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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 29, 1972

TELEGRAM FROM THE ROMANIAN EMBASSY IN VIENNA TO DEPUTY MINISTER NICOLAE ECOBESCU AND VICE PRESIDENT OF THE STATE COMMITTEE FOR NUCLEAR ENERGY ION UDREA

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    Clarification of the PRC position regarding the IAEA and inspections in Taiwan.
    "Telegram from the Romanian Embassy in Vienna to Deputy Minister Nicolae Ecobescu and Vice President of the State Committee for Nuclear Energy Ion Udrea," November 29, 1972, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archives of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Folder 3187/1972. Translated by Eliza Gheorghe. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134922
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Telegram 078864

From the Romanian Embassy in Vienna

To comrade Nicolae Ecobescu, Deputy Minister & comrade I. Udrea, Vice President of the State Committee for Nuclear Energy

Date: November 29, 1972

Classification: Secret

As we have informed you, the IAEA carried out its first inspection in Taiwan this October. This was a preoperative inspection, meant to familiarize the IAEA with the stage of the construction of the reactor and establish a first contact with the Management and Exploitation team. Following the inspection, as S. Nakicenovic, the Director of the Operations Division of the Safeguards and Inspections Department at the IAEA, informed us, "nothing worrying" came up; however, the installation of the 600 MWh Canadian reactor involves the risk that in the next 2-3 years Taiwan will be able to produce up to 10-15 kg of plutonium each year, which worries the neighboring states, the Agency, and the provider. For this reason, R. Rometsch, Inspector General, and the Legal Department of the IAEA Secretariat maintain their opinion that the inspections in Taiwan must not be abandoned and it is already expected that a second one will take place probably next year around the end of the 1st semester.

To support the argument in favor of inspections, it is said that the initial safeguards agreements between Taiwan and the IAEA are still valid, and therefore the IAEA Secretariat must apply them.

The management of the Agency is confused about the PRC’s position regarding the IAEA. Previously, it was clear from the statements of the Chinese Ambassador to Vienna that the PRC conditions the contacts with the IAEA, the clarification of its statute, and the interruption of any kind of contact with the Taipei administration, including ceasing the inspections. After the Chinese delegate to the UN’s intervention - regarding the Agency’s report and the Organization’s activity - we believe that the PRC is not- actually- interested in participating in the IAEA activities and that its opinions regarding the IAEA, as they were expressed, suggest that China is willing to stay out of the organization, at least for a certain period.

2. The inspection in Taiwan is, without a doubt, a violation of the resolution initiated by Romania in December 1971. Therefore, it would be normal for Romania to raise this issue at the Board of Governors Meeting in December. However, considering the current situation, since the PRC suggested that it is not interested in the IAEA’s activity, we believe it is not advisable to raise the issue regarding the inspection in Taiwan at the moment.

In the absence of a request from the PRC, we think it is best to wait for the situation to settle. However, we suggest that comrade Prof. I. Ursu, the Romanian representative to the Board of Governors, should bring the Taiwan inspection into the discussions with Director General S. Eklund and the President of the Board of Governors, classify it as a violation of the December 1971 resolution, and inform that in case the IAEA does not give up on the inspections, Romania will raise this issue in front of the Board of Governors.

3. It should be clarified - as from a Ministry of Foreign Affairs to another- what are PRC’s intentions in its relationship with the IAEA and if its refusal to clarify its status within the Agency’s activities, has to do only with the Agency not ceasing any contacts with the Taiwanese administration, including stopping the inspection. The IAEA Secretariat believes that, and we also share their belief, ceasing the inspection would not bring the PRC to the IAEA. If this is what the situation is truly about, we believe that the Romanian delegation should refer to this issue only in terms of inspections.

D.Aninoiu