Viewing cable 07RIGA932
Title: LATVIA-RUSSIA SIGN AGREEMENT TO RETURN SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
07RIGA9322007-12-21 11:02:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Riga
VZCZCXYZ0009
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHRA #0932 3551102
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 211102Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY RIGA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4611
INFO RHMFIUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1201
UNCLAS RIGA 000932 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL KNNP RS LG
SUBJECT:  LATVIA-RUSSIA SIGN AGREEMENT TO RETURN SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL 
TO RUSSIA 
 
 
¶1. Summary: On December 3, the Republic of Latvia and the Russian 
Federation signed an agreement to return remaining spent nuclear 
fuel from Latvia's decommissioned Salaspils research facility to 
Russia for recycling and storage.  The agreement stems from efforts 
in Latvia started in the late 1990's by the U.S. Department of 
Energy, as part of a wider program to return radioactive materials 
from ex-Soviet sites outside of Russia to Russian government 
control.  End summary. 
 
¶2. On December 3, The Republic of Latvia and the Russian Federation 
signed an agreement to send remaining used nuclear fuel from 
Latvia's decommissioned Salaspils nuclear research facility to 
Russia.  The agreement was signed in Moscow by Environment Minister 
Raimonds Vejonis, on behalf of Latvia, and for Russia by Sergei 
Kiriyenko, Head of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency of Russia. 
 
¶3. The spent nuclear fuel, currently stored at the former Salaspils 
research facility (which was closed in the late nineties and is now 
maintained by the Latvian State Hazardous Waste Management Agency), 
is planned to be transported to Russia in 2008.  The spent nuclear 
fuel will be recycled in Russia and all nuclear waste resulting from 
recycling will stay in its possession.  Latvia will, however, have 
to pay for managing the storage of the waste. 
 
¶4. The return of the fuel is part of the U.S. National Nuclear 
Security Administration's (NNSA) Global Threat Reduction Initiative, 
and according to reports of the deal, the U.S. Department of Energy 
will cover transportation costs for the spent fuel.  U.S.-Latvian 
collaboration began in 1997, when the U.S. Department of Energy and 
the Latvian Nuclear Research Center completed a joint effort aimed 
at improving and upgrading the security of nuclear fuel stored at 
Salaspils.  With the assistance of the International Atomic Energy 
Agency and Russian authorities, further Salaspils work continued in 
2005, when three kilograms of highly enriched uranium that could be 
used for nuclear weapons were returned to Russia. 
¶5. The Latvian Environment Ministry reportedly plans to spend 
372,000 lats ($770,000 USD) to cover its share of the 2008 
operation.  The Salaspils scientific research reactor inherited from 
the Soviet Union was shut down in 1998, and the dismantling of the 
reactor is planned to be completed by 2010. 
SELDOWITZ