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Cablegate: Dept of Energy Team Conduct Assurance Visits At

VZCZCXRO6987
RR RUEHCI
DE RUEHKA #0744 1270131
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 070131Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY DHAKA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3987
INFO RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 9882
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 9079
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 1641
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 7918
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON 2545
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL CALCUTTA

UNCLAS DHAKA 000744

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG KNNP PARM OTRA PREL PGOV BG
SUBJECT: DEPT OF ENERGY TEAM CONDUCT ASSURANCE VISITS AT
RADIOLOGICAL SITES

REF: (A) STATE 45606

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. A three person team from the U.S. Dept of Energy
visited Bangladesh to inspect USG funded security upgrades and to
determine if further upgrades are necessary to ensure adequate
protection of radiological materials. Overall, the team concluded
that progress had been made since their last visit, and clear steps
were agreed upon to continue Bangladesh's progress in securing
radiological materials. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) COMPOSITION AND COORDINATION. The team consisted of
Christopher Landers, Brookhaven National Lab, Project Manager; Gary
Stubblefield, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Physical
Protection; and Dan Rutherford, Pacific Northwest National
Laboratory, Contracts Officer; their visit took place from April 10
to 19. The Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) is the GOB
agency responsible for radiological materials, and the team closely
coordinated with the BAEC Chairman Dr. S.I. Bhuyian and with Dr.
Abdus Sattar Mollah, Director, Nuclear Safety and Radiological
Control Division, BAEC. The team briefed Tapan Chowdhury as Adviser
for the Ministry of Science and Technology and Dr. C. S. Karim,
Advisor to the Ministry of Agriculture and former BAEC Chairman, at
the conclusion of the visit. Econoff accompanied the team on visits
to the Savar site and to the briefings with the Advisers.

3. (SBU) SAVAR SITE. The Savar site includes a research nuclear
reactor, the Central Waste Storage and Repository, and the Institute
of Food and Radiation Biology irradiation building. On the positive
side, the team was assured that the BAEC would install a fiber-optic
communication network for security systems at BAEC expense, but
would appreciate USG assistance in inter-connecting and processing
the sensors between the three facilities on the site to the central
alarm station and re-assessing the entire site to ensure it meets
the DOE security parameters. The facility also now has a color
coded badge system to permit easy identification of access by level
of permission. Work that still needs to be done includes upgrades
to the closed circuit TV systems, second key safes, improved entry
checkpoints into the facility with vehicle inspection areas, and
additional training for security staff.

4. (SBU) ONCOLOGY CLINICS. The team also visited the National
Institute of Cancer Research Hospital, Dhaka Medical College
Hospital, and Delta Medical Center to inspect their radiological
sources for use in radio-oncology. All sites needed additional
measures for the security of keys, restricted cellular phone
connections to a response unit, as well as duress alarms. Dhaka
Medical College Hospital was noted as being especially in need of
training and a change in employee attitude towards physical security
procedures.

5. (SBU) NEW ISSUES. The team learned of a new planned 350 kCi
(three hundred fifty kilo curies) Cobalt-60 radiation plant for
research, service and pilot scale production of radiation-processed
materials, to be installed at the Institute of Food and Radiation
Biology facility in Savar within 18 months. Also, a previously
identified high level commercial irradiation source at Chittagong
was reported to be no longer in use, apparently pending litigation
between former business partners, but which still needs protection.

6. (SBU) FUTURE PLANS. The team drafted a statement of work with
the BAEC, which will be completed by BAEC's security contractor, G4S
Security. Training packages will be reviewed to determine funding
and requirements; the two main options are either presenting a
training course in Bangladesh or having one of G4S's security
officers attend a security course in America and return to become
the in-country training specialist and instructor. The Chittagong
source and procedural issues at the oncology centers, specifically
Dhaka Medical College Hospital, will be addressed by BAEC.

7. (SBU) COMMENT. On several occasions during the visit, BAEC
members brought up the idea of nuclear power as a possible solution
to Bangladesh's power generation woes. General Atomics, the U.S.
company which installed the Savar research reactor, recently
informed econoff that BAEC has just purchased a new control panel
for the reactor and was expressing strong interest in General
Atomics' power reactor products. General Atomics' salesman also
noted that both Russian and South Korean reactors also were being
discussed.

BUTENIS

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