web site: (BA)


Boeing Consolidates Some Wash. Plants

August 18, 2000 Filed at 4:43 p.m. ET

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Aerospace giant Boeing Co. (BA.N) confirmed on Friday plans to close down several operations in its home state and reassign or transfer about 3,500 employees as part of its streamlining drive.

The closures, Boeing's first in its home turf of Washington state's Puget Sound area, could be followed by more local cuts by the end of the year, said Fred Mitchell, a vice president leading Boeing's efficiency drive.

``In our studies, and we've done some rigorous studies, we find that a lot of our capacity is not being used, in some cases only 30 to 50 percent,'' Mitchell told a news conference.

``As in any business, if you don't keep your factories full, you're going to be paying a lot more for your product,'' Mitchell said. ``It just costs you lots of money to have those facilities sit idle. We don't need all that capacity.''

The closures announced on Friday include phasing out a composite and thermoplastic manufacturing unit in Auburn, a facility that employs about 800 people, the company said.

Boeing also said it would move machining and chemical processing work at its military aircraft and missiles shop in Kent to Auburn, St. Louis, Missouri, and outside suppliers, affecting about 500 employees.

Local tool fabrication work that employs about 2,400 people, would be shifted to Wichita, Kan., which would be Boeing's new tooling center. Of the Seattle-area tool workers, about 350 would be retrained while the rest would provide support for the tools business.

Boeing also said it would move work from four sub-assembly shops -- three in Washington state and one in Wichita -- in its commercial airplane group to other suppliers inside and outside the company. About 900 workers will be involved.

And two other small plants employing about 270 people in Everett and Renton, Wash., would be moved to Auburn.

Shares in Boeing fell 1/4 to close at 45-5/8 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Mitchell declined to disclose how much money the moves would save Boeing, but said more cutbacks in the region would follow soon.

``These are the first major announcements in Puget Sound and there will be some more between now and the end of the year,'' Mitchell said.

``I can't give any iron-clad guarantees. We are looking at everything, and as we look at everything we have to make some really tough decisions. However, so far the data shows us that by doing some consolidation, we can fill up those other factories and make them really, really competitive,'' Mitchell said.

Boeing has moved in recent months to streamline operations and pare its work force, tactics that have won praise from Wall Street but have angered its unions. The company's stock hit a two-year high last month, hitting 50-1/4, well above its 52-week low of 32.

In June, Boeing put up for sale a St. Louis manufacturing facility that employs 1,700 workers. Also in June, the company said it would cut 900 jobs over two years at its Huntington Beach, Calif., facility as it shifted work on Delta rockets to Colorado and Alabama.

Overall, the company has shed some 49,000 jobs from a 1998 peak of 238,000, and has said it wants to see its payroll shrink to 180,000 by the end of the year.

Friday's announcement confirmed details revealed on Thursday by Boeing's machinists union, the company's largest, which was briefed on the plans earlier this week.

The union, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, has said that while it was disappointed Boeing was continuing to sell off inefficient plants and assets, it was pleased it offered retraining and new jobs.


Taiwan radar

Washington Times
August 18, 2000
Inside the Ring Notes from the Pentagon.
Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough

The Pentagon is close to announcing final approval of long-range radar sales to Taiwan, a move likely to upset Beijing, which opposes all U.S. military transfers.

The Pentagon broached the sale last spring as part of the annual arms package to Taiwan. It did so under intense political pressure from Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman, New York Republican and chairman of the House International Relations Committee

Mr. Gilman demanded the Taiwanese be provided the defensive radar to defend against the growing number of Chinese short-range missiles being deployed opposite the island. A Taiwanese government report said earlier this month that as many 400 M-9 and M-11 missiles are now in place -- enough to attack major military bases in Taiwan with little or no warning.

Knowledgeable government officials say the Pentagon recently worked out arrangements with the Taiwanese on the radar known as Pave Paws.

"Taiwan had to meet a couple of conditions, and they were things they planned to do anyway," one official said. The conditions include upgrading and networking existing radar that will help the Taiwanese monitor Chinese aircraft or missile activities.

The weapons Taiwan really needs -- four Aegis-equipped warships, P-3 submarine surveillance aircraft and diesel submarines -- still are being debated within the administration. A team of Pentagon officials recently visited Taiwan to deliberate on requests for ships, submarines and aircraft.

White House and State Department officials are opposing these weapons sales to avoid angering Beijing. Many Pentagon officials favor the sale as important for righting the military balance now moving in Beijing's direction.

Battalion to Nigeria?

The Pentagon announced last week that a "survey team" of about 30 U.S. Army Special Forces commandos and regulars from the U.S. European Command are in Nigeria as part of a program to train peacekeepers for possible deployment to war-torn Sierra Leone.

What wasn't said was that as many as 500 Special Forces commandos may take part in the operation, the largest of its kind for the U.S. military in Africa.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Robert Brown, editor of Soldier of Fortune magazine, tells us that a battalion of commandos based at Fort Bragg, N.C., has been put on notice to be ready to go to Africa, as early as the end of the month.

A Fort Bragg spokesman referred us to the U.S. European Command, where Command spokesman Maj. Ed Loomis did not rule out the battalion-size deployment. Sending up to 500 Fort Bragg soldiers is "speculative" because "we're not that far along" in the survey process, he said.

"This is very unusual," Col. Brown, a Special Forces A Team leader during Vietnam, said in an interview. "The significant thing is that rather than peacekeeping this is for peace enforcement.

The concern is that the Nigerians, the most corrupt [army] on the African continent, are seeking to get at the diamond fields in Sierra Leone."

Spy travel

CIA Director George Tenet is finishing a not-so-secret visit to Eastern Europe this week. His first stop on Monday was in Sofia, Bulgaria, where he met with top intelligence, military and political officials. He then traveled to Bucharest, Romania, for additional discussions.

We are told the topic of his discussions focused on the military situation in the Balkans, especially growing trouble in the southern Balkan state of Montenegro where Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic has been stirring up trouble. Mr. Tenet will be seeking to share intelligence on the situation there, as well as in Kosovo, where U.S. peacekeepers are keeping an uneasy peace.


Don Walsh's "Ocean" column in this month's Proceedings magazine just happened to be about a timely subject: "Submarine Rescue: Ready for a Worst-Case Scenario."

Mr. Walsh writes in Proceedings, an authoritative voice for Navy policy, "Navies throughout the world are continuing to upgrade submarine rescue capabilities, all hoping that another worst-case scenario never will happen."

Well, the equipment the Russians used this week to try to rescue the crew of the submarine Kursk apparently missed the upgrade. The navy made at least four attempts with diving bells and a minisub, but came up empty in the Barents Sea's strong currents.

� Bill Gertz can be reached at 202/636-3274 or by e-mail at Rowan Scarborough can be reached at 202/636-3208 or by e-mail at


Stratos Announces Distributor Contract with Raytheon Marine Company

August 18, 2000;=788&date;=20000818

TORONTO, Aug. 17 /CNW-PRN/ - Stratos Global Corporation (TSE: SGB) and Raytheon Marine Company announced today that they have entered into a three year agreement making Stratos the exclusive supplier of mobile satellite services to Raytheon Marine Company throughout the U.S. and Caribbean.

Raytheon Marine Company will exclusively resell Stratos services to their established dealer networks in order to offer end-users enhanced mobile communications solutions. Stratos will provide Inmarsat mini-M, Inmarsat-B, Inmarsat-B High Speed Data and STUIII airtime services as well as proprietary solutions such as StratosNet(TM), the company's IP service. StratosNet(TM) offers built-in compression in conjunction with web access, Internet e-mail and FTP (file transfer protocol) capabilities.

"Stratos and Raytheon Marine Company have complementary businesses," explains Derek Woods, President and CEO of Stratos Global Corporation. "This agreement is a great opportunity to develop our combined strengths as well as further expand Stratos' distribution channels into key U.S. marine mobile satellite communications markets."

Raytheon Marine Company is a division of Raytheon Company, a $20 billion global technology leader and one of the largest industrial companies in the United States. Throughout its 76-year history, Raytheon Company has been a leader in developing defense technologies and converting those technologies for use in commercial markets. The vast technological expertise within Raytheon Company has led to a distinguished record of innovations that have shaped world history and advanced the marine industry to what it is today.

"We are very excited about this new agreement with Stratos as it will enable us to provide state-of-the-art mobile satellite communications solutions that our customers in the marine industry require," said Jeff Fellows, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Raytheon Marine Company."

Stratos provides customers operating in remote locations with a variety of wireless IP, data, and voice solutions through a range of newly emerging and established technologies. Stratos serves an array of diverse markets including government, military and industrial users anywhere in the world. Stratos is 63% owned by Aliant Inc. Further information is available at

SOURCE Stratos Global Corporation

CONTACT: F. Derek Woods, President & CEO, Stratos Global Corporation, Tel.: 1 416 777 2832, Fax: 1 416 777 9099; John J. Ciardullo, Executive Vice-President, Stratos Global Corporation, Tel.: 1 416 777 9923, Fax: 1 416 777 9099 (SGB.)


Washington Post
Friday, August 18, 2000; Page N55



"The 200 Years of the Washington Navy Yard" and "Submarine Force Centennial," through Oct. 31. Open Friday and Wednesday- Thursday 9 to 4, Saturday 10 to 4, Sunday noon to 4. Building 67, Washington Navy Yard, Ninth and M SE. 202/433-3815.


Korea 1950-53: The Navy in the Forgotten War," through December. Open Monday-Friday 9 to 4; weekends 10 to 5. Building 70, Washington Navy Yard, Ninth and M SE. 202/433-4882.

-------- OTHER

-------- environment

[This is included in hopes that people will be inspired to come up with a response. et]

US manufacturers urge candidates to explore fuel options

Planet Ark
USA: August 18, 2000
Story by Christopher Doering

WASHINGTON - U.S. manufacturers yesterday urged the presidential candidates to ease restrictions for oil drilling on federal land and to increase the use of nuclear, coal and hydroelectric fuels to power future industrial growth.

The National Association of Manufacturers said future technological growth could be hindered unless the United States maintains an adequate energy supply to meet the increasing demand.

"We anticipate a friendlier administration, whoever takes over - the Bush administration, the Gore administration - I hope that whoever takes over, listens to what we are saying today, recognising that we can't have a one-fuel policy," said Mark Whitenton, vice president for NAM's resources, environment and regulation department.

Republican nominees Texas Gov. George Bush and former Defence Secretary Dick Cheney - who each have ties to the oil industry - support additional drilling on public land.

Democratic candidate Al Gore and his runningmate, Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, are open proponents of cleaner-burning natural gas.

The trade group, which represents over 14,000 manufacturing companies including many Fortune 500 firms, said without an expansion in the amount of energy available, manufacturers face more electricity disruptions such as those that affected the Northeast and Midwest last summer.

It added that an inspection of existing energy policies is also needed because of a recent prediction from the U.S. Energy Department that heating oil and natural gas shortages will occur this winter.

Crude oil prices topped $32 a barrel earlier this week, well above the $25 per barrel desired by Clinton administration officials. The rise in oil prices has done little to push the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) into boosting production before its September 10 meeting.

Whitenton said it would help to open up untapped resources like the Alaskan reserves, but that the U.S. will continue to depend on foreign countries for the bulk of their oil.

"We will never be totally independent to produce our own oil, the best we can do is try to reduce our dependence on foreign petroleum by opening up land areas that have been put off-limits to energy extraction," he said.

The group's ten-page analysis of current energy policy said in part that current "federal policies are working at odds with the fundamental need to maintain adequate future energy supplies for the economy and the welfare of the American people."

NAM said future policy should focus on the construction of a nuclear waste depository and the maintenance of existing nuclear plants. Without such attention, the nuclear industry, which produces 20 percent of the United States' energy, will be unable to continue to operate.

It also said more attention needs to be directed toward the use of coal and the power stations that use it to make electricity. Coal represents 90 percent of the United States' recoverable fossil energy reserve, and tighter emission standards have decreased its impact as an environmental pollutant.


EPA unveils interactive toxin maps


Aug. 18 - A clear picture of which toxins may be tainting your neighborhood air is now online. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has posted new interactive maps estimating concentrations of the most toxic air pollutants across the United States.

ON THURSDAY, the EPA released figures for outdoor concentrations of 32 air toxics nationwide emitted by industries and other facilities in 1996 - the most complete and up to date information available.

New York leads the lists for concentrations of several toxics, including formaldehyde, lead and mercury, with New Jersey coming in a close second. But because different types of sources emit the air toxins in different areas of the country, no one state has the highest concentrations of all the pollutants.

The EPA draft report is part of an ongoing assessment of air toxics, their sources and their risks. Air toxics are those pollutants known or suspected of causing cancer or other serious health problems, such as birth defects.

This is first phase of EPA's National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment, a detailed look at the 32 common air toxics which pose the greatest potential risks to public health in urban areas.

The new report does not estimate human exposure or health risks. EPA is developing those estimates for release early next year.

In the next phase of the assessment, EPA will estimate the amount of toxics people breathe and the resultant health risk. EPA plans to submit these estimates to scientific peer review late this year.

Emissions and estimated airborne concentrations of the 32 toxics are generally higher in urban than in rural areas, the EPA concludes.

The concentration estimates are based not only on the number of toxics sources in a particular area, but also on the characteristics of those sources, and on local weather trends.

Some pollutants are more evenly distributed around the country than others, the EPA found. Benzene, a pollutant present in gasoline, is found in many place around the nation. Others, like vinyl chloride, a byproduct of plastics manufacture and other manufacturing processes, are linked specifically to areas of industrial activity.

