RR RUEHSK RUEHSL
DE RUEHLO #2616/01 3241703
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 201703Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4029
INFO RUCNDSC/DISARMAMENT CONFERENCE COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1221
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 3001
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 3515
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 LONDON 002616
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KNNP AORC PGOV PREL MNUC IAEA NPT UNGA ENRG
FR, RS, CH, UK
SUBJECT: UK-HOSTED P5 CONFERENCE ON CONFIDENCE BUILDING
MEASURES TOWARDS NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT, SEPTEMBER 3-4, 2009 (PART TWO OF THREE)
REF: A. LONDON 2198 B. LONDON 2199 NOTE: FOR TECHNICAL REASONS, THIS CABLE IS BEING TRANSMITTED IN THREE PARTS. THIS IS
PART TWO OF THREE. PARAGRAPH NUMBERS REFLECT FULL CABLE LENGTH.
38. (SBU) Gower (UK) said that sharing the numbers and types of weapons was acceptable, but not their actual location or
transit plans. It was important to ensure these weapons were not intercepted. For example, the UK was comfortable
stating that it had 160 nuclear warheads, but would not release information on the location of any one of these
39. (SBU) Briens (France) stated that total transparency was not desirable, of course, but an agreed minimum level of
transparency was key to confidence building. There should be an agreed level of reciprocity. It was easier for a state
to be transparent when it possessed a large arsenal, than when it had a modest one. Look (U.S.) stated that the United
States and Russia were quite transparent with respect to strategic weapons, but had not learned how to discuss tactical
weapons yet, and this was needed.
40. (SBU) Leslie (UK) asked about the feasibility of holding non-public (confidential) discussions and the extent to
which P5 discussions of nuclear capabilities were affected by the existence of nuclear arsenals in non-P5 states.
41. (SBU) Briens (France) stated that currently France had been updating a document that gives guidance on public
disclosure of its nuclear capabilities. Systems that had been withdrawn from service were found to be of lesser
sensitivity. Strategic stability among the P5 would improve once the P5 were able to build confidence in the area of
42. (SBU) Leslie (UK) stated that the internet had great potential to expand proliferation; increased computing power
was widely available, and this had an impact on expanded proliferation threats. The reality that information could be
widely and quickly disseminated would have a braking effect on transparency. Gower (UK) stated that the impact of
emerging nuclear powers on P5 members depended upon geographic orientation. Look (U.S.) said that there was still a
community of interest with respect to emerging nuclear states.
Challenges in Nuclear Accident Response ----------------------------------------
43. (SBU) Ushatov (Russia) provided an overview of the last four exercises regarding nuclear accident response in which
it had participated. These exercises occurred in Russia during 2004, in the UK during 2005, in the United States during
2006, and in France during 2007. He noted that a lot of work had been done jointly by France, Russia, the United States
and the UK. He was convinced that open discussion would continue to lead to improved cooperation. Russia had proposed
these exercises in 2002 at a meeting in The Hague, and had been pleased that they were successful.
44. (SBU) After brief description of the four P5 exercises, Ushatov criticized the United States for not demonstrating
its equipment capabilities during the 2006 exercise and said that Russia would have "loved" to see the robots and other
technical systems employed in the scenarios. Russia had been impressed by the U.S. emphasis on interaction with the
media and gauging of public response to the accidents and consequence management measures. Russia judged the exercise in
France had been the best, showing a high level of organizational expertise. France also demonstrated a lot of technical
equipment, which Russia appreciated. Russian political and military leadership saw the advantage of routine drilling for
political and military units to practice response regimes. Russia also noted a difference between NATO P5 members and
the others (China and Russia) with respect to levels of nuclear weapons and chains of custody of nuclear materials. NATO
Command and Control capabilities seemed to enhance the efficiency of the exercises. Russia could not see technical
response teams in the field, but did see how command and control matters were addressed, which apparently NATO believed
were more critical.
45. (SBU) Sankey (UK) noted that each of the P5 knew how difficult exercises were, but the totality of all four
exercises combined seemed to have had an overall positive LONDON 00002616 002 OF 007 (complementary) effect. Cameron
(UK) stated that planning for nuclear accident response was no substitute for planning for accident prevention.
