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

MARTIN MILLER, B-2 Strategic Bomber 1989, Archival pigment print, 40 x 50 inches, 2007.
Photo credit: Martin Miller/Issues in Science and Technology.

October 13, 2008 - In the News

For more information contact
Burton Richter, (650) 926-2601, brichter@SLAC.Stanford.EDU

On reducing proliferation risk: "The problems are not technical but political and diplomatic"

In Issues in Science and Technology this month, PESD senior fellow and Nobel laureate in physics Burton Richter discusses how the international political community might address proliferation risk inherent in the expansion of nuclear energy, proposing that an inclusive internationalization policy of both ends of the nuclear fuel-cycle can provide much needed carbon-free energy while limiting the potential for the proliferation of nuclear weapons. He argues that the nuclear proliferation problem can be remedied by a tightly monitored program through international policy and diplomacy where incentives to tame proliferation are increased, inspections are more rigorous, and a sanctions program is agreed upon and adhered to.

"The coming expansion of nuclear power can be a security as well as an environmental blessing," says Richter, "but only if it comes without a great increase in the risk of the proliferation of nuclear weapons."

Topics: Diplomacy | Energy | Nuclear Energy | Nuclear power | Science and Technology