Cablegate: Iaea:Replacement Needed for Deputy Director


DE RUEHUNV #0536/01 3351415
O 011415Z DEC 09



DOE FOR NA-20, NA-24, NA-25, NE-1, NE-6

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/01/2023

REF: A. (A) UNVIE 322
B. (B) STATE 91301
C. (C) UNVIE 478


1. (C) UNVIE requests development of a U.S. position on a
candidate to replace Deputy Director General Taniguchi as the
head of the Department of Safety and Security at IAEA. The
current DDG,s contract ends August 2010, but will leave
office sooner. IAEA Director General-elect Amano could make
a decision about who will replace DDG Taniguchi as early as
December. With an informal field of unattractive options
taking shape, Mission recommends that USG identify a specific
candidate whom Ambassador Davies would advocate to Amano.
The U.S. must begin lobbying for a candidate as soon as
possible in order to ensure the position is filled with an
individual from a like-minded country and aligned with U.S.
views on nuclear safety issues.
2. (C) Absent a specific alternative candidate and concerted
U.S. lobbying, the position will almost certainly go to a
French candidate (possibly an internal candidate currently in
a D-1 position). This outcome would be undesirable and erode
U.S. influence in the Department. The French already have
undue influence over the Safety Department and often front
for Areva,s interests. In considering alternative
candidates, we must also factor in geographic and gender
distribution as to the four DDG slots likely to come open
early in Amano's tenure ) Safety/Security, Technical
Cooperation, Nuclear Applications and Nuclear Energy, as well
as the newly announced opening for the head of Legal Affairs.
Russia will undoubtedly seek to retain the Nuclear Energy
DDG position while China seeks the TC DDG slot. Thus,
Nuclear Safety/Security is potentially wide-open for a
like-minded candidate who can support U.S. interests. End
Need a Qualified Leader
3. (C) Ref A (paras 6-7) laid out Mission's views on
replacing current Deputy Director General for Nuclear Safety
and Security Tomihiro Taniguchi. Incoming DG Amano appears
receptive to U.S. views on the appointment, in part as he
recognizes it as part of the process to maximize the IAEA's
contribution to meeting President Obama's policy goals in
nuclear security. First and foremost, the Department of
Safety and Security needs a dedicated manager and a strong
leader. For the past 10 years, the Department has suffered
tremendously because of DDG Taniguchi,s weak management and
leadership skills. Despite our effective engagement with
others in his department, Taniguchi has been unable or
disinclined to resolve internal disagreements, has not
provided much leadership or direction, has not worked well
with the other DDGs, and has not supported the very important
work of the Office of Nuclear Security even to the point of
diverting limited security funds to safety activities. This
attitude has hindered progress that the Department of Safety
and Security could have made over the last several years.
4. (C) Taniguchi,s departure provides an opportunity to
improve the management of this department. This is
especially important for the Office of Nuclear Security,
which will now have more regular budget resources and will
need firmer direction as it expands over the next few years.
5. (C) The new DDG for the Department must have experience
in both safety and security; (Taniguchi only had a safety
background). Also the DDG must be able to manage internal
and external politics and be able to lead the program rather
than hinder it. Finally, the ideal candidate must also be
able to clearly communicate and make decisions.

A "Reliable Person from
a Reliable Country"
6. (C) Lacking a public solicitation to respond to, no formal
candidates have announced interest in the DDG position.
Procedurally, for this and each DDG position, DG Amano will
at some point in his tenure propose a single name to the

Board after he sorts among expressions of interest that reach
him from Member States. In anticipation of this process,
rumors are circulating in the Secretariat and among Member
State delegations that Australia, Canada, Argentina, and
France are all interested in the position.
7. (C) Recently, the most prominent Australian candidate
(Ron Cameron) accepted a position at the Nuclear Energy
Agency in Paris, thus lowering the likelihood that Australia
will nominate someone. Australia does not have a large
safety program or a very large security program. Even if
Australia puts forward a candidate, the individual would
probably not have the expertise the U.S. would need to
support them.
8. (C) The first rumors about Canada indicated that the
former Canadian Ambassador and Board Governor Marie Gervais-
Vidricaire was interested in the position. She was one of
Amano,s earliest and strongest supporters in the DG election
campaign. However, the prevailing sentiment among our
contacts is that she would not be able to get the position
because she does not have a technical background and her
husband already works for the Agency at a senior level.
UNVIE would agree with this assessment, though
Gervais-Vidricaire was a respected diplomatic interlocutor .
Although she has demonstrated strong leadership skills as the
Canadian Governor, it would be best to have technical person
who is immersed in the issues and the policies of safety and
security activities rather than a diplomatic generalist to
head this Department A more technical person from the
Canadian regulator or other government organization that has
both safety and security expertise could be a good
9. (C) Argentina's Abel Gonzalez is also rumored to be
interested in the job. He works for the Argentinean safety
regulator, has worked at the IAEA before and remains heavily
involved in IAEA activities. He is well-liked at the IAEA
but many Member States do not agree with Argentina,s strong
stand on issues, particularly its challenge to the
proposition that nuclear security is a core mission of the
Agency. In our observation, including in annual debates in
the General Conference Committee of the Whole, Gonzalez does
not believe that safety and security are different
activities. It is unlikely that he would be a strong
supporter of the Office of Nuclear Security and he would lean
toward absorbing Security into the Safety activities. As a
subject matter expert from a G-77 state with an advanced
civil nuclear program Gonzalez, if he applies, will be a
strong candidate for the position, however, not one that the
U.S. should support.
10. (C) Among the &declared candidates8 this leaves
France, which already has a strong and unhealthy influence in
the Department of Safety and Security. The French currently
hold several key positions in the safety area, including one
of the two D-1 positions directly reporting to the DDG, and
there is a French representative in almost every section of
the safety department. Many IAEA staff (both U.S. citizens
and non-U.S. citizens) have complained to Msnoffs about the
internal politics played by the French management (favoring
French staff, giving French staff more opportunities,
influencing results and documents to favor French industry,
etc.). One prominent example of this is the undue influence
of Andre LaCoste, head of the French Regulatory Body, ASN.
LaCoste is the Chairman of almost every important
IAEA-sponsored conference, workshop, and committee in the
safety field. He has been the head of the Commission of
Safety Standards for six years and was Chairman of the Joint
Convention for Spent Fuel and the Convention on Nuclear
Safety. LaCoste has used these positions to influence the
results of IAEA activities with a very blatant French bias.
This is coupled with the strong presence at the IAEA of
AREVA, the French government,s reactor designer and vendor.
AREVA has business interests in all parts of the nuclear
industry, including uranium mining, conversion, enrichment
and fuel manufacturing. Because AREVA is government-owned,
AREVA representatives are allowed to participate in IAEA
meetings as French government representatives, and often do,
giving AREVA tremendous influence over the activities of IAEA
and access to other governmental officials. Indeed, the
French Deputy Permanent Representative departed Vienna last
summer is now working on secondment at AREVA, illustrating
the revolving door between the French IAEA presence and
industry. Lacoste,s role is unhealthy because no one

