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Business and Nonproliferation

Industry's Role in Safeguarding a Nuclear Renaissance

edited by John P. Banks and Charles K. Ebinger

Publication Year: 2011

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 Nonproliferation examines 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 Nonproliferation presents and assesses the concerns and suggestions of key stakeholders in the nuclear community

Published by: Brookings Institution Press

Front Cover

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Front Flap

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Title Page

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Copyright Information

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Table of Contents

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pp. vii-x

As this book was in the final stages of preparation, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan was damaged severely by a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that left its cooling systems disabled and radioactive materials leaking into the surrounding environment. The emergency received the International Atomic Energy Agency’s highest rating...


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pp. xi

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1. Introduction: Planning a Responsible Nuclear Energy Future

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pp. 17-30

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...

Part 1: Changing Proliferation Dynamic

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2. Nuclear Energy and Nonproliferation: Today's Challenges

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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...

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3. Commercial Nuclear Markets and Nonproliferation

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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...

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4. Industry and Emerging Nuclear Energy Markets

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pp. 66-119

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...

Part 2: Industry's Views

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5. Nuclear Risks: The Views of Industry, Governments, and Nongovernmental Organizations

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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....

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6. Multilateral Approaches to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle

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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...

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7. Expanding Industry’s Nonproliferation Role

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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...

Appendix: The Brookings Survey

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pp. 201-218

About the Authors

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pp. 219


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pp. 221-238

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780815721482
E-ISBN-10: 081572148X

Page Count: 238
Publication Year: 2011