Cablegate: Nuclear Fuel Banks - Eliciting Support for The
DE RUEHC #7710 3180012
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 140007Z NOV 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
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UNCLAS STATE 117710
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AORC KNNP IAEA ENRG TRGY TU AJ CH GM SZ BR RO AR
EG, AS, VE, DA, CM, PK, AF, UP, MY, PE, UK, SP, UY, RS, KE, UV, CA,
IN, FR, SF, KS, NL, JA, MG, NZ
SUBJECT: NUCLEAR FUEL BANKS - ELICITING SUPPORT FOR THE
1. (U) This is an ACTION REQUEST: Please see para 3.
2. (SBU) SUMMARY: At the November 26-27, 2009 meeting of
the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of
Governors, the Board will be asked to formally approve the
first proposal for an international nuclear fuel bank.
Specifically, the Board will be asked to vote on a resolution
from the Russian Federation that would authorize the IAEA
Director General to enter into the necessary agreements to
establish the nuclear fuel reserve in Angarsk, Russia. The
United States supports this initiative as a means of
expanding access to nuclear power while addressing
nonproliferation risks. The cable seeks support from all
members of the IAEA Board, with the exception of Cuba, for
this resolution. END SUMMARY.
3. (SBU) ACTION REQUESTS:
-- All Posts with the exception of Moscow are requested to
convey the points in para 7, which call for support of the
Russian resolution on the Angarsk nuclear fuel reserve, to
appropriate officials in the host government.
-- For Moscow only: Post is requested to inform appropriate
government officials that the United States is calling on all
other members of the IAEA Board (with the exception of Cuba)
for their support of the Angarsk proposal. Post is requested
to encourage the Government of Russia to make a similar
demarche to other IAEA Board members.
-- For New Delhi only: Post is requested to insert
supplemental points, as appropriate, based on consultations
by U/S Tauscher that are currently underway.
4. (SBU) BACKGROUND: Since 2004, the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) has promoted the concept of multilateral
nuclear fuel assurances. This concept is intended to
strengthen the international nuclear fuel market and thereby
remove an incentive for states to develop indigenous uranium
enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing capacity. Over the
past five years, a number of concrete and complementary fuel
assurance proposals have been developed.
5. (SBU) One of these - for a nuclear fuel reserve in
Angarsk, Russia - will be presented to the IAEA Board of
Governors at their November 26-27, 2009 meeting. This
guaranteed reserve of low-enriched uranium fuel would be
located in an IAEA-safeguarded facility in Angarsk, Siberia
for use in cases of fuel supply disruption. Under the
current proposal, the IAEA Director General would be
authorized to request fuel from this reserve for transfer to
a recipient state in good standing with its IAEA safeguards
obligations. The Government of Russia is responsible for
issuing any necessary export authorizations, in accordance
with domestic law.
6. (SBU) Transfer of fuel from this reserve would be based
on a pair of agreements, the first between Russia and the
IAEA and the second between the IAEA and the recipient state.
These agreements have now been finalized and submitted to
the IAEA Board for its consideration. At the November
meeting, we expect the Board will consider a Russian
resolution ("On the Establishment by the Russian Federation
of a Reserve of Low Enriched Uranium to the IAEA for its
Member States") that would formally authorize the IAEA
Director General to enter into these two agreements to
establish the Angarsk reserve. The United States will
support this resolution, and is calling on all other members
of the Board for their support. END BACKGROUND.
7. (SBU) BEGIN TALKING POINTS:
-- For many years, the IAEA has sought to establish a
mechanism to provide reliable access to nuclear fuel. The
United States has supported this effort.
-- We believe the establishment of nuclear fuel banks would
support expansion of nuclear energy worldwide by increasing
confidence of countries considering nuclear energy that
alternatives will be available in the event of disruption of
supply of nuclear fuel.
-- A fuel bank would expand access to the peaceful use of
nuclear energy while simultaneously addressing proliferation
risks associated with the potential spread of uranium
enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing technologies.
-- No state is being asked to give up any rights to peaceful
-- A nuclear fuel bank must not and does not alter the rights
recognized under the Nonproliferation Treaty; instead, it
would facilitate the expansion of peaceful nuclear energy to
many more countries.
-- In all, a dozen diverse and complementary fuel assurance
proposals have been crafted by governments and
non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
-- One fuel bank concept is now before the IAEA Board of
Governors for its consideration and approval ) the
establishment of a low enriched uranium reserve in Angarsk,
-- In event of a non-commercial disruption of supply, upon
the request of the IAEA, fuel from this reserve could be
transferred, in accordance with Russian law, to a recipient
in good standing with its IAEA safeguards obligations.
-- The United States supports the Angarsk reserve, and we
will be lending our support of the expected resolution "On
the Establishment by the Russian Federation of a Reserve of
Low Enriched Uranium to the IAEA for its Member States."
-- This resolution would authorize the IAEA Director General
to enter into the necessary agreements to establish the
-- With your support, the Angarsk reserve could be the first
nuclear fuel bank established, and would provide the IAEA
with an additional resource to facilitate access to peaceful
nuclear power while managing proliferation risk.
-- Approval of the Angarsk reserve could open the way for
additional fuel reserves and other ideas for multilateral
fuel supply assurances.
-- We strongly encourage you to vote for approval of the
Angarsk reserve if, as we expect, Russia requests a decision
on its proposal through the mechanism of a resolution.
-- If you are not prepared to support the Angarsk reserve at
this meeting, we strongly urge you to abstain.
END TALKING POINTS.
8. (U) Department thanks Posts for their assistance in this
matter, and requests that any substantive responses be
transmitted by Monday, November 23. Department points of
contact for working-level fuel assurance issues are Marc
Humphrey and Burrus Carnahan (ISN/NESS); please include
USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA as an info addressee on all responses.