National Academies Press: OpenBook
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×

IMPROVING THE ASSESSMENT OF THE
PROLIFERATION RISK OF NUCLEAR FUEL
CYCLES

Committee on Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of
Nuclear Fuel Cycles
Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board
Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.

www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS  500 Fifth Street, N.W.  Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by Award No. DE-PI0000010/DE-DT0002373 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number 13:978-0-309-28532-2
International Standard Book Number 10:0-309-28532-1

Additional copies of this report are available for sale from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 Internet, http://www.nap.edu

Copyright 2013 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×

This page intentionally left blank.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×

Committee on Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles

ROBERT C. DYNES, Chair, University of California, San Diego

ALLEN G. CROFF, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (retired), St. Augustine, Florida

BART EBBINGHAUS, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California

B. JOHN GARRICK, Independent Consultant, Laguna Beach, California

CAROL E. KESSLER, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York

MILTON LEVENSON, Independent Consultant, Menlo Park, California

NANCY JO NICHOLAS, Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico

ARIAN PREGRENZER, Sandia National Laboratories (retired), Albuquerque, New Mexico

SCOTT D. SAGAN, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California

AMY SANDS, Monterey Institute of International Studies, California

WILLIAM H. TOBEY, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

CHRIS G. WHIPPLE, ENVIRON, Lafayette, California

STAFF

JENNIFER HEIMBERG, Study Director, Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board BENJAMIN RUSEK, Senior Program Officer, Committee on International Security and

Arms Control ERIN WINGO, Senior Program Assistant, Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×

Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board

JAY C. DAVIS (chair), Hertz Foundation, Livermore, California

BARBARA J. MCNEIL (vice-chair), Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

JOHN S. APPLEGATE, Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington

DAVID J. BRENNER, Columbia University, New York

MARGARET S.Y. CHU, M.S. Chu & Associates, LLC, Albuquerque, New Mexico

MICHAEL L. CORRADINI, University of Wisconsin, Madison

PATRICIA J. CULLIGAN, Columbia University, New York

ROBERT C. DYNES, University of California, San Diego

HEDVIG HRICAK, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York

THOMAS H. ISAACS, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California

CAROL M. JANTZEN, Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, South Carolina

ANNIE B. KERSTING, Glen T. Seaborg Institute, Lawrence Livermore National

Laboratory, Livermore, California

MARTHA S. LINET, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

FRED A. METTLER, JR., New Mexico VA Health Care System, Albuquerque

BORIS F. MYASOEDOV, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow

LAWRENCE T. PAPAY, PQR, LLC, La Jolla, California

DANIEL O. STRAM, University of Southern California, Los Angeles

RICHARD J. VETTER, Mayo Clinic (retired), Rochester, Minnesota

Staff

KEVIN D. CROWLEY, Director

JENNIFER HEIMBERG, Senior Program Officer

OURANIA KOSTI, Senior Program Officer

TONI GREENLEAF, Administrative and Financial Associate

LAURA D. LLANOS, Administrative and Financial Associate

DARLENE GROS, Senior Program Assistant

SHAUNTEÉ WHETSTONE, Senior Program Assistant

ERIN WINGO, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×

PREFACE

This study originated from a joint request from the Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Office of Nonproliferation and International Security to understand the extent to which technical analysis of proliferation risk could be improved for policy makers. Phase 1 of this two-phase study was a workshop that focused on the first task of the study charge: identifying key policy questions that were capable of being answered by a technical assessment of host-state proliferation risk and the utility of these questions for informing nonproliferation policy decisions. The workshop, summarized by a rapporteur-authored report, brought together nonproliferation policy decision makers and key technical developers of proliferation assessment tools.

During our first committee meeting, we heard from DOE-NEa that it believed that the workshop adequately addressed the first task, whereas NNSA reported that the workshop did not.b This consensus report, which addresses the full statement of task, is the result of the second phase of the study.

