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Cablegate: European Commission and Hungarian Representation

VZCZCXYZ0003
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBS #1006 1841408
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 021408Z JUL 08
FM USEU BRUSSELS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHUP/AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST PRIORITY
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY

UNCLAS USEU BRUSSELS 001006

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DOE FOR NNSA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG HU KNNP OTRA RS TRGY
SUBJECT: EUROPEAN COMMISSION AND HUNGARIAN REPRESENTATION
TO EU FORESEE NO PROBLEMS WITH AGREEMENT TO SHIP SPENT
NUCLEAR FUEL

REF: BUDAPEST 00665

1. (SBU) European Commission Officials and the nuclear energy
desk officer at the Permanent Representation of Hungary to
the EU do not foresee any problems with the EU's approval of
the required Hungary-Russia bilateral agreement required to
move Russian-origin highly enriched uranium (HEU) spent
nuclear fuel from Hungary to Russia, under the auspices of
the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security
Administration's Global Threat Reduction Initiative.
However, Euratom's legal officer stated that the answer to
the draft agreement will be sent in two weeks' time to
Hungarian authorities.

2. (SBU) USEU EconOff was told in an initial discussion on
June 28 with Attila Nagy, the nuclear energy desk officer at
the Permanent Representation of Hungary to the EU, that the
Hungarian delegation in Brussels was not concerned about the
status of the agreement. To their understanding, the
European Commission had received the draft from the Hungarian
authorities and through informal communications between the
European Commission and the Hungarian Energy Commission the
Hungarians learned that there were no major problems with the
text. They therefore expected approval shortly.

3. (SBU) Nagy recommended that USEU EconOff contact the
European Commission for follow-up, providing the name of
Zsolt Pataky, the Euratom desk officer. Pataky forwarded the
request to the Euratom legal officer for a formal response,
but explained on July 1 that there were no specific problems
with the draft text. The draft had been circulated through
inter-service consultations, and that it simply takes time to
approve. Pataky also expressed no concerns with the approval.

4. (SBU) The legal office of Euratom communicated to USEU
EconOff on July 1 that: "the draft agreement was notified to
the European Commission, under Article 103 of the Euratom
Treaty, and is presently being assessed. An answer will be
sent in two weeks' time to the Hungarian authorities."

5. (SBU) Please advise if the response from the legal office
of Euratom implies any risk to the timely implementation of
the spent nuclear fuel shipments. If there is a significant
risk, we will re-contact the Permanent Representation of
Hungary here. We do not know how much flexibility Euratom
would have to advance their reply date to the Hungarians. If
we want this done however, Mission would appreciate a brief
instruction from the Department.

MURRAY
.

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