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Cablegate: Day 2: U.S.-South Africa Nonproliferation And

VZCZCXRO4831
OO RUEHJO
DE RUEHC #0237/01 2682030
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 252009Z SEP 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA IMMEDIATE 6471
RUEHJO/AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG IMMEDIATE 7121
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA IMMEDIATE 5534

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 STATE 100237

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AF KNNP MNUC NP PARM ENRG SF
SUBJECT: DAY 2: U.S.-SOUTH AFRICA NONPROLIFERATION AND
DISARMAMENT DIALOGUE: NUCLEAR SECURITY AND SIDEBAR
MEETINGS WITH SA DOE, NECSA

REF: A. STATE 078766
B. STATE 082147
C. STATE 097420

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SUMMARY
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1. (SBU) Day 2 discussions of the U.S.-South African
Nonproliferation and Disarmament Dialogue focused on
technical level nuclear security issues. DOE/NNSA, NRC, and
State gave a series of presentations on areas of cooperation.
The United States invited the SAG to visit U.S. nuclear
facilities later in the year to share best practices on
safety, security, and safeguards. The South Africans agreed
to consider a U.S. requested physical protection consultation
(including a site visit) for the Pelindaba site, which stores
U.S.-origin spent nuclear fuel. This would help fulfill
commitments, per USG interpretation, in the bilateral
Agreement for Cooperation Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear
Energy ("123 Agreement").

2. (SBU) The SAG appeared ready to move forward soon with
specific cooperative security activities, including South
African Department of Energy and the Nuclear Energy
Corporation of South Africa (NECSA) supply of LEU-based
Molybdenum-99 to the United States. Progress was also made
on the removal of U.S.-origin spent nuclear fuel and the
Megaports Initiative (for which the South African Cabinet is
considering approval of an implementing agreement). The USG
proposed additional and extended cooperation, including on
regional nuclear and radiological security activities,
"lab-to-lab" security assistance for Pelindaba, and
consideration of possible bilateral nuclear safeguards
cooperation. The United States will provide additional
details for further consideration. Special Advisor Einhorn
told representative from NECSA of U.S. interest in creating a
new energy dialogue, to include discussion of nuclear and
renewable energy. He also asked the SAG to complete the
necessary steps to sign the draft bilateral agreement on
civil nuclear energy research and development. The U.S. said
it would welcome a public event to sign the agreement and
announce the new Dialogue on the margins of the upcoming IAEA
General Conference (Note: The agreement was signed, but the
dialogue remains to be announced.)

--------------------------------------------- -------
DISCUSSION OF DOMESTIC U.S. NUCLEAR SECURITY EFFORTS
--------------------------------------------- -------

3. (SBU) Dr. Bruce Mallet, Deputy Director of Operations at
the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), explained
changes and upgrades in physical security requirements for
U.S. civilian nuclear sites since 9/11. Mallett discussed
the importance of safety and security interface, as well as
the importance of balancing between the two. He also
discussed lessons learned from the U.S. implementation of
additional safety/security requirements and provided an
overview of the NRC,s "force-on-force" inspection program.
Mallett acknowledged the cooperative relationship between the
NRC and its South African counterpart, the National Nuclear
Regulatory (NNR), and noted both agencies, intentions to
continue cooperation in the area of physical security. Since
the NNR does not have responsibility for materials security,
the U.S. NRC would be willing to work with the South African
DOE, which does.

4. (SBU) The DOE/NNSA Global Threat Reduction Initiative
(GTRI) presented on its domestic efforts, lessons learned,
and voluntary security upgrades at U.S. civilian (medical,
educational, etc.) sites storing nuclear and radiological
materials. DOE/NSA described the scope of U.S. domestic
nuclear security efforts, including typical enhancements;
lessons learned regarding security culture; infrastructure;
alarm response; and sustainability, as well as secondary
benefits of reactor conversions and the need for additional
human resources beyond those planned. On radiological
security, the GTRI outlined efforts, including recovering
disused and/or orphan radioactive sources, and technical
experts from Sandia National Lab and Pacific Northwest
National Lab provided technical perspectives and lessons
learned. GTRI also presented on the program,s international
nuclear and radiological security efforts, including those
worldwide to convert HEU-fueled research reactors to the use

STATE 00100237 002 OF 004

SUBJECT: DAY 2: U.S.-SOUTH AFRICA NONPROLIFERATION AND
DISARMAMENT DIALOGUE: NUCLEAR SECURITY AND SIDEBAR
MEETINGS WITH SA DOE, NEC
of less-proliferation sensitive LEU fuel, and to repatriate
HEU fuels.

