Cable sobre la precariedad de un almacenamiento de material nuclear

Este telegrama detalla el mal estado de una instalación de Kinshasa en la que se almacena uranio

ID: 77636
Date: 2006-09-08 11:17:00
Origin: 06KINSHASA1410
Source: Embassy Kinshasa
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Dunno: 06KINSHASA1271 06KINSHASA1272 06KINSHASA1392
Destination: VZCZCXRO4954
RR RUEHHM RUEHMR RUEHPB RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1410/01 2511117
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 081117Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4746
INFO RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 001410

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/06/2016
TAGS: ENRG, EMIN, ETRD, KGIT, PREL, PGOV, IAEA, CG
SUBJECT: SECURITY AT THE DRC'S NUCLEAR RESEARCH CENTER

REF: A. KINSHASA 1271
B. KINSHASA 1272
C. KINSHASA 1392

Classified By: EconOff DPopovich for reasons 1.4 b/d/e.

1. (C) Summary. Four EmbOffs and an Econ LES toured the
Kinshasa Nuclear Research Center (CREN-K) July 27 to assess
security and determine its needs. CREN-K houses the DRC's
two nuclear reactors, neither of which functions, although
staff continue to conduct nuclear-related research and
teaching at the facility. External and internal security is
poor, leaving the facility vulnerable to theft. The GDRC
needs international assistance to secure the facility and its
nuclear materials. End Summary.

Physical Layout
---------------

2. (U) July 27, Professor Fortunat Lumu Badimbayi-Matu
(Lumu), the Director of CREN-K and the DRC's Atomic Energy
Commission, gave four Emboffs and an Econ LES a tour of
CREN-K's facility, the location of the DRC's two nuclear
reactors (reftels A, B, C). CRENK-K is on approximately five
acres of land on the edge of the University of Kinshasa
campus, a 45 minute to one hour drive from downtown. The
facility is composed of approximately five buildings. One
building houses one reactor, one houses the second reactor
and one acts as a small nuclear waste storage room. The
remaining buildings are used as offices, research
laboratories and classrooms.

Nuclear Material
----------------

3. (C) The DRC's two nuclear reactors consist of a 1959 Triga
I reactor and a 1972 Triga II reactor. Neither functions.
The Triga I reactor was retired in 1970, and the Triga II
reactor ceased functioning in 1992 when the reactor's control
center experienced an electrical problem that made it
impossible to control. CREN-K also has 138 nuclear fuel rods
(LEU). (Note: CREN-K originally had 140 fuel rods. Two of
these, however, were stolen by unidentified thieves in 1998.
Italian authorities later recovered one of these fuel rods
from the Italian Mafia in Rome, who were allegedly trying to
sell it to unidentified buyers in the Middle-East. The
second fuel rod has never been found. End note.) 56 fuel
rods are stored in the heavy water of the Triga I reactor, 74
are stored in the heavy water of the Triga II reactor. Nine
others have never been used and are stored in a separate
room.

4. (C) According to Lumu, the total amount of radioactive
material in the Triga II reactor consists of 10.5 kilograms
of non-enriched uranium (U-238) and 5.1 kilograms of enriched
uranium (U-235, enriched to 20 percent). Lumu did not provide
information about Triga I.

5. (C) A CREN-K technician told EconOff that the facility has
approximately 23 kilograms of nuclear waste, stored in the
nuclear waste storage building in four 50 gallon drums. It
consists of Radium 226, neutron sources (nfi) and Cesium 137.


Security
--------

6. (C) A fence approximately six feet high surrounds some of
CREN-K. The fence is constructed of cement in some places
and chain-link in others. The fence is not lit at night, has
no razor-wire across the top, and is not monitored by video
surveillance. There is also no cleared buffer zone between
it and the surrounding vegetation. There are numerous holes
in the fence, and large gaps where the fence was missing
altogether. University of Kinshasa students frequently walk
through the fence to cut across CREN-K, and subsistence
farmers grow manioc on the facility next to the nuclear waste
storage building. (Note: In mid March 2006, an International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) contractor detected elevated
levels of radiation in this manioc plot using a Geiger
counter. End note.) No fence separates the nuclear waste
storage building and the University of Kinshasa's women's
dormitory. The two buildings sit approximately 300 meters
apart, and one can walk freely from one to the other across
the manioc field.

