I. Controlling Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear weapons are by far the most destructive weapons ever devised. ACDA's highest priority is to protect U.S. security by reducing the probability of nuclear aggression or confrontation. We seek to do this through formulating, coordinating, and implementing international arms control agreements.

In many respects, the potential for nuclear security is better now than at any time in the nuclear era. The START I Treaty and other recent arms control agreements and unilateral initiatives are producing substantial reductions in the nuclear arsenals of the United States and the new independent states of the former Soviet Union. These agreements and initiatives provide a foundation for further enhancements to national security.

But while the nuclear threat from the former Soviet Union is diminishing, the challenge of preventing nuclear proliferation around the world remains severe. The United States is determined to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

Our 1997 nuclear arms control efforts have centered on five tracks:

  • Minimizing the number of nations with nuclear weapons available for use;

  • Encouraging universal support for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT);

  • Eliminating the excessive nuclear stockpiles of the Cold War and preserving the viability of the ABM Treaty as a foundation for such reductions;

  • Banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or nuclear explosives; and

  • Increasing the transparency of arms reductions.

We are making progress along all five of these tracks to contain and reduce the nuclear threat to America's national security.

A. HALTING NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION

Although real reductions in the nuclear arsenals of the United States and the Russian Federation are being achieved, and the other new independent states of the former Soviet Union are now nuclear weapon-free, we continue to face a severe challenge of nuclear weapons proliferation. With the technology for the production of weapons of mass destruction becoming more and more available, our efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons play an even more significant role in enhancing U.S. national security.

During 1997 our nuclear nonproliferation efforts focused on the following:

  • Strengthening the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, following its indefinite extension in 1995 and preparing for the next Review Conference;

  • Enhancing the IAEA's international nuclear safeguards systems, in particular its ability to detect clandestine nuclear activity, implementing export controls in conjunction with the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Zangger Committee, and supporting regional nuclear weapon-free zones that are compatible with U.S. security interests;

  • Seeking implementation of the CTBT which offers significant nonproliferation benefits in addition to its intrinsic arms control merit;

  • Reducing nuclear stockpiles, thereby reducing the availability of fissile material and reducing perceived incentives for proliferation;

  • Seeking a ban on the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; and

  • Seeking to reduce nuclear proliferation risks in South Asia, the Middle East, and on the Korean Peninsula.

1. NPT EXTENSION

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was opened for signature in 1968 and entered into force in 1970. With 185 Parties, it is the most widely-accepted multilateral arms control treaty in history and represents the world's primary legal and political barrier against the further proliferation of nuclear weapons. The NPT establishes a framework essential for global and regional stability, for preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, and for facilitating and regulating cooperation among states in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Key Elements of the NPT

Article I: Each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty (U.S., UK, Russia, France, and China) pledges "...not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices, directly or indirectly; and not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any non-nuclear-weapon State to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, or control over such weapons or explosive devices."

Article II: Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty pledges "...not to receive the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; and not to seek or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices."

Article III: Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes to accept International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards on all peaceful nuclear activities as a means to verify the pledge under Article II.

Article IV: NPT Parties have a right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and all Parties undertake to facilitate the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials, and information for peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Article VI: NPT Parties undertake "to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control."

Preparing for the 2000 NPT Review Conference

The 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference decision to extend indefinitely the NPT was critically important to ensuring a strong international non-proliferation regime, and reducing the risk of nuclear proliferation and the probability of nuclear weapons use. The 1995 NPT Conference also agreed to a set of "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament" and to measures for "Strengthening the Review Process for the Treaty," which represent NPT Parties' interests in promoting the full implementation of the NPT.

The "Principles and Objectives" decision outlines a set of principles and objectives "in accordance with which nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear disarmament and international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy should be vigorously pursued and progress, achievements, and shortcomings evaluated periodically within the review process provided for in Article VIII.3 of the Treaty." Since the conclusion of the 1995 NPT Conference, the United States has worked to demonstrate its continued commitment to the Treaty, and to goals outlined in the "Principles and Objectives" decision, including by:

  • Completing the CTBT in September 1996;

  • Signing the Protocols to the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty in March 1996 and the African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty in April 1996;

  • Supporting adoption by the Board of Governors in May 1997 of the Model Protocol for IAEA Safeguards Strengthening Measures (Program 93+2);

  • Promoting support for initiation of negotiations on a fissile material cutoff treaty (FMCT);

  • Ratifying START II in January 1996 and reaching an understanding with Russia to begin negotiations on START III immediately after START II enters into force;

  • Promoting universal adherence to the NPT, resulting in eight more countries joining the Treaty since the conclusion of the 1995 NPT Conference (i.e., Andorra, Angola, Chile, Comoros, Djibouti, Oman, UAE, and Vanuatu);

  • Promoting enhanced cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including through continued support of IAEA technical assistance efforts and through bilateral arrangements with many countries; and

  • Supporting the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)-sponsored seminar on the role of export controls in nuclear nonproliferation, which was designed to respond to calls for greater transparency in nuclear export controls and to broaden support for those controls.

The 1995 NPT Conference decision on "Strengthening the Review Process for the Treaty" establishes that NPT Review Conferences will be held every five years. The next NPT Review Conference (RevCon) will take place in the year 2000. NPT Parties also agreed that formal preparations for the 2000 NPT RevCon would begin in 1997. From April 7-18, 1997, in New York at UN Headquarters, the first NPT Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meeting for the 2000 NPT Review Conference was held, beginning the substantive and procedural preparations for the 2000 NPT RevCon. One hundred forty nine countries participated in the two-week meeting, which launched successfully the "strengthened treaty review process" agreed by the 1995 NPT Conference.

The Western Group (Finland) chaired the first PrepCom meeting. The PrepCom meeting took a number of decisions essential to its operation (e.g., working languages; method of work; summary records; and participation) and adopted an agenda for the PrepCom process. The PrepCom meeting held two sessions of general debate, during which 58 countries made speeches outlining their objectives for, and perspectives on, the "strengthened treaty review process." The PrepCom meeting held nine sessions of "structured debate" organized around the three traditional NPT Review Conference Main Committee issue clusters: nonproliferation and disarmament (Articles I, II, and VI); safeguards, nuclear weapon free zones, and negative security assurances (Articles III and VII); and cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy (Article IV). The resulting debate provided parties an opportunity to consider all aspects of the Treaty in a balanced and comprehensive manner.

The PrepCom meeting adopted a three-part report with two annexes:

  • an introduction;

  • a factual report of procedural and substantive developments;

  • recommendations from the first PrepCom meeting to the second PrepCom meeting;

    Annex I: Summary records of the PrepCom meeting;

    Annex II: Chairman's Working Paper, consisting of two parts:

      a) statements reflecting areas of convergence;

      b) a compilation of proposals on which consensus has yet to emerge.

The Chairman also issued a separate chairman's statement setting forth an additional recommendation from PrepCom I to PrepCom II that time should be allocated for discussion of three specific issues (i.e., Security Assurances, Middle East Resolution, FMCT). The PrepCom agreed to hold its next meeting in Geneva from April 27-May 8, 1998. The Eastern Group (Poland) chaired that meeting.

U.S. Preparations for the 2000 NPT RevCon

U.S. preparations for the 2000 NPT RevCon have been underway since the 1995 NPT Conference concluded. An interagency working group, comprised of representatives from ACDA, State, DOE, OSD, JCS, NRC, OMB, and CIA, has been working for more than two years to identify key issues and to develop U.S. positions. U.S. preparations also involve a strategy to build international support for U.S. policies relating to the 2000 NPT Review Conference, efforts to engage bilaterally and multilaterally with other NPT Parties, and efforts to promote progress on the issues identified as important to ensuring a successful 2000 NPT Review Conference. In addition, the United States will continue promoting dialogue with NPT Parties, pursuing efforts to address Parties' noncompliance with NPT obligations, and encouraging universal adherence to the Treaty. The United States will also continue efforts to ensure that all NPT Parties required to do so fulfill their obligations to complete a safeguards agreement with the IAEA.

Promoting Dialogue with NPT Parties

Throughout 1997, the United States held bilateral consultations with NPT Parties as part of an effort to promote continued support for the NPT regime. These efforts are designed to promote continued awareness of U.S. commitment to its NPT obligations, to facilitate efforts to promote U.S. NPT objectives in the future, and to foster a cooperative atmosphere for the 2000 NPT Review Conference.

Promoting Efforts to Ensure Treaty Compliance

Preparations for the 2000 NPT Review Conference process are taking place during some of the greatest challenges the international nonproliferation regime has yet faced. These include the continued refusal of Iraq to disclose fully the extent of its weapons programs, and the efforts to implement a framework agreement with North Korea designed to achieve North Korea's full compliance with its NPT obligations. The United States continues to seek a satisfactory resolution to the compliance challenge posed by Iraq and to ensure that the Agreed Framework with North Korea results in that country becoming a fully compliant NPT party. The United States has also supported initiatives to improve and strengthen the IAEA safeguards system.

Promoting Universal Adherence to the NPT

The United States has led a successful effort to increase adherence to the NPT, as evidenced by the nearly 50 countries that have joined the NPT since 1990 and the 17 countries that have joined since January 1995 alone. This past year, one additional state -- Oman -- acceded to the Treaty. With this new accession, the NPT has 185 Parties and there are now only five non-NPT countries worldwide (Brazil, Cuba, India, Israel, Pakistan). Importantly, in June 1997, Brazil announced its decision to join the Treaty. The United States will continue to encourage all non-NPT countries, including those of particular proliferation concern in South Asia and the Middle East, to join the Treaty.

ACDA's Role: As the agency within the executive branch responsible for the NPT and its review conferences, ACDA leads U.S. Government preparations for the 2000 NPT RevCon. In 1997, ACDA led interagency U.S. delegations to five meetings of the NPT Depositaries (i.e., U.S., UK, Russia) and of the Depositaries and the other nuclear weapon states (France and China) to facilitate cooperation and coordination on issues related to preparing for the 2000 NPT Review Conference. ACDA also led interagency U.S. delegations to two meeting of the NPT Western Group, promoting a process of wider Western consultation on preparations for the first PrepCom meeting for the 2000 NPT Review Conference. Finally, ACDA led the U.S. delegation to the first NPT PrepCom meeting for the 2000 NPT RevCon.

2. THE INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY (IAEA)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) continues to promote vital U.S. security and nonproliferation interests through its program of international safeguards, which provides assurance that nuclear materials are not diverted from civilian to military purposes. The IAEA safeguards system helps deter diversions of nuclear materials and provides the means to detect such diversions in a timely manner should they occur. The IAEA also plays a central role in international efforts to make the benefits of peaceful uses of nuclear energy available to countries worldwide, and continues to help make nuclear facilities safer through its nuclear safety program. ACDA has been instrumental in strengthening the IAEA's nonproliferation capabilities.

