Canada, France, Japan, the UK and the US have announced an alliance to develop shared supply chains for nuclear power.

According to the UK government, the new agreement seeks to “displace [Russian leader Vladimir] Putin from the international nuclear energy market”.

The alliance was formed on Sunday as part of the Nuclear Energy Forum, at G7 talks in Sapporo, Japan. The nations will use their civil nuclear power stations to undermine the influence that Russia has on nuclear supply chains.

According to a joint statement from the five countries, they have “identified potential areas of collaboration on nuclear fuels to support the stable supply of fuels for the operating reactor fleets of today, enable the development and deployment of fuels for the advanced reactors of tomorrow, and achieve reduced dependence on Russian supply chains”.

The UK’s energy security secretary Grant Shapps said that the alliance would help prevent Putin “or anyone like him ever holding the world to ransom over their energy again”. Shapps also claimed that the agreement will increase energy independence and security for the countries and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Conflicting global nuclear policy

The news came the day before Germany closed its last remaining nuclear power stations, as debate continues amid EU nations as to whether nuclear should be pursued as a “clean” energy source. France has adopted a staunchly pro-nuclear position within the EU, which some have described as “aggressive”. Around 70% of France’s power comes from nuclear.

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Last week, the UK and South Korea signed a statement of cooperation for the development of nuclear energy, promoting it as a “secure, clean and affordable” energy source.

Shapps said: “I want us to work ever-closer together with countries like the Republic of Korea and Japan as we invest more in nuclear technologies like [UK nuclear project] Sizewell and small modular reactors, opening up opportunities to invest in the UK and with it, the job opportunities in our local communities”.

The UK aims to generate 25% of its electricity supply from nuclear sources by 2050, which it has been promoting through its Great British Nuclear scheme. Currently, around 15% of the UK’s electricity supply comes from nuclear.

Japan currently meets around 20% of its electricity needs through nuclear power. Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in 2011, nuclear power generation has remained a controversial topic for much of the population in Japan, including wide-spread protests.