31 January 2011
State Department Beijing to Washington DC Cable Released by Wikileaks
10BEIJING263 2010-02-02 08:08 2010-12-04 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Beijing
VZCZCXRO2066 RR RUEHCN RUEHDH RUEHGH RUEHHM RUEHPB RUEHSL RUEHTRO DE RUEHBJ #0263/01 0330836 ZNY CCCCC ZZH R 020836Z FEB 10 ZDS FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING TO SECSTATE WASHDC RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 000263 C O R R E C T E D C O P Y - (ADDED SECSTATE ADDRESS) SIPDIS STATE FOR EAP/CM-BRAUNOHLER STATE FOR EAP/CM STATE FOR ISN/NESS USDOE FOR NNSA/SCHEIMAN, GOOREVICH, WHITNEY USDOE FOR NUCLEAR ENERGY-MCGINNIS STATE PASS TO NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (DOANE) USDOE FOR INTERNATIONAL/YOSHIDA, BISCONTI, HUANGFU NSC FOR HOLGATE EO 12958 DECL: 01/20/2035 TAGS CH, ENRG, KPWR, MNUC, OSCI, PINR, PINS, SENV, TPHY, TSPL SUBJECT: PRC: NUCLEAR RESEARCH AT CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES BEIJING 00000263 001.4 OF 002 Classified By: BRENT CHRISTENSEN, ESTH COUNSELOR. REASON: 1.4(b,d,e)
1.(SBU) Summary: In response to an invitation by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), ESTH officer traveled to Hefei, Anhui Province, in December 2009 to visit several Chinese government-sponsored scientific institutions. During this time, ESTH officer learned of the below information through official presentations, personal observation, and informal/discreet conversations with CAS staff members. Most significantly, the Institute of Plasma Physics continues to conduct research on how to use nuclear fusion as a sustainable means to produce energy. At the same time, China is expanding its use of nuclear fission as an energy source and plans to open at least 70 nuclear fission power Qnts within the next 10 years. In 2009, CASs Institute of Plasma Physics budget was USD$20 million. Additionally, other CAS institutes are conducting research in biometrics, computational physics and material science, nanoscience and nanomaterials, soft-matter physics, environmental spectrometry, fiber optic wave-length division multiplexing, quantum communications, superconductors and spintroncis, and cognitive sciences. End Summary.
Institute of Plasma Physics - Nuclear Research
¶2. (C) In mid-December 2009, the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) Institute of Plasma Physics (IPP) in Hefei, Anhui Province was preparing for another cycle of experiments with its Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST). EAST was designed to be a controlled nuclear fusion tokamark reactor with superconductive toroidal and poloidal field magnets and a D-shaped cross-section. One of the experimental goals of this device was to prove that a nuclear fusion reaction can be sustained indefinitely, at high enough temperatures, to produce energy in a cost-effective way. In 2009, IIP successfully maintained a 10 million degree Celsius plasma nuclear fusion reaction for 400 seconds. IIP also successfully maintained a 100 million degree Celsius plasma nuclear fusion reaction for 60 seconds. One of IIPs immediate goals is now to maintain a 100 million degree Celsius plasma nuclear fusion reaction for over 400 seconds. Currently, IIP is also conducting research into hybrid fusion-fission nuclear reactors that may be able to sustain nuclear reactions indefinitely, and at sufficient temperatures, to cost-effectively produce energy. IIP officials stated that China has the explicit goal of building at least 70 nuclear fission power plants within the next 10 years. IIP scientists claimed current Chinese nuclear energy production efforts use Uranium 235, but research is being done to make Uranium 238 a feasible alternative. IIPs 2009 budget was USD$20 million - a two-fold increase over the previous year - and IIP leadership expects their budget to increase again in 2010. Roughly one-third of IIPs budget comes from Chinas National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC); another one-third of the budget comes directly from CAS, and the final one-third comes from Chinas Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). According to IIP leadership, NDRC has been very laissez-faire in its oversight, but MOST tends to micromanage projects and the expenditure of money.
(COMMENT: Based on personal/discreet conversations with IIP staff members, the relationship between CAS and MOST is strained due to officious and annoying oversight insisted upon by MOST. IIP scientists much prefer the NDRC management style and wish more of their funding could come from this body rather than MOST. END COMMENT)
IIP has roughly 450 full-time staff members, over 400 graduate students, and approximately 100 contractors under its purview.
Institute of Intelligent Machines - Biometrics Research
¶3. (C) The Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) Institute of Intelligent Machines (IIM) in Hefei has developed a biometrics device that uses a persons pace to identify them. The device measure weight and two-dimensional sheer forces applied by a persons foot during walking to create a uniquely identifiable biometrics profile. The device can be covertly installed in a floor and is able to collect biometrics data on individuals covertly without their knowledge. When questioned about the devices potential applications, IIM officials stated the device was being used by secret customers and was not available on the commercial market. IIM also said they were involved with Chinas Program 863.
(COMMENT: Program 863 is Chinas national high-technology development plan that includes both military and civilian technology development programs; therefore, it is likely the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) is one of the customers for whom this biometrics device was developed. END COMMENT)
Institute of Solid State Physics - Nanotechnology Research
¶4. (C) In mid-December 2009, the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) Institute of Solid State Physics (ISSP) in Hefei was conducting research in the fields of computational physics and material science, nanomaterials, and soft-matter physics. ISSPs 2009 budget was roughly $6 million (USD). ISSPs top priority projects are: one-dimensional nanomaterials, spin and charge research using perovskite manganese oxides, and the design and preparation of high-dampening materials. ISSP also conducts research on nanomaterials and nanostructures for Chinas Program 973.
(NOTE: Program 973 is Chinas national plan for improving basic scientific research and development. END NOTE)
Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics - Spectrometry & Fiber Optic Research
¶5. (C) In mid-December 2009, the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (IOFM) in Hefei was modifying environmental spectrometry technology to detect TATP explosives for use in counter-terrorism efforts. IOFM was also conducting fiber optic research on wave-length division multiplexing (WDM) technologies using pulsed and continuous laser sources at both single-mode and multi-mode wavelengths. A cursory walk through one of their labs revealed that IOFM was specifically conducting experiments in the 980-1150 nanometer range, and that they were conducting experiments using hydrogen-filled fiber optic communication lines.
(COMMENT: Hydrogen-filled fiber optic lines are technologically challenging to manufacture, but provide many advantages; one of which is increased security and protection from tampering. END COMMENT)
University of Science and Technology of China - Organization & Research
¶6. (C) In mid-December 2009, the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in Hefei had academic programs focusing on Math, Physics, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Nuclear Science, Engineering, Computer Science, Information Technology, Management, Humanities, and a department dedicated to the development of gifted young people. USTC has 37,000 staff and 40,000 graduate students. USTC oversees two national laboratories: the National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory and the Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Science at the Microscale (HFNL). HFNL has 95 faculty members and roughly 400 graduate students. HFNL research focuses on quantum communication, nanoscience, superconductors, spintronics, and cognitive sciences. In the area of quantum communication, HFNL was conducting research in quantum teleportation and free space quantum cryptography that scientists hope will result in totally secure communications. USTC also oversees Chinas Program 178, although they did not describe the nature of this program.
(COMMENT: A cursory walk through their labs seemed to indicate they had already succeeded in single-particle quantum teleportation and are now trying to conduct dual-particle quantum teleportation. END COMMENT)