The United States is one of the IAEA's strongest supporters and provides about one quarter of its annual budget. The United States is also a significant contributor to technical assistance and cooperation programs, which are supported by voluntary contributions from member states. The IAEA budget has faced the financial reality of zero real growth since 1984, but the Agency has nevertheless met the challenge of new responsibilities.

For example, in addition to its routine inspection activities, the IAEA carried out important nonproliferation functions in North Korea (DPRK) and in Iraq. On the basis of a decision by the Board of Governors following the request by the United Nations Security Council in 1994, the IAEA in 1997 continued to maintain a continuous presence of inspectors in the Yongbyon area in the DPRK in order to monitor the freeze on the DPRK's graphite moderated reactors and related facilities, a freeze that was put in place by the U.S.-DPRK Agreed Framework in 1994. In Iraq, the IAEA also carried out the mandate assigned to it by resolutions of the UN Security Council. As of August 31, 1997, inspectors of the IAEA had conducted 400 monitoring inspections at some 130 Iraqi locations, 43 of which were inspected for the first time. No indication of prohibited activities, equipment, or material was detected during these inspections. As of that time, the IAEA reported that "progress continues to be made in the review of Iraq's 'Full, Final and Complete Declaration'," but that the Agency had notified Iraq of five areas about which it considered that further information should be made available.

During its routine inspections in 1996 (the most recent year for which complete data is available), the quantities of worldwide nuclear materials under IAEA safeguards totaled approximately 54 tons of separated plutonium, 532 tons of plutonium in irradiated nuclear reactor fuels, 21 tons of high-enriched uranium, 49,000 tons of low-enriched uranium, and 1,000 tons of natural and depleted uranium. The Agency conducted 2,475 inspections, verified the integrity of 27,000 seals, reviewed approximately 6,200 surveillance records, and analyzed 937 nuclear material samples and 278 environmental samples.

While 1997 totals are not yet available, new activities -- including safeguarding additional materials in the United States, enhancing IAEA capabilities to detect clandestine activities, and applying full-scope safeguards in Member States -- placed further demands on the IAEA. The IAEA's expanding responsibilities, however, are becoming increasingly difficult to satisfy without additional resources. Should the Agency be called upon to verify future agreements such as the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty or the U.S.-Russia-IAEA Trilateral Initiative, IAEA safeguards resource requirements would increase significantly.

The United States is committed to ensuring adequate resources for safeguards, especially for the implementation of the IAEA's Strengthened Safeguards System (SSS). A substantial part of the U.S. voluntary contributions to the Agency are designated for safeguards, and this has enabled the IAEA to make many improvements in spite of the zero-real growth policy imposed by the member states. The SSS includes many significant changes since 1992, the most important of which is represented by the negotiation during 1996 and 1997 of a new Model Protocol to safeguards agreements, which when adopted by states will significantly increase the ability of the Agency to detect clandestine nuclear activities. This Model Protocol was approved by the Board of Governors on May 15, 1997.

Programme 93+2: Implementing the Strengthened Safeguards System

Since Programme 93+2 was first introduced in 1993, the IAEA has made substantial progress towards implementation of the Strengthened Safeguards System (SSS) outlined by that program. Programme 93+2 received strong endorsement from the parties to the NPT when they extended the Treaty indefinitely in 1995. Significant developments occurring in 1996-97 included:

  • implementation of many Part I measures to improve IAEA access to nuclear and nuclear-related materials, facilities, and information;

  • field trials of improved safeguards techniques such as environmental sampling and remote monitoring;

  • U.S. technical support for a wide range of IAEA efforts to strengthen safeguards;

  • negotiation by the IAEA Board of Governors of a Model Protocol to existing safeguards agreements that will authorize implementation of Part II of the SSS;

  • support for 93+2 from Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin at the Moscow Nuclear Safety and Security Summit in April 1996; and

  • strong G-7 support at the Lyon Summit meeting in June 1997.

In May of 1997 the Board of Governors approved a Model Protocol additional to safeguards agreements that will significantly improve the IAEA's ability to detect undeclared nuclear activities in NPT non-nuclear weapon states with safeguards agreements. The Model Protocol forms the basis, once adopted by individual states, for a legally binding instrument that implements Part II of Programme 93+2. Part II measures facilitate expanded access by agency inspectors to nuclear and nuclear-related activities. Environmental sampling shows great promise for uncovering clandestine nuclear activities by detecting even the smallest traces of nuclear materials from samples of air, soil, or water. Other Part II activities authorized by the Model Protocol include:

  • expanded declarations to provide information on nuclear fuel cycle activities not involving nuclear materials to give IAEA a more complete picture of a State's entire nuclear program;

  • access to any place on the site of a nuclear facility, to any decommissioned facility, to any other location where nuclear material is present, to specified nuclear-related research and development and manufacturing locations, to other locations identified by States in their expanded declarations, and to other locations identified by the IAEA when it believes there is a need to resolve a question relating to the correctness and completeness of the information provided by the State or an inconsistency relating to that information.

Part I and Part II of the 93+2 Programme constitute the bulk of the Strengthened Safeguards System. Together with other safeguards improvements adopted by the Board of Governors since 1992, such as the early provision of design information for nuclear facilities and reporting of nuclear exports, the SSS will greatly improve the IAEA's capabilities to verify that peaceful nuclear activities in non-nuclear weapon states parties to the NPT are not diverted to military purposes and that all nuclear activities in such a state are subject to appropriate safeguards measures. The White House Press Release on May 16, 1997 stated:

"The strengthened safeguards system adopted by the IAEA will give international nuclear inspectors greater information and access to nuclear and related facilities worldwide. By accepting a new legally binding protocol, states will assume new safeguards obligations that will make all their nuclear activities more transparent -- including by allowing inspections at all suspicious sites, not just at declared sites."

The next step is for the IAEA to negotiate protocols with parties based on the Model Protocol.

While the five declared nuclear weapon states (NWS) are not subject to the same inspection requirements as non-nuclear weapon states (NNWS) under the NPT, acceptance of additional inspection obligations by the NWS is widely viewed as a requirement for strengthening the NPT's safeguards system. Increased transparency in NWS has also been linked politically to implementation of strengthened safeguards in NNWS.

President Clinton pledged in 1996 in his statement to the IAEA General Conference and in 1997 in his statement to the May Special Meeting of the Board of Governors (that approved the Model Protocol) that:

"The U.S. stands ready to accept the new safeguards measures as fully as possible in our country consistent with our obligations under the NPT. The United States intends to do so by accepting the protocol in its entirety and applying all of its provisions except where they involve information or locations of direct national security significance to the United States."

The President's pledge supports U.S. efforts to strengthen the NPT by demonstrating increased transparency of U.S. nuclear activities. Such transparency may also be useful in demonstrating U.S. actions supporting Article VI, including the placing of excess nuclear weapons materials under IAEA safeguards. IAEA safeguards could be used to confirm the irreversibility of nuclear arms reductions by providing assurance that materials declared excess to defense purposes remain in peaceful purposes.

Negotiations with the IAEA on the Protocol to the current U.S. Voluntary Safeguards Agreement with the Agency are expected to begin in 1998. Preparations in 1997 for negotiation of the U.S. Protocol included interagency coordination and planning and the designation of implementation responsibilities. The Departments of State, Defense, and Energy, the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and others participated in interagency working groups to address implementation issues. Foremost among implementation issues is the exercise of the national security exclusion included in the President's statement and its proper integration into the legal obligations contained in the U.S. Protocol. An inter-agency subcommittee has been addressing the scope and operation of the national security exclusion for sensitive sites and facilities. Congress will be consulted to determine the most appropriate legislative instruments for implementing the U.S. Protocol.

The United States also provided technical and financial support for the Strengthened Safeguards System through its Support Program. A DOE-chaired group, the Subgroup on Safeguards Technical Support (SSTS), coordinates the U.S. support program. The SSTS evaluates requests from the IAEA for technical assistance. Our support in 1997 focused heavily on three areas closely associated with 93+2:

  • environmental sampling to detect undeclared nuclear activities;

  • remote monitoring to improve the accuracy and efficiency of inspections; and

  • information management and processing to help the IAEA utilize the increased flow of data from the strengthened safeguards system.

The U.S. supported continued development and field trials of remote monitoring and environmental sampling equipment, provided experts to install new equipment and to train IAEA staff to utilize new technologies and advanced analytical techniques. One major contribution of the U.S. to the IAEA is cost-free experts -- U.S. specialists who accept assignments at the IAEA to fill specific needs.

The implementation of the SSS, which developed from Programme 93+2, places new demands on the IAEA. To a large extent, the success of the SSS will depend on continued strong U.S. support.

ACDA's Role: ACDA headed the U.S. delegation that negotiated the Model Protocol for strengthening safeguards. In 1997 ACDA was appointed acting chair of the IAEA Steering Committee, which is responsible for:

  • formulating U.S. policy toward the IAEA;

  • overseeing policy development and implementation;

  • coordinating and directing the work of its subcommittees;

  • managing congressional and public relations; and

  • coordinating intelligence community support to IAEA.

The subcommittees and subgroups of the Steering Committee are:

  • Subcommittee on International Safeguards and Monitoring;

  • Subgroup on Safeguards Technical Support;

  • Subgroup on IAEA Safeguards in the U.S.;

  • Subcommittee on Nuclear Safety;

  • Subcommittee on Technical Programs and Cooperation;

  • Subgroup on International Organization Support; and

  • Subcommittee on Program and Budget.

ACDA chairs the Subcommittee on International Safeguards and Monitoring, and is a member of the other subgroups and subcommittees.

ACDA in 1997 provided expertise to the IAEA to enhance the IAEA's technical and analytical capabilities, especially with respect to the detection of undeclared nuclear activities. ACDA regularly provided expert support for the development and implementation of various improved safeguards measures such as remote monitoring, environmental sampling, and other safeguards technology. ACDA experts represented the U.S. at numerous international and bilateral consultations on strengthening the IAEA's capabilities to combat nuclear smuggling, improve physical protection of nuclear materials, and ensure the safe and secure disposition of nuclear materials from dismantled U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons. The ACDA Director supported the IAEA and its efforts to implement the Strengthened Safeguards System in numerous presentations.

IAEA Technical Cooperation

The United States strongly supports the IAEA's program of technical cooperation. Under Article IV of the NPT, the United States has pledged to foster "the further development of the applications of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, especially in the territories on non-nuclear weapon states party to the Treaty, with due consideration for the needs of developing areas of the world."

Under the technical cooperation programs administered by the IAEA, approximately 90 developing nations are able to make great strides in the application of nuclear techniques to a wide range of non-nuclear power activities. These techniques are used in the fields of human health, nutrition, food and agriculture, industry, hydrology, environment, and radiation safety. Many of these programs are tailored to the needs of individual countries while others are undertaken on a region-wide, or interregional basis. The benefits to the Member States of these programs result in an improved quality of life for their citizens.

