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Cablegate: Poland: Russian Research Reactor Fuel Return

VZCZCXRO5994
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHWR #1870 2431324
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 311324Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY WARSAW
TO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2697
RUEHKW/AMCONSUL KRAKOW 1813
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5095
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS WARSAW 001870

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/NCE, EUR/ERA, EUR/PRA, ISN/NESS
EUR/NCE FOR BPUTNEY
EUR/PRA FOR TYEAGER AND SSZUCHLEWSKI
ISN/NESS FOR DFENSTERMACHER
DOE FOR PARRISH STAPLES AND BRIAN WAUD
VIENNA FOR UNVIE LISA HILLIARD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ENRG IAEA KNNP KTIA PARM PL RS
SUBJECT: POLAND: RUSSIAN RESEARCH REACTOR FUEL RETURN
PROGRAM STALLED

REF: STATE 70448

1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified - not for Internet
distribution.

2. (U) Econcoff met with Anna Mank, a director in the
Polish Ministry of the State Treasury (MST) and Ivan
Bolshinsky, a senior technical advisor with the U.S.
Department of Energy (DOE), on August 27 to discuss the
status of Poland's progress on spent nuclear fuel (SNF)
return under the Russian Research Reactor Fuel Return (RRRFR)
program. At the time of the meeting, work had not yet begun
on processing SNF because the GOP had not signed the
implementing agreement.

3. (SBU) Mank began the meeting by announcing that the
legal department in the MST had recently completed a study of
the RRRFR program and determined that MST does not have the
authority to administer the RRRFR program or sign the
implementing agreement for it. She added that MST sent a
letter on August 10 to the Prime Minister's office,
requesting a designation of the responsible agency and
establishment of an interagency working group within the GOP
to carry out the RRRFR program. She said MST had not yet
received a response.

4. (SBU) Bolshinsky reminded Mank that, as the U.S.
legislation funding the RRRFR requires that all SNF be
shipped by the end of 2010, it is important to act soon.
Bolshinsky also pointed out that, according to the
implementing agreement, Russia will store the SNF on its
territory for 20 years at no charge to Poland. After the
initial 20 year period, the GOP could either pay for future
storage on Russian territory, or have the SNF returned to
Poland for storage. Bolshinsky asked Mank if MST could agree
to a contract authorizing DOE to calculate the respective
costs to Poland of storing the SNF in Russia or having it
returned. He emphasized that the contract would not incur
monetary costs or additional obligations to GOP. Mank
responded, however, that MST would not agree to any steps
without authorization from the Prime Minister's office.

5. (SBU) After the meeting, Bolshinsky mentioned to econoff
that 15 countries had been invited to participate in the
RRRFR program. Of those 15, only two had taken no steps
toward implementing the return of SNF: North Korea - which
declined to participate - and Poland.

6. (SBU) Comment: In Poland's current political climate,
the MST will not make a decision on participating in this
program absent explicit directions from the Prime Minister's
office. While post will continue to urge the GOP to sign the
implementing agreement, we note that no decisions are being
made by the Prime Minister's office on many issues, pending
resolution of parliament's vote of self-dissolution scheduled
for September 7. End comment.
ASHE

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