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Business and Nonproliferation

Business and Nonproliferation: Industry's Role in Safeguarding a Nuclear Renaissance

Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 238
  • Book Info
    Business and Nonproliferation
    Book Description:

    Rapidly increasing global demand for electricity, heightened worries over energy and water security, and climate-change anxieties have brought the potential merits of nuclear energy squarely back into the spotlight. Yet worries remain, especially after the failure of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi power plant to withstand the twin blows of an earthquake and a tsunami. And the idea of increasing the availability of nuclear power in a destabilized world rife with revolution and terrorism seems to many a dangerous proposition.

    Business and Nonproliferationexamines what a dramatic increase in global nuclear power capacity means for the nuclear nonproliferation regime and how the commercial nuclear industry can strengthen it.

    The scope of a nuclear "renaissance" could be broad and wide: some countries seek to enhance their existing nuclear capacity; others will build their first reactors; and many more will seek to develop a nuclear energy capability in the foreseeable future. This expansion will result in wider diffusion and transport of nuclear materials, technologies, and knowledge, placing additional pressures on an already fragile nonproliferation regime. With the private sector at the center of this increased commercial activity, business should have an increased role in preventing proliferation, in part by helping shape future civilian use of nuclear energy in a way that mitigates proliferation.

    John Banks, Charles Ebinger, and their colleagues explore the specific emerging challenges to the nonproliferation regime, market trends in the commercial nuclear fuel cycle, and the geopolitical and commercial implications of new nuclear energy states in developing countries.Business and Nonproliferationpresents and assesses the concerns and suggestions of key stakeholders in the nuclear community -commercial nuclear industry entities, nongovernment organizations, and government agencies and nuclear regulators. Its analysis addresses the broad question of how, given the global expansion of civilian nuclear power, the nuclear industry can become a more active, sustained partner in efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-2148-2
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology, Business

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. 1 Introduction: Planning a Responsible Nuclear Energy Future
    (pp. 1-14)

    Nuclear energy is a twentieth-century innovation but until recently has not spread beyond a relatively small number of industrialized nations (see maps on pages 4 and 5). All this is about to change. With global electricity demand increasing dramatically and greenhouse gas emissions and energy security becoming national priorities, developed and developing countries alike are reexamining nuclear energy as a means of providing a reliable and scalable source of low-carbon power.

    The International Energy Agency (IEA) projects that global electricity demand will increase 2.2 percent a year to 2035, with about 80 percent of that growth occurring in emerging economies...

  6. Part I. Changing Proliferation Dynamic

    • 2 Nuclear Energy and Nonproliferation: Today’s Challenges
      (pp. 17-30)

      For nuclear security writ large, a major expansion of nuclear energy could present both traditional and new challenges. Although the nuclear nonproliferation regime provides assurances that nuclear power is not misused for weapons purposes, the dual-use nature of the technology means that regardless of intent, some nuclear capabilities could provide a baseline from which a nuclear weapons program could proceed. Traditional concerns about the expansion of nuclear power reactors are minor compared with concerns about the expansion of other capabilities, including uranium enrichment, spent fuel reprocessing, fast breeder reactors, and heavy-water production.

      New challenges will arise from the geopolitics of...

    • 3 Commercial Nuclear Markets and Nonproliferation
      (pp. 31-65)

      A dramatic increase in demand for nuclear power could have a large impact on the commercial nuclear industry. Existing companies might see expanded commercial opportunities, while new private sector entrants might be dissuaded by high capital costs, required degree of specialization, and regulatory hurdles. At the same time, governments have shown significant interest in helping promote their national firms’ export capabilities, facilitating entrance into new markets. To provide the context necessary to understand the results of the Brookings survey discussed in later chapters, the following discussion provides an overview of the technical activities and commercial operations of the nuclear fuel...

    • 4 Industry and Emerging Nuclear Energy Markets
      (pp. 66-120)

      As mentioned previously, a notable feature of the nuclear renaissance is the widespread interest in nuclear power, especially in countries without a commercial nuclear infrastructure.¹ According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), at least sixty-five countries have expressed such interest, most from outside the industrialized economies of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the main locus of nuclear power capacity at present.² Most of the capacity growth up to 2030 is expected to occur in the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Far East.³ As part of this growth, eleven developing countries are serious candidates...

  7. Part II. Industry’s Views

    • 5 Nuclear Risks: The Views of Industry, Governments, and Nongovernmental Organizations
      (pp. 123-140)

      Nuclear commerce is one of the most heavily regulated areas of global trade. In traditional supplier countries, exports often are preceded by government agreements setting a framework for bilateral nuclear cooperation, usually handled as important diplomatic events. Major reactor sales generally require such agreements, although there is no international standard for them. Typically such agreements lay out the scope of cooperation, kinds of research and development, and restrictions on the use of equipment and technology. Actual exports must be approved (licensed) and in some cases subjected to multiple regulations for equipment, technology, and know-how. On an international level, the governments...

    • 6 Multilateral Approaches to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle
      (pp. 141-168)

      States may seek independence in fuel cycle development for many reasons, including national prestige, regional political prominence, technological independence, assurance of nuclear fuel supply, or even a determination to acquire nuclear weapons or to be in a position to do so.¹ Whatever the motivation, the link between national enrichment and reprocessing programs and nuclear proliferation suggests that the forthcoming expansion of the civil nuclear industry could bring a commensurate increase in the risk of proliferation if each state develops indigenous fuel cycle capabilities.

      However, while the nonproliferation case for limiting facilities capable of producing weapons-usable material is clear, the means...

    • 7 Expanding Industry’s Nonproliferation Role
      (pp. 169-200)

      A major theme of this volume is that in order to achieve successful nuclear nonproliferation in the decades ahead, the global nuclear industry must become a stronger partner of governments, international organizations, civil society, and other stakeholders in nonproliferation efforts. As a consequence, it is vital for industry not only to support the efforts of others (as important as that is), but also to act proactively and effectively in its own realm. In view of this requirement, the Brookings team sought industry’s general views on the current nonproliferation regime, as well as on a variety of multilateral nuclear approaches (MNAs)...

  8. Appendix: The Brookings Survey
    (pp. 201-218)
  9. About the Authors
    (pp. 219-220)
  10. Index
    (pp. 221-238)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 239-241)