The United States supports these technical cooperation programs through voluntary pledges to the IAEA Technical Assistance and Cooperation Fund and extra-budgetary "in-kind" contributions. These latter contributions include equipment for projects, provision of expert services, training courses, and fellowships to study in the United States. The United States has considerable discretion over the distribution of the extra-budgetary portion of its contributions, giving preference to states that have joined the NPT or are Contracting Parties to the Treaty of Tlatelolco. In this way, the United States helps demonstrate the link between economic development and nuclear nonproliferation.

The IAEA's technical cooperation programs focus on projects and activities requested and carried out by individual Member States. Regional and interregional programs that support training and projects have also been instituted in Latin America, the Middle East, the former Soviet Union, Africa, and Asia and the Pacific. The positive contributions of these peaceful nuclear applications are directed in ways that improve the social, economic, and environmental conditions in the many developing countries which comprise the majority of IAEA members. This generates widespread international support for the Agency. Many developing countries also view the technical assistance programs as the major benefit they receive for their continuing support of the NPT and IAEA safeguards. The United States pursues these technical cooperation programs, therefore, not only for the important developmental assistance they provide, but also as an integral part of our broader nonproliferation policy. In addition, the technical cooperation programs help bring systematic oversight and stability to the international transfer of nuclear-related technology. The recent structuring of the IAEA's technical cooperation department will even better enable the IAEA to optimize its resources and implement its programs.

ACDA's Role: ACDA supplies critical technical expertise to the review and monitoring of the IAEA's various technical programs by the U.S. International Nuclear Technical Liaison Organization and the Subcommittee on Technical Programs and Cooperation of the IAEA Steering Committee, which are two interagency groups overseeing U.S. technical cooperation with the IAEA. ACDA seeks to ensure that technical assistance is compatible with broad nonproliferation policy goals. ACDA also continues to identify and supply highly qualified U.S. nationals for key positions in all departments of the IAEA.

The United States supplies essential technical support to IAEA safeguards through its extra-budgetary contributions. This support seeks to match U.S. technology and expertise to the special safeguards problems faced by the IAEA in a time of tight budgets and increasingly broad responsibilities. ACDA has continued to provide policy and technical expertise, both to the IAEA directly and through the interagency process within the U.S. to support Programme 93+2 through addressing such issues as environmental monitoring of undeclared nuclear activities, making safeguards more efficient and effective, and assisting in the development and deployment of modern information processing systems to expand the IAEA ability to analyze an increasing array of data sources.

3. INTERNATIONAL EXPORT CONTROLS

The United States has long promoted cooperation among countries that export nuclear and nuclear-related commodities and technology to ensure that commerce in this area does not contribute to nuclear proliferation. This cooperation ranges from bilateral discussions to development and implementation of multilateral guidelines. Multilateral cooperation on nuclear supply takes place mainly in the Zangger Committee and in the Nuclear Suppliers Group. In Chapter VI, we describe the groups themselves. In this section we describe the work of these groups and other international export control activities in 1997.

Zangger Committee

The main purpose of the Zangger Committee is to clarify and harmonize the way member countries implement the export control provision in Article III.2 of the NPT. The Committee also provides de facto guidance to all NPT Parties on the interpretation and implementation of Article III.2. This provision requires the application of IAEA safeguards to certain nuclear equipment and material as a condition of supply.

Since its inception, the Zangger Committee has concentrated on developing and clarifying the list of items that trigger the requirement of IAEA safeguards as a condition of supply. This list, known as the "Trigger List," consists of nuclear materials and items "especially designed or prepared for the processing, use, or production of special fissionable material."

In 1997, the Zangger Committee focused on how to respond to the decisions of the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference that relate to nuclear cooperation and export controls. The Zangger Committee Chairman took part in an international seminar on nuclear export controls organized by members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. The Committee also considered a U.S. proposal to update the Trigger List to include equipment for chemical conversion of uranium, plutonium, and thorium. China joined the Zangger Committee, and now participates for the first time in a multilateral export control regime.

Nuclear Suppliers Group

The Nuclear Suppliers Group was established to develop multilateral export control guidelines that deal with concerns not reflected in the Zangger Committee. The NSG Guidelines therefore call for additional conditions on the supply of Trigger List items. In addition, the NSG Guidelines include controls on nuclear-related dual-use commodities and technology. This dual-use control list includes materials, equipment, and technology that can be used both for nuclear weapons and nuclear fuel-cycle activities and for other non-nuclear purposes.

The NSG held its annual plenary meeting in May 1997 in Ottawa, Canada. The Plenary endorsed plans for continued outreach and dialogue with non-member states in order to respond to the agreement at the 1995 NPT Conference that "transparency in nuclear-related export controls should be promoted within the framework of dialogue and cooperation among all interested States party to the Treaty." Representatives of 76 states and several international and non-governmental organizations participated in a seminar organized by NSG members on the role of export controls in preventing nuclear proliferation, and NSG members are considering how to build on the success of this seminar, which was held in October 1997 in Vienna. The NSG Dual-Use Regime also established an Annex Working Group to standardize the format of the annex containing the list of controlled items, and to clarify any areas of ambiguity. The next plenary meeting will take place in Edinburgh, Scotland, in March-April, 1998.

Promoting Responsible Export Policies

The United States continues to urge all exporters of nuclear equipment and material to adopt responsible nuclear export policies. The United States believes that all exporters should minimize the danger of nuclear proliferation by adopting existing multilateral export rules. These include the fundamental nuclear export norms embodied in the NSG Guidelines and the Zangger Understandings.

In 1997, China undertook several steps to strengthen its nuclear-related export controls. Building on its May 11, 1996, commitment not to assist unsafeguarded nuclear facilities, China implemented nationwide controls on Trigger List items and took steps toward nationwide controls on dual-use items. China also undertook to end nuclear cooperation with Iran. In cooperation with other suppliers, the United States has worked with states of the former Soviet Union and elsewhere to encourage them to adopt export controls, and welcomed Latvia as a new member of the NSG.

ACDA's Role: ACDA personnel participate in all U.S. delegations to meetings of the Zangger Committee and the NSG. ACDA also plays an important role in bilateral efforts to promote responsible nuclear export policies, including the ongoing dialogue with China and other emerging suppliers. ACDA also plays a leading role developing U.S. policy on how the NSG and Zangger Committee should respond to the NPT Review Process and the decisions taken at the 1995 NPT Conference.

4. NUCLEAR WEAPON-FREE ZONES

The United States supports the creation of such zones in regions where they would contribute to the achievement of U.S. nuclear nonproliferation goals and would be consistent with our established criteria for recognizing such zones and with other U.S. national security interests. The United States fully endorses the objective of establishing additional NWFZ embodied in the Declaration of Principles and Objectives that accompanied the May 1995 decision indefinitely to extend the NPT.

The Treaty of Tlatelolco

The 1967 Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, also known as the Treaty of Tlatelolco, established the first nuclear-weapon-free zone in a populated region. The Treaty of Tlatelolco has now been signed by all 33 Latin American and Caribbean states, including Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, and is in force for 32 of them. These 32 states have assumed the Treaty's binding international commitment not to acquire, manufacture, test, use, or station a nuclear explosive device in their sovereign territory. Tlatelolco Contracting Parties have also accepted the application of IAEA safeguards for all their nuclear activities to assist in verifying compliance with the Treaty. The Treaty also establishes a regional organization, the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America (known by its Spanish acronym OPANAL), to help ensure compliance with its provisions.

Cuba signed the Treaty on March 25, 1995, the last Latin American state to do so, and is the only state in the region that has not ratified and brought the Treaty into force. The Treaty will come fully and formally into force when all eligible states have ratified the Treaty and its two Protocols, and concluded comprehensive safeguards agreements with the IAEA as required. States can, however, individually waive this requirement for universal adherence and declare the Treaty in force for their respective territories, thereby creating the nuclear-free zone in a piecemeal fashion. All current Tlatelolco Parties have brought the Treaty into force for themselves in this way.

The United States is a party to two Protocols to the Treaty. Protocol I requires parties with international responsibility for territories within the region to respect specific denuclearization provisions of the Treaty and to conclude IAEA safeguards agreements for their territories. Protocol II requires nuclear weapon states to respect and support the denuclearization provisions and not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against Treaty parties. The United States has signed and ratified both Protocols, with understandings and declarations consonant with U.S. policy (such as freedom of naval and air passage, etc.). The United States has also brought into force a safeguards agreement pursuant to Protocol I that covers the territories in the region for which it is internationally responsible. All eligible states have now signed and ratified the two Protocols.

The United States remains firmly committed to the goals of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, and will continue to seek its full implementation. The Treaty makes a substantial contribution to regional peace and stability, as well as to strengthening the international nuclear non-proliferation regime as a whole. ACDA officials represented the United States at the Seminar on the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Treaty of Tlatelolco in February 1997, and again at the Fifteenth Regular Session of the General Conference on July 10, 1997.

The South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone

In August 1985, eight members of the South Pacific Forum signed the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone (SPNFZ) Treaty, known as the Treaty of Rarotonga. The Treaty is now in force for 12 of 15 Forum members: Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Naurau, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Western Samoa. Tonga signed the Treaty on August 2, 1996, but has yet to ratify. The Treaty bans the manufacture, possession, stationing, and testing of any nuclear explosive device in Treaty territories for which the parties are internationally responsible; it also bans the dumping of radioactive waste at sea. Three Protocols extend the Treaty's provisions to states outside the zone:

  • Protocol I requires states with territories in the region to apply the prohibitions on manufacture, stationing, and testing of nuclear explosive devices to their territories;

  • Protocol II commits the five declared nuclear weapons states not to use or threaten to use any nuclear explosive device against Parties to the Treaty or Protocol Parties' territories within the zone; and

  • Protocol III commits the five nuclear weapon states not to test any nuclear explosive device within the zone.

The United States, along with the United Kingdom and France, signed all three Protocols on March 25, 1996, in a special ceremony in Suva, Fiji, the site of the depositary of the Treaty. Russia (with understandings) and China signed and ratified Protocols II and III; neither has zonal territories that would require adherence to Protocol I. France ratified the Protocols on September 20, 1996, and the United Kingdom ratified the Protocols on September 19, 1997.

African NWFZ

The African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (ANWFZ) Treaty -- the Treaty of Pelindaba, named for the South African site where the text was concluded -- was opened for signature on April 11, 1996, in Cairo. The United States, United Kingdom, France, and China all signed the relevant protocols to the Treaty on the same day. France ratified Protocols I, II and III in September 1996. Russia signed the relevant protocols in 1997.

