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Cablegate: Gnep Beijing Ministerial - Agreement to Consider

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PP RUEHAST RUEHCN RUEHDH RUEHGH RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD
RUEHSL RUEHTM RUEHTRO RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #3096/01 3170033
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 130033Z NOV 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6794
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
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RHMFIUU/NSF POLAR WASHINGTON DC
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEAEPA/HQ EPA WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 14 BEIJING 003096

STATE FOR EAP/CM-BRAUNOHLER, EAP/CM
STATE FOR OES DAS MIOTKE
STATE FOR S/SECC-STERN, S/P-GREEN
STATE FOR ISN/NESS
USDOE FOR NUCLEAR ENERGY/ MCGINNIS
USDOE FOR NNSA/ SCHEINMAN, GOOREVICH, WHITNEY
STATE PASS TO NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (DOANE)
USDOE FOR INTERNATIONAL/YOSHIDA, BISCONTI, HUANGFU
USDOE FOR INTERNATIONAL
NSC FOR HOLGATE

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG ECON ETTC TRGY KNNP IAEA KTIA CVIS CH

SUBJECT: GNEP BEIJING MINISTERIAL - AGREEMENT TO CONSIDER
TRANSFORMATION TO THE INTERNATIONAL NUCLEAR ENERGY FRAMEWORK (INEF)

REF A: 09 STATE 106834
REF B: BEIJING 2978

BEIJING 00003096 001.4 OF 014


Sensitive but unclassified - please protect accordingly.

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: China--led by National Development and Reform
Commission (NDRC) Vice Chairman and National Energy Administration
(NEA) chief ZHANG Guobao--hosted the third Global Nuclear Energy
Partnership (GNEP) Executive Committee meeting on October 23 in
Beijing. The U.S. delegation was led by Department of Energy (DOE)
Deputy Secretary (DEPSEC) Daniel Poneman.

2. (SBU) At the meeting, all partners agreed to consider
U.S.-proposed transformations to GNEP. First, all partners agreed
to consider the elimination of the requirement that states sign a
Statement of Principles to become partners, a step we understand has
dissuaded certain key states from participating; instead, states
would be asked simply to associate themselves with a simpler and
wider-ranging vision statement. Second, all partners agreed to
consider renaming the partnership the "International Nuclear Energy
Framework" (INEF) to acknowledge the wider scope and broader
participation envisioned under the transformation. At the meeting,
the partners also agreed to explore ways to enhance the
international framework for civil nuclear energy cooperation, and

BEIJING 00003096 002.4 OF 014


agreed that "cradle to grave" nuclear fuel management could be one
important element of this framework. The concept of cradle-to-grave
nuclear fuel management could be explored in more detail through
GNEP/INEF working group activities. END SUMMARY.

USG-Proposed Transformation of GNEP
-----------------------------------
3. (SBU) In his April 5 Prague speech, President Obama called for a
new framework for civil nuclear cooperation, including an
international fuel bank, so that countries can access peaceful
nuclear power while minimizing the risks of proliferation. The
Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) is a well-established
international partnership, with technical and political
representation, created to promote reliable, advanced nuclear fuel
services and technologies. It is well suited to support President
Obama's call for a new civil nuclear cooperation framework.
Therefore, the United States is proposing a transformation whereby
GNEP would serve as a forum to develop wide-ranging support for and
facilitate implementation of the elements outlined by President
Obama(ref A).

4. (SBU) At the GNEP Executive Committee meeting on October 23,
2009 in Beijing, the United States proposed two transformations to
GNEP. The first was a simple, wide ranging "vision statement"

BEIJING 00003096 003.4 OF 014


intended to broaden the scope of partnership activities (see para
11). This is designed to replace the GNEP Statement of Principles,
signature of which has been a requirement for states to become full
partners of GNEP. Since certain key states have been reluctant to
sign up to these principles, this change is also designed to promote
wider participation in the future. Second, the United States has
proposed a renaming of the Partnership to the "International Nuclear
Energy Framework" (INEF) to reflect that broader scope and wider
participation, and to decouple the initiative from certain negative
connotations associated with the name GNEP. In addition to these
proposed changes to the structure of GNEP, the United States
proposed, and partners agreed to consider, the concept of
"cradle-to-grave" (CTG) fuel cycle services as one important element
of an enhanced framework for civil nuclear cooperation.

