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Cablegate: Letter From Most Vm Thang to Nnsa Bieniawski

Published: Fri 27 Jul 2007 09:31 AM
VZCZCXRO9211
RR RUEHHM
DE RUEHHI #1322/01 2080931
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 270931Z JUL 07 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5917
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 3414
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 001322
SIPDIS
DEPT FOR ISN/NESS (DRUDOLPH, DFENSTERMACHER), EAP/K, EAP/MLS
DEPT OF ENERGY FOR NNSA (ABIENAIWSKI, KCUMMINS, IBOLSHINSKY,
SDICKERSON)
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG KGIT KNNP PARM OTRA VM
SUBJECT: LETTER FROM MOST VM THANG TO NNSA BIENIAWSKI
REF: A) STATE 91019, B) HANOI 1218
1. (U) This is an action request for DOE - please see para 5.
2. (U) On July 25, ESTHOff met with Mr. Le Doan Phac, Director of
the International Cooperation Department of the Vietnam Atomic
Energy Commission (VAEC). In the meeting, Phac presented an
official letter from Vice Minister of Science and Technology Tran
Quoc Thang to Mr. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security
Assistant Deputy Administrator for Global Threat Reduction Andrew
Bieniawski. Text of letter follows:
3. (SBU) Begin text of letter:
Hanoi, 25 July 2007
Dear Mr. Bieniawski,
I have received your letter of 5 July 2007 concerning the project on
conversion of Dalat Nuclear Research Reactor from the use of
high-enriched uranium (HEU) fuel to the use of low-enriched uranium
(LEU) fuel. I note with satisfaction that in a common effort, all
relevant sides have been closely cooperating to complete
successfully the project.
Regarding the issues mentioned in your letter, I would like to
exchange with you my opinions and suggestions as follows:
(1) The fuel conversion is planned to take place in this September.
Therefore, during preparation to fix the schedule, please take into
consideration that Vietnam National Day holiday will be from 1-3
September and some Vietnamese officers, who are involved in the
project, will attend the IAEA General Conference from 17-21
September;
(2) Regarding your proposal on the Ceremony, please send us your
Tentative Ceremony Agenda and list of participants for our review
and discussion with you to finalize and submit to the Vietnamese
Government for approval. This request is in accordance to our
rules;
(3) Please contact the IAEA as soon as possible for the IAEA's
approval of the TC project of US $500,000 that you have committed to
support Viet Nam through the IAEA under the framework of the fuel
conversion project. The Vietnam's project request has been sent the
IAEA and NNSA (to Dr. Igor Bolshinsky);
(4) Regarding conclusion of the DOE-MOST Implementing Agreement,
Vietnamese side has a viewpoint that this Agreement will be
discussed and negotiated by the two sides in an appropriate time in
future. At present, the MOST of Viet Nam and the US DOE could
conclude "the Arrangement between the Department of Energy of the
United States of America and the Ministry of Science and Technology
of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam for Information Exchange and
Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy" (prepared by
Office of Global Security Engagement and Cooperation, NNSA -
Director of the Office is Mr. Maurice A. Mallin).
Taking this occasion, once again, I would like to express our
appreciation for your close cooperation and kind supports.
Sincerely,
(signed)
Tran Quoc Thang
Vice-Minister
Ministry of Science and Technology
End of text.
4. (SBU) During the discussion, Mr. Phac provided the following
additional details to the points: a) the window of September 5-14 is
favorable; b) any press ceremony should be kept small so that MOST
(and not another ministry) will be authorized to handle the event,
which could be approved quickly by them; c) since MOST does not have
a lot of experience with such ceremonies, they request a detailed
proposal to consider.
5. (U) COMMENT AND ACTION REQUEST FOR DOE: ESTHOff raised
informally with MOST ADA Bieniawski's proposal to invite a limited
number of correspondents, including an "embedded" CNN reporter, to
travel with the official delegation during the fuel conversion.
MOST clearly requires more details of the press elements of this
event before considering approval. Post requests NNSA to work
directly with Embassy Public Affairs Officer Angela Aggeler
(aggelerap@state.gov) and ESTH Officer Nathan Sage so that a
HANOI 00001322 002 OF 002
country-specific press plan for the activity can be quickly
developed that meets MOST's requirement. Post understands NNSA has
experience handling such operations in other countries and looks
forward to discuss details of a proposed press plan.
MARINE
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