Bellona Holds International Nuclear Meeting with Duma, U.S. Congress

Publish date: February 28, 2000

Written by: Thomas Jandl

A total of 19 Russian delegates from the State Duma, Federal Administration and nuclear experts will spend six days in Washington to discuss nuclear safety projects with U.S. Members of Congress, government agencies and private industry. At the heart of the visit is a two-day seminar of the Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG), whose goal it is to discuss problems with existing cooperative nuclear material management projects.

Four Members of the U.S. Congress are participating in the IGWG, others have shown their support and are meeting with delegates. The IGWG also features high-level officials from the key administration agencies involved in nuclear projects, the Departments of Defense, Energy and State as well as the Environmental Protection Agency.

Surrounding the IGWG meeting, the Russian delegates are afforded the opportunity to meet with key U.S. decision makers in the area of U.S.-Russian cooperation. Among other meetings, delegates will discuss the importance of continued nuclear cooperation with Sen. Ted Stevens, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which has to approve every dollar spent by the U.S. federal discretionary budget.

The future of U.S.-Russian cooperation

The IGWG comes at a key point in U.S.-Russian relations. With the political relationship strained by various disagreements, the Clinton Administration still seems committed to cooperation on the key issue of nuclear safety and non-proliferation. One aspect of non-proliferation is proper storage of nuclear materials that could be used in weapons programs, such as spent fuel. The President’s budget request for fiscal year 2001, which was submitted to Congress this month, includes a variety of programs aimed at assisting Russia in nuclear materials safe management. The budget includes a “Nuclear Harbors Initiative” suggested at a Bellona meeting in 1999.

Congress, on the other hand, is less enthusiastic about support for Russia. Various issues are frequently mentioned for cutting funding from existing assistance programs as well as for refusing Congressional support for new proposals. Some of these issues are unrelated to nuclear issues proper, such as corruption, the War in Chechnya and other larger problems in bilateral relations. Others are directly tied to the issue of nuclear materials management, for example liability and taxation legislation in cooperative programs, access to sites where U.S.-funded work is performed and various similar problems.

Russia has just elected a new Duma, which will have to convince its U.S. congressional counterpart that it means business and is willing to work pragmatically with Washington in overcoming roadblocks to making proper use of assistance funds. Bellona USA has organized the IGWG and the associated tour of Washington in this context, affording the Russian delegates the widest possible exposure to U.S. decision-makers.

Future meetings are planned to keep a constant flow of information active between Russian and Western officials. While this meeting focuses on U.S.-Russian contacts, Bellona will attempt increasingly to bring into the IGWG forum European, Canadian and Japanese participants.

List of IGWG participants, in alphabetic order by country and organization


Vladimir Goman Deputy Minister, IGWG Chairman

Valentin Luntsevich M.P., Duma, IGWG Deputy Chairman


Aleksey Aleksandrov M.P., Duma

Rim Bakiyev M.P., Duma

Magomekadi Gasanov M.P., Duma

Maksim Korobov M.P., Duma

Arthur Myake M.P., Duma


Ashot Sarkisov MINATOM

Victor Sheremetyev Ministry of Defense

Adm. Nikolay Yurasov RF Navy


Gennadiy Babayants Expert, Luch Laboratory

Vladimir Brokhorov Embassy of Russia

Aleksandr Goman Adviser, Goskomsever

Vitaly Lystsov Expert, Kurchatov Institute

Boris Marchuk Embassy of Russia

Yevgeniy Nesterov Expert, Duma

Lubov Nikiforova Bellona Murmansk

Yuriy Potapov Expert, Duma

Vyacheslav Ruksha, Murmansk Shipping Company

Vitaly Shelest Adviser, Goskomsever

Aleksandr Trifonov Embassy of Russia

Michael Zlobin Embassy of Russia

Andrey Zolotkov Murmansk Shipping Company

United States

Neil Abercrombie U.S. House of Representatives

Frank Pallone U.S. House of Representatives

Mark Udall U.S. House of Representatives

Curt Weldon U.S. House of Representatives


Ken Baker Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Department of Energy

Sherri Goodman Deputy Undersecretary of Defense

Alan Hecht Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, EPA

Carol Kessler Special Coordinator, Department of State

Randal Scott Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary, Department of Energy


Helen Bird Department of Energy

David Caskey Department of Energy

C.K. Chou Department of Energy

Thomas Cochran National Resources Defense Council

Raphael Della Ratta Exchange Monitor

Gene De La Torre Department of Energy

Bob Dyer Environmental Protection Agency

Bob Edson Veridian Erim International

Mark Ettesvold Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Frank Falci International Energy Consultants

Ladeene Freimuth Adviser, U.S. House of Representatives

John Gonsky Foster Wheeler Environmental

R-Adm. Andrew Granuzzo U.S. Navy

Thomas Jandl Bellona USA, Organizer

Paul Krumrine WPI

Capt. Chuck Litz Cooperative Threat Reduction

Michael McNerny Department of Defense

Paul Moskowitz Brookhaven National Laboratory

Charles Newstead Department of State

Ashot Nazarian SAIC

Chris Paine National Resources Defense Council

Randy Pearson Department of State

Bruce Pentola Department of Energy

Col. (ret.) Jim Reid Cooperative Threat Reduction

Dieter Rudolph Department of Defense

Steven G. Sawhill Fridtjof Nansen Institute

Patrick Schwab SAIC

Capt. Kenneth Trass Cooperative Threat Reduction

Gary Waxmonsky Environmental Protection Agency

Lawrence Wright SAIC

Stan Zimmerman Bellona USA


Ari Heikkinen Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland

Teemu Tanner Embassy of Finland


Shigeo Okaya Embassy of Japan


Nils Bøhmer Bellona Foundation

Carsten Carlsen Embassy of Norway

Anne-Kristin Jørgensen Fridtjof Nansen Institute

Siri Engesæth Bellona Foundation

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