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Cablegate: Corrected Copy - Department of Energy Team Finalizes Heu-Leu Agreement Language with Gol

VZCZCXRO0932
OO RUEHTRO
DE RUEHTRO #1065/01 3621007
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O P 281007Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2961
INFO RHMFIUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA PRIORITY 0054
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0965
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 0390
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0593
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 0542
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0397
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0703
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 0004
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE PRIORITY 0072
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 3401

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TRIPOLI 001065

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA/MAG, T/VCI (LOOK), ISN/CTR (MACDONALD), COPY TO
SENATOR LUGAR'S OFFICE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL TRGY KNNP IAEA PINR TSPL TPHY TNGD MCAP
ETTC, LY

SUBJECT: CORRECTED COPY - DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY TEAM FINALIZES HEU-LEU AGREEMENT LANGUAGE WITH GOL

1.(SBU) Summary: A visiting team of experts from the Department of Energy (DOE) finalized language for a government-to-government agreement providing for the return of highly-enriched uranium to Russia under the rubric of the tri-lateral agreement (TSCC) announced December 19, 2003 with the U.S., U.K. and Libya. The agreement also envisages cooperation in improving physical security at Libya's experimental Tajoura reactor facility and other sites, to include hospitals with radiological equipment and material. The two sides initialed English-language versions of the agreement; the GOL and the Department's Language Services staff are currently working to finalize Arabic language that conforms with the agreed English iteration. It is expected that a senior USG official will sign the agreement in conjunction with putative travel to Libya early next year. End summary.

2.(SBU) A team from the DOE's Office of Global Threat Reduction traveled to Libya December 9-12 to meet with Libyan science community counterparts to finalize language for a Highly-Enriched Uranium/Low-Enriched Uranium (HEU-LEU) agreement. The delegation, consisting of Kelly Cummins (Delegation Head), Phil Robinson (Country Officer), Diana Clarke (General Counsel), Igor Bolshinsky (Technical Lead) and Stan Moses (Technical Staff) met with Dr. Abdelkarem Mgeg, Director of the Tajoura Renewable Energies and Water Desalination Research Center, to resolve issues and finalize language for a related to a government-to-government agreement between the U.S. and GOL. The agreement would facilitate the return to Russia of 26 fuel assemblies comprising approximately 4.6 kilograms of HEU material. (Note: Technical Lead Bolshinsky confirmed December 9 that all HE material was still physically present at the Tajoura facility. End note.) The agreement would complete the process begun in March 2004, when the GOL returned to Russia 15 kilograms of HEU material.

3.(SBU) It is envisaged that the material would be transferred to Russia by air circa late 2009. In addition to fuel return, the agreement includes language detailing cooperation on nuclear and radiological security enhancements at the Tajoura site and other facilities in Libya, to include four hospitals in Benghazi, Sabratha and Tripoli (two facilities). Implementing additional security measures as the Tajoura site could occur 12-24 months after the agreement is signed; radiological/security upgrades at the hospitals could be made within several months of signing.

4.(SBU) Discussion on day one of the talks, which took place at the Tajoura facility, focused on resolving issues associated with the agreement. GOL officials initially expressed some concern that the agreement included language regarding enhancement of physical protection measures; however, a closer reading and explanation by the DOE's experts convinced them that the language was anodyne. Consensus was also achieved on language concerning audit and inspection protocols. DOE delegation head Cummins and Director Mgeg initialed the draft agreement to signal consensus on the language.

5.(SBU) Day two focused on finalizing language for a Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) contract between the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Tajoura facility. After minor changes to the scope of the work at the GOL's request, the two sides achieved consensus on final language.

6.(SBU) The GOL agreed to provide an Arabic language translation of the agreement and the BOA; however, given concerns about how quickly the GOL would honor that commitment, post understands that NEA/MAG has asked Language Services to prepare treaty-ready translations. The GOL stressed that the agreement would have to be approved by the relevant ministries before it could be signed. (Note: It may also have to be blessed by the General People's Congress. End note.) Libyan interlocutors were optimistic that the agreement could be finalized on their side in time for a visit by a senior State Department official in early 2008. Following the negotiations, the DOE team learned that Dr. Ali Gashut, the senior Libyan interlocutor on technical nuclear issues, had obtained a copy of the agreement and was working to obtain the requisite GOL TRIPOLI 00001065 002 OF 002 approvals.

7.(SBU) Comment: In the DOE team's judgment, the meetings were positive and cooperative, suggesting that the GOL wants to quickly finalize and implement the agreement. The GOL ultimately insisted on only minor changes to the original draft agreement. Despite the enthusiasm of the Tajoura facility scientists and the avowed interest of other senior GOL officials in signing the agreement, obtaining approval from the appropriate ministries may be time-consuming and difficult. The fact that the GOL clearly expects that the agreement will be signed in connection with a putative senior-level visit early next year may help expedite the Libyan interagency process. End comment. STEVENS 0 12/28/2007 5319 PREL,TRGY,KNNP,IAEA,PINR,TSPL,TPHY,TNGD,MCAP,ETTC,LY CORRECTED COPY - DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY TEAM FINALIZES HEU-LEU AGREEMENT LANGUAGE WITH GOL

1.(SBU) A visiting team of experts from the Department of Energy (DOE) finalized language for a government-to-government agreement providing for the return of highly-enriched uranium to Russia under the rubric of the tri-lateral agreement (TSCC) announced December 19, 2003 with the U.S., U.K. and Libya. The agreement also envisages cooperation in improving physical security at Libya's experimental Tajoura reactor facility and other sites, to include hospitals with radiological equipment and material. The two sides initialed English-language versions of the agreement; the GOL and the Department's Language Services staff are currently working to finalize Arabic language that conforms with the agreed English iteration. It is expected that a senior USG official will sign the agreement in conjunction with putative travel to Libya early next year.

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