212814 6/18/2009 13:13 09UNVIEVIENNA285 UNVIE UNCLASSIFIED 08UNVIE663 VZCZCXRO3848 RR RUEHDBU RUEHSK RUEHSL DE RUEHUNV #0285/01 1691313 ZNR UUUUU ZZH R 181313Z JUN 09 ZDK MANY SVCS FM USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9604 INFO RHMCSUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC RUEANFA/NRC WASHDC RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 0092 RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY ASTANA 0094 RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 0001 RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0846 RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0803 RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN 0134 RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK 0049 RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0229 RUEHSL/AMEMBASSY BRATISLAVA 0112 RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 0230 RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST 0087 RUEHUP/AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST 0129 RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 0222 RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0654 RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN 0077 RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 0024 RUEHDL/AMEMBASSY DUBLIN 0080 RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI 0129 RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV 0079 RUEHLJ/AMEMBASSY LJUBLJANA 0155 RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1158 RUEHLE/AMEMBASSY LUXEMBOURG 0028 RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 0186 RUEHSK/AMEMBASSY MINSK 0048 RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 0031 RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 0910 RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 0110 RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 0655 RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1016 RUEHPG/AMEMBASSY PRAGUE 0118 RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 0204 RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT 0083 RUEHRK/AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK 0023 RUEHRA/AMEMBASSY RIGA 0038 RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 0459 RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0308 RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA 0084 RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 0176 RUEHTL/AMEMBASSY TALLINN 0049 RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT 0045 RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 0226 RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0696 RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA 1360 RUEHVL/AMEMBASSY VILNIUS 0109 RUEHWR/AMEMBASSY WARSAW 0102 RUEHVB/AMEMBASSY ZAGREB 0041 UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 36 UNVIE VIENNA 000285
STATE FOR ISN/NESS AND IO/T DOE FOR EM-1 TRIAY NRC MDOANE AND JSCHWARTZMAN
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: ENRG, TRGY, KNNP, AORC SUBJECT: NUCLEAR SAFETY: REPORT OF THE THIRD MEETING OF THE JOINT CONVENTION ON SPENT FUEL AND RADIOACTIVE WASTE, MAY 11-20, 2009 - SUCCESSFUL COUNTRY REVIEW GROUPS WITH CHANGES TO RULES OF PROCEDURE
REF: 08 UNVIE 663 (NOTAL)
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1. The Third Review Meeting of the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management was broadly successful for U.S. interests. The meeting was more widely attended than last time, and the quality of the national reports and the discussions were much better than in the past, indicating greater attention and focus on waste issues. Interesting items raised at this meeting included: a desire for regional repositories; increased attention to contamination from uranium milling and mining sites; increased desire for clearance levels; and positive steps by former Soviet Union countries to take responsibility for legacy wastes. - 2. Six Country Review Groups took place during the first week of the conference. In general, reviews went very well, with Contracting Parties providing well thought-out presentations, including often candid and transparent interaction among the countries during the question and answer period (paras 27-33). U.S. technical side meetings with Contracting Parties resulted in Follow Up Action Items (para 16).
3. Rapporteur Reports generally reflected the deliberations (paras 34-39). A number of cross-cutting trends emerged (paras 13-14). Three Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) Sessions were held, to discuss seven topics: (1) Policy Makers Topic Meeting; (2) Data Presentation Tool for Joint Convention National Reports; (3) Improvements in Selection of Conference Officers; (4) Joint Convention Leadership; (5) Knowledge Transfer and Continuity between Review Meetings; (6)
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Improving Interaction Between Meetings, and (7) Clarification of procedures for replacing officers if they are unable to perform their duties (paras 16-19). Both the "Summary Report of the Third Review Meeting of the Contracting Parties" and the "Report of the President of the Third Review Meeting" were made publicly available.
4. Under the agenda item Other Business, a French proposal to take up a debate on opening the Review Meetings to the public was blocked by a U.S. Intervention(para 38).
