On April 11, FAS hosted a Capitol Hill briefing by Henry Sokolski, Executive Director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center. Mr. Sokolski discussed the implications of the Fukushima accident for the global expansion of nuclear power.
In the presentation, Mr. Sokolski emphasized that nuclear safety must come first. Then governments need to count the costs (environmental, safety, security, construction, etc.) associated with nuclear energy as compared to other energy sources. This will allow a much more fair assessment of energy costs. Moreover, he cautioned that there are nuclear activities that the International Atomic Energy Agency has great difficulty safeguarding and the merely providing more money to this agency will not ensure improvements to safeguards. Thus, he recommended that there is an urgent need to clarify what the IAEA can and cannot safeguard.
He further urged that the United States take the lead in establishing, implementing, and enforcing a gold standard for nuclear nonproliferation. Such a standard can be modeled on the nuclear energy cooperation deal with the United Arab Emirates in which the UAE agreed to forego pursuit of uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing because these activities could be used to make fissile material for nuclear weapons.