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Russia's New National Security Concept: The Nuclear Angle

Nikolai Sokov
Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies

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Decree No 1039, 15 August 1997 of the Government of the Russian Federation "On Rules of Notifying Bodies of Executive Government on Launching a Spacecraft With A Nuclear Power Source, and Notification of Bodies of Local Self-Management and Provision of the Necessary Assistance to the Public in the Event of Emergency Return of Such a Spacecraft to Earth" and the "Rules of Notifying Bodies of Executive Government on Launching a Spacecraft With A Nuclear Power Source, and Notification of Bodies of Local Self-Management and Provision of the Necessary Assistance to the Public in the Event of Emergency Return of Such a Spacecraft to Earth"

The Decree

Pursuant to Article 43 of the Federal Law "On Use of Atomic Energy" the Government of the Russian Federation hereby resolves:

1. To approve the appended Rules of Notifying Bodies of Executive Government on Launching a Spacecraft With A Nuclear Power Source, and Notification of Bodies of Local Self-Management and Provision of the Necessary Assistance to the Public in the Event of Emergency Return of Such a Spacecraft to Earth.

2. That an interdepartmental commission on emergency warning and recovery shall coordinate the activity of federal bodies of executive government, bodies of executive government of subjects of the Russian Federation, and bodies of local self-management concerned with notifying the public of an emergency aboard a spacecraft with a nuclear power source, collection, generalization, and analysis of information on the developing situation, prediction of the scale and consequences of this craft"s disintegration, and recovery from the consequences of its emergency return to Earth.

3. That jointly with interested federal bodies of executive government, the Russian Federation Ministry of Civil Defense, Emergencies, and Natural Disasters, the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense, the Russian Space Agency, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian Federation Ministry of Health, the Russian Federation State Committee on Communication and Computerization, and the Russian Federation State Committee on Environmental Protection shall formulate the concept of establishment of a unified space emergency warning and recovery system in 1998 and submit it to the Government of the Russian Federation.

4. In the event that aircraft with a nuclear power source are created for missions into Earth atmosphere that cannot be carried out using nonnuclear power sources, and safe use of these aircraft is substantiated, the Russian Federation Ministry of Atomic Energy shall prepare, and submit to the Government of the Russian Federation in coordination with interested federal bodies of executive government, a draft proposal on responses to emergencies involving aircraft with a nuclear plant or radiation source aboard and on recovery from such emergencies. [Signed] Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation V. Chernomyrdin

The Rules

I. General Provisions

1. These Rules shall determine the procedure, content, and system of notifying federal bodies of executive government, bodies of executive government of subjects of the Russian Federation, and bodies of local self-management in the event of emergencies involving a spacecraft with a nuclear power source aboard, and the basic directions of the activity of these bodies in rendering assistance to the public when necessary.

2. Pursuant to the Federal Law "On Use of Atomic Energy" these Rules shall not apply to military spacecraft with a nuclear power source.

3. Two types of a nuclear power sources are used aboard spacecraft: propulsion units with nuclear reactor (reactor nuclear power sources)

propulsion units with radioactive isotopes and sources of ionizing radiation employing radioactive isotopes (radioisotope nuclear power sources);

4. There can be two types of emergencies associated with launching a spacecraft with a nuclear power source:

an emergency resulting from failure of the launch vehicle at lift-off or in the powered flight phase (the orbital insertion phase);

an emergency associated with failure of the spacecraft in the phase of acceleration from low to high orbit or to an interplanetary trajectory. Premature descent from high orbit by a spacecraft with a nuclear power source as a result of a collision with space trash and subsequent reentry of this spacecraft into Earth atmosphere is a special variant of such an emergency.

5. In an emergency involving failure of a launch vehicle at lift-off or in the powered flight phase, a spacecraft with a nuclear power source can impact on the surface of the Earth together with the launch vehicle beneath its nose cone, or together with the launch vehicle without its nose cone, or a spacecraft with a nuclear power source can impact after disintegration of the launch vehicle, or the nuclear power source can impact after disintegration of the launch vehicle and the spacecraft.

6. In an emergency involving failure of the spacecraft in the phase of the spacecraft"s acceleration from low orbit to high orbit or to an interplanetary trajectory, decay of the spacecraft"s orbit and its reentry into the atmosphere, disintegration of the spacecraft and of individual components of the nuclear power source, and impact of parts of the nuclear power source on the Earth surface can occur.