5. The U.S. Representative participated in an interview, at the request of reporter Ann MacLachlan, arranged by the UNVIE Mission press officer. The interview appeared in the May 28, 2009 McGraw-Hill Platts publication "Nucleonics Week," along with comments from the press conference held by the three Joint Convention Officers.
6. The Third Review Meeting of the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management (Joint Convention) took place on May 11-20, 2009, at the IAEA, in Vienna, Austria. Janet Gorn, Senior Foreign Affairs Officer, Department of State served as Head of Delegation for 16 U.S. attendees. Frank Marcinowski, DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regulatory Compliance, served as Joint Convention Vice President and Chairman of the Open-ended Sessions, and Mary Bisesi, Program Analyst, DOE Office of Disposal Operations, served as Joint Convention Coordinator for Country Group One.
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7. Forty-four of the forty-eight Contracting Parties attended the meeting. Countries not in attendance were: Kyrgyz Republic (no report), Tajikistan (submitted report and answered questions), Uruguay (no reports), and Uzbekistan (no report-recently ratified). Portugal submitted its ratification credentials during the second week of the conference, becoming the 49th Contracting Party.
8. IAEA DDG TANIGUCHI REMARKS: Tomihiro Taniguchi, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security noted the Review Meeting marked almost ten years of implementation as an important element within the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Regime. His opening remarks initially focused on the importance of initiating a concerted effort to increase the membership of the Contracting Parties in the Joint Convention, in particular on identifying ways to better facilitate new membership.
9. REVIEW MEETING PRESIDENT'S REMARKS: Kunihisa Soda, the Joint Convention President, welcomed seven new Contracting Parties: China, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. He then focused on the need to bring in new Contracting Parties, noting that only one-third of IAEA Member States are Parties to the Joint Convention. Mr. Soda urged Parties to provide feedback on the review process for the 3rd Meeting and the Open-ended Work Group discussion regarding knowledge transfer from meeting to meeting. He then reviewed the summary report of Mr. Andre-Claude Lacoste, Chairman of the 3rd Organizational Meeting.
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10. AGENDA ITEMS. The agenda was adopted with minor changes. There were no late ratifiers. The IAEA legal counsel reported that not all Parties had completed filing credentials. Invitations were issued to the OECD/Nuclear Energy Agency and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to attend the 3rd meeting as Observers. The EBRD commented on its appreciation for the invitation, which provided an opportunity to learn more about spent fuel (SF) and radioactive waste (RW) management programs in support of EBRD's management of six financial funds in this area.
11. The Joint Convention President announced, in addition to the replacement of the Canadian Country Group Chairman, there were four Contracting Parties not in attendance: Kyrgyzstan (no report), Tajikistan (submitted report and answered questions), Uruguay (no reports), and Uzbekistan (no report-recently ratified). Senegal noted it had recently ratified the Joint Convention, but it did not submit a National Report. Senegal's intention was to observe the Country Group review process to draw guidance for preparation of its National Report for the Fourth Meeting. Contracting Parties supported Senegal's participation strategy, and suggested it would be beneficial for Parties if Senegal could also give a brief oral review of its program. (NOTE: Portugal submitted its ratification instrument during the meeting, becoming the 49th Contracting Party.)
12. The Parties agreed to seven Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) topics: (1) Policy Makers Topic Meeting; (2) Data Presentation Tool for Joint Convention National Reports; (3) Improvements in Officers' Selection; (4) Joint Convention Leadership; (5) Knowledge Transfer and Continuity between Review Meetings; (6) Improve Interaction Between Meetings and (7) Clarification of procedures for replacing officers if they are unable to perform their duties. Frank Marcinowski (USA) was confirmed as the OEWG chair.
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13. Opening Remarks were presented in the OEWG by the United States and Japan. U.S. remarks focused on strengthening the worldwide safety culture through Contracting Party support for the Joint Convention Regional Conference Initiative, noting the U.S. had contributed $230,000 in the past three years and allocated another $80,000 for 2009. Japan in its opening remarks focused on its contribution in Asia by taking advantage of opportunities to provide financial and human resources, in the area of nuclear safety, spent fuel, and radioactive waste management, in particular activities in the Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia (FNCA) and the Asia Nuclear Safety Network (ANSN).
