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Cablegate: China's Mfa, Caea Press for Greater Nuclear Security

VZCZCXRO7787
PP RUEHAST RUEHCN RUEHDH RUEHGH RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD
RUEHSL RUEHTRO
DE RUEHBJ #0202/01 0260829
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 260829Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7776
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI 0001
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 1884
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 9803
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 2044
RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR 2685
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 3667
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 9469
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 0041
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4676
RUEHPG/AMEMBASSY PRAGUE 0898
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 0540
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1458
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 1686
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 1435
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0177
RUEHUM/AMEMBASSY ULAANBAATAR 3662
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 1430
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 04 BEIJING 000202

STATE FOR EAP/CM-BRAUNOHLER, EAP/CM
STATE FOR ISN/NESS
USDOE FOR NUCLEAR ENERGY/ MCGINNIS/
USDOE FOR NNSA/ D'AGOSTINO/ AOKI/ KROL/ MCCLELLAND/ WHITNEY
USDOE FOR INTERNATIONAL/YOSHIDA, BISCONTI, HUANGFU
STATE PASS TO NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (DOANE)
NSC FOR HOLGATE

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

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

SUBJECT: CHINA'S MFA, CAEA PRESS FOR GREATER NUCLEAR SECURITY
COOPERATION WITH DOE/NNSA

Sensitive but unclassified - please protect accordingly.

SUMMARY
-------
1. (SBU) Admiral Joseph J. Krol, Associate Administrator for the
U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration
(NNSA) Office of Emergency Operations, met with officials from
China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the China Atomic
Energy Authority (CAEA) on January 6-8 to discuss
nuclear/radiological emergency response and continuing collaboration
under the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. Admiral
Krol also pressed for resuming collaboration on the long range
tracer experiment (LRTE), an exercise designed to monitor and track
a simulated radioactive plume across China. The MFA and CAEA
acknowledged that a bureaucratic reorganization of the Chinese
government in 2008 had slowed some emergency response-related
collaboration with the United States, but both Chinese organizations
expressed a strong desire to reinvigorate cooperation. Bolstering
these statements, CAEA proposed detailed discussions between U.S.
and Chinese medical teams that would be responsible for responding
to a nuclear-related mass casualty event, while the MFA said it
agreed in principal to the U.S. proposal to establish a center of
excellence on nuclear security in China. END SUMMARY.

MFA LOOKING TO UP NONPROLIFERATION COOPERATION
--------------------------------------------- -
2. (SBU) Deputy Director General (DDG) WU Haitao of the MFA's Arms
Control Department thanked Admiral Krol and noted China's
appreciation for USG assistance in the area of nuclear security. Wu
said that U.S. DOE and IAEA-sponsored training, particularly in the
run-up to the Olympics, had been very helpful in building China's
capacity to prevent nuclear terrorism and to ensure nuclear
security; however, Wu acknowledged that some of this cooperation had
stalled due to the 2008 government reorganization, which left key
Chinese agencies short-handed. Noting that nuclear safety and
security is China's top priority as the government presses forward
with the rapid expansion of nuclear power, Wu said China is ready
and anxious to reengage with the United States in the area of
nuclear security.

3. (SBU) According to DDG Wu, Chinese government interagency
discussions on the U.S.-China Nuclear Security Cooperation
non-paper, which was passed to MFA during DOE Under Secretary Daniel
Poneman's visit to China in October 2009, have concluded and the GoC
is in agreement with the papers substance. Moreover, Wu said the
MFA wants to move forward on the non-paper's proposal to establish a
center of excellence in China. [NOTE: The U.S. non-paper calls for
the establishment of a joint center in China which will promote the
adoption of modern security practices and anti-theft/anti-diversion
technologies at Chinese nuclear facilities. END NOTE.]

4. (SBU) China remains committed to joint efforts related to the
Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT), said DDG Wu,
who also noted that the Chinese government is moving to establish
law enforcement regimes for nuclear security. In response to
Admiral Krol's suggestion that more Asian countries, including

BEIJING 00000202 002 OF 004


Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia, become involved in the GICNT, DDG
Wu said these countries may be hesitant initially because they do
not know how participation in GICNT will impact their sovereignty.
Wu also said that the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) is
still controversial and that the relationship between PSI and GI is
unclear to many. Wu suggested more "awareness raising" of GICNT and
an increased management focus on current challenges, noting that the
MFA feels burdened by the large number of GICNT events because they
require a significant amount of interagency coordination when
deciding whether China will participate.

CAEA REMAINS KEY PARTNER IN EMERGENCY RESPONSE COOPERATION
--------------------------------------------- ---------
5. (SBU) In a separate meeting with the China Atomic Energy
Authority (CAEA), Systems Engineering Director General (DG), TONG
Baotong and YU Ping, the Deputy Director of CAEA's National Nuclear
Emergency Response Office, briefed Admiral Krol on roles and
responsibilities within the Chinese government in the event of a
nuclear emergency. DG Tong said that the National Nuclear Emergency
Coordination Committee was the primary mechanism for coordinating
China's response to a large-scale nuclear incident. The Committee
is made of twenty different departments from various ministries and
organizations throughout the Chinese government. The Minister of
the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) serves as
the Committee Chairman while the CAEA Chairman acts as the
Committee's Executive Secretary and Vice Chairman. The Committee is
responsible for responding to emergencies at both civilian and
military nuclear facilities, according to Tong.

6. (SBU) CAEA -- highly impressed with DOE/NNSA's medical
capability to rapidly identify the specific isotope in a nuclear
emergency (radiological triage) and respond to radiological injuries
-- proposed detailed discussions between U.S. and Chinese medical
teams tasked with responding to a nuclear emergency. DG Tong
suggested holding a seminar to explain respective medical operations
and capabilities.

7. (SBU) However, efforts to convince CAEA to restart the Long
Range Tracer Experiment (LRTE) were met more cautiously. Admiral
Krol noted that the U.S. and China were nearly ready to conduct the
LRTE in 2007, but that Olympic-related nuclear security cooperation
had resulted in the experiment being put on hold. CAEA's Yu Ping
said that the LRTE is a significant program and will provide
important new tools for monitoring a radiological plume in the event
of an accidental release from a nuclear power plant or other nuclear
accident. Nevertheless, CAEA is concerned over public perception of
the experiment, particularly in light of all the new nuclear power
plant construction occurring in China. Despite having completed
site selection and much of the scientific work for the LRTE, Yu said
that a central government reorganization in 2008 and a provincial
government reorganization in 2009 had resulted in many new faces
within the bureaucracy and CAEA needed more time to educate the
public and to coordinate with provincial governments. At DG Tong's
suggestion, DOE/NNSA agreed to work with CAEA to develop a timeline
for restarting the tracer experiment. [COMMENT: CAEA's cautious
approach to the LRTE is somewhat perplexing given that they recently

BEIJING 00000202 003 OF 004


were able to coordinate a complex nationwide nuclear emergency
response exercise (see paragraph 9). END COMMENT.]

CAEA PRESSING FOR AGREEMENT AT NUCLEAR SECURITY SUMMIT
--------------------------------------------- ---------
8. (SBU) Immediately after his meeting with CAEA officials, Admiral
Krol had a follow-on meeting with CAEA Vice Chairman and Party
Secretary General WANG Yiren. Wang said the U.S. proposal to hold a
global nuclear security summit has been well received by Chinese
leaders and in this context CAEA is looking to strengthen its
relationship with DOE/NNSA. Wang also said China's State Council
has already agreed to DOE's proposal to establish a nuclear security
center of excellence in China (see paragraph 3) and has designated
CAEA as the lead in this effort. CAEA already has begun making
preparations for a demonstration center. Moreover, it was CAEA's
desire to have U.S. and Chinese leaders sign this agreement during
the upcoming Nuclear Security Summit in April and designated LU
Yongde, CAEA's Director General for International Cooperation, as
the lead coordinator for the Chinese side. Admiral Krol noted that
with only three months left before the summit, it would be difficult
to accomplish this goal in time.

CHINA HOLDS FIRST NATIONAL NUCLEAR EMERGENCY EXERCISE
--------------------------------------------- --------
9. (SBU) CAEA officials confirmed that China held its first
national nuclear emergency exercise last November to test and
evaluate nuclear emergency procedures. DG Tong said the resulting
data is still being analyzed but did not provide additional detail.
CAEA's official website notes that the exercise took place on
November 10 and consisted of a three-tiered effort involving
national-level ministries, provincial government entities, and
nuclear power plants. It also included military participation from
the People's Liberation Army General Staff Department. In total,
over 2000 people participated in the exercise. The exercise
simulated an accidental leak of radioactive material from a key
reactor pipe at the Tianwan nuclear power plant in Jiangsu province.
CAEA invited observers from Japan and South Korea and sent a
preliminary report detailing the exercise to the IAEA.

10. (SBU) Admiral Krol issued a preliminary invitation to CAEA to
observe the U.S. National Level Emergency Response Exercise that is
tentatively scheduled for May and will take place in Nevada. The
"consequence management" exercise is designed to test federal and
local emergency response following the detonation of a nuclear
weapon in a U.S. city. Admiral Krol noted that congressional
authorization to hold the exercise is still pending but said DOE
would inform CAEA if and when the date is finalized. CAEA said that
they would like to send observers.

COMMENT
-------
11. (SBU) Following the March 2008 Chinese government
reorganization, which left CAEA short-staffed and in seeming
disarray for the past two years, CAEA appears to be reasserting
itself and is looking to regain bureaucratic clout with a
high-profile agreement with the U.S. at the upcoming global nuclear

BEIJING 00000202 004 OF 004


security summit. During several recent meetings with CAEA, ESTHOFF
has observed a much more confident and focused organization, which
appears better positioned to take-on the significant challenges
associated with China's rapidly expanding nuclear energy program.
END COMMENT.

12. (U) This cable was cleared by DOE/NNSA Associate Administrator
Admiral Krol.

HUNTSMAN

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