There have been repeated proposals for establishing multinational cooperation approaches that could reduce the security concerns of spreading nuclear technologies. Most recently, there have been initiatives by both Russia (GNPI) and the USA (GNEP) – each aimed at promoting nuclear power whilst limiting security concerns. In practice, both initiatives place emphasis on the supply of reactors and enriched fuel but neither has made clear and specific proposals about the back-end part of the arrangement. The primary incentive offered to the user countries is “security of supply” of the front end services. However, there is no current shortage of supply of front end services, so that the incentives are not large. A much greater incentive could be the provision of a spent fuel or waste disposal service. The fuel supplied to Tier 2 countries could be shipped back (with no return of wastes) to the supplier or else to an accepted third party country that is trusted to operate safe and secure disposal facilities. If a comprehensive service that obviates the need for a national deep repository is offered to small countries then there will be a really strong incentive for them to sign up to GNEP or GNPI type deals.

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