connected to an electrical grid in 1954, nuclear energy has spread to many countries. Facing this increased use, several problems remain including nonproliferation of fissile materials and new, risky technologies. Amidst this fast development, then Russian President Vladmir V. Putin launched an initiative to provide assured access to nuclear services to countries that voluntarily reject the development of some technologies. It offers nuclear resources based on countries having met this requirement, and regardless of political circumstances. Angarsk has been designated as the first international center and in March 2007, the first seminar with IAEA representatives took place in Angarsk at which participants discussed legal aspects of such a center. Recently, Kazakhstan (in a joint presidential meeting) agreed to join this international enrichment center, which will accumulate enriched uranium in gas or solid form and will be the property of the international center. As a commercial enterprise, the center will be open to all countries through intergovernmental agreements. The management and legal aspects of the center are still being discussed. The second stage of the creation of the center will include not only enrichment but the organization of spent fuel return for reprocessing and reuse of the fissile material in nuclear power plants. The U.S. Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) proposal also includes reprocessing. Objectives of the workshop are to discuss these various proposals for creating centers, and to hear from those who may wish to use these services.

Tariq Rauf, director of the Office of External Affairs at the IAEA, expressed Director General Mohamed ElBaradei’s support for this activity. He noted that the Academies’ fuel cycle study is on a longer time frame than the IAEA study of these questions, and that the Director General will provide the IAEA Board of Governors with a new paper on new approaches in June 2007. Rauf noted that to be credible, any plan for assurance of supply must be perceived to be fair and impartial. It was clear at the September 2006 Special Event2 that no state was ready to give up any rights under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). In its June paper, the IAEA group needs to reflect this viewpoint, while finding a fair, impartial solution. There is progress, with the visit to Angarsk and the U.S. pledge to downblend over 17 metric tons of highly enriched uranium (HEU) for use in an assured fuel supply arrangement as well as with former Russian President Vladimir V. Putin’s initiative, the six-party proposal, and those from the World Nuclear Association,3 the U.K., and Germany. Rauf expressed his hope that IAEA may be ready for serious movement by the end of 2007.


“Bulgaria and the Internationalization of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle,” Jordan Stamenov (Bulgaria)


Bulgaria is a small country with a population of 7.5 million and very limited natural resource reserves. Bulgaria’s experience with nuclear technology began in 1955. In 1956, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, an institution for education and training of nuclear scientists, was created.

The first Bulgarian research reactor began operation in 1961. The IRT-2000, a heterogeneous water-water pool-type reactor (thermal capacity 2 MW), is housed at the Nuclear Scientific and Experimental Center of the Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (INRNE BAS). From 1990-2002, Bulgaria’s first nuclear

2

For more information on the IAEA Special Event, see http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/News/2006/assurancesofsupply.html, accessed on December 13, 2008.

3

The 2006 World Nuclear Association (WNA) Market Report shows the same growth projection constituted by one BN-1800 coming on line in 2023 and light water reactors for the rest of the growth through 2030 (WNA, 2006).



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