Overview of Country Group Sessions
14. In general, Country Group National Report reviews went remarkably well, with Contracting Parties providing well thought-out presentations utilizing the Organizational Meeting agreed format. Interaction among the countries during the question and answer period was often candid and generally transparent.
15. Emerging Trends: The U.S. delegation noted the following trends of interest to all Country Review Groups:
- Although a number of Contracting Parties are not formally planning a permanent disposal strategy, they indicated a willingness to participate in a regional solution for the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste. However, it was not apparent that any will volunteer to host an international disposal facility in the near term. - In the past, the IAEA Secretariat has used "euphemisms" for a
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concerted effort to have its International Safety Standards adopted for global application. At this meeting, the popular term was "linkages;" careful attention should be paid to the use of this term in the context of discussions involving the IAEA Safety Standards. - Recruitment of new workers and retention of current workers has become a significant issue in trying to keep staff-level competencies in the regulatory bodies; human resources to provide technical expertise and fill skills gaps constitutes a critical issue. - Parties are emphasizing public involvement, and in particular public acceptance, in making decisions regarding long-term waste management. - There has been a concerted effort to give the public and other stakeholders a voice in the licensing process for siting and selection of radioactive waste and spent fuel disposal and centralized storage facilities. - A number of Contracting Parties have indicated some difficulties as a result of the current economic situation; they are seeking financial and other assistance either bilaterally or from international organizations such as the IAEA. - A number of former Soviet Union countries are acknowledging that the Russian Federation is not going to assist with legacy wastes remaining in these countries in a timely fashion, so they are taking responsibility to address these issues themselves. - A number of Contracting Parties rely on energy tariffs to generate liabilities funds; the need for energy keeps these funds well endowed. - Parties are upgrading existing waste management facilities, either to address deficiencies or to extend the facility capacity and lifetime. - Parties are putting more attention and resources into addressing legacy contamination issues, such as those from uranium mining and milling.
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- Parties are implementing systems for tracking, controlling, and managing sealed sources; most Parties have made significant strides to account for and secure disused/orphaned sealed sources. A number of Contracting Parties have focused greater efforts on the disposition and management of disused radioactive sealed sources; returning sources to the foreign manufacturers is the preferred alternative. Many have developed electronic tracking systems and software to better track these sources throughout their lifetime. - Funding and preparation for repositories for both spent fuel/high-level waste and Low and Intermediate Level Waste (LILW) remain topics of interest. - Most Parties with nuclear power plants have worked hard on regulatory transparency and openness. - Several countries are considering launching nuclear power programs; the 3rd Review Meeting expressed a strong recommendation that spent fuel and radioactive waste management be factored into the initiative right from the beginning. - Some Contracting Parties are facing near-term constraints in terms of storage capacity for their spent fuel and radioactive waste; additional storage, treatment, conditioning or disposal solutions will be needed over the next decade.
Follow Up Action Items for U.S. Delegation from Technical Side Meetings
16. Seven Contracting Parties consulted with the U.S. Technical Team during questions and answers on the U.S. presentation or on the margins of the conference regarding USG assistance and/or contact information. Follow Up actions resulting from the Review Meeting are:
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- R. Gray, Health and Safety Executive (UK) requested information on safety metrics for safety and operational trends. - K. Suyama, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Japan) requested additional information on the National Source Tracking System and details on establishing a tracking system. - C. Ruiz, Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear (Spain) requested the Congressional Report on demonstration of interim storage of spent fuel - Completed. - O. Phillips, National Nuclear Regulator (S. Africa) requested exchanges with NRC and DOE on the topic of remediation and decommissioning by means of existing bilateral agreements - in progress. - P. Torbijn (Netherlands), Ministry of Housing, and Spatial Environment, requested information and a NRC staff contact on U.S. regulations regarding Financial Assurances. - S. Nakayama, Japan Atomic Energy Agency (Japan) requested information on U.S. procedures for clearing material from regulatory control, particularly the release of metals for the purpose of recycling. - M. Yamada, Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization (Japan), requested information on U.S. regulatory requirments related to mixed radioactive and hazardous waste.
