Following a visit to the USA by President Putin, the US and Russia announced the signing of a bilateral agreement for cooperation in nuclear energy.
In a joint statement issued by the White House, President Putin and President Bush said they expect the agreement to "provide an essential basis for the expansion of Russian-US cooperation in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy and expect this document to be signed and brought into force in accordance with existing legal requirements."
The statement continued, "We share a common vision of growth in the use of nuclear energy, including in developing countries, to increase the supply of electricity, promote economic growth and development, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels, resulting in decreased pollution and greenhouse gasses."
"This expansion of nuclear energy should be conducted in a way that strengthens the nuclear non-proliferation regime. We strongly support the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and are committed to its further strengthening. We support universal adherence to the IAEA Additional Protocol, and call on those who have not yet done so to sign and ratify it. We support the activities of the IAEA with respect to both safeguards and promotion of peaceful nuclear energy, and fully understand the need for growth of its capabilities, including its financial resources, commensurate with the expanded use of nuclear energy worldwide."
"We are prepared to support expansion of nuclear energy in the following ways, consistent with national law and international legal frameworks. These efforts build on, reinforce, and complement a range of existing activities, including the work at the IAEA for reliable access to nuclear fuel, the initiative of the Russian Federation on developing Global Nuclear Infrastructure, including the nuclear fuel centre in the Russian Federation, the initiative of the United States to establish the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, the IAEA International Project on Innovative Nuclear Rectors and Fuel Cycles, and the Generation IV International Forum."
The statement stated that the cooperation will focus on efforts:
- 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 centres, to provide nuclear fuel cycle services, including uranium enrichment, under IAEA safeguards; and
- Supporting negotiation of long-term contracts for power reactors and research reactors, including assured supply of fuel and arrangements for management of spent fuel.
The statement added: "We are prepared to enter into discussions jointly and bilaterally to develop mutually beneficial approaches with states considering nuclear energy or considering expansion of existing nuclear energy programs in conformity with their rights and obligations under the NPT. The development of economical and reliable access to nuclear energy is designed to permit states to gain the benefits of nuclear energy and to create a viable alternative to the acquisition of sensitive fuel cycle technologies."
The presidents noted, "The energy and non-proliferation challenges we face today are greater than ever before. We are convinced that this approach will permit substantial expansion of nuclear energy and at the same time strengthen non-proliferation. We welcome the cooperation of states that share this common vision and are committed to jointly taking steps to make this vision a reality."
International Atomic Energy Agency
WNA's Cooperation in the Nuclear Power Industry information paper
WNA's Nuclear Power in Russia information paper
WNA's US Nuclear Power Industry information paper
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