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.
As the Nuclear Suppliers Group convenes to agree on new Guidelines, now is no time to compromise existing principles.
The 2008 Nuclear Suppliers Group decision to permit civil nuclear trade with India, a country that never joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, undermines the credibility of the nuclear nonproliferation regime.
Pakistan faces a serious energy deficit. While Islamabad is focused on the long-term goal of developing nuclear energy, available electricity could be increased in the short-term by rehabilitating Pakistan’s electricity distribution system and replacing aging turbines.
While the nuclear disaster at Japan’s Fukushima reactors is likely to slow but not terminate nuclear programs in most countries currently operating nuclear power plants, it may significantly affect the ambitions of countries who had intended to deploy new reactors in the next decade.
As the U.S. government expands its efforts to trim the federal budget, the devastation and global fears caused by Japan’s nuclear disaster clearly demonstrate the importance of continued funding for nuclear security.
The 2011 conference focused on new actors and new agendas, reflecting the need to develop cooperative responses to challenges being posed by changing technology, distributions of political power, interest in nuclear energy, and security conditions in key regions.