Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bush, Putin Call for Joint Action on Nuclear Energy

On July 3, Presidents Bush and Putin issued a joint "Declaration on Nuclear Energy and Nonproliferation," following on a similar joint declaration issued in July 2006. The leaders state that they both share a vision to expand nuclear energy, but it "should be conducted in a way that strengthens the nuclear nonproliferation regime." They also state that "energy and nonproliferation challenges we face today are greater than ever before."

The declaration calls for expanding nuclear energy in the following ways:
• Facilitating the supply of a range of modern, safe, and more proliferation resistant nuclear power reactors and research reactors appropriate to meet the varying energy needs of developing and developed countries.

• Arranging for participation in national and multinational programs to develop requirements for nuclear reactors for participating countries.

• Facilitating and supporting financing to aid construction of nuclear power plants through public and private national and multinational mechanisms, including international financial institutions.

• Providing assistance to states to develop the necessary infrastructure to support nuclear energy, including development of appropriate regulatory frameworks, safety and security programs to assist states in meeting international standards, and training of personnel.

• Developing solutions to deal with the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste, including options for leasing of fuel, storage of spent fuel, and over time development of technology for recycling spent fuel.

• Ensuring that the IAEA has the resources it needs to meet its safeguards responsibilities as nuclear power expands worldwide.

• Supporting expanded IAEA Technical Cooperation to help states build the necessary infrastructure for safe, secure, and reliable operations of nuclear power plants.

• Assisting development and expansion of regional electricity grids, to permit states without nuclear reactors to share in the benefits of nuclear power.

• Providing nuclear fuel services, including taking steps to ensure that the commercial nuclear fuel market remains stable and that states are assured of reliable access to nuclear fuel and fuel services for the lifetime of reactors, including through establishment of international nuclear fuel cycle centers, to provide nuclear fuel cycle services, including uranium enrichment, under IAEA safeguards.

• Supporting negotiation of long-term contracts for power reactors and research reactors, including assured supply of fuel and arrangements for management of spent fuel."

However, a section in pending US legislation (which I've written about here) essentially threatens Russia to end nuclear and missile cooperation with Iran or the US will not enter into any 123 Agreement with Russia, which would be required to make cooperation between the US and Russia possible.

No comments: