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Cablegate: South Africa Interested in Signing Nuclear R&D

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSA #3076 2431539
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 311539Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1494
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0650
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1280
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 0658
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1148
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0218
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0497
RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 4776
RUCPDC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 0209
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS PRETORIA 003076

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/S, EEB/ESC, ISN
DOE FOR SPERL, PERSON, BIENAWSKI, AND PARKER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG TRGY ETRD BEXP KTIA IAEA SF
SUBJECT: SOUTH AFRICA INTERESTED IN SIGNING NUCLEAR R&D
AGREEMENT

REF: A. PRETORIA 2494

B. PRETORIA 317

1. (U) This is an action request - see paragraph 1.

2. (SBU) Post seeks a response from Department and DOE to
the Reftel A request that USG and SAG Ministers of Energy
sign the proposed "Agreement Between the Government of the
United States of America and the Government of the Republic
of South Africa for Cooperation in Research and Development
in Nuclear Technology" at the IAEA annual meeting in Vienna
September 17, after the GNEP Ministerial on September 16.

3. (SBU) DME Chief Director: Nuclear Tselio Maqubela told
Economic Counselor and Minerals and Energy Officer on August
27 that it was still the intention of the SAG to sign the
nuclear R&D agreement at the Ministerial level in Vienna,
noting there was already bilateral agreement on the text and
spirit of the document. However, he admitted that DME was
still seeking inter-agency approval to obtain signing
authority. He directed his subordinates to follow up on the
status, given the short time frame and the long period that
the agreement has remained in the SAG interagency review.
Maqubela promised to get back to us as soon as possible,
saying that a decision should be made "by the end of the
week."

4. (SBU) Maqubela noted the competition between Westinghouse
and French Areva for the contract for new nuclear plant
construction expected to be awarded in spring 2008 and said
the SAG would seek to be even-handed with any activities with
the USG and the GOF. He emphasized that in his view the SAG
should be able to continue with projects already in the
pipeline. Maqubela warned that he would not be able to meet
as often with USG officials as the award date approached,
given his half-time position in the Ministry and his
half-time position with state power company ESKOM. As a
result, he said he would try to resolve issues with the USG
"before the end of the year."
Teitelbaum

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