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Global Nuclear Energy Partnership Triples in Size to 16 Members

Australia, Bulgaria, Ghana, Hungary, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and Ukraine have joined original members China, France, Japan, Russia and the United States in the Global Nuclear Energy partnership.

At the second GNEP Ministerial meeting in Vienna, the 16 countries jointly signed a “Statement of Principles”. The principles, according to US Energy Secretary Sam Bodman, lay the foundation for cooperation on a series of key issues:

  • The need to deal with waste materials in a responsible manner;

  • The costs involved with developing the necessary infrastructure;

  • The need to develop and deploy technologies that will increase the efficiency of the fuel cycle; and,

  • The risks posed by the potential for proliferation of nuclear materials and sensitive technologies.

In order to address all aspects of fuel services, officials agreed to form a Nuclear Fuel Services Working Group under GNEP, which will focus on practical measures and benefits for comprehensive fuel services, such as fuel leasing and other arrangements for spent fuel management.

Officials also discussed steps to provide guidance or technical assistance for assessing countries’ infrastructure needs, while consulting with the IAEA. Officials agreed to form a Nuclear Infrastructure Development Working Group under GNEP to address the challenges that nuclear power poses in the financial, technical and human resources of many countries.



"Even if we were successful in accomplishing some kind of debate and discussion about what caps [for GHGs] might be here in the United States, we are a small contributor when you look at the rest of the world." - Sam Bodman

Interesting to see Ghana and Jordan on the list.


This makes sense. There have been a lot of claims around recycling spend fuel rods. If this industry can demonstrate convincingly this is possible, and that the residual waste can be disposed of safely - they will win new hearings.

The other major roadblock is political. Prevailing politics and national security paint nuke plants as the favorite resource of terrorism. Can't have it both ways.

Bill Young

To the extent that GNEP is a good idea for anyone, Ghana and Jordan make a lot of sense. Both countries have, by nuclear standards, modest electricity needs. There is no need in either country to have industry to cover the full fuel cycle.

That said, GNEP smells an awful lot like nuclear imperialism. Maintenance of hegemony for the current nuclear powers.


B. Young,

Isn't the opposite of "nuclear hegemony" called nuclear proliferation? Would you prefer that?

Bill Young


If I were the head of state of a relatively powerless nation trying to lead my country in the best interest of my people, I would not want the likes of George Bush and Vladimir Putin having exclusive control of the fuel for my electrical power generation.

The US is a very powerful nation and look at how we fret over the middle eastern nations that control our oil and gas supplies. If it were just the balance of payments issue, we would be equally fretful over the energy we import from Canada. We don't like unpredictable and potentially hostile nations having the potential of holding energy supplies hostage. How much more threatening would it be if the country importing fuel were relatively weak either economically or militarily.

GNEP would be a much more credible concept if control were under a more reliably neutral and unbiased agency such as IAEA or a neutral country like Switzerland or New Zealand.

Enriching uranium to LEU under international supervision is not militarily threatening to anyone; nor is it a violation of the NPT. Reprocessing or disposing of used LWR fuel is equally non-threatening. The plutonium in used LWR fuel is not suitable for military purposes. (The plutonium would have some value for terrorism however so it needs to be carefully protected.)

Neither uranium enrichment nor fuel reprocessing are secret technologies any longer. The main purpose of limiting the deployment of them is for economic and political power.

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