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Lessons Learned from “Lessons Learned”: The Evolution of Nuclear Power Safety after Accidents and Near-Accidents
Blandford and May review the major lessons learned from nuclear power accidents, and assess the impact those lessons have had on nuclear power, specifically, which measures were put into place to prevent similar accidents from occurring. They then make observations and recommendations for future safety and security measures.
This report and the contributed papers are the result of a project sponsored by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with funding from the Flora Family Foundation and of an associated workshop held October 16–17, 2007, at Stanford University. The Center for International Security and Cooperation in Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, which carried out the project and hosted the workshop, expresses its gratitude to both.
This report was produced by a joint Working Group (WG) of the American Physical Society (APS) Panel on Public Affairs and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Center Science, Technology and Security Policy. The primary purpose of this report is to provide the Congress, U.S.
The threat of the use of weapons of mass destruction by terrorist groups is perhaps the gravest threat confronting the international security system. In 2004, the United Nations Security Council, acting under Chapter VII, adopted Security Council Resolution 1540 (UNSCR 1540). UNSCR 1540 calls on UN member states to enact legislation and to take effective measures to prevent non-state actors, and terrorist groups in particular, from obtaining weapons of mass destruction.
Through efforts like the Nunn-Lugar program, the U.S. government and many of the Day After Workshop participants, including us, have long sought to prevent nuclear weapons and fissile materials from falling into new and threatening hands, especially terrorists.
This paper analyzes what might be expected to happen if a 10-kiloton nuclear bomb exploded in a U.S. city; the example used for this analysis is San Francisco. The analysis draws from research projects the author has done in recent years for the Department of Homeland Security and other government organizations, including observing and providing critique on TOPOFF 2 (Top Officials), an exercise of federal, state, and local emergency response systems to terrorist attacks. The paper summarizes a number of talks the author has given to students and professionals working on security issues.
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?
If the ultimate terror attack were to happen--a nuclear explosion in a city--the resulting death and destruction would be almost unimaginable. But we can imagine the geopolitical consequences. Can we do anything now that would help matters? Michael May, Jay Davis and Raymond Jeanloz argue that we can, by establishing a databank of known nuclear explosive materials. Using this resource it would be possible to establish where the materials came from and who was responsible for the terrorist act.
What role should nuclear weapons play in today's world? How can the United States promote international security while safeguarding its own interests? U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy informs this debate with an analysis of current nuclear weapons policies and strategies, including those for deterring, preventing, or preempting nuclear attack; preventing further proliferation, to nations and terrorists; modifying weapons designs; and revising the U.S. nuclear posture.
Recent events in Iran and elsewhere demand a reevaluation of the need for increasing nuclear fuel supplies and assuring reliable flow of fuel to nuclear power user states vis-à-vis the need for strengthened security for all countries against the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The right of countries to a guaranteed supply of nuclear energy for peaceful uses must be balanced with the global community's desire to limit flows of nuclear material and sensitive nuclear facilities that could create opportunities for nuclear proliferation.
The National Security Strategy announced by President George W. Bush in 2002 departs boldly, in some respects, from previous U.S. policy. It declares that the United States has a moral duty to use its unique military and political strength to establish a new liberal democratic world order. Concerned that the Cold War doctrines of deterrence and containment may no longer work, and that "if we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long," Bush announced in the National Security Strategy a new "preemption doctrine" against such threats.
This report describes the results of some calculations on the effectiveness of penetrating nuclear weapons of yield 1 and 10 kilotons against targets containing biological agents. The effectiveness depends in detail on the construction of the bunkers, on how the bio-agents are stored, on the location of the explosions with respect to the bunkers, the bio-agent containers and the surface of the ground, and on the yield of the explosion and the geology of the explosion site. Completeness of sterilization of the bio-agents is crucial in determining effectiveness.
