Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 13
This article presents a review of the sensitivities to proliferation attempts in each of the different stages of the commercial nuclear fuel cycle and within the nuclear power industry. As the global nuclear power industry may be on the brink of a major expansion that might rival its original growth at the inception of the nuclear age, the question is: Would this second expansion create uncontrollable proliferation risks in its wake? The basic answer is that the nuclear power industry in itself does not pose a direct proliferation threat; however, various elements of the nuclear fuel cycle could create different proliferation sensitivities if not safeguarded carefully. The first element of securing the nuclear fuel cycle is the understanding of which elements pose the greatest potential for successful proliferation attempts. These issues and several institutional and technical mitigation strategies to reduce the potential for possible proliferation are discussed here.