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Controlling nuclear proliferation

  • Stephan Mergenthaler
Chapter

Abstract

Technological hurdles for turning a civilian nuclear program into a nuclear weapons program are low. As showcased by the North Korean and Iranian nuclear crises, the enrichment facilities for civilian nuclear programs can also be used to develop weapon-grade nuclear material. The rapidly increasing demand for nuclear energy—spurred by concerns about carbon-efficiency and the price volatility of fossil fuels—makes the risk of nuclear weapon proliferation more acute than ever before. China is a driving force in what some experts call a global ‘nuclear renaissance’, with several dozen new nuclear power plants under construction (Zhou 2010). As new emerging countries strive to master nuclear technologies, escalating arms races in the Middle East as well as East Asia have become increasingly more likely. At the same time, the advance of global terrorist networks has turned nuclear terrorism from a distant nightmare into a realistic possibility. The EU has, therefore, unequivocally affirmed nuclear proliferation as “potentially the greatest threat to our society” (EU Council 2003c).

Keywords

International Atomic Energy Agency Nuclear Weapon Export Control Nuclear Proliferation Nuclear Disarmament 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephan Mergenthaler
    • 1
  1. 1.BerlinGermany

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