46. (SBU) Li (China) stated that it managed nuclear weapons very closely. China's weapons were absolutely safe and
reliable. There had been no accidents in 40 years. Command and Control was highly centralized and under the direct
control of the Central Committee. All management and use of nuclear materials had strict regulations. All personnel
involved in handling were strictly cleared and controlled. Technical procedures for storage, handling, movement and
safety of nuclear materials were highly prescribed. Sankey (UK) replied that China seemed to focus on accident
prevention, whereas the rest of the P5 seemed oriented on accident response.
47. (SBU) Russia (Leontiev) noted that, with regard to transparency, the U.S. presentation mentioned an exercise with
France on accident response. He asked under what legal framework was such a bilateral exercise conducted. The U.S. side
had stated that there were long-standing memoranda of agreement with the UK and France regarding cooperation in this
area. The United States also had noted that such an exercise had also been conducted in accordance with the Bratislava
Agreement, where a full-scale field radiological exercise was conducted in St. Petersburg.
48. (SBU) Sankey (UK) proposed that the P5 agree in principle to cooperate more in the area of nuclear accident
response, noting that peer review, exercise reviews and a working group could be part of this cooperation. He understood
that China might have to consult with Beijing prior to agreeing. The United States (Look) and France (Briens) supported
this proposal, in principle, including the formation of a working group. Leontiev (Russia) asked about joint exercises,
and what should be considered a joint exercise. The Sankey (UK) responded that the UK believed that an exercise with
observers and joint participation would constitute a joint exercise. China (WU) saw the merits of such a proposal, but
needed to consult with the capital before agreeing. Russia (Leontiev) proposed that the sides use the word "envisage"
further cooperation in the joint statement flowing from the conference, thereby not requiring an immediate decision.
China said that it could endorse a result whereby the sides "considered" continued cooperation in this area. Russia
(Leontiev) stated that its HOD, currently holding a bilateral meeting, would have to approve. The United States (Look)
reiterated the value of working groups.
Challenges in Verification of Nuclear Disarmament --------------------------------------------- -----
49. (SBU) Chambers (UK) described an exercise on technical verification/disarmament issues conducted by the UK, Norway
and the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (an NGO), as well as briefed on the UK's efforts to
account for all of its fissile materials since the start of its nuclear programs. The goal of the UK/Norwegian exercise
was to develop methodologies and technologies for nuclear disarmament verification for both multilateral and bilateral
treaties. During the exercise, the sides developed inspection methodologies beginning with the initial contact between a
nuclear weapon state (NWS) and a non-nuclear weapon state (NNWS), and culminating in a mock inspection. Information
barrier technology was used to allow specific measurements for verification of data, while simultaneously allowing the
host or inspected state to protect sensitive information. During the exercise, the UK played the role of a NNWS, while
Norway played the role of a NWS that had agreed to disarmament and a verification inspection.
50. (SBU) Chambers (UK) said that many challenges had been overcome over the two-year period of the exercise, and the
sides learned many lessons, especially those related to the importance of negotiating access controls. Access was
necessarily intrusive, as well as resource intensive. Additionally, the sides learned that maintaining the chain of
custody of fissile materials/components was impossible without technical measurements and accountability via
seals/control numbers. Moreover, the sides concluded that the best information barrier was a measurement device that
provided a pass/fail or yes/no indication to a pre-determined set of criteria or information shared between the two
parties without revealing any other (sensitive) information about the LONDON 00002616 003 OF 007 item being inspected.
The biggest problem to emerge was that of imprecise records regarding fissile material, especially for the early years
of the UK nuclear program. In the UK experience, paper records, vice electronic records, were of more value and more
trustworthy. Further, current and accurate accounting procedures were paramount. With this in mind, the UK believed that
it had accounted for all of its historical fissile material with an uncertainly level of 1-2 percent of the total.
