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Multilateralization of the nuclear fuel cycle: Problems & Prospects for Non-Proliferation and Assurance of fuel supply Dr Abdelwahab Biad University of.

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Presentation on theme: "Multilateralization of the nuclear fuel cycle: Problems & Prospects for Non-Proliferation and Assurance of fuel supply Dr Abdelwahab Biad University of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Multilateralization of the nuclear fuel cycle: Problems & Prospects for Non-Proliferation and Assurance of fuel supply Dr Abdelwahab Biad University of Rouen France

2 Multilateralization of the nuclear fuel cycle : Problems & Prospects for Non-Proliferation and Assurance of fuel supply  Main challenges : -> Problem of the inherent dual use of nuclear energy. -> Prevention of proliferation of nuclear weapons -> Issue of access to enrichment and reprocessing -> Needs for assurance of fuel supply -> Managment of trade of nuclear fuel and services -> Issue of state sovereignty on nuclear fuel cycle -> Verification & control mechanisms

3 Multilateralization of the nuclear fuel cycle : Problems & Prospects for Non-Proliferation and Assurance of fuel supply MNFC would lead to at least two desirable consequences:  1. A contribution to enhanced supply assurance, which would increase the stability and confidence of States deciding to engage in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.  2. Positive non-proliferation and confidence-building effects with regard to important parts of the nuclear fuel cycle.

4 History of MNFC (1)  1946-1950: Baruch Plan & Acheson-Lilienthal Report  1953: Atom for Peace  1957: IAEA  1957: EURATOM

5 History(2)  1975-1977 : IAEA Study on Regional Centres for nuclear fuel cycle.  1978-1982 : IAEA Expert Group on International Plutonium Storage.  1980-1987 : IAEA Committee on Assurances of Supply (CAS).  2005: IAEA Expert Group Study on Multilateral Approaches to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle.

6 MNFC 3 options  Assurance of fuel supply.  National enrichment plans to be converted to multinational plan.  Global & multinational enrichment facilities.

7 Assurance of fuel supply (1): supplier guarantees  World Nuclear Association proposal for ensuring security of supply— collective guarantees of supply of uranium enrichment services provided by nuclear industry and supported by governments and the IAEA.  Six-country concept—assurances of supply of uranium enrichment services provided by supplier states and supported by the IAEA.  Japanese standby arrangements proposal—assurances of supply of all front-end fuel-cycle services.  UK nuclear fuel assurance proposal—assurances of supply of uranium enrichment services provided by supplier governments through guaranteed export licenses.

8 Assurance of fuel supply (2): LEU banks  US LEU reserve—a nationally controlled reserve of LEU as a backup to an international assurance supply mechanism.  Russian guaranteed LEU reserve—an IAEA-safeguarded and controlled reserve of 120t of LEU in Angarsk provided and maintained by the Russian Federation.  IAEA LEU bank—an LEU reserve owned and managed by the IAEA.

9 Multilateral uranium enrichment facility proposals  International Uranium Enrichment Centre—a multinational uranium enrichment centre in Russia under IAEA safeguards with no access to enrichment technology by stakeholders.  Multilateral enrichment sanctuary project (Germany)—an IAEA-controlled international uranium enrichment plant in an extraterritorial area with no access to technology by stakeholders.  Gulf Cooperation Council multinational nuclear consortium— an international uranium enrichment consortium for the Middle East that could be based in a neutral country outside the region with no access to enrichment technology by stakeholders.

10 Global multilateral infrastructure proposals  Russian Global Nuclear Power Infrastructure—a system of international centres providing fuel-cycle services on a non-discriminatory basis and under IAEA control.  US Global Nuclear Energy Partnership—the full spectrum of front-end and back-end services provided by a limited number of supplier states using new proliferation- resistant technologies.  Austrian proposal on multilateralization of the nuclear fuel cycle—a multilateral framework of supervision of all stages of the nuclear fuel cycle.

11 Progress in practical implementation  Today we see greater progress in the direction of the practical implementation of multilateral fuel-cycle arrangements than during the 1970s and 1980s.  Four proposals for multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle are in various stages of implementation: 1-> the Russian International Uranium Enrichment Center (IUEC). 2-> the Russian guaranteed low-enriched uranium (LEU) reserve. 3-> the IAEA LEU bank. 4-> the United Kingdom’s nuclear fuel assurance proposal.

12 Achievements (1) The International Uranium Enrichment Center  The IUEC was established in 2007 in Angarsk (Irkoutsk Siberia).  Three states—Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine—are IUEC stockholders.  Four proposals for multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle are in various stages of implementation.  The IUEC provides its partners with guaranteed access to enriched uranium product or a share in profits.

13 Achievements (2) The Russian guaranteed LEU reserve  IAEA Board of Governors adopted resolution GOV/2009/81 of 27 November 2009, authorizing the Russian Federation to establish a guaranteed LEU reserve.  The world’s first multilateral reserve of LEU inaugurated on 17 December 2010.  LEU reserve for supply to state members of the IAEA experiencing a disruption in supply of LEU for nuclear power plants not related to technical or commercial considerations.  120 tons of LEU.  Under IAEA supervision.

14 Achievements (3) IAEA LEU bank  IAEA Board of Governors adopted resolution GOV/2010/70 of 3 December 2010, approving the creation of an IAEA LEU bank.

15 Achievements (4) The United Kingdom’s nuclear fuel assurance proposal  The UK’s nuclear fuel assurance proposal is designed to enhance confidence in commercial fuel supplies.  The proposal envisions agreements between a supplier state and a non-supplier state, that commercial LEU supply contracts will not be disrupted for any non-commercial reason other than those directly related to nuclear non-proliferation concerns.  The process would be overseen by the IAEA.  On 10 March 2011 the IAEA Board of Governors voted in favor of the proposal.

16 Prospects  Despite few successes, the future of multilateralization of the nuclear fuel cycle is unclear.  The idea of multilateralization of the nuclear fuel cycle has received support from many governments, particularly of supplier states, but not all of them.  However, the policies of leading supplier states towards MNFC are uncoordinated and subject to change.  At this point, a coordinated strategy for multilateralization does not exist.

17 Problems  No technology holder has expressed any inclination to seriously discuss the conversion of their national fuel-cycle facilities into multilateral operations - such conversion have never been seriously discussed at the national or international level.  Opponents of conversion of national fuel-cycle facilities argue that this would involve too many complex political, legal and financial issues.  Nuclear suppliers should understand that existing nationally controlled enrichment and reprocessing facilities do create a discrimination problem.  Their existence makes it more difficult to convince other states not to pursue nationally controlled facilities of their own.  Lack of confidence among some non-nuclear states (fear of “nuclear cartel”)

18 Questions  How can “equality” and “non discrimination” be achieved in MNFC?  Can MNFC efficiently contribute to solutions of nuclear non-proliferation challenges?  Would MNFC be better pursued at regional level ?  Can the MNFC contribute to the revival of the nuclear trade?  Is MNFC an incentive for states to give up their inalienable right to develop national enrichment and reprocessing capabilities?

19 Obstacles  The tension between supplier and non-supplier states on the issue of multilateral approaches.  Commercial competition among nuclear industry companies.  Gap in development and expertise on the use of nuclear energy.  Risk of Proliferation and regional conflicts in Middle East and North East Asia.  The public fears about nuclear energy following the nuclear incident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant (March 2011) where many safety measures failed. The nuclear incident make Japan & Germany abandoned plans to expand nuclear power  Unresolved challenges in the long-term management of nuclear waste.

20 Challenges that the international community faces  To find a way to manage the global nuclear fuel cycle in order to reduce proliferation risks to acceptable levels.  To provide all states with non-discriminatory access to peaceful applications of nuclear technology.  To build a broad coalition of states - both supplier and non-supplier - supporting a politically and economically attractive strategy towards multilateralization of the nuclear fuel cycle.  To ensure a reliable supply of electricity and to reduce threats to energy security.  To remove certain roadblocks to nuclear disarmament.


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