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WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, Dennis R. Spurgeon, today hosted Director-General of Japan's Agency of Natural Resources and Energy, Harufumi Mochizuki, to discuss bilateral nuclear energy cooperation under the U.S. - Japan Joint Nuclear Energy Action Plan signed in April.  The Steering Committee meeting focused on increased cooperation in research and development for safe and emissions free nuclear energy technology, including fast reactor, fuel cycle technology advancements and safeguards for civilian nuclear reactors.

"We are pleased to have been able to host our Japanese partners for the first implementation steps of the Joint Nuclear Energy Action Plan," DOE Assistant Secretary Spurgeon said.  "As two of the world's leading nations in development and commercialization of nuclear technologies, we share a common vision of expanding nuclear power in our respective countries and around the world.  Nuclear energy is a safe, emissions free, and reliable electricity source that powers growing economies, while greatly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution."

The Action Plan, which was signed in April 2007, fulfilled the commitment made by U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman and Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Akira Amari during their meeting in Washington, DC, on January 9, 2007, to develop a plan to increase nuclear energy cooperation between the nations.  The Action Plan establishes the necessary framework to coordinate activities designed to promote the expansion of safe and secure nuclear power in the U.S. and Japan and globally.  It also formalizes an agreement between the two nations - leading nuclear technology countries - to provide the additional foundation for the U.S. and Japan to align efforts in support of global expansion of nuclear energy.

The U.S. and Japan share objectives to establish 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 the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (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.

Read additional information on GNEP.

Media contact(s):

Angela Hill, (202) 586-4940