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NEWS | June 18, 2014

Japan, U.S. Collaborate on Nuclear Energy

By U.S. Embassy Japan

Representatives of Japan and the United States assessed progress on a range of nuclear power issues and agreed on specific activities for the coming year at the third meeting of the U.S.-Japan Bilateral Commission on Civil Nuclear Cooperation in Tokyo during the week of June 9.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman and Japan’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Shinsuke Sugiyama co-chaired the meeting, which addressed topics such as nuclear security, civil nuclear research and development, nuclear safety and regulation, civil nuclear liability, emergency response, and plant decommissioning and environmental management.

The meeting included participants from a wide range of U.S. government agencies, including the departments of Energy, State and Commerce, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The Japanese agencies represented included the ministries of Foreign Affairs; Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; Economy, Trade and Industry; and Environment, as well as the Nuclear Regulation Authority and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.

The bilateral commission, launched at the U.S.-Japan summit at the White House in April 2012, is a senior-level forum to foster a comprehensive strategic dialogue and joint activities related to the safe and secure use of civil nuclear energy.

It also addresses decommissioning and decontamination efforts at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station.

“These meetings contribute significantly to our nuclear energy cooperation with Japan,” said Poneman. “The Bilateral Commission permits agencies in both our governments to build upon long-standing efforts in civil nuclear cooperation and nonproliferation to expand our work to include nuclear safety, environmental management, and emergency response.”

Poneman also welcomed Japan’s reaffirmed commitment to support a global nuclear liability regime by moving to join the Convention on Supplemental Compensation (CSC) for Nuclear Damage, and Japan’s expressed intent to submit the CSC to the Diet in 2014.

The commission’s five working groups also continue to make good progress, according to the Department of Energy (DOE). For example, DOE committed to continue substantial technical exchanges on Fukushima cleanup activities. The U.S. government will also continue supporting Japanese efforts to enhance and implement international nuclear safety, security and emergency management practices.

The bilateral commission previously met in November 2013 in Washington and in July 2012 in Tokyo.


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