The EPA divided toxic emissions by five source types: major, area and other, onroad, nonroad and background.

As defined in the Clean Air Act, major sources are stationary facilities that emit or have the potential to emit 10 tons of any one toxic air pollutant or 25 tons of more than one toxic air pollutant per year. These sources figured prominently in the production of vinyl chloride, for example.

The "area and other" category includes sources that have smaller emissions on an individual basis than "major sources" and are often too small or too commonly distributed to be inventoried as individual sources, such as dry cleaners. "Other sources" include wildfires and prescribed burnings.

Onroad sources include cars, trucks and buses. Nonroad sources include mobile sources not found on roads and highways, such as airplanes, trains, lawn mowers, construction vehicles and farm machinery.

Background contamination includes contributions from natural sources, persistence in the environment of emissions from the past and long range movement of air toxics from sources that are more than 50 kilometers (30 miles) away. Background concentrations could be levels of pollutants found in 1996 even if there had been no emissions caused by human activities.

The EPA has background estimates for 13 of the 32 air toxics. For seven of these 13 pollutants - polychlorinated biphynels (PCBs), ethylene dibromide, carbon tetrachloride, hexachlorobenzene, ethylene dichloride, chloroform and mercury - the background dominates the total estimated average concentration, showing that these toxics are already widespread in the environment.

Of the four main source types - major, area and other, onroad, nonroad - no one source dominates the contributions to all of the 32 pollutants. On a national level, about half of the pollutants have "area and other sources" as the dominant contributing source type.

For any given toxic, different sources account for the emissions in different areas of the country.

Arsenic compounds, generally present at very low (below 0.0002 micrograms per cubic meter) levels around the country, are found at higher levels in two states - Nebraska and Michigan. In Nebraska, the average concentration rises as high as 0.0004 micrograms per cubic meter, which the EPA attributes almost entirely to "area and other" sources.

But in Michigan, where average arsenic concentrations can rise to almost 0.001 - almost five times the national average - almost all of the arsenic compounds are emitted by major sources. A map of the state concentrations by county shows that the arsenic compounds are concentrated in just half a dozen counties.

Other toxics are even more localized. Illinois leads the nation in average concentrations of coke oven emissions, which can include benzene. Coke is a steelmaking ingredient made from coal. Most other states do not have enough coke oven emissions to even register on the same graph as Illinois, where all of the emissions are attributed to major sources.

New York does lead the nation for concentrations of formaldehyde, lead and mercury, with New Jersey coming in second.

The mercury pollution in these states, as across most of the nation, is attributed to background contamination. This masks the fact that the majority of environmental mercury can be traced to emissions from fossil fuel burning power plants.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are found at background concentrations estimated to be about .000375 micrograms per cubic meter across the entire U.S. Only a few states - such as Delaware, Pennsylvania and Washington - registered above background levels of PCBs.

PCBs are a group of toxic chemicals, once used in industry as coolants and lubricants. The EPA banned the manufacture of PCBs in 1979, because of evidence they accumulate in the environment and in animal tissues, presenting health hazards for humans, fish and wildlife.

The assessment released Thursday is different from EPA's Toxic Release Inventory (TRI), a program comprising annual industry generated estimates of air, water and waste emissions. For example, the new assessment includes data on toxic air emissions from on road vehicles, which the TRI does not.

The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 require EPA to regulate toxic air pollution by industry. To date, the Agency has issued 46 regulations for 82 different types of major industrial sources, such as chemical plants, oil refineries, aerospace manufacturers and steel mills. EPA expects these standards, combined with its rules for smaller industries, to reduce annual emissions of air toxics by 1.5 million tons from 1990 levels.

EPA has also issued a suite of motor vehicle and fuels regulations, including tailpipe emission standards for cars, sport utility vehicles, mini-vans, pickup and heavy trucks and buses.

By the year 2020, the combination of standards for cleaner burning gasoline, a national low emission vehicle program, and recently proposed standards for low sulfur diesel fuel is expected to reduce emissions of a number of air toxics from onroad motor vehicles by at least 75 percent from 1990 levels.

EPA plans to update the toxics assessment every three years to help measure the nation's progress in reducing public health risks from air toxics.

For more information, and to map the toxics in your area, visit:


A tragedy brings shame and deceit Operating in confrontational Cold War mode, Russia loses more than a sub

By Pavel Felgenhauer SPECIAL TO MSNBC

MOSCOW, Aug. 18 - The sinking of the nuclear submarine Kursk is a human tragedy that will haunt ordinary Russians for years to come. It is also a major military disaster that throws into question the seaworthiness of all Russian nuclear subs. Yet Russia's national interests and reputation were harmed most not by the sinking itself, but by the way the government and naval authorities handled the accident and indulged in shameless deceit.

A week after the disaster the Russian navy did not know what exactly had happened aboard the Kursk, how many sailors survived, whether they were wounded, and in what part of the huge ship the survivors were hiding.

THE DECEIT STARTED with the initial accident reports last Monday, when naval authorities first disclosed a "malfunction" aboard the Kursk in the Barents Sea, adding that the sub sank the previous day. It soon became apparent that the accident actually happened 24 hours earlier, on Saturday, and that the authorities were trying to cover up for two days before going public.

After misleading the public about the time of the accident, naval "sources" began to tell other yarns: that the vessel did not sink, but "descended to the ocean floor," that "contact with the crew was established," that "air and power are being pumped from the surface into the ship," that "everyone on board is alive," that "the vessel's two nuclear reactors have been shut down."

In fact, none of the above was fully true, and officials were either guessing or deliberately misinforming the public.

No air or power was supplied to the sub from the surface. No true "contact with the crew" was established. The sonar operators of Russian warships near the sunken Kursk believed they were picking up noises that were interpreted as distress signals from crew members stuck somewhere inside the hull of the Kursk and tapping on the walls of their compartments with iron.

The Terrible Hours: Sub rescue;=4802&bfpid;=0060194804&bfmtype;=book

Blind Man's Bluff: Sub espionage;=4802&bfpid;=006103004X&bfmtype;=book

The cracking metal noises also could have been caused by changes in the physical conditions on board, for example, the cooling of the hull of the powerless submarine in near-freezing sea water.

Naval authorities were forced to acknowledge after several days that the "signals" coming from below were faint, incoherent and conveyed no information whatsoever about the situation on board. A week after the disaster the Russian navy did not know what exactly had happened aboard the Kursk or if any sailors had survived - and, if so, whether they were wounded and where they might be holed up on the huge ship.


In fact, the Kursk, termed "unsinkable" by the navy, went down like a rock. There was no distress signal, and the crew did not manage to float its satellite communication beacon or communicate with the outside in any other way.

The navy did not know for certain that the crew actually shut down Kursk's two 190-megawatt nuclear reactors. There were no obvious signs of a reactor meltdown at the site of the wreck, so it was only assumed that the reactors shut down automatically when the disaster occurred.

In the past, Russian and U.S. nuclear subs have sunk with reactors and nuclear warheads on board without visible ecological consequences. But those ships went down deep in the ocean, a mile underwater or more, and their reactors were less powerful and contained less radioactive waste.

The Kursk is a ticking time-bomb, even if its reactors are in a stable condition. They will eventually leak merely 100 yards below the Barents' surface, polluting fisheries and severely maiming the local economy and possibly that of neighboring Norway.

Moreover, a botched operation to salvage the sub or reactors could also cause a radioactive spill.

Russian naval authorities have proven themselves to be technically inept at dealing with the Kursk disaster, and the information they provide is totally unreliable. In the first four days after the sub went down, the navy only managed to send a submersible to take pictures of the vessel's damaged hull. Naval commanders apparently were waiting for the crew of the Kursk to save itself, either by refloating the sub or donning special suits and abandoning ship.

Commissioned for service in January 1995, the Kursk is an Oscar II class submarine -- cruise missile-carrying vessels designed in the 1970s and built during the 1980s and 1990s to challenge U.S. aircraft carriers.


Russian admirals rejected the idea that an Oscar-2 sub could be disabled and its crew killed instantly or seriously hurt by a powerful explosion caused by poor design, technical mishaps or human error.

Russian military brass continue to insist that the Kursk sunk after a collision with a mysterious "foreign submarine," presumably American. At the same time, Russian officials agree that the Kursk went down instantaneously. But a collision that could kill an Oscar-2 sub in seconds should have ripped the ship's hull open from bow to stern, and there is no evidence yet of such damage.

It's obvious that the Russian navy is ready to defy all logic only to keep up some semblance of an East-West confrontation. One Oscar-2 sub carries enough firepower to destroy in one fell swoop an entire U.S. aircraft carrier group or a large sea transport convoy. The Kursk was a very big, very expensive and a very specialized warship: 500 feet long, 60 feet wide and displacing 24,000 tons of water when fully submerged. If Russia truly made peace with the West, there would be no sense in continuing to operate such ships. The Oscars are not even part of Russia's nuclear deterrent - they were built to fight and win a global naval war that Russia cannot win anyway because its economy and armed forces are in tatters. But Russian naval brass are reluctant to think smaller.

Still operating in the old confrontational Cold War mode, the Russian navy put aside for several days Western offers of aid. When help was reluctantly accepted, British and Norwegian rescue teams were ordered to set sail from far-off Norwegian ports. They will arrive near the Kursk when it will most likely be too late to find anyone alive.


The Russian navy does not want foreigners near the Kursk, since that would provide the public with true, uncensored information. Russian admirals know too well that disclosing secrets to the West may easily land them in the clink, while risking sailors' lives most likely will not.

The Kursk saga will not end when the fate of its crew is finally known. There will have to be an operation to salvage the reactors in the future, but Russia does not have the money or the expertise to run it. It is possible that soon Russia will be clamoring for Western aid to deal with the Kursk problem, but who will want to deal with naval officials who have exposed themselves as cheats? Russian President Vladimir Putin finally came out of his self-imposed seclusion at a Black Sea resort to try to restore some credibility to his government. Just last week, the president was enjoying record popularity ratings. His tough-talking image has been severely tarnished by the Kursk affair, however.

After a week of lies and deceit, Russia's naval commanders - and Putin, their commander-in-chief - will be forced to begin to behave more as leaders, not Stalinist-style dictators who address the country only when the news is good.

Pavel Felgenhauer is an independent, Moscow-based defense analyst.


Paper publishes list of Kursk crew Editors say they bribed officer to obtain 'top secret' roster


MURMANSK, Russia, Aug 18 - The local edition of a Russian newspaper in the home province of the stricken submarine Kursk published a list of names of the crew on Friday, saying it had bribed a senior naval officer to obtain it.

'If we had published the list on Monday, many people would not have had to worry for their sons.' - VLADIMIR SHKODA Editor of the Murmansk edition of Komsomolskaya Pravda

"18,000 RUBLES for the names of the sailors of the Kursk," read the headline in the Murmansk edition of the widely read Komsomolskaya Pravda.

"Yesterday the editors of Komsomolskaya Pravda bought from a high ranking Moscow naval officer the list of the crew of the dying submarine, stamped 'Top secret' by the commanders of the Russian navy," it said. The sum is worth about $645.

Russia's press has criticized the navy for withholding the names of the 118 sailors trapped or dead on the sea bed. The navy says it has informed the relatives of those on board directly, and saw no need to make the names public.

But Vladimir Shkoda, editor of the paper's Murmansk edition, said publication of the list would reassure many sailors' families that their husband or son was not on board - and give public recognition to the suffering of afflicted relatives.

"For three whole days we tried to get our hand on that list, to tell our people who is fighting for survival out there, who it is tapping out 'SOS' in the submarine," he said. "Let's give their names."

He said the list showed that most of the men aboard were from Murmansk and surrounding towns, which would comfort people in other cities - especially the city of Kursk, where youths often volunteer to serve on the ship that bears the city's name.

"If we had published the list on Monday, many people would not have had to worry for their sons," he said.

"People do not know where their boys are. Now mothers and wives in the town of Kursk can read the list and say 'My boy is not there', and rest easy.

"Another woman or father will see it and say: 'There is my son. Thank God all of Russia can now know his name. He is in peril now. We have to save little Ivan'," he said.

"I think we have done the right thing by publishing it."

'I'm doing what I have to do. Anything that brings me closer to my son.' - VALENTINA STAROSELTSEV mother of Kursk crew member


A group of relatives of those aboard the trapped submarine left Kursk Thursday for a day-long train journey to Murmansk.

As the train pulled out, other relatives ran alongside, blowing kisses.

"I just remembered when Dima left, it was just like this," Yuri Kuznetsov said, fighting back tears. "He waved at me from the train, a little nervous ... I told him it would be OK."

He referred to his nephew, 20-year-old Dmitry Staroseltsev, whose mother Valentina was on the train, riding in a grimy third-class car on a journey paid for by the local government.

The offer from the local government brought some life back into Dmitry's mother's face and gave her a reason to tear her eyes from the television set that has been her lifeline since learning Monday that the Kursk submarine had sunk to the floor of the Barents Sea.


"I'm doing what I have to do," she said as she briskly packed belongings. "Anything that brings me closer to my son ..." she said.

The ride ended a harrowing day for the families, who spent hours seeking help from the Kursk regional administration for the trip. The families could not afford train tickets and watched sadly all week as television showed other sailors' relatives gathering to share their grief in Murmansk. They were quartered on a boat that will put to sea to greet the men if they are rescued.

