Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

The Global Nuclear Energy Partnership Takes Step Forward

Posted by K.E. White on October 4, 2007

Areva and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have snagged a contract to study the construction of a nuclear fuel recycling center and reactor. These companies, along with Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited, Washington Group International, BWX Technologies and Battelle, make up the International Nuclear Recycling Alliance. (Read the press release here.)

Why is this important? It’s a step forward to limiting the amount of fissile materials produced by the United States. 

The contract is part of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership—a multinational approach to expanding nuclear power in a proliferation-safe fashion. Members include China, France, Japan, Russia United States, Australia, Bulgaria, Ghana, Hungary, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and Ukraine. 

From the GNEP’s web-site:

It is important that we retain a focus on the reason we are here. We are engaged in a unique undertaking, one that joins governments of the East and West, North and South in the pursuit of a common goal: the safe expansion of nuclear power around the world.

The United States Energy Information Administration projects that the global demand for electricity will come close to doubling by the year 2030. Demand in developing nations will increase by almost 150 percent. I expect your energy forecasting agencies predict much the same thing.

 

Through GNEP we can pursue advanced technologies for recycling spent nuclear fuel that meet our energy and nonproliferation goals.

Through GNEP we can incorporate the highest levels of safety, security and safeguards, while working to address proliferation concerns and ensure that materials and technologies utilized in the civilian fuel cycle are used only for peaceful purposes.

The construction of a fuel recycling center and reactor “would conserve uranium resources and enhance energy security.”

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