51. (SBU) Kuznetsov (Russia) noted that Russia would not allow a second party to observe the actual dismantlement
process within Russia. This position was especially true if the observing state was an NPT NNWS. Chambers (UK) stressed
that NNWS needed to be involved in the nuclear disarmament/verification process in order to build their confidence in
NWS disarmament. Kuznetsov (Russia) said that bilateral arrangements, such as between the U.S. and Russia, were better
than that of the UK/Norwegian framework. Kuznetsov reiterated that the UK/Norway model would not work for Russia, since
Norway was a NNWS.
52. (SBU) Zhang Chunafei (China) commented that the UK stated that it could account for all but 1-2 percent of its
fissile material. If the same percentage applied to the United States, that would mean 1-2 tons of nuclear material from
the U.S. stockpile would be unaccounted for, which was enough material for a quite a few weapons. The UK responded by
noting that accuracy to within 1-2 percent was likely the best that could be achieved given the problem of
incomplete/missing records over the course of more than 50 years. Wells (UK) added that accounting precision was much
better for shorter (more recent) timelines and that perhaps the world community could have confidence that the vast
majority of fissile material had been accounted for.
53. (SBU) Zhang Chunafei (China) described Chinese efforts to develop verification technology for nuclear disarmament
regimes. He believed that both the U.S. and UK approaches to disarmament verification were needed. One focused on the
outcome (the United States) and the other on the process to include the technical aspects (the UK). He said that China
advocated a worldwide nuclear test ban. In order to achieve the goal of zero nuclear weapons in the world, there needed
to be new international and regional disarmament accords/treaties. He noted that the Chinese Academy of Engineering
Physics had been working for 10 years on the issue of disarmament verification technologies, primarily chain of custody
(of fissile materials) and authentication.
54. (SBU) Zhang (China) stated that the Chinese Academy had focused its research on four primary areas. The first was
identification technology on the characteristic signature of highly enriched uranium. The second was technology to
measure six attributes of plutonium and the associated information barriers that can authenticate plutonium components.
Next, the Academy studied technological solutions for both active and passive uranium detection. Finally, the Academy
had investigated the use of template matching technology to detect characteristic signatures spontaneously radiated from
various types of nuclear warheads. Zhang also stressed the importance of chain of custody technology, including tags,
seals, tamper detection devices, and remote/portal monitoring. These measures were especially important during
transportation and storage. In conclusion, he said that a balance must be struck between effectiveness and acceptability
for the development and use of verification technology.
55. (SBU) Miraillet (France) listed three main challenges to verification: non-proliferation, protection of national
classified information, and confidence in the verification results. Bugaut (France) noted that France unilaterally had
implemented a fissile material production moratorium and that France had exact measurements and records from initial
dismantlement to end use for its fissile material and that all parts of a weapon were tracked during the dismantlement/
destruction process. He noted that France even had "birth" and "death" certificates for its nuclear weapons and fissile
56. (SBU) Coriolis (France) stated that France had invited international observers to verify French disarmament claims,
specifically, that factories capable of producing weapons grade fissile material were no longer in operation. Sankey
(UK) said that as more states took unilateral disarmament LONDON 00002616 004 OF 007 steps, mechanisms for acceptable
verification would need to be developed. China noted that a moratorium on the production of weapons grade fissile
material was complicated and that a comprehensive treaty would better address the issue. China also agreed that was
difficult to verify unilateral moratorium actions.
57. (SBU) Look (U.S.) stated that President Obama's Prague speech articulated the U.S. commitment to "seek the peace and
security of a world without nuclear weapons" and outlined some of the initial concrete arms control steps that the U.S.
would pursue to help move the international community toward that end: (1) reductions, initially bilaterally with Russia
but ultimately involving all states with nuclear weapons capabilities, in nuclear arsenals; (2) ratification and
entry-into-force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, or CTBT; and (3) a treaty that verifiably ends the
production of fissile materials intended for use in nuclear weapons, that is, a verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off
Treaty, or FMCT. The speech also made clear that, until the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons was
achieved, the United States will maintain a safe, secure, and effective nuclear arsenal to deter any adversary and
guarantee that defense to its allies. A corollary of this requirement was that while the United States would take steps
to reduce the level of its nuclear forces and the allies' role in U.S. security, the United States also would ensure
that it protected sensitive information whose exposure would undermine our ability to continue to maintain the necessary
nuclear deterrent capabilities.
