Governing Uranium Globally
|Author||C.Vestergaard, Danish Institute for International Studies|
|Classification||6.01.2.20/110 (URANIUM - MINING / PRODUCTION / STOCKS / PRICES)|
From the publication:
Cindy Vestergaard Governing Uranium Globally DIIS Report 2015:09 © Copenhagen 2015, the author and DIIS Danish Institute for International Studies, DIIS 1. Introduction Recent shifts in the market for natural uranium are introducing new challenges for physical protection, export controls, and the tracking of source materials such as processed uranium ore concentrates (UOC). Long-standing consumers such as Japan and Germany are shifting away from nuclear energy, while the ambitious nuclear energy programmes of China and Russia may soon increase global demand for natural uranium. Meanwhile, new suppliers (i.e. Malawi and potentially Tanzania and Greenland) and consumers (India and Iran) are entering the global market. These shifting geographies raise issues with regard to new supply routes, actors and costs; how to build national uranium regulatory systems from scratch; and the application of current export controls to countries outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). At the same time, technological advances are producing a purer product, prompting the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to re-clarify the nuclear material that is subject to its safeguards system to capture more material at the frontend of the nuclear fuel cycle. This evolving system of safeguards is creating new obligations for state regulatory authorities and industry, as well as increasing the IAEA's verification responsibilities. The evolving structure of international nuclear treaties has also grown to include a range of security applications, with the 1987 Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials (CPPNM) and its 2005 Amendment, UN Security Council Resolution 1540 of 2004, and the 2005 International Convention for the Suppression of Nuclear Acts of Terrorism (ICSANT). The provisions in these international legal instruments extend to the protection of UOC in international transport, as well as in domestic use, storage and transport. Coupled with a significant and corresponding evolution in uranium mining practices, first-time uranium suppliers are today entering a regulatory system that is markedly different than before, requiring the national development of safe, transparent and well-regulated operations in line with growing treaty obligations.
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