The United States has supported the concept of the denuclearization of Africa since the first UNGA resolution in 1965. The Organization of African Unity (OAU) first formally enunciated the desire to draft a treaty insuring the denuclearization of Africa in Cairo in July 1964 at the first OAU Summit. No real progress toward a treaty was made until South Africa joined the NPT in mid-1991. In April 1993, a UN/OAU "experts group" convened to begin drafting a treaty. Using the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty (SPNFZ, also known as the Treaty of Rarotonga) as a model, the Experts Group included in the Treaty new provisions on the physical protection of nuclear material and the prohibition of attacks on nuclear installations; its three protocols are similar to those of the SPNFZ. The proposed Treaty commits Parties not to conduct or receive or give assistance in the research, development, manufacture, stockpiling, acquisition, possession or control over any nuclear explosive device by any means anywhere. The United States was eligible to sign the non-use and non-testing Protocols only, as it has no territories for which it is internationally responsible in the African region.

Southeast Asian NWFZ

Indonesia and Malaysia proposed the establishment of a Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ) in the mid-1980's; opposition from some ASEAN members, however, slowed the drafting of a proposed treaty. Then-Secretary Christopher told ASEAN in 1993 that the United States was willing to take a fresh look at SEANWFZ, but would need to see a draft of a treaty. President Clinton sent a letter in early February 1995 to President Soeharto of Indonesia, stating that the United States would be prepared to consider favorably a SEANWFZ treaty, in the context of its conformity with our longstanding criteria.

Ten Southeast Asian states signed the SEANWFZ Treaty on December 15, 1995 at the ASEAN Summit in Bangkok. The United States has explained to the ASEAN states that the text of the Treaty and Protocol does not meet all of our fundamental concerns, and that these concerns must be addressed if ASEAN wishes the United States to give serious consideration to signing the Protocol. Consultations between the United States and ASEAN on this matter continued in 1997.

Central Asian NWFZ

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan signed the Almaty Declaration in February 1997 calling for the formation of a "Central Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone" (CANWFZ). In September 15-16, 1997, an international conference was convened in Tashkent, Uzbekistan to consider some of the issues related to the conclusion of such a Treaty, although no actual text for a proposed Treaty was put forth. The United States was represented by a delegation of experts from ACDA, State, and DoD who participated in the conference as observers. The five Central Asian states issued at the conference a Foreign Ministers' Statement supporting the conclusion of a Treaty. A subsequent meeting will be held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, sometime in 1998 to begin drafting the text of a Treaty. A UN resolution supporting the initiative for a CANWFZ passed the UN First Committee by consensus in November 1997. The United States has told the Central Asian states that the United States is willing to review and provide comments on any draft text of a Treaty. ACDA is closely monitoring the development of the CANWFZ and will take the lead within the U.S. Government to respond to the initiatives of the Central Asian states on this matter.

B. BANNING NUCLEAR EXPLOSIVE TESTING

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was concluded in 1996. This was a major achievement for international security and satisfied a long-standing goal of the United States and nearly all other countries of the world. It also met a specific major goal in the "Principles and Objectives" document agreed at the NPT Review and Extension Conference in 1995.

President Clinton was the first to sign, and submitted the Treaty to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification on September 22, 1997. The CTBT will enter into force 180 days after the 44 states named in the Treaty have ratified. Of these 44 states, North Korea has not signed, India has said it will not sign or ratify, and Pakistan has said it will not sign unless India does so. The United States is hopeful that these positions will eventually change, with the encouragement of a broad range of countries.

Arms Control and Nonproliferation Objectives

As made clear by its Preamble, the CTBT, by banning all nuclear explosions, will constrain "the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons" and end "the development of advanced new types of nuclear weapons," thus constituting "an effective measure of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in all its aspects."

The CTBT will constrain rogue states' nuclear weapons development and other states' nuclear capabilities. Even if rogue states were able to assemble sufficient nuclear material to produce a simple fission weapon without nuclear testing, the CTBT would force them to place confidence in an untested design (which military leaders might find unacceptable), as well as constrain any further improvements in nuclear weapon design. Other potential adherents with nuclear capabilities would, without direct foreign assistance, be constrained from developing with confidence sophisticated nuclear weapons beyond simple fission designs. This, and the constraints the CTBT will place on nuclear weapon development by the nuclear powers will strengthen the global norm against nuclear-weapon proliferation. The CTBT marks an historic milestone in our efforts to eliminate the vestiges of the Cold War, reduce the threat of nuclear war, and build a safer world. As President Clinton said, in his address to the UNGA after signing the CTBT, "The signatures of the world's declared nuclear powers -- the United States, China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom -- along with those of the vast majority of its nations, will immediately create an international norm against nuclear testing -- even before the Treaty formally enters into force."

Prospects for the Coming Year

In 1998 the United States will work to encourage more states to sign the CTBT and will encourage those that have signed to ratify, especially those states whose ratification is required for entry-into-force. Of these, 41 signed as of May 1998; Austria, France, Japan, Peru, Slovakia and the United Kingdom have ratified the Treaty. The Treaty will enter into force 180 days after all 44 required states have deposited their instruments of ratification, but no earlier than two years after it was opened for signature. The U.S. objective is entry-into-force of the CTBT as soon as possible.

ACDA's Role: ACDA has led U.S. Government efforts in the CTBT negotiations. ACDA's responsibilities have included:

  • Co-chairing with the Arms Control Intelligence Staff of the Intelligence Community the Verification and Monitoring Task Force that addresses technical matters;

  • Briefing Members of Congress;

  • Developing a significant portion of the research effort toward the verification and implementation of the Treaty;

  • Presenting to the public U.S. views on the Treaty;

  • Chairing the interagency group that prepares and coordinates guidance for the delegation to the CTBT Preparatory Commission, which is preparing for the effective implementation of the CTBT.

ACDA will continue to play a leading role, both in the U.S. ratification process, and in working for Treaty signature and ratification by other states.

C. REDUCING COLD WAR NUCLEAR STOCKPILES

Since the demise of the Soviet Union, we have successfully reduced the magnitude of the nuclear threat to the United States. As of December 1996, with the return to Russia of all remaining nuclear weapons in Belarus, the other Soviet successor states that had nuclear weapons on their territories after the fall of the Soviet Union have been denuclearized. This was accomplished even as these states -- Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine -- experienced severe social, economic, and political stress. Significant challenges remain, including:

  • The technical, political, and economic demands on resources and personnel could detract from Russia's ability to dismantle nuclear warheads in a safe, secure and timely manner;

  • The possibility that scientists and technolo-gies in the former Soviet Union nuclear weapons complex could contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons;

  • The necessity to:

    • safely and securely store nuclear warheads awaiting dismantlement;

    • ensure dismantlement of such warheads in an irreversible and transparent way;

    • store weapons components and fissile material derived from dismantled warheads in safe ways that prevent theft or diversion.

As the United States seeks the overall goal of enhancing national security in the post-Cold War era, it is pursuing these key objectives with regard to nuclear weapons:

  • Reducing and limiting nuclear forces in ways that improve nuclear stability and reduce the risks of nuclear war;

  • Seeking entry-into-force of the START II Treaty;

  • Implementing the START I and INF Treaties as well as implementing START II when it enters into force;

  • Carrying out the Clinton-Yeltsin commitment made in Helsinki, Finland, in March 1997, to take further concrete steps to reduce the nuclear danger and strengthen strategic stability and nuclear security, including beginning negotiations on a START III agreement, once START II enters into force;

  • Facilitating the irreversible and transparent dismantlement, secure transportation, and storage of nuclear warheads and their fissile material located in the former Soviet Union as quickly and safely as possible;

  • Enhancing the safety and security of non-strategic nuclear weapons and strategic weapons scheduled for dismantlement in Russia;

  • Exploring possible mechanisms to encourage the transparent elimination of Russian non-strategic nuclear weapons;

  • Facilitating the conversion of the former Soviet Union's nuclear and defense research and development and production complex to market-oriented peaceful activity.

1. STRATEGIC OFFENSIVE ARMS

Strategic offensive arms include intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) with ranges over 5,500 kilometers, submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) with ranges over 600 kilometers, and heavy bombers. These weapons would be immensely destructive if they were ever used. The START I Treaty (and, upon its entry-into-force, START II) enhances U.S. national security by reducing the numbers of these strategic offensive arms and shaping strategic arsenals into more secure and stabilizing force structures.

a. Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) I and the Lisbon Protocol

The START I Treaty is the first treaty actually to result in a reduction in the numbers of deployed strategic offensive arms. This Treaty reduces and limits these arms by 30-40 percent from their pre-START levels; reductions of 50 percent are required in heavy ICBMs, which are the most threatening systems. START I's large-scale reductions of strategic offensive arms are critically important. The Lisbon Protocol to the Treaty committed Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine to becoming START I Parties as successors to the former Soviet Union. Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine also committed to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as non-nuclear-weapon states; associated letters from the Presidents of these three states further commit them to eliminate all nuclear weapons, including strategic offensive arms, located on their territories within the seven-year START I reduction period.

The START I Treaty, signed in July 1991 by the United States and the USSR, entered into force on December 5, 1994, when the five Parties to START exchanged instruments of ratification. START I will result in reductions, over a period of no more than seven years, of approximately one-third of the U.S. and former Soviet Union respective strategic arsenals.

December 5, 1997, marked the third anniversary of the entry-into-force of the START Treaty and the successful completion of the first phase of reductions in strategic offensive arms required by the Treaty. The Parties to the START Treaty have reduced their respective forces below these first phase reduction levels. This accomplishment, as well as other aspects of the Treaty's first three years of implementation, is a major arms control success, a success shared by all Parties to the Treaty.

During this period, the five Parties to the START Treaty, the United States and the successors to the former Soviet Union as agreed in the 1992 Lisbon Protocol, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine, have worked seriously to meet their obligations under the Treaty. All nuclear warheads have been removed from Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. Belarus and Kazakhstan also have eliminated all their strategic offensive arms, while Ukraine is continuing to eliminate its accountable strategic offensive arms. The United States and Russia have not only reduced their strategic offensive forces well below the levels required for the first phase reduction deadline, but have also met or are approaching levels that are not required until the second phase of reductions in December 1999. These significant accomplishments over the course of the Treaty's first three years have contributed immeasurably to international security and strategic stability.

The Treaty provides for extensive and intrusive on-site inspections, in conjunction with national technical means of verification and information exchanges, to assist in verification of compliance. Shortly after the entry-into-force of the Treaty on December 5, 1994, the Parties began to exercise their right to conduct continuous monitoring activities, as well as a number of different types of on-site inspections provided for by the Treaty, including: baseline data, data update, suspect-site, re-entry vehicle, close-out, and formerly declared facility inspections. Additionally, there have been technical characteristics exhibitions of Treaty-limited items.

The Parties have continued to work together to ensure that the START I Treaty is implemented smoothly and that all Treaty obligations are fulfilled. For example, all Parties are participating in inspections and in the exchange of notifications and information required by the Treaty. The Parties meet regularly in START's implementing body, the Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission (JCIC), to oversee implementation and resolve any problems.

