Cablegate: Ci/Kr Response for S/Ct


DE RUEHMO #0502/01 0531632
P 221632Z FEB 08





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. STATE 6461

1. (SBU) Embassy Moscow has proposed the following
information on critical infrastructure and key resources
(CI/KR) in Russia which, "if destroyed, disrupted, or
exploited, might have an immediate and deleterious effect on
the United States" (ref A). As requested, this message also
provides information on host government efforts to secure and
protect these sites/resources. Some of these items may not
have an immediate physical impact on the U.S., but would have
significant consequences for U.S. security and/or policy,
including significant impact on U.S. allies in Europe and/or

Nuclear Arsenal and Infrastructure

2. (SBU) The Russian Federation has the world's
second-largest nuclear arsenal, and a well-developed nuclear
industry, both military and civilian, with hundreds of sites
holding radioactive materials. Russia has a large military,
capable intelligence and security forces, and extensive
security infrastructure to protect its nuclear sites.
Russia, under the START Treaty, has no more than 1600
delivery vehicles (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles,
Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles, and long-range heavy
bombers), and, under the Moscow Treaty is in the process of
meeting its requirements to reduce the number of
operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads to
1700-2200 by 2012.

3. (SBU) The 37th Air Army, Pacific and Northern Fleets,
Strategic Rocket Forces, and 12th Main Directorate of the
Russian Ministry of Defense all exercise direct control over
Russia's nuclear arsenal. An attack or exploitation of any
one of these could leave elements of the arsenal vulnerable.
While the impact on the U.S. might not be immediate, the
danger of such elements falling into terrorists' or
extremists' hands could pose a serious threat to the national
security of the United States.

4. (SBU) To counter this threat, the U.S. Department of
Defense is assisting the Russian Ministry of Defense with
upgrading the security at sites where nuclear weapons are
stored and enhancing the security of nuclear weapons during
shipment. Under the Nuclear Weapons Storage Security
program, DOD is installing state-of-the-art fencing and
intrusion detection systems at 24 MOD nuclear weapons storage
sites, and is also providing an Automated Inventory Control
and Management System which allows the MOD to effectively
track nuclear warheads as they are removed from the Russian
arsenal and shipped for dismantlement. Under the Nuclear
Weapons Transportation Security program, DOD provides the MOD
with armored transport vehicles and modern railcars to ensure
a secure means of transporting nuclear warheads between
national stockpiles and elimination facilities.

5. (SBU) Russia has recently embarked on a massive
restructuring and reorganization of the entire nuclear
industry. A serious attack or incident at one of Russia's
Nuclear Power Plants or Plutonium Production Reactors
(NPP/PPR) could cause significant radiation release,
immediately affecting adjacent populations. Depending on
weather and wind conditions, radiation could be carried
significant distances, impacting neighboring countries,
including EU members and NATO Allies such as Latvia,
Lithuania, Estonia and Poland. Only Biblinskaia Nuclear
Power Plant, located in Bilibino, Chukotka, the Far Eastern
Russian region that borders Alaska, would be close enough to
have an immediate physical impact on the U.S. The capacity
of the plant, however, is low (100 times less than Chernobyl).

6. (SBU) List of major NPP/PPR's:
Kola NPP - 4 units VVER 440 - Murmansk region
Leningrad NPP - 4 units RBMK 1000 - Leningrad region
Kalininskaia NPP - 3 units VVER 1000 - Tver region
Smolenskaia NPP - 3 units RBMK 1000 - Smolensk region
Kurskaia NPP - 4 units RBMK 1000 - Kursk region
Nononoronej NPP - 2 units VVER 440, 1 unit VVER 1000, 2 units
in decommissioning stage - Voroneg region
Volgodonskaia NPP - 1 unit VVER 1000 - Rostov region
Balakovskaia NPP - 4 units VVER 1000 - Saratov region
Beloiarskaia NPP - 1 unit BN 600, 2 units in decommissioning
stage - Sverdlovsk region
Bilibinskaia NPP - 4 units EGP 6 - Chukotka region (the
capacity of each unit is 12 Mvt)
There are three PPR's located in Siberia. Two near Tomsk,
and one near Krasnoyarsk.

7. (SBU) Since the early 1990's, the National Nuclear
Security Administration, under the Department of Energy, has
worked in cooperation with Russia to secure and protect sites
containing nuclear materials, as well as to assist in the
training of personnel. Among the achievements are:

