Conversion Survey, 1997: Global Disarmament and Disposal of Surplus Weapons

By Herbert Wulf; Bonn International Center for Conversion | Go to book overview
year on nuclear material protection, control and accounting programs. Of this amount. approximately US $58 million is spent on physical security mad US $55 million on material control and accounting. In addition, the DoE spends approximately US $320 million each year on the guard force, US $69 million on personnel security, US $46 million on research and development, and US $21 million on construction ( Bukharin, 1996).The first step in keeping such costs down in the Russian nuclear complex will neccessarily be the downsizing and restructuring of the complex, with many of its components and activities consolidated. This would greatly reduce the number of sites where weapons- usable materials are stored or processed, thereby achieving greater security at lower cost. The United States has itself initiated a process of consolidation by announcing plans to reduce, from seven to three, the number of sites where nuclear weapons materials are stored ( US DoE, 1996d).The scale of nuclear disarmament and nuclear-related system dismantlement, and the requirements for materials security, control and disposition are clearly unprecedented. This places an enormous burden on those countries charged with meeting the bulk of the obligations. Yet, despite the outpouring of aid and apart from criticism or praise for its extent, the onus of the burden and the main responsibility remains with the possessing state. International assistance in meeting these challenges has on balance been a positive and welcome step. However, lingering suspicion and an element of pride have often served to slow or dampen the effectiveness of this aid. Overall, the relevance of external assistance must not be overstated. Ultimately, the possessing state itself is responsible for the weapons under its control and the obligations it has freely agreed to uphold. Assistance can only be just that--assistance--and never replace the indigenous development of the infrastructure and, most importantly, the necessary culture to sustain current obligations and build capacity for further initiative.
References
ABB. See: Asea Brown Boveri.
ACDA. See: United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.
Asea Brown Boveri. 1996. "ABB Shares Contract to Dismantle 148 Former Soviet Missile Silos in Kazakhstan." ABB Press Release. 20 February.
Albright, David 1994. "South Africa's Secret Nuclear Weapons." ISIS Report. Vol. 1, No. 4. Washington, DC: Institute for Science and International Security, May.
Albright, David, el al. 1995. "Inventories of Fissile Materials and Nuclear Weapons." In SIPRI, 1995, pp. 317-333.
Belous, Vladimir. 1995. "The Planet is Begging for Mercy: The Ecological Implications of Disarmament." Segodnya. 20 May, p. 6.
Bjerke, Siri. 1996. "Dismantlement and Destruction of Nuclear and Chemical Weapons." Presentation at the Conference on Dismantlement and Destruction of Nuclear, Chemical and Conventional Weapons. Bonn, 19-21 May.
Bluth, Chrisroph. 1996. "Russian Attitudes to START II." Jane's Inteligence Review. March, pp. 114-116.
Bukharin, Oleg. 1995. "Meeting the Challenges of Dismantlement:" Transition. 17 November, pp. 30-33.
_____. 1996. "Background Paper: Nuclear Security Upgrades in Russia." Bonn: BICC.
Clarke, Douglas L. 1995. "Naval Nuclear Waste Poses Immense Risk." Transition. 17 November. pp. 34-38.
Diakov, Anatoli S. 1996a. "Disposition of Weapon- Grade Plutonium in Russia: Evaluation of Different Options." Paper presented at the Conference on Dismantlement and Destruction of Nuclear, Chemical and Conventional Weapons. Bonn, 19-21 May.
_____. 1996b. "Nuclear Disarmament--Progress and Problems: View From Russia." Paper presented at the 18th ISODARCO Summer Course. Pontignano, Italy, 29 July-8 August.
DiChiaro, Joseph and Edward J. Laurance. 1994. "Nuclear Weapons in a Changing World: Consequences for Development." Nonproliferation Review. Vol. 1, No. 2 (Winter), pp. 27-42.
Fig. David. 1996. "Background Paper: Apartheid's Nuclear Weapons." Bonn: BICC.
GAO. See: United States General Accounting Office.

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