Sunday, 6 April 2008

Strategic Framework on Non-Proliferation

Beyond the arms control section of the Framework, the two leaders agreed a section on their non-proliferation agenda. While this is largely an inventory of existing actions such as UN Security Council negotiations on Iran, UNSCR 1540, and other items, there are one or two worth highlighting.

In particular, the two countries commitment to selling nuclear power technology around the world, especially MOX plutonium fuel under the GNEP, runs directly counter to non-proliferation objectives - especially the aim of preventing nuclear terrorism. Dramatically extending sources of enriched uranium and plutonium (however down-blended) around the globe will only make it easier for terrorists to obtain such material. The power stations will also produce waste that could be used for dirty bombs.

The decalaration reads:

Preventing the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction

We recognize the profound importance of preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. We must prevent such weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists and those who support them. To this end, our two countries will provide global leadership on a wide range of cooperative efforts that will advance our common nonproliferation goals. These will include new approaches focused on environmentally-friendly technologies that will support economic growth, promote the expansion of nuclear energy, and create a viable alternative to the spread of sensitive nuclear fuel cycle technologies.

NPT: We confirm our continuing support for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and are committed to its strengthening. We will cooperate in preparing and ensuring a successful outcome of the 2010 NPT Review Conference.

Declaration on Nuclear Energy and Nonproliferation: On July 3, 2007 we issued a declaration on joint actions to strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation regime and to promote the expansion of nuclear energy worldwide. We are working together and with other nations to develop mutually beneficial approaches for economical and reliable access to nuclear energy designed to permit states to gain the benefits of nuclear energy and to create a viable alternative to their acquisition of sensitive fuel cycle technologies.

As nations with secure, advanced nuclear capabilities, we will provide assistance to countries considering nuclear energy in the development of the necessary infrastructure (including nuclear reactors), consider ways for facilitating financing, and will ensure, inter alia, provision of fresh fuel and spent fuel management.

International Uranium Enrichment Center: The Russian Federation has announced, and the U.S. has expressed support for, an initiative to create a global nuclear energy infrastructure that would provide for effective access to the benefits of nuclear energy. As the first step, Russia and Kazakhstan have established on the territory of Russia the International Uranium Enrichment Center.

Global Nuclear Energy Partnership: We are working with a wide range of other states to develop the next generation of civil nuclear capability that will be safe and secure, improve the environment, and reduce the risk of nuclear proliferation. GNEP is aimed at accelerating the development and deployment of advanced fuel cycle technologies including recycling that do not involve separating plutonium. Such advanced technologies, when available, would substantially reduce nuclear waste, simplify its disposition, and draw down existing inventories of civilian spent fuel in a safe, secure and proliferation resistant manner.

INPRO: The Russian Federation and the U.S. support the IAEA Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO) that has brought together both the states with developed nuclear technology and states running small-scale nuclear programs or just developing plans for peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Reliable Access to Nuclear Fuel: Recognizing the need for an assured fuel supply, both the U.S. and Russia have committed to creating reliable access to nuclear fuel.

Reserve of low enriched uranium: The Russian Federation is working on the establishment of a stockpile of low enriched uranium to be available to the IAEA for ensuring reliable nuclear fuel supply.

Blending Down Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU): The U.S. is downblending 17.4 MT of excess HEU from its defense programs and is pledging $50 million to support establishment of an IAEA international fuel bank to ensure reliable supplies of nuclear fuel.

Iran: We remain committed to political and diplomatic efforts to find a negotiated solution guaranteeing that Iran's nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes. We reiterate the necessity for Iran to comply with the requirements of the IAEA Board of Governors and United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1737, 1747, and 1803, including full and verifiable suspension of enrichment-related and reprocessing activities. We affirm our commitment on the way forward as expressed in the March 3, 2008 statement by the P5+1 Foreign Ministers. Russia's agreement to deliver nuclear fuel and take back spent fuel from Iran's nuclear reactor at Bushehr is a welcome step that provides Iran a civil nuclear power capability without the need for the indigenous enrichment of uranium or reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel.

North Korea: We reaffirm our full support for the Six-Party Talks and will continue our cooperation in accordance with the agreements reached at the Six-Party Talks and the provisions of UNSC Resolution 1718 on the nuclear weapons and nuclear programs of North Korea in order to achieve the ultimate goals of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Agreement for Cooperation in Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy: We will sign in the near future and work to bring into force the bilateral agreement between the Russian Federation and the United States that was initialed on June 29, 2007. This agreement will create the necessary legal basis for our cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy and will permit the expansion of such cooperation. It will allow U.S. and Russian companies to partner in joint ventures, and transfer nuclear materials, reactors and major reactor components between our two countries. It is critical to facilitating U.S.-Russian further cooperation under bilateral programs and initiatives in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy, including the Declaration on Nuclear Energy and Nonproliferation of July 3, 2007, and the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership.

Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism: The Global Initiative we launched in July 2006 has grown to include 67 participating countries plus the European Union and the IAEA as observers. Participating states are cooperating in strengthening their individual and collective capabilities to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear materials, to deny them safe haven and financial and other support, to share information on terrorist activities, to cooperate on law enforcement matters, and to deal with the consequences of an attack. We will continue to expand and strengthen this initiative and fully implement the agreed program of work.

Nuclear Security: We will complete our agreed-to nuclear security upgrades under the Bratislava Nuclear Security Initiative by the end of 2008. We look forward to these upgraded systems continuing to reliably serve their purpose for the years to come. The Senior Interagency Group will report back annually on implementation of the agreed actions under the Bratislava Initiative on emergency response, best practices, security culture, research reactors, and nuclear security upgrades. We will work together to share our nuclear security best practices with other nations, including through international fora.

Proliferation Security Initiative: We reaffirm our commitment to the Proliferation Security Initiative, which constitutes an important means to deter and prevent trafficking in WMD, their delivery means and related materials. We will work cooperatively to prevent and disrupt proliferation finance, in furtherance of the objectives of UNSCR 1540.

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