Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

 

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Federation of American Scientists

 

Nuclear regimes have their origins in non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and continue to have a significant impact on the nuclear power enterprise worldwide. The success of the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and its various control mechanisms has been mixed to date. On one hand, they have not stopped the spread of nuclear weapons and some unique scenarios have emerged over the years, such as the non-NPT weapons states of India, Pakistan and Israel (though not declared officially), the US-India civilian nuclear agreement, withdrawal of North Korea from NPT and subsequent nuclear tests, and the recent concerns about Iran’s intentions in developing its own enrichment capability. On the other hand, there has been a rollback of weapons programs in S. Africa, Libya and the dismantlement of the related infrastructure in Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus. Concurrently, the world is not only facing an energy shortage but there is a heightened concern about sustainability and climate change and the need to focus on renewables and clean energy. Thus, in spite of Fukushima, several countries are forging ahead with their ambitious plans to build nuclear power plants and the supporting infrastructure. Oil producing countries too have recognized that their petroleum reserves are finite and are considering nuclear power. These activities, however, continue to raise concerns about safety and the diversion of nuclear material for terrorism and/or weapons development. Thus the nuclear enterprise worldwide is at the crossroads today and the challenges in front us are:

This Forum will address these topics with invited talks by experts from government, industry, think tanks and academia, and panel discussions. The goal is to provide an opportunity to the academic community in relevant disciplines from the National Capital Region (NCR) universities to begin engaging in a dialog that will contribute to a broad understanding of the many facets of today’s global nuclear enterprise.