--------------------------------------------- ------
SOUTH AFRICAN COMMENTS ON THE STATUS OF SECURITY AT PELINDABA
--------------------------------------------- ------

5. (SBU) Minty and other South African officials briefed on
SAG efforts to increase nuclear security at nuclear
facilities since 9/11, and the November 2007 break-in at the
Pelindaba facility. These facilities now had a clean bill of
health on security. The SAG addressed its work with the IAEA
in assessing and enhancing security at Pelindaba. The
nuclear regulatory agency had performed a post break-in
security assessment and "most" of the recommended actions had
already been completed.

6. (SBU) During informal conversations, NECSA officials
acknowledged that they need and are interested in assistance
to improve nuclear security at Pelindaba. Joseph Shayi,
NECSA General Manager for Risk and Infrastructure Management,
specifically mentioned the need for:

--Additional volumetric sensors and cameras for his perimeter;
--Additional fence line for the perimeter;
--Response force training for his guard personnel;
--Emergency response training exercise that would include the
police back-up forces; and
--Basic physical protection training for the guard force
personnel, physical protection staff and some site managers.

7. (SBU) Shayi referenced the personnel dismissals and
continued emphasis on employee accountability at Pelindaba.
Shayi assumed his current position because his predecessor
was terminated after the November 2007 break-in. Any future
security incident would similarly result in his termination.
The requested assistance could be provided with GTRI funding
via a "lab-to-lab" effort between Sandia National
Laboratories (SNL) and NECSA. As a next step, SNL would
provide NECSA with a detailed proposal regarding areas for
cooperation.

--------------------------------------------- -----
U.S. REQUEST FOR PHYSICAL PROTECTION CONSULTATIONS
--------------------------------------------- -----

8. (SBU) U.S. officials outlined U.S. nuclear security
physical protection bilateral consultations with the 46
countries that possess U.S. origin nuclear materials. DOS
officials stressed the broad scope of such consultations, as
required under U.S. domestic law for countries with
U.S.-origin nuclear materials, and as provided under the
consultation provisions of the "123" Agreement for Peaceful
Nuclear Cooperation with South Africa. U.S.-origin HEU spent
fuel is still held at Pelindaba; South Africa last agreed to
such a consultation in 1998. (Note: In 1998, the U.S.
interagency delegation did not find Pelindaba,s security to
be consistent with the IAEA INFCIRC/225 recommendations and
suggested several remedial actions. The USG does not have
independent confirmation that South Africa made these or
other security enhancements.) South African officials stated
they would consider the United States proposal to conduct a
follow-up physical protection visit. In response, Baker
mentioned the offer to visit U.S. nuclear facilities, which
was well-received. On the margins, Johann Kellerman, Deputy
Director, Nuclear Disarmament and Nonproliferation, DICO,
told a member of the U.S. delegation that such a visit was
"contractual obligation" under the 123 Agreement and should
not be a problem.

--------------------------------------------- ------------
SOUTH AFRICAN INSIGHTS ON NUCLEAR FUEL STORAGE, STATUS AT
PELINDABA
--------------------------------------------- ------------

9. (SBU) Joseph Shayi (NECSA) confirmed that the U.S.-origin
and the South African-origin spent nuclear fuel assemblies
are co-located in pipe storage. DOE/NNSA (via the GTRI
program) and the SAG are planning to return approximately 50
U.S.-origin spent HEU fuel assemblies from the SAFARI-1
reactor at Pelindaba to the United States in early 2011. As
requested by South Africa as part of the agreement to return
this spent fuel, GTRI committed to help train South African
personnel in all aspects of nuclear materials handling and
transport, as well as in overall project management. Both
sides agreed to keep working on the contract for the removal
of HEU fuel, with the goal of beginning implementation as
soon as possible. As for the South African origin fuel, SAG
officials intended to retain it in pipe storage and did not
indicate any specific plans to recycle the fuel. They

