U.S. Supports Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Power

Posted by Glyn T. Davies
May 17, 2010
NPT Review Conference Discussion on U.S. Support of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Power

About the Author: Ambassador Glyn T. Davies serves as the Permanent Representative of the United States to the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations Office in Vienna.

On Thursday, May 13, 2010, Ambassador Susan Burk, the President's Special Representative for Nuclear Nonproliferation, and I joined Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Dr. Warren "Pete" Miller and Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Dr. Gregory Jaczko in a discussion on the sidelines of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference (RevCon) about U.S. support for the peaceful use of nuclear energy, one of the three "pillars" of the NPT. We were proud to highlight U.S. leadership in support of making peaceful uses of nuclear energy available, particularly in the developing world; to showcase some highlights of past and present civil nuclear cooperation; and to touch on some of our plans for the future. Our most recent initiative in this area was highlighted during Secretary Clinton's May 3 speech at the NPT General Debate. She announced a Presidential-led campaign to raise $100 million by the next NPT RevCon in 2015 for activities related to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, including health, cancer treatment, food and water security, and nuclear power infrastructure. The United States is pledging $50 million in new funding for this campaign and will work with international partners to match that amount. The United States has been, and remains, the largest single contributor to the IAEA's technical cooperation program and to the peaceful application of nuclear technologies. This year, the United States has contributed $21 million to the IAEA through the Technical Cooperation Fund.

Ambassador Susan Burk set the stage at Thursday's event. She explained that the U.S. commitment to peaceful uses of nuclear energy began with President Eisenhower's 1953 "Atoms for Peace” speech to the UN General Assembly. The Atomic Energy Act of 1954, which encouraged international nuclear cooperation and set U.S. standards for nuclear cooperation agreements, allowed the United States to implement the new “Atoms for Peace” policy. Today, the United States has cooperation agreements covering nearly 50 countries, and is engaged in more than 40 bilateral programs in safety, security, and safeguards around the world. Current International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) projections suggest that global nuclear power capacity could more than double by 2030.

Ambassador Burk also emphasized President Obama's commitment to expanding peaceful uses of nuclear energy, as made clear during his 2009 speech in Prague, during which he called for a new framework for civil nuclear cooperation that would allow countries to "access peaceful power without increasing the risks of proliferation” and highlighted the role of nuclear energy in combating climate change and advancing peace and opportunity for all.

The U.S. Government is leading the way, be it with cutting-edge technology development or by setting global standards in safety. Through our actions, the United States can assist other nations in harnessing the potential benefits of peaceful nuclear energy. Assistant Secretary Pete Miller, speaking second, highlighted the assistance that the multilateral Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) provides to nations that seek to develop the infrastructure necessary to host a nuclear power program. He also discussed the role that the U.S. Next Generation Safeguards Initiative (NGSI) will play in ensuring that the nonproliferation goals of NPT members remain a top priority.

Chairman Jaczko of the NRC focused on the importance of nuclear safety and discussing how the NRC is strengthening the regulatory regimes of our partners with emerging civil nuclear programs. The Chairman highlighted all the work that the NRC has done to reach out to developing nations and provide them with the assistance they need to ensure the safety of their future nuclear power plants. As nuclear power programs have evolved over the past few decades, the sharing of safety and security principles has generated global interest in those principles, and benefits the nuclear sector worldwide.

In my remarks, I explained the U.S. role in supporting the IAEA and its Technical Cooperation mission. First and foremost, the U.S. State Department is the source for the U.S. voluntary contribution to the IAEA, through which we provide more than 25 percent of all voluntary contributions to both the regular budget and the agency's Technical Cooperation Fund. Additionally, the Department of State's Office of Nuclear Energy, Safety, and Security leads negotiations of nuclear cooperation agreements and serves as the overall coordinator for our civil nuclear infrastructure outreach programs. Through support like this, we can demonstrate our commitment to peaceful use of nuclear power to both the IAEA and the world.

Under the grand bargain of the NPT, states agreed to give up the pursuit of nuclear weapons in exchange for access to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy under safeguards, and the United States has been an active and generous partner in cooperation with more than 100 NPT parties in this effort. As the President said in Prague, nuclear energy is the right of every nation that renounces nuclear weapons, and "we must harness the power of nuclear energy on behalf of our efforts to combat climate change, and to advance peace and opportunity for all people."Want to learn more?

