ABSTRACT

Proliferation Risks of Civilian Nuclear Power Programs   [open pdf - 477KB]

"The risks of nuclear proliferation--the further spread of nuclear weapons and weapons-usable material, technology, and expertise--derive in part from the technical characteristics of the nuclear fuel cycle and the national and international management of fuel cycle activities. Civilian nuclear power plants themselves are not considered a high proliferation risk because it is difficult to make weapons-usable material from reactor fuel. The principal proliferation risk is that states can use the civilian nuclear fuel cycle as a source for the material, technology, and expertise needed to develop nuclear weapons. A state's intent to develop a nuclear weapons capability can be concealed if its activities otherwise appear compliant with its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Creating more effective barriers to the diversion of civilian nuclear programs to military purposes--as North Korea has done and as Iran appears to be doing--is central to current efforts to strengthen the global nuclear nonproliferation regime."

Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2012-06
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
National Defense University: http://www.ndu.edu/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
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