When it comes to deterrence, outmoded Cold War logic continues to dominate the thinking of U.S. strategic planners--no matter that the threats posed by that conflict ended nearly 20 years ago. But in a new world with new security challenges, Washington must think anew about deterrence, appropriately reshaping its nuclear arsenal in the process.
Hype over the future of nuclear power is rampant, but the facts tell a different story. The percentage of nuclear-generated electricity in the overall global energy mix is decreasing. In this three-part series Mycle Schneider, a French independent nuclear analyst, explores the difficulties facing nuclear power throughout the world and in Western Europe and Asia in particular.
In global security circles, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is alternately characterized as dead on arrival and the next great hope for arms control. It has a functioning directorate with a global network of sensors on the lookout for nuclear explosions, but it lacks the political backing to function as intended. To refine its mechanisms in the event the treaty enters into force, the directorate held an inspection exercise in early September from a former nuclear weapons testing site in Kazakhstan. In a series of dispatches, Bulletin correspondents report on the event and what its results say about the future of the treaty.
The Bush administration intended for the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) to jump-start a global nuclear power revival without the attendant proliferation risks. But as the administration comes to a close, the partnership has only heightened proliferation concerns, leaving GNEP's future murky. In this three-part weekly series Leonor Tomero, the director of nonproliferation at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, explains how GNEP's stakeholders--both domestic and foreign--will likely move forward even if GNEP does not.
Discussion of nuclear power regularly leads to the issue of what to do with the waste created during power generation. One course of action many experts and scientists support is building geologic repositories where the dangerous, long-lived waste can be stored--for instance, inside of a mountain. Throughout the next year, the Bulletin's web-edition will present a country-by-country analysis of how certain nations are proceeding with the disposal of the waste produced by their nuclear power plants and reactors.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair wants to replace London's nuclear weapons system, ensuring that British submarines will carry nuclear weapons well beyond 2050. His push for new warheads has inspired an intense discussion inside the country about the necessity of the British nuclear arsenal. Leading up to the mid-March 2007 Parliamentary vote on the issue, Rebecca Johnson, a noted expert on British nuclear weapons policy, will file weekly reports from Britain detailing this debate.