STATE 00100237 003 OF 004

SUBJECT: DAY 2: U.S.-SOUTH AFRICA NONPROLIFERATION AND
DISARMAMENT DIALOGUE: NUCLEAR SECURITY AND SIDEBAR
MEETINGS WITH SA DOE, NEC
provided no information on the storage of its relatively
large domestically produced inventory of HEU recovered from
its weapons program.

--------------------------------------------- ----------
AREAS FOR EXPANDED BILATERAL, REGIONAL NUCLEAR SECURITY
COOPERATION
--------------------------------------------- ----------

10. (SBU) DOE/NNSA,s GTRI program offered to assist South
Africa with the security of radiological sources in South
Africa and elsewhere in Africa, especially in the lead up to
the South Africa-hosted June 2010 World Cup. The U.S. also
proposed establishment of a National Nuclear Training Center
to support South Africa,s nuclear skills development and
capacity-building needs. The U.S. also encouraged South
African assistance to the Democratic Republic of Congo to
remove U.S.-origin spent nuclear fuel and in other areas.
The U.S. also raised the idea of possible cooperation to
assist other African countries with radioactive source
recoveries by deploying NECSA-developed Spent High Activity
Recovery Sources mobile technology.

11. (SBU) The U.S. also presented briefings on Megaports
Initiative efforts to install radiation detection equipment
at the Ports of Durban and Cape Town, and to provide training
on operation and maintenance of the equipment. South African
officials appeared very receptive to such cooperation. They
confirmed that the necessary implementing Memorandum of
Understanding agreement was before the South African Cabinet,
with approval expected in the near future.

12. (SBU) Other areas of expanded cooperation discussed
included Commodity Identification Training and export control
collaboration, bilateral nuclear safeguards, and nuclear
nonproliferation forensics cooperation. The U.S. thanked the
SAG for arranging the May 2009 consultative visit on
Commodity Identification Training and said it looked forward
to the next collaboration in November.

13. (SBU) In the DOE/NNSA presentation on the International
Nuclear Safeguards Engagement Program, U.S. officials
emphasized that such cooperation would not jeopardize a
country,s work with the IAEA. In fact, such cooperation
allows both sides to better implement their IAEA nuclear
safeguards obligations (via cooperation on safeguards
technology and approaches in areas of mutual interest).
Minty welcomed the clarification, requested a full annotated
copy of the presentation, and would consider these issues.
(Note: South African officials have not been receptive to
establishing a formal, or even informal, dialogue on
safeguards R&D cooperation. Minty has made clear the SAG
preference that such cooperation be done through direct SAG
cooperation with the IAEA.)

------------------------
MO-99 ISOTOPE PRODUCTION
------------------------

14. (SBU) Both sides discussed the global shortage of the
Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) medical isotope, required for medical
diagnostic procedures. After the shutdown of Canadian
reactors, South Africa became the top global Mo-99 producer
(utilizing HEU targets) and has increased its production by
between 20-30 percent. South African officials outlined
their plans to convert their production process from HEU to
less proliferation-sensitive LEU, and declared it would be
technically feasible to do so in less than two years.
DOE/NNSA officials agreed to develop a joint paper on options
for expediting this conversion process with the required U.S.
FDA approval and possible GTRI financial assistance.

--------------------------------------------- -------
U.S. INVITE FOR SAG DELEGATION VISIT TO U.S. NUCLEAR
FACILITIES
--------------------------------------------- -------

15. (SBU) In closing, Baker reiterated the invitation for
SAG officials to visit U.S. nuclear facilities to observe
U.S. nuclear security and safeguards practices. The USDEL
suggested a November 2009 visit, as part of the next round of
the Dialogue. Baker encouraged the SAG to provide input on
an agenda, including potential dates, to help us develop a
comprehensive and compelling tour. End of Day 2 discussions.