7. In an emergency caused by collision of a spacecraft with a nuclear power source with space trash, its partial disintegration, reentry of the nuclear power source into Earth atmosphere, disintegration of the nuclear power source, and impact of parts of the nuclear power source on the Earth surface can occur.

8. In the case of reactor nuclear power sources, different states of the reactor are typical depending on the type of emergency and where on the launch vehicle"s trajectory the accident occurs: survival of an intact reactor, the reactor"s deformation, disintegration of individual components of the reactor, and total disintegration of the reactor.

9. Maintenance of integrity and airtightness of nuclear power source components is typical of all types of emergency situations associated with radioactive nuclear power sources.

II. Notification of Federal Bodies of Executive Government, Bodies of Executive Government of Subjects of the Russian Federation, and Bodies of Local Self-Management

10. Before a spacecraft with a nuclear power source is launched, the Chairman of the State Spacecraft Launching Commission shall submit, in accordance with Appendix No 11:

a notice of the place, time, and date of launching, the track of the launch vehicle over territory of the Russian Federation, and a description of the nuclear power source together with a safety assessment—to federal bodies of executive government and to the Interdepartmental Commission on Emergency Warning and Recovery (MVK) in order to permit notification of bodies of executive government of subjects of the Russian Federation on the territory of which the spacecraft could impact;

a notice of the spacecraft launch date and a description of the nuclear power source together with a safety assessment—to the Russian Federation Ministry of Foreign Affairs to permit notification of the United Nations Secretary General in accordance with the principles of using nuclear power sources in space approved by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 47/68, 14 December 1992.

11. In the event of an emergency associated with failure of a launch vehicle at lift-off or in the powered flight phase, the Chairman of the State Spacecraft Launch Commission shall send a notice of the time of the accident, the expected region of the launch vehicle"s, spacecraft"s, and nuclear power source"s impact, and the possible damage to the launch vehicle, the spacecraft, and the nuclear power source—to the Interdepartmental Emergency Warning and Recovery Commission, federal bodies of executive government, and bodies of executive government of subjects of the Russian Federation, which shall forward the corresponding information to bodies of local self-management in accordance with Appendix No 2.1

In the event of an emergency arising during launching of a spacecraft with a nuclear power source from the Baykonur Cosmodrome as a result of failure of the launch vehicle at lift-off or in the initial phase of powered flight, such that the launch vehicle, spacecraft, and nuclear power source impact on territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Chairman of the State Spacecraft Launch Commission shall send a notice to the Russian Federation Ministry of Foreign Affairs to permit notification of the Kazakhstan side. 12. In the event of an emergency arising upon failure of a spacecraft in the phase of acceleration from a low orbit to a high orbit or to an interplanetary trajectory, federal bodies of executive government, bodies of executive government of subjects of the Russian Federation, bodies of local self-management, foreign states, and international organizations shall be notified according to procedure set forth in Appendix No 3.1

The Chairman of the State Spacecraft Launch Commission shall send a notice to the Interdepartmental Emergency Warning and Recovery Commission regarding the emergency, together with an indication of the spacecraft"s flight parameters at the moment of the accident in order to permit subsequent management of the situation, prediction of the accident"s consequences, and preparation of recovery measures.

The Interdepartmental Emergency Warning and Recovery Commission shall notify:

federal bodies of executive government, bodies of executive government of subjects of the Russian Federation, and through them, bodies of local self-management when a spacecraft with a nuclear power source impacts on territory of the Russian Federation; the United Nations Secretary General (in accordance with the principles of using nuclear power sources in space approved by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 47/68, 14 December 1992), the International Atomic Energy Agency (pursuant to the Convention on Nuclear Accident Notification), and foreign states (pursuant to international agreements of the Russian Federation) via the Russian Federation Ministry of Foreign Affairs when a spacecraft with a nuclear power source impacts outside the territory of the Russian Federation.

13. Upon premature descent of spacecraft with nuclear power sources from high orbits and their subsequent orbital reentry into Earth atmosphere, the Russian Space Agency"s Central Scientific Research Institute of Machine Building (TsNIIMash) shall send notice of the accident to the Interdepartmental Accident Warning and Recovery Commission on the basis of an analysis of data obtained from the Space Monitoring Center (TsKKP) and the Russian Federation Ministry of Atomic Energy, in order to permit subsequent management of the situation and prediction of the accident"s consequences.

