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Cablegate: Poland Delegation Parlays Mdep Meeting To

R 281511Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 7428
DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
NRC WASHINGTON DC
AMEMBASSY WARSAW
USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA

UNCLAS PARIS 001447


FROM USOECD PARIS

STATE FOR EUR/ERA
STATE FOR ISN/FO/RSTRATFORD
NRC FOR OIP/BWITTICK, MDOANE, CROSALES-COOPER,
CABRAMS, CMILLER
DOE FOR NE/PLYONS, EMCGINNIS, CWELLING, RBOUDREAU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG OTRA TRGY TECH OECD FR SP IO
SUBJECT: POLAND DELEGATION PARLAYS MDEP MEETING TO
CONVEY INTENTIONS FOR NUCLEAR ENERGY

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) Multinational
Design Evaluation Program (MDEP) held a conference
in Paris, France on September 10 and 11. MDEP core
members had decided to expand their reach and
organize a formal exchange with national regulators
from MDEP non-member countries, industry
representatives and standards development
organizations. As a result, the MDEP conference
attracted more than 170 attendees from 23 countries
and 10 international organizations ? certainly a
wider audience than that provided by the core MDEP
members. Of particular note, Poland sent a high-
level representative to the meeting: Ms. Hanna
Trojanowska, Deputy Minister for the Economy and
Government?s Plenipotentiary for the Development of
Nuclear Power in Poland. The Polish delegation
organized briefings, lunch and dinner meetings for
Deputy Minister Trojanowska, providing an
opportunity for the Deputy Minister to convey
Poland?s desire to restart their nuclear energy
program, their desired cooperation with the United
States in this endeavor, and desired membership to
the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA). Deputy Minister
Trojanowska also met with Nuclear Regulatory
Commission (NRC) Chairman Jaczko to discuss
cooperation between the NRC and the Polish National
Atomic Energy Agency. END SUMMARY

--------------------------------------
BACKGROUND ? POLAND AND NUCLEAR ENERGY
--------------------------------------

2. Poland does not currently have nuclear power,
although they have several active nuclear energy
research facilities. In August 2009, a roadmap for
nuclear energy was unveiled by Poland ? announcing
the steps it will take with the aim of generating
nuclear power before 2021. The introduction of
nuclear power is part of a plan to reduce exposure
to volatility in imported energy sources and reduce
dependence on fossil fuels.

3. A 2006 feasibility study suggested that 11.5 GWe
of nuclear capacity would be optimum for Poland but
possibly unaffordable in the medium term, so the
figure of 4.5 GWe by 2030 was then targeted. A 2007
draft energy policy proposes 10 MWe of indigenous
nuclear capacity by 2030, providing 10 percent of
electricity then, and an interim 7.5 percent by
2022.

4. State-owned Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA (PGE),
Poland's largest power group by generating capacity,
in January 2009 announced plans to build two nuclear
power plants, each with a capacity of 3,000 MWe, one
in the north and one in the east of the country.
PGE estimates that the cost would be EURS 2500-
3000per kilowatt of nuclear power. The energy
security strategy approved by the Polish government
in January 2009 aims at one or two nuclear power
plants to be built by PGE, the first by 2020. PGE
would hold 51 percent of the projects as part of a
consortium with foreign partners. A four-stage plan
envisages legislation by 2010, site, technology and
construction arrangements by 2011-13, technical
plans and site works by 2014-15, and construction
between 2016-20.
5. Poland relies heavily on fossil fuel,
specifically coal, as its primary source of energy.
Poland has the largest reserves of coal in the EU
(14 billion tonnes) ? providing 93 percent of their
electricity needs. They have very high emissions of
green house gases and will likely have difficulty
meeting decreased greenhouse gas emission scenarios
for the EU. Poland is a net electricity exporter ?
11 billion kWh in 2006, mostly to Czech Republic and
Slovakia. Poland?s own electricity consumption is
forecast to grow by 90 percent by 2025, but the EU
has placed stringent restrictions on CO2 emissions.


About half of the country's gas supply comes from
Russia.
--------------------------------
THE NEED TO ADJUST THE VARIABLES
--------------------------------

6. The equation for decreased carbon emissions is
not in their favor: high emission coal plus growing
demand plus looming EU restrictions on emissions.

7. The Polish cabinet decided early in 2005 that for
energy diversification, and to reduce CO2 and sulfur
emissions, the country should move immediately to
introduce nuclear power, so that an initial plant
might be operating soon after 2020. In July 2006 the
new Prime Minister reaffirmed the need to build
nuclear power plants, and mentioned French
technology.

