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WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) expanded cooperation for President Bush's Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was signed on Friday by DOE's GNEP Deputy Program Manager Paul Lisowski and NRC Executive Director for Operations Luis Reyes.  The MOU establishes the foundation for increased cooperation between DOE and NRC on technological research and engineering studies and marks another important milestone towards closing the nuclear fuel cycle in the United States.

"This MOU represents a significant step in the development of nuclear fuel recycling technologies as envisioned by President Bush's Global Nuclear Energy Partnership," DOE's Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Dennis Spurgeon said.  "Working with the NRC, DOE is expanding federal involvement in preparation for advanced nuclear power technologies that will increase our nation's energy security."

Through this cooperation memorialized in the MOU, DOE will share the latest information on advanced recycling technologies with the NRC, enabling them to develop license criteria for GNEP facilities.  The NRC will also participate in and observe DOE tests, simulations, and demonstrations.  NRC will review and provide feedback to DOE on GNEP reports and engineering studies, review literature and take facility tours, and provide annual reports to DOE on work performed under this MOU.  DOE and NRC officials agreed to continue to regularly meet and exchange the latest GNEP information.

As part of President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative, GNEP seeks to expand the use of clean, affordable nuclear energy to meet the growing worldwide demand for energy in ways that manage nuclear waste safely, advance non-proliferation objectives, and improve the environment.  This MOU builds on over two years of the Department's nuclear fuel cycle research, environmental studies, GNEP facility planning, and international discussion and cooperation.  DOE has also engaged international partners through bilateral nuclear agreements to advance research in proliferation-resistant technologies.  And in May, the United States hosted a GNEP Ministerial in Washington, DC, where leaders from China, France, Japan, Russia and the United States agreed to work together to bring the benefits of nuclear energy to the world safely and securely.  The United Kingdom and the International Atomic Energy Agency also participated as observers in this Ministerial.

Read this MOU and find additional information on GNEP.

Media contact(s):

Angela Hill, (202) 586-4940