News

08 October 1997

TEXT: PRESS STATEMENT ON RUSSIA, U.S., IAEA TRILATERAL INITIATIVE

(U.S., Russia exchange visits of experts to nuclear sites) (650)



Vienna -- High level representatives of the United States, Russia and
the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) met to review progress
and identify milestones for future work of the Trilateral Initiative,
which was created in 1996 to fulfill the commitments made by
Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin concerning IAEA verification of
weapon-origin fissile materials.


Taking part in the September 30 meeting in Vienna were U.S. Energy
Secretary Federico Pena, Minister of Atomic Energy of the Russian
Federation Viktor Mikhailov, and Director General of the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Hans Blix.


The group met five times during the past year in Washington, Moscow,
and Vienna. In addition, the United States hosted Russian and IAEA
experts at plutonium storage sites in Washington state and Colorado,
and at Argonne National Laboratory-West in Idaho. The Russian
Federation hosted Blix and IAEA staff at the Mayak Fissile Material
Storage Facility.


Minister Mikhailov invited U.S. and IAEA experts to visit Mayak, and
Secretary Pena invited the IAEA and the Russian Federation to send
experts to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in early
December.


Following is the text of the IAEA press release on the meeting:



(begin text)



41ST IAEA GENERAL CONFERENCE

30 September 1997



PRESS STATEMENT ON THE TRILATERAL INITIATIVE



Minister of Atomic Energy of the Russian Federation, Viktor Mikhailov,
Secretary of Energy of the United States, Federico Pena, and Director
General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Hans Blix,
met in Vienna on 30 September 1997 to review the progress made over
the last year in the Trilateral Initiative to consider practical
measures for the application of IAEA verification to weapon-origin
fissile materials.


The Trilateral Initiative was launched by Minister Mikhailov, Director
General Blix, and then-Secretary of Energy Hazel O'Leary at their 17
September 1996 meeting. The aim of the initiative was to fulfill the
commitments made by Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin concerning IAEA
verification of weapon-origin fissile materials and to complement
their commitments regarding the transparency and irreversibility of
nuclear arms reductions.


At their 1996 meeting, the three parties established a Joint Group to
consider the various technical, legal, and financial issues associated
with IAEA verification of relevant fissile materials. The group is
seeking to define verification measures that could be applied at
Russia's Mayak Fissile Material Storage Facility when it is
commissioned, and at one or more United States facilities where
identified weapon-origin fissile materials removed from defense
programs will be submitted for verification.


The group met on five occasions during the past year in Washington,
Moscow, and Vienna. In addition, the United States hosted Russian and
IAEA experts at the Hanford, Washington and Rocky Flats, Colorado
plutonium storage sites and at Argonne National Laboratory-West in
Idaho in November, 1996. The Russian Federation hosted Director
General Blix and IAEA staff at the Mayak storage facility in August,
1997.


In its deliberations, the group has addressed the scope and purpose of
IAEA verification; the locations, types, and amounts of weapon-origin
fissile material potentially subject to IAEA verification;
technologies that might be capable of performing verification and
monitoring objectives without disclosing sensitive information; and
options for funding and providing a legal framework for IAEA
verification measures. The group also identified milestones for future
work.


In looking forward to the activities of the next year, Minister
Mikhailov invited the United States and the IAEA to send experts to
Mayak to consider facility-specific measures. Secretary Pena invited
the IAEA and the Russian Federation to send experts to the Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory on December 1-5, 1997 for a joint
demonstration of verification and monitoring technologies.


Minister Mikhailov, Secretary Pena, and Director General Blix agreed
that the three Principals would meet again in September, 1998 to
review progress.


(End text)