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Harmonization between a Framework of Multilateral Approaches to Nuclear Fuel Cycle Facilities and Bilateral Nuclear Cooperation Agreements

Author(s): Makiko Tazaki | Yusuke Kuno

Journal: Sustainability
ISSN 2071-1050

Volume: 5;
Issue: 9;
Start page: 3802;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Multilateral Nuclear Approach | MNA | harmonization | bilateral nuclear cooperation agreements

One of primary challenges for ensuring effective and efficient functions of the multilateral nuclear approaches (MNA) to nuclear fuel cycle facilities is harmonization between a MNA framework and existing nuclear cooperation agreements (NCA). A method to achieve such harmonization is to construct a MNA framework with robust non-proliferation characteristics, in order to obtain supplier states’, especially the US’s prior consents for non-supplier states’ certain activities including spent fuel reprocessing, plutonium storages and retransfers of plutonium originated in NCAs. Such robust characteristics can be accomplished by MNA member states’ compliances with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safeguards, regional safeguards agreements, international conventions, guidelines and recommendations on nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear security, safety, and export control. Those provisions are to be incorporated into an MNA founding agreement, as requirements to be MNA members in relation to NCAs. Furthermore, if an MNA facility is, (1) owned and operated jointly by all MNA member states, (2) able to conclude bilateral NCAs with non-MNA/supplier states as a single legal entity representing its all member states like an international organization, and (3) able to obtain necessary prior consents, stable, smooth, and timely supplies of nuclear fuel and services can be assured among MNA member states. In this paper, the authors will set out a general MNA framework and then apply it to a specific example of Europe Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) and then consider its applicability to the Asian region, where an establishment of an MNA framework is expected to be explored.
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