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Cablegate: Atomstroyexport's Approach to the "Nuclear

P 171404Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5890
INFO CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
VIENNA IAEA POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY
DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS MOSCOW 005841


SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KNNP ENRG PREL RS IN
SUBJECT: ATOMSTROYEXPORT'S APPROACH TO THE "NUCLEAR
RENAISSANCE"

Sensitive But Unclassified. Not for internet distribution.

1. (SBU) During a recent meeting at a Moscow think-tank, an
official from Atomstroyexport outlined priorities for the
construction of Russian nuclear power plants abroad. China,
India, Iran, and Bulgaria are their top target markets. The
official downplayed the importance of the failure of Russia
and India to sign a nuclear cooperation deal during PM
Singh's recent visit to Moscow. End Summary.

"We're all Realists"
--------------------

2. (SBU) On December 13, Alexei Ubeev, deputy head of
Russia's nuclear export company Atomstroyexport, chaired a
meeting at the Center for Policy Studies in Russia (PIR), a
prominent Moscow think-tank specializing in nonproliferation
and security issues. The seminar dealt with Russia's role in
the "nuclear renaissance." The seminar included
representatives from the MFA, diplomatic missions, and
academic institutions. Ubeev provided an overview of recent
consolidations and international activities of major Western
nuclear companies, including Westinghouse-Toshiba and Areva.

3. (SBU) In characterizing the recent increase in
international nuclear cooperation deals, Ubeev observed that
"we're all realists." Economic and market forces, not
political calculations, are driving deals. He cautioned that
geography and existing market penetration largely determined
where the big players would succeed. For example,
Westinghouse and Areva have captured the North American and
Western European markets. While Africa and South-East Asia
have little experience and weak infrastructure to ride the
nuclear renaissance wave, India and China, with their booming
economies, represent the greatest potential.

India and China: Key Nuclear Markets
------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Ubeev ranked Atomstroyexport's priorities over the
coming years as follows: 1. Bulgaria, India, China, and Iran;
2. Kazakhstan, Armenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic; 3. Turkey,
Morocco, and possibly Egypt. He said the Indian market was
"very interesting." However, he warned that there are two
big obstacles that need to be overcome before expanding
operations in India: nuclear trade restrictions by the
Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and lingering questions over
IAEA safeguards at India's civilian facilities. He
dismissed media reports noting failure to sign a Russia-India
nuclear cooperation deal during PM Singh's visit to Moscow
last month. Ubeev said that Russia can still continue
construction of two reactors at Kudankulam despite NSG
restrictions because the 1988 agreement for their
construction has a grandfather clause.
BURNS


NNNN

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