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Cablegate: Cekmece Research Reactor Conversion and Fuel Return

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ANKARA 004426

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NP/NE- AKRASS
DOE FOR EM-24 ATHROWER
DOE FOR EM-241 KMENDELSOHN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG KNNP PM TRGY TU
SUBJECT: CEKMECE RESEARCH REACTOR CONVERSION AND FUEL RETURN

REF: STATE 154777

1. EXBS Advisor called on the new Turkish Atomic Energy
Authority (TAEK) President, Mr. Okay Cakiroglu, on August 6.
Cakiroglu assumed these duties this past July. EXBS Advisor
the meeting, we raised the Cekmece Nuclear Plants (reftel),
noting that DOE is willing to assist in the physical security
upgrades to these facilities.

2. Cakiroglu and his colleagues provided the following
information in response to the questions posed in reftel:

a. What is the status of TR-2 reactor? Has it been
refurbished and will it be restored to full operational
capability?

The TR-2 reactor has not been started and will not be started
in the near future. TAEK has developed plans to refurbish
the reactor, but does not have a timetable for either
starting the refurbishment or an estimate of the length of
time that it would take to complete the refurbishment.

b. What are the plans for the TR-1? If it is to be
restarted what type of fuel will it use and where will the
fuel come from?

The plans for TR-1 are for its use for medical research only
at this time. In the near future it may also be used for
other medical purposes, and that is the extent of use that is
planned for this reactor. The fuel being used at this time
is from fuel that Turkey has on hand. Turkey has every
intention of complying with its agreement with the US to
return fuel, both used and unused. While the agreement is to
return the spent fuel rods by 2006, Turkey may also have
unused fuel rods that it will need to return, since it is not
expending fuel at the planned rate.

c. Does Turkey intend to request US assistance with it
physical protection upgrades?

Turkey does not intend to request any assistance from the US.
Turkey has been working on the list of recommendations
provided by IAEA in July 2003 and has remedied all noted
deficiency in the physical protection of the facilities.

3. Comment: Given the low level of activity at Cekmece,
Cakiroglu did not believe there was reason for more in-depth
discussions with us. We are prepared to approach him again
if Washington believes it is necessary. End comment.

DEUTSCH

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