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G8 Leaders Back Nuclear Power

The big news out of St. Petersburg at this weekend's G8 Summit had to be the support of nuclear energy included in the summit's statement on energy security. Here's one account from the AP:
Although the leaders of the world's leading industrialized nations endorsed the use of nuclear power, they hinted at a disagreement with Germany, which has opposed renewed interest in the energy source...

"We recognize that G-8 members pursue different ways to achieve energy security and climate protection goals. ... Those of us who have or are considering plans for the use and/or development of safe and secure nuclear energy believe that its development will contribute to global energy security," the statement said.
I don't want to soft soap the apparent opposition of the German government, but their reluctance to endorse nuclear at the G8 is owed to domestic political considerations -- ones that might disappear if Prime Minister Angela Merkel's party ever wins an outright majority in the Bundestag.

In any case, you can find the G8 statement on energy security by clicking here. The joint statement by Presidents Bush and Putin on nuclear energy cooperation is here. And here's an interesting answer that Putin gave a reporter yesterday:
QUESTION (Persian Television): Mr. President, I am from Persian Television and I would like to follow up, if I may, on the Iranian issue. You seem to be firm in your stance on Iran. You talked with the Iranian president when he was in China. How far are you willing to go, and do you have any assurances from the Iranians that they will accept this package? And if I ask you to speculate: what is the next step for Russia with regard to the Iranian nuclear activities? Thank you, Mr. President.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Well, I have said a lot about this already in public, and I find it difficult to imagine what I could add. We would like all countries in the world, including Iran, to have the right to gain access to all high technologies, including nuclear high technologies. I mean, you can't just prohibit countries from using nuclear energy and keep that technology only for some countries. And that is a problem not only with respect to Iran but also other countries that would like to develop their nuclear energy sector. So for that reason it is extremely important that we manage to put in place conditions that will allow for the development of peaceful nuclear energy, eliminating of course the possibility of the proliferation of nuclear weapons, or preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. And that is precisely why we came forward with the initiative of setting up a network of international centers to enrich uranium and make it possible to reprocess spent fuel. I mean, if there were such a network of centers then each country would have democratic access to nuclear technology on an equal basis and the international community would no longer have to fear the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Sounds like Putin is on board with GNEP to me.

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