The United States and the four other Parties have been working out details of Treaty implementation in regular meetings of the JCIC. To date, the Parties have concluded 78 JCIC documents clarifying Treaty provisions and codifying agreement on procedures as mandated by the Treaty. The JCIC held two regular sessions in Geneva during 1997 in May/June and October/November. During these sessions, one JCIC Agreement was signed and 15 Joint Statements were initialed to enhance effective implementation of the START I Treaty. The JCIC Agreement concluded during 1997 is:

  • On changes to Annex 8 of the Inspection Protocol (inspection equipment lists).

The Joint Statements that were negotiated and initialed during 1997 in the JCIC are:

  • On Changes to JCIC Joint Statement Number S-1 (changes to the boundaries to Teykovo ICBM Base);

  • On Tamper Detection Equipment; and

  • 13 S-Series Joint Statements changing the boundaries of 13 facilities.

Policy letters between the United States and Ukraine on the removal of radiation detection equipment from the point of entry, Kiev, and policy letters on determining heavy bomber long-range nuclear ALCM maximum equipage were also signed in 1997.

These documents served to resolve several questions that have arisen in the first three years of Treaty implementation such as updating equipment lists for inspections, the storage of tamper detection equipment, and boundary changes for 13 facilities owned by the United States and other Parties. This commitment will support nonproliferation efforts.

ACDA's Role: The expertise and experience of ACDA's personnel are essential to the complex and often highly technical work of START implementation.

  • ACDA chairs the interagency committee that has principal responsibility for developing U.S. policy for the JCIC, and for drafting diplomatic communications on START implementation to the governments of the other START Parties. This work was made even more challenging by the emergence of four successor states to the former Soviet Union which are Parties to the Treaty and participate in START implementation.

  • ACDA chairs an interagency sub-group charged with developing diplomatic communications and guidance related to exchanges of telemetric data.

  • ACDA co-chairs the interagency working group that develops guidance for U.S. operations that implement inspection and monitoring under START and verifies FSU compliance with the Treaty.

  • ACDA houses and supports the Office of the U.S. Representative to the JCIC.

b. Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) II

Recognizing their mutual interest in reducing to smaller and more stabilizing nuclear forces than those allowed under START I, the United States and Russia signed the START II Treaty on January 3, 1993. START II codifies a stabilizing and orderly drawdown of strategic nuclear forces that is in the security and economic interests of both the United States and Russia. START II relies heavily and explicitly on the START I Treaty's definitions and extensive verification procedures. START II will remain in effect as long as START I is in force.

START II will dramatically reduce the total number of strategic nuclear arms deployed by both countries to a third of the pre-START levels. By the end of the second stage of reductions, each side must have reduced its total deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 3,000-3,500 warheads.

But START II's qualitative stabilizing features are even more important than its numerical reductions. By prohibiting heavy ICBMs and multiple warhead ICBMs, START II will significantly reduce first-strike potential and thereby increase stability. These weapons have long been considered destabilizing because they are at once the most vulnerable strategic systems and those most capable of destroying large numbers of hardened targets on the other side. Like START I, START II will serve U.S. nonproliferation interests by helping to allay the security concerns of the other successor states to the former Soviet Union, and by demonstrating to the world U.S.-Russian commitment to deep reductions in their respective nuclear arsenals.

The U.S. Senate approved ratification of START II on January 26, 1996, but START II has not yet been acted on by the Russian legislature.

In an effort to facilitate Russian approval of START II, on September 26, 1997, the United States and Russia signed a Protocol to START II that will, once ratified, extend its implementation period until December 31, 2007. This Protocol is intended to ease Russia's concerns over the cost of dismantling nuclear weapons systems. The United States and the Russian Federation also signed a Joint Agreed Statement providing that Minuteman III downloading under START II can be carried out at any time before December 31, 2007. This ensures that deMIRVing under START II can take place in a stable and equivalent manner. The United States and the Russian Federation also exchanged legally binding letters codifying the Helsinki Summit commitment to deactivate by December 31, 2003, the U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear delivery vehicles that will be eliminated under START II by December 31, 2007, thereby ensuring that the United States and Russia will realize START II's security benefits as soon as possible.

These three important agreements are intended to facilitate Russian ratification of START II. Once Russia has approved START II and the Protocol and associated documents, the START II Protocol and Joint Agreed Statement, together with the deactivation letters, will be submitted to the U.S. Senate for approval.

ACDA's Role: ACDA led the U.S. negotiating delegation, and provided substantial support to the high-level exchanges that led to the Treaty's signature. ACDA played a key role in the executive branch's efforts to obtain Senate advice and consent to START II ratification and will do so again in the case of the START II Protocol. Once the Treaty enters into force, ACDA will lead in the implementation of START II, chairing the interagency committee providing guidance to the Bilateral Implementation Commission (BIC), which will be the implementing body for START II. The Office of the U.S. Representative to the BIC will reside in ACDA.

c. Strategic Arms Control Dialogue with China

In October 1996, ACDA Director John Holum led an interagency delegation to Beijing to initiate a regular U.S.-China dialogue on strategic arms control. The commitment of both sides to this dialogue was reiterated in the U.S.-China Joint Summit Statement in October 1997. The purpose of the dialogue is to foster greater understanding on strategic nuclear arms control issues. This includes discussing potential contributions of arms control to national security, identifying areas of common and individual concern, and encouraging greater cooperation in other areas of our arms control and broader security agendas. The United States believes the dramatic changes in the post-Cold War security environment, especially those affecting U.S., Chinese, and Russian strategic nuclear security and capabilities, make it increasingly important for us to have a firm and mutual understanding of each other's respective approaches to nuclear force structure, doctrine, and strategic stability.

ACDA's Role: ACDA anticipates this dialogue will continue at both the senior policy level and at the expert level. The expert-level talks will tentatively focus on three areas: strategic arms control, confidence-building measures, and verification and transparency.

d. Future Strategic Arms Control

On March 21, 1997, in Helsinki, Finland, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin agreed that once START II enters into force, the United States and Russia will immediately begin negotiations on a START II agreement, which will include, among other things, the following basic components:

  • Establishment by December 31, 2007, of lower aggregate levels of 2,000-2,500 strategic nuclear warheads for each of the Parties;

  • Measures relating to the transparency of strategic nuclear warhead inventories and the destruction of strategic nuclear warheads and any other jointly agreed technical and organizational measures, to promote the irreversibility of deep reductions including prevention of a rapid increase in the number of warheads;

  • Resolving issues related to the goal of making the current START Treaties unlimited in duration;

  • Placement in a deactivated status of all strategic nuclear delivery vehicles which will be eliminated under START II by December 31, 2003, by removing their nuclear warheads or taking other jointly agreed steps.

The Presidents also agreed that in the context of START III negotiations their experts will explore, as separate issues, possible measures relating to nuclear long-range sea-launched cruise missiles and tactical nuclear systems, to include appropriate confidence-building and transparency measures.

ACDA's Role: In 1997, ACDA actively participated in the interagency process designed to develop U.S. policy positions for a START III negotiation that will commence once START II enters into force.

2. CONTROLLING ANTI-BALLISTIC MISSILES

The United States Government regards the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty as a cornerstone of strategic stability, and is committed to its continued effectiveness. By constraining defenses against strategic ballistic missiles, the Treaty ensures the viability of strategic nuclear deterrent forces and enables significant reductions in offensive nuclear weapons under the START Treaties.

The ABM Treaty of 1972 prohibits deployment of a defense of national territory against strategic ballistic missile attack. As modified by a Protocol signed in 1974, the Treaty permits the United States and the Soviet Union each one deployment area for ABM defenses to protect either the national capital or an ICBM deployment area. The Soviet Union chose, and Russia now maintains, an ABM defense of Moscow. The United States deployed the Safeguard ABM system complex to defend the ICBM deployment area at Grand Forks, North Dakota; it has been inactive since 1976.

Treaty Article XIII provides for establishment of the Standing Consultative Commission (SCC), a forum in which the Treaty parties deal with matters of Treaty implementation. The SCC meets at least twice yearly to work on matters of relevance to the operation of the Treaty. Additionally, Article XIV calls for a review of the Treaty every five years.

Recent ABM Treaty Developments

During 1997, the United States, the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine completed and signed several agreements that will preserve the ABM Treaty as a foundation for further strategic arms reductions. The agreements -- dealing with succession to the Treaty and demarcation issues related to the distinctions between theater ballistic missile defense (TMD) systems and ABM systems -- were negotiated within the Standing Consultative Commission (SCC), the implementing body established pursuant to Article XIII of the Treaty; however, they reflect to a significant extent the results of a series of high-level U.S.-Russian discussions and summit agreements.

Specifically, on September 26, 1997, Secretary of State Albright and the Foreign Ministers of the other four states signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will, upon entry into force, recognize the succession to the ABM Treaty by those four states of the former Soviet Union. In addition, U.S. SCC Commissioner Dr. Stanley Riveles and his counterparts from these other states signed two Agreed Statements relating to the ABM Treaty, dealing with lower- and higher-velocity TMD systems, respectively; an associated Agreement on Confidence-Building Measures; and new SCC Regulations that will govern the multilateral operation of the Commission. They also initialed a Joint Statement that provides for an annual exchange of information on the status of TMD plans and programs. Together, these documents will, upon entry into force, settle the issues of succession resulting from the breakup of the Soviet Union, and clarify the demarcation between Treaty-limited ABM systems, and TMD systems, which are not limited by the Treaty.

The Memorandum of Understanding on Succession (MOUS), the two Agreed Statements, and the Agreement on Confidence-Building Measures will enter into force together when all five signatory states have deposited instruments of approval of the MOUS. The new SCC Regulations will also enter into force upon entry-into-force of the MOUS. The MOUS and the two Agreed Statements will be submitted to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent. Each of the agreements is addressed in greater detail below.

Memorandum of Understanding on Succession

The ABM Treaty was a bilateral agreement between the two states. When the USSR dissolved at the end of 1991, and its constituent republics became independent States, the only operationally-deployed ABM system was at Moscow, while a number of its early warning radars and an ABM test range were located outside of the Russian Federation. The ABM Treaty continued in force, but it became necessary to reach agreement as to which New Independent States (NIS) would collectively assume the rights and obligations of the USSR under the Treaty.

The Memorandum of Understanding on Succession establishes that, upon its entry into force, the Parties to the ABM Treaty shall be the United States, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine. For the purposes of the MOUS and the ABM Treaty, the latter four states are considered to be the USSR Successor States. Pursuant to the MOUS provisions, the USSR Successor States assume the rights and obligations of the USSR. This means that only a single ABM deployment area is permitted among the four successor states collectively; in addition, only 15 ABM launchers at test ranges are collectively permitted. Russia will be able to continue to operate any existing early warning radars, as well as operate the ABM test range, located within other states with the permission of those states.

