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Internationalization of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Goals, Strategies, and Challenges
The United States and the Russian Federation have signed an agreement on peaceful nuclear cooperation, but it must still be allowed to come into force. The lack of a U.S.-Russian agreement in force is interfering with joint efforts to reduce proliferation. The expanded cooperation in nuclear energy research and development and commercial implementation that such a bilateral cooperation could make possible could serve both countries’ interests in expanding the use of nuclear energy while meeting safety, security, and nonproliferation objectives. Article 2 of the signed agreement lists possible areas of cooperation, including, among other areas, scientific research and development on nuclear power reactors and their fuel cycles; nuclear fuel cycle services; radioactive waste handling; and nuclear safety, regulation, nonproliferation, and safeguards.
The joint committees recognize that it is unlikely that the U.S. government will bring the agreement into force in an environment of worsening relations between the United States and Russia. It is the joint committees’ hope that current disagreements that have recently emerged will not interfere with the United States and Russia working together toward their common goal of inhibiting nuclear weapons proliferation as nuclear energy use grows across the world.