Cablegate: Cekmece 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.




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 250990

1. EXBS Advisor and energy officer met with Turkish Atomic
Energy Authority (TAEK) President Okay Cakiroglu on December
3 to discuss the Cekmece reactors and the possible early
return of Highly Enriched Uranium (HUE) fuel rods (ref A).
Cakiroglu did not believe that there would be any GOT
objection to the early return of the unused HUE fuel rods in
Turkey's possession; however, Turkey has only one unused HEU
fuel rod. All other HUE fuel rods in Turkey's possession are
either currently in use or in the process of cooling. The
HEU rods which are still in the reactor core are considered
"hot" rods. These rods are not fully spent, thus are not
ready for removal from the core. The cooling process that
the other rods are in could take up to 2 years to reach a
level permitting shipment. Turkey is on schedule to safely
return their inventory of both used and unused HEU rods as
previously planned. While Cakiroglu did not object to
considering the possible early return of the unused rod, he
was not sure that it would be cost-effective for the U.S. to
come to Turkey to pick up only one rod. If Turkey were to
return the rod to the U.S., it would appreciate assistance in
obtaining replacement LEU fuel rods.

2. Cakiroglu said he would not object to a visit of a
technical team to Turkey, but given that Turkey only has one
remaining unused HUE rod for transfer, he did not see the
benefit of a DOE visit at this time.

3. During their discussion Cakiroglu informed EMBOFs that an
IAEA inspection team was currently in Ankara and Istanbul
conducting a surprise accounting and inspection on the
Turkish program. So far no discrepancies have been reported
to him and he did not anticipate any problems.


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