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G8 Leaders Stress Safe, Peaceful Nuclear Development

Group of Eight (G8) at Hokkaido Toyako summit on Japan. (Photo: REUTERS/Koichi Kamoshida/Pool)

Leaders of the Group of 8 countries singled out the IAEA´s key roles in tackling challenges of safe and peaceful nuclear development - including actions to address climate change - at their summit in Japan from 7-9 July 2008.

In his summary statement of 9 July, Chairman Yasuo Fukuda, Prime Minister of Japan, pointed out rising interest among countries in nuclear power programmes as a means to address climate change and energy security concerns. He noted that Japan has proposed to launch an international initiative on nuclear safety, security, and safeguards to strengthen the infrastruture for nuclear energy.

Selected topics from G8 documents and declarations follow:

Environment & Climate Change: The Chairman´s summary stated: "We witness that a growing number of countries have expressed their interests in nuclear power programs as a means to addressing climate change and energy security concerns. These countries regard nuclear power as an essential instrument in reducing dependence on fossil fuels and hence greenhouse gas emissions. We reiterate that safeguards (nuclear non-proliferation), nuclear safety and nuclear security (3S) are fundamental principles for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Against this background, an international initiative proposed by Japan on 3S-based nuclear energy infrastructure will be launched. We affirm the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in this process."

Nuclear Safety and Security: A previously adopted report for the summit by the G8 Nuclear Safety and Security Group emphasizes actions toward further strengthening nuclear safety and security, including national infrastructures. It singles out safety and security conventions under the IAEA´s charge, and reaffirms G8 support for IAEA nuclear safety standards and security guidelines, and development of a Global Nuclear Safety Network. Addressing safety issues, the report cited the IAEA´s efforts to strengthen seismic safety standards covering earthquakes and other natural events.

Nuclear Non-Proliferation: The Chairman´s summary addressed nuclear developments in North Korea and Iran. It stated that leaders "remain committed to achieving the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and urged the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs as well as ballistic missile programs and return to full compliance with its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) obligations." On Iran, the summary expressed concern "over Iran´s failure to comply with its international obligations under successive UN Security Council resolutions, in particular to suspend all enrichment-related activities" and the G8 commitment "to a diplomatic solution to the issue through the dual track approach."

Civil Nuclear Cooperation with India: The Chairman´s summary stated: "We look forward to working with India, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Nuclear Suppliers Group and other partners to advance India´s non-proliferation commitments and progress so as to facilitate a more robust approach to civil nuclear cooperation with India to help it meet its growing energy needs in a manner that enhances and reinforces the global non-proliferation regime."

Reform of International Institutions: The Chairman´s summary cited the key roles of international institutions and the G8 commitment to supporting them: "We encourage ongoing open dialogue and work on reforming and adapting international institutions so that they be able to respond effectively to the challenges."


G8 countries include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States. The European Union also participates in the summit which takes place once a year. The next summit is scheduled for Maddalena, Italy in 2009.

Last update: 27 Jul 2017

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