Publication Laka-library:
Governing Uranium Globally

AuthorC.Vestergaard, Danish Institute for International Studies

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

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