Preliminary consultations
-------------------------
5. (SBU) Two weeks prior to the October 23 Executive Committee
(Ministerial) meeting, the USG began reaching out to the 24 other
GNEP partners and key observer states to explain and seek support
for the proposals on name change, vision statement, and CTG fuel
services. Initially, the United States called for all partners to
adopt the proposed transformations at the Ministerial meeting, at
which point the Steering Group (which oversees day-to-day GNEP

BEIJING 00003096 004.4 OF 014


functions) would develop a strategy to implement the changes by
April 2010. The majority of partners concurred with this proposal
and voiced support for the CTG concept, with Australia and Jordan
offering particularly enthusiastic comments.

6. (SBU) However, several partners raised concerns. Russia felt
that more time was needed to review the suggested changes to the
GNEP structure. It also expressed concerns with the CTG concept
that governments accept liability for used fuel. France and Russia
noted discomfort with the word "framework" in the proposed name, and
France offered "forum" as an alternative. France and Japan
expressed concern over the characterization of existing used fuel
recycling technologies in the CTG concept paper, and called for a
softening of the language. Finally, China repeatedly queried the
United States and others on the need for a renaming of the
partnership, though this seemed to fall short of an outright
objection. Since GNEP operates upon a principle of consensus, these
views led to Steering Group agreement on October 22 not to accept
the changes straight away, but to "explore some Partners' proposal
for renaming" the partnership and to "examine" the draft vision
statement.

Ministers Task Steering Group to Explore Changes
--------------------------------------------- ---

BEIJING 00003096 005.4 OF 014


7. (SBU) NEA Administrator Zhang chaired the October 23 Ministerial
meeting, at which DEPSEC represented the United States. In all, 42
countries attended the meeting (including 24 Partners) along with
two observer organizations -- the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) and the Generation IV International Forum. The U.S.
delegation included representatives from the Departments of Energy,
State, and Commerce, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the
National Security Council.

8. (SBU) Executive Committee members supported consideration of the
U.S.-proposed changes, and the Steering Group's decision to
"explore" the proposed renaming and "examine" the vision statement
were captured in the agreed Joint Statement (see para 11 for full
text). Notable contributions by participating Principals included
the following:

-- DEPSEC noted the importance of leadership of all those attending
the Executive Committee meeting for meeting collective long-term
nuclear energy and climate change goals. DEPSEC referred to
President Obama's call for a new framework for civil nuclear
cooperation so that all countries can access peaceful nuclear power
while minimizing proliferation risks. This framework could build on
commercial models that exist today, to provide reassurance to the
market and enhanced energy security. Confidence will come in the

BEIJING 00003096 006.4 OF 014


form of dependable fuel services that address the needs associated
with all aspects of the commercial fuel cycle. DEPSEC stated U.S
interest in engaging with partners to explore practical ways to
implement the concept of cradle-to-grave fuel services, building on
the work of GNEP's Reliable Nuclear Fuel Services Working Group.
DEPSEC noted that GNEP provides a suitable platform upon which
states can work together to build a useful framework that is
acceptable to all.

-- Zhang noted that GNEP is now one of the most influential
international initiatives on civil nuclear energy and stated that
efforts to "reform the initiative" would yield fruitful results.
Moreover, the proposed changes constitute a pragmatic approach to
developing nuclear energy programs while minimizing the risk of
proliferation (see ref B for more on Zhang's private remarks
regarding the U.S. proposal). In his closing remarks he stated that
it did not make economic or commercial sense for aspiring nuclear
energy countries to develop costly enrichment and reprocessing
facilities.

-- Keisuke Tsumura, the Parliamentary Secretary of Japan's Cabinet
Office, commented that the Government of Japan, now under the new
Hatoyama Administration, would continue to cooperate under GNEP and
would "respect" the proposals described in the Joint Statement.

BEIJING 00003096 007.4 OF 014

-- Bernard Bigot, Chairman of France's Atomic Energy Commission,
stated France would take the proposed changes seriously,
understanding that it is often necessary to adjust in the face of
new international circumstances. He then called for "careful study"
to ensure against any shift away from the ideas enshrined in the
original Statement of Principles.

-- Vladimir Kuchinov, Councilor to the Director General of the
Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom), stated that the
U.S.-proposed transformation is "quite important" and merits serious
study, while the CTG proposal was "also very important" and needs to
be discussed.

-- Dr. Myung Seung Yang, President, Korea Atomic Energy Research
Institute (KAERI) of the Republic of Korea voiced support for the
"expansion" of GNEP to INEF at an "important time," while stating
that the CTG approach was a "good concept."

-- Argentine Secretary of Energy, Daniel Cameron, stated his
government's view that the "redefinition of this initiative" would
increase scope and participation. While stating that Argentina is
"prepared to play a constructive role in this process," he cautioned
that Argentina could not participate in GNEP if it believed this

BEIJING 00003096 008.4 OF 014


participation would infringe on its right to further develop its
peaceful nuclear power program.

9. (SBU) Comment: At the meetings close, the United States walked
away with agreement for the consideration of the proposed
transformations. However, this is only the first step and the
United States will have to work closely with other partners over the
next few months to reach consensus on the changes. End Comment.

Side Meeting on Nuclear Security Summit
---------------------------------------
10. (SBU) Taking advantage of the participation of senior officials
from the atomic energy ministries, a side meeting was held by U.S.
National Security Council Senior Director for Weapons of Mass
Destruction, Laura Holgate, to discuss the upcoming Nuclear Security
Summit, which will be hosted by the White House in April 2009.
Holgate included the GNEP delegations who have been invited to the
Nuclear Security Summit to receive an update on the Summit plans and
to review preparations which are underway. The meeting was well
attended by approximately 14 delegations and provided a chance to
discuss the U.S. goals and objectives for the Summit meeting. The
Summit's key goals will be securing vulnerable stockpiles of nuclear
materials from theft and boosting global cooperation to combat the
trafficking of nuclear materials.

BEIJING 00003096 009.4 OF 014

Joint Statement
---------------
11. (U) Begin Joint Statement Text:

Global Nuclear Energy Partnership Joint Statement
Third Executive Committee Meeting
Beijing, China
23 October 2009

The third Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) Executive
Committee Meeting was held in Beijing, China, on 23 October 2009,
where ministers and other senior officials met to review and discuss
ongoing GNEP activities, the results of these activities, and
further steps to the peaceful use of nuclear energy in a manner that
promotes safety, security and non-proliferation.

The Executive Committee welcomed 3 new Countries, which at this date
comprises 25 Partner and 31 Observer nations. The GNEP Partners
represent different countries from different economic and technical
stages of development as well as major geographic regions throughout
the world. The broad diversity of nations predicated on a core
operating principle of co-equal consensus-based decision-making
represents one of the greatest strengths of the Partnership.

BEIJING 00003096 010.4 OF 014

The Executive Committee reviewed and acknowledged the activities of
the Infrastructure Development Working Group and Reliable Nuclear
Fuel Services Working Group. The Executive Committee also received
the report from the Steering Group concerning how the Partners have
worked with the international community, in accordance with the GNEP
2008 Joint Statement, to promote the expansion of the peaceful use
of nuclear energy to meet the challenge of global climate change, to
contribute to the sustainability of energy supply, and to pursue new
ways to support nuclear energy projects through financing
mechanisms.

The Infrastructure Development Working Group (IDWG) reported on the
following: it expanded its analysis of global human resources needs
and created a Human Resources Modeling Tool, enhanced the on-line
Infrastructure Development Resource Library, and completed an
infrastructure assessment in Jordan and began another in Ghana; it
held Resources and Gaps Workshops on human resources development as
well as small and medium reactors, and it further engaged with
external entities, including industry and academia. Finally, it
created a Subgroup on Radioactive Waste Management and began
activities in that area.

