wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09UNVIEVIENNA126
2009-03-25 13:12:00
CONFIDENTIAL
UNVIE
Cable title:  

IAEA/TECHNICAL COOPERATION: SECRETARIAT SAYS SYRIA

Tags:   ENRG  IAEA  ETTC  KNNP  MNUC  PARM  TRGY  BEXP  SY 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHUNV #0126 0841312
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 251312Z MAR 09
FM USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9207
INFO RUEHII/VIENNA IAEA POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 0158
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEGGTN/DEPT OF ENERGY GERMANTOWN MD PRIORITY
RUEANFA/NRC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L UNVIE VIENNA 000126 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR IO/T AND ISN/MNSA; COMMERCE FOR SARAH LOPP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/25/2019
TAGS: ENRG IAEA ETTC KNNP MNUC PARM TRGY BEXP SY
SUBJECT: IAEA/TECHNICAL COOPERATION: SECRETARIAT SAYS SYRIA
POWER PLANT FEASIBILITY PROJECT IS INACTIVE; ASIAN TC
SUFFERING STAFF SHORTFALL

REF: (A) 08 STATE 127578 (B) 08 UNVIE 640 AND PREVIOUS

Classified By: Ambassador Gregory L. Schulte for reasons 1.4 b and d

-------------------------------
Syrian TC Project Going Nowhere
-------------------------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L UNVIE VIENNA 000126

SIPDIS

STATE FOR IO/T AND ISN/MNSA; COMMERCE FOR SARAH LOPP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/25/2019
TAGS: ENRG IAEA ETTC KNNP MNUC PARM TRGY BEXP SY
SUBJECT: IAEA/TECHNICAL COOPERATION: SECRETARIAT SAYS SYRIA
POWER PLANT FEASIBILITY PROJECT IS INACTIVE; ASIAN TC
SUFFERING STAFF SHORTFALL

REF: (A) 08 STATE 127578 (B) 08 UNVIE 640 AND PREVIOUS

Classified By: Ambassador Gregory L. Schulte for reasons 1.4 b and d

--------------
Syrian TC Project Going Nowhere
--------------


1. (C) DCM and Canadian colleague Terry Wood met with the
IAEA,s new Director for Technical Cooperation (TC) in Asia,
Mr. Dazhu Yang, March 20 to probe the status of the
controversial Syria TC project "Conducting a Technical and
Economic Feasibility Study and Site Selection for a Nuclear
Power Plant." Both the U.S. and Canada reiterated concerns
surrounding the project and pressed Yang to ensure that close
monitoring and reporting to Member States, per the November
2008 Board Decision (ref B), be adhered to. Yang affirmed
the TC Division would follow the Board decision and report
on the TC project as appropriate. When pressed on project
implementation, Yang said the project has not yet been
implemented because Syria has not paid its National
Participation Cost (NPC). (NOTE: NPCs usually total 5 percent
of the project and are paid in two installments of 2.5
percent at the beginning and end of a project. END NOTE)
Yang did not provide further detail on project design or what
would happen if Syria paid the initial 2.5 percent of the
NPC. Responding to questions on Syrian participation in
regional and interregional projects, Yang shared that the
ARASIA regional project was meeting in Syria the week of
March 23 and that Syria will continue to be invited to
regional and interregional meetings on a variety of topics.


2. (C) In a separate conversation with former TC Asia
Director Peter Salema on March 16, msnoffs were told the
Syrian TC project on nuclear power feasibility has "gone into
hibernation." Salema shared that immediately after the
November 2008 Board he had instructed the Syria TC Program
Manager to slow the implementation process down. Salema said
that to date no activity had happened on this project.
Salema's view is that Syria does not want to engage with the
Secretariat on the project because one of the first steps
would be to convene a workshop with Syria to review the
IAEA,s "Milestones" for nuclear development document. Such
a workshop would require Syria to come to the table prepared
to have an open and transparent discussioQut existing
infrastructure relevant to nuclear power plant feasibility.
This would allow the TC Division to understand Syria's
capabilities for this project. Salema suspects that the
Syrians do not want to engage the IAEA in such a discussion
while the safeguards investigation of the Al-Kibar reactor
remains very much an open issue.

--------------
TC in Asia
--------------


3. (C) Beyond specific discussion of Syria, new regional
director Yang informed the two DCMs briefly about his top
priorities, focusing primarily on raising the implementation
rate of TC projects in his region. The low rate of
implementation reflected that many countries in the Middle
East and across Asia are politically sensitive, and the
tenuous security situation in some does not allow for
in-country work. He also faces a staffing challenge as some
senior TC staff are leaving, new people are joining who have
to learn the job, and cost free experts (CFE) are drying up.
Yang shared that Japan had withdrawn a private sector
industry CFE from TC who formerly coordinated regional and
interregional projects for TC. DCM noted the growing
interest of U.S. companies in IAEA promotional activities.


4. (U) Comment: Mission recommends interagency
consideration of providing a CFE to the TC division since
this region is of high interest and spans the Middle East to
Asia. The U.S. currently does not have a CFE in the TC
division. The addition of a strong American CFE with
strategic planning and nuclear energy development background
would benefit the Agency as a whole. Alternately, this may be
an occasion to follow-up the idea that surfaced during last
year's U.S. industry visit to Vienna of finding a U.S.
private sector CFE who could work with countries in Asia
embarking on civilian nuclear power.
SCHULTE