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  • Author: Henry Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: In the next decade, it is all too likely that the past success of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in preventing the further spread of nuclear weapons among the world’s nations will be reversed. Three trends make more proliferation likely. First is the decay of nuclear taboos. Second, and arguably worse, is renewed vertical proliferation—the increase in size and sophistication of nuclear arsenals by states that already have them. Third, the technical information to fuel nuclear breakouts and ramp-ups is more available now than in the past. These trends toward increased proliferation are not yet facts. The author describes three steps the international community could take to save the NPT: making further withdrawals from the NPT unattractive; clamping down on the uneconomical stockpiling and civilian use of nuclear weapons materials (plutonium and highly enriched uranium); and giving real meaning to efforts to limit the threats that existing nuclear weapons pose.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Nuclear Power, Disarmament, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Russia, North Korea, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Henry D. Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: The 13 chapters contained in this book’s two volumes were prompt-ed by a single inquiry in 2012 from the MacArthur Foundation. Was there any way, I was asked, to further clarify the economic and nonproliferation downsides if further production of civilian pluto-nium proceeded in East Asia? My initial reply was no. So much already had been done.But the more I thought about it, two things that had yet to be at-tempted emerged. The first was any serious analysis of just how bad things could get militarily if Japan and South Korea acquired nuclear weapons and North Korea and Mainland China ramped up their own production of such arms. Such nuclear proliferation had long been assumed to be undesirable but nobody had specified how such proliferation might play out militarily. Second, no serious consideration had yet been given to how East Asia might be able to prosper economically without a massive buildup of civilian nucle-ar power. Since each of the key nations in East Asia—China, the Koreas, and Japan—all would likely exploit their civilian nuclear energy infrastructure to acquire their first bombs or to make more, such inattention seemed odd.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology, Military Affairs, Nuclear Power, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, North Korea, Global Focus
  • Author: Henry D. Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: The 13 chapters contained in this book’s two volumes were prompt- ed by a single inquiry in 2012 from the MacArthur Foundation. Was there any way, I was asked, to further clarify the economic and nonproliferation downsides if further production of civilian pluto- nium proceeded in East Asia? My initial reply was no. So much already had been done.But the more I thought about it, two things that had yet to be at- tempted emerged. The first was any serious analysis of just how bad things could get militarily if Japan and South Korea acquired nuclear weapons and North Korea and Mainland China ramped up their own production of such arms. Such nuclear proliferation had long been assumed to be undesirable but nobody had specified how such proliferation might play out militarily. Second, no serious consideration had yet been given to how East Asia might be able to prosper economically without a massive buildup of civilian nucle- ar power. Since each of the key nations in East Asia—China, the Koreas, and Japan—all would likely exploit their civilian nuclear energy infrastructure to acquire their first bombs or to make more, such inattention seemed odd.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology, Military Affairs, Nuclear Power, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, North Korea, Global Focus
  • Author: Henry D. Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: With 190 state members, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) is almost universal. However, it has fallen on hard times. North Korea violated it and withdrew in 2002. Israel, Pakistan, India, and North Korea—the nuclear-armed states most likely to use them—refuse to sign. Others—e.g., Syria, South Korea, and Egypt—have violated its safeguards and yet suffered no serious consequences. Also, with the Iran deal, enriching uranium or re- processing spent reactor fuel, which can bring states to the very brink of bomb making, is now less taboo. Finally, with President Trump’s suggestion that South Korea’s and Japan’s acquisition of nuclear weapons is inevitable, the prospect of the treaty lasting in perpetuity is easily open to question.1
  • Topic: International Organization, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Henry D. Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: Many of the materials, facilities, and technologies used to produce nuclear energy can be used to create nuclear weapons material. In nearly all stages in the production of peaceful nuclear energy, it is difficult to differentiate between peaceful activities and those useful to produce explosive materials for nuclear weap- ons. The purpose of this primer is to inform the reader about the basic steps of the nuclear fuel cycle and nuclear energy production, and to draw attention to those aspects of the fuel cycle that present the greatest nuclear weapons proliferation risks.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Henry D. Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is a nonpartisan, educational organization founded in 1994 to promote a better understanding of strategic weapons proliferation issues. NPEC educates policymakers, journalists, and university professors about proliferation threats and possible new policies and measures to meet them.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Henry D. Sokolski, Victor Gilinsky
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: In this chapter, we try to step back from the day-to- day struggles in Washington, DC, over nuclear non- proliferation policy to ask what measures we would need to have in place to be reasonably confident that expanding nuclear power globally will not increase the number of nuclear weapons-armed states. We recognize that, since the start of the Atoms for Peace Program in the mid-1950s, the United States has sup- ported worldwide use of nuclear power. It also has op- posed the spread of nuclear weapons and supported measures to control the nuclear weapons proliferation risks inherent in spreading nuclear technology for civilian purposes. The principal administrative ele- ments of this nonproliferation effort are the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and the associated in- spection activities of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as well as various national and inter- national export controls.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Henry Sokolski (ed)
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: In 1966, Leonard Beaton, a journalist and strategic scholar, published a short book that asked must the bomb spread.1 Mr. Beaton’s query reflected the profound alarm with which proliferation was viewed shortly after the Cuban Missile Crisis. Today that alarm is all but absent: Now, not only is proliferation increasingly viewed as a given (more of a fact than a problem), but some security experts actually see advantages in nuclear weapons spreading or, at least, little harm. Cultivation of this latter view took time—nearly a half century— and considerable scholarship. In 1981, Kenneth Waltz popularized French and American finite deterrence thinking of the late 1950s by asking whether or not nuclear weapons in more hands might be better. His answer was yes. As nuclear weapons spread, he argued, adversaries would view war as being self-defeating and peace would become more certain.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Brian Jenkins, John Lauder
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: NPEC Working Paper 1602, “The Nuclear Terrorism Threat: How Real Is It?” presents two opposed views on the threat of nuclear terrorism. Brian M. Jenkins, a Rand analyst and a leading expert on nuclear terrorism, argues that the threat is overblown. John Lauder, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Nonproliferation Center, argues the opposing case that the threat is growing and we need to be hedging against it now.
  • Topic: Terrorism, International Affairs, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Henry D. Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: NPEC Working Paper 1601, “How Dark Might East Asia’s Nuclear Future Be?” contains detailed projections of what the future holds for a more nuclear-armed China, Japan, North Korea and South Korea. None are predictions. The volume’s purpose is to encourage deeper debate about the security implications of nuclear proliferation in East Asia.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus