Nuclear Power Without Nuclear Proliferation?


Date and Time

October 29, 2009 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM


Open to the public.

No RSVP required


CISAC Conference Room

FSI Contact

A. Nancy Contreras

The global nuclear order is changing. Concerns about climate change, the volatility of oil prices, and the security of energy supplies have contributed to a widespread and still-growing interest in the future use of nuclear power. Thirty states operate one or more nuclear power plants today, and according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), some 50 others have requested technical assistance from the agency to explore the possibility of developing their own nuclear energy programs. This surge of interest in nuclear energy - labeled by some proponents as ‘the renaissance in nuclear power' - is occurring simultaneously with mounting concerns about the healthy of the nuclear nonproliferation regime, the regulatory framework that constrains and governs the world's civil and military- related nuclear affairs. The question then arises: is it possible to have nuclear power without nuclear proliferation? The answer is not clear, for the technical, economic, and political factors that will determine whether future generations will have more nuclear power without more nuclear proliferation are exceedingly complex and interrelated. Dr. Sagan will outline the current state of nuclear power and nuclear proliferation, before examining the weaknesses and promise of existing research on the subject. He argues that a key aspect of ensuring a safe nuclear future will be the strengthening of the NPT through "shared responsibility" for disarmament.

Scott Sagan is a professor of political science and co-director of Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation. Before joining the Stanford faculty, Sagan was a lecturer in the Department of Government at Harvard University and served as a special assistant to the director of the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon. He has also served as a consultant to the office of the Secretary of Defense and at the Sandia National Laboratory and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Sagan is the author of Moving Targets: Nuclear Strategy and National Security (Princeton University Press, 1989), The Limits of Safety: Organizations, Accidents, and Nuclear Weapons (Princeton University Press, 1993), and with co-author Kenneth N. Waltz, The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: A Debate Renewed (W.W. Norton, 2002). He is the co-editor of Peter R. Lavoy, Scott D. Sagan, and James L. Wirtz, Planning the Unthinkable (Cornell University Press, 2000) and the editor of Inside Nuclear South Asia (Stanford University Press, 2009). His most recent publications include "The Case for No First Use," Survival (June 2009) and "Good Faith and Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations" in George Perkovich and James A. Acton (eds.) Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: A Debate (Carnegie Endowment, 2009).

Allen S. Weiner is senior lecturer in law and co-director of the Stanford Program in International Law at Stanford Law School. He is also the co-director of the Stanford Center on International Conflict and Negotiation. His expertise is in the field of public international law and the foreign relations law of the United States. He is a seasoned international lawyer with experience in such wide-ranging fields as national security law, the law of war, international dispute resolution, and international criminal law. His current scholarship focuses on international law and the response to the contemporary security threats of international terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. For more than a decade he practiced international law in the U.S. Department of State, serving as an attorney-adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser and as legal counselor at the U.S. Embassy in The Hague. In those capacities, he advised government policy-makers, negotiated international agreements, and represented the United States in litigation before the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal and the International Court of Justice. He teaches courses in public international law, international conflict resolution, and international security matters at Stanford Law School. He received a BA from Harvard College and a JD from Stanford Law School.