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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08THEHAGUE604 2008-07-18 12:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy The Hague
Cable title:  

NETHERLANDS: CAUTIOUS ABOUT NUCLEAR FUEL BANK

Tags:   PREL KNNP IAEA ENRG EU NL 
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RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN 4124
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RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1810
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0344
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 0164
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L THE HAGUE 000604 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/17/2018
TAGS: PREL KNNP IAEA ENRG EU NL
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS: CAUTIOUS ABOUT NUCLEAR FUEL BANK

REF: SECSTATE 68313

Classified By: Political Economic Counselor Drew Mann for reasons 1.5(b
,d)



1. (C) SUMMARY: On June 26, poloff delivered reftel points
to Henk Cor van der Kwast, Director of the Nuclear Affairs
and Nonproliferation Division at the Dutch MFA. In a July 17
discussion, Van der Kwast and Ralf van de Beck, Senior Policy
Officer, said the Dutch were not ready to contribute to the
Nuclear Fuel Bank proposal. Allies still need to convince
nuclear fuel consumers to support the idea, and also work out
the details for how the bank would function. The Dutch
offered suggestions on next steps, focusing on bilateral and
informal settings rather than the "politicized" IAEA. END
SUMMARY.



2. (C) NEED TO INVOLVE CONSUMER COUNTRIES: According to Van
der Kwast, several potential customers of a fuel bank,
including Argentina, Brazil, Egypt and South Africa, are
highly resistant to the proposal. Non-aligned movement (NAM)
countries see this as an infringement on their Article 4
right to nuclear power. They are willing to buy in to
Iranian suggestions that this is an effort to protect a
monopoly. Even though these arguments are wrong, and some
countries may disagree with the opponents of a fuel bank,
more supportive nations are not willing to speak up at the
IAEA.



3. (C) NEED DETAILS ON HOW BANK WOULD OPERATE: The Dutch
asked several rhetorical questions and made several
observations. They noted they were concerned that the fuel
bank money, if held by the IAEA, could get "side-tracked" if
the details of bank were not finalized. Who would have
access to the bank? Who would manage the fuel bank? Israel
would oppose IAEA DG El Baradei taking on that role. Would
the bank be "real or virtual"? If the bank is "real," who
would supply the fuel? How would the fuel bank initiative be
tied to export controls already in place?



4. (C) SUGGESTED NEXT STEPS: In September, before the IAEA
Board of Governors meeting, the EU will look at several
proposals, including ideas from the UK, Austria, and Germany.
According to the EU consensus, this is a matter that needs
"further reflection." Van de Beck sees the IAEA as too
politicized to advance the fuel bank proposal at this time.
Side meetings and events, and bilateral contacts, are the
best way to advance the idea. The Berlin conference on
nuclear fuel helped start the dialogue. "We don't want to
sit back and wait for the discussion to flow over us." At
the same time, we don't want to "move too fast." Presenting
a "solution" may alienate consumer countries. We need to get
NAM to take "ownership" based on their common interest with
us in non-proliferation and in the potential economic
advantages of a fuel bank. Given the skepticism among NAM
countries, building trust is critical. Jordan and the UAE
appear more supportive at this point. Malaysia and Indonesia
are "in the middle" and may be open to discussions.
Gallagher