--------------------------------------------- ----
BACKGROUND ? POLAND AND THE NUCLEAR ENERGY AGENCY
--------------------------------------------- ----

8. (SBU) Poland has previously shown an interest in
joining the (NEA). However, the NEA and a few of its
member countries have exhibited some hesitancy with
respect to having new members without a substantive
nuclear power program (including research programs).
There are two reasons behind this hesitancy of NEA,
which is a predominantly technical organization. a)
NEA wants to ensure that members at the table
provide substantive input ? and substantive input
for a technical agency requires experience and
expertise that would come from an operational
program. b) Governments change with elections. A
nuclear-issues friendly government of today could be
nuclear energy-opposed after the next election.
The change might not be so dramatic in a country
that currently relies on nuclear energy ? but in a
country currently without nuclear power on the grid
? such a policy change might leave no choice for the
member state other than to send naysayer delegates
to the meetings. This would be disruptive to
strategic planning for any organization.

9. (SBU) Poland expressed interest in joining the
NEA in 1999. At that time the U.S., Japan and UK
decided they wanted (as NEA member states)
substantive nuclear energy-users that could bring
something to the table. They essentially blocked
Poland from joining by never reaching a final
decision.

10. NEA suggested to Poland that in an effort to
forge a closer relationship to NEA and member
states, that they join some of the technical
committees to "prove" their interest and competency
over time. Poland followed this advice and has been
very active. In 2007 they joined the Radioactive
Waste Management Committee and the Nuclear Science
Committee (NSC) and are active in two NSC working
parties. Poland?s contributions are very welcome.

11. Poland?s interest in NEA membership is due to
their belief that this will be one way to help guide
them along their path to developing the
infrastructure to support a domestic nuclear power
program and to help them win public confidence.

12. Poland is not new to the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
community. They have been a member of the OECD
since 1996. In 2008, Poland joined the
International Energy Agency (IEA), a sister agency
to the NEA - specializing in coal, oil, gas,
renewable and emergency response. Poland is also a
member of the U.S. Global Nuclear Energy
Partnership.

--------------------------------
MEETING WITH NRC CHAIRMAN JACZKO
--------------------------------


13. The NRC Chairman and delegation met with Deputy
Minister Trojanowska; Jan Woroniecki, Poland?s
Ambassador to the OECD; and Maciej Jurkowski, Vice
President, National Atomic Energy Agency (PAA) on
September 10, 2009 while in Paris, France. The U.S.
delegation consisted of Chairman Jaczko; Margaret
Doane, Director of International Programs (OIP);
Angela Coggins, Policy Advisor; and Brian Wittick,
International Relations Officer.

14. During the meeting Ms. Trojanowska said that she
is responsible for preparing Poland to launch their
nuclear power program.

15. Poland?s National Atomic Energy Agency (PAA) is
responsible for developing the safety authority and
regulatory framework. The Ministry of Economy is
responsible for the promotional aspect of the
nuclear program.

16. Ms. Trojanowska said one of her big concerns is
the large generation gap between when nuclear power
was last pursued and present day.

17. Ms. Trojanowska expressed a strong desire to
continue cooperation efforts with the U.S. and in
particular between the NRC and PAA. Chairman Jaczko
provided that he also desired to continue, and
further develop our cooperative relationship with
Poland.

18. Mr. Jurkowski stated they have reviewed the
draft agreement between regulatory agencies that was
provided to the Polish Embassy in DC earlier this
spring. They have only to insert the correct name of
their regulator to proceed with the agreement. (Side
note: The U.S. will also need to have the agreement
translated to Polish; if opportunity presents there
could possibly be a signing by the end of year, or
more likely in conjunction with the Regulatory
Information Conference (RIC) next spring). Chairman
Jaczko provided that he would like to finalize the
agreement, and NRC OIP staff would work with PAA to
do so. Mr. Jurkowski said the Polish Minister has
discussed the agreement with our Secretary of Energy
when they met. Ms. Trojanowska stated that they had
no comments on the agreement and emphasized the
agreement should be between regulators.

19. Mr. Jurkowski stated that they have a nuclear
law from 2000 (last nuclear law was 1896) they would
be using as the basis to proceed with their new
program.

20. Ms Trojanowska indicated that Poland desires to
join the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), and that they
had applied 10 years ago for membership, but it did
not come to fruition. Poland believes they can be a
contributor to the Nuclear Energy Agency?s programs.

----------------------
NEA Steering Committee
----------------------

21. The NEA Steering Committee (SC) meets this
October 29th and 30th in Paris. Poland is listed on
the agenda (?Participation of Poland in NEA
Committees and Working Parties?) and member states
will be able to weigh in on whether they consider
Poland?s participation has been valuable. Poland is
likely, in the not-too-distant future, to formally
express interest in joining the NEA.

22. During the Deputy Minister?s brief stay in
Paris, Poland hosted several other events to
highlight their intent to develop a nuclear power
program and also their interest in joining the NEA.
KORNBLUH

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