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International Nuclear Energy Policy and Cooperation

Recent Events
  • 6th US-India Civil Nuclear Energy Working Group Meeting
    6th US-India Civil Nuclear Energy Working Group Meeting

    The sixth U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Energy Working Group (CNEWG) meeting was held at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) on July 8-10, 2014. Dr. Peter Lyons, Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, was the U.S. co-chair and Dr. X. Ramakumar, Head of Nuclear Controls and Planning Wing for India’s Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), chaired for India. Participants included U.S. and Indian nuclear engineers, technical program leads and regulators from both the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. The sides presented an overview of their civil nuclear energy Research and Development work, new reactor build and priorities. Both sides gave technical presentations on ongoing collaboration including: (1) Advanced austenitics for light water reactor applications; (2) constitutive modeling of austenitic and nickel-based alloys with a focus on welds; (3) characterization of manufacturing defects; (4) effects of low-Level radiation; (5) exchange of doctoral/post-doctoral students; (5) water chemistry in boiling water reactors. New areas of cooperation included: (1) Advanced instrumentation and control rooms; (2) comparison of probabilistic safety assessments models; and (3) exploring possible collaboration on inert electrode materials. One key success was the first results from the joint testing of austenitic steel provided by India for potential use in light water reactors, the results are expect to be published in 2015. In addition, based on an excellent discussion of the work both countries have taken in the examination of the effects of low level radiation, the co-chairs agreed the CNEWG will host a seminar on the topic either late this year or in early 2015. The Indian guests toured various facilities at INL to include the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR). The co-chairs agreed on a general plan of work for the coming year and that India would host the next meeting in Mumbai in 2015.

  • NE-DECC Meeting, May 2014
    NE-DECC Meeting, May 2014

    The Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) and the United Kingdom's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)met in London, England, in May 2014 to exchange views on the scope of newly proposed bilateral cooperation in civil nuclear R&D. The scope of collaboration encompasses technologies related to small modular reactors (SMRs), sodium-cooled fast reactors, light water reactor accident-tolerant fuels, actinide separations and waste forms technologies, and nuclear fuel performance modeling and simulation codes. DOE Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Dr. Peter Lyons and DECC Chief Science Advisor David Mackay signed a Joint Statement expressing their commitment to initiate this bilateral cooperation.

  • U.S.-China Bilateral Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperative Action Plan
    U.S.-China Bilateral Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperative Action Plan

    The U.S.–China Bilateral Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperative Action Plan represents a programmatic commitment to pursue joint studies of advanced nuclear technologies. Under the Action Plan, there are six technical working groups: Fast Reactor Technologies, Advanced Separations Technologies, Advanced Fuels and Materials Development, Nuclear Safety Enhancement, Spent Fuel Storage and Repository Science, and High Temperature Gas Reactor Technologies.

  • U.S. DOE and Euratom Cooperation through the International Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (INERI)
    U.S. DOE and Euratom Cooperation through the International Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (INERI)

    The Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) and Euratom held their annual INERI technical review meeting in Brussels, Belgium, on May 16, 2014. Both agencies share a long history of cooperation in nuclear energy R&D through a bilateral INERI agreement signed in 2003. NE and Euratom have six active INERI bilateral projects underway. Topics of cooperation are presently focused on the development and testing of advanced nuclear fuels and materials and innovative modeling and simulation tools.

The Office of International Nuclear Energy Policy and Cooperation (INEPC) collaborates with international partners to support the safe, secure, and peaceful use of nuclear energy. It works both bilaterally and multilaterally to accomplish this work.  

Today, nuclear energy represents the single largest source of, carbon-free baseload energy, accounting for nearly 20% of the electricity generated in the United States and 70% of our low-carbon production, avoiding over 600 million metric tons of carbon emissions. With approximately 440 commercial reactors operating in 30 countries—and 300 more valued at $1.6 trillion projected worldwide over the next 15 years—nuclear power is sure to be  a major energy source and economic engine for many decades to come. In addition to providing clean and reliable electricity, nuclear energy will also continue to play a key role in supporting energy security, creating jobs, and providing export opportunities.

These facts remind us that in addition to the significant contributions being made by nuclear energy, there are a number of challenges related to nonproliferation, security, safety, and the environment that the global community of nations must work together to address. The global nature of nuclear energy, both in its benefits and challenges, is why robust international collaboration is crucial—and why the Office of Nuclear Energy incorporates international collaboration as a key element of its overall mission and programmatic activities.