Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Stanford University

Chaim Braun, Peter Davis, Siegfried Hecker, and Korean colleagues standing in front of the Doosan Heavy Industries-built pressure vessel bound for the Vogtle Plant in the U.S. state of Georgia.
Photo credit: K.P. Kim, KAERI

February 21, 2014 - CISAC, FSI Stanford In the News

Hecker and Davis in Bulletin: SKorea has model nuclear energy program

Appeared in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, February 19, 2014

CISAC Senior Fellow Siegfried Hecker and his research assistant, Peter E. Davis, write in this Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists article that South Korea's nuclear energy program is a model to emulate.

Hecker and Davis, who have visited South Korea numerous times, say the story of South Korea’s nuclear development is one that demonstrates the promise of nuclear integration, the advantages of forgoing front-end and back-end nuclear fuel cycle technologies to focus on the middle of the fuel cycle, and the spillover benefits of a strong domestic nuclear industry.

“The South Korean story also holds a lesson for Iran, which pursued a different path, making domestic enrichment the centerpiece of its nuclear quest,” they write. “The proliferation danger of enrichment coupled with the clandestine nature of much of Iran’s nuclear program has justifiably raised nuclear weapon suspicions. Tehran’s refusal to cooperate fully with international inspectors has resulted in crippling sanctions and global isolation. Today, Tehran has little to show for its nuclear investment, in stark contrast to South Korea’s success.”