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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08OSLO436
2008-08-05 14:14:00
CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN
Embassy Oslo
Cable title:  

CONCERNS ABOUT RUSSIA, WASTE, AND SECURITY DURING

Tags:   KNNP  NRC  ENRG  DOE  TRGY  SENV  OVIP  MX  PARM  RU 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNY #0436/01 2181414
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 051414Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY OSLO
TO RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN PRIORITY 2445
RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI PRIORITY 7991
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 4007
RUEHRK/AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK PRIORITY 0845
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM PRIORITY 3291
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6945
						C O N F I D E N T I A L OSLO 000436 

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS


FOR DHS WASHDC, NRC WASHDC, DOE/NNSA FOR N. NELSON-JEAN,
STATE FOR INS/NESS FOR FENSTERMACHER & PLAPP, STATE FOR
WHA/CAN FOR GREG SPROW

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/05/2018
TAGS: KNNP NRC ENRG DOE TRGY SENV OVIP MX PARM RU
NO
SUBJECT: CONCERNS ABOUT RUSSIA, WASTE, AND SECURITY DURING
NRC CHAIRMAN KLEIN'S VISIT TO NORWAY

Classified By: Political Counselor Kristen Bauer for reasons
1.4 (b) and (d)

C O N F I D E N T I A L OSLO 000436

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS


FOR DHS WASHDC, NRC WASHDC, DOE/NNSA FOR N. NELSON-JEAN,
STATE FOR INS/NESS FOR FENSTERMACHER & PLAPP, STATE FOR
WHA/CAN FOR GREG SPROW

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/05/2018
TAGS: KNNP NRC ENRG DOE TRGY SENV OVIP MX PARM RU
NO
SUBJECT: CONCERNS ABOUT RUSSIA, WASTE, AND SECURITY DURING
NRC CHAIRMAN KLEIN'S VISIT TO NORWAY

Classified By: Political Counselor Kristen Bauer for reasons
1.4 (b) and (d)


1. (C) Summary: On his recent visit to Norway, Nuclear
Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Dale Klein was
approached by Russian nuclear regulators extremely concerned
about their vanishing authority. Norwegian officials also
appear to be frustrated about Russia,s limited cooperation
in cleanup efforts and worried about Russia,s nuclear naval
and ice-breaker fleets. A visit to the Halden Research
Reactor highlighted security concerns at the site. End
Summary.

--------------
Purpose of visit; Officials met
--------------


2. (SBU) Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Dale
Klein visited Norway from June 10-13, 2008, for the purpose
of providing a briefing at the Halden 50th Anniversary
Seminar, and for a site visit to the Halden Research Reactor
Project. He met with several significant government,
industry, and education officials, including: Oyvind Slake,
Secretary of State for Industry and Trade; Luis Echavarri,
OECD Director General; Bernard Fourest, Electricite de France
Chairman; Judith Melin, Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate
Director General; Ole Harbitz, Norwegian Radiation Protection
Authority Director General; Kjell Bendiksen, Institute for
Energy Technology President, and; Sergey Adamchik, Federal
Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service
Deputy Chairman. He also met with the operating managers of
the Halden Project, including Wolfgang Wiesenack, Halden
Project Manager, and; Fridtjov Owre, Halden Deputy Project
Manager. During the Halden site visit he toured the Halden

Man Machine Laboratory, the Virtual Reality Center, the
Halden Workshop and the reactor control room.

--------------
Russian Regulators Lose Authority
--------------



3. (SBU) Prior to commencement of the Halden seminar, the
Chairman met with two officials of the Russian nuclear
regulating authority Rostechnadzor: the Deputy Chairman,
Sergey Adamchik, and Irina Sokolova, Deputy Head of
International Relations. Mr. Adamchik expressed significant
concern that, in reorganizing the federal executive, his
agency had its regulatory authority removed, and that this
authority effectively no longer exists. As such, effective
legal control over Russian nuclear activities now lies in the
hands of political authorities. The Russian delegation
provided a written copy of a discussion of the issue and
requested that the U.S. government send a letter to the
Russian leadership supporting a restoration of
Rostechnadzor,s regulatory authority.

-------------- ---
Concerns about Russia dominate meeting with NPRA
-------------- ---


4. (C) The Chairman met with the Norwegian National Radiation
Protection Agency (NRPA) and was briefed on their emergency
preparedness programs and concerns regarding nuclear waste in
the Russian Kola Peninsula region. Much of Norway,s concern
regarding emergency preparedness is due to &out of country8
concerns, specifically Russia,s naval and ice-breaker
fleets. The NRPA said that, post-Chernobyl, they have
installed a 29 station radioactivity monitoring network
around the country. NRPA does not have significant mobile
monitoring capability, such as by aircraft.


