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Viewing cable 10MADRID192, SPAIN: MFA DISCUSSES COMBATING NUCLEAR TERRORISM

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10MADRID192 2010-02-19 14:02 2010-12-22 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Madrid
VZCZCMDI661
PP RUEHC GIPNC RUEHBY RUEHRB RUEHUL RUEHTC
RUEHKO RUEHLA RHMCSUU RUEAIIA RHEHNSC RUEKJCS RUEHBS RUEHGV
RUEHNO RUEHUNV RUCNDT
DE RUEHMD #0192/01 0501418
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 191418Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1976
INFO GIPNC/GLOBAL INITIATIVE PARTNER NATIONS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 0898
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 6141
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 0747
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE PRIORITY 7344
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 0765
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA PRIORITY 4390
RHMCSUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 0008
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 1612
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA PRIORITY 0171
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0552
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MADRID 000192

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/WE (MCKNIGHT, ZERDECKI), NEA/FO
(CATALANO), ISN/RA (NEPHEW, ALLEN-CLOSE, MONGIELLO),
ISN/WMD, EUR/ERA (DEAN),
DEPARTMENT PASS TO NSC (RYU, MAGSAMEN, HOLGATE, CONNERY,
SAMORE, BRADLEY)
DEPARTMENT PASS TO DOE (GOREVICH)
FOR USUNVIE/IAEA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/17/2020

TAGS: PARM PREL SP KNNP MO KGIC PTER

SUBJECT: SPAIN: MFA DISCUSSES COMBATING NUCLEAR TERRORISM

REF: A. RABAT 47
B. MADRID 125
C. 09 MADRID 98

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Arnold A. Chacon for reasons 1.4 (b) a
nd (d)

1. (C) SUMMARY. Carlos Torres, Counselor for Nuclear
Non-Proliferation and Disarmament within the MFA's DG for
Strategic Affairs and Terrorism, on February 10 spoke with
POLOFF and Deputy ECONCOUNS on a nascent MFA proposal
regarding a year-long series of trilateral technical
exercises with the USG and Morocco, the reaction among key
allies to the USG's reforms to Terms of Reference for the
Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT), and
Spain's ongoing efforts to protect its domestic nuclear power
plants from the terrorist threat. END SUMMARY.

Proposed US-Spain-Morocco Technical Exercises on Nuclear
Emergency Management

2. (C) Spanish wants to secure buy-in from the U.S.
Department of State on a GOS proposal to conduct trilateral
technical exercises on nuclear emergency management - to be
held mainly in Morocco - throughout 2011, following extensive
planning through 2010. Additional, compatible exercises
could be held in the U.S. and Spain. He said Spain wants to
cooperate with Morocco, its southern neighbor, on nuclear
terrorism exercises to improve regional and global security,
but cooperation between the two on security issues is a
sensitive topic bilaterally. Torres highlighted that the
majority of the 2004 Madrid train bombers were originally
from Morocco and some officials in the Spanish Ministry of
Interior (MOI) have expressed reservations about close
cooperation with the Moroccans. A bilateral exercise -
without U.S. participation - would be difficult, according to
Torres. However, Spain knows that the USG has strong
relations with Morocco and, with the Department of State's
presence to coordinate and provide political weight, believes
that all three nations would likely see the utility in
conducting trilateral exercises, similar to the table-top
exercises that Spain hosted for GICNT partners in Spring
2008. The Spanish MFA would like to involve the IAEA as
well. Torres, who is known to Post as a reliable,
straight-shooting interlocutor, told Embassy officials that
Spain has a 100 million euro budget that it can apply to this
proposal, which he said has the support of the both Moroccan
and Spanish MFAs. He said he realizes the Department of
State will need to evaluate this proposal and said he is
available to discuss it.

3. (C) Torres outlined the genesis for this proposal by
relating that while in Rabat in mid-January observing a
U.S.-Morocco bilateral nuclear emergency management training
exercise (Ref A), he was encouraged by the technical
cooperation he witnessed between the U.S Department of
Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA)
and its Moroccan counterpart. He said that his DOE/NSSA
contacts were amenable to working with the Spanish, but the
Moroccan technical experts, despite having invited him, were
a bit arms-length. Torres suggested that what was missing
from the events he attended was representation by the
Department of State. He said that when he raised the issue
at a GICNT event in Budapest a week later, his U.S. contacts
were unaware the exercise in Rabat had taken place. He
informed Embassy officials that Rabat would host a related
event on March 22 and suggested it would be good for someone
from the Department of State to attend.

Arguing for Continuing a Strong U.S. Role in the GICNT

4. (C) Fleshing out misgivings originally conveyed to Post in
Ref B, Torres also stated that the GOS is worried by the
USG's proposed reforms to the GICNT's Terms of Reference,
which Spain views as likely to put at risk the USG's
political leadership of the GICNT. He argued that the
international community needs the GICNT as a viable political
forum on this issue and noted that the IAEA cannot play that
role. Torres also conveyed Spain's concern about the
proposed voting policy within the GICNT, which he thought
could lead to the GICNT becoming politicized by certain
members. He also fretted that the voting policy could cause
problems with Russia, which he suggested was losing interest
in the GICNT. Torres said that the Spanish delegation aired
its concerns with US counterparts during the GICNT's January
19 event in Budapest and further stated that Australia,
Japan, the Netherlands, and South Korea share Spain's
concerns on this matter. He remarked that the general
feeling among these allies is that following the successful
launch of a very interesting initiative, it is being
abandoned. He added that each of these countries believes
they are "maxed out" and cannot step up with further
contributions.

Reviewing Physical Security Measures at Spain's Nuclear
Plants

5. (C) On the domestic front, Torres said that the MFA and
the MOI continue to review the physical security of Spanish
nuclear facilities. Pointing to a four-inch-thick binder
dated 1987 which presumably addressed lessons learned, he
stated that he had recently met officials at the MOI, where
they had discussed the terrorist group Basque Fatherland and
Liberty's (ETA's) 1977-1982 armed campaign against the
nuclear plant then under construction in Lemoniz (see Ref C).
Torres described ETA's campaign as "fairly successful" and
noted that terrorists managed to get fairly far into the
facility. He described the current physical security
measures at Spanish nuclear facilities as "good" but
suggested they all face one weakness: as currently
configured, they do not protect against an insider with
clearances who might want to stage an attack inside one of
Spain's nuclear facilities. The GOS is increasingly
concerned about how to defend against this scenario, although
Torres gave no indication that Spain has concrete information
that either ETA or radical Islamists are planning an attack
using such tactics is being planned.
CHACON