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Important Remarks

Global Nuclear Energy Partnership Joint Statement

Public Affairs Section
United States Embassy, Beijing

Tel: 8531-3000  Fax: 8531-4040
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                                                                                                         October 23, 2009

Global Nuclear Energy Partnership Joint Statement
Third Executive Committee Meeting
Beijing, China
23 October 2009

The third Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) Executive Committee Meeting was held in Beijing, China, on 23 October 2009, where ministers and other senior officials met to review and discuss ongoing GNEP activities, the results of these activities, and further steps to the peaceful use of nuclear energy in a manner that promotes safety, security and non-proliferation.

The Executive Committee welcomed 3 new Countries, which at this date comprises 25 Partner and 31 Observer nations.  The GNEP Partners represent different countries from different economic and technical stages of development as well as major geographic regions throughout the world. The broad diversity of nations predicated on a core operating principle of co-equal consensus-based decision-making represents one of the greatest strengths of the Partnership.

The Executive Committee reviewed and acknowledged the activities of the Infrastructure Development Working Group and Reliable Nuclear Fuel Services Working Group. The Executive Committee also received the report from the Steering Group concerning how the Partners have worked with the international community, in accordance with the GNEP 2008 Joint Statement, to promote the expansion of the peaceful use of nuclear energy to meet the challenge of global climate change, to contribute to the sustainability of energy supply, and to pursue new ways to support nuclear energy projects through financing mechanisms.

The Infrastructure Development Working Group (IDWG) reported on the following: it expanded its analysis of global human resources needs and created a Human Resources Modeling Tool, enhanced the on-line Infrastructure Development Resource Library, and completed an infrastructure assessment in Jordan and began another in Ghana; it held Resources and Gaps Workshops on human resources development as well as small and medium reactors, and it further engaged with external entities, including industry and academia. Finally, it created a Subgroup on Radioactive Waste Management and began activities in that area.

The Reliable Nuclear Fuel Services Working Group (RNFSWG) reported the following: it received reports from its sub-group on Lessons Learned and Resource Requirements; it established a second sub-group on Assurances a Country Should Seek as Sufficient for Nuclear Fuel Supply; it agreed on a work scope for a third sub-group on Approaches for Selecting Back-End Fuel Cycle Options as recommended by the Steering Group; it received IAEA presentations on fuel fabrication and multilateral nuclear approaches; and it hosted a workshop on the impact of fuel fabrication on fuel supply assurance which included the findings of an expert study on the international fuel fabrication market.

At the meeting, the Executive Committee reconfirmed that the use of nuclear energy is an effective measure against global warming and contributes to greater global energy security. The Executive Committee also recognized that the expansion of the peaceful use of nuclear energy will help lead to the creation of employment and sustainable economic growth. The Executive Committee reconfirmed that safety, security and non-proliferation/safeguards are fundamental prerequisites for the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and concluded that all Partnership activities should be conducted in a manner that enhances them.

Furthermore, the Partners are going to continue to support the development of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy globally in a safe and secure manner.  The Partners concurred that they will work with the international community in a cooperative and positive manner, to:

(1) Further strengthen cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other relevant international organizations in order to make Partnership activities as effective and efficient as possible.

(2) Establish global recognition that the peaceful use of nuclear energy is an effective measure against global warming and contributes to greater global energy security, the creation of employment, and sustainable economic growth.

(3) Consider new approaches to enhance international collaboration on nuclear power infrastructure, including human resource development, radioactive waste management, financing and economics, exchange of experience on operation and construction, etc., and to make nuclear energy more widely accessible to the international community in accordance with safety, security and nonproliferation objectives.

(4) Explore mutually beneficial approaches that support international civil nuclear cooperation, including assurances of nuclear fuel supply and services for spent nuclear fuel management.

Recognizing global developments that have occurred since the Partnership was established on September 16, 2007, such as the increasing interests and needs by other countries regarding the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and in order to be as inclusive as possible of Partner countries’ national energy priorities, the Executive Committee believes that transformation of GNEP is necessary in order to provide a broader scope with wider participation to explore mutually beneficial approaches that support the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in a manner that is safe and secure and that strengthens the nuclear nonproliferation regime.

Therefore, the Executive Committee has decided to explore some Partners’ proposal for renaming the Partnership and noted that the “International Nuclear Energy Framework” (INEF) could be one of the options. The Executive Committee will explore ways to enhance the international framework for civil nuclear energy cooperation, including assurances of fuel supply, so that countries can access peaceful nuclear power without increasing the risks of proliferation.  Cradle-to-grave nuclear fuel management could be one important element of this framework. Furthermore the Executive Committee has decided to examine the following draft statement of vision, acceptance of which will be the sole action required of states to participate in future activities:

This framework provides a forum for cooperation among participating states to explore mutually beneficial approaches to ensure the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes proceeds in a manner that is efficient, safe, secure, and supports non-proliferation and safeguards.

The Executive Committee has tasked the Steering Group to act accordingly and to review the GNEP operational structure in order to adjust it to a possible new cooperation approach and to submit its finalized proposal to the Executive Committee by April 2010.