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.