Business and Nonproliferation: Industry's Role in Safeguarding a Nuclear Renaissance

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John P. Banks, Charles K. Ebinger
Brookings Institution Press, Nov 11, 2011 - Political Science - 238 pages
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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—commercial nuclear industry entities, nongovernment organizations, and government agencies and nuclear regulators. Its analysis addresses the broad question of how, given the global expansion of civilian nuclear power, the nuclear industry can become a more active, sustained partner in efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.


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About the author (2011)

John P. Banks is a nonresident fellow with the Energy Security Initiative at the Brookings Institution. He has worked as a management consultant for more than twenty years, advising governments, companies, and regulators throughout the world on energy policy, security, and governance issues.

Charles K. Ebinger is a senior fellow in Foreign Policy at Brookings and director of the Energy Security Initiative. He has thirty-five years of experience dealing with nuclear energy issues and is the author of Energy Security in South Asia (Brookings, 2011).

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