--------------------------------------------- ------
SIDEBAR MEETING WITH SA DOE ACTING DIRECTOR GENERAL NELISIWE
MAGUBANE
--------------------------------------------- ------

STATE 00100237 004 OF 004


16. (SBU) South African Department of Energy Acting Director
General Nelisiwe Magubane and Director for Nuclear
Non-proliferation Elise Monale met with members of the U.S.
delegation. Minty also attended, although he was not
invited. Einhorn gave a brief overview of the proposed
senior-level energy dialogue on nuclear and renewable energy
issues. He outlined USG preferred outcomes to be achieved on
the margins of the upcoming IAEA General Conference: signing
the draft nuclear energy R&D agreement, announcing the new
energy dialogue, and participation in the Sherpa planning
meeting. Minty assured that South Africa would try its best.
Magubane said that there is a high level of interest in
renewable energy issues in the SAG, as well as in nuclear
energy issues. The SAG recently started cooperation with the
Clinton Climate Change Commission on solar power and has a
standing invitation to visit a U.S. solar plant. SAG is
considering its options to build bigger plants and replace
its reliance on coal.

17. (SBU) Al Burkart, Deputy Director of the Office of
Nuclear Energy, Safety, and Security Affairs (State), gave an
overview of U.S. efforts within the IAEA milestone project.
He presented the USG offer to team up with South Africa and
the IAEA to co-host a workshop or a series of workshops at
both higher political and technical levels for African
countries considering civil nuclear energy infrastructure
development. Magubane welcomed the suggestion and separately
asked how customs officials could be trained to identify
fissile material and stop illicit trafficking. Andrew
Bieniawski, Assistant Deputy Administrator for Global Threat
Reduction (DOE/NNSA) gave a brief overview of the State
Department Nuclear Smuggling Outreach Initiative (NSOI).

18. (SBU) Einhorn gave a brief overview of the changing
nature of GNEP and encouraged South Africa to consider
attending the October GNEP meeting as an observer. Magubane
would consult with the Minister about the meeting, noting
that it "doesn,t hurt to learn." Baker provided a brief
overview of the Day 2 nuclear security talks and Holgate
offered an overview of the upcoming Nuclear Security Summit.

----------------------------------------
SIDEBAR MEETING WITH NECSA CEO ROB ADAMS
----------------------------------------

19. (SBU) U.S. officials met with NECSA CEO Rob Adams to
discuss nuclear security cooperation. Regarding Molly 99
production, Adams explained that NECSA has already increased
its supply to the United States, and would be willing to
discuss additional opportunities in the U.S. market. The
parties agreed to meet on the margins of the IAEA General
Conference to develop an action plan to address U.S. needs.
(Note: The meeting was held.) Adams welcomed the invitation
to visit U.S. nuclear facilities where HEU and plutonium are
stored to see U.S. nuclear security procedures, as well as a
separate U.S. offer to provide nuclear security-related
training to NECSA; Adams commented that adding a nuclear
security component would improve NECSA,s existing nuclear
skills development center. He also informed the group that
NECSA is on contract with the IAEA to collect sources in
Africa (SHARS project). DOE/NNSA offered a nonpaper on
expanded cooperation to secure sources in Africa. Finally,
agreement was reached to develop a plan for "lab-to-lab" (via
U.S. Sandia National Labs) cooperation at Pelindaba, to
include security upgrades and training. Holgate gave a brief
overview of plans for the upcoming Nuclear Security Summit,
noting that industry involvement is being considered to
address the issue holistically. End of Day 2 sidebar
meetings.

-----------------------------------------
POINTS OF CONTACT FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------

20. (SBU) For further information, please contact State POC
(ISN/RA) Krista Fisher (202-647-6793, fisherkk@state.gov,
NNSA POCs Heather Looney (202-586-6772,
Heather.Looney@nnsa.doe.gov) or Andrew Bieniawski
(202-586-0775, Andrew.Bieniawski@nnsa.doe.gov), or NRC POC
Cindy Rosales-Cooper (301-415-1168,
Cindy.Rosales-Cooper@nrc.gov).
CLINTON

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