The cumulative impact of the nuclear developments that occurred in 2012, from the disaster in Fukushima to Iran's continuing nuclear program, will make the world's nuclear future more uncertain.
In years ahead, the Nuclear Suppliers Group will be challenged by a massive global trade increase in unlisted goods. That means that effective application of catch-all controls will be absolutely critical to halt proliferation.
The Nuclear Suppliers Group faces a host of challenges ranging from questions about its credibility and future membership to its relationship to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and other multilateral arrangements.
The Nuclear Suppliers Group, which is responsible for establishing guidelines that govern the transfer of nuclear-related materials, equipment, and technology, faces a number of serious challenges.
Taiwan is effectively a legal black hole in the realm of nonproliferation cooperation. The international community needs to find a way to ensure a sustainable commitment to nonproliferation by those, like Taiwan, who are outside the international system.
Germany's comments about Chinese plans to export two power reactors to Pakistan do not help address international uncertainty over whether these exports would violate Nuclear Supplier Group guidelines.
Although Beijing agreed not to export nuclear reactors to Pakistan when it joined the Nuclear Suppliers Group in 2004, it is currently planning the construction of two reactors at the Chasma site in Pakistan.
The Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan provides Beijing with an opportunity to pause and contemplate conditioning its nuclear cooperation with Pakistan on improvements in nuclear safety and security.
The question of Indian membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group is reportedly on the agenda for the Group's annual plenary. As the NSG considers adding new members, the question of conditions for membership becomes paramount.
China and India have vast energy demands and civil nuclear programs. In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan, nuclear safety and security will play a major role in both countries’ nuclear evolution and cooperation in the years to come.