Skyrocketing electricity demand, concerns about energy security and the quest for generating power from cleaner sources has spurred a renewed interest in nuclear energy. This potential nuclear “renaissance” threatens to put added strain on the current nuclear non-proliferation framework and requires that every stage of the nuclear fuel cycle—from fuel fabrication and uranium enrichment to reprocessing and storage—be analyzed to maximize both security and efficiency. The Energy Security Initiative at Brookings launched a major study focusing on the nuclear industry’s perspectives on three related issues: threats to the current non-proliferation regime, industry’s role in enhancing the regime, and proposals to strengthen the current regime. The study collected responses from a range of actors from business, government and international regulatory organizations to rank the effectiveness and feasibility of a variety of multinational regulatory approaches.
On April 8, the Energy Security Initiative hosted a panel discussion by the study’s authors who will present the initial findings of their research. The study, whose findings are being prepared in advance of the 2010 NPT Review Conference in New York in May, seeks to bridge the gap between institutional recommendations and industry stances on the future of the non-proliferation framework as well as critical issues relating to the global management of an expanded nuclear power industry. Senior Fellow Charles Ebinger, director of the Energy Security Initiative, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.
After the program, panelists took audience questions.