When Kursk officials announced in the afternoon that the trip was on, Dmitry's mother was lifted out of her gloom, and she began taking charge of the other parents, ordering some to bring sausage for the train ride, others to bring beverages.

Olga Kuznetsova was not among those leaving Thursday to seek news of her son, Mikhail. Hours after the submarine sank, Kuznetsova left a Moscow hospital where she had undergone surgery for breast cancer to return home to Kursk. She is still weak and recuperating.

But she joined the other families lobbying the administration Thursday, out of a need to feel like she was doing something, to take her mind off the sorrow, she said.

Commissioned for service in January 1995, the Kursk is an Oscar II class submarine -- cruise missile-carrying vessels designed in the 1970s and built during the 1980s and 1990s to challenge U.S. aircraft carriers.


Canadian offshore oil ban reviewed
British Columbia looks into prospect of lifting the ban


VANCOUVER, Canada, Aug. 18 - An environmental group blasted Thursday a move by British Columbia to study the idea of having Ottawa lift a 28-year-old ban on offshore drilling along Canada's pristine Pacific coast. An area near the Queen Charlotte Islands is believed to hold one of Canada's largest natural gas deposits, and business leaders in coastal region have said a drilling ban should be lifted to help the area's beleaguered economy.

A REPORT for the provincial government released Thursday said there was enough public interest in the issue - especially in the effected area - that its future warranted examination.

"There is a hunger to examine information that is authoritative, timely and from neutral sources," the report's authors wrote, without making any recommendation about the ban itself.

Northern Development Commissioner John Backhouse, who had requested the study into public interest in the project, said he hoped to have review process under way by fall.

Geologists have known for years there are potentially vast oil and natural gas deposits off British Columbia. Chevron Canada Resources , Shell Canada Ltd. and Petro-Canada Inc. have held drilling rights in the region since the early 1970s.

A 1998 Geological Survey of Canada report said data indicated there could be up to 9.8 billion barrels of oil and 1.2 billion cubic meters of gas, although geologists stressed economic factors will limit how much can be recovered.

Canada banned drilling on the Pacific coast in 1972. There was a movement in the mid-1980s to lift the ban, but that came to an abrupt end in 1989 when the wreck of the Exxon Valdez tanker polluted miles of Alaska coastline.

Offshore drilling is allowed on Canada's Atlantic coast.

The Vancouver-based David Suzuki Foundation attacked the government's move as a "backward step."

"If companies drill for oil and gas in this relatively pristine area ... we risk enormous damage to British Columbia's environmental heritage, all for a short-term dollar," the group's communications director David Hocking said.

Federal Environmental Minister David Anderson has indicated that he would also oppose lifting the ban, which he helped to enact in the 1970s.


Washington Post
Friday, August 18, 2000; Page N55



"Nature Constructed/Nature Revealed: Eco-Revelatory Design," through Oct. 22.


"Selections From Forces of Change: A New View of Nature," through Sept. 24.

-------- spying

Russia Helped Create China Spy Machine
August 18, 1999
Col. Stanislav Lunev

It is no secret that the modern Red Chinese intelligence machine was created with the help of Soviet KGB and GRU operatives. This began as early as the 1930s and lasted for at least three decades thereafter. The ties between Russian and Chinese intelligence were forged during China's Civil War, when Mao Tse Tung and communist guerillas were based in the mountain area of Yan'an. In fact, the most experienced Soviet intelligence officers in political and military operations were assigned to Mao's headquarters, and these agents set the groundwork for future Chinese espionage.

At least externally, this special relationship between China and Russia lasted into the 1960s up to the Cultural Revolution. During this period, the two countries worked closely together against their common adversary, the United States of America, and their joint efforts proved extremely effective during the Korean War.

But from the time of the Cultural Revolution to the end of the 1980s, cooperation between Chinese and Soviet special services broke down, and the intelligence agencies of the two countries began working resolutely against each other as a result of the rift between them. Then, when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, ideological differences became less important. As a result, Russia and China began to restore their military-intelligence ties. The Russians moved quickly to strengthen these ties in the late summer of 1992 and sent Yivgeni Primakov, special envoy of Russian intelligence (and former director of the SVR, the successor agency to the KGB) to Beijing to sign a top-secret intelligence agreement with China. The purpose of the agreement was to officially reaffirm the cooperation that had been interrupted during the Cultural Revolution.

According to a Washington Times report (10/21/92), this secret treaty involved the Russian Military Strategic Intelligence (GRU) and the Foreign Intelligence (SVR). These two agencies are coordinating operations with the Military Intelligence Directorate of the Chinese People's Liberation Army. Concerning the treaty, the Times report noted the "anxiety of unnamed American officials" who were troubled by "Russia's and China's efforts in conducting intelligence activities against the U.S. and other Western countries, first of all, in collecting information about modern advanced technologies."

Russian and Chinese intelligence have, then, been combining their efforts again to penetrate America's military-industrial complex, especially to gather information on advanced weaponry, and are pooling their best available intelligence. For example, since the Chinese have a shortage of information on spy satellites and electronic intelligence, the Russian GRU and SVR help provide them with this information. In return, the Russians receive Chinese intelligence gathered from Chinese "agents-of-influence" contacts in the U.S. and other Western countries.

One of the military ramifications of this cooperation may have been China's provocation against Taiwan in 1996 when it fired missiles across the Taiwan Strait precisely at a time when the U.S. Navy had no ships nearby. Reports are that Chinese intelligence did not have its own information on global U.S. ship deployments but had received this information from Moscow.

Similarly, Chinese development of the warhead known as the W-88, reportedly stolen from the U.S. by Chinese operatives, may actually have been given to the Chinese by the Russians, who had acquired this technology some years before.


New Developments in Russian Espionage against the US
September 24, 1999
Col. Stanislav Lunev

There are many strange aspects to American-Russian relations. Like the enabler of an addicted friend, the US will once again provide Russia with another money fix. No matter that prior US credit, loans, and other funds vanished before our eyes to mysteriously reappear in Western banks in the private accounts of so-called new Russians. As approved by the International Monetary Fund this present loan of $4.5 billion will come by way of credits from the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and other Western financial institutions. And this latest score by Russia will likely vanish just as quickly.

But while being showered with billions from the US taxpayer, the Russian Federation (RF) continues to intensify its intelligence operations against the US as well as against US friends and allies. This espionage activity, according to some US officials, has already reached Cold War levels. The Russian spy business has become so aggressive that last spring, for the first time since the collapse of the USSR, US officials had to expel a Russian intelligence officer who was working undercover at the United Nations and engaged in accessing classified US documents. It was the second incident of Russian spying to surface in six months. In the first incident a Russian officer, though not officially expelled, was denied re-entry to the US while away on vacation.

In retaliation the FSB (the Federal Security Service, successor to KGB domestic spying) expelled the US military attach� and curtailed contacts between Russian military and civilian personnel and Western officials. In addition, the FSB and SVR (successor to KGB foreign intelligence) organized a propaganda campaign accusing the US of spying more on Moscow than Moscow spies on the US - perhaps not realizing that this is itself a rather telling admission of guilt.

The Russian spy activity has reached such intensity that American officials met with former Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin, who visited Washington at the end of July. As for his background, Stepashin is a former fire-fighter (his Master's dissertation was entitled "The Role of the Communist Party in Fire-Fighting") and is a past director general of the Federal Counter-Intelligence Service (predecessor to the FSB) as well as the ex-minister of interior. At the meeting he openly admitted the espionage problem, exclaiming, "as long as states exist, there will always be special services, intelligence communities."

Stepashin did, then, have the courage to admit the problem and even proposed a dialogue between US officials and Vladimir Putin, then head of the Russian FSB and secretary of the Russian National Security Council. In so doing, however, Stepashin had trespassed into the arena of strategic affairs, the exclusive domain of the RF president. As a result, the president summarily fired Stepashin and replaced him with Putin, who is also chief initiator of the current anti-US espionage campaign.

Again, it cannot be over-emphasized or repeated enough that Russia has been pursuing its aggressive espionage against the US while it receives US aid and assistance. According to recent reports (Washington Times, 7/26/99) the FBI estimated that during the Cold War at least half the Soviet diplomats in Washington, New York, and San Francisco were spies. In terms of present numbers this means that half the 124 diplomats posted to the Russian Embassy in the US is engaged in intelligence. Official reports also indicate that scores more are operating out of the Russian mission to the UN. Russian agents also operate out of consulates in San Francisco and Seattle.

In a Washington newspaper, an unidentified US official accurately summarizes the situation, "They [Russian intelligence] are operating in full swing without missing a beat... In some cases they have the same KGB personnel here now who were working against us during the Soviet period."

And this espionage is not the result of unauthorized activities by the intelligence community. It is high-priority policy by the Russian government under personal direction of Pres. Boris Yeltsin himself, who in his official statements pretends to be a "best friend" to the US.

It is well known that during the Cold War Soviet intelligence worked hard to penetrate American security by recruiting US citizens both here and abroad. At the same time, the KGB and GRU planted so-called agents of influence in the US. Agents of influence are not real spies but served to influence US policy toward the former USSR, and they still serve now to do the same for Russia. Usually they are not privy to inside information about the secret operations of which they are part - operations, by the way, which are also under the direct command of Moscow and are designed to undermine American society from within.

Soviet intelligence used their own agents for their primary missions and assigned them to the KGB and GRU field offices in Washington, D.C., New York, and San Francisco. The KGB agents worked under civilian cover as diplomats, trade specialists, press correspondents, university students, and members of various Soviet delegations. Additionally, the GRU agents worked in the US as Soviet military attaches and their deputies and assistants.

During the Cold War every third Soviet official in the US was, in reality, a KGB officer, and every other third official was a GRU officer. The remaining third was a so-called clean person, one who before coming to the US had signed a special agreement to cooperate with the KGB and GRU. This special ratio in the apportionment of agents in the US was ordered by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in the early 1950s and has been continued by all his successors.

In 1992 the same method was approved by President Yeltsin, who inherited the Soviet machinery and understood the effectiveness of its operation. Moreover, in a secret message to the Russian ambassador to the US, Yeltsin requested the ambassador's cooperation with Russian special services as well as that of other "clean" embassy personnel.

It was also Yeltsin who ordered Russian agents to intensify their spy activity and to provide Moscow with even more information on US political and military operations. His order was issued as an official government directive.

But not only were there no reductions in the number of agents in this country after the fall of the USSR, but the number has increased. During the last several years new Russian consulates have been opened which accommodate an increased intelligence presence. Then, too, "improved" relations between the two countries have afforded Russia an almost unlimited entry of agents under the cover of businessmen, students, technicians, immigrants...

Furthermore, in response to an RF presidential order of Feb. 7, 1996, there has been a substantial increase in industrial espionage in the US. This has, of course, entailed the widespread recruitment of people engaged in US commercial, banking, and other civilian enterprises. Recruitment for such espionage is easier than that for military espionage because no serious penalties are involved and obtaining the secrets is usually less difficult (except when military secrets are virtually handed to you by US policy and presidential directives).

It is important to note that Russian intelligence does not have a great interest in commercial secrets. The Russian criminal syndicates, however, desperately need this information and use their own people in government to bring about Russian intelligence activity in those US enterprises attractive to the Russian mobsters.

In view of these factors, the current Russian intelligence attack on America is more dangerous than ever before. Instead of moving forward to greater friendship with America, the RF is moving backward. The age of the false friendship is over, and the age of espionage once more dominates relations between the two countries. It is vital to US security to stop these dangerous developments as soon as possible. And there is an effective solution for doing this.

The usual proposal is to put a stop to the Russian intelligence assault by expelling all Russian officials known by American counterintelligence to be agents. However, this would prove ineffective because, first of all, the expelled agents would soon be replaced by new ones. Thus American counterintelligence would have to spend extra time and resources to rediscover who is and who isn't an agent among the new diplomats, journalists, engineers, etc.

Second of all, The GRU and SVR field offices in the US have contingency plans especially designed to keep their intelligence business going in the event of such expulsions. Expulsion would, then, merely lead to a temporary setback in the Russian espionage but not to its termination.

The only real solution can come from within Russia itself. The Russian government and its president are the only ones who can order a halt to the espionage assault. If Russia cannot exist without information from the US, then it must obtain this information by legal means. And America has a magic tool to accomplish this purpose if it will only use it. It need only say to Russia, and mean it: Stop the espionage, implement democratic reforms, crack down on the mafia, or else no money! It couldn't be simpler. US leaders must know this. Why do they hesitate?


CIA Director Tenet Visits Moscow

Associated Press
August 18, 2000

MOSCOW (AP) -- CIA Director George Tenet visited Moscow on Friday to meet with his Russian counterparts, the U.S. Embassy said.

The daily Izvestia reported that Tenet arrived Thursday in Moscow on an invitation from Russian officials and would discuss ways to counter international terrorism.

An official at the U.S. Embassy's information service refused to give further details about Tenet's visit, and a duty officer at the Foreign Intelligence Service also refused to comment on the trip.

Tenet's visit did not appear to be connected with the sinking of Russia's Kursk nuclear submarine in the Barents Sea last Saturday. Hope dwindled Friday of finding any of the submarine's 118 crewmen alive as rescue vessels repeatedly failed to link up with the submarine.

Though the Russian and American intelligence services have not shed all their Cold War animosities, they periodically swap information on terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking.

Before coming to Moscow, Tenet spent two days in Bulgaria meeting with security officials.