5. (C) During discussions about nuclear waste in the Kola
Peninsula region, the NRPA identified significant nuclear
legacy management issues associated with Russian waste
disposal. Examples included an old vessel tied up at a pier
with approximately 600 spent fuel assemblies onboard. The
NRPA staff expressed frustration in that they have been
trying to work to enhance a safety culture mindset with its
Russian regulatory counterpart, but have been driven instead

by Russia to focus only on specific problems. Additionally,
the NRPA has been challenged to keep an atmosphere of
cooperation going in an environment of reduced financial
support to Russia from Norway.


6. (SBU) The NRPA requested U.S. participation in its
cooperation programs with its Russian counterparts.

--------------
Presentations made at the Halden Seminar
--------------


7. (SBU) On Wednesday, June 11th the Chairman attended the
Halden 50th anniversary seminar and made a presentation
entitled &Development trends of nuclear energy utilization
and safety regulation in the United States.8 The seminar
was well attended, with over 130 guests from 15 countries.
Notable points from the presentations include:

--Oyvind Slake, State Secretary, Ministry of Trade and
Industry, Norway, explained that, in the 1970,s Norway had
some interest in nuclear power, but, following extensive oil
discoveries, the Norwegian parliament set a policy against
nuclear power in 1980. Norway does believe, however, that
the peaceful use of nuclear power does not contradict
non-proliferation concerns.

--Mr. Slake also said that Norway began cooperation
initiatives with the Russian nuclear regulator in the Kola
Peninsula region in the early 1990,s.

--Luis Echavarri, Director General, OECD Nuclear Energy
Agency, discussing uranium supply security, outlined that
uranium commodity is a readily available resource with known
reserves of 150-200 years.

--Mr. Echavarri also said that the key policy challenges to
nuclear power include: implementation of high level waste
repositories; involvement of stakeholders in decision making,
and; coherent regulatory framework and energy policy. He
also provided that key infrastructure and financing
challenges include: education and training, building
industrial capability, and financing reactors and fuel cycle
facilities.

--Pal Perstrud, Director, Center for International Climate
and Environmental Research, stated that the atmosphere is
currently 40% above pre-industrial carbon levels and that
energy consumption is predicted to increase 80% by 2030.
This requires significant investment in nclear and renewable
energy sources to just limit urther increases of carbon
concentrations.

--udith Melin, Director General, Swedish Nuclear Powr
Inspectorate, expressed concern about the manynew countries
embarking upon nuclear programs wih no experience, and the
need to enhance internatonal cooperation. She stated that
there are many groups available to proide assistance and
international support, and tha small countries are resource
challenged in balacing international and domestic duties and
commitments.

--Ole Harbitz, Director General, The Norwegian Radiation
Protection Authority (NPRA), explained that more than 70% of
research and test reactors (RTR) are greater than 40 years
old and suggested that many were past the end of life both
financially and environmentally. He also expressed that
there is insufficient international cooperation on RTR safety
and security, such as exists for power reactors, and that the
IAEA should support harmonization of RTR safety standards.

Presentations were also given by Bernard Fourest, Electricite
de France, Chairman of the Halden Reactor Project Board of
Management; and Massimo Salvatores, Generation IV
International Forum Policy Director.

--------------
Visit to Halden Research Reactor
--------------


8. (C) On Thursday, June 12th, the Chairman visited the
Halden Reactor Project with the following observations:

--Plant conditions at Halden were not up to U.S. standards.
The staff interacts very informally and does not exhibit a
strong leadership structure.

--Security at the site is limited. The only noted guard
force was at the entrance checkpoint to the facility.
Additionally, in response to our noting that the guard force
was not armed, Halden management responded that &this was
Norway,8 implying there were no credible threats in Norway.
We were informed that the facility had run site penetration
exercises by a very credible opponent, and that the invasion
force was promptly stopped upon entering the site.

--Halden management believes that the NRC provided great
support to Halden and desires to continue its cooperation
with NRC.

--The Halden machine shop was noteworthy, with exceptional
precision manufacturing capability and highly skilled
technicians.

--------------
Comment
--------------


9. (C) Comment: Although Chairman Klein,s visit to Norway
was highly successful, it brought to light several
developments, chief among them the loss of authority by the
independent civilian nuclear regulator in Russia. Although
the NRC believes that the USG should continue support of
Norwegian regulators efforts to engage Russia in emergency
preparedness and waste processing in the Kola Peninsula,
Norwegian authorities are clearly frustrated with Russia,s
lack of cooperation. Although the USG should continue to
make clear to Norway at high levels that we are willing to
support nuclear power development initiatives in Norway
itself, post believes that for the foreseeable future,
Norwegian politicians will not find this politically
palatable. The lack of security at the Halden Reactor
demonstrates a typical Norwegian &it can,t happen here8
mindset which has been seen recently in other areas, such as
the Bhatti terrorism trial. Nonetheless, it remains a cause
for concern. End Comment.


10. Chairman Klein has cleared this cable.


WHITNEY