58. (SBU) She said that both sides were seeking what would amount to a 30 percent reduction in U.S. deployed nuclear
weapons. The NPR would move the U.S. towards the President's goals and develop a U.S. nuclear posture that preserved the
effectiveness of our nuclear deterrent for as long as it was required, reduced the potential for conflict and nuclear
use, enhanced strategic stability world-wide, and strengthened the non-proliferation regime. It was only after the P5
decided how it wanted to proceed toward achieving the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons ) and determined what
should be limited at each step along the path to zero and how much confidence in compliance was required ) that the P5
could begin to decide how to verify those commitments. A second difficult issue that the P5 would need to address was
how to assure the ban on nuclear weapons was being complied with and that there were no new ) emerging ) nuclear weapons
states. Once the P5 decided what types of limitations might be required and how it was going to achieve those
limitations as a policy matter, the challenge would be to see if it had, or could develop, the technological tools to
help the P5 meet the associated verification challenges.
59. (SBU) Look (U.S.) added that the INF and START Treaties and the Trilateral Initiative were especially relevant to
the issue of elimination of nuclear weapons. In the INF and START treaties and in the Trilateral Initiative, the parties
had to grapple with some of the same kinds of issues that were raised by any serious examination of the steps required
to achieve and verify disarmament. In order to inform collaboration on a way forward among the P5, Koncher (U.S.)
briefed the conference on the results of the Trilateral Initiative undertaken by the United States, Russia, and the IAEA
in the 1990s to develop an approach to verify that material declared to have been removed from nuclear weapons and
declared excess to defense needs was used only for peaceful purposes. He also outlined some more recent work undertaken
by the United States and the United Kingdom on warhead verification and authentication.
Challenges in Verification of Treaty Compliance --------------------------------------------- --
60. (SBU) Sankey (UK) asserted that there were technical challenges to implementing the CTBT treaty. He noted that there
had been progress made in deploying the international monitoring system (IMS), which at present was nearly 75 percent
complete, but said that it was expensive to maintain and update. Nonetheless, the IMS network worked well for the May
2009 North Korea event.
61. (SBU) China (Wu) stated that, in terms of compliance, states must look at symptoms as well as root causes.
Non-compliance should be dealt with via legitimate international means. It was very serious to accuse countries without
solid evidence. The IAEA was key and its role in LONDON 00002616 005 OF 007 safeguards should be strengthened.
62. (SBU) China had signed all relevant agreements and complied with them. It had taken part in diplomatic efforts to
promote dialogue to address non-compliance. China had set up its own domestic controls. For example, its state system of
accounting and control of nuclear material had been in place since 1987, and it had revised its legal code to make it a
crime to transport nuclear material under certain situations. China constantly reviewed its nuclear export controls to
make sure they were in line with international practice. It had signed bilateral agreements for civilian nuclear use,
and was active in international exchanges, including with IAEA. States should use diplomatic and political means to make
sure that the IAEA safeguards system was uniform and fair.
63. (SBU) Russia (Leontiev) noted that, in the area of compliance, the United States and Russia had had an agreement
regarding enriched uranium. He said that the United States had been confident this material originated in Russian
nuclear warheads, and Russia had been confident that United States had downblended this material and converted it to
civilian use. The United States and Russia had had 15-16 years of experience with on-site inspections.
64. (SBU) In addressing China's statement, Briens (France) said that France found it difficult to regard compliance as a
gray area. Treaty obligations were clear, and there could be no intermediate solutions. France knew of three key
violators of the nuclear nonproliferation regime, two of which were the source of major insecurity. It was dangerous to
talk about margins of tolerance in such situations.
65. (SBU) Russia (Leontiev) stated that intrusiveness was a part of any verification regime. The procedures of 15 years
ago reflected the situation at that time, but now the United States and Russia enjoyed better relations. Russia saw
things differently, and would like to reduce and streamline those procedures to reduce cost.
66. (SBU) Koncher (U.S.) stated that compliance ) and the ramifications of non-compliance ) could affect fundamentally
the P5's collective ability to achieve a safe and secure world free of nuclear weapons. Compliance with arms control and
non-proliferation commitments was important because of the security dimension -- all states depended, at least in part,
on an expectation of compliance by treaty partners to meet their security requirements. Additionally, the integrity and
validity of arms control and non-proliferation arrangements depended on states' compliance with their obligations ) and
on the willingness of the international community to take meaningful action when non-compliance occurs. The P5 were
quite familiar with the basics of the compliance assessment process because of efforts that the P5 unilaterally
undertook to assess the compliance of other states with agreements to which the P5 were party, and/or because of P5
involvement in international efforts to assess compliance. She reiterated the factors that were involved in the
assessment process, as articulated by the 2007 report of the UN Expert Panel on Verification.
67. (SBU) He said the compliance assessment process was central to detecting and identifying, in a timely manner,
actions that could affect capabilities to deter and defend against security threats arising from a violation by another
state of its commitments. The outcome of an assessment process provided legitimacy to, and helped inform the
determination of, appropriate national and international responses, if/when violations were uncovered. Some violations
were inadvertent, e.g., the state was not aware that a certain action undertaken by it or by entities under its
jurisdiction violated its commitments. This could be due to lack of understanding of the commitment; lack of clarity in
the commitment; different interpretations by states of the meaning of the commitment; and/or lack of capacity within the
state both to inform society and subordinate units of steps required to fulfill the commitment, and to monitor domestic
actions. In these cases, the international community should take steps to help those states which inadvertently have
fallen into non-compliance come back into compliance. This could require capacity-building assistance if the reason for
the non-compliance was the lack of indigenous resources to implement obligations fully.
68. (SBU) Koncher (U.S.) stated that other violations were LONDON 00002616 006 OF 007 deliberate, i.e., a state
conducting a prohibited activity to test the limits of international vigilance and willingness to hold violators
accountable for their actions or to develop some prohibited capability. In these cases, the international community
likely will have three objectives: (1) to induce that state back into compliance; (2) to prevent the violation from
providing the violator with a militarily or politically significant advantage; (3) to deter other would-be violators by
signaling that violations and responses to violations matter. Look outlined a number of possible steps that could be
taken to address deliberate non-compliance by a state, as well as encouraged the P5 to consider how to address, both
nationally and through support for international organizations, the technical gaps in effective response options to
non-compliance, including: improvements in national and international technical monitoring capabilities, increases in
resources for and authority to strengthen international inspections; and utilization of international mechanisms, such
as the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, to educate states on compliance and how to go about making
Update on START ---------------
69. (SBU) Russia (Ryabkov) stated that its position in the START follow-on negotiations had been set forth by President
Medvedev. The negotiations in Geneva were supposed to implement the agreement of the U.S and Russian Presidents. He
noted that the U.S. and Russia enjoyed good cooperation on disarmament and non-proliferation matters. Russia considered
parity key in disarmament. The sides must reduce numbers, but overall relations needed to improve in parallel.
70. (SBU) Russia (Ryabkov) said the negotiations were in line with its national security requirements to retain a
nuclear deterrent. These negotiations were covering all delivery systems: ICBMs, subs, and heavy bombers. The number of
nuclear warheads would be reduced by 25 percent. Russia believed that there was an organic relationship between
offensive and defensive strategy. Unilateral U.S systems threatened Russia. The United States abrogated the ABM Treaty.
President Obama understood the ABM-START relationship, and this understanding was helpful. Russia was concerned about
plans for putting conventional warheads on strategic missiles because it created a dangerous ambiguity. Russia called
for a new treaty on this issue. Russia also wanted assurances that strategic offensive weapons would not be deployed
outside the territory of the state. In this regard, Russia considered the attempt by the United States to put missile
defense installations outside its territory to be in violation of the principle of equal security. Russia wanted
verification to be cheaper through the use of advanced technology.
71. (SBU) Gottemoeller (U.S.) stated that the United States and Russia had had many years of experience in implementing
the START I, INF, and Moscow Treaties, and they served as guiding principles in negotiating a replacement for the START
Treaty by December. The U.S. delegation met with its Russian colleagues four times leading up to the July Moscow Summit;
the fifth meeting was now in progress. These talks had been "businesslike and productive" and allowed the sides to
conclude the Joint Understanding at the Summit. The Joint Understanding provides an outline of what the new treaty would
look like, but a great deal of work remained. The new Treaty will combine the predictability of the START Treaty with
the flexibility of the Moscow Treaty, but at lower numbers of delivery vehicles and their associated warheads. This
flexibility gave the sides freedom to determine their nuclear force structure within set limits established by the new
treaty. This flexibility was clearly stated in paragraph 4 of the Joint Understanding, which underscores that each party
will be able to determine the structure of its strategic forces for itself. The Moscow Summit's Joint Understanding set
two separate limits ) one for strategic delivery vehicles and the other for their associated warheads. The Joint
Understanding stated a wide range of 500-1100 delivery vehicles and 1500-1675 warheads. These ranges will be narrowed
through further negotiation. The new treaty will also draw from the START verification regime; and, therefore, will
provide predictability regarding the strategic forces on both sides ) both for existing force structures and
modernization programs. LONDON 00002616 007 OF 007
72. (SBU) In the Joint Understanding, Presidents Obama and Medvedev reaffirmed the long-standing common position that
acknowledged the interrelationship between offensive and defensive systems. The new Treaty was breaking no new ground on
this issue. Both Presidents Obama and Medvedev agreed in their April 1 statement in London that the new START Treaty was
about strategic offensive arms. While the United States had long agreed that there was a relationship between missile
offense and defense, it believed the START Follow-on Treaty was not the appropriate vehicle for addressing missile
defense. The United States agreed, however, to continue to discuss the topic of missile defense with Russia in a
separate venue. Some said that START Follow-on would not induce other countries to give up their weapons programs. In
and of itself, START Follow-on would not serve that purpose. The new treaty was something that will enhance U.S. and
Russian national security as it served to establish a strategic balance that reflected the current security environment
in a way that benefits each party and promotes peace and stability. Moreover, the ability of the United States to
persuade other nations to act collectively against those states committed to developing nuclear weapons will be
bolstered through reductions in the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals. In conclusion, the START Follow-on Treaty will be
the first step in a process of pursuing further nuclear weapons reductions. It will begin a narrative for our post-Cold
War world, one that recognizes the need to eliminate the paralyzing threat of nuclear war by eliminating nuclear
Public Statement on the Conference ----------------------------------
73. (U) The P5 issued the following statement describing the conference: Begin Statement: The P5 states (China, France,
Russia, UK and US) met in London on 3-4 September for a conference on confidence building measures towards disarmament
and non-proliferation issues. After the conference they issued a statement reaffirming their commitment to all
objectives of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The conference was originally proposed by the UK Defence Secretary at the
Conference on Disarmament in February 2008 and was referred to by the UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, in a speech on 17
March 2009. The P5 reaffirmed their commitment to all objectives of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and that we should
advance on all fronts to achieve them. They reiterated their enduring commitment to the fulfillment of their obligations
under Article VI of the NPT and noted that these obligations apply to all NPT States Parties. They stressed their
intention to work with all States Parties to the NPT in creating the conditions to enable further progress under Article
VI. They called upon all non-NPT States to work towards the same objective. In a wide ranging discussion, the P5
considered the confidence-building, verification and compliance challenges associated with achieving further progress
toward disarmament and non-proliferation, and steps to address those challenges. They looked at ways to increase mutual
understanding by sharing definitions of nuclear terminology and information about their nuclear doctrines and
capabilities. They made presentations on enhancing P5 strategic stability and building mutual confidence through
voluntary transparency and other measures. They also considered the international challenges associated with responding
to nuclear accidents and undertook to consider ways to co-operate to address these challenges. End Statement. END PART
TWO OF THREE Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX