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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
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC) and the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security (SCOLNS) held a law and policy workshop on Thursday, June 20, 2019. The workshop was the second collaboration between NPEC and SCOLNS, and it concerned the legal and policy issues that are emergin as space becomes increasingly commercialized and accesible. As the emerging space domain presents new challenges and opportunities, it is the hope of SCOLNS and NPEC that this report will guide future legal and policy decisions. The workshop sought to address a series of questions regarding national security challenges in space: Commercial Space: What will be profitable and when? Future Undesirable Space Conjunctions: Who is and should be liable? Insuring Against Unwanted Space Conjunctions: What new norms, regulations, laws, and understanding might be desirable? The workshop was comprised of experts from NPEC, SCOLNS, the U.S. Air Force, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Department of Commece, the Department of States, nonprofits, think tanks, academia, and private companies and individuals. The discussion was governed under Chatham House rules, and therefore ideas and group affiliations from the workshop were not attributed to specific individuals.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Law, Space, Public Sector, Norms, Private Sector
  • Political Geography: 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: 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: Victor Gilinsky
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: Even before the ink was dry on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in l968, officials in the U.S. State Policy Planning staff had privately warned their superiors that non-weapons member states to the treaty could come within weeks of acquiring a nuclear arsenal by amassing nuclear weapons useable fuels claiming that these were intended for peaceful purposes. The advice was quietly filed away. Six years later, with India’s “peaceful” nuclear explosion, the warning seemed more salient. Still, even after a series of studies pointing out the military risks associated with proliferating civilian nuclear technology, most policy makers believed that the danger was speculative and still, at worst, many years away.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, International Affairs
  • 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: Michael Brian Jenkins, John Lauder
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: After the Cold War and nearly 70 years of waging war against communism, the United States and its key allies have adopted the war against terror as their new organizing principal. The king of terrorist threats, however, is nuclear terrorism. As Vice President Dick Cheney once argued, “if there is a one percent chance” of a terrorist developing a nuclear weapon, “we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response.”1
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, International Security
  • 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