With nuclear weapons, there is no effective defense. As a result, unless or until universal disarmament can be achieved, arming to prevent war can only mean nuclear deterrence. The US and the Soviet Union overdid deterrence by a large factor in my estimation, but the general view is that it seemed to work in that particular situation. The key assumption of nuclear deterrence is that the prospect of a single weapon dropped on a single city makes any war of conquest unattractive.
This article grew out of a week-long study in August 2002 to assist ongoing efforts inside and outside the government to remedy some vulnerabilities of the international shipping system on which US and a great deal of world prosperity depend. The study's objective was to identify the most important research initiatives and the major policy issues that need to be addressed in order to improve security of imports using shipping containers, particularly against the importation of nuclear materials and weapons, while maintaining an open trading system.
An updated Atoms for Peace program is needed to help solve problems of national and international security brought about by increased civilian use of nuclear energy.
Coherent and consistent leadership from the United States and other states is essential if the programs needed are to go forward with adequate speed.
The world's governance and enforcement machinery must be updated and strengthened if it is to be equal to the challenges.
What is the impact of the events of September 11 and the subsequent "war on terrorism" on nuclear issues? The "war on terrorism" is a handy political moniker for what the United States must learn to do in response to changes that have actually been taking place over several years. Some of the US responses to date have been wise. Some need a new look. Perhaps most important, in some areas, the United States and other countries have not responded and may be at a loss to respond, given the constraints on their policies.
A portion of President Bush's 2002 nuclear posture was released or leaked recently. The posture is largely silent on international cooperation and largely negative on arms control. The main relatively new trend in the posture is that the US will be prepared to use nuclear weapons in a much wider range of circumstances than before, with a particular emphasis on tactical uses. Such an emphasis in a declaratory policy has not been seen since the days of "flexible response" forty or so years ago, when tactical nuclear weapons were deployed in Europe and elsewhere.
A joint Stanford University-Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory team of scientists, nuclear engineers and arms control experts has concluded in a new study that North Korea's compliance with the 1994 Agreed Framework can be verified to a satisfactory degree of accuracy. Special effort, however, will be needed from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as well as support from the US, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Japan and perhaps other countries. Most importantly, cooperation and openness from North Korea are essential.
Impact on Global Warming of Development and Structural Changes in The Electricity Sector of Guangdong Province, China
This paper examines the impact on global warming of development and structural changes in the electricity sector of Guangdong Province, China, together with the possible effect of international instruments such as are generated by the Kyoto Protocol on that impact. The purpose of the paper is three-fold: to examine and analyze the data available, to put that data into an explanatory economic and institutional framework, and to analyze the possible application of international instruments such as CDMs in that locality.
The United States has a global security strategy, in deeds if seldom clearly in words. The U.S. security strategy is to enlarge the areas of the world that it can control militarily and to weaken all states outside those areas. The strategy does not rely solely on military means, but enlarged military control is the end and military means--armed interventions, alliance extensions, arms sales--usually lead the way.
The Cox Commission of the U.S. Congress was established in June 1998 to investigate concerns over Chinese acquisition of sensitive U.S. missile and space technology in connection with the launching of U.S. civilian satellites using Chinese launchers on Chinese territory. The investigations were broadened in October 1998 to include alleged security problems and possible espionage at the U.S. nuclear weapons laboratories. Some conclusions were released in January 1999 by the White House together with the administration's response.
Nuclear war is generally believed to bring risks of destruction out of proportion to any gain that may be secured by the war, or to any loss that may be averted, except perhaps for the loss of national independence and group survival. Nuclear-armed states, however, continue to project military force outside their own territory in order to carry out rivalries for power and influence. Will these rival power projections lead to war, as they often did in the past? If not, how will they be resolved?
With the ending of the Cold War, regional conflicts have come increasingly to the fore. U.S. foreign policy goals in such areas continue to involve a mix of U.S. self-interest (as perceived by governing elites, Congress, and sometimes the electorate directly) and a desire to see conflicts in the world resolved more peacefully. Both of these factors have led and will probably continue to lead to U.S. military interventions in some of these conflicts.