-------- terrorism

France Launches Inquiry into Terrorist Attack in Corsica

NewsEdge Corporation
August 18, 2000;=2884&date;=20000818

PARIS (Aug. 17) XINHUA via NewsEdge Corporation - France has launched an inquiry into a terrorist rocket attack against a government office building in Corsica Wednesday night,Agence France-Presse quoted judicial sources as saying Thursday.

The anti-terrorist section of the prosecutor's office of Paris has been asked to investigate the attack, in which no one was killed or injured and the building of the sub-prefecture in Sartene, southern Corsica, was slightly damaged.

Police have arrested three persons after the attack, which took place less than a week after a car bomb attack against an economic development agency in Corsica and the assassination of a former Corsican nationalist leader, Jean-Michel Rossi, and his bodyguard on July 7.



New York Post
Friday, August 18,2000

JERUSALEM - Israeli and Palestinian officials were in rare agreement yesterday - denouncing the State Department for issuing a terrorist warning to American travelers.

Nevertheless, Israeli police checked buses and marketplaces for suspicious packages amid concern that the stalled Mideast peace process would trigger another wave of terrorist bombings.

On Wednesday, the State Department issued an advisory to Americans in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, telling them to be aware of "an increased possibility for terrorist attacks."

The warning, coming during the tourist season important to both the Israeli and Palestinian economies, angered security and tourist officials. Colonel Jibril Rajoub, the Palestinian security commander in the West Bank, denounced the "State Department propaganda."

The Israeli tourist ministry said it was "appalled" by the advisory.

Israeli officials acknowledged that military officers and police were on a security alert, but said that was a routine matter and no specific threats had been made.

"Everyone can move safely in Israel," Prime Minister Ehud Barak said.

Barak also told a military graduation ceremony he remains hopeful that a peace accord would be reached soon.

"There were never better conditions than now to arrive at an agreement with the Palestinians," he said.

"If the Palestinian leadership is prepared to confront the challenge of setting up a Palestinian state and solving the hardships of its people, it must understand that a condition for that is ending the conflict with Israel."

But Barak also warned that a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood "might lead to escalation with unimaginable results."

Barak spoke shortly before President Clinton's Mideast envoy, Dennis Ross, arrived in the region to evaluate chances for another U.S.-hosted summit.


Beware in Israel

Washington Times
August 18, 2000
Embassy Row James Morrison
News and dispatches from the diplomatic corridor.

The State Department yesterday defended its warning to Americans to take precautions against terrorist attacks in Israel and Palestinian-controlled areas.

"We believe there is an increased possibility for terrorist attacks in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, and . . . we have a responsibility to advise American citizens who live and travel in the area of our assessment of the security situation," said spokesman Philip Reeker.

Israeli and Palestinian officials yesterday criticized the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Israel for issuing the public announcement.

It urged Americans to avoid riding public buses and be cautious near bus stops and crowds. Arab terrorists have targeted buses and public squares in the past.

Danny Yatom, security adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, said he tried to persuade U.S. Ambassador Martin Indyk not to issue the announcement.

"I truly do not know why the embassy made this public. I told him that in my opinion this notice didn't have to go out," Mr. Yatom told Israel's Army Radio.

Jibril Rajoub, West Bank security chief for the Palestinian Authority, was more blunt.

"This statement is nothing more than propaganda by the State Department," he told a news conference.

"As the person in charge of the security situation in the West Bank, I think that the Americans are secure in the Palestinian territories."

In Washington, Mr. Reeker told reporters, "There is no reason to believe that there is a specific threat directed against Americans, but we do urge all Americans traveling or living in those areas to increase their vigilance with respect to their personal security."

Mr. Reeker said the warning is unrelated to a visit to Israel by U.S. Middle East envoy Dennis Ross, who is trying to help revive peace talks after the collapse of the Camp David summit.

"I think anyone that's studied the history of the region in those areas for many, many years, decades now, understands the terrorist risks," he said.

"We've seen the threats that are out there. We've talked about these many times. And this is simply a way of reminding people of those threats and that they need to take appropriate steps to watch out for their security."


Alleging Ineffective Counsel, McVeigh Seeks New Trial

Washington Post
Friday, August 18, 2000 ; A11

DENVER, Aug. 17 -- Attorneys for convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy J. McVeigh today asked the judge who sentenced him to death to grant a new trial, saying McVeigh's original defense attorney was ineffective and had conflicts of interest.

McVeigh's new attorneys made the claims in federal court in Denver before U.S. District Judge Richard P. Matsch, who presided over McVeigh's original trial. McVeigh, 32, a former soldier, was convicted in 1997 of eight counts of murder and conspiracy for the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people.

Awaiting his punishment at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., McVeigh did not attend today's hearing. Matsch heard arguments from prosecutors and defense attorneys on whether the appeal can proceed to its next stage--an evidentiary hearing--but made no ruling after the two-hour proceeding.

Defense attorney Dennis Hartley said McVeigh's lead trial attorney, Stephen Jones, had a conflict of interest by shopping around a book he had written on the case and provided ineffective counsel during the trial by not adequately questioning potential jurors and cross-examining witnesses. Additionally, Hartley said, some jurors gave opinions on how they felt about the death penalty and McVeigh before the trial, but gave differing comments in interviews after the verdict.

Hartley also said McVeigh's defense team leaked stories to the news media about the case that tainted the jury pool. Even though Jones may not have leaked the information himself, Hartley argued, as the lead attorney he was responsible for his staff's actions.

"He was the captain of the ship," Hartley said.

But prosecutor Sean Connelly argued that McVeigh had 17 attorneys representing him and "participated actively in his defense." He also said the issues raised are questions of strategy and tactics and did not rise to the level of ineffective representation.

"The verdict was a just one and the trial was fair," Connelly said. McVeigh lost his first round of appeals when the Supreme Court refused to review a lower court ruling that denied him a new trial.

McVeigh's original attorney, Jones, attended the hearing and told reporters that "it's par for the course" for appellate lawyers to argue ineffective counsel. "Almost every appeal involves an attack on the lawyers, but I don't think it will go anywhere," he said.

Lawyers said they expected a ruling within 30 days.

-------- activists

WorldBank/IMF Class Action Submission Form

Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 19:42:02 -0700 (PDT)
From: Adam Eidinger -

Dear A16 World Bank/IMF Protesters:

A class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of many groups and individuals that protested the World Bank and IMF this past April.

The lawsuit seeks to remedy civil rights violations and has the potential to expose and punish local and national authorities for the continued disruption and infiltration of our movement for Global Justice.

VISIT - READ IT - ENTER YOUR INFO - PASS IT ON! Log on to this link below.


Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 20:02:34 EDT


In a message dated 8/18/00 4:27:09 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:


August 18, 2000

Dear friends of Tibet,

The Chinese authorities are sending to Washington, D.C. a delegation of "religious leaders", which includes a Tibetan lama from Amdo, who is known for his pro-Chinese leanings. They are addressing a press conference at the Chinese Embassy on August 25, 2000.

Obviously, China is sending this delegation to tell America about "religious freedom" in Tibet and China. The Tibetan lama has already spoken at a conference in Beijing where he criticized the work Tibet supporters were doing.

This delegation is participating in the controversial Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders in New York beginning on August 28.

You may be aware that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is being excluded from this historic conference of world religious leaders, which is partially hosted by the United Nations and part of the meeting is being held at the UN General Assembly hall.

It is an outrage that they have excluded the Dalai Lama. But we believe this is an important opportunity for the Tibet movement. Every Tibet supporter can help in this campaign.

As one of the world's greatest advocates of non-violence, the Dalai Lama is someone who should be welcomed in the United Nations. Instead, he has been excluded by the atheist leadership of Beijing, and no one at the United Nations has publicly opposed Beijing's wishes.

Thanks to the hard work and outrage of many Tibet supporters, the exclusion of the Dalai Lama is now a public issue, affecting the credibility of the organizers, the United Nations, and making it much more difficult to exclude the Dalai Lama from such events in the future.

Nearly a year after invitations went out to over 1,000 religious leaders, the Dalai Lama was invited to participate in the concluding sessions, but not in the sessions held within the UN building.

By exposing Beijing's underhanded efforts to thwart a powerful voice of tolerance, human rights and non-violence, we work to make those voices more powerful. This fight is not just about the Dalai Lama, it is about the inclusion of representatives of people who do not have voices.

One reason the Dalai Lama is being excluded is because the Chinese Premier, Li Peng, is scheduled to speak at the Conference of Presiding Officers of National Parliaments being held in the UN from August 30 to September 1. Li Peng is one of the greatest human rights violators of the world today, someone who should be in front of a human rights tribunal, not before the UN.

Therefore, we need to let the Chinese delegation know that they cannot fool the world.


Bhuchung Tsering



Sarah Anderson <>
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 16:00:47 -0400

Please post the following announcement. Thank you!


An internationally known opponent of World Bank-supported privatization programs will be honored at this year's Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards, sponsored by the Institute for Policy Studies. A distinguished panel of human rights leaders have chosen Oscar Olivera, who leads a coalition that has successfully fought off a World Bank-supported plan to privatize the public water system in Cochabamba, Bolivia, to receive the international award.

The domestic award will go to the November Coalition, a U.S. prisoner advocacy organization. The awards program will take place October 16 at the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC. See below for more information on the awardees, the history of the awards program, and information on how to obtain tickets.


In 1999, the Bolivian government sold the municipal water system in the city of Cochabamba to a private consortium, including a subsidiary of U.S.-based Bechtel, which quickly hiked rates for local water users by as much as 200 percent. Olivera, a long-time labor leader, became the spokesperson of the Coordinator in Defense of Water and Life, a coalition of workers, environmentalists, artisans, peasants, and others who believe that water is a critical public good and should not be privatized. The Bolivian government responded to the coalition's protests with force, resulting in significant civilian injuries and the death of one protestor. After four days in hiding, Olivera emerged to lead negotiations that resulted in 1) the withdrawal of Bechtel and the military troops surrounding the city, 2) the reform of laws pertaining to water services, and 3) the release of persons detained during the conflict. IPS Director John Cavanagh had the opportunity to meet Olivera during the April 16 protests against the World Bank and IMF in Washington, DC. According to Cavanagh, "The Coordinator, with Olivera at its head, is an inspiring symbol of the growing international resistance to the devastating impacts of World Bank and IMF-promoted policies throughout the world."

Olivera entered the workforce at age 16 as a machine operator and has been a leader in the Bolivian labor movement for over 22 years. He is currently the Executive Secretary of the Federation of Factory Workers of Cochabamba, an umbrella organization comprising over 50 unions and 6,000 workers. Olivera has assumed a prominent role in the creation of education and training opportunities for workers, including the establishment in 1999 of the May 1st Union School. AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Linda Chavez Thompson will present the award to Olivera.


The November Coalition, founded in Colville, Washington in 1997, has exploded into a national organization with a membership of thousands of prisoners, their loved ones and other concerned citizens dedicated to ending the racist and failed policies of the U.S. "War on Drugs." Director Nora Callahan founded the Coalition along with her brother (currently serving a 27 1/2-year sentence in a federal penitentiary) and a few other prisoners to raise public awareness about the injustices of the Drug War. The Coalition's "Razor Wire" newspaper and web site publicize shocking personal stories of many of the millions of individuals convicted of non-violent drug offenses who are now serving draconian mandatory sentences with no hope for earned release.

In 1999, the November Coalition initiated the National Vigil Project to bring Drug War victims face to face with the public. Regional volunteers have organized public vigils to denounce the impact of current drug policies in their own communities and to present plans of action for distraught family members angered by loss and government indifference. The November Coalition's ultimate goal is to turn that rage and sorrow into dignified, effective civic resistance.

According to Sanho Tree, Director of the IPS Drug Policy Project, "As with political prisoners the world over, the thought that keeps many other prisoners going is the knowledge that they have not been forgotten by the world they were forced to leave behind. The November Coalition reminds us of our war against our fellow citizens - and our common obligation to seek their freedom."


The Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards honor the memory of two IPS colleagues who were murdered on September 21, 1976 by agents of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. Orlando Letelier, the target of the car bomb attack, was a former Chilean ambassador and well-known critic of Pinochet. Ronni Karpen Moffitt was a 25-year-old IPS development assistant and committed peace activist. Their murder on Massachusetts Avenue remains the only proven act of state-sponsored terrorism in our nation's capital.

Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards Selection Committee:

Fred Azcarate, Jobs with Justice Marie Dennis, Maryknoll Justice and Peace Office Karen Dolan, Institute for Policy Studies Joe Eldridge, University Chaplain, American University Jill Gay Bill Goodfellow, Center for International Policy Martha Honey, Institute for Policy Studies Peter Kornbluh, National Security Archives Isabel Letelier Jerome Scott, Project South Barbara Shailor, AFL-CIO Shirley Sherrod, Federation of Southern Cooperatives Joel Solomon, Human Rights Watch George Vickers, Washington Office on Latin America


Monday, October 16th, 2000 National Geographic Society, Grosvenor Auditorium 1600 M Street, NW, Washington, DC 5:30 pm - Reception 7:00 pm - Human Rights Program *Dinner to follow at the Madison Hotel (15th & M Streets NW)

Cost: Reception & Ceremony - $35 Reception, Ceremony & Dinner - $150

Contact: The Institute for Policy Studies 733 15th St. NW, #1020, Washington, DC 20005 tel: 202/234-9382, fax: 202/387-7915

Ticket Sales/ Info: Wendy Phipps, ext. 234

Other Inquiries: Rachel Bernu, ext. 235

You are also invited to share in our tribute to Orlando and Ronni's commitment to democracy, justice and human dignity at the Annual Sheridan Circle Memorial Service on Sunday, September 24th, 2000, at 10:00 am, on 23rd Street & Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.