Member State should have so much influence over the safety
program, and because it is unfair to other reactor vendors
(or uranium mining, conversion, enrichment or fuel
manufacturing companies) that are privately owned, including
those from the U.S.
11. (C) A recent example of the French influence came during
a workshop for newcomers (states considering or embarking on
nuclear power programs) that took place 3-5 November in
Vienna. The purpose was to give newcomers an opportunity to
discuss issues and learn form each other. The agenda was
structured to allow each country to have two speakers, one
from the regulator and one from the industry. LaCoste was
the Chairman and France was the only country with four
speakers, using more than twice the amount of time allotted
to everyone else. In addition, the French position that all
assistance to newcomer countries should be a service that the
newcomer country should pay for was the only position that
appeared in the Chairman,s conclusions of the workshop,
though that is not the position of any of the other
&donor8 countries that gave presentations ) U.S., UK,
Canada, Japan, Korea, China, etc. Yet at the end of the
meeting, LaCoste included in the Chairman,s summary an
assertion that the conference had concluded newcomers were
asking for too much assistance and that assistance should be
restricted (or paid for). When participants raised their
hands to object, LaCoste said there would be no discussion of
the Chairman,s, summary and closed the meeting. Therefore,
the French position is now &validated8 because an
international conference of 45 Member States "came" to this
12. (C) There are many other examples of French influence on
safety documents and IAEA forums to benefit French interests
and promote AREVA, or French IAEA staff discouraging Member
States from considering other countries, reactor designs.
All of this suggests the U.S. should provide a strong
alternative to a French candidate. If the French manage to
obtain Taniguchi,s position, Mission is concerned that the
entire Department of Safety and Security may ultimately be
indistinguishable from another arm of AREVA. This will have
a negative impact on the safety and security work and will
have a detrimental effect on the U.S. nuclear industry,s
ability to sell reactors overseas.
Time To Lobby is Now
13. (C) According to UNVIE contacts, the French are pressing
very hard for the DDG position and have been lobbying Amano
heavily, who is indebted to the French for early support to
his election especially with the EU. High-level officials in
the French government routinely called DG ElBaradei during
his tenure to discuss the hiring of French representatives.
Because of the importance of this issue to the French
government, it is likely that President Sarkozy,s office has
been or will be involved. Therefore it is imperative that
the U.S. identify and lobby for an alternative candidate as
soon as possible. The U.S. should not wait to find a
preferred candidate once the French officially announce their
candidate; it would be much better to find a candidate and
lobby Amano now and in his first month in office to have an
influence on the position.
14. (C) Consistent with earlier private statements to us
from the Japanese Mission (ref A) that Amano would avoid the
poor optics of keeping a fellow Japanese as DDG, we heard
from Amano,s staff that Amano will give Taniguchi a &golden
parachute8 and remove him from the DDG position in December.
This could be in the form of a post as special assistant to
the DG. If the DDG position opens in December, the position
will likely be filled temporarily by rotating the two D-1
directors in the Department into the DDG position (Mr.
Philippe Jamet, and Ms. Eliana Amaral). Although not in D-1
positions, there are two other D-1,s in the Department who
could potentially also be part of the rotation (Mr. Khammar
Mrabit and Ms. Anita Nilsson). Jamet is French and is likely
to be the French candidate for the DDG position. This
rotational experience will make it even more difficult to
find a candidate who is competitive with Jamet, who would
also presumably be considered an &internal8 candidate for
the job.

15. (C) It is imperative that the U.S. begin lobbying for a
DDG safety candidate immediately in order to ensure the best
interests of the U.S. are met in the Department. Mission
urges active discussion in Washington on attributes and
national obligations that influence our decision, but also
consideration of specific names. We will query Amano, about
how his thinking has advanced and whether he will share with
us any specific names already brought to him.

© Scoop Media

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