Nuclear Fuel Cycles

The large-scale application of nuclear energy for civilian purposes is already a reality and may grow substantially in the future.  Nuclear programs cannot be considered as primarily a national matter.  As recent tragic events in Japan have underscored, this activity is inescapably an international concern from such standpoints as safety and potential environmental consequences.  An even stronger international interest applies from the standpoint of potential linkages between civilian nuclear programs and the capacity to produce nuclear weapons, especially the capacity to weaponize rapidly. This working group would therefore consider what institutional and technical measures could be developed to improve international governance of nuclear programs from the standpoint, in particular, of minimising the risk of further proliferation of nuclear weapons. Is it possible to develop a framework of complementary measures that will advance the objectives of nuclear safety, nuclear security, security of supply, fuel management, non-proliferation and disarmament?

Specific issues to be addressed would include:

  • Multilateral approaches to proliferation-sensitive stages of the nuclear fuel cycle.
  • Mechanisms for ensuring energy security.
  • International collaboration on fuel cycle management issues.
  • Mechanisms for regional consultation on nuclear programs.

mechanisms and methods can be developed to build confidence that civilian nuclear programs will be used for exclusively peaceful purposes?

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