the United States beyond research and development, and that the potential for a worldwide nuclear renaissance may mean that such attention is now overdue. Some participants also noted that non-proliferation policy has not kept pace with new technology developments. For example, one participant stated that relatively new technologies such as laser enrichment can present challenges for policy makers. Moreover, advancing technologies from other fields—such as carbon fiber technology—are breaking down the barriers that have previously separated fuel cycle technologies from other industrial technologies.
Separate policy and technical cultures. Many participants noted the existence of two cultures within the nuclear nonproliferation community, one highly technical and the other policy-focused. Several examples of poor communication between these two cultures were cited, including: poor communication of policy needs to the technical community; a lack of clear definitions common to both the technical and policy communities for proliferation risk and resistance; and technical results that do not focus on the needs of policy makers. Some participants also noted that the communication difficulties are heightened by the reality that policy makers’ decisions related to nuclear fuel cycle technologies—domestically or internationally—are not solely motivated by proliferation concerns, but are interwoven with other concerns, such as geopolitics, economics, energy, or radioactive waste management requirements.
Value of proliferation resistance analysis. Many workshop participants disagreed regarding the value of proliferation resistance or risk analysis itself, particularly if quantification is involved. Several participants judged that technical and quantifiable assessments might be able to provide useful input on some issues, including:
• Managing risk when making international policy decisions;
• Determining the relative proliferation risk of two fuel cycles;
• Deciding where to provide money for further R&D analyses; and
• Deciding which countries to cooperate with on nuclear technology, and how.
Furthermore, some participants judged that quantifiable (or at least, highly technical) conclusions could be helpful to policy makers, due to their potential for rigor.
On the other hand, other participants judged that technical and quantifiable assessments are unlikely to be useful to address many policymaker concerns. Moreover, some participants judged that quantification might be counterproductive, particularly if underlying assumptions and