Joint Statement on FIRST program cooperation at the 2022 NPT Review Conference

08/25/2022 11:07 AM EDT


Office of the Spokesperson

The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and Estonia, Ghana, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Romania, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on the occasion of the 2022 NPT Review Conference.

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1. Our countries share a strong commitment to realize the benefits of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes consistent with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). We reiterate the inalienable right of NPT States Parties to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and consistent with the Articles I, II, III, and IV of the NPT.

2. We also reaffirm the undertaking in Article IV to facilitate the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials, and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

3. We remain committed to broadening access of NPT States Parties to peaceful uses of nuclear energy, science, and technology, and to cooperating among ourselves and with other States Parties and relevant international organizations to that end. We respect each country’s choice to develop a civil nuclear power program pursued in a manner consistent with the highest international nuclear safety standards, guidance for nuclear security, and in compliance with the State’s obligations under the NPT, including those relating to safeguards.

4. The responsible use of nuclear technology is key to building the public support that is critical to the success and sustainability of its implementation, and to the confidence needed for international cooperation and commerce to thrive. The NPT provides a legal framework for advancing this objective by ensuring that international cooperation on nuclear energy is conducted in a safe and secure manner consistent with the goals of the Treaty.

5. Our countries are engaged in new capacity building projects under the Foundational Infrastructure for the Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Technology (FIRST) program. Partners in this project work collaboratively to facilitate the safe and secure utilization of civilian nuclear reactors, especially SMRs. The FIRST program provides the foundation for partner countries to take advantage of advanced nuclear technologies and upcoming innovations in reactor design to meet their energy security and climate goals and to do so consistent with the highest international standards of and guidance for safety, security, and nonproliferation.

6. The FIRST program is supportive of, and complementary to, the IAEA’s Milestones Approach, and uses it as a baseline for infrastructure development and nuclear security support. This approach is an important benchmark designed to ensure the sustainability and credibility of a country’s nuclear program and to facilitate financing of a proposed reactor project.

7. Our countries welcome safe and secure growth in nuclear power and we recognize that nuclear energy not only provides clean energy supply, but also supports local job growth, energy security, air pollution and carbon reduction goals, and global clean technology innovation. This growth in economic prosperity is another compelling reason why our countries remain fully committed to supporting those States that wish to develop civil nuclear energy programs to access the benefits of nuclear technology, particularly SMR technology, and demonstrates the success of the strong nuclear nonproliferation regime in making those benefits possible.

8. We reiterate the importance that our countries place on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy to help meet UN Sustainable Development Goals. We will continue to support access to the peaceful applications of nuclear energy, science, and technology in conformity with and as facilitated by the NPT.

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