Nuclear power expansion to emerging economies such as China will feature high on the energy agenda of the G8 group of industrialised nations when it meets in St Petersburg from 15 to 17 July.

"Emerging economies will need to have access to sources of energy […] to the point where it may be incompatible" with efforts to reduce global warming currently undertaken in Europe, an EU official said on 10 July in view of the G8 summit this week-end.

"There is a need to seriously discuss the development of nuclear energy" also in the context of safety, security and non-proliferation, the official added in reference to the current standoff over Iran's nuclear enrichment programme. "Wherever you look, you will have nuclear somewhere. The issue cannot be ignored," the official said.

G8 leaders will be joined on Monday 17 July by the so-called "outreach countries" group of nations, which includes Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa. They will be shown a draft statement which refers to the development of nuclear as "a shared energy system" between developed and developing nations.

A draft version of the G8 statement was leaked by the 
Sunday Herald
on 9 July. It says nuclear power expansion "will promote prosperity and global energy security, while simultaneously offering a positive contribution to the climate change challenge." It proposes to do so through a "network of international centres providing nuclear fuel services" such as enrichment, in order to prevent proliferation.

More generally, the EU hopes the G8 will agree on market transparency, openness and fundamental market rules as key principles in international energy relations. "We hope to have a statement which enshrines these principles," the official said.