These statements reflect the viewpoints of the individual speakers, not the consensus views of the workshop participants or of the National Academies.
OVERVIEW AND BACKGROUND: TECHNICAL EFFORTS ON PROLIFERATION RISK
The first technical assessments of proliferation resistance and risk associated with nuclear facilities date back to the early 1970s. Since then, significant progress has been made in using technical analyses to inform nuclear safety, but less progress has been made in assessing security and nonproliferation.
In discussions of technical assessments of the vulnerability of nuclear fuel cycle facilities to proliferation, two related terms are often used: proliferation resistance and proliferation risk. These concepts do not refer to the same idea, as discussed in Chapter 1. The definition of proliferation resistance is relatively well-agreed upon as:
The characteristics of a nuclear energy system that impede the diversion of undeclared production of nuclear material or misuse of technology by states in order to acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices (IAEA, 2002).
It should be noted that this definition of proliferation resistance limits the concept only to state actors, not non-state actors.
On the other hand, proliferation risk is not nearly as well defined in the international community. There are several factors, both technical and non-technical, that influence proliferation risk, including:
• Characteristics of the proliferator (e.g., motivation, goals, resources, and technical capabilities);
• Intrinsic features of the nuclear energy system (i.e., technology and design features);
• Extrinsic measures (e.g., domestic institutional measures and international safeguards); and
• Consequences of proliferation success (e.g., increased military capacity, changes in the geopolitical situation and regional stability).