When the committee and I began working on this study, we had long discussions on the meaning and motivation of the statement of task. We tried to better understand the individual tasks by dissecting them into components, and then by looking at them in total. We set off to gather information on “how the U.S. government makes nonproliferation policy decisions” searching for a well-defined process. At the same time, we began the significant work of “assessing the assessments.” Specifically, we reconsidered what key policy decisions could be answered by technical analysis of proliferation risk.

What we discovered throughout the study was that the task statement, although complex in its charge, can be reduced to asking how far technical analysis can go toward guiding nonproliferation policy-based decisions. How developed are the current technical methods? Do the policy makers need additional information that they are not getting?

We realized that the U.S. government does not follow a scripted process for every nonproliferation policy decision but that there are well-developed pathways to address the technical analysis that supports these decisions. I gained respect for the complexities of the issues faced by policy makers and the impact of the decisions that they make. It is clear that nonproliferation policy makers do make use of technical analyses when making decisions but also weigh many other factors.

aGriffith, A. 2012. DOE-NE Perspectives on the National Academies Proliferation Risk Assessment Project. Presentation to committee, January 16.

bLockwood, D. 2012. Proliferation Risk Assessments: A Policy-Maker’s Observations. Presentation to the committee, January 16.

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×

The committee had lively discussions on the current limits of science-based approaches toward guiding these decisions. Ultimately, we determined that at the current time, science-based approaches for quantifying aspects of proliferation risk are best limited to engineering-based assessments (e.g., an assessment of proliferation resistance as opposed to the proliferation risk of a future fuel cycle). We did see that decision makers from other organizations found value in these approaches but only when they were actively involved in the process.

This complex study would not have been as interesting or enjoyable if not for the diverse and dedicated committee that supported it. The committee members came from different backgrounds and across many disciplines, spanning the usually vast chasm between technical and policy perspectives. For this committee, this division was not a problem. We all learned a great deal from each other and listened respectfully from divergent viewpoints on some issues.

Robert C. Dynes, Chair

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

A number of individuals and organizations contributed to the successful completion of this report. The committee received many briefings that were necessary for the study’s success. Its questions were nearly always answered with clarity and candor. This report could not have been written without the support of the people listed below who made presentations to the committee. The information and cooperation that the committee received from these organizations and individuals were critical to the success of this study.

The committee would particularly like to acknowledge the excellent support it received from the project sponsors, the U.S. Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration and Office of Nuclear Energy. The committee is especially grateful for the support it received from Dunbar Lockwood, Dan Vega, Karyn Durbin, Ed Wonder, and John Murphy.

The committee gratefully acknowledges the following people who provided presentations at its information-gathering sessions:

Robert Bari, Brookhaven National Laboratory

Jeff Bedell, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Kory Budlong-Sylvester, Los Alamos National Laboratory and current member of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) Standing Advisory Group on Safeguards Implementation (SAGSI)

Tod Caldwell, NNSA Office of Nuclear Controls

William Charlton, Texas A&M University

Joyce Connery, National Security Council

Lisa Owens Davis, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Phillip Dolliff, Office of Cooperative Threat Reduction, Department of State

Chris Eldridge, IAEA Department of Safeguards

Matthew Ferguson, IAEA Department of Safeguards

Nancy Gallagher, University of Maryland

Erik Gartzke, University of California San Diego

Vladimir Georgevich, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Alex Glaser, Princeton University

Richard Goorevich, Senior Policy Advisor, National Nuclear Security Administration

Andrew Griffith, Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy

John Herczeg, Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy

Hank Jenkins-Smith, University of Oklahoma

David Johnson, ABS Consulting

Jeff Kaplaw, University of California San Diego

Donald Kerr, George Mason University

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×

Susan Koch, Missouri State University

Warren "Pete" Miller, Bipartisan Policy Center

John Murphy, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Mary Beth Nikitin, Congressional Research Service

Gordon Oehler, Potomac Institute University

Rafail Ostrovsky, University of California Los Angeles

Jon Phillips, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Joe Pilat, Los Alamos National Laboratory

M.V. Ramana, Princeton University

William Rhodes, NNSA Office of Nuclear Controls

Ray E. Richardson, Central Intelligence Agency

Gary Rochau, Sandia National Laboratories

Michael Rosenthal, past member of the IAEA’s SAGSI

James Smith, Los Alamos National Laboratory

James Sprinkle, IAEA Department of Safeguards

Sharon Squassoni, Center for Strategic and International Studies

John Steinbruner, University of Maryland

Richard J. K. Stratford, Director of the Office of Nuclear Energy Safety and Security, Department of State

Steven Streetman, Data Architecture Solutions, Inc.

David Sweeney, Texas A&M University

Lynn Timmons, NNSA, Office of Nuclear Controls (contractor)

Michael Uzzle, NNSA

Mary Beth Ward, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Christopher Way, Cornell University

Anatoli Welihozkiy, NNSA Office of Nuclear Controls

Ed Wonder, NNSA Office of International Regimes and Agreements

The committee would also like to thank the individuals that assisted in the logistical preparation at the sites the committee visited. Their assistance greatly aided the committee in their task. These include:

Reid Pauly, Stanford University

Jessica Groom, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Suzanne Cordoza, Sandia National Laboratories

Kathy Loeppky, Sandia National Laboratories

Peggy Desko, Sandia National Laboratories

Susan Washburn, Sandia National Laboratories

The committee extends special thanks to the staff of the National Research Council for supporting this study. Staff members who contributed to this effort include Jenny Heimberg (study director), Benjamin Rusek (staff member of the Committee on International Security and Arms Control), Kevin Crowley (director of the Nuclear and

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×

Radiation Studies Board), Erin Wingo (senior program assistant), and Toni Greenleaf (financial and program associate).

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Research Council in making its published report as sound as possible and will ensure that this report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report:

Robert Bari, Brookhaven National Laboratory

Steven Becker, Old Dominion University, School of Public Health

Matthew Bunn, Harvard University

Mona Dreicer, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Steve Fetter, University of Maryland

Alan Icenhour, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Thomas Isaacs, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Sharon Squassoni, Center for Strategic and International Studies

John Steinbruner, University of Maryland

James Timbie, U.S. Department of State

Larry Turnbull, Riverside Research

Kevin Wood, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School

Michael Zentner, U.S. Department of Energy

Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions and recommendations of this report, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Richard Meserve, Carnegie Institution for Science, and Granger Morgan, Carnegie Mellon University. Appointed by the National Research Council, Drs. Meserve and Morgan were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were considered carefully. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authorizing committee and the institution.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×

This page intentionally left blank.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×

This page intentionally left blank.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×
Page R1
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×
Page R2
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×
Page R3
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×
Page R4
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×
Page R5
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×
Page R6
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×
Page R7
Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×
Page R8
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×
Page R9
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×
Page R10
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×
Page R11
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×
Page R12
Page xiii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×
Page R13
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18335.
×
Page R14
Next: Executive Summary »
Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles Get This Book
×
Buy Paperback | $40.00 Buy Ebook | $31.99
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

The material that sustains the nuclear reactions that produce energy can also be used to make nuclear weapons—and therefore, the development of nuclear energy is one of multiple pathways to proliferation for a non-nuclear weapon state. There is a tension between the development of future nuclear fuel cycles and managing the risk of proliferation as the number of existing and future nuclear energy systems expands throughout the world. As the Department of Energy (DOE) and other parts of the government make decisions about future nuclear fuel cycles, DOE would like to improve proliferation assessments to better inform those decisions.

Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles considers how the current methods of quantification of proliferation risk are being used and implemented, how other approaches to risk assessment can contribute to improving the utility of assessments for policy and decision makers. The study also seeks to understand the extent to which technical analysis of proliferation risk could be improved for policy makers through research and development.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  9. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!