Developing nuclear power without increased risks of weapons

Paul Boughton

Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty members and colleagues, all former senior energy or security advisors in Democratic and Republican administrations from Carter to Clinton, have proposed a pragmatic plan that would allow the world to develop nuclear power without increased risk of weapons proliferation.

Under their plan countries that now have the technology to prepare and dispose of nuclear fuel would provide those services to countries that do not.

The latter countries would be well situated to operate and expand their nuclear power capacity – with no need to acquire technology potentially useful in weapons production.

“Global energy demand is going to grow significantly in the coming decades, and nuclear power is one option for generating large amounts of electricity without greenhouse gas emissions,”said MIT Institute Professor John Deutch. “But one nuclear-weapons incident associated with nuclear power anywhere would devastate the future of nuclear power.”

The plan is called the Assured Nuclear Fuel Services Initiative (ANSFI).

“The goal is to make the political and economic incentives so clearly compelling that refusal by a potential user state would cast a spotlight on its intentions,” said Deutch.

“The prospects for co-ordinated international response to avert possible weapons-related activities would be greatly improved.

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