Multilateralism as a Dual-Use Technique: Encouraging Nuclear Energy and Avoiding Proliferation
John Thomson and Geoffrey Forden
Policy Analysis Brief
Multilateralism is attractive in the nuclear energy business, above all because it helps to overcome the large costs and high technological barriers involved. This is true, as Urenco (a consortium of the British, German, and Dutch governments) and Eurodif (European Gaseous Diffusion Uranium Enrichment Consortium) show, even for wealthy advanced countries. For smaller or less advanced countries, it may be crucial; it can be their only realistic way to play an active role in a prestigious industry with evolving technology and potentially good profits. For all countries, it offers a gateway to security of fuel supply without political strings.
In addition, by obviating the need for nationally owned-and-operated facilities, multilateralism makes an important contribution to nonproliferation.
The model multilateral arrangement proposed in this brief is broadly applicable to any part, or any combination of parts, of the fuel cycle. The essential element is a commercial consortium composed of governments whose international board of directors will determine policy and deal with political issues while day-to-day operations will be run by a management company also internationally manned. Capital would be contributed in relation to shareholding, and profits distributed similarly. Equipment would mostly be leased rather than owned. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would have special inspection rights and procedures, and protection against cheating by any participating country, including the host country, would be further enhanced by the presence of at least three nationalities in every working shift.
Other important elements of the model emerge from the recommendations listed in the brief.
|Reporting a Radiation Emergency
Journalists would play an indispensable role keeping the public informed in an emergency resulting in the release of radiation, either accidental or deliberate. But what do they need to do their job effectively? The following recommendations to authorities who would manage such an emergency were drafted by participants in the 2016 Rotterdam Nuclear Security Workshop for International Journalists.
The latest issue of Courier features articles on the state of securing nuclear material as the final nuclear security summit approaches in early April. It also includes a special reprint of an article from the Center for Public Intregrity, "The Stalking Threat of Nuclear Terrorism." Alex Bellamy, an expert on R2P, discusses the progress made in "Acting on the Responsibility to Protect," and three students from a global scholars conference comment about climate change. Lastly, a brief look at the foundation's Iowa Student Global Leadership conference. The full Spring 2016 issue. PDF (2.0 MB) Subscribe for FREE.
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