The Reliable Nuclear Fuel Services Working Group (RNFSWG) reported

BEIJING 00003096 011.4 OF 014


the following: it received reports from its sub-group on Lessons
Learned and Resource Requirements; it established a second sub-group
on Assurances a Country Should Seek as Sufficient for Nuclear Fuel
Supply; it agreed on a work scope for a third sub-group on
Approaches for Selecting Back-End Fuel Cycle Options as recommended
by the Steering Group; it received IAEA presentations on fuel
fabrication and multilateral nuclear approaches; and it hosted a
workshop on the impact of fuel fabrication on fuel supply assurance
which included the findings of an expert study on the international
fuel fabrication market.

At the meeting, the Executive Committee reconfirmed that the use of
nuclear energy is an effective measure against global warming and
contributes to greater global energy security. The Executive
Committee also recognized that the expansion of the peaceful use of
nuclear energy will help lead to the creation of employment and
sustainable economic growth. The Executive Committee reconfirmed
that safety, security and non-proliferation/safeguards are
fundamental prerequisites for the peaceful use of nuclear energy,
and concluded that all Partnership activities should be conducted in
a manner that enhances them.

Furthermore, the Partners are going to continue to support the
development of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy globally in a

BEIJING 00003096 012.4 OF 014


safe and secure manner. The Partners concurred that they will work
with the international community in a cooperative and positive
manner, to:

(1) Further strengthen cooperation with the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) and other relevant international organizations
in order to make Partnership activities as effective and efficient
as possible.

(2) Establish global recognition that the peaceful use of nuclear
energy is an effective measure against global warming and
contributes to greater global energy security, the creation of
employment, and sustainable economic growth.

(3) Consider new approaches to enhance international collaboration
on nuclear power infrastructure, including human resource
development, radioactive waste management, financing and economics,
exchange of experience on operation and construction, etc., and to
make nuclear energy more widely accessible to the international
community in accordance with safety, security and nonproliferation
objectives.

(4) Explore mutually beneficial approaches that support
international civil nuclear cooperation, including assurances of

BEIJING 00003096 013.4 OF 014


nuclear fuel supply and services for spent nuclear fuel management.


Recognizing global developments that have occurred since the
Partnership was established on September 16, 2007, such as the
increasing interests and needs by other countries regarding the
peaceful use of nuclear energy, and in order to be as inclusive as
possible of Partner countries' national energy priorities, the
Executive Committee believes that transformation of GNEP is
necessary in order to provide a broader scope with wider
participation to explore mutually beneficial approaches that support
the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in a manner that is
safe and secure and that strengthens the nuclear nonproliferation
regime.

Therefore, the Executive Committee has decided to explore some
Partners' proposal for renaming the Partnership and noted that the
"International Nuclear Energy Framework" (INEF) could be one of the
options. The Executive Committee will explore ways to enhance the
international framework for civil nuclear energy cooperation,
including assurances of fuel supply, so that countries can access
peaceful nuclear power without increasing the risks of
proliferation. Cradle-to-grave nuclear fuel management could be one
important element of this framework. Furthermore the Executive

BEIJING 00003096 014.4 OF 014


Committee has decided to examine the following draft statement of
vision, acceptance of which will be the sole action required of
states to participate in future activities:

This framework provides a forum for cooperation among participating
states to explore mutually beneficial approaches to ensure the use
of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes proceeds in a manner that is
efficient, safe, secure, and supports non-proliferation and
safeguards.

The Executive Committee has tasked the Steering Group to act
accordingly and to review the GNEP operational structure in order to
adjust it to a possible new cooperation approach and to submit its
finalized proposal to the Executive Committee by April 2010.

End Joint Statement Text.

12. (U) This cable was cleared by DEPSEC Poneman.


HUNTSMAN

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