Open-ended Working Group Sessions
17. Frank Marcinowski chaired the OEWG on May 12-14, 2009. Approximately half of the contracting parties participated. Six proposals had been recommended for the OEWG's consideration and action and agreed prior to the Review Meeting. In addition, Mr. Koblinger (Hungary) made a seventh proposal that the OEWG evaluate
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whether the Joint Convention operating procedures require revision to clarify procedures for replacing officers if they are unable to perform their duties. This was agreed and considered by the OEWG. Five of the seven proposals affect changes to the Rules of Procedures.
18. OEWG Session I: Topics (1) Policy Makers Topical Meeting and (2) Data Presentation Tool for Joint Convention National Reports (May 12, 2009);
19. TOPIC (1) POLICY MAKERS TOPICAL MEETING. The first proposal, authored by the United Kingdom (UK) suggested a policy makers' topical meeting at the Fourth Review Meeting of the Parties. The proposal recognized that licensing decisions and policy making may be handled by different entities within the governmental organization of a given state. The regulatory body may not be the decision maker for policy nor even for specific authorization. How a given Contracting Party functions within the context of the Joint Convention may, therefore, not be exactly consistent with the letter of the Joint Convention provisions. There was a lengthy discussion at the OEWG to understand the proposal. A suggestion was made to select one or more challenges from this Review Meeting to provide a tangible context for examining the role of policy makers in the Joint Convention. The UK agreed to further develop this proposal and to present it by the time of the next Organizational Meeting.
RESULT: Proposal accepted as written. Adopted by consensus in the Closing Plenary.
20. TOPIC (2) DATA PRESENTATION TOOL FOR JOINT CONVENTION NATIONAL REPORTS. The second proposal, by the U.S., was developed in conjunction with Netherlands, Spain, Czech Republic, Germany and IAEA to allow voluntary use of an electronic data presentation tool
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(the Net-Enabled Waste Management database, or NEWMDB) , to be provided by the Secretariat to the Contracting Parties, for development of portions of the Joint Convention National Reports. The OEWG decided to have the IAEA Secretariat make it available to contracting parties to use on a voluntary basis; no meeting is needed to further develop or explain the tool. If a Contracting Party opts to use the voluntary tool, it is the responsibility of the Contracting Party to ensure the information provided to the Secretariat and retrieved from the NEWMDB is accurate and of the right time period for the National Report. Each Contracting Party shall determine who has access to its information in the reporting tool. The Secretariat will develop and make available guidance on how to use and deploy the tool.
RESULT: Proposal was accepted with some clarifications. Adopted by consensus in the Closing Plenary.
21. OEWG Session II: Topics (3) Improvements in Officers' Selection and (4) Joint Convention Leadership (May 13, 2009)
-- TOPICS 3 AND 4. Proposals 3 and 4 as originally proposed separately by the UK and the U.S. were combined into a single proposal after considerable discussion, and treated as one proposal during the final OEWG session on May 14. Several amendments were offered to provide additional clarity and improve the enhanced process based on experience at the October 2008 Organizational meeting. The resulting proposal recommends changes to INFCIRC/603 to (reftel) improve and clarify the selection process for Officers of the Joint Convention. Not later than two months before the Organizational Meeting, as part of such nomination, a Contracting Party shall provide, in writing, relevant biographical information on the candidate, the qualifications of the candidate, the issues that should be addressed by the Contracting Parties during the next
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three years and the position of the candidate on those issues. Each candidate for the elective places, or their representative, shall have the opportunity to make a short oral presentation to the Contracting Parties at the Organizational Meeting that addresses the items in the material supporting their candidacy and shall answer questions from the Contracting Parties. Contracting Parties will endeavor to reach consensus on the President and Vice President from the candidates nominated in accordance with the above process. Contracting Parties are encouraged to nominate candidates for President, Vice-President, Chairs, Vice-Chairs, Rapporteur, or Coordinator and to indicate the extent to which the candidates are willing to be considered for other elective places in the event that they are not elected to their first choice.