KINSHASA 00001410 002 OF 002



7. (C) Three security officers guard CREN-K at any one time.
A team of 21 security guards, which consists of nine DRC
police officers and 12 private security guards, rotate shifts
24 hours a day, 365 days per year. The guards usually stand
at one of two control points of entry to the facility: the
main drive-in gate or the pedestrian entrance. XXXXXXXXXXXX some are elderly, and some are
occasionally caught sleeping on the job. XXXXXXXXXXXX, and both groups lack training.

8. (C) None of CREN-K's buildings have sophisticated locks,
intrusion alarms, motion detectors or video surveillance
systems. Once inside the facility, no one controls the
entrance to the nuclear reactor, although a key is required
to enter the room. The fuel rod storage room where the nine
unused fuel rods are stored was not locked, and the fuel rods
are not kept in a separate locked container.

9. (C) The nuclear waste storage building, which is a
separate structure approximately 500 meters from the main
building, is approximately 15 square meters. It was
constructed of about 12 inch thick bricks, and has one iron
door and several small windows near the roof. The door was
locked with a standard padlock. Once through this door,
there was another metal gate inside the entrance. The gate
was also locked, but it was only about eight feet high, and
did not reach the 16 foot high ceiling, making it possible
for someone to climb over it. Beyond the metal gate is a
single room approximately 32 square feet where the four 50
gallon drums containing the nuclear waste is stored against a
northern wall.

CREN-K Personnel
----------------

10. (C) The DRC'S General Atomic Energy Commission (CGEA),
which is under the Ministry of Science and Technology,
governs CREN-K. CGEA has two divisions: technical and
administrative. The technical division is responsible for
running the nuclear reactor, and it is divided into four
departments: Technology, Science, Biology and Nuclear
Medicine. approximately 180 people work at CREN-K, about 50
of whom are scientists, 60 of whom are technicians and 70 who
serve as administrative officers. According to a facility
technician, their salaries range from USD 40 to 150 per month
- (comment: a substantial vulnerability for the facility).
Some senior officials include:

-- Professor Fortunat Lumu Badimbayi-Matu, CGEA Commissioner
-- Alphune Tshisonolo Tshisho, Senior Nuclear Scientist
-- Dieudonne Konbele, Chief of the Technical Department
-- Leonard Makontshi Woto, Radiation Control Inspector

11. (C) While neither the Triga I or Triga II reactors
function, CREN-K's nuclear scientists continue to work. They
conduct agricultural research (such as irradiating and
mutating corn), study nuclear medicine, produce isotopes,
analyze and identify neutron material, study radiography and
teach University of Kinshasa students physics and nuclear
science.

12. (C) Professor Lumu, who runs the facility, told Emboffs
he wants to restart the nuclear reactor. Lumu has been
lobbying the international community to provide the necessary
funds and technology to do this. Lumu said he plans to use
the reactor to study x-ray detraction, radiology, agronomy,
gamma irradiation, nuclear medicine, environmental science
and radiation protection.

Comment
-------

13. (C) Because CREN-K's security is poor, it is relatively
easy for someone to break into the nuclear reactor building
or the nuclear waste storage building and steal rods or
nuclear waste, with no greater tool than a lock cutter. It
would also be feasible to pay a CREN-K employee to steal
nuclear material. It is imperative that the international
community find a way to help better secure the facility, even
if GDRC remains unwilling to give up its fuel rods. Priority
funding needs are new fencing, proper nuclear waste storage
and disposal and security training. End comment.
MEECE

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