Notification shall be done by the Interdepartmental Emergency Warning and Recovery Commission pursuant to item 12 of these Rules depending on the place of impact of the spacecraft with a nuclear power source.

14. The Interdepartmental Emergency Warning and Recovery Commission shall manage the situation and predict the consequences of emergency return to Earth of a spacecraft with a nuclear power source launched by a foreign state on the basis of data obtained by the Russian Federation Ministry of Foreign Affairs from a notice provided to the United Nations Secretary General by the launching state. When a foreign spacecraft with a nuclear power source falls on territory of the Russian Federation, notification shall be made by the Interdepartmental Emergency Warning and Recovery Commission in accordance with these Rules.

15. The Russian Federation Ministry of Civil Defense, Emergencies, and Natural Disasters shall submit recommendations to bodies of executive government of the subjects of the Russian Federation on organizing protection of the public in the region of impact of the damaged object, and recommendations on determining and monitoring the radiation situation.

16. The Russian Federation Ministry of Atomic Energy shall send, to bodies of executive government of subjects of the Russian Federation, a description of the appearance of the nuclear power source and its parts, information on the levels of ionizing radiation from them, and recommendations on searching for the nuclear power source and its parts, and collecting and transporting them to storage and salvage points.

17. The Russian Federation Ministry of Defense shall organize notification of military units to permit monitoring of the radiation situation in places where forces are stationed.

18. The Russian Federation Ministry of Health shall send recommendations to bodies of executive government of subjects of the Russian Federation on the public"s observance of radiation safety rules and on consumption of food and water in the region of impact of the damaged object.

19. Bodies of executive government of subjects of the Russian Federation shall ensure timely submission of information received pursuant to items 11, 12, 15, 16, and 18 of these Rules to bodies of local self-management.

20. Draft recommendations and descriptions sent to bodies of executive government of subjects of the Russian Federation shall be prepared by the appropriate federal bodies of executive government at the time of acquisition of a permit to launch a spacecraft with a nuclear power source.

21. The Russian Federal Inspectorate for Nuclear and Radiation Safety shall monitor implementation of all measures to eliminate and mitigate the consequences of the accident and to render assistance to the public as far as concerns observance of the rules and regulations of nuclear and radiation safety.

22. The Russian Federation State Committee for Environmental Protection shall monitor implementation of all measures to clean up radioactive contamination in the region of impact of the damaged object and provision of truthful information on the condition of the environment to bodies of executive government of subjects of Russian Federation and to the population.

III. Basic Directions of Activity in Rendering Assistance to the Public

23. When rendering assistance to the public becomes necessary, it shall include:

notifying the public regarding the emergency, keeping the public regularly informed about the situation in the region of impact of the damaged object and the measures to support radiation safety, and issuing recommendations and guidelines on behavior in the territory of this region;

briefing the public on the necessary health precautions; deploying forces and resources to examine the public and carry out decontamination as necessary.

24. Special subunits of the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense shall carry out the work of monitoring the radiation situation in the region of impact of the damaged object, searching for the nuclear power source, removing the nuclear power source or its parts and fragments of the launch vehicle and spacecraft, and when necessary, decontaminating the terrain.

25. After receiving notification from the Chairman of the State Spacecraft Launch Commission or from the Interdepartmental Emergency Warning and Recovery Commission, as well as documents (recommendations and descriptions) from the appropriate federal bodies of executive government, bodies of executive government of subjects of the Russian Federation and bodies of local self-management shall organize implementation of measures specified by legislation of the Russian Federation to protect the population and territory, to include:

establishing the boundaries of the forbidden zone around the impacted damaged object and providing security to the forbidden zone and the object;

ensuring observance of radiation safety rules.

26. People near the impacted damaged object shall be examined and accounted for and assistance shall be rendered to victims by the forces and resources of organizations of the Russian Federation Ministry of Health.

27. The environment shall be monitored after the consequences of impact of the damaged object are eliminated by forces and resources of organizations of the Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring and the Russian Federation Ministry of Civil Defense, Emergencies, and Natural Disasters with the help of subdivisions of this ministry"s observation and laboratory control network.

Footnote

1. Published in the "Sobraniye Zakonodatelstva Rossiyskoy Federatsii" [Collection of Legislation of the Russian Federation].