22. The U.S. provision folded into the proposal clarified that there are no formal or informal requirements or restrictions in the Joint Convention itself, its Rules of Procedures, or elsewhere treating who may be an officer. The U.S. text provided that the Rules of Procedure should encourage diversity in selection of officers, to ensure a broad range of experiences and perspectives to achieve the objective of the Joint Convention. Consensus was reached on the combined proposal, by Contracting Parties, with the exception of France which did not agree with the language from the U.S. proposal.
23. Many contracting parties expressed support for the views that there are no restrictions on who may be an officer; that officers may be government officials with policy, regulatory, or management responsibility for the safety of spent fuel management and/or radioactive waste management; and, that diversity among Joint Convention Officers results in a broad range of experiences and perspectives, enhancing leadership skills in achieving the objectives of the Joint Convention. However a number of contracting
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parties expressed concerns that the language on diversity might be viewed as mandating a mechanistic balancing formula and complicate the already complex process to fill the officer positions. It was noted that diversity could be encouraged by a more general provision. There was general agreement that candidates should have experience with the objectives of the Joint Convention, and that participation in a prior meeting, although useful, is not essential. The U.S. delegation expressed the view that preference should not be accorded to individuals with a specific background. Text on inclusion of a broad cross section of government officials was adopted as part of the joint U.S.-UK proposal so there would be no need for a separate proposal to revise the guidelines. Thus, a combined proposal 3 and 4 was considered as discussed above.
24. TOPICS 3 AND 4 RESULT: The French delegation blocked consensus in the Closing Plenary on including U.S.-proposed clarifying language in the Rules of Procedure. There were two interventions, from Estonia and Finland, in support of the French position that the President of the Review Meeting must be a regulatory official. Finland suggested that a regulator would foster public confidence. Interventions from the U.K., Canada, Spain, Japan, and Switzerland supported the U.S. position. To find a path forward, the U.S. proposed to remove the proposed clarifying clause in the main Rules of Procedure, and insert clarifying text in the "Note on Qualifications of Officers." Unable to reach an agreeable middle ground on this important procedural matter, and to avoid a call for a vote, the President called a recess to convene a side meeting of the Representatives of the U.S. and French delegations and any other interested Parties. After lengthy deliberations between the U.S. and French Representatives, the U.S. suggested it was important to consider the views of all Parties, and it would be agreeable to remove the U.S. clarifying clause proposed for the Rules of Procedure Note, if France would agree to include language in the
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President's Report. France agreed to the U.S. recommendation, which was supported by Contracting Parties' unanimous consensus during review of the draft President's Report in the Closing Plenary. As a result, the President's Report text stated that "other than the -- the economies of scale that they depend on to keep production costs low if they lose the U.S. market and thus may not be able to remain open if they are reduced to serving only the European market. The loss of AGOA would hurt not only garment factories, but would also have a ripple effect on logistics, shipping, and other periphery service providers. According to the director of the U.S. logistics firm Expeditors International, its business in Madagascar is already down by fifty percent.
7. (SBU) Comment: Although some members of the transition authority (HAT) and Zafy and Ravalomanana's political movements are understanding of and sympathetic to company and worker concerns about losing AGOA, none of them are in a position to ensure its survival alone: a return to constitutionality will require all of them to work together. If there is not political progress before year-end and AGOA is lost, they will all point fingers at each other, but the blame for the loss risks being placed in the lap of the USG. Responding to a question about the negative impact of a loss of AGOA eligibility on US-Malagasy relations, the Ambassador said he would continue to do his utmost to promote a political solution that will protect AGOA eligibility. If that fails, it will be his responsibility to explain to the Malagasy why America's gift of AGOA had been squandered by their irresponsible polical leaders. He closed on an optimistic note by restating his hope and desire that the political solution will prevent this from happening. End comment. MARQUARDT