TITLE:WHITE HOUSE REPORT, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7 (04/07/93)
WHITE HOUSE REPORT, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7
(Russia/explosion, terrorism review) (470)
NEWS BRIEFING -- Communications Director George Stephanopoulos discussed
the following topics:
STORAGE MISHAP DISCUSSED
Stephanopoulos told questioners that Moscow has made no specific request
for assistance in dealing with the venting of radioactive material at a
storage facility in Tomsk. Moscow reported the explosion in a radioactive
waste tank with a rating of "three" on the international nuclear event
scale on which "seven" is the highest possible ranking; previously, the
nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl facility in Ukraine was designated a
"seven," and the incident at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania a "five."
In view of that, the explosion at Tomsk was a "serious incident,"
Stephanopoulos said, adding, "As far as we know, the problem is a local
He pointed out that the assistance package presented to Russian President
Yeltsin at the Vancouver summit includes funds for civilian nuclear safety
measures in Russia and other states of the former Soviet Union.
Stephanopoulos said the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy had informed
Washington that the "living area" around the storage facility "is out of
danger, (but) we don't have any information about plant personnel."
An advisory sent to governments by the International Atomic Energy Agency
said the Russians have not asked for any assistance, he said.
Earlier, Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers said the staff of the National
Security Council and other agencies are monitoring the situation. She said
she had no "official statement" on the accident, and she would not offer an
evaluation of any possible danger it could cause beyond Russia's borders.
STATE TO COORDINATE TERROR REVIEW
Stephanopoulos told a questioner the State Department will coordinate the
review of intelligence data on terrorism ordered by President Clinton after
Egyptian President Mubarak asserted that Cairo had warned of a
fundamentalist terror network in the United States. He said the review
will cover the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency
and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
On a second matter involving Mubarak, Myers denied Clinton had "rebuffed"
the Egyptian president on the issue of Palestinians deported by Israel, as
The New York Times reported.
"The president communicated to President Mubarak," she said, "that the
United States had offered a package to the Palestinians -- when Secretary
(of State) Christopher met with them last week -- that was a comprehensive
package and one that was effective and that the president believes will
bring the Palestinians back to the table, and President Mubarak agreed."
Before learning the content of that package, Mubarak had told The Times he
intended to urge Clinton to press Israel to be more forthcoming on allowing
the return of the deportees now stranded in southern Lebanon. After
meeting Clinton, Mubarak said he was satisfied that the United States had
made a "maximum" effort on the issue.
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