LAPD Crystallized Protesters
Friday, Aug. 18, 2000

LOS ANGELES - While Democrat delegates convened to nominate Al Gore and Joseph Lieberman as their presidential and vice presidential candidates for the November 2000 elections, Los Angeles offered an unusual and bizarre view of itself to the thousands of visitors gathered.

Among the legions of delegates and media who descended on the City of Angels to attend the 43rd Democratic National Convention, some were witnesses to these strange scenes that at times seemed more appropriate in a banana republic than in America's second-largest metropolis.

Late Wednesday night, several groups of youths were detained by Los Angeles police officers at a number of major intersections in downtown Los Angeles.

The youths, some of whom appeared to be in their early teens, were made to stand with their faces only inches from building walls and their hands cuffed behind their backs as baton-wielding officers vigilantly stood by.

All day long, convoys of armed police officers patrolled the city as conventioneers met amid heavy security provided by more than 2,000 LAPD police officers - as well as an undisclosed number of Secret Service officers and other security personnel.

"I feel like I am part of the establishment," said one visitor from Washington, D.C., as she rode back to her hotel from the convention center late Wednesday night, with an armed Los Angeles County Sheriff riding shotgun on her bus.

When questioned about the various arrests, LAPD spokeswoman Dawn Denko replied that she had no specific data on these events because they were not major enough to merit individual flagging.

"Anywhere you go, police are detaining people in L.A.," she said.

"Obviously you don't live here," she added. "This is L.A."

Units of the Los Angeles Police Department confronted a wide-ranging number of activists outside the Staples Convention Center and in a number of adjoining streets even before the Democratic convention started last Monday.

The largely uncoordinated protesters were contesting a wide range of grievances ranging from selling animal furs to international corporate greed to protecting the environment.

Thousands of protesters have tried to make their voices heard while the Democratic delegates and about 15,000 media members convene here. Since Monday night, when the convention kicked off with President Clinton addressing an emotional audience, there have been a number of scuffles with police, who at times used horses, rubber bullets and pepper spray to disperse the crowds. To date, more than 200 people have been arrested.

Los Angeles police have suffered a number of public relations setbacks with accusations of corruption, especially in the Rampart Division of the LAPD, an old station located in a poor immigrant neighborhood adjoining the convention center.

There have been a number of minor injuries reported on both sides.

The American Civil Liberties Union is planning to file a lawsuit against the LAPD. The Washington Post reports that the Los Angeles City attorney expects as many as 250 lawsuits to be filed in the U.S. District Court on behalf of victims at a potential cost to the city of $125 million.

Some demonstrators compared the police to the Gestapo, the police force in Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Some mocked the police by goose-stepping behind officers on patrol near the convention center.

In fact it is precisely some of these very police actions that have managed to crystallize the fragmented demonstrators, who for the first time since Monday have offered a unified stance: Stop the police brutality.

But behind the confrontation between the police and the activists some voices of reason emerged. In fact, a cluster of police and demonstrators managed to choreograph peaceful arrests, with officers advising the protesters what crimes they needed to commit in order to be arrested.

Washington, D.C., police had also orchestrated the same type of peaceful arrests during the World Trade Organization meeting in the nation's capital last April.

Both the Republican Convention in Philadelphia as well as the Democratic one in Los Angeles attracted numerous protest groups. Both events led to some violence and a number of arrests by police.

But the Philadelphia demonstrations managed to successfully disrupt the city at various times, blocking major arteries and avenues often at the height of the afternoon rush hour, upsetting thousands of commuters.

By cleverly funneling the demonstrators into pre-arranged areas that remained closed off to traffic and the general public, the LAPD avoided any such disruptions in Los Angeles.


Protesters, Police Out in Force on Last
Friday, Aug. 18, 2000
Day Stephan Archer

Los Angeles - Amongst the smell of sweat, empty water bottles, cigarette smoke and a large contingent of police officers, protesters came out in force yesterday for the final day of the Democratic National Convention.

The signs were as creative as they were many, as demonstrators jeered convention-goers Thursday afternoon. A pro-life group was out in force with large, grotesque pictures of aborted babies and messages which read "Pro-Choice Is Abortion." Another group held up small cardboard caskets with pictures of a mother weeping over her child. The message on the prop simply read "End Iraqi Sanctions."

Even Uncle Fester showed up in all his garb, including an automated "Thing" which rested atop Fester's head. The Addams Family icon walked around with a sign that read, "Uncle Fester for President."

One protester, John Sax, was in the demonstration area of the convention doing his part to protect the Bill of Rights. Holding a sign that read "Quit Abridging Our Rights Due to the Criminal Acts of the Few," Sax expressed concern that laws are continually being passed that are chipping away at the Constitution, particularly the first ten amendments.

Specifically, he mentioned Carnivore, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's e-mail snooper that looks for the "meat" in online messages, and Echelon, the National Security Agency's top-secret spy network.

"I feel it's my job to come out and protest," Sax explained to "Actually, Democrats, Republicans, Reform Party - they all seem to need the same message."

Linda Tubach, a high school teacher from Los Angeles, also joined the ranks of protesters. The group she was representing - Coalition to Save Iraqi Children - is trying to get the current administration and upcoming administration to end the sanctions against Iraq, because "they're killing children."

"Clinton is directly responsible for enforcing the sanctions (against Iraq)," Tubach said. "France, Russia and China already oppose the sanctions, but they can't be lifted until (the United Nations) is unanimous, and we have veto power."

Tubach added Iraq cannot even import chlorine to purify the water supply, and because of this, over half the people have contaminated water. That, she says, is what is killing the children.

Tubach informed she is one of the few participants in the demonstrations that has an added "souvenir" to take home.

"I got hit by a rubber bullet Monday night, and my husband was jabbed by a policeman yesterday at the youth march. There's a big contusion on his ribs, actually," Tubach said.

Tubach explained she was hit in the back by a rubber bullet because she was bringing up the rear of the people who were leaving peacefully. She believes the police have overreacted.

"I think (the police) were very heavy handed, and they know better," she said. "There's a lot of us - people in our 40s and 50s - who are union activists and community activists participating and getting caught in the cross fire."

Jeff Norman, a reporter who does the Norman Report at, sympathized with Tubach's concerns.

Dressed up in a protective vest, knee and elbow pads and a helmet, Norman explained he is a reporter who gets involved in the story in one way or another. Since violence was an issue among the demonstrators, he thought his outfit was particularly fitting.

"I'm just protecting myself in case I get hit," he said.

At least one other news agency was protecting itself from rubber bullets out in the protest arena. A local radio station poised on a low roof of one of the buildings hung a banner that read "Stop, Don't Shoot. We're KFI AM 640."

Regarding the strong show of force by the police, some protesters told the overwhelming presence made them a bit nervous. One such protester, Chris Anderson, was demonstrating against the death penalty.

"We weren't here last night, but right now, there's a lot of (cops) here," Anderson said. "When we were walking over here, there were 15 to 20 of them standing in a group, so that's a little bit intimidating. When they're standing there - with the batons in their hands - when they're standing there and there's a group of them, you get a little nervous."

Michelle Jacob shared Anderson's thoughts.

"I've never seen this many cops in one place at one time before in my life, so that makes me nervous, she said. "It feels a little oppressive to me. I mean, the cops have been friendly and polite, but it's just kind of scary knowing they all have weapons and riot gear and stuff like that."

Jacob was protesting the imprisonment of Leonard Peltier, a Native American who she believes was wrongly accused of killing two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge reservation more than 20 years ago.

Gary Brennan, a commander with the LAPD, told he believed the demonstrators have been, for the most part, peaceful.

"They have used (the demonstration) as an opportunity to express their point of view - whatever it happens to be," Brennan said of the protesters. "There have been some confrontations. I wouldn't even call them confrontations. There have been some incidents where the police have had to intervene and problems that have developed, but our basic intent is to facilitate all of this. ... For the most part, it's working pretty well."

While being interviewed by this reporter, Brennan pointed to a man who was wearing a T-shirt with a message on the back that read "Bad Cop, No Donut."

Obviously, the police presence created tension for some, but for others, the police weren't a threat at all. Steven Shine, a protester who runs a pro-life organization called Open Eyes Ministry, said that most of the people he had spoken with told him the police had been OK.

"Some of the crowd got a little messy, but the police were fine," Shine said.

As evening came, the crowd outside the arena grew, and police remained poised in their riot gear. Police helicopters also flew repeatedly overhead, shining bright spotlights onto the crowd. Up and down the streets immediately leading away from Staples Center, hundreds of police stood by on alert. Some police were on bicycles while others rode on motorcylces and in squad cars.

As Vice President Al Gore spoke inside the convention, the police outside appeared to be a bit more edgy, almost as if they were expecting problems, but no problems occurred.

As Gore's speech ended, a peaceful march ensued. A marching leader could be heard throughout the downtown streets asking the marchers, "Whose streets? Whose world? Whose lives?"

The marchers responded, "Our streets! Our world! Our lives!"

"Is this a peaceful protest?" asked the leader.

"Yes!" was the reply.


2,000 Rally in Streets Against Sweatshops

Washington Post
Friday , August 18, 2000 ; A25
By William Booth and Rene Sanchez Washington Post Staff Writers

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 17 -- In their final shout from the streets, protesters calling for an end to sweatshops and demanding stronger rights for workers marched today from this city's garment district downtown to the Staples Center and then joined a rally there during the last hours of the Democratic convention.

About 2,000 protesters took part in the march, and for the first time, their ranks were filled with an almost equal number of Latinos--plus clergy, older Americans and even some children. Before the march began, speakers stood on a makeshift stage mounted on a truck, rousing the gathering in both Spanish and English with denunciations of labor practices, immigration policies and low wages that they said confine workers to harsh lives in poverty.

"I'm out here because our people are treated no better than slaves," said Teresa Santana, 26, a garment worker who immigrated from El Salvador. She said she sews women's blouses for $5 an hour, works long days and sometimes nights and receives no benefits. "All the money I make goes to food, clothing, rent, my kids. I have not a penny left."

Jim Andrews, 42, a community activist in Los Angeles, said he was marching because he does not think the public even realizes sweatshops exist in America. "Nobody would believe these places are here," he said, pointing across the street to a garment factory. "Look at them. There's no air conditioning up there. It's hot as hell, and these people are making blue jeans that sell for $100 each."

The Los Angeles fashion district, the site of this afternoon's march, is housed in old office buildings and converted warehouses, where the floors are filled with Asian and Latino immigrants sewing shirts, skirts and pants--including many products for name-brand labels.

But today, the workers left their machines and came to the open windows and watched the marchers pass, and some began to raise their fists, while others waved the shirts and flags they sew for a living.

It was a rare moment in a long, hot week of protests, where marchers rarely encountered convention delegates and trudged through a mostly empty downtown. Today was different. Working-class Angelenos lined the fashion garment streets, and some of them eagerly reached out for the pamphlets the marchers handed them. A few even joined the parade.

The garment industry in Los Angeles generates billions in revenue and is one of the foundations of the local economy. But unlike Hollywood, it operates largely out of public view. The industry has been controversial, especially in recent years, as it employs mostly immigrant, both legal and illegal, labor toiling for "piecework" wages--earnings based on how fast the workers sew.

Many of the employers are contractors and subcontractors who do not pay for health insurance, vacations, sick leave or overtime. Most shops are not unionized and most seamstresses make minimum wage, or less.

Edna Bonacich and Richard Appelbaum, two authors of a recent University of California Press book, call Los Angeles "the sweatshop capital of the United States," with more people employed in the apparel industry here than anywhere else in the nation, including New York City. They contend the average garment worker in Los Angeles makes about $7,200 a year.

Garment industry representatives say that the workers are paid at least minimum wage; that the contractors are responsible for obeying fair labor practices; that the piecework system is flexible; and that if wages were to increase too much, the business would simply move to countries where employers could pay lower wages.

This afternoon's march, like many others this week, proceeded peacefully. As has been the case since the convention began, security remained extraordinarily tight around the Staples Center and throughout downtown. Hundreds of Los Angeles Police Department officers, some in riot gear, stood watch on corners as police helicopters patrolled the area from the sky.

But for today's march, which seemed to gather together more locals, the police presence was much more low-key. There were fewer officers, and they seemed to be less ready to push the crowd around with their batons.

Since demonstrations began five days ago outside of the convention site and around Los Angeles, police have made 192 arrests, mostly for misdemeanors such as disorderly conduct. Dozens of protesters also have been struck by rubber bullets that police have fired into crowds twice this week. The American Civil Liberties Union, outraged by police conduct, has vowed to file a lawsuit on behalf of some of the injured demonstrators.

In other rallies earlier today, about 500 protesters descended on the headquarters of Citibank and accused it of financing projects that harm the environment. They disbanded under threat of arrest by police. Next, many of them traveled by bus to Century City, about 10 miles west of downtown, and staged a rally against investment firms there that they also said are damaging wetlands with their policies. Before the final rally outside the Staples Center began, as Vice President Gore accepted the nomination for president, an organizer warned the festive crowd not to cause any trouble that would provoke a forceful police response.

"There are people in the crowd tonight, who are three-strike candidates, who are on parole, who are undocumented," he said, adding that if anyone got rowdy. "There are people who might be behind bars for life."

Special correspondent Neal Becton contributed to this report.


