INTERVIEWING THE SMUGGLERS, DETECTIVES, SCIENTISTS AND ANALYSTS

U.S. POLICY EXPERT

Dr. Thomas Cochran directs the Nuclear Program of the Natural Resources Defense Council. He initiated a series of joint nuclear weapons verification projects with the Soviet Academy of Sciences and has served as a consultant to many agencies on energy, non-proliferation, and nuclear reactor matters.

Dr. Frank Von Hippel is former assistant director for National Security in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He advised the Clinton White House on the joint U.S.-Russian non-proliferation programs initiated after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Also read von Hippel's account of the development of U.S. nuclear policy under President Clinton, "A Personal Report".

Dr. David Kay is the former head of the evaluation section of the International Atomic Energy Agency. After the Gulf War, he was deputy leader of the IAEA investigation of Saddam Hussein's secret nuclear weapon program. He testified before Congress on what the lessons of Iraq can teach about current proliferation threats.


SMUGGLERS

Vaclav Havlik became involved in international trade shortly after the Berlin Wall fell, which opened up new opportunities for commerce in the former Soviet Union. He began with groceries, medical supplies, and other consumables, bringing them in to the hungry Russian market. As his contacts expanded, he realized that demand for Western goods and money was so strong, that people were willing to offer virtually anything in exchange, including nuclear materials. Havlik was arrested near Landshut, Germany for smuggling uranium and sentenced to thirteen months in jail. He has served his time, and now runs a bar in Prague.

Gustav Illich is a slovakian trader who was snared in a German sting operation on nuclear smuggling. He boasts of good ties to higher-ups in the Russian military and mafia, and during the course of his search for material claims to have even been offered material from a nuclear warhead. In the sting operation, Illich provided German police with uranium samples on four different occasions, including one sample of 87.7% enriched uranium identical to the material seized in Prague six months later.

Leonid Smirnov is the first known thief of bomb grade nuclear materials in Russia. He worked as an engineer at the Luch plant near Moscow in a laboratory handling highly enriched uranium. From May to September 1992, while his co-workers were taking smoking breaks, Smirnov skimmed off roughly 1.5 kilograms of highly-enriched uranium.


DETECTIVES

Nikolai Kravchenko is the head of the Nuclear Materials Division of the Russian State Customs Committee. He is trying to introduce new procedures and technologies to tighten nuclear customs control.

Major Jan Rathausky was the lead Czech detective in the 1994 Prague nuclear smuggling case which involved six pound of highly enriched uranium.

Bernd Schmidbauer is head of German Intelligence. The sting operations that he set up to determine if any Russian fissile nuclear material was reaching the black market earned him criticism from both the Russians and his own countrymen for endangering civilians by allowing plutonium to be transported aboard a passenger jet. To date, almost all of the major seizures of weapons-grade materials in Europe have resulted from his network of undercover buyers.


SCIENTISTS

Nikolai Bondarev is the Director of Security at the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy, Russia's oldest atomic research institute located in Moscow. Mr. Bondarev has been working closely with American specialists to devise improved security measures for the institute.

Gennady Pshakin is the head of the international department at the Obninsk Institute of Physics and Power Engineering. He has been instrumental in implementing new safeguard techniques at an institute where lax accounting and handling of nuclear materials had been the norm. He has worked closely with Americans involved in the Lab-to-Lab program to increase materials protection, accounting and control at facilities of the Russian nuclear complex.


ANALYSTS

Alexander Emelyanenkov is a Moscow journalist who has focused on nuclear issues for several years, writing and visiting the nuclear complexes in both Russia and the United States. He is currently the Deputy Editor of the magazine "Observer."

Leonid Fituni is the Director of the Center for Strategic and Global Studies in Moscow. His areas of expertise include strategic and crisis issues, economic transition in the former Soviet Union, and nuclear proliferation and organized crime in Russia.

Mark Hibbs is widely regarded as one of the most knowledgable journalists covering nuclear issues worldwide. Based in Bonn, Mr. Hibbs is the European Editor of "Nucleonics Week," and has often traveled to nuclear sites around the former Soviet Union. He has extensively investigated and written about the major seizures of fissile nuclear material in Europe.

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