States that become bound by the MOUS also are bound to observe the provisions of both the First and Second Agreed Statements, which deal with lower-velocity and higher-velocity theater ballistic missile defense systems, respectively. These MOUS' will now be subject to ratification or approval by the signatory states in accordance with the appropriate constitutional procedures of each state, and will enter into force on the date when the governments of all five signatory states have deposited instruments of ratification or approval of the Memorandum of Understanding on Succession. The MOUS will remain in force as long as the ABM Treaty remains in force, and the ABM Treaty is of unlimited duration.

First Agreed Statement Relating to the ABM Treaty

The First Agreed Statement is also referred to as the Agreed Statement relating to lower-velocity theater ballistic missile defense (TMD) systems. Under this Agreed Statement, lower-velocity TMD systems are systems with interceptor missiles whose maximum demonstrated velocities do not exceed, and have not exceeded, 3.0 kilometers/second.

Under the First Agreed Statement, land-based, sea-based, and air-based components of lower-velocity TMD systems (i.e., interceptor missiles, launchers, and radars) will be deemed compliant with the ABM Treaty, if:

  • During the testing of such TMD components or systems the ballistic target-missile during the flight-test does not exceed:

    • A velocity of 5.0 kilometers/second, or

    • A range of 3,500 kilometers.

The First Agreed Statement itself imposes no other conditions. The applicable provision of the ABM Treaty, Article VI(a) prohibits giving non-ABM systems or their components the capabilities to counter strategic ballistic missiles or their elements in flight trajectory and prohibits testing them in an ABM mode. TMD systems satisfying the requirements of the First Agreed Statement are consistent with those Treaty obligations.

The First Agreed Statement does not constrain or prohibit these lower-velocity TMD systems from operating with an architecture that includes space-based cueing and external sensor support.

The U.S. compliance review process has independ-ently determined that the core U.S. lower-velocity TMD programs (Patriot PAC-3, THAAD, and U.S. Navy Area Wide), as currently configured or designed, are fully compliant with the ABM Treaty. These programs are consistent with the provisions of the First Agreed Statement.

In addition, the agreement commits the Parties to implement on a reciprocal basis the transparency and confidence-building measures agreed upon in the separate, legally-binding Confidence-Building Measures Agreement (CBMA). The First Agreed Statement will enter into force simultaneously with the Memorandum of Understanding on Succession (MOUS).

Second Agreed Statement Relating to the ABM Treaty

The Second Agreed Statement is also referred to as the Agreed Statement relating to higher-velocity theater ballistic missile defense (TMD) systems. Under this Agreed Statement, higher-velocity TMD systems are those having interceptor missiles whose velocities exceed 3.0 kilometers/second. This agreement codifies provisions of the Helsinki Summit Joint Statement, as agreed to by Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin on March 21, 1997. Like the First Agreed Statement, the Second Agreed Statement will enter into force simultaneously with the Memorandum of Understanding on Succession (MOUS).

Under the Second Agreed Statement, during tests of higher-velocity TMD systems:

  • The velocity of the ballistic target-missile will not exceed 5.0 kilometers/second.

  • The range of the ballistic target-missile will not exceed 3,500 kilometers.

Apart from the limits on ballistic target-missile maximum velocity and range, the higher-velocity TMD systems of the Parties must comply in other respects with the provisions of Article VI(a) of the ABM Treaty. Determining the Treaty compliance of a Party's own higher-velocity TMD systems will remain the national responsibility of each Party. The higher-velocity TMD agreement does not establish any velocity limitations on TMD interceptor missiles and does not impose any other restrictions on testing or deployment of such systems.

The U.S. Navy's Theater-Wide (formerly referred to as "Upper Tier") TMD system is a system with an interceptor missile whose velocity is likely to exceed 3.0 kilometers/second. As currently configured or designed, Navy Theater-Wide has been certified ABM Treaty compliant by the United States. Nothing contained in the Second Agreed Statement itself would change the current U.S. compliance certification status of the Navy Theater-Wide TMD system.

The Parties also agreed not to develop, test, or deploy space-based TMD interceptor missiles or space-based components based on other physical principles (OPP) such as lasers that are capable of substituting for space-based TMD interceptor missiles. The ABM Treaty prohibits the development, testing, and deployment of space-based ABM systems. As a practical matter, distinguishing space-based ABM interceptor missiles from space-based TMD interceptor missiles is difficult if not impossible. Similar difficulties arise in distinguishing between space-based components based on OPP capable of substituting for ABM interceptor missiles and space-based components based on OPP capable of substituting for TMD interceptor missiles. The development, testing, and deployment of air-based, sea-based, and land-based TMD or other non-ABM systems based on other physical principles is not constrained or prohibited by either the Second, or the First, Agreed Statement.

By agreement, all higher-velocity TMD systems will be subject to the Confidence-Building Measures Agreement (CBMA).

Further, to help increase transparency and build confidence in compliance with Treaty obligations, an additional document has been agreed upon that is associated with the Second Agreed Statement: a Joint Statement on the annual exchange of information concerning certain plans. This exchange consists of a unilateral statement on plans issued by each Party stating whether or not it has plans to:

  • flight test a higher-velocity TMD interceptor missile against a ballistic target-missile before April 1999;

  • develop TMD systems with interceptor missiles exceeding a velocity of 5.5 kilometers/second for land-based and air-based TMD systems or with interceptor missiles exceeding a velocity of 4.5 kilometers/second for sea-based TMD systems;

  • test TMD systems against ballistic target-missiles with multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs); or

  • test TMD systems against re-entry vehicles deployed or planned to be deployed on strategic ballistic missiles.

The Joint Statement obligates each Party to update annually the status of its plans. Nothing in the Second Agreed Statement or the associated Joint Statement limits the rights of a Party to change its plans. Furthermore, the Parties agreed that a change in a Party's plans will not affect the validity of the Second Agreed Statement. If a Party's plans change, the Joint Statement reiterates the obligation in Article XIII of the ABM Treaty to discuss in the SCC questions or concerns raised by a Party as well as possible proposals for increasing the viability of the Treaty, which could include possible proposals to amend the Second Agreed Statement. In order to modify or amend the Second Agreed Statement, a consensus is required among all the Parties to the ABM Treaty.

Confidence-Building Measures Agreement

To promote reciprocal openness and transparency, the Parties agreed on a Confidence-Building Measures Agreement (CBMA). The following are its key elements:

  • The Parties agreed that the TMD systems subject to its provisions are: for the United States: the U.S. Army's Theater High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system and the U.S. Navy's Theater-Wide TMD system; for the Russian Federation, Belarus, and Ukraine: the SA-12 system. (Kazakhstan does not possess the SA-12 system.) As agreed upon by the Parties, additional lower-velocity TMD systems may in the future become subject to the CBMA's provisions, and all higher-velocity TMD systems will be subject to the CBMA.

  • Ninety days after entry-into-force, the CBMA provides for an initial exchange of data, including data on each Party's own TMD systems and the components (i.e., launcher, interceptor missile, and radar) of each TMD system subject to the CBMA. The data will be updated annually by the Parties.

  • The Parties are obligated to provide notifications regarding their respective country's test ranges from which TMD systems subject to the CBMA will be tested. Notifications are also required 10 days in advance of any test launches of interceptor missiles of TMD systems subject to the CBMA in which ballistic target-missiles are used.

  • The Parties may further provide additional information on a voluntary basis.

  • The Parties will consider, within the Standing Consultative Commission (SCC), appropriate proposals to enhance the viability of the CBMA.

  • Each Party may implement voluntary measures to enhance transparency; for example, through arranging demonstrations or tests of TMD systems which the other Parties may be invited to observe.

The CBMA will enter into force simultaneously with the Agreed Statements relating to lower- and higher-velocity TMD systems, and will remain in force as long as either of those Agreed Statements remains in force. The CBMA is an executive agreement and separate from the ABM Treaty.

Regulations of the Standing Consultative Commission

Article XIII of the ABM Treaty provides for the establishment of the Standing Consultative Commission (SCC) as a forum for the Parties to discuss ABM Treaty-related issues and thus to promote the Treaty's objectives, enhance implementation, and ensure the Treaty's continuing viability and effectiveness. The Treaty also empowers the Parties to develop and agree upon regulations for conducting SCC business, which the United States and the USSR did in 1973. With the succession of Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine to the rights and obligations of the former Soviet Union under the ABM Treaty, revised regulations were needed to govern the multilateral operation of the Commission.

These new SCC Regulations set forth the composition and operating procedures for the SCC. As with the original SCC regulations, at least two sessions per year are required to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, or at another agreed location. These new regulations set forth procedures for convening sessions, establishing agendas, and approving agreements in a multilateral environment. Under these regulations, agreements are arrived at by a consensus of the Parties. There is also a "silent consent" procedure for approving agreements in the event a Party does not attend a session. The Regulations will enter into force simultaneously with the Memorandum of Understanding on Succession (MOUS). The Commission has the right to revise, repeal, or replace the Regulations as it deems necessary.

Next Steps. With the September 26, 1997, signing of the agreements on ABM succession and demarcation, the START II Protocol and its associated Joint Statement, and the letters on early deactivation, the United States expects that the path will now be clear for the Russian legislative approval of the START II Treaty. Following that approval, the United States will submit the MOUS and two Agreed Statements, along with the START II Protocol and Joint Agreed Statement, to the U.S. Senate for advice and consent to ratification, together with the Deactivation letters. In 1998, the signatory states will also need to meet within the framework of the SCC to work out the implementing details of the new ABM agreements, in particular, the implementation of the Confidence-Building Measures Agreement. The SCC meets at least twice yearly to work on matters of relevance to the operation of the Treaty. By October 1998, the Parties will also need to conduct a five-year review of the ABM Treaty in accordance with Article XIV of the Treaty.

ACDA's Role: ACDA chairs the interagency SCC Backstopping Committee, takes a leading role in preparing and coordinating instructions for the U.S. Component, and provides the U.S. Commissioner, Executive Secretary, and Legal Adviser for the U.S. Component. ACDA takes an active role in interagency consideration of, and policymaking for, space policy and arms control issues.

3. INTERMEDIATE-RANGE AND SHORTER-RANGE NUCLEAR FORCES

The Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty) entered into force on June 1, 1988. It provides for the elimination of all U.S. and Soviet ground-launched cruise and ballistic missiles having ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers as well as their associated launchers. The last of the INF missiles declared by the United States and the Soviet Union was eliminated by May 31, 1991.

The INF Treaty provides an extensive inspection regime, including an annual quota of short-notice inspections (currently 10 per year). Additionally, the Treaty provides continuous monitoring at missile assembly plants. Currently, two such plants are subject to continuous monitoring; these are located at Magna, Utah, and Votkinsk, Russia. The inspection regime continues through May 31, 2001, but the INF Treaty and its prohibitions will remain in force indefinitely.

There are 12 successor states to the Soviet Union for purposes of the INF Treaty. Of these, only six have inspectable facilities on their territory, of which four (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine) have chosen to exercise their right to participate in inspections and take part in the INF implementation body, the Special Verification Commission (SVC). Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan each have one inspectable INF site, but do not participate actively in implementation of the Treaty, and the United States as a matter of policy does not exercise its right to conduct inspections in these two states.

The United States has been working with Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine within the framework of the SVC to resolve concerns relating to Treaty implementation. The SVC has met in 20 sessions since 1988. In recent sessions, the Commission has worked to adapt the Treaty's procedures to the realities of the post-Soviet world. A regular session of the Special Verification Commission took place in Geneva during November 1997.

During this session, the Parties concluded a package of documents related to longer-term inspection procedures for new Russian missiles exiting the missile production plant at Votkinsk, i.e., the "Start" Space Launch Vehicle (SLV), the "Start-1" SLV, and two variants of the SS-X-27 ICBM -- one for silo launcher, the other for road-mobile launcher. This package of documents included a multilateral "umbrella" amendment to the Memorandum of Agreement amending the 1988 Votkinsk Agreed Statement to permit the legal exit of these four new missiles and authorizing the United States and Russia to enter into bilateral agreements on additional inspection procedures for them. The United States and Russia concluded three such missile-specific agreements: one agreement for each of the two SLVs and one agreement for the two variants of the SS-X-27 ICBM. These documents, and the procedures they codify, allow the United States to exercise its Treaty inspection rights, including non-damaging imaging, at the Votkinsk portal for these new missiles.

ACDA's Role: ACDA chairs the interagency working group that develops U.S. policy for implementation of the INF Treaty and develops instructions for the SVC. ACDA also develops diplomatic communications regarding INF Treaty implementation, for delivery to the governments of the INF Parties in their respective capitals. Additionally, ACDA co-chairs, with the Intelligence Community, the interagency working group that develops guidance for U.S. operations that implement inspection and monitoring under INF and verifies compliance with the Treaty. The Office of the U.S. Representative to the SVC is in ACDA.

4. REMAINING NON-STRATEGIC NUCLEAR WEAPONS

Because of their larger numbers, smaller size, and in some cases simple design and relative ease of employment, non-strategic nuclear weapons pose more difficult command, control, and safety concerns than do strategic nuclear weapons. As political instability increased in the Soviet Union, there was growing concern that a breakdown in authority and the military command and control of these weapons could lead to their being sold on the black market, used in political blackmail, involved in accidents, or even employed in civil conflict.

The United States announced on September 27, 1991, that, with the expectation of Soviet reciprocity, it would unilaterally withdraw approximately 2,400 non-strategic nuclear weapons from overseas to the continental United States.

Within a week, then-Soviet President Gorbachev responded by announcing similar measures that would result in the withdrawal of all Soviet tactical nuclear weapons to Russia for centralized storage. These measures were to include elimination of most Soviet short-range missile warheads and nuclear artillery shells, withdrawal and elimination of all Soviet nuclear landmines and nuclear warheads for air-defense missiles, and removal of all Soviet non-strategic nuclear weapons from surface ships and multi-purpose submarines.

This Soviet response spurred U.S. and Soviet interest in enhancing the safety and security of nuclear weapons to be transported and centrally stored in Russia. As a result, the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program was initiated by Senators Nunn and Lugar in November 199l, referred to as the Nunn-Lugar program. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russian President Yeltsin accelerated the withdrawal schedule for non-strategic weapons and informed the United States that all of these weapons had been returned to Russia by May 1992.

Indications are that elimination of many former Soviet non-strategic nuclear weapons is underway. Nevertheless, the United States continues to be concerned about the continuing presence of large numbers of non-strategic nuclear weapons in a politically and economically strained Russia. Presidents Yeltsin and Clinton reconfirmed their commitment to control these weapons at the March 1997 Helsinki Summit. The Presidents agreed that, "...in the context of START III negotiations their experts will explore, as separate issues, possible measures relating to nuclear long-range sea-launched cruise missiles and tactical nuclear systems, to include appropriate confidence-building and transparency measures."

5. NUNN-LUGAR PROGRAM: COOPERATIVE THREAT REDUCTION FOR DESTRUCTION AND DISMANTLEMENT OF FORMER SOVIET WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

The Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program, which began in 1991 and which is led by the Department of Defense, has been central to the U.S. effort to ensure that denuclearization of non-Russian former Soviet states ( i.e., return of all nuclear warheads on their territories to Russia) and Russian nuclear weapons dismantlement is accomplished rapidly, safely, and securely. At the heart of CTR assistance are projects devoted to accelerating the dismantlement of strategic offensive arms pursuant to the START I Treaty. The United States has concluded agreements with Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine to assist in the dismantlement of ICBM silos, missile airframes, heavy bombers, and Russian SLBM launchers. Implementation of these agreements is proceeding vigorously. CTR funding is currently providing assistance for protection, control and accounting of fissile material from dismantled Russian nuclear warheads, as well as the safety and security of nuclear weapons destined for dismantlement.

CTR assistance to Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine falls into three principal categories:

  • Destruction and dismantlement. This includes heavy equipment for use in destroying nuclear delivery vehicles and missile silos, government-to-government communication links for transmitting data related to START I elimination progress, chemical weapons destruction assistance and base elimination.

  • Chain of custody. This includes assistance in the safe and secure transport and storage of fissile material, fissile material control and accounting, export controls, safety and security of nuclear weapons to be dismantled, and nuclear reactor safety.

  • Demilitarization. This includes cooperation in the transition from defense production to civilian production, housing for demobilized military officers, and centers for scientific cooperation.

Nonproliferation is also a principal goal of the Nunn-Lugar program. The United States is helping Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine ensure that expertise, special materials for weapons of mass destruction, and of course the weapons and delivery vehicles themselves remain under control of authorized personnel and do not spread beyond their borders to other countries or to sub-national groups.

ACDA's Role: ACDA provides arms control policy input to interagency consideration of CTR activities, especially in the establishment of U.S. Government budgetary priorities for the CTR program, to promote denuclearization and safety and security in dismantlement in the former Soviet Union. ACDA supports the CTR program focus on dismantlement of strategic launch delivery vehicles and their associated equipment in a manner consistent with START I. ACDA personnel participated in the negotiation and conclusion of SSD agreements with Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine, which include the "umbrella" and implementing agreements. Now that these agreements have been negotiated, their implementation is in the hands of the U.S. government agencies (the Departments of Defense and Energy) with the relevant programmatic responsibilities.

6. CONTROLLING WARHEADS AND WEAPONS-GRADE FISSILE MATERIAL

No existing arms control agreement requires the dismantlement of nuclear warheads, an accounting of warheads dismantled, or an accounting of fissile material from dismantled nuclear weapons. However, the Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) purchase agreement does require that the HEU comes from dismantled nuclear weapons. As nuclear warheads are unilaterally dismantled and nuclear weapons stockpiles are reduced, it is important that each side has confidence that dismantlement is actually occurring, that the process of dismantlement is irreversible, and that the fissile material from dismantled nuclear weapons is safely and securely stored, pending limited disposition. Under the terms of the HEU purchase agreement, Russian HEU is blended down into low-enriched uranium and is then shipped to the United States. The HEU must come from dismantled Russian nuclear weapons and must not be enriched by the United States. During 1996, significant new procedures to confirm the weapons origin of the Russian HEU were negotiated. The United States now has access to the documentation associated with dismantled weapons, and to the receipt and storage area for Russian HEU weapons components arriving from dismantlement facilities. The United States has the right to perform radiation measurements on HEU weapons components, HEU metal chips from weapons components, and HEU oxide in sealed containers. Additionally, the United States negotiated the right to install enrichment and flow measurement equipment at the blend points in Russian facilities to further enhance confidence in the dismantlement process. While U.S. CTR assistance is not provided for actual dismantlement of nuclear warheads, a major CTR project involves assistance for the design and construction of a facility to store fissile material from dismantled nuclear warheads.

A high-priority ACDA objective is to encourage Russian dismantlement of warheads and to negotiate agreements on measures to make warhead dismantlement transparent and irreversible.

  • Transparency can give each side more confidence in its knowledge of the size of the other's nuclear weapon and fissile material stockpiles, and in the rates of change in those stockpiles.

  • Transparency can provide a basis for further reductions with confidence that they would provide mutual security benefits.

  • Transparency can help confirm that nuclear material in weapons removed from deployment by arms reduction is not simply being recycled into new warheads.

  • Transparency can also help confirm that this material has been changed into forms much less suitable for use in nuclear explosives.

  • Transparency and other security measures can also contribute to nonproliferation by protecting and accounting for nuclear warheads and fissile material, and by building international political support for global nuclear nonproliferation norms.

At the March 1997 Summit Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin at Helsinki reaffirmed the commitment to take further steps to increase nuclear security by agreeing to immediately begin negotiations on a START III agreement, once START II enters into force, which will include: "Measures relating to the transparency of strategic nuclear warhead inventories and the destruction of strategic nuclear warheads and any other jointly agreed technical and organizational measures, to promote the irreversibility of deep reductions including prevention of a rapid increase in the number of warheads."

ACDA's Role: ACDA provided the Co-chair for the Warhead Elimination Task Force and continues to play a leading role in promoting and developing concepts for a possible U.S.-Russian regime on warhead elimination, irreversibility, and transparency. Efforts included sponsoring conferences designed to facilitate discussion among U.S. Government and Non-Government Organization representatives to develop concepts and relate the concepts to possible monitoring technologies and procedures so that the U.S. will be prepared for progress in this area.

7. DEFENSE INDUSTRY RESTRUCTURING AND CONVERSION

Millions of men and women and thousands of labs and factories constituted the industrial underpinning of the Cold War. Major legacies of the Cold War now include not only surplus weapons from nuclear bombs, tanks, and submarines, but also the industries and experts responsible for producing them. The competitors in that confrontation now face enormous defense industrial overcapacity, from factory space to highly-skilled scientists. Redirecting this capacity to peaceful civilian and/or commercial uses is critical to economic and political stability in countries undergoing such restructuring, as well as to enhancing our own national security.

While this problem affects almost any country with an arms industry, it is especially acute in the former Soviet Union, where the difficulty in converting industries, communities, and personnel is compounded by the simultaneous political and economic reforms taking place. The combination of (1) highly capable weapons designers and producers now without their traditional sources of income and (2) wealthy and unscrupulous would-be proliferant governments eager to hire these experts is not just a local problem. It is a concern to the United States and the entire world.

The U.S. Government is committed to assisting the transformation to peaceful civilian use of defense industries by encouraging participation of the U.S. private sector in this effort.

To accomplish this, the United States has established bilateral Defense Conversion Committees with Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. ACDA actively participates in these organizations and their efforts because of the Agency's commitment to preventing the spread of weapons-related equipment, technology, and expertise (especially in the area of weapons of mass destruction) that threatens to accompany economic dislocations, and to demilitarizing the associated economies. By maximizing the civilian opportunities that exist in these countries, we contribute to the orderly, transparent, and permanent shrinkage of this sector of the former Soviet economy, as well as to reducing the probability that threats will appear elsewhere.

