WASHINGTON, DC - United States Department of Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman and Japan's Ministers Akira Amari, Bunmei Ibuki, and Taro Aso, this week presented to U.S. President George W. Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the United States-Japan Joint Nuclear Energy Action Plan. The Action Plan - a product of extensive negotiations between the U.S. and Japan - provides a framework for increased collaboration in nuclear energy. It builds upon the significant, longstanding civilian nuclear cooperation between the two nations and will contribute to increasing energy security and managing nuclear waste, addressing nuclear nonproliferation and climate change, and advancing goals put forth in President Bush's Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) initiative.
"By strengthening our joint cooperation in civil nuclear energy, the United States and Japan will also strengthen our strategic interests," Secretary Bodman said. "This Action Plan is an historic agreement and provides the additional foundation for our two nations to align efforts to support the global expansion of nuclear energy, and ultimately a nuclear renaissance. Not only can nuclear energy serve as a cornerstone of sustainable economic development, but as a reliable, viable and emissions-free source of power, it offers enormous potential to help meet the world's increasing demand for energy in a safe and proliferation-resistant manner."
Completed and signed by all parties by April 18, 2007, the Action Plan fulfills the commitment made by Secretary Bodman and Minister Amari during their meeting in Washington, DC, on January 9, 2007, to develop an action plan for nuclear energy cooperation. This Action Plan establishes the necessary framework to coordinate activities designed to promote the expansion of safe and secure nuclear power, in our respective countries, and globally. It also formalizes an agreement between our two nations - leading nuclear technology countries - to collaborate in four main areas, and provides the additional foundation for the U.S. and Japan to align efforts in support of global expansion of nuclear energy.
Four main areas outlined in the Action Plan are:
- Cooperation of nuclear energy research and development under GNEP;
- Collaboration on policies and programs that support the construction of new nuclear power plants;
- Establishment of a nuclear fuel supply assurance mechanism; and
- Joint collaboration to support the safe and secure expansion of nuclear energy in interested countries while promoting non-proliferation, consistent with GNEP.
Implementation of the Action Plan will begin immediately. Its execution will be overseen by a Steering Committee, co-chaired by the U.S. and Japan. Both nations will establish six GNEP research and development working groups in the following areas, to benefit from each other's expertise and implement areas of cooperation identified in the Action Plan:
- Fast Reactor Technology;
- Fuel Cycle Technology;Simulation and Modeling;
- Small and Medium Reactors;
- Safeguards and Physical Protection and;
- Waste Management.
The U.S. and Japan share the objectives for establishing a global framework to expand nuclear energy use and minimize proliferation risks while enabling the benefits from the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Both nations support the development of a global nuclear energy infrastructure as envisioned in GNEP to develop innovative nuclear reactor and fuel cycle technologies. GNEP seeks to bring about a significant, wide-scale use of nuclear energy worldwide, and to take actions that will allow that vision to be achieved, while decreasing the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation and effectively addressing the challenge of nuclear waste disposal.
Additonal information on the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP).
Julie Ruggiero, (202) 586-4940