British, Russian Support May Not Save Ambitious Nuclear Power Club

British, Russian Support May Not Save Ambitious Nuclear Power Club

After hesitating several years, the British government finally accepted American entreaties to join the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP), becoming its 21st member on Feb. 26, 2008. Celebrating the British decision, Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman said "This important addition provides great momentum for GNEP."

In the U.S.-Russia Strategic Framework Declaration, issued by Presidents George Bush and Vladimir Putin at their April 6 summit at the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, the two governments reaffirmed their commitment to promote nuclear nonproliferation by "working together and with other nations to develop mutually beneficial approaches for economical and reliable access to nuclear energy designed to permit states to gain the benefits of nuclear energy and to create a viable alternative to their acquisition of sensitive fuel cycle technologies." The declaration explicitly cited GNEP as contributing to this effort.

The British and Russian endorsements provide welcome support for the initiative as well as for the global revival of nuclear power more broadly. Nevertheless, the GNEP remains in trouble, both internationally and within the United States.

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