By Terence Roehrig, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom
A nuclear North Korea makes it crucial that all countries in Northeast Asia work hard at maintaining a stable security environment that avoids the dangers of a crisis while encouraging North Korea to adopt a nuclear strategy that retains its "no first use" pledge, a strong command and control system, and a stable nuclear weapons posture. Given its relationship with North Korea, China is best positioned to encourage DPRK leaders in these directions.
Critics of the linkage argument argue that the United States and Russia have cut their nuclear arsenals substantially without any noticeable subsequent increase in support for nonproliferation. Nonnuclear weapon states, however, tend not to view nuclear arms reductions as the best indicator of compliance with Article 6; they attach greater weight to policies that convey an intent among weapon states to keep nuclear weapons indefinitely.
By John S. Park, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
John S. Park, Stanton Nuclear Security Junior Faculty Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Project on Managing the Atom Associate, argues that cooperation between North Korea and Iran has been a critical—yet underexamined—enabler of North Korea's recent success. He concludes that the time has come for the United States to view the two previously independent missile programs as two sides of the same coin and recommends strategies for disrupting the procurement channels between Iran and North Korea.
By Trevor Findlay, Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program
Published along with the report Unleashing the Nuclear Watchdog: Strengthening and Reform of the IAEA — the result of more than two years of research and examining all aspects of the Agency's mandate and operations — this policy brief summarizes the report's key findings and policy recommendations for strengthening and reforming the IAEA.
March 5, 2012
By Yun Zhou, Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program
It has been one year since the disastrous nuclear accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011. Experts now view Fukushima as the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.
In the aftermath, the Chinese government promptly reaffirmed that nation’s nuclear energy policy. Yet China also became the only nation among all major nuclear energy states that suspended its new nuclear plant project approvals. Before it would restart approvals, China said it would:
1) Conduct safety inspections at all nuclear facilities
2) Strengthen the approval process of new nuclear plant projects
3) Enact a new national nuclear safety plan
4) Adjust the medium and long-term development plan for nuclear power
Where is China on this path, and what is the future of its nuclear power industry?
By Annie Tracy Samuel, Research Fellow, International Security Program
This policy brief seeks to contribute to and inform the debate concerning a possible attack by the United States and/or Israel on Iranian nuclear and military facilities. The presumed aim of such an attack would be to weaken the Islamic Republic, particularly by hindering its ability to build a nuclear weapon. However, the history of the Iraqi invasion of Iran in September 1980 calls into question the contention that an attack will weaken the regime in Tehran. This policy brief examines Iran's reactions to the Iraqi invasion in order to shed light on Iran's possible reactions to a U.S. or Israeli attack.
The historical growth in the number and variety of Japanese nuclear veto players has made the country an extreme case of stasis in fundamental nuclear policies. Japan is not the only country to experience this phenomenon, however. In many advanced industrialized democracies, the old Manhattan Project model of top-down, centralized, and secretive nuclear institutions has gradually given way to more complex arrangements. And as a general rule, the more numerous the veto players, the harder the struggle to achieve major nuclear policy change.
By Malfrid Braut-Hegghammer, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2008–2010
"Recent evidence confirms that the Osirak reactor was intended not to produce plutonium for a weapons program, but rather to develop know-how that would be necessary if Iraq acquired an unsafeguarded reactor better suited for large-scale production of plutonium. Israel's attack triggered a far more focused and determined Iraqi effort to acquire nuclear weapons."
By Laura Diaz Anadon, Associate Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Director, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group; Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Valentina Bosetti, Matthew Bunn, Associate Professor of Public Policy; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, Michela Catenacci and Audrey Lee, Former Research Fellow, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2009–2011
Dramatic growth in nuclear energy would be required for nuclear power to provide a significant part of the carbon-free energy the world is likely to need in the 21st century, or a major part in meeting other energy challenges. This would require increased support from governments, utilities, and publics around the world. Achieving that support is likely to require improved economics and major progress toward resolving issues of nuclear safety, proliferation-resistance, and nuclear waste management. This is likely to require both research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of improved technologies and new policy approaches.
By Fred McGoldrick, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
For several years, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) has been unable to reach a consensus on the adoption of revised guidelines for its members. The most contentious issue is how to strengthen restraints on the transfer of enrichment and reprocessing (E&R) technologies in a manner that would be acceptable to all NSG members, and credible to the major exporting states and the nuclear industry. This issue will be back on the agenda this month when the NSG meets in plenary session.