Other Assistance

1. Support for the Disposal of Nuclear Weapons

The government of Japan announced in April 1993 that it would provide US$100.0 million (JPY11.7 billion) to support the dismantling of nuclear weapons left behind by the former Soviet Union. The bulk of the contribution, US$70.0 million, was provided to Russia. Japan and Russia also concluded the "Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Russian Federation Concerning Cooperation for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons Reduced in the Russian Federation and the Establishment of a Committee on this Cooperation" when President Boris Yeltsin visited Japan in October of the same year. Based upon this agreement, Japan provides assistance such as equipment to cope with emergency situations, and cooperates on the construction of disposal facilities for radioactive liquid wastes. In addition, when Foreign Minister Koumura visited Russia in May 1999, Japan declared the Japan-Russian Federation Joint Efforts for Disarmament and Environmental Protection covering activities such as assistance for dismantling of decommissioned nuclear submarines in the Russian Far East, assistance to promote the conversion of military resources to the private sector through retraining of military service and reserve personnel or the ISTC (International Science and Technology Center), and assistance for the disposition of surplus weapons-grade plutonium removed from dismantled nuclear weapons. In this regard Prime Minister Obuchi announced at the Cologne Summit in June 1999 that Japan would cooperate in new projects with a total equivalent value of US$200.0 million.

The safe dismantling of decommissioned nuclear submarines in the Russian Far East is an important and urgent concern not only from the perspective of arms control and disarmament but also from the perspective of protecting the environment in the Pan Japan-Sea region. The government of Japan is cooperating to carry out project studies with the Russian Federation government in fields such as the construction of storage facilities for spent nuclear fuel and reconstruction of railways for transportation.

Japan is also providing assistance for construction of treatment and disposal facilities for low-level radioactive liquid waste with a view to prevent ocean dumping of these radioactive materials in the Extreme Far East. This facility will have the capacity to process 7,000 cubic meters of radioactive liquid waste annually. It will be a floating structure built atop a barge that will be inoperative under its own power (see completion drawing). Upon completion the barge will be moored near a wharf at the nuclear submarine dismantling plant in Bolshoi- Kamen near Vladivostok.

Treatment and disposal facility
Treatment and disposal facility for low-level radioactive liquid wastes Artist's rendering

Ceremony to begin operations
Ceremony to begin operations of the Novovoronezh Training Center simulator

Nuclear power facility
Nuclear power facility

2. Cooperation on Nuclear Power Plant Safety

As one aspect of cooperation, the Japanese government has been helping to improve equipment at nuclear power plant technical centers since Fiscal 1993. In June 1996 Japan completed the installation of an operation training simulator at the Novovoronezh Nuclear Power Plant Operation Training Center that simulates the operation of a pressurized light-water reactor (VVER - 1000 type reactor) like those used in the former Soviet Union. To conduct education and training for nuclear power plant personnel who use the simulator, Japan also provides assistance to improve Russia's existing education and training programs. In addition, to improve the safety of Russia's nuclear reactors Japan conducted empirical tests during 1996 and 1997 at the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant, searching for abnormalities during operations with a system developed in Japan that uses microphones to detect cooling water leaks from nuclear reactor pipes. Improvements to the safety of the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant are being planned using this Leak Detection System.

Japan is also cooperating to educate human resources. Over a ten-year period from Fiscal 1992 Japan will invite 1,000 individuals to Japan for training in areas such as operations and management, using Japan's nuclear-related facilities. Participants include management and inspection personnel responsible for safety operations at nuclear power plants in the former Soviet Union and central and eastern Europe, maintenance and inspection personnel, and designers of earthquake-proof structures. By Fiscal 1999 this International Invitation Program for Safety Management at Nuclear Power Plants ("1,000 Trainees Program") had accepted 800 individuals (including 154 from Russia).

Training is also being provided for individual such as nuclear technicians in the countries of the former Soviet Union and central and eastern Europe. Subjects cover general nuclear safety, the management of radioactive wastes, and safeguards and technology.

As of Fiscal 1999, 473 individuals (including 63 from Russia) had visited Japan to receive training. Other activities include dispatching nuclear safety experts from Japan to the countries of the former Soviet Union and central and eastern Europe, and exchanging technology through exchanges of information and opinions in fields such as nuclear reactor operation or management of radioactive waste during accidents and under normal operating conditions.

Within the framework of multinational cooperation, in accordance with the Economic Declaration of the Munich Summit in 1992, Japan provides financing for a project from the Nuclear Safety Account (NSA) established by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) that is related to safety improvements at the Leningrad and Kursk power plants (both have the same type of reactor as Chernobyl) and at the Kola and Novovoronezh nuclear power plants. Japan also has been contributing manpower and capital through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)'s Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) (research on the safety of reactors in the former Soviet Union, strengthening regulatory authority, the transfer of safety expertise) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (safety assessment project for Soviet-designed nuclear power plants, control of spent nuclear fuel and safeguards), as well as the dispatch of Japanese employees to the IAEA.
Training at a nuclear power plant in Japan
Training at a nuclear power plant in Japan
Training at a nuclear power plant in Japan (1000-trainee program)

3. International Science and Technology Center (ISTC)

Japan, the U.S., the European Union and Russia formally launched the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) in March 1994. The main objective of the organization is to fund projects of peaceful purpose implemented by scientists and engineers of the former Soviet Union who were formerly related to weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, biological and chemical weapons). The Center's Secretariat is located in Moscow.

As of March 2000, members of the ISTC are Japan, the U.S., European Union, Russia, South Korea, and Norway as funding Parties; the New Independent States of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Georgia and Kyrgyz participate as beneficiaries. (Russia makes an in-kind contribution for management of the offices and facilities, etc., as a funding Party, while receiving funding from Japan, the U.S. and European Union for projects.)

When the ISTC was established, the U.S., European Union and Japan pledged to contribute US$25.0 million, ECU20.0 million (approximately US$24.0 million) and US$20.0 million (together with funds for the Ukraine Science and Technology Center), respectively. Russia pledged to provide an in-kind contribution.

Since then each funding Party has committed to numerous ISTC projects. 940 projects amounting to approximately US$267.0 million have been funded by the ISTC Governing Board, which has met 21 times (as of March 2000). This amount substantially surpasses the initial commitments of the funding Parties. Japan made an additional contribution of US$20.0 million at the end of 1999 as part of the supplemental aid to the US$200.0 million in assistance announced by Prime Minister Obuchi at the Cologne Summit, bringing Japan's total contribution to US$52.0 million. Total project funding commitments by the U.S. and the European Union, respectively, have reached approximately US$100.0 million and US$93.0 million.

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