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Cablegate: Soliciting Pledges to Fund the Nuclear Threat

VZCZCXYZ0018
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHFR #1227 1820620
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 300620Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3601
INFO RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 6831
RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN 2126
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 6757
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1797
RUEHDO/AMEMBASSY DOHA 0194
RUEHDL/AMEMBASSY DUBLIN 0557
RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI 1352
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 6950
RUEHLE/AMEMBASSY LUXEMBOURG 0397
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 2846
RUEHMK/AMEMBASSY MANAMA 0202
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 6144
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 2273
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 0428
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 8887
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1521
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 1648
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 2993
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2785
RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA 1789
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0416
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 0668
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS 2349

UNCLAS PARIS 001227

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: FR KNNP IAEA ENRG
SUBJECT: SOLICITING PLEDGES TO FUND THE NUCLEAR THREAT
INITIATIVE PROPOSAL FOR A NUCLEAR FUEL BANK - FRENCH REPLY

REF: SECSTATE 68313


1. (SBU) On June 27, ESTH Counselor and ESTH Officer
delivered to Martin Briens, Director of the Office of
Disarmament and Nuclear Nonproliferation, reftel demarche
regarding the need to raise matching funds to support the
proposal under the Nuclear Threat Initiative to create a
nuclear fuel bank. Briens was current with this subject and
expressed interest in promoting it. He commented that
President Sarkozy himself favorably spoke of the idea of a
nuclear fuel bank when he campaigned for president last year.
Briens noted that the subject of the fuel bank had only
recently been raised in (bilateral?) discussions in
Washington. Briens thought that a fuel bank could be very
useful, but it would also be "highly politically charged"
since it envisioned limiting fuel enrichment capability to
specific countries, effectively excluding a number of Middle
Eastern nations from the technology. He mentioned also that
a fuel bank would be valuable in the context of the Iranian
nuclear problem.

2. (SBU) Briens indicated that, accordingly, France was
interested in possibly/repeat possibly providing some "small
amount" of funding. However, he foresaw the GOF's role in
the coming months in support of the fuel bank to rather be to
attempt to generate interest in the proposal within the EU
during France's upcoming EU presidency. In that regard,
however, he highlighted the divergence of views about nuclear
energy within the EU and, thinking aloud, wondered whether
the EU could reach a consensus with 26 other countries on the
merits of committing funds to the proposal. He thought it
wise that the USG was seeking possible funding from countries
outside the EU.

3. (SBU) Briens said one of the problems with obtaining more
support for this proposal was that the IAEA itself had yet to
refine and prioritize the fuel bank options of which there
were already many. Baradei's comments about the fuel bank
have been "imprecise," according to Briens, and "on some
issues we'll need answers...." Briens ended with the truism
that foreign ministries don't control funds whereas finance
ministries do. The latter agencies are sticklers for detail
as they want to know precisely what their funds will
accomplish before releasing any.


Please visit Paris' Classified Website at:
http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Fran ce

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