In addition to working with these bilateral organizations, ACDA seeks to identify conversion and restructuring applications that serve U.S. arms control purposes. In the past, this effort included sponsorship for several "entrepreneurial workshops" to redirect Russian nuclear weapons designers to civilian projects. Current work includes an effort to work with other U.S. agencies and the U.S. private sector to redirect a Russian chemical weapons production facility to non-military applications. Conversion is an arduous, expensive, and time-consuming process, with benefits that are often difficult to quantify or which are apparent on balance-sheets only after several years. However, the contribution that the effort itself has made to increasing contact and trust between former adversaries, to increasing the confidence of those involved that they can operate successfully in a market economy, and to achieving stability and permanence in the reduction of excessive defense sectors, is immeasurable.

D. FISSILE MATERIAL PRODUCTION CUTOFF AND CONTROL

The United States believes that the international community should, as quickly as possible, conclude an international treaty banning production of fissile materials for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosives. This Treaty, proposed by President Clinton on September 27, 1993, would include effective verification measures which would provide additional transparency to the nuclear programs of the United States and Russia, as well as in other countries that today lack safeguards on key production processes. At the same time, the United States has been working intensively with Russia for several years to enhance transparency measures associated with the purchase of 500 tons of excess high-enriched uranium from Russia, and to reach a bilateral agreement on a permanent cessation of production of plutonium for nuclear weapons.

1. FISSILE MATERIAL CUTOFF TREATY (FMCT)

Since 1993, negotiating a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT) has been a high priority for the Clinton Administration. In September of 1993, President Clinton urged the negotiation of a ban on the production of fissile material for use in nuclear explosives or outside of international safeguards. In December 1993, the United Nations General Assembly adopted, by consensus, a resolution endorsing such a ban. Unfortunately, negotiations have not yet begun.

An FMCT would constitute a decisive turn away from nuclear arms races and unsafeguarded fissile material production. A multilateral, effectively verifiable cutoff would cap the amount of fissile material available for use worldwide in nuclear weapons, thus limiting the number of nuclear weapons that could be produced. In particularly volatile areas that can least bear the risks of escalating arms races, such as South Asia and the Middle East, an FMCT would be an especially important measure to strengthen stability. Member states of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) agreed to negotiate a cutoff, and agreed on a negotiating mandate and on the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee in March 1995. In the Principles and Objectives document that resulted from the NPT Review and Extension Conference in May 1995, the immediate negotiation and early conclusion of a cutoff treaty on terms consistent with the March mandate was further endorsed by all NPT adherents.

However, a handful of states, including India, have held the start of FMCT negotiations in the CD hostage to other issues. Since the FMCT is in the interests of all states and should be negotiated on its own merits, the United States has opposed these linkage tactics. We will redouble our efforts so that negotiations on a cutoff treaty can begin with no linkages or conditions. In that context, the United States will seek to broaden support for the FMCT on its own terms and work closely with allies on important substantive FMCT issues.

ACDA's Role: ACDA leads the U.S. Government's efforts to achieve a fissile material cutoff treaty. This includes heading the U.S. delegation to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, leading bilateral and trilateral experts' meetings, including in capitals, and chairing the interagency group in Washington that develops guidance and instructions for the delegation.

2. CONTROLLING EXISTING FISSILE MATERIAL

In 1993, the United States and Russia agreed to convert 500 or more tons of high-enriched uranium (HEU) from dismantled Russian nuclear weapons into low-enriched uranium (LEU) for use as fuel in commercial nuclear reactors. This is the most widely accepted solution for reducing such accumulations of HEU. Pursuant to this agreement, LEU equivalent to tens of tons of blended-down HEU has already been delivered to the United States. ACDA remains committed to effective transparency in this process. To that end, we have provided experts to work in close coordination with the Departments of State and Energy to further refine, negotiate, and implement such measures, and have provided experts and analytical support to HEU monitoring visits to Russian blending facilities.

ACDA has also applied its expertise in nonproliferation and plutonium management to the plutonium disposition activities in the United States and Russia. In the United States, these efforts led to the release of a "Record of Decision" (ROD) by the Department of Energy in January 1997 on preferred options for disposition of U.S. surplus plutonium. Among other provisions, the ROD allows for immobilizing surplus plutonium in ceramic material surrounded by vitrified high-level waste, and burning other surplus plutonium as mixed oxide (MOX) fuel in existing, domestic reactors. Both approaches would achieve the "spent fuel standard," i.e., the plutonium is placed in a form that is roughly as inaccessible and unattractive for weapon use as the much larger and growing quantity of plutonium that exists in spent fuel from commercial nuclear reactors.

Consistent with U.S. policy of not encouraging the civil use of plutonium, any such U.S. MOX-related facilities would be subject to strict conditions. The facilities would be government-owned, built and operated on a secure government site, limited exclusively to the disposition of surplus weapon plutonium, and would be shut down at the completion of the disposition mission. The use of MOX for this special disposition program would be one-time, once-through, with no subsequent reprocessing, and as such would not represent a change in the U.S. position on the civil use of plutonium; instead, it would be putting already-separated plutonium back into the form of spent fuel, thereby reducing stockpiles and their risk of diversion, and helping to ensure the irreversibility of the arms reduction process.

Similarly, the United States is seeking to establish effective nonproliferation conditions on plutonium disposition activities in Russia, and ACDA has played a significant role in this effort as well. In U.S. discussions with Russia and the G-7, we have made it clear that such activities should be carried out under the highest international standards for physical protection, materials control and accountancy, and under IAEA safeguards as soon as practicable. In addition, any MOX fuel fabrication facilities built in Russia with international cooperation should only be used for surplus weapons plutonium, at least until such stocks have been eliminated, and the resulting spent fuel should not be reprocessed until all excess stocks of plutonium have been eliminated.

The United States continues to work with Russia and members of the G-7 to explore means of assisting Russia in its plutonium disposition efforts. Russia has now formally declared 50 tonnes of weapon-grade plutonium as excess to its defense needs, in part as a result of a new Russian interagency committee established in 1997 under the Defense Council and chaired by Academician Velikhov. Russia has also welcomed the start of negotiations with the United States to formalize our cooperation on plutonium disposition activities.

To limit the possible proliferation risk if plutonium is to be recycled in other parts of the world, the United States continued in 1997 to engage other developed nations in discussing means to limit the stockpiling of civilian plutonium for electric power generation. These discussions culminated in Vienna this year with the formal adoption of the Guidelines for the Management of Plutonium by nine plutonium-using countries. These Guidelines will apply to the management of all plutonium in all peaceful nuclear activities and to other plutonium after it has been designated by the government concerned as no longer required for defense purposes. Among the provisions in these guidelines is the commitment of the Governments to manage plutonium in ways that will ensure the peaceful use or the safe and permanent disposal of plutonium subject to the Guidelines, taking into account, inter alia, the importance of balancing supply and demand for plutonium.

Plutonium Production Reactor Agreement with Russia

On Sept. 23, 1997, Vice President Gore and Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Chernomyrdin signed the U.S.-Russian Plutonium Production Reactor Agreement, which entered into force immediately. This ground-breaking accord represents an additional, significant step away from the nuclear legacy of the Cold War by placing a cap on U.S. and Russian stockpiles of nuclear weapon-grade plutonium. It also prohibits Russian use in nuclear weapons of recently produced plutonium. It marks the first time that the United States and Russia have placed limits on the materials for nuclear warheads themselves rather than on their delivery vehicles, such as missiles and bombers, as in the START and INF Treaties.

Under the agreement, Russia's three plutonium-production reactors that are in active use must be converted by 2000 so that they no longer produce weapon-grade plutonium. The United States will provide assistance for this conversion under a Defense Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) implementing agreement between the Department of Defense and the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Atomic Energy (MINATOM), which was signed at the same time. The total cost of the core-conversion project is estimated to be $150 million, divided between the United States and Russia.

The ten other Russian plutonium production reactors and all 14 such U.S. reactors have already been shut down and, under the agreement, must remain permanently out of operation.

Further, Russia commits not to use in nuclear weapons any of the weapon-grade plutonium it produces in the three operating reactors between entry-into-force and the time of the reactors' conversion. To ensure compliance with this commitment, the United States is given the right to monitor an estimated 4.5 to 9 tonnes of weapon-grade plutonium that will have been produced by these reactors since the beginning of 1995.

The agreement's extensive monitoring regime provides U.S. and Russian monitors unprecedented access to each other's nuclear warhead production facilities to ensure that closed facilities remain closed. In addition, U.S. monitors will be able to ensure that operating facilities use fuel and production schedules that prohibit production of weapon-grade material, and that recently produced plutonium remains out of nuclear warheads. A Joint Implementation and Compliance Commission (JICC) has been established to oversee implementation of the agreement's provisions and resolve any issues that may arise. The agreement marks a new stage of U.S.-Russian cooperation to regulate and safeguard nuclear materials, to limit their use in weapons, and to build mutual confidence through increased transparency. It is an important step forward on the path leading to eventual negotiations of limits on warheads themselves.

ACDA's Role: Since 1994, when the original version of the shutdown agreement was signed (but did not enter into force), ACDA has played a central role in developing the monitoring regime, providing technical and policy expertise, and directly assisting in the negotiation of the revised agreement. ACDA provided the head of the experts group as well as the chief negotiator that successfully completed the new agreement. We are continuing these contributions as the sides turn toward implementation in 1998.

Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors

In 1978 the United States instituted the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) Program with the objective of minimizing and eventually eliminating the use of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) from international commerce. The most important civil uses of HEU have traditionally been in fuel for research and test reactors and in targets used for radioisotope production in these reactors. The RERTR program, based at Argonne National Laboratory, has carried out research and development on alternative LEU fuels and targets, and considerable progress has been made in persuading foreign and domestic reactor operators to convert to the new fuels. Since the program's inception 26 research reactors in 16 countries, including the United States, have fully or partially converted to the use of LEU fuel.

As an incentive to encourage further conversions the Department of Energy issued a Record of Decision in May 1996 committing the United States to accept spent fuel from foreign research reactors that have agreed to convert to LEU, and the first shipments from Europe and South America arrived at the Savannah River Site in September 1996. Two other shipments from Canada and Europe have arrived since then, and others are expected from Europe and Asia in 1998. Ultimately the program plans to return 20 metric tons of uranium in spent nuclear fuel and target material from 41 countries worldwide. ACDA has been working with the Departments of State and Energy to promote alternative fuels and targets for research reactors and to expedite the return of spent HEU fuel to the United States. ACDA has participated on interagency delegations to a number of countries to negotiate the return of spent fuel and to encourage conversion of HEU-fueled reactors.