Cablegate: Agreement for Cooperation Concerning Peaceful Uses
UNCLAS ANKARA 002397
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG KNNP TRGY TU
SUBJECT: AGREEMENT FOR COOPERATION CONCERNING PEACEFUL USES
OF NUCLEAR ENERGY AND THE RETURN OF FUEL RODS
REF: A. STATE 270743
B. ANKARA 775
1. This is an Action Cable. See para 6.
2. Summary: The Government of Turkey completed the
ratification process by the Turkish Grand National Assembly
for the Agreement for Cooperation between the Republic of
Turkey and the United State of America concerning Peaceful
Uses of Nuclear Energy. Post received a request to find out
the status of the United States ratification of the
Agreement. A lack of ratification by the United States could
have a negative effect on exchange of nuclear information and
potential cooperation on development of Turkey's Nuclear
Power plants but -most importantly- it could impede desired
return of Highly Enriched Uranium Fuel (HEU) assemblies to
the U.S. from Turkey. End Summary.
3. Post received a Diplomatic Note announcing Turkish Grand
National Assembly ratification of the Agreement for
Cooperation between the Republic of Turkey and the United
State of America concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy
on January 14, 2005. This Agreement has also been published
in the Turkish Official Gazette as required by Turkish law.
4. In a April 22 meeting with EXBS Advisor, the President of
the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK), Okay Cakiroglu,
stated that Turkey was willing to carry out the planned
exchange of the Highly Enriched Uranium fuel assemblies at
the Cekmece Nuclear Reactor for new Low Enriched Uranium fuel
assemblies, as requested by the United States earlier this
year (reftels). However, Cakiroglu pointed out that an
important part of this exchange was that Turkey would receive
the replacement fuel assemblies. In his view this would not
be possible absent United States ratification of the
Agreement concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, which
would allow the transfer of these fuel assemblies to Turkey.
Without the replacement fuel assemblies, Turkey is unwilling
to transfer the HEU fuel assemblies, since it would not be
able to operate their research reactor.
5. Cakiroglu also informed EXBS Advisor that Turkey still
plans to construct several nuclear power plants. GOT has
conducted preliminary discussions with several companies in
various countries. Cakiroglu believes that the ideas and
technology presented by Westinghouse would best fit the needs
of Turkey. Again, however, in the absence of a ratified
agreement, Cakiroglu believes that the GOT would not be able
to consider Westinghouse or any other U.S. company for their
nuclear power plants.
6. Action: Post requests the status of the ratification
process for the Agreement for Cooperation between the
Republic of Turkey and the United State of America concerning
Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. Post also requests
information on expected timing for ratification.
7. Comment: Turkey, although very reluctant at first, has
done everything required for an early return of the HEU fuel
rods as requested by the United States earlier this year.
Ironically, United States inaction to date on this Agreement
may now delay this sought after exchange. Further delay in
ratification of this Agreement could affect not only the
future return of this fuel source, but also U.S. commercial
involvement in Turkey's potential nuclear program. While
recognizing that Turkey's prospective program may face
financial difficulties, we would like to be responsive to
Turkey's desire for exploring U.S. technology.