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BEIJING PLS PASS ISN/NESS HUMPHREY DOE FOR NA-6 MCGINNIS, WELLING DOE SCHOENBAUER/DASH, EST SEPULVADA TOKYO FOR PEKO
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: ENRG, KNNP, IAEA SUBJECT: TEPID RESPONSE TO CHANGING GNEP TO INEF
REF: STATE 106834
Sensitive but unclassified -- please protect accordingly.
1. (U) Under cover of a short letter drawing from REFTEL background, Ambassador sent IAEA Director General ElBaradei October 19 the non-paper at para 12 of REFTEL. Msnoff concurrently shared non-paper with IAEA Department of Nuclear Energy officials to solicit comment.
2. (SBU) Hans Forsstroem, Director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology (under DDG/Nuclear Energy Sokolov), told Msnoff he felt the proposed reframing of GNEP could weaken its mandate and its appeal to countries such as China and France with advanced nuclear sectors. Forsstroem was personally against the name change, but he saw its motivation coming from U.S. domestic politics and acknowledged it was up to USG to make that decision. More importantly, Forsstroem expressed concern the U.S. proposals could be perceived as a retreat from a "closed fuel cycle approach." Nuclear newcomers might be comfortable with a less ambitious technology agenda than had characterized the original GNEP, he said, but major technology-holder countries may view it differently. Finally, Forsstroem said the proposed Mission Statement appeared to be consistent with the IAEA's goals. 3. (SBU) Separately, an AMCIT Infrastructure Development expert in the Nuclear Power Engineering Section said the name change was consistent with what she had heard from USG sources over the past several months. However, our contact said she did not have a clear understanding of what INEF intends to accomplish based on the current non-paper. 4. (SBU) Note for USDEL to GNEP Executive Committee: IAEA Secretariat confirmed that Deputy Director General for Nuclear Energy Yury Sokolov would be the senior IAEA official participating in the GNEP Executive Committee meeting in Beijing on October 23. Forsstroem shared with us that Sokolov had recently expressed frustration over not having some proposed edits accepted to the Joint Statement to be issued by the Executive Committee. End Note.