GUIDANCE REQUEST: DISCUSSING ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION AS A RESULT OF A U.S. NUCLEAR INCIDENT

Identifier: 
08THEHAGUE397

S E C R E T THE HAGUE 000397

SIPDIS

STATE FOR ISN/WMDT (TLOWE), OES/FO, EUR/WE (TSMITH)
DEFENSE FOR OSD/ATL (DBINIAZ)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/09/2018
TAGS: MARR, MNUC, PARM, TRGY, KRAD, NL
SUBJECT: GUIDANCE REQUEST: DISCUSSING ENVIRONMENTAL
REMEDIATION AS A RESULT OF A U.S. NUCLEAR INCIDENT

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Mike Gallagher, reasons 1.4 (a) and (d
)

1. (U) This cable contains an action request - please see
para 6.

2. (S) SUMMARY: Post seeks guidance regarding policy on the
discussion of remediation issues in the context of the
Netherlands United States Operational Group (NUSOG). Post
understands from ISN/WMDT that the USG position is that
environmental remediation in the event of a nuclear incident
is covered under the NATO Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA),
and therefore is not appropriate for discussion within the
NUSOG context. The Dutch feel differently about this issue
and we believe they will continue to raise it; therefore, we
see no way we can prevent the Dutch from raising the topic.
Given the importance the Dutch attach to it, we seek
guidance, preferably prior to the next NUSOG plenary on June
18-19, on how to respond to the Dutch request to discuss
remediation within the context of the NUSOG. End summary.

3. (SBU) Following the signing of the Implementing Joint
Operation Plan (IJOP) between the USEUCOM and the Netherlands
Ministry of Defense in December 2002, the NUSOG was
established to plan a response to an occurrence in the
Netherlands involving a U.S. nuclear weapon or component.
Dutch NUSOG members have conveyed to us that they are under
significant pressure from their Ministers to engage on
remediation in the NUSOG. Dutch ministries represented
include: Foreign Affairs; Interior and Kingdom Relations;
Environment and Spatial Planning; Transport, Public Works and
Water Management; and Defense. The Dutch government has
proposed remediation as one of seven "mission areas" to be
discussed at the NUSOG Plenary meeting to be held 18-19 June
in Amsterdam, as well as a remediation workshop in September.
(Note: "Mission areas" refer to focus areas of interest to
both NUSOG parties and include: public affairs; security;
command and control; render safe; health and safety;
logistics; and remediation. End note.) It is post's
understanding that the Dutch are interested in identifying
U.S. remediation experts to participate in a discussion of
technical and procedural -- rather than policy -- issues if
an event of this nature occurs.

4. (SBU) Post understands from ISN/WMDT that the USG position
is that remediation is not an appropriate topic for
discussion in the NUSOG, as this is an issue of financial
responsibility that is covered under the NATO SOFA of 1951.
Post also understands from ISN/WMDT that other Washington
agency experts, such as the U.S. Environment Protection
Agency, have held discussions with Dutch counterparts on
nuclear issues, including remediation.

5. (S) Post further understands that the Netherlands is
ahead of other European countries that host U.S. nuclear
weapons on their territories in having signed and implemented
the NUSOG and that the Netherlands is the only country to
have raised the issue of remediation in such a forum. Post
believes, however, that other countries can be expected to
raise this issue in the future as similar operational groups
are established. The Dutch feel strongly about this issue
and are expected to continue raising it. Given this, post
seeks guidance, preferably prior to the June 18-19 NUSOG
plenary, on responding to the Dutch request to discuss
remediation within the context of NUSOG.

6. (SBU) ACTION REQUEST: Post requests Department,s guidance
regarding the following issues:

-- USG policy on the extent, if any, to which remediation can
be discussed within the context of the NUSOG; and

-- whether USG remediation experts can participate in
technical and procedural discussions in the NUSOG.

Gallagher