Visit the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy Webpage

Visit the NRC's International Programs Webpage

Visit the IAEA's Technical Cooperation Webpage

Visit the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna Webpage

Watch Secretary Clinton's Opening Review Conference Statement

Read President Obama's Statement on the start of the Review Conference

Read remarks by President Obama in Prague

Visit our NPT Homepage

Visit the UN's Review Conference Website

Comments

Comments

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 17, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Dear Ambassador Davies,

With respect to article 4 in the text of the agreement signed by Iran, Turkey, and Brasil, in context with the merits of aproval by the "Vienna group" and impending UN sec. Council sanctions;

Full text;

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8686728.stm

4. Based on this point, the nuclear fuel exchange is a starting point to begin co-operation and a positive constructive move forward among nations. Such a move should lead to positive interaction and co-operation in the field of peaceful nuclear activities replacing and avoiding all kinds of confrontation through refraining from measures, actions and rhetorical statements that would jeopardise Iran's rights and obligations under the NPT.

---

Specificly the measures included in the following;

"..replacing and avoiding all kinds of confrontation through refraining from measures, actions and rhetorical statements that would jeopardise Iran's rights and obligations under the NPT."

It is my opinion sir that by being the leading state sponsor of terror in the world today, Iran has voided all soverign right to any and all nuclear technology or international cooperation on any level to assist them in furthering their nuclear agenda.

Until such time as they renounce such actions and rhetoric, and make ammends for their crimes against humanity.

If my government cannot bring this aspect into perspective and incorperate the reality presented by Iran's terrorist activities into it's policy and into the international fora in context with nuclear non-proliferation and with respect to the goals outlined in the NPT, then we will have failed to protect populations at risk, on an international level.

Nor can Iran claim to be abiding by the will of the international community or profess to be abiding by its obligations under the NPT until it ceases all terrorist support and activity globally.

You cannot keep these issues separate and hope to achieve success in building a more peaceful world to live in.

If the logic of this is not self evident to all nations at this point, and to everyone concerned with these matters sir, then we're begging for an education by tragic example to prove it to ourselves.

For the failure to act effectively now will make such example inevitable.

To make this work sir, Iran must give up any and all capabilities, dismantle all sites, transfer all nuclear materials out of country and then and only then should they be supplied with fuel for a research reactor, and only after the above conditions have been met with regards to their non-peaceful activities.

This may present a start in the right direction, even a "change of behavior", but there is only one thing that will prove it, and I just stated it.

The bar must be set according to the norms of international civilized behavior, and for Iran that bar has to be set very solidly in the mindset of the internationmal community in context with the war on terror.

We will see if they are capable of making that leap to join the family of nations.

But don't hold your breath sir.

Best regards,

EJ

Richard w.
|
California, USA
May 18, 2010

Richard S. in California writes:

When is the United States going to demand that Israel open up it's Dimona facility for access to the IAEA? It would be a fairly simple matter to make US "aid" to Israel contingent upon Israel following the same rules they are demanding Iran follow and accuse Iran of not following.

After all, Israel only has about 6.5 million citizens, not including the 4 million Palestinian refugees that they have under their absolute control in refugee camps and they receive 3 billion dollars of military aid and flat out money. This would be a pretty big stick if the United States is actually interested in peaceful uses of nuclear power.

If the US is actually interested in this, this is exactly what the US would do. It's curious that the United States makes little or no effort to get a rogue state like Israel to agree to treaties that the United States itself is part of and promotes while hypocritically doing everything in their power to protect Israel from abiding with the same rules everybody else in the world follows, with notable exceptions like North Korea.

OysterCracker
|
United States
May 18, 2010

O.C. in U.S.A. writes:

Richard,

Be careful. You, like me might be visited upon by a FEDEX imposter

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 19, 2010

Eric in Mexico writes:

@ O.C. in USA: Is the FEDEX guy better than having the "men in black" knock on your door? (chuckle). I'm kind of hoping you'll give us all a comparitive analysis...just for grins and giggles.

Back at the ranch...I think Israel will get on the NPT bus eventually, but you can't force her to ride, only her people can do that effectively. Same is true with all nations that call themselves democracies. The concequences are different because intent is different. IE; If they were looking to wipe Iran "off the Map" for example, one would have reasonably expected them to do so by now, right?

What can we reasonably expect Iran to do with a few A-bombs? A lot hinges on the answer to this. India isn't a member yet, but we have a nuclear agreement with them. Why? Because it's possible to among reasonable people, and democracies don't go to war with each other as a general rule. It's not a one-size fits-all world we live in. Remember it's a treaty, one is only bound by it as law when a nation signs it. However, I tend to agree with the logic of this

-Quote of the Day; "The policy of nuclear ambiguity, by which we fool only ourselves and nobody else, is not good for us any more."--Tel Aviv University chemistry professor Uzi Even, on Israel's decades-old policy of neither confirming nor denying the existence of its nuclear deterrent.

Source: gsn.nti.org/gsn/

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 19, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Glad to see folks decided now is the time...

I'm sure Brazil and Turkey were fully aware of what Iran had to agree to in order to prevent sanctions from moving forward. Gotta give credit where credit is due for trying, but the agreement they came away with doesn't meet the requirements for approval, in that Iran is still commited to enrichment, and that violates UN resolutions. As we say here in America, "Close, but no cigar."

It was a worthy effort and it took political guts to go for the long shot to try and resolve these issues with Iran given the long odds. I thought the Russian President was being a true optimist in giving it a one in three chance, I wouldn't have given it one chance in ten, and still considered that to be optimistic. That it didn't produce cessation of Iran's enrichment activities is no reflection on the credibility of those who made the attempt to seek a diplomatic solution. So now we proceed with the diplomacy of sanctions. I think Aminidijad will have a temper tantrum, but that is the nature of ethical infants.

(@ UN press stakeout yesterday)
Ambassador Rice:
"Good evening everybody. The United States has just tabled, in consultations, a draft resolution that would impose strong and broad-based sanctions on Iran. It is a text that reflects the discussion and agreement among the P5+1, and we just had a useful meeting interrupted by some technological gliches, in which every member of the Council had the opportunity to speak. The goal of this resolution is twofold: first to increase the cost to Iran's leadership for their continued defiance of the international community, and second to persuade Iran that it is in its interest to peacefully resolve concerns about its nuclear program. This draft seeks to support, and not replace, our efforts to engage Iran diplomatically. We have said throughout this process that the door remains open to Iran to live up to its obligations and achieve a better relationship with the international community."

usun.state.gov/briefing/statements/2010/141977.htm

Flavius
|
Virginia, USA
May 19, 2010

Flavius in Virginia writes:

Not curious, Richard. I think U.S. policy in this area is very much based on domestic political considerations.

After all, a certain intelligence agency has made multiple attempts (some of them successful) to acquire our most precious strategic information (the schedules and deployments of our "banger boomer" force) without any public response from our government. I sometimes wonder if there was even a private response.

At least we didn't pardon one of the spies like the government in question wanted us to after he'd been tried and convicted.

Richard W.
May 20, 2010

Richard W. writes:

How odd, my last initial showed up as 'S' last time, I wonder what it will do this time?

I'm only being cynical by saying I'm curious.

I know the actual state of affairs. We have a bunch of Neocon cowards in power under the Democratic label. Iran is not in violation of any of it's obligations under the NNPT and as far as the IAEA knows or has states, they are in full compliance.

We have swapped out one group of dirtbags for another. Nothing has changed with Obama. We still are at war in 2 countries. Our Federal government is still unconstitutionally wiretapping American citizens using American citizen's tax money to do it. Guantanamo is still open. The bailouts to the financial sector is still ongoing instead of widespread prosecution for corporate malfeasance and fraud.

What intelligent American isn't sick of this?

This site serves only one purpose - that purpose is to given citizens the false believe that the Federal government values input of the people they rule over from which they take money.

There is no legitimacy to the power of the US Federal government today. My saying that I'm sure puts me in the category of being seditious.

We have an obviously dishonest and hypocritical government, and a media that just goes along with it, and I'm tired of it. The only thing most politicians are interested in, is staying in power and collecting a fat paycheck.

I'm disgusted with Obama and his entire administration, including Hillary Clinton who cowardly voted to allow Bush to use force in Iran.

This website is censored, I wonder if this will show up? I've long known that it doesn't matter what people say, government does whatever it wants and comes up with any ludicrous superficial reason for doing what it wants. If they were in the moral right or even believed they were, they wouldn't hae to tell these transparent lies and make up these phony excuses all the time.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 25, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Richard, you are new here and hardly one to judge the merits of this blog. Seems like you came in with a chip on your shoulder. I suggest when you read this, take some advice... you aren't being seditious, but you are sounding a lot like an idiot. Stick around...I'll ease your burden.

.

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