The projected growth in the use of nuclear power worldwide creates new opportunities for deepening and expanding existing U.S.-South Korean collaboration to promote the civil uses of nuclear energy in third countries. This expansion can build on the cooperation that is already taking place.
The narrow technical disagreements stalling the renegotiation of the U.S.–South Korea nuclear cooperation agreement mask a far larger and more complicated set of issues and interests that challenge both the future of bilateral nuclear cooperation and the nonproliferation regime.
The realization that nuclear technology is, at its core, dual-use in nature occurred early on in the nuclear age, and it has been fundamental to every effort to harness the positive potential widely believed to be inherent in nuclear technology, while minimizing its risks.
The concluded nuclear agreement with Vietnam should be viewed as an opportunity for U.S. government and industry to contribute to Vietnam’s energy security, not a counterproductive bilateral bone of contention.
So far, the Nuclear Security Summits have proved unable to break through India’s penchant for secrecy on what it considers to be matters of national security, so the country’s nuclear security arrangements remain somewhat opaque.
Russia and Iran are conferring about the supply of new nuclear power plants at the Bushehr site on the Persian Gulf. Iran operates one Russian reactor there and building more could contribute to a comprehensive agreement between the six powers and Iran.
China’s decision to supply Pakistan with further power reactors has raised concerns that Beijing is breaching nuclear trade rules.
In responding to the challenge of nuclear proliferation, nuclear trade controls and nuclear disarmament have separate missions.
Ongoing and difficult diplomacy with Iran does not provide U.S. lawmakers with grounds to require potential 123 partners not to enrich uranium or reprocess reactor fuel as a matter of principle. That would seriously endanger 123 agreements in some cases.
In the near future—possibly within the next twelve months—Japan will face two genuinely tough choices: whether to commission the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant and whether to sell nuclear reactor components to India.