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WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman and Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) Director Sergey V. Kiriyenko last week submitted to U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin a joint work plan that will provide a framework for further bilateral cooperation in the development of nuclear energy technology and deployment. The plan was completed and signed by both parties the week of December 11, 2006, as part of an agreement that stemmed from the G8 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, in July of this year.
"The safe expansion of emissions-free nuclear energy provides a wealth of possibilities to developed and developing countries alike," Secretary Bodman said. "This agreement between our two nations will help further nuclear technology, but also the path to more securely expand the use of nuclear energy around the world."
The Report, Joint Working Group on the Development of a Bilateral Action Plan to Enhance Global and Bilateral Nuclear Energy Cooperation, details principal areas of cooperation as well as short-term cooperative focus areas, underscoring that both countries see a strong need and role for the expansion of safe, emissions-free nuclear power. In addition, the Report discusses the two nations' common vision for the structure of the global nuclear energy system of the future, and for discouraging the spread of sensitive nuclear fuel cycle technologies through comprehensive nuclear fuel services.
The Report establishes measures that will promote sustainable and safe nuclear energy use and expansion, in the United States, Russian Federation, and worldwide while strengthening nuclear nonproliferation and effectively addressing waste management. Specifically, it outlines national strategies in nuclear power; identifies the common bases for U.S.-Russian cooperation in advanced reactors, exportable small and medium reactors, nuclear fuel cycle technologies, and nonproliferation and; defines a plan for cooperation.
Principal areas of cooperation in nuclear science and technology outlined in the report include:
- The development of exportable small-and-medium power reactors;
- Use and design of fast reactors;
- Development and demonstration of new nuclear fuels for fast reactors and processes for their fabrication;
- Development and demonstration of advanced methods for the recycling of spent nuclear fuel and transmutation;
- Developing methods for providing international nuclear fuel cycle services; and
- Development of nonproliferation and safeguard concepts, methodology and technology.
In early 2006, President Bush and President Putin presented - independently of each other - initiatives concerning global nuclear energy expansion aimed at pursuing sustainable development in the world and concurrently addressing nonproliferation issues in a reliable manner. Both leaders agreed that in order to safely expand nuclear energy, the world must consider issues related to nonproliferation, energy security, sustainability, international stability, and environmental security.
The Working Group membership is comprised of representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy, DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration, the U.S. Department of State, representatives from leading national laboratories, and the Russian Federation's Rosatom, Rostekhnadzor nuclear oversight service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Defense. It will be co-chaired by U.S. DOE Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Dennis Spurgeon and Rosatom Deputy Director Nikolay Spasskiy.
The Group will also be supplemented at the technical level by an expert team comprised of appropriate representatives of DOE and national laboratories participating in the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) program and representatives of Russian organizations engaged in the implementation of President Putin's Fuel Cycle Initiative.
The Department of Energy seeks to complete work on similar work plans as soon as possible, and as appropriate, with other key partners sharing GNEP goals.
Craig Stevens, (202) 586-4940