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Cablegate: Ukraine: Update On Reported Radioactive Material

VZCZCXYZ0005
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKV #1413 2041400
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 221400Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6051
INFO RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 0060
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 0363
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA PRIORITY 0027

UNCLAS KYIV 001413

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KNNP MNUC ASEC ENRG KCRM PARM PINR UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: UPDATE ON REPORTED RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL
SEIZURE

REF: A. AWAN-SCHEINMAN EMAIL OF 7/21
B. KYIV 1341
C. STATE 072687
D. 2007 STATE 162091

1. (SBU) Summary: Energy Attache received an update on July
21 from Ukraine's nuclear regulatory officials regarding a
potential radioactive material smuggling incident (ref B).
GOU experts have now finished a detailed analysis of the
seized material and have determined that it is of NO
proliferation concern. A criminal investigation against the
potential smugglers will continue, however. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Following up on reports of a potential cesium or
enriched uranium smuggling incident in Ukraine (refs B-D),
Energy Attache received an update on July 21 from our
contacts at the Kyiv Institute of Nuclear Research (KINR) and
the State Nuclear Regulatory Committee of Ukraine (SNRCU)
(Please Protect).

3. (SBU) The two suspect containers, which had been
interdicted by the GOU in Cherkassy oblast in early July (ref
B), were delivered to KINR on July 17 for forensic and
isotopic analyses of the material. (Note: DOE has provided
equipment to KINR to perform such investigations. End Note.)
KINR completed the analyses on July 18 and forwarded its
report to the SNRCU on July 21. KINR analyzed only one
container as both were identical.

4. (SBU) KINR's analysis found there to be no Cesium-137 in
the containers. Each container contains approximately 200
milligrams of Uranium Oxide with enrichment of 0.3 percent.
The material also contains Vitamin B-6. According to both
KINR and SNRCU, the material present is of NO CONCERN.
(Note: The GOU has not yet released these results to the
public. End Note.)

5. (SBU) The containers will be transferred for storage at
the Kyiv Radon facility once the Cherkasy authorities make
the transportation and other budget necessities available.
The ongoing criminal investigation into the would-be
"smugglers" will continue. (Comment: It seems likely that
the suspects were trying to pass off the relatively harmless
material in the containers as enriched uranium as a
money-making scam. End Comment.)
TAYLOR

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