-- securing hundreds of nuclear warheads at more than 75
percent of the Russian warhead sites of concern, and 160
buildings containing hundreds of metric tons of
weapons-usable nuclear material with work underway at the
balance of sites to be completed by 2008;
-- providing nearly 600 security-enhanced trucks, railcars,
and "over pack" cases for nuclear material shipments;
-- adopting a Joint Sustainability Plan with Rosatom
outlining specific requirements (e.g., regulatory, training,
maintenance, inspections) to ensure the long-term viability
of nuclear security upgrades;
-- equipping over 100 sites with radiation detection
equipment at Russian borders, airports and seaports, and
reaching an agreement to share the cost and work load for the
balance of the 350 official international border crossings;
-- training over 2,000 individuals at 40 workshops for
state-controlled and private enterprises and institutes on
export control compliance of nuclear dual-use technologies;
-- assisting Rosatom in the establishment of two laboratories
designed to provide export control technical support,
including training and commodities identification;
-- engaging over 16,000 weapons scientists and engineers and
helping to create over 5,000 sustainable civilian jobs for
former weapons personnel;
helping to create or expand 60 businesses in closed Russian
cities, and commercializing over 32 technologies that
generated over USD 52 million in commercial sales;
-- transferring all highly-enriched uranium from the Krylov
Shipbuilding Research Institute in St. Petersburg to the
Research Institute of Advanced Reactors in Dimitrovgrad for
secure storage and downblending;
-- converting hundreds of tons of highly-enriched uranium to
low-enriched uranium, thereby eliminating it as a
proliferation threat. This includes 10 metric tons (roughly
400 nuclear weapons) for use in Russian nuclear power
reactors, and monitoring the conversion of over 300 metric
tons (roughly 12,000 nuclear weapons) of Russian
weapons-origin highly-enriched uranium for use in U.S.
nuclear power reactors;
-- removing, returning, and securing Russian-origin nuclear
material from nine countries in 13 shipments of "fresh" fuel
and four shipments of "spent" fuel, and 130 radioisotopic
thermoelectric generators that contain large quantities of
dirty bomb materials, totaling more than 500 kilograms (over
1,000 pounds) of highly-enriched uranium, enough to make
approximately 20 nuclear weapons;
-- refurbishing and building heat and electricity plants in
closed nuclear cities to ensure the shutdown of the last
three weapons-grade PPR's, which produce approximately 1.2
metric tons of plutonium annually;
-- recovering approximately 400,000 Curies of radiological
sources at 12 Russian storage facilities (enough material for
over 6,000 dirty bombs).

Energy Resources

8. (SBU) Russia is the world's largest producer of
hydrocarbons with an expansive network of oil and gas
production, processing, and transportation facilities.
Russia has the world's second largest number of individual
oil wells after the U.S., so the impact of loss of individual
wells or oilfields is quite low. Oil pipelines and oil
product pipelines are under the control of the monopoly oil
pipeline company, Transneft, and are thus vulnerable to
attacks on control facilities operated by Transneft.
Transneft has a very large security force that it has claimed
in the past is very well prepared to prevent and respond to
accidents or sabotage. Gas production facilities are largely
controlled by de-facto gas monopoly Gazprom, and more
vulnerable than oil production facilities because they are
more concentrated. Gas pipelines are almost completely
controlled by Gazprom and pass through a number of
concentrated hubs.

9. (SBU) Information on how energy infrastructure is
protected is not easily available. However, given the
centrality of the oil and gas sector to Russia's economy,
Russia's capable and active security and intelligence
services, and Russia's experience with terrorist threats, we
believe Russia is likely able to manage the security threats
posed to its energy infrastructure. For more routine damage,
Transneft and Gazprom have proven very capable of rapid
repair. A massive attack against, for example, a main gas or
oil pipeline critical for exports to Europe would cause a
significant spike in commodity prices and would have a direct
effect on the European economy and cascading effects on the
U.S. economy.

Financial Systems and Cyberstructure

10. (SBU) The U.S.-Russia economic relationship is growing.
Russian investors are, and have been, active participants in
U.S. equity and debt trading markets. Likewise, U.S.
institutional and individual investors are becoming more
active in Russian markets. Despite the upward trend in
bilateral trade and investment flows, the overall volume of
financial transactions remains modest when compared to either
country's economic ties to (the rest of) Europe. In view of
this, an attack disabling Russia's financial infrastructure
could pose significant and lasting concerns for the U.S.,
such as general unrest, bank runs, and defaulted loans.
These potential effects, however, would be unlikely to
present a direct or debilitating threat to our national

11. (SBU) Russia's financial architecture is considered a

subset of the country's overall cyberstructure. The Finance
Ministry and the Central Bank have established Federal
Treasury offices and Regional Central Bank offices in most of
Russia's sub-federal territories. This network provides
redundancy to minimize disruptions in the disbursement of
budget funds or in supplying liquidity to banks. Russia's
major securities exchanges have also told us that they
maintain redundant systems so that trading, and the various
accounting transactions associated with market activity, can
continue in the event of a disruption. Maintaining the
integrity and functionality of the computer systems of the
various participants in Russia's economy -- banks, merchants,
service providers, manufacturers, etc. -- is a basic
preoccupation for regulators at all levels. However, we do
not know what action plans the GOR or various industry
associations have implemented to meet this goal.


12. (SBU) NASA will be reliant upon Russia for crew and cargo
launch services to the International Space Station (ISS)
after the Space Shuttle retires in 2010 and before the new
U.S. crew vehicle in on-line in 2015. NASA has an IT
infrastructure in place to enable and support communications
in support of space operations, including from Mission
Control Center-Moscow (MCC-M) to Mission Control
Center-Houston, as well as ground-to-space operations from
MCC-M to ISS. An attack on Russia's space launch capability
would be unlikely to have a major immediate physcial impact
on the U.S., but would affect the U.S.'s abilities to use the
ISS between 2010 and 2015.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC