US, Russian lab directors advocate global expansion of new nuclear energy technologies

August 3, 2004

Representatives of seven U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories and nine Russian scientific nuclear organizations have developed a joint document that advocates greater global use of nuclear energy.

In addition to providing a virtually limitless supply of secure and reliable energy, greater use of nuclear energy would greatly reduce the risk of nuclear weapon proliferation and nuclear terrorism and reduce the worldwide amount of carbon emissions, the directors said.

C. Paul Robinson, director of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Sandia National Laboratories, was elected chairman of the seven U.S. representatives.

“These meetings were held to explore alternative research and development paths to meet growing energy needs,” he said. “We found considerable common ground on ways to achieve future energy needs, with use of advanced nuclear systems.”

U.S. and Russian representatives developed the document July 19-21 at the International Atomic Energy Agency headquarters in Vienna, Austria. The meeting was a follow up to the address by Russian President Putin to the Millennium Summit in September 2000, the Bush-Putin Summit in 2002, and the speech by President Bush at the National Defense University in February 2004. On each of these occasions the idea was advanced that nuclear power should play an appropriate role in the energy mix in the 21st century while providing protection against proliferation.

“The time has come to develop a comprehensive and realistic plan to ensure the development and deployment of nuclear energy,” the joint document says. “It must preserve access to nuclear energy sources for all countries of the world, and in parallel, reduce the risks of nuclear arms proliferation, nuclear terrorism, and hazardous impacts on environment and population health.”

The joint document says the participants believe that of all current or imminently developable energy technologies, only nuclear power is capable of meeting the growing world demand for safe, clean, plentiful, and economically viable sources of electricity, fresh water, and hydrogen.

“With government encouragement and the right regulatory and economic conditions, nuclear energy could supply a substantial part of U.S. and Russian energy needs and 30-40 percent of the world electricity demand by 2050,” the document says.

Other representatives in the American delegation were Hermann A.Grunder, director, Argonne National Laboratory; Paul Kearns, director, Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory; Michael R. Anastasio, director, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Pete Nanos, director, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Jeffrey Wadsworth, director, Oak Ridge Laboratories, and Leonard K. Peters, director, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The Russian delegates were Evgeny Velikhov, president, RRC “Kurchatov Institute”; Antoly Zrodnikov, director general, Leypunsky Institute for Physic and Power Engineering, RF Federal Agency on Atomic Energy; Leonid Bolshov, director, Nuclear Safety Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences; Alexander Vatulin, director, Bochvar Russian Research Institute of Nonorganic Materials, RF Federal Agency on Atomic Energy; Boris Gabaraev, director, Dollejal Research and Development Institute of Power Engineering, RF Federal Agency on Atomic Energy; Alexey Grachev, director, Research Institute of Nuclear Reactors, RF Federal Agency on Atomic Energy; Yury Dragunov, director, general designer, Experimental Design Bureau Hydropress, RF Federal Agency on Atomic Energy; Vital Kostin, director, principal designer, Afrikantov Experimental Design Bureau of Mashinebuilding, RF Federal Agency on Atomic Energy; Alexander Rimsky-Korsakov, director general, Research and Production Association Khlopin radium Institute, RF Federal Agency on Atomic Energy.

All of the delegates signed the joint document, which will be submitted to their respective governments for consideration.

Source: SNL

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