Energy

70 Items

Discussion Paper - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

The Three Overlapping Streams of India's Nuclear Power Programs

| April 15, 2016

As India’s civilian nuclear energy program expands with the assistance of international nuclear suppliers, it creates new potential pathways to the acquisition of fissile material that could be diverted for military purposes. A key question is whether and how India’s civilian and military nuclear facilities are separated. In this discussion paper from the Belfer Center’s Project on Managing the Atom, Kalman A. Robertson and John Carlson argue that India has not established a complete and verifiable separation of its civilian and military nuclear programs. The authors recommend steps for India to take under its safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency to provide assurances to all states that components of its civilian program are not contributing to the growth of its nuclear arsenal. These steps include renouncing options that would facilitate the use of safeguarded items to produce unsafeguarded nuclear material, and placing the proliferation-sensitive components of its nuclear power industry under continuous safeguards.

In this March 6, 2013 photo, a warning sign is shown attached to a fence at the 'C' Tank Farm at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, near Richland, Wash.

(AP Photo)

News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Belfer Center Experts Provide Analysis and Commentary on 2016 Nuclear Security Summit

April 5, 2016

Leading up to and during the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, Belfer Center experts released reports, published commentary, and provided insight and analysis into global nuclear security. In advance of the Summit, the Project on Managing the Atom set the stage for discussion with the report Preventing Nuclear Terrorism: Continuous Improvement or Dangerous Decline?

An in-progress compilation of the expert commentary and analysis is available here.

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

China’s rapidly expanding centrifuge enrichment capacity

| December 7, 2015

"With the aftermath of the Iran agreement hanging in the air, words such as “centrifuge,” “enrichment,” and “uranium” are still appearing regularly in news coverage. Which means that now is a good time to look at the enrichment capacity of a much larger power, thousands of miles away: China. The country’s enrichment capacity is a topic about which little has appeared in the popular press—possibly because little is publicly known, and what information there is has to be assembled, verified, and evaluated from many different independent sources."

Journal Article - Taylor and Francis Science & Global Security

China's Uranium Enrichment Complex

| October 23, 2015

New public information allows a fresh estimate of China's current and under-construction uranium enrichment capacity. This paper uses open source information and commercial satellite imagery to identify and offer estimates of the capacity of China's 10 operating enrichment facilities, located at 4 sites, using centrifuge technology most likely based on adapting Russian technology. The total currently operating civilian centrifuge enrichment capacity is estimated to be about 4.5 million separative work units/year (SWU/year), with additional capacity estimated to be about 2 million SWU/year under construction. Also China could have an enrichment capacity of around 0.6 million SWU/year for non-weapon military uses (i.e., naval fuel) or dual use. These estimates are much larger than previous public estimates of China's total enrichment capacity. Further expansion of enrichment capacity may be likely since China will require about 9 million SWU/year by 2020 to meet the enriched uranium fuel needs for its planned nuclear power reactor capacity of 58 gigawatts-electric (GWe) by 2020 under its policy of self-sufficiency in the supply of enrichment services.

Korea Wolsong Nuclear Power Plant

IAEA, Korea Wolsong NPP

Analysis & Opinions - The Diplomat

The Repercussions of South Korea’s Pro-Nuclear Energy Policy

| Oct. 08, 2015

"South Korea has been trying to develop its nuclear energy industry over half a century. Insufficient energy sources, increasing domestic energy consumption, and rising oil prices in the 1970s were significant drivers that turned South Korea into a nuclear energy producer. Today, the country runs 24 nuclear reactors in four nuclear power plant sites, the second highest number of reactors among Asian countries after Japan and fifth highest in the world. Despite the contribution of nuclear energy to the South Korean economy, however, the country is currently facing mounting domestic concerns over its pro-nuclear energy policy."

Report - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

China's Uranium Enrichment Capacity: Rapid Expansion to Meet Commercial Needs

| August 20, 2015

Based on satellite imagery, Chinese publications, and discussions with Chinese experts, This report suggests that China has much more civilian enrichment capacity than previously thought, and even more is on the way. If these new estimates are correct, China has enough enrichment capacity to meet its nuclear power fuel requirements for the coming decade and beyond. Further, China will have excess enrichment capacity and will likely become a net exporter of commercial enrichment services.

Journal Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Plutonium Reprocessing, Breeder Reactors, and Decades of Debate: A Chinese Response

| July 1, 2015

Some observers believe that plutonium reprocessing is on the verge of an expansion, while others argue that the end of the practice is in sight. The risk of nuclear proliferation has always been the chief objection to reprocessing but proponents argue that today, with uranium enrichment technology more easily available, reprocessing no longer represents an efficient route toward nuclear weapons...

How to Know if Iran Breaks its Word: Financial Monitoring

AP Images

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

How to Know if Iran Breaks its Word: Financial Monitoring

| May 26, 2015

In this new oped for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist, MTA Associate Aaron Arnold and colleague Nikos Passas consider the role of banks in monitoring and verifying proliferation-related transactions. He outlines steps that the P5+1 and Iran can take in a final agreement that will allow them to remain vigilant about proliferation financing.

Report - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

China's Access to Uranium Resources

| May 26, 2015

Official plans in China call for a three-fold increase in nuclear energy by 2020, and much more is under consideration for the coming decades. How will China get the uranium it needs to feed its ambitious nuclear energy plans for the coming decades? This report suggests that between domestic uranium mining, uranium purchased on the international market, and uranium mined by Chinese-owned companies overseas, the security of China’s uranium supply will not pose a challenge to China’s nuclear power development, even under the most ambitious scenarios for growth.