For the story behind the story... Anti-Rape Rally to Confront First Lady on Broaddrick Charge
Friday August 18, 2000; 6:45 AM EDT

The mainstream media refuses to do it. Not even New York's so-called pit bull press corps has dared ask Senate candidate Hillary Clinton about allegations her husband is a rapist.

But on Saturday Mrs. Clinton may be able to dodge the question no longer.

At high noon outside the first lady's Manhattan campaign headquaters, sexual assault victim Katherine Prudhomme will lead a rape awareness protest, hoping to get Mrs. Clinton to address the question, "Do you believe Juanita?"

Two weeks after Bill Clinton was acquitted on Sexgate impeachment charges, NBC News unveiled the bombshell they'd been sitting on throughout Clinton's Senate trial.

In a 23-minute emotional account gleaned from five hours of videotape, Juanita Broaddrick told the network's Lisa Myers about her brutal 1978 sexual assault at the hands of then-Arkansas Attorney General Bill Clinton.

Ever since NBC's Broaddrick broadcast, the debate has raged: Is the President of the United States actually a rapist? Clinton himself refused to deny the charge personally, issuing a statement through his lawyer instead.

But one voice has been conspicuously absent - Hillary Clinton's. The feminist icon who helped establish Arkansas' first rape crisis hotline and who has made renewing the Violence Against Women Act a top priority of her Senate campaign has yet to address the rape charge.

Prudhomme first gained notoriety in December for daring to ask the question the media won't of Vice President Al Gore, at a Derry, New Hampshire, town meeting. Gore's painfully awkward response remains the single most dramatic moment of the presidential campaign:

PRUDHOMME: When Juanita Broaddrick made the claim, that I felt quite credible, that she was raped by Bill Clinton, did that change your opinion about him being one of the best presidents in history? And do you believe Juanita Broaddrick's claim? And what did you tell your son about this?

GORE: [Laughs] Well, I don't know what to make of her claim, because I don't know how to evaluate that story, I really don't.

PRUDHOMME: Did you watch it?

GORE: No, I didn't see the interview. No.

PRUDHOMME: I'm surprised that you didn't watch the interview.

GORE: Well, which ... what show was it on?

PRUDHOMME: ABC, I believe.

GORE: I didn't see it. There have been so many personal allegations and such a nonstop series of attacks. I guess I'm like a lot of people in that I think that enough is enough. I do not know how to evaluate each one of these individual stories. I just don't know.

How would Mrs. Clinton handle the same question? Perhaps we're about to find out. Prudhomme is bringing a videotaped copy of Broaddrick's NBC interview to personally present to the first lady - if she dares to accept it.

Joining Ms. Pruhomme for the anti-rape rally will be Marie-Jose Ragab, President of the Dulles NOW chapter and former International Director of NOW.

The rally begins at noon Saturday, August 19, outside Clinton's New York campaign headquarters, 450 Seventh Avenue in Manhattan. A press conference is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.


Scenes from Los Angeles

Washington Times
August 18, 2000
Hayden's take

LOS ANGELES - Scenes from the Democratic National Convention:

At the Republican National Convention two weeks ago, some California GOP faithful joked the Democrats would be just fine at their gathering here, as long as state Sen. Tom Hayden spent more time inside the convention center than out of it.

But that wouldn't be Mr. Hayden's style. Instead, he joined with marchers Wednesday to protest police brutality.

The teeming streets outside the Staples Center bear similarities to anti-Vietnam War riots at the party's convention in Chicago in 1968, said Mr. Hayden, a member of the "Chicago Seven" arrested and tried for inciting a riot. He and four others were convicted but later cleared.

"You have on the streets of Los Angeles living evidence of an active counterculture," Mr. Hayden said.

The Los Angeles demonstrators focused on a range of issues, including Navy bombing exercises on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, the environment, unfair labor practices and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Though the Chicago demonstrations are remembered largely as a statement against the Vietnam War, there were many voices with many different views, Mr. Hayden said.

"The mind plays tricks," he said. "We remember mostly the civil rights and Vietnam War protesters, but there was much more than that. Civil rights, the draft, the war. The women's movement emerged. The Chicano movement started. The Black Panthers, the gay liberation movement, and there was the counterculture and the music."

-------- human cloning

Vatican condemns human cloning proposal

Washington Times
August 18, 2000

The Vatican Thursday condemned Britain's proposal to clone human embryos, calling it a "gross violation" of human dignity that would murder innocents.

"The decision can only provoke indignation among those who respect the value and the fundamental right to life of a human being," Father Gino Concetti, a moral theologian, wrote in the newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.

"[This] therapy does not conform to any rights or justice and will end up staining innocent blood," said Father Concetti, whose writing is known to reflect the thinking of Pope John Paul II.

Mr. Concetti said it was absurd to consider that one could bring an embryo to life for research purposes and then end its existence shortly afterward as if the life had never existed.

"An embryo is not divisible into two periods, as if it were a game of football," he said. "In the life of a human being, any division between 'before' and 'after' is artificial and manipulative."

In a report Wednesday, the British government endorsed changing its cloning laws to permit so-called "therapeutic cloning," allowing the creation of an embryo in order to harvest its cells for a later medical purpose.

The change would not affect the law that makes it a crime to clone for the purpose of creating a live-birth baby.

The Catholic Church opposes tampering with embryos, arguing that biology shows that life begins at conception.

"Science has shown over a long period of time that any new life exists as part of an indivisible continuum: A human being before two weeks of age is still a human being after two weeks have passed and remains a human being until his natural death," the theologian said.

Locally, Catholics and other pro-life groups also denounced the plan to permit the cloning of human embryos for use in medical research.

"Cloning is against Catholic teachings. The idea of creating a person with the intent to kill that person is truly frightening," said Susan Gibbs, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Washington.

Chuck Donovan, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the Family Research Council, yesterday called the British move a "premature step in the wrong direction."

"It runs an absolutely certain risk of compromising innocent human life," he said.

Both proponents and opponents of the proposed amendments to the British cloning laws acknowledge that the pro-life movement would make creating human embryos for use in medical research in this country difficult if not impossible.

It is "not an option in this country," said Jim Leshan, director of public policy for the American Society for Cell Biology.

Dr. John Gearhart, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, agrees.

"U.S. pro-lifers are not even willing to accept the situation as it exists here now," Dr. Gearhart said in a telephone interview yesterday.

Unwanted embryos left over from in-vitro fertilization and donated by the parents are now used as a source for primitive stem cells that can develop into any of the more than 210 cells that make up the human body.

Scientists say laboratories in the United States and abroad have shown some encouraging results over the past two years after using stem cells found in fully developed adult cells, rather than embryos, to generate various tissues to try to treat diseases.

Dr. Gearhart agreed this approach would sidestep the ethical issues about the use of embryonic stem cells and fetal tissue, yet another source.

"But this field is so new, we don't know what will work," he said. "Embryonic stem cells have been in use for 17 years. We know they work."

Dr. Gearhart said stem cells now are available from two sources: fetal tissue and embryonic cells. Research using embryos is not eligible for federal money, although such funds are available for fetal-tissue research.

"Fetal stem cells may be equal to embryonic stem cells, but they are molecularly different . . . at this point, we just don't know," Mr. Leshan said in an interview.

Research has demonstrated that adult stem cells - hiding in areas of the body such as the bone marrow - have the potential to turn into blood, brain cells, liver, muscles and cartilage.

Some have reported growing bone and fat tissues, starting with just one cell from an adult volunteer's bone marrow and adding growth hormone and nutrients.

Unlike embryonic stem cells, the adult versions can regenerate into only a few different tissue types. Also, they are harder to find than the embryonic stem cells.

Both Dr. Gearhart and Mr. Leshan are excited about the prospects of the adult stem cells, although they said research should proceed on all fronts.

� This article is based in part on wire service reports.

OneList subscribers:

NucNews - Please circulate -- help educate! -

1. NucNews 00/08/18 - Daybook; Activist Announcements; Presidential Candidates From: Ellen Thomas <>

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS DUE ON SPACE NUKES From: "Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space" <>


Message: 1 Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 08:54:18 -0400
From: Ellen Thomas <>

NucNews 00/08/18 - Daybook; Activist Announcements; Presidential Candidates

1) Washington Daybook,
Washington Times and AFP,
August 18, 2000

[Non-nuclear, but what's Northrop Grumman doing here? et]

E-mail evidence hearing -- 10 a.m. -- White House and Northrop Grumman officials testify during an evidentiary hearing about cover-up and obstruction-of-justice charges against the Clinton-Gore administration in retrieving missing e-mails connected to Judicial Watch's $90 million "Filegate" lawsuit. Note: A news conference will be held on the courthouse steps following the day's proceedings. Location: Courtroom 21, Federal Courthouse, Third Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Contact: 202/646-5172.

2) Announcements:

- August Action Camps [From: michael mariotte <>] Here are two phone numbers to contact the action camps in Vermont and Michigan. Of course, you won't need them, because you'll be there, right? Nuclear Free Northeast Action Camp (August 18-22): 413-834-3986. Note, this is a cell phone; because of the Verizon strike, we are unable to put in our usual several phone lines. If you get a busy signal, try again. Nuclear Free Great Lakes Action Camp (August 20-27): 1-877-9NF-GLAC. Note, this is a toll-free number. Directions to both camps are available on the web. For Vermont, go to For Michigan, go to and look for the Nuclear Free Great Lakes Action Camp section.

- Action needed - U.N. There is a move afoot to drop Kofi Anan's call for a conference to reduce nuclear dangers in the European Union and Nuclear Weapons States. Please write to heads of states, legislators, foreign ministers, etc. asking that the Secretary General's conference be supported. [Alice Slater <>]

- Sept. 28, 2000 - International NIX-MOX Action Day For the third year people in nations across the planet are taking ACTION to say NO to the use of plutonium as a nuclear fuel -- called MOX. IDEAS FOR NIX MOX ACTION DAY -- How can you and your group or friends and family bring this issue to the attention of decision makers? [From: michael mariotte <>]

- October 5, 2000 - International Day Of Action On Climate Change * To raise world-wide awareness of global climate change issues and solutions; and to influence climate-change talks at COP 6 this November Specific Objectives * To raise world-wide awareness that nuclear power is not "clean" * To stop further nuclear power subsidies by excluding nuclear from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) credits Message * Energy efficiency and sustainable energy are the solution to global climate change, NOT nuclear power Contact: Cindy Folkers, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, 1424 16th Street NW, #404, Washington DC 20036,,

- Noteworthy websites: - Human Radiation Experiments - - Sequoyah Nuclear Plant Hot License Training Study Guide -

3) Presidential Candidates:

- Peace Action Voter Guide - - Also, 13th Annual Peace Action Congress in Washington, D.C. on December 8-10. Contact: Jenny Randolph <>, 202-862-9740 x3004

- George W. Bush, Dick Cheney - Tennessee 12:00 a.m. - Memphis, Tennessee Victory 2000 Rally, Brother Industries International, 3131 Appling Road, Bartlett, TN, 901/379-1117 5:45 p.m. - Dallas, Texas Airport Arrival, Dallas Love Field, Signature Flight Support North, 8001 Lemmon Ave., Dallas, TX, 214/956-1000

Al Gore - Mississippi Tour August 18-21 Travels to La Crosse, Wis., with vice-presidential nominee Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman to begin a four-day river trip (Aug. 18-21) down the Mississippi River to Dubuque, Iowa; Moline, Ill.; Keokuk, Iowa; and concluding in Hannibal, Mo. Highlights -- 9:20 a.m. -- Bon voyage, Riverside Park, La Crosse. 7:15 p.m. -- Rally for supporters, Lawler Park, Fischer and Water streets, Prairie du Chien, Wis. About Joe Lieberman: Peace activists critical of Sen. Joseph Lieberman's support of the defense industry - a major Connecticut employer since the Civil War - say his hawkish record may drive left-leaning Democrats to Green Party candidate Ralph Nader. [By DIANE SCARPONI, Associated Press Writer]

Ralph Nader next two weeks California August 21-24; Portland OR August 25; Seattle WA August 26; California August 27; New York August 30. See for details.

- David McReynolds, Socialist candidate for President, on the ABC news program "20/20" today, August 18, at 10:00 pm, in a story on federal funding of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. The piece may also incorporate some footage from the Socialist Party's 1999 nominating convention. David will also be on the ABC late-night TV program "Politically Incorrect" on Tuesday, August 22nd. "PI" is a late-nite comedy/politics talk show which airs after "Niteline" in most locations.


Message: 2
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 22:03:16 -0400
From: "Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space" <>


NEWS MEDIA CONTACT: Hope Williams, 202/586-5806

DOE Releases Draft Nuclear Infrastructure Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement

The Department of Energy (DOE) today released a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for supporting civilian nuclear energy research and development and isotope production missions in the United States, including the role of the Fast Flux Test Facility in Hanford, Wash. This Draft PEIS is a first step in ensuring that the department has the nuclear technology infrastructure necessary to meet these important national needs.

"In keeping with the tradition of the department, we will work with the communities affected by the options for maintaining the country's nuclear infrastructure to ensure their voices are heard," said Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson. "I encourage the public to participate in a full and complete discussion of the issues and to give us feedback on these options."

