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Senior International Energy Officials Issue Joint Statement in Support of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership

May 21, 2007 - 12:55pm

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WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman today announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and senior energy officials from some of the world's leading economies issued a joint statement in support of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) and nuclear energy cooperation.  The People's Republic of China, France, Japan, Russia and the United States issued the Joint Statement, which addresses the prospects for international cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including technical aspects, especially in the framework of GNEP.

"Today's Joint Statement officially puts the 'P' in the Global Nuclear Energy 'Partnership,'" Secretary Bodman said.  "For Americans, pursuing nuclear power is wise policy; for industry it can be good business; internationally, it is unmatched in its ability to serve as a cornerstone of sustainable economic development, while offering enormous potential to satisfy the world's increasing demand for energy in a clean, safe and proliferation-resistant manner."

The Joint Statement was agreed upon today in Washington, DC, after high-level international officials participated in a DOE-hosted ministerial meeting, bringing together some of the leading nuclear fuel cycle states to discuss GNEP and its path forward toward increasing the use of safe, reliable and affordable nuclear power worldwide.  Chairman Ma Kai of the People's Republic of China (National Development and Reform Commission); Chairman Alain Bugat of France (Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique); Minister Sanae Takaichi of Japan (Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs, Science and Technology Policy, Innovation, Gender Equality, Social Affairs and Food Safety); Deputy Director Nikolay Spasskiy of the Russian Federation (Federal Atomic Energy Agency); and Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman of the United States participated in today's ministerial meeting on GNEP and nuclear energy cooperation.   The United Kingdom and the International Atomic Energy Agency also participated as observers to the ministerial.

In addition to providing overviews on each countries' national and international nuclear energy policies in relation to GNEP, senior officials are also moving forward on topics considered crucial to GNEP's development.  The topics include: infrastructure development needs for countries considering nuclear power; development of advanced fuel cycle and safeguards technology; establishment of reliable fuel services; spent fuel management; and building the partnership and next steps to pursue this major global initiative.

GNEP is a Presidential initiative, which includes key research and technology development programs as well as international policy cooperation.  It addresses two long-standing barriers to enable expansion of nuclear power: (1) the means to use sensitive technologies responsibly in a way that protects global security, and (2) the pathway to safe management and disposition of spent fuel.  GNEP focuses on overcoming these barriers, and doing so in cooperation with other advanced nuclear nations, to bring the benefits of nuclear energy to the world safely and securely.  To meet the goals of GNEP, collaboration among industry, the U.S. national laboratories and other nations will be essential.

GNEP, first announced by President Bush in 2006, is part of his Advanced Energy Initiative, which aims to change the way we power our lives by utilizing alternative and renewable fuels to increase energy, economic and international security.  GNEP seeks to develop worldwide consensus on enabling expanded use of clean, safe, and affordable nuclear energy to meet growing electricity demand. GNEP proposes a nuclear fuel cycle that enhances energy security, while promoting non-proliferation.   Additional information on GNEP.

Joint Statement on the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership and Nuclear Energy Cooperation

Media contact(s):

Julie Ruggiero, (202) 586-4940

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