The Draft PEIS analyzes the possible environmental impacts that may result from expanding the department's nuclear research facility infrastructure to accommodate the demand for medical and industrial isotopes, produce fuel to power future space exploration missions, and support civilian nuclear energy research and development missions. The department has evaluated several alternatives that include using operating facilities within the DOE complex, building a new research reactor, building one or two new accelerators, restarting the Fast Flux Test Facility which is currently being maintained in standby, and procuring irradiation services from a commercial light water reactor to produce fuel to power NASA spacecraft. The department has also evaluated the possible impacts of not expanding its nuclear facility infrastructure, but instead forgoing new research and isotope production in the U.S. and purchasing material to fuel NASA spacecraft from Russia. The Draft PEIS does not identify a preferred alternative.

Comments on the Draft PEIS will be accepted during the public comment period, that will begin on July 28, 2000, and end on September 18, 2000. DOE will consider comments received after this period to the extent practicable. The comments will be taken into consideration and a final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be released in November. After the comment period, the department will issue a Record of Decision, outlining its final decision in December 2000.

In addition, the department plans to release two additional studies as recommended by DOE's Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee. These studies, which will be released in the fall, will address cost and nonproliferation impacts from the alternatives considered in the EIS and will be used to inform the Record of Decision.

The department will also conduct seven public hearings during the public comment period. These will take place in:

Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on August 22, 2000 Idaho Falls, Idaho, on August 25, 2000 Hood River, Oregon, on August 28, 2000 Portland, Oregon, on August 29, 2000 Seattle, Washington, on August 30, 2000 Richland, Washington, on August 31, 2000 Crystal City, Virginia, on September 6, 2000.

These hearings will provide an additional opportunity for the public to submit comments to DOE. The department will publish detailed information on the locations, times, and format of the public hearings in the Federal Register on July 28, 2000, and in appropriate local news media.

The Draft PEIS is accessible on the Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology's web site at Copies of the Draft PEIS Summary or the complete Draft PEIS (on CD-ROM or paper) may also be requested by calling the toll-free information line at 1-877/562-4593.

The Draft PEIS will also be available for review at eight public reading rooms across the country. Names and locations of these reading rooms will be published in the Federal Register notice on July 28, 2000, and are also available on the above web site.

Comments may be submitted by mail to Colette E. Brown, U.S. Department of Energy, NE-50, 19901 Germantown Road, Germantown, MD 20874-1290; by fax (toll-free) at 1-877/562-4592; by phone (toll-free) at 1-877/562-4593; or by electronic mail to

Bruce K. Gagnon Coordinator
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 90083 Gainesville, FL. 32607
(352) 337-9274


DOEWatch List ----A Magnum-Opus Project --- Subscribe online:
DOEWatch page:

1. 'Drum mountain' cleanup going smoothly Barrel removal third done now

2. Justice to dig in search for DOE contamination

3. Study: Beer has powerful antioxidant

4. 'Beautiful morning' turns into first A-bomb drop, Enola Gay pilot says

5. Nuclear plant worker dies after falling inside waste tank

6. Radiation dosimeter


8. Heavy Metal

9. Super compactor to be operational by end of year

10. Ask Incky

11. Compound holds promise for septic shock treatment

12. Radiation dosimeter

13. Platts Friday, August 18, 2000
From: "Paul Maser" <>


Message: 1
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 09:39:43 EDT

'Drum mountain' cleanup going smoothly Barrel removal third done now

By Bill Bartleman

BARKLEY THIELEMAN/The Sun--No baler, no trouble: Barrel crushing continues Thursday at ‘drum mountain.�(tm)

After two months of embarrassing and frustrating delays, Bechtel Jacobs officials say progress is finally being made in removing the 85,000 contaminated and rusty barrels from "drum mountain" at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. "We've got about one-third of the work done," Bechtel Jacobs spokesman Greg Cook said Thursday. "The new equipment and new procedure are working extremely well. We are confident of meeting the deadline of having all the work done by the end of the year."

Also, a Kentucky Natural Resources Cabinet spokesman said its investigators have had no additional problems gaining access to the plant to inspect the cleanup operation. Last month, investigators issued a notice of violation because they were delayed by more than an hour in gaining access to the work area. Plant officials said security procedures caused the delay.

"They haven't had any additional problem at all," cabinet spokesman Mark York said. "There also haven't been any additional notices of violation." Besides the violation for the inspection delay, a violation notice was issued in July after dust particles were observed rising from the operation. The problem was resolved when workers began "misting" the material with water to eliminate dust.

Cook said delays since the work began in June "have been embarrassing to everyone involved." The delays were caused by a troublesome baler that was compacting the drums after they were shredded.

After spending weeks trying to fix the baler, officials decided last week to take the baler out of service and place the shredded drums directly into containers that will be used to ship the waste to a hazardous waste dump in Utah.

A second shredder was added, and the work force and work hours were both increased.

Bechtel Jacobs has a $7 million contract with the U.S. Department of Energy to oversee the work, which is actually being done by USEC Inc., the company that operates the uranium enrichment plant. Under the original schedule, about 90 percent of the drums were to have been shredded and placed in containers by the end of this week. But only 22 percent had been completed during the first two months of work.

Ten percent more were shredded this week, after the baler was removed and new equipment added.

"It has been very frustrating," said Georgann Lookofsky, USEC spokeswoman. "Everyone has worked hard to try to get the problems resolved, including the vendor who supplied the baler. But it was just one thing after another."


Message: 2
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 09:42:48 EDT

Justice to dig in search for DOE contamination

By Bill Bartleman

Justice to dig in search for DOE contamination The Paducah site is being investigated to see if past operators falsified reports and concealed material.

The U.S. Department of Justice will resume digging for evidence of concealed contamination at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. Bill Campbell, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Louisville, said workers will begin digging Monday in the area of the North-South Diversion Ditch. It is the suspected source of a groundwater plume with major contamination that empties into the Ohio River.

The digging will be near two closed landfills, Campbell said. The ditch was once used to carry wastewater from a building where equipment cleaning and other recycling work was done.

The digging is part of an investigation to determine if past operators of the plant falsified reports on contamination to earn millions of dollars in extra operating fees that the U.S. Department of Energy awarded for meeting certain environmental standards.

Several current and former employees sued Martin Marietta and its subsidiaries that operated the plant under contract with the DOE, seeking a multimillion-dollar judgment.

The Justice Department is investigating the allegations to determine whether the federal government should join as a plaintiff in the suit.

Justice officials presided over a digging operation in a closed landfill near the plant. The digging stopped when little or no evidence was found that undocumented material was buried there.

Campbell said investigators have made weekly visits to the plant to review records and documents related to contamination at the plant. The government has until November to decide whether to join the suit.


Message: 3
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 09:53:27 EDT

Study: Beer has powerful antioxidant

August 18, 2000
By Lee Bowman, Scripps Howard News Service

First the good news: researchers have discovered that beer contains a powerful antioxidant more potent than those found in red wine, soy, even green tea. Now the bad: they estimate you'd need to quaff 117 gallons of beer a day to obtain the maximum health benefits of the compound, which is derived from the hops in beer.

"I tell people they can't cure their disease by drinking beer, but it might just help," said Donald Buhler, a professor of environmental and molecular toxicology at Oregon State University in Corvallis and lead author of a report on the substance in the September issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

"The bottom line is that you're going to get some, but not preventative, levels of antioxidants by drinking beer," Buhler said.

So, alas, the more pragmatic result of the research is likely to be a capsule that contains the compound, called xanthohumol, rather than six-packs on the vitamin aisle.

Previous research had suggested that beer has powerful antioxidant properties, but the Oregon researchers are the first to find the compound responsible.

Antioxidants are a broad array of naturally occurring compounds that help protect cells against the damaging effects of oxygen and nitrogen particles in the body -- the biochemical equivalent of rust. Some studies suggest large doses of the substances can help prevent high cholesterol, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

But an Institute of Medicine panel recently balked at endorsing antioxidants as a shield against disease or aging.

While some do seem to prevent or counteract cell damage, "much more research is needed to determine whether dietary antioxidants can actually stave off chronic disease," said Norman Krinsky, a biochemist at Tufts University School of Medicine and leader of the Institute of Medicine panel.

That hasn't stopped the dietary supplement industry from selling hundreds of antioxidant formulas over the counter in health-food stores and supermarkets.

Some of the best-known and best-researched antioxidants include vitamins C and E and beta-carotene.

Much less is understood about minute quantities of minerals and flavonoids, substances found in the skins of fruits; they also help give foods color and flavor.

Xanthohumol is contained in a type of flavonoid found in hops.

The research of Buhler and colleagues was funded by the federal government, the Hop Research Council, and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.

They studied how effective the compound was at inhibiting oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (so-called "bad" cholesterol), in test tubes and compared with other antioxidants.

The scientists caution that they don't know if the substances are really this active or even readily absorbed in the human body, until more tests can be done.

The substance proved six times more effective than antioxidants found in citrus fruits and almost four times more effective than antioxidants found in soy products.

When combined with vitamin E, xanthohumol had even greater antioxidant activity.

"All we're saying is that the compounds we tested have better antioxidant activity than previously known flavonoids," Buhler said.

"It takes less of these to do the same job as others, and they do a better job with the same amount."

The concentrations of the flavonoid in beer, tested by other researchers, vary according to the brewing processes and amount of hops used. Some lagers have levels as high as 4 milligrams per liter, while some microbrews tested had negligible amounts.

Buhler suggested that xanthohumol has a particular arrangement of carbon and hydrogen molecules that give it an extra layer of protection and allow it to survive longer -- and work longer -- in the body than other types of flavonoids.


Message: 4
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 12:24:15 EDT

'Beautiful morning' turns into first A-bomb drop, Enola Gay pilot says

August 18, 2000
By RICK STORM Globe-News Staff Writer

At 2 a.m. Aug. 6, 1945, Col. Paul W. Tibbets Jr. was shocked when he and his crew arrived at the Enola Gay, a B-29 bomber, and started their equipment check.

"We climbed aboard the airplane, and the lights lit up the area brilliantly. There were all kinds of people with cameras," said Tibbets, who retired as a U.S. Air Force General in 1966. "I thought, 'What the hell's going on? It's supposed to be a secret.' "

The 10-man crew of the Enola Gay was about seven hours away from forever changing the world. The plane departed Tinian Island in the Marianas chain and dropped the first atomic bomb ever used in warfare on Hiroshima, Japan.

President Truman had authorized dropping the bomb, code-named "Little Boy," the previous day.

Tibbets arrived at the Amarillo International Airport on Thursday afternoon.

He will speak at 7 p.m. Saturday at the M.K. Brown Auditorium in Pampa during the 28th annual Pampa Army Airfield Reunion.

Tibbets, 85, was briefed on the Manhattan Project in 1944 and was charged with training the new 509th Composite Squadron and modifying the B-29 bomber to drop the bomb. The squadron grew to 1,500 enlisted men and 200 officers.

Tibbets said the crowd was so close to the bomber that he had to wave them back so they could fire up the Enola Gay's engines.

"We were rolling at 2:15 a.m.," Tibbets said.

Followed by two observation planes bearing scientific instruments, Tibbets said an escort arrived near Iwo Jima and followed a half-mile behind.

"They had to be able to make the same turn I did after we dropped the bomb," he said.

Tibbets said there was silence as the Enola Gay flew to Hiroshima.

Cruising at 31,500 feet, at about 6 a.m. Tibbets informed the crew that they were going to drop the atomic bomb.

The silence was broken when the navigator, Capt. Theodore J. Van Kirk, said, 'We're four minutes out."

"I said that when we got to one minute, I'd count it out," Tibbets said.

Hiroshima was in view.

"It was a beautiful morning," Tibbets said. "Hiroshima was quite distinctive."

Tension built when the bombardier, Maj. Thomas W. Ferebee, said, "I've got Hiroshima," followed by Van Kirk, who said, "I verify Hiroshima."

"When I said, '30 seconds,' the bomb was already gone," Tibbets said.

The Enola Gay took quite a lurch when the bomb was released.

"When you lose 10,000 pounds, you do go up," Tibbets said.

He said officials estimated it would take 42 seconds to explode. Tibbets said the aircraft then took a 159-degree turn from the explosion at a 35-degree bank.

The bomb detonated at 9:15 plus 15 seconds a.m.

The spectacle of the explosion was beyond imagination, Tibbets said.

"It was brilliance," he said. "(Manhattan Project director J. Robert) Oppenheimer said the brilliance would be 10 times more than the sun. It was pink and blue. That was how it looked in my mind."

Tibbets said the Enola Gay was 10{ miles out when the bomb exploded.

"The tail gunner (Staff Sgt. George R. Caron) had welder's goggles on, and he said it was blinding," Tibbets said.

Tibbets said Caron reported sighting three distinct shock waves from the blast. The first wave gave a pretty good jolt, he said, followed by a milder one and a third of not much consequence.

More than 70,000 were dead, and five square miles of the city were destroyed in the blast.

"Hiroshima had ceased to exist," Tibbets said. "My only thought was to get my crew out of there."

After completing the turn, Tibbets looked at the devastation.

"I saw what looked like black, boiling tar with steam coming up off of it," he said.

Tibbets said the Enola Gay crew held course for 30 minutes in case they were intercepted.

"It didn't happen," he said.

The Enola Gay then proceeded on to Tinian Island, where they landed at 2:58 p.m.

"We landed just like we always did," Tibbets said. "After we put her down, they didn't take us to the same revetment we usually used. There were all kinds of people there."

Tibbets was told to exit the aircraft first. Waiting was a delegation of brass. Gen. Carl Spaatz awarded the Distinguished Service Cross to Tibbets and Air Medals to the crew.

Tibbets said they proceeded to a briefing room to get details of the operation from the crew. He said the brass had received preliminary reports on the devastation of Hiroshima.

"They understood what had taken place," he said.

Tibbets said officials had gone to great lengths to document the event. He said the Enola Gay had cameras to record the event and a voice recorder to capture the crew's words.

Does he regret dropping the first atomic bomb?

"Like everybody else, I think about it. It was a terrible sight to look at," Tibbets said. "I was sorry for the people down there, but it was an act of war. I feel sorry for them, but we didn't start the war."

And don't tell Tibbets he's the man who ended World War II.

"It took all Americans to end the war," he said. "I did say that it convinced Japan of the futility of continuing to fight."

The bottom line, Tibbets said, is that many Americans would have perished in an invasion of Japan. Tibbets said about an estimated 1 million Americans and 2 million Japanese would have died in an invasion.

He even got a surprise when he met the Japanese pilot, a Harvard graduate, who commanded the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Tibbets said the pilot told him that the Japanese were freed from a feudal state.

"He said, 'You did the right thing, and the Japanese will realize it before the Americans do. You did more to free Japan than you can imagine,"' Tibbets said.

These days, Tibbets expresses dismay at revisionist history of the bombing of Hiroshima.

"I think it's terrible. We've lost patriotism in this country, and it bothers me. The revisionists want to get mind control over the younger generation," Tibbets said. "They don't teach history in school anymore. We don't have enough people who understand what the war was all about and what we did. The most important thing to the heritage of people in this country is to know their history."


Message: 5
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 12:28:02 EDT

Nuclear plant worker dies after falling inside waste tank

A worker at a nuclear power plant in northern Japan has died after falling inside a tank for nuclear waste.

Tomohiko Shibuya, a spokesman for Hokkaido Electric Power Co, said that Yoshitatsu Miyatani, 24, who died in hospital, had been exposed to nearly the double the amount of radiation deemed safe for plant workers, although exposure to radiation was ruled out as the cause of his death.

Mr Miyatani went to help a colleague who fell while cleaning the tank at the Tomari plant on Hokkaido island, 830 kilometers (515 miles), north of Tokyo.

Mr Shibuya added that he fell from a rope-ladder to the bottom of the tank while helping the worker climb out. A ventilation device sending fresh air into the tank had been switched off at the time.

The plant may be investigated for possible negligence in ensuring safety for its workers.


Message: 6
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 21:00:50 +0400 (MSD)

Radiation dosimeter

I am very interested to know your opinion about the following site: .

Is there anybody who already purchased the mentioned radiation dosimeter?


Message: 7
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 13:00:50 EDT


In the posting made on this newsgroup on Thu Aug 17, 2000 6:09pm, the URL shown was incorrect. (See below.)


From: <df7332@a...> Date: Thu Aug 17, 2000 5:08pm Subject: THE EIGHT MAJOR PROCESSES OF THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS COMPLEX

To All:
Quite an interesting web site concerning the refining of uranium from A to Z.
Also explains where Linde and Tonawanda, NY fit into the picture.




Nuclear weapons production in the United States was a complex series of integrated manufacturing activities executed at multiple sites across the country. These activities have been grouped into eight major processes:

* mining, milling, and refining of uranium;

* isotope separation of uranium, lithium, boron and heavy water;

* fuel and target fabrication for production reactors;

* reactor operations to irradiate fuel and targets to produce nuclear materials;

* chemical separations of plutonium, uranium, and tritium from irradiated fuel and target elements;

* component fabrication of both nuclear and nonnuclear components;

* weapon operations, including assembly, maintenance, modification, and dismantlement of nuclear weapons; and

* research, development, and testing.1


Message: 8
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 14:01:37 EDT

Heavy Metal

August 18, 2000

A worker on the BNFL Inc. cleanup project at three gaseous diffusion plant buildings at the Oak Ridge K-25 site cuts a piece of large process equipment into smaller components. The work is taking place in a workshop in the K-33 building, which was built by Manufacturing Sciences Corp. Around 70 tons of metal a day are processed in the workshop. -- Photo courtesy of BNFL Inc.


Heavy Metal

by Paul Parson
Oak Ridger staff

Imagine dismantling a building large enough to fit 64 Neyland Stadiums within its walls.

It's a facility so large -- 2.8 million square feet -- that three-wheeled cycles are utilized by employees to get from one area to another.

Known as K-33, it's just one of three gaseous diffusion plant buildings at the Oak Ridge K-25 site that BNFL Inc. was contracted by the Department of Energy almost three years ago to decontaminate and decommission for commercial reuse. The other two buildings are K-29, with 586,880 square feet, and K-31, with 1.4 million square feet.

"This is a big project, one of the biggest of its type in the world," said Jim McAnally, BNFL Inc. general manager. "Lots of metal."

The Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant began operations in World War II as part of the Manhattan Project. Its original mission was to produce enriched uranium for use in atomic weapons.

The plant produced enriched uranium for the commercial nuclear power industry from 1945 to 1985 and was permanently shut down in 1987. Reindustrialization of the site began in 1996, and it was christened the East Tennessee Technology Park in 1997.

When in operation, the gaseous diffusion plant buildings consumed as much energy as the entire city of Knoxville.

The process equipment in the three buildings contains around 129,000 tons of potentially reusable metal. If you were to take all the metal in just the K-33 building and put it on tractor-trailers placed end to end, it would stretch from the ETTP to downtown Oak Ridge -- 12 miles.

BNFL officials indicate that 70 percent of all materials from the project will be recycled and only 3 percent will be sent to a disposal facility. As of January 2000, BNFL has shipped nearly 5.8 pounds of material off site for re-use. In addition, BNFL has had two large switchyards by the gaseous diffusion plant buildings removed with 9 million pounds of material shipped off site for re-use from that area of the project.

BNFL and DOE signed the $238 million, six-year, fixed-price contract to decontaminate and decommission on Aug. 25, 1997. A provision in the contract allows the company to recycle the low-level radioactive metals and keep the money from sales of the metals.

"This is the cornerstone of DOE's reindustrialization effort," BNFL spokesman Norman Hammitt said. "The success of this project can determine the future of reindustrialization efforts."

Although BNFL's Oak Ridge cleanup project is scheduled for completion in 2003, two decisions by Energy Secretary Bill Richardson brought the future of the project into question.

In January, Richardson suspended the release of volumetrically contaminated metals, which are permeated with contamination rather than having it just on the surface. Then on July 13, Richardson placed a moratorium on the release of all potentially contaminated scrap metals.

Even though BNFL can't release the metals, the company perseveres with the Oak Ridge cleanup project, which employs more than 900 people locally.

"We're still doing what we were contracted to do," Hammitt said.

BNFL Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of British Nuclear Fuels in the United Kingdom, was established in 1990. Since that time, it has won major contracts at DOE sites in Washington and Idaho as well as one commercial decontamination and decommissioning project in Michigan.

The UK government currently owns all the shares of British Nuclear Fuels, which receives no appropriation from the government and finances all of its commercial operations, expansion and investment programs from profits, advance payments from customers and funding obtained from the money market.


Numbers show size and scale of project If you were to take all the metal in just the K-33 building and put it on tractor-trailers placed end to end, it would stretch from the East Tennessee Technology Park to downtown Oak Ridge -- 12 miles.

BNFL Inc. was contracted by the Department of Energy to decontaminate and decommission three gaseous diffusion plant buildings at the K-25 site:

* K-29 -- built in 1951; 586,880 square feet; 65 miles of piping; 300 compressors; 300 motors; 300 converters.

* K-31 -- built in 1952; 1.4 million square feet; 190 miles of piping; 600 compressors; 600 motors; 600 converters.

* K-33 -- built in 1954; 2.8 million square feet; 208 miles of piping; 640 compressors; 640 motors; 640 converters.


Message: 9
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 14:04:04 EDT

Super compactor to be operational by end of year

August 18, 2000
by Paul Parson Oak Ridger staff

To say there is a lot of metal involved in BNFL Inc.'s cleanup of three buildings at the Oak Ridge K-25 site would be an understatement.

In fact, there's enough metal to fill around 4.9 million square feet. However, not all of that material can be economically recycled.

That's where BNFL's new super compactor will come into play.

Danny Nichols, Waste Management Operations manager, said the super compactor should be fully operational by the end of the year. It is currently under construction between the K-33 and K-31 buildings.

The compactor will initially process around 40,000 tons of mainly metallic materials, which can't be economically recycled. It will take the material in sizes up to 26 feet long, 14 feet wide and six feet high and compact it into product suitable for waste disposal.

The compactor will provide a substantial reduction in waste disposal volume, according to officials. It will also improve safety by reducing handling and cutting operations.

BNFL Inc. is responsible for decontaminating and decommissioning three gaseous diffusion plant buildings -- K-29, K-31 and K-33.


Message: 10
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 14:06:43 EDT

Ask Incky

August 18, 2000

In June your paper reported that 355,000 pounds of mercury had been released in Oak Ridge. That's more than 177 tons. Is that a correct figure or does it refer to contaminated soil? Is this from intentional release of accidental release?

According to the Final Report of the Oak Ridge Health Agreement Steering Committee published in December 1999, during the 1950s and 1960s large quantities of mercury were used at the Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant in "complex physical/chemical processes that separated stable isotopes of lithium." The Department of Energy estimates that 24 million pounds of mercury was assembled at Y-12 for this process. Between 1950 and 1982 approximately 350,000 pounds of mercury were released: 280,000 pounds into East Fork Poplar Creek and 70,000 pounds into the atmosphere. The heaviest releases were from 1953 through 1960. It's estimated that between 1983 and 1993 less than 500 pounds of mercury was released. Mercury releases into the creek came largely from a process step used in the 1950s that involved a nitric acid wash, or purification, of the mercury. Spills from equipment failures account for the other mercury released into the creek.


Message: 11
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 14:36:43 EDT

Compound holds promise for septic shock treatment

August 17, 2000
Reuters Health

NEW YORK - In septic shock, the body's immune system goes into overdrive fighting a severe infection, sending blood pressure plummeting. Results of a new study suggest that stopping the action of damaging free radical molecules released during the body's fight against severe infection may help to save lives. Septic shock carries up to a 50% mortality rate.

``We wanted to find out what would happen if we could mop up these free radicals and if so, how would that affect the drop in blood pressure,'' said lead author Heather Macarthur of Saint Louis University School of Medicine, in an interview with Reuters Health.

The researchers knew that death from septic shock often occurs when the cardiovascular system can no longer respond to natural compounds such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which help to maintain blood pressure. In addition, these compounds, which are also used as drugs, are destroyed by the high amounts of free radicals found in septic shock.

The team investigated a new way of preventing the steps that lead to life-threatening low blood pressure in septic shock patients, using a type of drug called a SOD mimetic. SOD, or superoxide dismutase enzymes, are normally found in the body, and help to prevent the formation of free radicals. The investigators hoped that a drug that mimics this action could help to prevent dangerous falls in blood pressure in infected patients.

The researchers studied the activity of a SOD mimetic made by MetaPhore Pharmaceuticals of St. Louis, Missouri, in rats. The drug was given to rats with septic shock--with good results, as reported in the August 15th issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

``Our study showed that 90% of the rats that were treated with the drug for 9 hours recovered from septic shock,'' Macarthur told Reuters Health. ``This was compared to only a 10% survival rate in the (animals) that were not treated,'' she added.

``What we discovered is that we had succeeded in reversing septic shock after onset,'' she explained. ``We saw a reversal in falling blood pressure and reactivity of (the natural blood pressure supporting chemicals).''

MetaPhore intends to begin clinical trials of one of these drugs at the end of the year, and trials of two other drug candidates in the first half of 2001. In a statement, the company notes that SOD mimetics may also help other diseases besides septic shock, including cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and stroke.

SOURCE: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2000;97:9753-


Message: 12
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 15:32:45 EDT

Radiation dosimeter

You may want to check out the RADALERT 50 unit at: <>

You may also want to search the arcives [here] for the positive comments on this unit.


Message: 13
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 12:49:29 -0700
From: "Paul Maser" <>

Friday, August 18, 2000

Washington (Nuclear News Flashes) August 17 UCS demands halt to PRA in NRC rules The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has called on NRC to immediately stop using probabilistic risk assessments (PRA) in regulatory decisions because, the group says, the assessments are riddled with faults and omissions. UCS today released a report, "Nuclear Plant Risk Studies: Failing the Grade," in which the watchdog group details errors, omissions, and "unrealistic assumptions" in nuclear power plant risk evaluations discovered in a survey of publicly available data. The group asked the NRC to stop all use of the risk studies until NRC has established a minimum standard for risk studies; required all plant owners to perform them; verified that the studies meet the standard; required periodic updates to the studies to account for plant changes; and required plant owners to make the studies publicly available. PRA is a key tool in an ongoing nuclear power industry effort to stabilize NRC regulation by keeping the agency focused on higher-risk operational areas.

Washington (Nuclear News Flashes) August 17 Antinuclear group steps up CDM campaign The Washington, D.C.-based Nuclear Information & Resource Service (NIRS) is stepping up its campaign to keep nuclear power from begin recognized as a non-carbon-emitter and therefore eligible for emission credits under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). That device, in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, would allow international carbon emissions trading. The issue will next be debated during the next climate change meeting, COP6, Nov. 13-24 in The Hague in the Netherlands. An organizational flyer issued today by NIRS claimed, "Including nuclear in the CDM would bring new money and legitimacy to an industry which has proven itself unworthy and we could see a worldwide resurgence of nuclear power at the expense of sustainable alternatives."

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in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.